Tag Archives: Infusionsoft

Infusionsoft

Former Intuit executive joins Infusionsoft

Infusionsoft, creator of the leading sales and marketing software for small businesses, announced that former senior Intuit executive Terry Hicks has joined the company as chief product officer.

In this newly-created position, Hicks will drive the company’s global product strategy, including product management, payments and business development. He will also oversee Infusionsoft’s Marketplace, which is composed of a full suite of services, integration APIs, and apps designed to help small businesses succeed.

As an executive with Intuit in Silicon Valley for nearly 15 years, Hicks brings deep insight, knowledge, and understanding of small businesses and how to meet their rapidly evolving technology needs. During his time at Intuit, Hicks served in a variety of general management and product leadership roles in the Small Business Group and Global Business Division. He established from the ground up to the now $600 million payments business, and most recently, prior to joining Infusionsoft, focused on accelerating worldwide customer growth as the vice president and general manager of QuickBooks Online.

“Infusionsoft has a superpower,” said Hicks. “The company’s passion and commitment to small business success is unparalleled and infectious. They understand the challenges small businesses face in today’s digital, connected world, and they’re bringing powerful technology to a market ripe with opportunity. I am excited to be a part of a company that is committed to improving the success rate of small business worldwide.”

Hicks’ deep passion for small business grew throughout his time at Intuit where he saw the impact the right software solutions, services and access to a strong partner network can have on the success of a small business. “When a small business succeeds, the ripple effect is greater than on just the entrepreneur,” he said. “The employees, families, customers and their local community at large benefit, which results in a more vibrant and diverse place for everyone to live. Infusionsoft is laser focused on helping small businesses grow their revenues, which is the lifeblood of any business. ”

Laurie McCabe, a partner at SMB Group, noted, “The addition of another highly-regarded technology industry veteran such as Terry Hicks is further validation of Infusionsoft as a disruptive innovator and leadership company.”

“Terry gets small business, and he understands what it takes to grow a billion dollar company by serving that market sector,” said Clate Mask, co-founder and CEO of Infusionsoft. “He knows first-hand how underserved the market is, and he shares our passion to help more small businesses realize success and their dreams.”

East Valley cities come together over startup culture

The definition of a startup depends on who’s answering. The general consensus does seem to be a new, small company. The threshold of being a startup and a young business can be defined by revenue, company size, an acquisition or a new office space. What’s more important, experts say, is the environment that comes with having a “startup culture.”

It’s a burden multiple cities are shouldering, from Chandler’s Gangplank to SkySong in Scottsdale. A classic example is Infusionsoft’s expansion through different locations in Gilbert before landing its most recent location in Chandler. Heliae, which started at ASU Tech Park before relocating to SkySong and finally Gilbert — in a span of three years — is another example of cross-city commitment to retaining a startup. Gangplank co-founder Derek Neighbors says that even though one city lost the company to another, there’s still an idea that at least Infusionsoft stayed in the East Valley. Cities are now collaborating just to keep companies in Arizona. Once a startup company leaves Arizona, Neighbors says, it probably won’t come back. It’s just less expensive for a company to move to its chosen headquarters when it still only has a few employees.

Tanga.com, which made the 2014 Inc. 500|5000 list of America’s fastest growing private companies, is now moving into a business park in Chandler. The company, which has grown about 220 percent over the last few years, has increased its employee base from six to 35. For Neighbors, it comes back to culture.

While local success stories pave the way for growing companies, Neighbors says about 30 percent of the companies that use Gangplank’s educational resources, business services or co-working space leave Arizona. While some of the motives include a perceived lack of knowledge capital or lack of understanding of tech-related products, there are also a few real estate-related issues at play.

“There are many reasons a startup will chose to expand, but those reasons are outside of the control of the community,” says Gilbert’s Economic Development Director Dan Henderson. The city is hoping that the 3.3MSF mixed-use development Rivulon will attract more venture capitalists to Gilbert, and thus money to invest in the start-up culture.

“Our citywide goal is to attract, retain and grow business and industry. Working with entrepreneurs and developers, we’re able to meet needs of early stage startups to Fortune 500 companies. In that community development focus, there is a diversity of real estate options,” says Henderson.

One issue developers and brokers should keep in mind, Neighbor says, is that these startup companies are looking between 2KSF and 6KSF of office space — not 40KSF. The other issue, he says, is that startups can’t sign five-year leases. There is no telling how fast a company will grow and how real estate demands will evolve over the time of a five-year lease. It’s much easier to find that space in San Francisco, Portland or Seattle, says Neighbors. Developers here, he says, don’t understand startups.

“It’s about having a full ecosystem,” he says. “Whether it’s co-working places or incubation places for two-person companies to start and grow and having a place for them to move into their next stage of 30, then 100 or 200 employees. As a region, we need to have that full spectrum to be collaborative as cities and commercial real estate partners.”

Henderson says Gilbert has looked at offering incubating, co-working and accelerator models to help entrepreneurs during different stages of their growth. It has also made the SizeUp tool available to companies that want to evaluate a product’s competitiveness and target market.

About half of ASU SkySong’s incubator businesses are startups. Developed by Plaza Companies, SkySong has become one of many East Valley hubs for the startup culture.

“Our region as a whole will be well-served by the kind of economic development that takes place organically within our community, and that’s what the startup culture provides,” says Plaza Companies President and CEO Sharon Harper. “SkySong has played an important role in establishing that culture as well as providing a destination for out-of-state businesses to consider.

“Helping companies grow through incubators has widespread benefits to the economic environment, including job creation and economic impact. Commercial real estate is a component of that — when we are growing companies from within our state, we are creating economic impact without having to rely on companies coming in from outside our state. So it’s another important pillar in our community’s economic growth with significant impact on commercial real estate.”

One brokerage has recently taken a keen interest in placing tech startups. Ryan Bartos, associate director of tenant advisory at Cushman & Wakefield, is a Millennial heading up the Phoenix office’s new C&WTechBeat effort. He and his partner at Cushman & Wakefield, Matt Coxhead, helped place Weebly, from San Francisco, as well as New York-based startup LearnVest into SkySong.

“It’s fun to work with these companies; they have great energy,” Bartos says. “They don’t want traditional office space. They need someone who understands and a landlord who is creative and flexible.”

Sometimes that flexibility comes in a special termination clause or trading abatement requests for lower rent.

“I think it’s  great time for Phoenix, and we’re going to see more firms from California relocate to the Valley,” he says. “With firms moving from the Bay Area at an enterprise level, like Weebly, it further validates that our market is able to sustain that industry.”  

Entrepreneurs

ASU honors top ASU-bred entrepreneurs

Arizona State University has been gaining a nationwide reputation as a breeding ground for entrepreneurs. Accordingly, next week, the W. P. Carey School of Business at ASU is holding its first-ever Sun Devil Select event, to honor some of the country’s top ASU alum-owned and alum-run businesses. Seventeen firms from a variety of industries will be recognized for their achievements.

“We’re honoring organizations that demonstrate innovation, growth and entrepreneurial spirit,” explains Sidnee Peck, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at the W. P. Carey School of Business, which is hosting the event. “The inaugural Sun Devil Select class includes firms from Chicago, the Los Angeles area, Kansas City, Dallas and the Phoenix area.”

The winning firms and alums are:

  • Betablox – Weston Bergmann is an angel investor and the founder and chief executive officer of this Kansas City-based group that helps select startups navigate through their first stages of business.
  • Dunn Transportation – Margaret Dunn is founder and president of this transportation company, which owns Scottsdale’s popular Ollie the Trolley and an executive coach service.
  • Fan Interactive Marketing – Joel McFadden serves as chief operating officer for this California firm specializing in customer relationship management, interactive marketing, database knowledge and email deployment.
  • FSW Funding – Robyn Barrett is the managing member of Factors Southwest, LLC, an independently owned factoring firm in Phoenix that helps small to mid-size businesses to secure funding.
  • Higher Ed Growth – Frank Healy is president and chief executive officer of this Tempe company that helps schools reach enrollment goals by using proprietary technology.
  • Homeowners Financial Group USA – William Rogers is chief executive officer of this family-oriented, award-winning mortgage company based in Scottsdale.
  • Infusionsoft – Marc Chesley serves as chief technology officer for this Chandler-based sales-and-marketing software firm recognized by Inc. Magazine as one of the fastest-growing private companies in the United States eight years in a row.
  • itSynergy – Michael Cocanower is founder and president of this Phoenix IT consulting firm with more than 200 clients.
  • Off Madison Ave – David Anderson is co-founder and chief executive officer of this Phoenix-based marketing and advertising firm with clients that include Nike and LifeLock. 
  • Print.Save.Repeat. – Errol Berry is co-founder and chief executive officer of this Chandler toner-cartridge manufacturer that focuses on recycling and saving businesses money on printing.
  • RedShelf – Tim Haitaian is co-founder and chief financial officer of this Chicago-based company that partners with publishers and college bookstores to more easily and affordably deliver eTextbooks.
  • Signature Technology Group – Charles Layne serves as president and chief executive officer of Phoenix-based STG, which provides data-center services that support more than 300,000 devices across North America.
  • Skin Script Skin Care – Lisa VanBockern is the owner of this Tempe skin care company that makes natural clinical products designed to address anti-aging, sun damage, acne and other issues.
  • Skyhook – Dallin Harris is founder and chief executive officer of this Mesa-based Internet marketing firm that has worked with clients including AT&T, Subway and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
  • Tiempo Development – Cliff Schertz is president and chief executive officer of this Tempe company that provides software firms with an integrated platform of services to accelerate how they develop, deploy and support their products.
  • Vetscience/Fruitables Pet Food – David DeLorenzo serves as president of this Dallas company that makes natural dog treats.
  • Western Window Systems – Scott Gates is president and chief operating officer of this Phoenix-based window and door manufacturer that has been making energy-efficient products for more than 50 years.

The Sun Devil Select Class of 2015 will be recognized at a special invitation-only luncheon on ASU’s Tempe campus on March 20. They will reconnect with their alma mater and spend time networking with each other and current ASU students, including some budding entrepreneurs. They will also meet Amy Hillman, dean of the W. P. Carey School of Business; Christine Wilkinson, head of the ASU Alumni Association and ASU senior vice president and secretary; and Mitzi Montoya, vice president and university dean for entrepreneurship and innovation.

Sun Devil Select is just one focus of the Center for Entrepreneurship, which helps hundreds of businesses each year. The center offers companies the chance to recruit and meet with top student talent, while also allowing students to get hands-on business-creation experience. The center is self-funded and utilizes community sponsorships to sustain its activities. For more information, visit wpcarey.asu.edu/entrepreneurship.

InfusionSoft

East Valley cities come together over start-up culture

The definition of a start-up depends on who’s answering. The general consensus does seem to be a new, small company. The threshold of being a start-up and a young business can be defined by revenue, company size, an acquisition or a new office space. What’s more important, experts say, is the environment that comes with having a “start-up culture.”

It’s a burden multiple cities are shouldering, from Chandler’s Gangplank to SkySong in Scottsdale. A classic example is Infusionsoft’s expansion through different locations in Gilbert before landing its most recent location in Chandler. Heliae, which started at ASU Tech Park before relocating to SkySong and finally Gilbert — in a span of three years — is another example of cross-city commitment to retaining a start-up. Gangplank co-founder Derek Neighbors says that even though one city lost the company to another, there’s still an idea that at least Infusionsoft stayed in the East Valley. Cities are now collaborating just to keep companies in Arizona. Once a start-up company leaves Arizona, Neighbors says, it probably won’t come back. It’s just less expensive for a company to move to its chosen headquarters when it still only has a few employees.

Tanga.com, which made the 2014 Inc. 500|5000 list of America’s fastest growing private companies, is now moving into a business park in Chandler. The company, which has grown about 220 percent over the last few years, has increased its employee base from six to 35. For Neighbors, it comes back to culture.

While local success stories pave the way for growing companies, Neighbors says about 30 percent of the companies that use Gangplank’s educational resources, business services or co-working space leave Arizona. While some of the motives include a perceived lack of knowledge capital or lack of understanding of tech-related products, there are also a few real estate-related issues at play.

“There are many reasons a start-up will chose to expand, but those reasons are outside of the control of the community,” says Gilbert’s Economic Development Director Dan Henderson. The city is hoping that the 3.3MSF mixed-use development Rivulon will attract more venture capitalists to Gilbert, and thus money to invest in the start-up culture.

“Our citywide goal is to attract, retain and grow business and industry. Working with entrepreneurs and developers, we’re able to meet needs of early stage start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. In that community development focus, there is a diversity of real estate options,” says Henderson.

One issue developers and brokers should keep in mind, Neighbor says, is that these start-up companies are looking between 2KSF and 6KSF of office space — not 40KSF. The other issue, he says, is that start-ups can’t sign five-year leases. There is no telling how fast a company will grow and how real estate demands will evolve over the time of a five-year lease. It’s much easier to find that space in San Francisco, Portland or Seattle, says Neighbors. Developers here, he says, don’t understand start-ups.

“It’s about having a full ecosystem,” he says. “Whether it’s co-working places or incubation places for two-person companies to start and grow and having a place for them to move into their next stage of 30, then 100 or 200 employees. As a region, we need to have that full spectrum to be collaborative as cities and commercial real estate partners.”

Henderson says Gilbert has looked at offering incubating, co-working and accelerator models to help entrepreneurs during different stages of their growth. It has also made the SizeUp tool available to companies that want to evaluate a product’s competitiveness and target market.
About half of ASU SkySong’s incubator businesses are start-ups. Developed by Plaza Companies, SkySong has become one of many East Valley hubs for the start-up culture.

“Our region as a whole will be well-served by the kind of economic development that takes place organically within our community, and that’s what the start-up culture provides,” says Plaza Companies President and CEO Sharon Harper. “SkySong has played an important role in establishing that culture as well as providing a destination for out-of-state businesses to consider.

“Helping companies grow through incubators has widespread benefits to the economic environment, including job creation and economic impact. Commercial real estate is a component of that — when we are growing companies from within our state, we are creating economic impact without having to rely on companies coming in from outside our state. So it’s another important pillar in our community’s economic growth with significant impact on commercial real estate.”

One brokerage has recently taken a keen interest in placing tech start-ups. Ryan Bartos, associate director of tenant advisory at Cushman & Wakefield, is a Millennial heading up the Phoenix office’s new C&WTechBeat effort. He and his partner at Cushman & Wakefield, Matt Coxhead, helped place Weebly, from San Francisco, as well as New York-based start-up LearnVest into SkySong.

“It’s fun to work with these companies; they have great energy,” Bartos says. “They don’t want traditional office space. They need someone who understands and a landlord who is creative and flexible.”

Sometimes that flexibility comes in a special termination clause or trading abatement requests for lower rent.

“I think it’s  great time for Phoenix, and we’re going to see more firms from California relocate to the Valley,” he says. “With firms moving from the Bay Area at an enterprise level, like Weebly, it further validates that our market is able to sustain that industry.”

sales

Small businesses struggle with marketing

Sales and marketing activities are among the most challenging tasks for small business owners, according to Infusionsoft’s new Small Business Sales & Marketing Survey. Generating leads, getting new customers and gaining marketing expertise are some of the biggest challenges small businesses face today.

The full report is available for download here.

Here is a summary of key findings from Infusionsoft’s Small Business Sales & Marketing Survey:

Think every business is online? Guess again.

In this day and age, the general assumption is that you can find any business online, but that’s far from the truth. Infusionsoft’s research shows that nearly three in 10 small business owners (28 percent) still don’t have a website for their business, which can severely hinder sales and marketing efforts. Among small businesses with a website, only 13 percent are completely satisfied with it. The moral of the story? Small businesses could be doing a whole lot more with their websites.

Small budgets create big challenges

The lack of budget is a big hindrance to sales and marketing efforts at small companies. The survey shows the amount of cash that small businesses can dedicate to marketing is limited, with 43 percent spending less than $200 per month on marketing. Only 24 percent spend more than $1,000 a month. Often times the marketing budget gets cut in lieu of other business expenses, but that is not the best strategy for long-term growth.

Small businesses are more social than ever before

For the first time in Infusionsoft’s surveys, social media (71 percent) surpassed email marketing (70 percent) as the most popular online lead generation strategy for small business. However, email marketing (34 percent) is ranked as being more effective than social media (23 percent). What does this mean? Small businesses are more social than ever before, but the payoff in new leads is not always evident, and email marketing continues to be a dependable tactic for small businesses.

Customer referrals are still king

Our survey results show that customer referrals are still the most popular and effective strategy for generating leads (72 percent), which underscores the importance of great customer service. As more small businesses take more of their sales and marketing efforts online, there is still no substitution for a job well done and a friendly referral.

“Most small business owners heavily depend on referrals and word-of-mouth to grow their businesses, and while that is a dependable tactic, it’s not enough to thrive in today’s digital world,” says Infusionsoft Chief Marketing Officer Greg Head. “People search online when making buying decisions, so if a small business doesn’t have a website or online presence, they are missing out on a ton of potential customers. Beyond that, small business owners say automating their sales and marketing creates big returns, as it enables them to automatically turn leads into customers and customers into raving fans while they’re busy running the day-to-day operations.”

Conducted by Audience Audit Inc.™, which specializes in attitudinal audience segmentation research, the more than 800 small business respondents were divided almost equally between Infusionsoft customers and non-customers with 25 or fewer employees. Participants responded to an anonymous online survey and answered a series of questions addressing their attitudes, challenges, marketing initiatives, goals, influences, profit, expectations, charitable activities and more.

technology

Growing tech firms reflect emerging Arizona business sector

Don Hawley is the quintessential product of Silicon Valley. He went to college at the University of California, Berkeley, became a serial entrepreneur and founded and developed many successful technology companies in the San Francisco Bay area.

So why is he doing business in Arizona?

“Arizona is infinitely more business friendly,” said the founder, chairman and CEO of Scottsdale-based Innovative Green Technologies, which creates environmentally friendly products that reduce emissions and save users money. “Favorable tax rates make it less costly to do business in Arizona compared with California, which is attractive to newer companies that have to watch their pennies. Arizona is also blessed with Arizona State University and the University of Arizona, which supply a constant stream of high-quality young talent, which is a great resource.”

Hawley isn’t alone. The recently expansions of Zenefits and Weebly into the Valley and the emergence of Valley-based WebPT and Infusionsoft as technology powerhouses reflect an exploding techn industry in Phoenix that is transforming the state’s economy.

“The technology ecosystem in Arizona has never been more robust and these recent business attractions are going to become more commonplace,” says Steven G. Zylstra, president and CEO of the Arizona Technology Council. “One of the vital attractions for startups in the Silicon Desert as compared with Silicon Valley is the drastically lower cost of living, especially in the area of housing. The word is getting out about Arizona.”

Valley economic developers are doing more than using lower tax rates and promises of sunshine to convince tech companies to relocate here, the state is building its home-grown success stories. A great example is WebPT, which launched its cloud-based physical therapy software in 2008 and has evolved from startup into one the fastest-growing software company in Arizona, creating more than 200 jobs in Phoenix.

“There are great incentive programs available to businesses looking to grow,” says Brad Jannenga, co-founder, chairman, president and chief technology officer at WebPT. “The Angel Tax Credit program offered by the state is a great opportunity for investors to have peace of mind when backing startups and knowing they can take a tax break when doing so. This was a major win for us when we went out for our Series A round back in 2010. Investors were lining up around the block partly because of the early stage success we had, but also largely because of the Angel Tax Credit.”

It’s the success of emerging companies like WebPT that are driving the robust growth of Arizona’s technology sector, says Barry Broome, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC).

“What we’ve done on the policy side was working with the legislature and governor so they understand that even though the headlines belong to Apple and Intel and companies like that, it’s the hundreds if not thousands of small and medium technologically based enterprises that have the chance to be the next GoDaddy,” Broome says. “Maybe you get lucky and you get a Google or a Microsoft or maybe an Infusionsoft becomes a Microsoft. Having the ability to get those small companies to go to scale and having the economic development programs and policies in place to help them are where we’ve been most helpful.”

Jannenga credits organizations like GPEC for helping the technology sector grow by tirelessly looking at new ways to diversify the economy and working closely with Arizona’s universities to produce the next wave of talent needed to feed the workforce demands of the technology industry.

But Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton put it simply: “WebPT is a game-changer, not only in terms of showing the growth in the tech sector in Phoenix, but growth in the warehouse district in downtown Phoenix.”

Experts say Arizona has actually done a number of things well to build a business environment that fosters innovation and an entrepreneurial spirit.

“The state has emphasized economic development through support of key economic development groups like the Arizona Commerce Authority and GPEC,” says Jacque Westling, partner at Quarles & Brady in Phoenix. “(Arizona) has created and maintained some key tax incentives, such as the Refundable Research and Development Credit and the Angel Investment Tax Credit Program, promoted tech transfer from the universities and supported emerging areas of strength such as biotechnology, data centers, energy and other areas.”

Zylstra says having facilities with ready-to-go infrastructure in desirable hot spots such as downtown Phoenix and downtown Scottsdale has been a major part in attracting technology companies to the Valley.
“Knowledge workers like the type of amenities available in these locations,” he says. “When you add Arizona’s ample workforce, low taxes and low cost of doing business, the foundation is very strong.”

Jannenga says the state’s deep awareness of the emerging technology sector and what it means to our state’s economic future has been helpful to WebPT and other early stage companies.

“I think when people began to recognize that we couldn’t rely on the traditional engines that had previously fueled our growth — tourism and migration from colder climates chief among them — to provide the type of jobs we need, it caused a basic shift in how progressive leaders thought about the future,” says Don Pierson, CEO of SpotlightSales, which has developed a sales performance optimization tool.

With the foundation for building a successful technology sector in place, Pierson says he has seen tremendous growth in the software industry and expects that growth to continue.

“I think biofuels are really interesting,” he says, “and I’m always amazed by what comes out of the biotech area.”

Greg Head, chief marketing officer at Infusionsoft, agrees with Pierson that Arizona quickly becoming a center for software businesses.

“Right now, there are thousands of entrepreneurs incubating new innovations, hundreds of software business growing and employing more people and several bigger software companies like GoDaddy, LifeLock, Infusionsoft and WebPT that are growing fast,” Head says. “The Arizona software community is growing up quickly.”

Experts agree that diversifying Arizona’s tech sectors will continue to power its growth. Zylstra expects aerospace and defense and semiconductor and electronics to continue to be strong, “but IT, especially software and data centers, healthcare, bioscience and alternative energy will help lead us into the future,” he says.

“We need to have all tech industries thriving in Arizona,” says Mike Auger, CEO and founder of PikFly, a technology-driven same day delivery network for local businesses. “A focus in one area puts us into a corner. Semiconductors have been great for our state, but that is really what we are known for — we need to be known for all types of tech.”

While Arizona’s growth in the technology arena is impressive, the state must tackle one major issue to maintain that positive trajectory.

“I spend more of my time as mayor in economic development recruiting and retention than I do anything else,” Stanton says. “The reality is this: the companies are concerned about workforce development. Do we have the pipeline of employees that they are going to need as their companies grow?”

Jannenga agrees that Arizona needs to invest heavily into all levels of our education system and diversify our skilled workforce.

“The places where we’re falling short is we’re not delivering the engineering talent necessary for the tech sector to really take off,” Broome says. “We need to make a big move on the production of engineers and make a big move on the production of information communication technology people.”
Broome says that big move can come from anywhere from community colleges to higher education to unique specialty certification programs that are putting students through six-month boot camps and producing a qualified workforce. He cites the Maricopa Corporate College as a unique training program that is developing and delivering customized workforces.

“You’re going to see continued movement in creating new educational options and a huge infusion of these intermediate training strategies to build the technology sector,” Broome says.

Creating a viable workforce to feed the needs is of the technology industry is a must to maintain the state’s robust growth and quality of life, experts say.

“We either grow the tech sector of the economy or we will fail,” Broome says. “That’s how important it is. It’s where the wages are. It’s where the high-end people are. It’s the part of the economy that is most sustainable. If you’re not building a tech sector, you’re relying on your current industries to remain relevant and we know from history that just doesn’t happen.”

Broome says the Valley has learned from companies like Motorola and General Motors than mature companies in mature industries contract and fade away, so it forces the business community to continually recycle its economic strategy around new industries.

“From my perspective, you’re looking at a make-it-or-break-it situation,” Broome says. “The reason the economy is so sluggish is because it’s waiting for consumption. It’s waiting for government spending and it’s waiting for retail spending and it’s waiting for construction and home buying. When your economy can only recover on that basis, you’re going to continue to have ebbs and flows and dips and falls. Even a place like San Francisco, which has a very difficult business climate because it’s expensive to the point of being unimaginable, its net year-to-year economic growth is much more robust than Phoenix and the rest of the country because its economy is built around talent, innovation and the high-tech sector. If we do a good job and build that out better, there’s no reason why Phoenix can’t be the most exciting community in the United States.”

Habitat for Humanity

10 offices we’d love to work in

How many offices can boast a 15-foot spinning Jumbotron, an entire room devoted to playing golf, a bat pole for riding between floors, a hidden kitchen for creative break times? We can think of at least one! From football fields to double-decker buses, these are the offices we’d love to work in — for at least one day.


DBSI Inc.

DBSI Inc.


DBSI Inc.
Location:
6950 W. Morelos Pl., Chandler, Ariz.
Architecture/Design Firm:
DBSI, Inc.
About:
DBSI Inc. works with financial institutions to re-brand and transform their branch locations.
THE HIGHLIGHTS:
With its high ceiling and open spaces, DBSI’s headquarters leaves plenty of room to promote creativity and fun at every corner. Some of DBSI’s office highlights include a room called the Ideation Center with a 15-foot TV “Wow Wall” that screens movies and broadcasts sports games while doubling as a secret door to a Collaboratory (aka a “test kitchen”), a golf simulator room and bat pole between floors for a rush of energy before employees return to work.

DIRTT Environmental Solutions

DIRTT Environmental Solutions


DIRTT Environmental Solutions
Location:
836 E. University Dr., Phoenix
Architecture/Design Firm:
Phoenix Design One
About:
DIRTT, short for Doing It Right This Time, is a company that creates customizable architectural interiors with tailored prefab for flexible building designs.
THE HIGHLIGHTS:
There’s no such thing as a corner office at DIRTT’s factory environment. Not even the executive has a private office. Instead, people sit in the “Fish Bowl” in the heart of the DIRTT factory. Bordered on all sides with a Breathe Wall, employees gets to enjoy the greenery of live plants in addition to daylighting from skylights. Breakfast, lunch and breaks are catered by two full-time chefs in a cafeteria also used for presentations and networking events.

DRP Construction Phoneix Regional Office

DRP Construction Phoneix Regional Office


DPR Construction Phoenix Regional Office
Location:
222 N. 44th St., Phoenix
Architecture/Design Firm:
SmithGroupJJR
About:
DPR Construction is a national technical builder that specializes in sustainable projects.
THE HIGHLIGHTS:
SmithGroupJJR turned a 28-year-old, 16,500 SF retail building into the first commercial office in Arizona (and second in the country) to achieve a Net-Zero Energy Building certification. The open-office environment has 58 work stations, nine conference rooms, a gym and locker facility and a zen room for quiet retreat. A Lucid Building Dashboard system shares building energy and utility usage in real time and has a “Vampire Switch” that, when pressed, turns off phantom plug-loads at the end of the day.

FITCH Phoenix Studio

FITCH Phoenix Studio


FITCH Phoenix Studio
Location:
16435 N. Scottsdale Rd., Ste. 195, Scottsdale, Ariz.
Architecture/Design Firm:
FITCH
About:
FITCH is a global design consultancy founded in 1972 in the UK.
THE HIGHLIGHTS:
The FITCH studio, nestled in the Scottsdale Promenade, a shopping center that offers a unique architectural setting inspired by American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. What makes the LEED Silver office unique, inspiring and innovative is the group’s namesake. FITCH has a 1962 Route Master bright red double-decker London bus in its lobby. The bus was purchased in Los Angeles, dropped the engine and was completely restored by FITCH staff. The labor of love was completed with a fully functioning conference space on the lower portion and a lounge complete with television on the upper portion of the bus. It even hosts an annual British American Parliamentary Group meeting.

Godaddy

Godaddy


Godaddy
Location:
ASU Research Park, Tempe, Ariz.
Architecture/Design Firm:
Patrick Hayes Architecture, SmithGroupJJR (Interior)
About:
GoDaddy is an internet domain registrar and web hosting company.
THE HIGHLIGHTS:
The GoDaddy project is full of unique and quirky design features. It has an indoor go-kart/bicycle track; a slide that goes from the second to first floor (and is rumored to be six-degrees steeper than Google’s slide); several game areas for employees to refocus; a yoga studio and fitness center; it has an innovative workspace layout with meandering walkways and wide open spaces; the break room features 12’ x 30’ glass doors that open up allowing the inside and outside spaces to flow; site amenities include a soccer field, several multi-purpose sport courts (including a shaded basketball court) and electric vehicle charging stations.

Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity


Habitat for Humanity
Location:
3501 N. Mountain Ave., Tucson, Ariz.
Architecture/Design Firm:
DKP Architecture
About:
An international, non-governmental and nonprofit organization dedicated to building homes that are affordable and address the issues of poverty housing.
THE HIGHLIGHTS:
“Habitat for Humanity is a functional, pragmatic organization and its new Tucson office captures the same spirit,” writes Sundt Construction’s Kurt Wadlington. A repurposed 1940s grocery store, the working environment was created for Habitat’s employees, volunteers and community and with a design emphasis on collaboration. The office’s signature element is its “House with the House.” This freestanding indoor pitched roof structure greets visitors and provides a communal conference area. The office also includes a children play area and open office areas held below the roof structure to preserve the high volume bowstring wood trusses of the original structure.

InfusionSoft

InfusionSoft


InfusionSoft
Location:
1260 S. Spectrum Blvd., Chandler, Ariz.
Architecture/Design Firm:
Balmer Architectural Group
About:
Infusionsoft is a private company that offers an e-mail marketing and sales platform for small businesses, including products to streamline the customer lifecycle, customer relationship management, marketing automation, lead capture, and e-commerce.
THE HIGHLIGHTS:
Infusionsoft’s headquarters, located in a 90KSF, two-story office building in the middle of Chandler’s tech hub, is anything but stuffy. The office is built around a 40-yard indoor football field that acts as a central gathering place for company-wide meetings, department chats and a place to throw around a Frisbee or football. With a design focus on company culture, Infusionsoft features a fully stocked cereal bar, massage chairs, a game room, gym and showers. One popular feature is in the auditorium, which has a removable wall made up of blocks that can be removed to connect the auditorium with the rest of the office space or placed to create intimacy and privacy.

Recruiting.com & Jobing.com

Recruiting.com & Jobing.com


Recruiting.com and Jobing.com
Location:
1375 N. Scottsdale Rd., Ste. 300, Scottsdale, Ariz.
Architecture/Design Firm:
hayes/architecture interiors inc.
About:
Jobing.com is an employment website focusing on local recruiting in 18 U.S. cities. Recruiting.com offers companies software and technology that helps in the hiring process.
THE HIGHLIGHTS:
This office space was a consolidation of Jobing.com and Recruiting.com’s headquarters with the end goal of a functional, motivating work environment. Want to have a meeting from a ceiling-suspended collaborative workspace? Park it in one of the two floating benches known as “huddles,” where you can host clients, video conferences or collaborative sessions. From the interesting wallpaper to the entertaining lighting and the collection of PEZ machines, Jobing.com’s space was designed to be as varied and diverse as its employees. From environments that cater to working out, napping, collaborating or working independently, there’s a spot for every kind of work style.

Rose Law Group

Rose Law Group


Rose Law Group
Location:
7144 E. Stetson Dr., Ste. 300, Scottsdale, Ariz.
Architecture/Design Firm:
Gensler
About:
A full-service business law firm based in Scottsdale, Ariz.
THE HIGHLIGHTS:
Rose Law Group is one of a handful of law firms embracing modern office design. After Rose Law purchased a space with two pre-existing suites, it engaged Gensler to design a cohesive floor. The two suites were brought together with a circulation loop, the center of which holds a “collaboration lab.” Gensler also worked to maximize the number of private offices along the perimeter of the building and accomplished this by increasing the number of offices from 8 to 28. Salvaged materials during the process were re-used for other areas of the project, such as flooring, shelving and reception millwork.

ViaSat

ViaSat


ViaSat
Location:
2040 E. Technology Circle, Tempe, Ariz.
Architecture/Design Firm:
Gensler
About:
ViaSat is a global satellite technology company based in San Diego, Calif. It Tempe office will be used for operations.
THE HIGHLIGHTS:
Despite being designed around engagement, connection, familial culture and exterior amenities, ViaSat’s Tempe operations building will have a 95 percent closed office environment. The office, smaller than a standard space, is broken up into private work spaces with glass fronts. Every “team cluster” has a front porch, which is a collaborative space for individuals. The office has a large gathering space designed as a place for meetings and a connection to the basketball and sand volleyball courts as well as outdoor meeting spaces.

Spirit of Enterprise Award Finalists named

Arizona is still recovering from the Great Recession, and many local businesses are playing a key role in the comeback. Today, some of the state’s best companies are being recognized as finalists for the 18th annual Spirit of Enterprise Awards from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.

The prestigious awards recognize firms for creating jobs, boosting our economy and delivering great customer service. Past winners include well-known names like Cold Stone Creamery, Ollie the Trolley and Total Transit (Discount Cab), as well as fast-growing businesses, such as Infusionsoft.

“We look for Arizona businesses that demonstrate ethics, energy and excellence in entrepreneurship,” explains Sidnee Peck, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at the W. P. Carey School of Business. “We also want to see innovation, a positive internal culture, and an impact on both our economy and our local community.”

The 18th annual Spirit of Enterprise Award finalists are:

• Clean Air Cab (Mesa) – a family-owned, eco-friendly cab fleet with consistent 100-percent annual growth and a Happy Ride consumer guarantee, sourcing more than 83 percent of its business needs from local providers and donating to local charities, including the ONE Community Foundation for advancing the rights of the LGBT community.
• Endless Entertainment (Tempe) – an events production and consulting company started by a college entrepreneur at ASU that has been lauded by Inc. magazine, has a strong customer-service focus, and has worked with a range of clients from San Diego Comic-Con and the X Games to the American Cancer Society, Autism Speaks, Target and Zappos.
• Ersland Touch Landscape (Phoenix) – a state-of-the-art landscape maintenance company with more than 30 years of experience, a complete customer “feedback log,” an Adopt a Highway commitment, work with nonprofits, and more than 400 residences and 20 homeowner associations as clients.
• India Plaza/The Dhaba (Tempe) – a small, minority-owned one-stop shop for all things Indian, including an award-winning restaurant, a marketplace and an education center, with a low staff turnover rate, a no-questions-asked return policy, and vegetarian, gluten-free and environmental initiatives.
• IO (Phoenix) – a firm focused on data-center technology, services and solutions that are defined by software, instead of physical locations, with more than 650 global clients, including Goldman Sachs and LexisNexis, as well as two patents and a focus on energy efficiency.
• I-ology (Scottsdale) – a woman-owned technology company offering Web design and related services that features close client relationships, heavy community involvement, and no management hierarchy, where all employees have the chance to participate in revenue sharing, stock options, flexible schedules and industry events.
• The James Agency (Scottsdale) – a boutique, full-service advertising and public relations agency specializing in high-end brands, which was started by a 25 year old and now boasts flexible work schedules, no outsourcing, annual pro bono clients and last year’s revenue of more than $2 million.
• Kitchell (Phoenix) – a 100-percent employee-owned commercial builder, developer and program manager launched 65 years ago, which now has more than 850 employees, international operations, innovations like virtual construction, an internal leadership program, significant charitable contributions, and a focus on safety, work quality and customer satisfaction.
• Melrose Pharmacy (Phoenix) – an independent pharmacy that offers fast, personalized service, contributions to the March of Dimes and other charities, and involvement in community issues, as well as achieving business goals of $2.7 million in sales by its third year in business and a 119-percent increase in net income so far this year.
• Potter’s House Apothecary (Peoria) – a pharmacy specializing in compounding, with its own continuous-quality-improvement program and patient seminars, which reached its three-year business plan projections in just 18 months and became one of fewer than 15 Arizona pharmacies with accreditation from the Pharmacy Compounding Accreditation Board.

The finalists from the W. P. Carey School for the Student Entrepreneurship Award are:

• Anthony Gonzales/Force Impact Technologies – Gonzales, who just graduated with his MBA, has made headlines as a finalist in Entrepreneur magazine’s College Entrepreneur of the Year competition with his grant-winning, ongoing development of FITGuard, a mouthguard designed to indicate when an athlete should be removed from a game for possible head injuries/concussions, as well as a matching smartphone application that can provide results to a diagnosing physician.
• Paige Corbett/PetSitnStay – Corbett was working as a kennel assistant and attending business school, when she came up with the idea to start an online service to connect pet owners with pet sitters and in-home care options as an alternative to less personal commercial boarding facilities.

Winners will be announced at a luncheon Friday, Nov. 21 at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix. Hundreds of business and community leaders attend the annual event. Also, new this year, an entrepreneurship workshop will be held right before the awards luncheon. There, top W. P. Carey School faculty members will talk about what tools and techniques you can use to advance your business.

For more information on sponsorship opportunities or to attend, call (480) 965-0474, e-mail wpcentrepreneurship@asu.edu, or visit www.wpcarey.asu.edu/spirit.

The Spirit of Enterprise Awards are just one focus of the Center for Entrepreneurship, which helps hundreds of businesses each year. The center recently introduced the Sun Devil Select competition to honor ASU alum-owned or alum-led businesses, as well as the Sun Devil Igniter Challenge to help fund student businesses. The center also offers companies a chance to recruit and meet with top student talent, while allowing students to get hands-on business experience. It is a gateway to access other ASU business resources. The center is self-funded and utilizes community sponsorships and volunteers to sustain its activities.

Infusionsoft

Opportunity for high-tech firms spills into Phoenix’s suburban markets

As goes the high-tech industry, so goes opportunity. Once a high-tech company anchors a neighborhood, housing prices rise, new amenities spring up and unemployment dips. JLL’s latest High-Technology Office Outlook reveals where high-tech companies are looking for (and finding) reasonably priced labor and real estate, and how new and unexpected markets like suburban Phoenix are getting a piece of the action—and a second economic wind.

“Tech companies are looking for new locations for many reasons, not just for intellectual capital, or venture capital funding but other factors such as standard of living,” said Julia Georgules, co-lead of JLL’s Technology research group.  “In our research, we call this ‘market dynamism.’ We have looked at different lifestyle factors for each of the 34 tech hubs, including proximity to transport and walkable amenities.”

JLL’s report, which helps high-tech companies make informed expansion decisions and provides insight for investors, features the top 34 high-tech markets across the country, including Phoenix.*

Follow the Hipsters

While the high-tech industry’s growth is driving employers to find new locations for both talent and real estate, traditional high-tech cities are not exactly struggling. Long-standing hubs continue to function as the industry’s economic engines; in fact, seven traditionally high-tech-centric markets represent more than a fifth (21.7 percent) of the 65.4 million square feet of office space under construction across the country. Still, looking beyond the top tier locations is when the economic story gets interesting.

As rents escalate and space becomes scarce in mainstay markets like San Francisco, Silicon Valley and Manhattan, the lure of more affordable prices have high-tech companies seeking talent and real estate elsewhere. The savings potential is huge: downtown Palo Alto, considered the heart of Silicon Valley, has seen such high demand that the office market is just 3.6 percent vacant with average asking rents at $86 per square foot compared to the national average of $30. In comparison, the average asking rent for high-tech office space in Phoenix is $21.11 per square foot. Twenty six percent of the total supply is available, and 2.3 million new square feet is under construction.

“High-tech’s growth is not exclusive to traditional high-tech markets anymore,” said Cara Trani, co-lead of JLL’s Technology brokerage group. “High-tech clusters have become much more common as high-tech innovations form the backbone of new product development in all industries.”

“The race is on among cities vying to become ‘the next Silicon Valley.’ As a result, more incentives and tax credits become available to lure high-tech companies into markets that are in need of jobs and economic growth,” she concluded.

The New Tech Frontiers

Along with emerging high-tech centers like Detroit, Charlotte, and Indianapolis, Phoenix, and particularly its Southeast Valley suburbs, are holding their own.

“Phoenix is definitely an emerging high-tech market,” said Andrew Medley, Vice President, Tenant Relations in the Phoenix office of JLL. “The most interesting part of this growth may be the building locations themselves—a huge percentage are in suburban markets like Chandler, Tempe and South Scottsdale. These are places that are known for young, educated families and quality of life. When Apple moved here, they did not go into the core. They went to Mesa and introduced hundreds upon hundreds of new jobs. The same can be said for many other companies… Intel, Honeywell, GoDaddy, InfusionSoft. The list goes on and on.”

According to the annual report, high-tech companies are also taking advantage of Phoenix’s local business incentives that make Phoenix an affordable alternative to other markets. The report also nods to employment generators like Arizona State University, University of Arizona and other respected local colleges.

“Phoenix’s current high-tech employment concentration is dominated by jobs in computer and electronic products,” said Medley. “This makes up about half of our local high-tech jobs. Another third is in computer systems design and services.”

“When start-ups and established high-tech companies look to expand, understanding the dynamics of local markets and innovation clusters is essential,” said Greg Matter, co-lead of JLL’s Technology brokerage group. “While it’s common for companies to look at just one factor, such as high-tech employment, when considering new market expansions, JLL’s index shows the decision should have greater depth. Each city has its own unique qualities that should be aligned with a company’s growth objectives. Companies should look at each location’s talent pool, for example, and ask, how are investment conditions? Do we need space to expand? What are the amenities and lifestyle factors for employees?”

About the High-Technology Office Outlook Report

The 2014 High-Tech Outlook helps technology companies make informed expansion decisions and provides insight for investors looking to find the next high-tech hot spot.  This year’s report digs deeper into what makes a market “cool” or “liveable” with a new metric included in the index: Market Dynamism. While traditional metrics such as employment, wage growth, intellectual capital, and venture funding are essential to tracking the momentum of a high-tech market, JLL studied the various amenities in the 34 markets in this year’s report to better understand what makes a market tick.

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Az Business honors Most Admired Companies

BestCompaniesAZ and Az Business magazine honored 40 companies at the 2014 Arizona’s Most Admired Companies award reception on September 11, 2014 at the Westin Kierland Resort.

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Arizona’s Most Admired Companies are selected based on how a company has performed in the following areas: workplace culture, leadership excellence, corporate and social responsibility, customer opinion and innovation. Five companies were recognized with a “spotlight” award for each of the five categories.

CONGRATUALTIONS!

The five spotlight awards winners are:

Customer Opinion: Cresa
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Quality Leadership: Kitchell
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Social Responsibility: Vanguard
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Innovation: Laser Spine Institute
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Workplace Culture: GoDaddy
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“This is the most comprehensive and prestigious corporate awards program in Arizona because it recognizes the contributions and impact these ‘most admired companies’ bring to our state,’” says Denise Gredler, co-founder of the Most Admired Companies Program.

“These companies truly exemplify what it means to be a good corporate citizen,” says Cheryl Green, publisher of Arizona Business Magazine. “MAC winners consistently show strong leadership, a commitment to the communities in which they operate and concern for their employees and customers.”

This year’s presenting sponsors included Dignity Health of Arizona, National Bank of Arizona and Thunderbird International School of Global Management. Additional Event Sponsors include Charles Schwab, Progrexion, Ryan and Shutterfly.

The 40 companies named Most Admired Companies for 2014 were:

Adolfson & Peterson Construction
Alliance Residential Company
American Express
Arizona Diamondbacks
AXA Advisors
Banner Casa Grande Medical Center
Cancer Treatment Centers of America
CBRE, Inc.
Charles Schwab
Cresa Phoenix
Desert Diamond Casinos and Entertainment
DIRTT Environmental Solutions
Fennemore Craig
GoDaddy
Goodmans Interior Structurs
Grant Thornton
Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino Resort
Homeowners Financial Group
Hyatt Regency Phoenix
Infusionsoft
International Cruise & Excursions, Inc.
Kitchell
LaneTerralever
Laser Spine Institute
Mayo Clinic
Miller Russell Associates
National Bank of Arizona
Phoenix Children’s Hospital
Quarles & Brady
Rider Levett Bucknall
Ryan, LLC
Scottsdale Lincoln Health Network
Shutterfly, Inc.
Sonora Quest Laboratories
Sundt Construction
The CORE Institute
Telesphere
UnitedHealthcare of Arizona
University of Advancing Technology
Vanguard

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Now is the time to invest in Arizona

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now is the time to invest in Arizona.

JayTibshraeny_PriceCorridor

Tibshraeny Named Municipal Leader of the Year

American City & County magazine has selected Chandler Mayor Jay Tibshraeny as its Municipal Leader of the Year.

Mayor Tibshraeny will be featured in the November edition of American City & County, which has been the voice of state and local government since 1909. The magazine serves city, county and state officials who are charged with developing and implementing government policy, programs and projects.

“Mayor Tibshraeny proves that through foresight and endurance, America’s local leaders can help overcome their community’s problems,” said Bill Wolpin, Editor, American City & County Magazine. “His story is worth sharing in the hopes that others will become inspired.”

This honor is in large part due to Mayor Tibshraeny’s role in economic development and specifically, creating, protecting and preserving the Price Corridor.  The Price Corridor is Chandler’s major employment corridor and has been instrumental in attracting high wage technology jobs to the city.

Price Corridor is home to large corporations such as Intel, Bank of America, PayPal, Microchip Technologies, Orbital Sciences, Rogers Corporation and Wells Fargo. In the past year alone, General Motors, Infusionsoft and Nationstar opened in the Price Corridor.

“Chandler is a leader in the region in job creation and today the Price Corridor is home to an impressive roster of companies,” said Mayor Jay Tibshraeny. “This success validates our efforts to protect the area from residential encroachment. I am proud of what we have been able to accomplish in the area as Chandler is now recognized as a premier innovation and technology hub throughout the Southwest.”

In addition to his achievements with the Price Corridor, Mayor Tibshraeny is being recognized for a wide variety of accomplishments including; the Four Corner Initiative and Adaptive Reuse Program, creating a healthier community, neighborhood outreach, job creation and University partnerships and transparency through technology.

Infusionsoft

Wist signs contract with Infusionsoft

Wist Office Products, the longtime Tempe-based office supplier ranked “Best Office Supply Company” in the state for seven years and counting, today announced yet another victory in a year that’s already proven to be a standout for the locally-owned and operated retailer.

Infusionsoft, designer of the only all-in-one sales and marketing software for small businesses and a six-time Inc. 500/5000 company, has signed on with Wist Office Products, Arizona’s largest independent business product supplier, to exclusively provide all of the company’s office supply and business product needs. The announcement was made shortly after Wist Office Products secured a prestigious ILoA Award from AZ Business Magazine, recognizing local businesses for their contributions in five key industries – alternative energy, distribution and logistics, healthcare, hospitality, and retail.

“We’re thrilled to make Infusionsoft an integral part of the Wist Office Products team,” said Ian Wist, co-owner and general manager at Wist Office Products. “We’re longtime admirers of how they operate their business, and their passion and dedication to aiding small business growth. All you need to do is look at their own history and growth to see why an Infusionsoft/Wist partnership is an ideal fit for both sides.”

“The real winners in this deal are the people of Arizona,” explains Kimber Lanning, executive director of Local First Arizona. “Most folks don’t realize that having business to business support between Arizona companies keeps up to four times more money recirculating in the local economy, and that means more tax revenue for parks, libraries and fire departments.”

Headquartered in Chandler, Infusionsoft’s contract with Wist indicates yet another way the company helps further the goals and objectives of small businesses, opting to sign on with their Tempe neighbor as opposed to forging a contract with a larger, national conglomerate.

“We love Arizona and the many businesses headquartered here,” said Eric Keosky-Smith, Infusionsoft regional development director for Arizona. “A partnership with a local company like Wist makes clear sense to us because it keeps more money in Arizona, which ultimately contributes to our company’s purpose – to help small businesses succeed. We hope to lead by example and show others that partnering locally can be an excellent option that isn’t just self-fulfilling but also beneficial to everyone in the local community.”

With a catalog of more than 50,000 office supply products and nearly 60 successful years in the industry, Wist Office Products has managed to successfully avoid the economic collapse that so many local companies have fallen prey to since the Recession began.

“It’s partnerships like this one that have kept business thriving over the years,” Wist said. “We’ve had a stellar almost-sixty years in business, and with the continued support of great companies like Infusionsoft, we look ahead to another sixty more.”

technology

Infusionsoft’s CTO Named IT Leader of the Year

Infusionsoft, creator of the all-in-one sales and marketing software for small businesses, announced that Marc Chesley has been named 2013 IT Leader of the Year by the Arizona Society for Information Management (SIM). Chesley has won the award for driving innovation and execution excellence, including company, community and staff development, through information technology. The SIM AZ chapter is the premier local network for IT thought leaders who share experiences and apply rich intellectual capital, while also exploring the future of IT.

“I’m honored to receive such a prestigious award from an organization that is led by the state’s most innovative IT leaders,” said Chesley. “There are a lot of other IT professionals who also deserve recognition for their leadership and innovation in the Arizona tech community. I’m proud to be part of a growing hub for IT.”

Chesley is a cloud computing and agile development leader, a certified SCRUM master and SCRUM product owner. Chesley is helping propel the company to the billion-dollar mark, making Infusionsoft one of the most successful technology companies in Arizona’s history.

“Marc was an obvious choice for the inaugural IT Leader of the Year Award,” said Deborah DeCorrevont, president of the Arizona Chapter of SIM. “His leadership of Infusionsoft’s engineering, systems administration and deliverability teams has helped the company innovate at a very high level. Infusionsoft customers are the beneficiaries of software that is expertly developed and actually does what the company says it will. Marc exemplifies the leadership qualities we encourage for all of our members.”

Chesley will be presented with the IT Leader of the Year Award on March 20, 2013 at Infusionsoft’s corporate headquarters located at 1260 S. Spectrum Blvd. in Chandler.

boeing-phantom-ray

It takes fuel to win tech race

Many of us can relate to thinking of Arizona’s economy as an automobile race. To win, you need a smooth race course, a fast car, a winning driver and high-powered fuel.
Carrying that analogy into Arizona’s technology sector, it’s clear that a lot of resources have been invested and progress has been made in building a world-class race course.  We’ve made tremendous strides in creating a business climate and technology environment for facilitating both private and public sector support to address the needs of Arizona’s technology businesses.

The Arizona Technology Council has worked collaboratively with many different technology champions to build this course. Technology issues are supported by the Governor’s office, the state’s legislature, the Arizona Commerce Authority, the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and more.

Technology incubators and shared space facilities such as Gangplank in Chandler, Avondale and Tucson; Hackspace and Venture Catalyst at ASU’s SkySong in Scottsdale; BioInspire in Peoria; Innovation Incubator in Chandler; AzCI in Tucson; and AZ Disruptors in Scottsdale are making sure that today’s innovators are being given the right support, tools and environment to create the next big thing.

Collectively, our wins have included the passage of a tax credit for qualified research and development that is the best in the nation, the creation of the first statewide Arizona SciTech Festival and the birth of the Arizona Innovation Institute, to name a few.
Arizona’s technology industry also has great race cars. These are the technologies and intellectual property that create wealth and jobs driven by both Fortune 500 companies and entrepreneurs.  Companies such as Intel, Microchip Technologies, Freescale, ON Semiconductor and Avnet can all be found here.  Nearly all of the largest aerospace and defense prime contractors in the nation are located in Arizona, including Boeing, Honeywell, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics.

The state’s entrepreneurial spirit is reflected in companies such as WebPT, Infusionsoft, Axosoft, iLinc and Go Daddy that were founded in Arizona along with the many innovators that are coming to the table every day with new ideas rich in technology.

These companies large and small are driven by some of the greatest race car drivers the nation has produced.

But when it comes to fuel, Arizona’s economy has always been running close to empty. We lack the vital capital needed to win the race. Having access to angel investors, venture capital and private equity as well as debt instruments is critical to Arizona’s success.
The situation has not been improving on the equity side of the fuel equation. To offer some relief, the Arizona Technology Council is proposing legislation that would create a system of contingent tax credits to incentivize both in-state and out-of-state investors to capitalize Arizona companies.  This program, called the Arizona Fund of Funds, would allow the state to offer $100 million in tax incentives to minimize the risk for those seeking to invest in high-growth companies.  The state government’s role would be to serve as a guarantor through these contingent tax credits in case the investments don’t yield the projected results.  Expect more information on this important piece of legislation as it advances.

On the debt side of the fuel equation, there are encouraging signs that the worst of the credit crunch may be over. Early-stage companies need access to debt instruments, or loans. Capital is needed for equipment and expansion. A line of credit can help early-stage companies through ongoing cash-flow issues. But loan activity is still modest in Arizona for small companies. It remains heavily weighted toward the strongest corporate and consumer borrowers.

Capital goes hand in hand with innovation, high-paying jobs and cutting-edge technology, products and services. Before Arizona’s economy can win the race, we will need to become more self-sufficient at providing the fuel necessary to be a winner.

Steven G. Zylstra is president and CEO of the Arizona Technology Council.

Infusionsoft - Park Place

Infusionsoft Moving Its Corporate Headquarters To New Chandler Office

Infusionsoft, which creates sales and marketing software for small businesses, is relocating from Gilbert to a new 86,000 SF headquarters in Chandler at the end of this year.

Infusionsoft worked closely with the City of Chandler and the Arizona Commerce Authority to find a new home at Allred Park Place in the Price Corridor. Expecting to grow to 1,000 employees over the next three to four years, Infusionsoft will occupy the entire two-story building.

Willmeng Construction of Mesa is the general contractor and Balmer Architectural Group of Phoenix is the architect. CBRE will handle the leasing of space.

“We invested a great deal of time in our search for the ideal home for Infusionsoft as we continue this next phase of explosive growth,” says Clate Mask, CEO and co-founder of Infusionsoft. “Chandler’s Price Corridor represents a budding center for tech companies and talent. In the City of Chandler and the Arizona Commerce Authority, we’ve found true partners committed to our expansion, and to the success of our small business customers.”

Mayor Jay Tibshraeny of Chandler goes on to say, “Infusionsoft is a perfect fit for Chandler and the high-tech, creative class workforce we continue to recruit. Collaborative partnerships are critical in this knowledge-based economy, and we know Infusionsoft will be a stellar addition to the technology hub being created in the Price Corridor.”

Infusionsoft is rapidly approaching 300 employees, growing its workforce at a rate of 15% per quarter, and is currently hiring across all departments. With more than 32,000 users in 62 countries, Infusionsoft’s Web-based all-in-one-one sales and marketing software helps small businesses get more customers, increase sales and save time.

Infusionsoft integrates CRM, email marketing, e-commerce and marketing automation into one simple-to-use system that helps small businesses automatically market to prospects and customers. In the 1st quarter of this year, Infusionsoft customers captured 11 million leads with the software and $281M in e-commerce dollars were processed through the Infusionsoft shopping cart.

“Infusionsoft is a rising star in Arizona, and the ACA is pleased to see this company realize such success,” said Don Cardon, president and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority. “Infusionsoft was one of the first companies to take advantage of Arizona’s Angel Tax Credit to raise seed funding, and subsequent venture capital.  One of the ACA’s main priorities is growing our own — we provide assistance to help Arizona companies expand. Infusionsoft is a marquee employer in a growing industry sector.  The ACA is proud to have them as a partner in Arizona.”

Mask continues, “In this new location, we’ll create a world-class headquarters that represents the vibrancy and innovation of Infusionsoft. It will become the training center for small businesses in Arizona, and worldwide, to get the tools and education to help power their success.”

Working with the developer, Douglas Allred Company, Infusionsoft is creating a remarkable new work environment that will help the company continue to be one of the Best Workplaces in America and a Best Places to Work in the Valley.  The new space is designed to give employees a culture of inclusiveness, innovation and fun. Infusionsoft’s team will occupy the entire building, which is the first major speculative office building to be built in Arizona since 2009.

The Arizona Chapter of FEI held its fourth annual CFO of the Year Awards

The Arizona Chapter Of FEI Held Its 4th Annual CFO Of the Year Awards

The Arizona Chapter of Financial Executives International (FEI) held its fourth annual CFO of the Year Awards on Nov. 4. FEI Arizona presents the CFO of the Year Awards to financial professionals for outstanding performance in their roles as corporate financial stewards. The nominations and awards recognize exemplary financial management in all types of businesses: public, private and nonprofit. An impressive set of independent judges from local business and academia selected the winners based on their contributions to their respective organizations and their involvement in the community. The following CFOs were honored at the event:

Nonprofit CFO of the Year

Mary Jane Rynd Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Virginia G. Piper Charitable TrustMary Jane Rynd
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust

 

The talent and drive that Mary Jane Rynd put into becoming the first female partner of a national accounting firm in Arizona is now benefiting one of the state’s largest nonprofits.

As executive vice president and chief financial officer, Rynd she oversees the investment management of the approximately $500 million endowment of the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust. She also supervises the trust’s investment consultants and staff in the investment committee of the board of trustees.

For more than a decade before Virginia Piper’s death, Rynd served as the philanthropist’s tax adviser. As a result, Rynd has a full understanding of Piper’s approach to her philanthropy — and translates that every day into the work and spirit of the trust.

“I think I’m really lucky, because the people that I work with are highly motivated, extremely good professionals,” Rynd said.

Among her achievements at the trust is the identification, purchase and complete renovation of the nonprofit’s current offices. Over the past four years, she also has managed the diversification of the trust’s investment portfolio.


Private Company CFO of the Year

Tim Einwechter Chief Financial Officer Ascent Healthcare SolutionsTim Einwechter
Chief Financial Officer
Ascent Healthcare Solutions

 

In his 13 years as chief financial officer, Tim Einwechter has guided his company from a small startup to the $160 million corporation it is today.

When Einwechter began his tenure at the company that was then known as Alliance, he had to deal with cash shortages and other various financial struggles. He aggressively pursued investment capital that allowed the medical device company to take advantage of opportunities in its market. He also initiated a merger in 2005 that allowed the organization to continue growing, and played a key role when Stryker Inc. acquired the company, now known as Ascent Healthcare Solutions, in 2009.

“Life as CFO is not one of simply saying no,” he said. “Rather, it is one of bringing sense of reason to the discussions, understanding the business drivers and supporting what is important to drive the success of the business.”

Beyond the financials, Einwechter is committed to maintaining the ethics that make Ascent a success. In fact, the company’s mission statement of “Results, Integrity, and Quality” was coined by him. Einwechter’s understanding of what makes a business successful, along with a strong focus on ethical behavior, has created a shared ownership of the company’s commitment to integrity.

Most Admired Companies - AZ Business Magazine Sept/Oct 2010

2010 Most Admired Companies Award Winners

Arizona Business Magazine and BestCompaniesAZ are honored to unveil the winners of our inaugural Arizona’s Most Admired Companies Awards.

With 43 winners, we think you’ll agree the awards selection committee has done an outstanding job in determining some of the most admired companies in our state.  Our primary goal in developing this program was to find those organizations that excel in four key areas: workplace culture, leadership excellence, social responsibility and customer opinion.  This list features the most prestigious companies in our state, providing us the opportunity to learn from the best.

Adolfson & Peterson Construction
Headquarters: Minneapolis
Year Est.: 1991
No. of Employees in AZ: 69
Recent Award: AIA Kemper Goodwin Award – 2009
WEB: www.a-p.com

AlliedBarton Security Services
Headquarters: Conshohocken, Penn.
Year Est.: 1957
No. of Employees in AZ: 1,047
Recent Award: Brandon Hall Research Award for Best Integration of Learning and Talent Management – 2009
WEB: www.alliedbarton.com
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American Express
Headquarters: New York
Year Est.: 1850
No. of Employees in AZ: 7,219
Recent Award: Fortune Magazine’s Most Admired Companies – 2010
WEB: www.americanexpress.com
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Arizona Charter Academy
Headquarters: Surprise
Year Est.: 2001
No. of Employees in AZ: 61
Recent Award: Elks Lodge Community Partner of the Year – 2010
WEB: www.azcharteracademy.com
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Banner Health
Headquarters: Phoenix
Year Est.: 1999
No. of Employees in AZ: 27,528
Recent Award: Gallup Great Workplace Award – 2009
WEB: www.bannerhealth.com
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BeachFleischman PC
Headquarters: Tucson
Year Est.: 1991
No. of Employees in AZ: 104
Recent Award: Accounting Today’s Best Accounting Firms to Work For – 2009
WEB: www.beachfleischman.com

To buy a print version of the 2010 Arizona’s Most Admired Companies
go to MagCloud.com

Arizona's Most Admired Companies November-December 2010