Tag Archives: November 2009

St. Joseph's Hospital/Medical Center

Phoenix Bishop Revokes St. Joseph’s Catholic Endorsement

Phoenix Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted revoked his endorsement of St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center as a Catholic hospital today following a heated debate over an abortion performed at the Catholic Healthcare West (CHW) hospital.

“Though we are deeply disappointed, we will be steadfast in fulfilling our mission,” said Linda Hunt, president of St. Joseph’s. “St. Joseph’s Hospital will remain faithful to our mission of care, as we have for the last 115 years. Our caregivers deliver extraordinary medical care and share an unmatched commitment to the well-being of the communities they serve. Nothing has or will change in that regard.”

Olmsted, of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix, said in a statement that the decision was made after months of discussions between CHW, St. Joseph’s and the Phoenix Diocese.

At issue was the termination of an 11-week pregnancy to save the mother’s life in November 2009. Hunt said it was not possible to save both the lives, and the decision was made to terminate the pregnancy.

“We continue to stand by the decision, which was made in collaboration with the patient, her family, her caregivers, and our Ethics Committee. Morally, ethically, and legally, we simply cannot stand by and let someone die whose life we might be able to save,” Hunt said.

The Phoenix Diocese viewed the situation differently.

“When I met with officials of the hospital to learn more of the details of what had occurred, it became clear that, in the decision to abort, the equal dignity of mother and her baby were not both upheld; but that the baby was directly killed, which is a clear violation of ERD #45,” Olmsted said in his statement.

ERD stands for the Ethical and Religious Directives of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, which are the moral guides for Catholic hospital and health care institutions.

The nurse who terminated the pregnancy was excommunicated privately, but Olmsted said St. Joseph’s had “not addressed in an adequate manner the scandal caused by the abortion.”

This “only eroded [his] confidence” in St. Joseph’s commitment to the church’s ERDs, he added.

Olmsted said the hospital’s Mercy Care Plan, which includes “voluntary sterilization,” contraceptive counseling and abortions due to the mental or physical health of the mother, or when the pregnancy is a result of rape or incest, helped him come to the conclusion that St. Joseph’s was not complying with the church’s standards.

“In light of all these failures to comply with the Ethical and Religious Directives of the church, it is my duty to decree that, in the Diocese of Phoenix, at St. Joseph’s Hospital, CHW is not committed to following the teaching of the Catholic Church and therefore this hospital cannot be considered Catholic,” he said in his statement.

Although St. Joseph’s will not change its name or its mission, the Blessed Sacrament has been removed from the hospital’s chapel, and Mass will no longer be held there.

“St. Joseph’s will continue through our words and deeds to carry out the healing ministry of Jesus,” Hunt said. “Our operations, policies, and procedures will not change.”

A 697-bed hospital in Phoenix, St. Joseph’s is a part of CHW, a Catholic network of hospitals and medical centers. St. Joseph’s is a not-for-profit hospital that provides a wide range of health, social and support services.

money pile

Raising Capital In A Financial Drought Is Tough, But Not Impossible

In today’s turbulent economic environment, many companies are finding their cash flows temporarily reduced due to difficult business conditions. Less cash flow generated from operations can cause a working capital squeeze or make existing lenders uncomfortable and/or uncooperative, particularly if the company has violated a loan covenant or agreement. In the past year, we have witnessed a dramatic pullback on the part of all lenders, especially banks. If a bank has the power in its relationship with a borrower due to a broken agreement or covenant, a company could find itself in real trouble unless it is able to raise capital from another source.

What types of capital are currently available?
The answers vary based on the company’s size (revenue, profits, assets, etc.), history of financial results, strength of its management team, and industry.

In general, there is debt and equity (i.e., stock), but capital should be considered on a spectrum from senior to junior. The most senior capital is typically a bank loan secured by a first lien on all the assets of a company, followed by second lien debt and then unsecured debt. As a general rule, the more junior the capital, the riskier and more expensive it is.

No matter the interest rate, senior debt will be cheaper than other capital. In the current market, cash flow-based senior lending has all but dried up. It seems that cash flow senior loans are available only to those companies with strong cash flows — in other words, those that don’t really need the money. On the other hand, if a company has significant assets and is not already leveraged, the owners should check with their bankers; interest rates may be higher and advance rates lower, but senior debt may be available.

Let’s assume bank debt is not available — that leaves equity (common and preferred stock) and subordinated debt (sometimes called mezzanine debt because it comes between senior debt and equity in the capital structure). It will be least expensive if owners are able to access friends and family as investors. That said, many entrepreneurs prefer to keep business and family separate, so that leaves high net worth individuals (angel investors) and institutional investors.

How can business owners prepare to raise capital?
Regardless of the type and source of capital a company chooses to pursue, there are several steps to take to ensure the capital-raising process runs smoothly and, more importantly, maximizes the chances for success.

Prepare an executive summary of the business. Describe the company and how it makes money, be sure to discuss products and services and talk about the company’s challenges and opportunities. Also provide biographies of key members of the management team. Use charts and graphs to make strong points about financial performance and industry dynamics.

Assemble a historical financial information package. Include at least three full years of historical financial statements. Audited financial statements are best, but statements reviewed or compiled by a recognized accounting firm likely will suffice. Also, include monthly financial statements for the last fiscal year and the year-to-date period. It is helpful to include information such as sales and gross margin by customer and/or product to help investors consider concentration risk. In addition, provide a detailed breakdown of costs and expenses, including information regarding capital expenditures. Try to break down capex by expenses required to maintain the business and those that contributed to growth.

Assemble a financial planning package. Include the current-year budget and a forecast for the coming year. A detailed bottom-up analysis is essential to creating credibility with investors. Future growth will be the decisive factor for equity investors. Include projections for the next five years if possible, even if they are just a best guess driven by top-line growth rates and margin assumptions; they will be helpful for investors who want to understand the potential of the business.

Select an online data room provider and begin uploading documents for investors to review. Be sure to include all key contracts, credit agreements, charter documents, board minutes, tax returns, etc. An online data room will streamline the due diligence process significantly, requiring less of the management team’s time and shortening the overall time to close.

Prepare a PowerPoint presentation that walks investors through the business, its historical results, challenges, opportunities and projections. Include details regarding the use of proceeds. Invite the most interested investors to visit the company and use this presentation as a basis for discussion.

Where do business owners go to find capital?

The best advice for owners and management teams is: Do not underestimate the time required and the complexities involved with undertaking a capital raise. Never be afraid to admit that you are in over your head and need the help of professional advisers. Investors, particularly institutional investors, are currently at an advantage. In today’s business environment, capital is scarce and at a premium. To get the best deal for your company you need to bring your A-Game and your A-Team. A variety of corporate and/or business advisers such as attorneys and accountants may be able to help business owners determine the best sources of capital and recommend an investment bank to assist with a more comprehensive review of capital-raising alternatives, as well as sources of potential capital. It could be the difference between using a watering can versus an industrial sprinkler when combating your company’s capital drought.

Stop the Spread of the Flu

What Businesses Should Know About This New Strain Of Flu Virus

The second wave of the influenza pandemic should be upon us in earnest soon. So far, the virus remains similar in severity to regular flu (although a disproportionate share of those seriously ill are children and young adults). However, it continues to mutate and there remain unknowns.

The one near certainty we have learned from history is that many more people than usual will contract this Novel H1N1, or Swine Flu, virus. We may be faced with at least one-quarter of us falling ill within the next few months.

The decisions you make as a business leader will impact your employees, your organization and your bottom line. I recognize that the actions of the Maricopa County Department of Public Health can affect your bottom line, as well. I can assure you that with every decision I make, whether it’s closing a school to disseminating our first few doses of vaccine, I am constantly balancing the health of our community with the economic repercussions of our actions.

We have been working for years to engage our business community in developing a continuity of operations plan for events such as this pandemic. If you have created such a plan, it’s time to take it out, brush it off and make any updates necessary. If you don’t have a plan, that’s OK. But it’s time to start thinking now about how this virus may affect your business.

Your role in this pandemic is to do your part in slowing the spread of this flu in your workplace, thus slowing its effect on your business. Consider these planning tips:

Policies for staying home when ill and for sending ill employees home
This really will make a difference in slowing the spread of disease. I realize that such absenteeism may be difficult to accommodate, especially during these tough economic times. But you should have less absenteeism in the long run if you keep sick people out of the workplace and away from your other employees.

Policies for parents
In addition, please accommodate your employees who are parents and must leave work to pick up their sick child from school, or who must stay home with a child who is ill or whose school has been closed. Our ability to slow the spread of this flu in the community hinges upon limiting spread in the schools.

Promoting good hygiene
We should all get in the habit, right now, of practicing good hygiene to protect ourselves and others by washing our hands, keeping our hands away from our faces, and covering our coughs and sneezes.

Promoting employee vaccinations
The vaccine for the Novel H1N1 should start arriving by late November. This vaccine has been developed in the same manner as our seasonal flu vaccine, and early indicators show it is a good match to protect us from this new strain of the flu.

Arizona Business Magazine November 2009Because this vaccine is rolling out in small amounts at a time, we are providing it first to those who are having the most severe complications from the Novel H1N1 flu, and those who spread it most to others: pregnant women, health care workers, parents and family members of children under 6 months, children aged 6 months to 24 years and those aged 24 to 65 with chronic health conditions. Employees who fall into these high-risk categories should get vaccinated as soon as it becomes available.

As we enter November, we should also be receiving additional seasonal vaccines. Encourage employees to get themselves and their families vaccinated. The more people who are immunized, the better chance we have of keeping the virus from jumping from person-to-person-to-person. There also is good data to show that bringing a vaccine provider into the workplace can be very cost effective for many businesses. If your employees do not have access to the vaccine through their health care provider, log onto www.fluaz.org for vaccine locations.

This event is changing rapidly. You can stay informed, as well as access tools needed to educate your employees, at www.StoptheSpreadAZ.org (click on Maricopa County). Please do your part in stopping the spread.

Legal Aide

Key Legal Considerations And Strategies Businesses Should Consider In An Economic Downturn

Virtually all Arizona businesses, but disproportionately small and medium-sized enterprises, have been significantly impacted by the recession. The current financial climate has and will undoubtedly continue to have countless business ramifications. Often overlooked, however, are the legal considerations that should be proactively evaluated by companies in a challenging economic environment. Legal strategies should be employed not only to manage present challenges, but also to take advantage of opportunities that present themselves in this ever-evolving business landscape. It is important to carefully consider the key legal variables in play.

Here are a few:

1. Renegotiate contracts
Unfortunately, parties oftentimes neglect to consider the details of their contractual relationships until such time as they are presented with challenges. It is therefore a good practice to closely scrutinize and reevaluate one’s contracts in advance of problems arising, and with an eye toward possibly negotiating more favorable terms. It is essential that businesses look to all of their contractual relationships and incorporate contractual provisions that allow for flexibility during fluctuating economic times and properly allocate business risks, including the protection of payment streams, dealings with vendors and clients, termination provisions, and dispute-resolution mechanisms.

2. Employment policies and procedures
Perhaps the area that presents the greatest challenge for small and medium-sized businesses concerns the legal aspects of employment. Particularly in economically challenging times, companies need to be aware of the potential for employment litigation. Companies should regularly ensure that employment policies are updated and consistent with their operations and the regulatory environment, and should be attuned to the potential impact of their employment-related decisions.

3. Corporate documentation
Reviewing and maintaining the proper business entity and structure for your business is vital to securing proper limited-liability protections, mitigating exposure associated with business and employment disputes, and ensuring the most advantageous tax treatment. Many factors influence the choice of a particular entity, including the number of owners, the source of capitalization, employee and immigration needs, management structure, the size of the organization, taxes, and personal asset protection. Limited-liability protection is particularly important in economically challenging times, when the number of disputes rises dramatically. Businesses should be extraordinarily prudent and diligent in the management and oversight of their corporate formalities to preserve the benefits of their entity status.

4. Intellectual property protection
Patents, trademarks, trade secrets and copyrights are species of intellectual property that can and should be protected under state, federal and international law, as applicable. The use and effectiveness of covenants not-to-compete and confidentiality agreements should also be evaluated. It is critical to assess intellectual property regulations and enforcement mechanisms on a regular basis before engaging in any activity that may jeopardize your business’ intellectual property rights.

5. Pursuing litigation
The prospect of business litigation should be approached with the goal of creating optimum value for the business. Businesses should be cognizant of the significant expense associated with litigation, the time horizon associated with the pursuit of claims through the judicial system, and the prospects, if any, of ultimately collecting on a favorable settlement or judgment. Litigants and their counsel should be acutely aware of the costs and benefits associated with pursuing and defending civil claims. The question should be asked: What is the value proposition in each alternative approach to resolving a dispute?

6. Consider bankruptcy alternatives
Bankruptcy can sometimes provide relief for a struggling enterprise. There are various strategies that can provide a “fresh start” for a business that has been impacted by this economy. A bankruptcy expert can assist in evaluating the utilization of bankruptcy to determine the best course of action. Alternatives to bankruptcy do exist, i.e. “work-outs” with lenders, and these options should also be fully explored in advance of filing for bankruptcy protection.

7. Dispute resolution
It is imperative to plan in advance to manage disputes that may arise in the course of business. Absent a contractual designation by the parties of a governing set of laws, forum or dispute resolution process, there may be uncertainty as to how, when and where disputes will be resolved. This uncertainty can translate into resources being unnecessarily expended. Parties should, at the very least, make efforts to agree in advance to a choice of law and forum to manage disputes, including the use of arbitration and/or mediation to provide for resolution. Businesses should be cautioned not to rush to agree to arbitration, however. In many instances, litigation in the judicial system may be a better option.

8. Identify a lawyer
It is important to seek the assistance of legal counsel who has a keen understanding of how to best structure your business or to help you in confronting your business’ challenges. The lawyer should have the ability to call upon a network of advisors who can provide particularized knowledge of the issues that confront your business, whether the goal is strategic planning or dispute resolution.

Recessionary economic conditions provide for challenges, as well as opportunities. The costs to those businesses that fail to adequately consider the legal ramifications of their actions in this environment can be substantial. These legal issues are best navigated and managed through proper planning, which will in turn maximize your business’ ability to capitalize on available opportunities.

Olivier A. Beabeau, a senior associate at Galbut & Galbut, contributed to this report. He can be reached at obeabeau@galbutlaw.com.

Dell Mini Notebooks

Netbooks Are Becoming A Crucial Device For Business Executives

Less is more. While the adage might not apply to the appeal of an all-you-can-eat buffet, it certainly explains the recent netbook phenomena. Netbooks are small portable computers designed specifically for Web access and word processing. With screens between 7 to 12 inches, the mini-PCs typically weigh around two pounds at a price averaging around $400. These miniature computers have stimulated a previously lethargic PC market and enhanced electronic usage for users.

The power, portability and price have supported the mainstream adoption of netbooks, which expect to reach nearly 22 million in shipments in 2009. In fact, a survey conducted by Retrevo, a technology review Web site, reported that one-third of students plan to purchase a netbook. With the anticipated sales from students, the netbook would dethrone Apple’s Macbook, a product that has traditionally dominated the education market.

Students are not the only ones using netbooks. The lightweight and sleek design of the netbook has attracted business executives. The product has fallen into the laps of business executives who log onto their netbooks as a practical and portable electronic companion. The growing adoption of netbooks by business executives has shown that this device is more than just a fad. Some business executives believe they have not even scratched the surface of the netbook’s capabilities and are eager to include them more often in their business practices.

Alan Farber, CEO of Scottsdale-based Buildproof, recently purchased and fell in love with his netbook, an 11.6-inch Aspire 1 by Acer. Farber’s company provides a secure payment and project management system for home remodeling and construction projects. Lately, Buildproof has been working with governmental agencies to provide its system for managing contractors. While traveling to Washington, D.C., to meet government officials, Farber relied on his netbook for its dependability and flexibility. His travel preparations have become much simpler. Farber says he can grab his 8GB memory stick, load his files, and toss his netbook in his bag.

At first glance, netbooks seem like dwarfed versions of notebooks; however, netbooks feature unique functions that distinguish them from notebooks. Netbooks contain built-in Wi-Fi and standard Bluetooth connections to support Web access on the go. Installed with either Windows XP or Linux, netbooks allows users to perform basic functions such as checking e-mail, using Skype, creating documents and organizing spreadsheets. In addition to Web access and word processing, netbooks offer convenience with their element-resistant design.

With a low RAM, netbooks are not suited for complicated graphic processing. Most importantly, netbooks do not include an optical drive or Ethernet port, so users will need to invest in separate hardware such as a USB connected drive to use CDs. Netbooks also require some technical skills to adopt external drives to replace the nonexistent optical drive.

The size and power of the netbook can also be a setback.

“The screen size can make it difficult. I squint a lot while viewing e-mails,” Farber says. The miniature size limits the power of the speakers, which makes using Skype challenging for Farber. He also notes that battery life seems limited.

“You can get an extended battery, but that seems to defeat the purpose,” he says.

Accustomed to traditional notebooks, Farber expected his netbook to be difficult to configure. His netbook quickly challenged his expectations.
“It was a piece of cake to set up,” he says.

Farber also anticipated floundered typing due to the cramped size of the keyboard, and yet again he was corrected.

“It was an easy transition from a full notebook,” he adds. “I was quite surprised.”

Nearly every PC maker has incorporated netbooks into their product lines. In 2008 alone, netbooks garnered approximately 16 million sales in North America, which is not bad for a two-year old category. In order to expand the market, PC makers have developed netbooks with ambiguous distinctions between netbooks and notebooks, such as a larger size and more power.

Additionally, the distinctions between the smart phone and netbooks are also vague. Critics of netbooks often note that smart phones have similar features and more functions than netbooks. Although they enable Web browsing, document editing and the useful phone call, smart phones do not have the same comfort and power of netbooks — and mobile phone manufacturers definitely have noticed. In January, AT&T announced the development of a netbook that can access the Web with just a cell signal. With a two-year contract, AT&T’s netbook could cost as low at $99. The convergence of netbook and mobile markets also has interested Nokia CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, who announced in August that Nokia plans to explore the netbook market. The interest from mobile phone producers such as AT&T and Nokia suggests greater potential for netbooks to become an integral device for business executives.

Farber recommends the netbook to any business executive.

“It is an absolutely fantastic resource to supplement a regular notebook or desktop,” he states, but he advises against replacing a notebook or desktop with a netbook due to the limited memory and battery. “For an executive, the netbook is an excellent supplement for travel.”

man standing in front of a chandeleier

CEO Series: Curt Waisath

Curt Waisath
President and CEO, Gold Canyon

How did Gold Canyon get started?
We started Gold Canyon because my wife wanted to stay home with our kids. And I’m a CPA, so I could tell her exactly how much she had to make in order for us to survive financially. That was back in 1995. … We always loved fragrances in our home, but we were always disappointed when you’d go into a store and smell a candle and it’d smell great and you’d bring it home and light it — and no fragrance. Our other pet peeve was when you would light a candle and it would burn right down the middle. So we said, ‘We’re going to create a candle that will throw fragrance through your whole house and will burn even and clean from top to bottom.’ We thought, ‘Hey, that’s easy. It’s just wax and fragrance.’ Well, two years later we finally figured it out. … About that same time we adopted our second child and he was from New Mexico and we went to pick him up. On the way home we were discussing the pros and cons of starting this little candle business and on that trip we decided, ‘Yep, we’re going to do it.’ So I went back to work on Monday and said, ‘Hey, we have a brand new baby boy and I need to give you my two weeks notice.’ I don’t know what we were thinking; a brand new baby and no income. We really, really believed in our product and knew we had something special.

How has the recession affected your business?
We definitely felt it with the recession. I don’t think we felt it as badly as, possibly, the rest of the world. But we felt it. We provide a great opportunity for individuals (demonstrators) to actually make money. In a recessionary time like this, where people are struggling and can use $200 or $500 a month, it makes all the difference to their family. We have that opportunity for them to do that. And so we’re starting to see more and more people join the business and start selling for us.

What are some of the strategies your company has employed to meet the economic challenges brought on by the recession?
Our strategy has changed a little bit during this economy. We really focused on obtaining new customers into our business, for and on behalf of our demonstrators. So we’ve done a lot of marketing out in the world, whether it’s Internet or advertising or different promotions to draw new customers into the business. We believe we have the world’s finest product, but the world is not running to us. And we keep saying, why is the world not running to us? And we believe it’s because they don’t know about us. So our focus during this time has been to really let people know more about Gold Canyon.

With so many people losing their jobs, the number of entrepreneurs in this country has grown. What advice do you have for these new entrepreneurs?
If I had to give advice to an entrepreneur, I would have to say believe in your product. Whatever you’re doing, you have to believe in it wholeheartedly. And then I would suggest them jumping in with both feet. I think so many entrepreneurs say, ‘I’m going to do this on the side and when it takes off I’ll quit my job.’ I just think it’s very difficult for a business to take off without you working it full time. I think that was one of our successes. We jumped in, new baby and no income, but with both feet and we had to make it work and it did.

What signs, if any, do you see that the economy is improving?
We had a great June and a strong July. Some of the figures we look at in our business is the average party size. Our partysize for both June and July was up over the prior year. That’s a big indicator for us. Our average fundraiser size is up over prior year for both those months, as well as our average Internet order. All those are really key indicators that started kicking in for us in June andJuly.

What are the keys to being a successful leader in a startup company?
I think the key to success to leading a small group really is understanding the people that you are working with. We always hear people are your greatest asset — and they truly are. It takes a leader that can understand and can motivate and inspire people to want to come to work. It’s different for us as an entrepreneur that owns the business … we live and breathe it and are empowered by that. A lot of times co-workers don’t have that — it’s a job. And they are inspired by other things, whether it’s money or their outside adventures with their family. So how do you get a co-worker to say, I want to go to work and I want to make Gold Canyon better? That’s what I look for in a leader that can come into a small organization like us and inspire people to want to own their world and make it better.

    Vital Stats

  • Started Gold Canyon with his wife, Karen, in 1997
  • Worked as an accountant for seven years at Henry & Horne.
  • Holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Utah and a Masters in taxation from Weber State University
  • Board of directors for the National Candle Association and the Direct Sales Association Vice president for the Prayer Child Foundation
  • www.goldcanyon.com
Social Media

How To Get The Most Out Of Social Media

“Are you taking advantage of Web 2.0?” This question has been circulating throughout the business world regarding the online world of mass collaboration and consumer-generated content. Web 2.0 is redefining public relations, marketing, communications and branding for businesses worldwide.

Nielsen’s 2009 Global Faces and Networked Places report states that two-thirds of the world’s Internet population visits a social network or blogging site, and the sector accounts for 10 percent of all Internet time. “Consequently, the global media and advertising industries are faced with new challenges around the opportunities and risks this new consumer medium creates,” the report states.

Ken Reaser, a partner at Spin Six Strategic Marketing Design in Scottsdale, agrees. “People’s opinion is going to be out there,” he says. “You can attempt to influence it, but you can’t control it.”

Gabriel Shaoolian, founder of New York-based Blue Fountain Media, says social media can be tough to navigate at first, but once a company starts talking to its customers, “that dialogue is priceless. The persistent nature of online interaction means that (social media) has the long-lasting effects of traditional advertising, but the immediate interaction means it also has the revenue-driving power of traditional sales.” However, Shaoolian cautions that social media marketing is not for every business or marketer — but its impact is hard to ignore.

Businesses are all at some level of using social media networks, says Anthony Helmstetter, a partner at Spin Six. “Some are using it for reputation management, where social media is used as a function of customer service,” he explains. “However, 90 percent of the businesses out there will not stop using other marketing outlets.”

Forrester Research released its five-year forecast in July 2009, which states that spending on interactive marketing in the United States will reach almost $55 billion and represent 21 percent of all marketing spending by 2014. The report shows that social media spending alone will increase to $3.1 billion in 2014 from $716 million in 2009, representing a compound annual growth rate of 34 percent — the highest percentage gain in the marketing mix. This spending activity ranks social media as the third most prominent program behind search marketing and display advertising.

“Social media has its place, and we do find it to be a helpful tool, but only when it’s used correctly. … Be cautious with it.”

— Ken Reaser, partner at Spin Six Strategic Marketing Design in Scottsdale

The following is a look at the top social networking sites on the Web:

Link it Up: Optimizing LinkedIn for the Business Owner

LinkedIn helps people manage and make connections with other industry professionals, and expand beyond boundaries companies have been unable to reach. The site is relatively easy to use and provides a helpful breadth of information, as well as multiple ways to expand small businesses.

Mashable, an online social media guide, posted “How to Build Your Company’s Profile on LinkedIn” in August 2009. Adam Ostrow, a regular Mashable commentator, writes that LinkedIn separates itself from other social media networks with its company profiles. Company profiles allow a business owner to provide potential candidates with a lot more information about the company and the people who work there.

Here are Ostrow’s tips on how to set up a company profile:

  • Go to the “Companies” menu on LinkedIn. Select “Add Company.”
  • Enter the company’s basic information, such as a description, number of employees and industry in which it operates.
  • Follow LinkedIn’s wizard for creating your company profile, which allows you to add a logo, locations and feed for your company blog/newsletter.

LinkedIn will pull data about your company from around the Web site to further enhance the company profile that already has been established. For example, all of the company’s job listings will show up automatically on the profile, along with links to profiles for current, former, new hires and recent promotions regarding company employees.

Inovedia Marketing provides several tips for small business owners when utilizing LinkedIn, such as:

  • Connect with customers and vendors.
  • Improve a company’s image by requesting LinkedIn recommendations from happy customers.
  • Answer LinkedIn questions to build the company’s brand and promote it within the LinkedIn community.
  • Keep track of all contacts. You never know when you’ll need them.
  • Test a company’s ideas by joining marketing groups and utilize the “Start a Discussion” feature to act as a focus group.
  • Connect with fellow small business owners and find multiple small business resources.

All of this aggregate data about the company provides potential candidates information to determine if the company is a good fit for them. If a company is concerned about the information available online, LinkedIn does allow edits to the company’s basic profile information.

According to Ostrow’s post, LinkedIn recently added a premium product, Custom Company Profiles, that allows a business owner to add more features such as videos about the company, positions, interactive polls and several customized options for recruiting. Ostrow adds: “These are worth considering for larger companies (they come at a price), but for small businesses, a basic LinkedIn company profile should be enough to add lots of efficiency to the recruiting process — both for candidates and for you.”


Face Off: Putting a Face to Your Business through Facebook

Facebook has become the largest player on the global social networking stage. In September, the company announced it had 300 million active users.

“Based on a simple design, broad demographic appeal and a focus on connecting, Facebook has become the most popular social network measured by Nielsen Online.” — Nielsen’s 2009 Global Faces and Networked Places report

Facebook started out as a service for university students, but now one-third of its global audience is aged 35-49 years, and one-quarter is over 50. In July 2009 alone, Facebook attracted 87.7 million unique visitors in the U.S., which was 14 percent higher than the previous month, according to comScore. In absolute terms, Facebook added about 10 million new visitors in July 2009 versus roughly 1 million new visitors for Twitter.

In August 2009, Facebook purchased FriendFeed for just under $50 million, which cost one-tenth as much as Twitter would have, had Facebook gone through with its plans to purchase the site.

So how can businesses capitalize on this growing social network empire? HubSpot, an inbound marketing system specifically for the Internet, published a report called “How to Use Facebook for Business.” The report outlines the difference between Facebook Profiles and Pages — the latter being specifically for business use.

  • Facebook Pages allow a company to designate multiple administrators to help manage the account.
  • Pages are by default made public and will start ranking in Facebook and public search results, and engines such as Google.
  • Pages are split into different categories to help the company get listed in more relevant search results.

For companies worried about privacy, Facebook is flexible in letting administrators control a business’ exposure. The creation of a Page is very similar to a user profile, except that you choose a category (i.e. brand or product) and a name for your Page (usually the company’s name). Once the creator is done setting up the Page, be sure to hit “Publish” to make it public.

Ken Reaser, a partner with Spin Six, strongly warns Facebook users to keep their personal profiles separate from their company pages. “You are now becoming a participant in a community where you no longer have control — be cautious,” he says.

There are various ways to promote company Facebook Pages, such as leveraging the viral nature of Facebook via the news feed, drawing on the administrator’s personal existing network, making the Page publicly searchable, and using Facebook Ads for an extra push, according to HubSpot.

Other areas Facebook excels at include:

  • Facebook Groups: Similar to Pages, but meant to be built around a group of people rather than an individual business or a brand.
  • Applications: Developers may write software to help promote a business on Facebook.
  • Polls: Marketers can use them to get quick answers about a particular feature, or find out information and opinions from specific demographics.
  • Facebook Connect: Helps integrate a company Web site with Facebook.
  • Facebook Ads: You can choose a specific demographic target, see how many people that demographic will hit and advertise to that demographic.

This point spotlights the biggest challenge for Facebook — turning its network into a revenue-producing mechanism. In 2008, Facebook earned around $300 million in ad revenue compared to MySpace’s estimated $1 billion. MySpace has primarily become an entertainment site. In September 2009, Facebook said it achieved positive cash flow for the first time since its founding six years ago.

Still, the fact that content supplied by the social network’s members is of a highly personal nature creates a Catch-22. The personal data is potentially one of the network’s most valuable assets, yet it provides a major obstacle in generating revenue as members see highly targeted ads as an invasion of privacy.

“If Facebook were a country, it would be the 8th most-populated in the world, just ahead of Japan.”

— Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder, January 2009


A Birdie Told Me: Utilizing Twitter’s Real-Time Potential

The first reaction many people have to Twitter is bewilderment, which matches the reason for the name of the micro-blogging site.

“Twittering is the sound birds make when they communicate with each other — an apt description of the conversations held on Twitter,” says site co-founder Biz Stone on the Twitter 101 site. “Every day, millions of people use Twitter to create, discover and share ideas with others. Businesses can use the outlet to quickly share information with people interested in the company, gather real-time market intelligence and feedback, and build relationships with customers, partners and other people who care about the company.”

Evan Williams, Twitter’s CEO and co-founder, says that in the best cases, Twitter makes the public smarter, faster and more efficient. However, not everyone believes in the Twitter-hype.

Anthony Helmstetter, a partner at Spin Six Strategic Marketing Design, says Twitter, despite being hot right now, sees a less than 40 percent retention rate after someone has had an account for 30 days.

“What this shows is that this exuberant hype is short-lived,” Helmstetter explains. “What Twitter lacks is a ‘sticky’ component. There’s nothing to make people keep using it.”

He clarifies that Twitter is better for real-time information, but not to build legacy content. But that’s not stopping major brands across the nation from tuning into the world’s mind. Mashable’s commentator Ostrow reported in August 2009 that big brands are embracing social media, with Fortune 100 companies selecting Twitter as their choice of venue. According to recent study by the global public relations firm Burson-Marsteller:

  • Among Fortune 100 companies, 54 percent have a Twitter presence, 32 percent have a blog, and 29 percent have an active Facebook Page.
  • Of companies using only one of these tools, at least 76 percent of them choose Twitter.
  • Of the Fortune 100 companies on Twitter, 94 percent use it for news/announcements, 67 percent for customer service, and 57 percent for deals/promotions.
  • The average Fortune 100 Twitter account has 5,234 followers. The median is 674 followers.
  • Many companies are simply avoiding blogs and going directly to Twitter instead.

One of the most well-known brands on Twitter is Starbucks. According to the Twitter 101 Web site, Brad Nelson tweets on behalf of Starbucks Coffee, and says he “loves” the 140 character limits for tweets. He manages it through a third-party application called TweetDeck that allows him to group his followers and see everything at once, from DMs (direct messages) and replies to searches and trending topics.

What a company chooses to post about depends on its goals for using Twitter.

“Listen regularly for comments about your company, brand and products — and be prepared to address concerns, offer customer service and thank people for praise,” Twitter’s co-founders say. But most importantly, don’t spam people.

“There’s the idea that social media is free, but it’s not free,” Spin Six Partner Ken Reaser says.

He adds that businesses looking to go into social media, especially sites such as Twitter, need to be consulted as to why they want to get involved, what their goals and expectations are, what they want to get out of it, how much money they have budgeted for it and the cost to manage it.


Follow us

AZ Big Media News: @AZBigMedia

Editor-in-Chief Janet Perez: @perezbizgal

Managing Editor Allie Bell: @alliemcbell

CFO Of the Year

CFO Of The Year Awards 2009 Finalists

Dan Bachus
Grand Canyon University
Chief Financial Officer

“I thoroughly enjoy being actively involved in shaping the vision of a dynamic, visionary company such as Grand Canyon University …”

Dan Bachus has been instrumental in reshaping the vision of Grand Canyon University.

In 2008, the university had rebounded from financial difficulties and its owners were thinking of taking it public. But they needed a new management team experienced at running a public company and expanding an institution of higher learning. Bachus’ role proved critical.

As chief financial officer, Bachus is lauded for personal qualities that have contributed to GCU’s continued success. He is noted for his integrity and ethics, his student-oriented attitude, his communication skills, an action-oriented focus and his self-leadership.

These traits have guided Bachus as he has put his personal touch on numerous areas of GCU’s operations.

“I believe it is critical that an organization set very clear, measurable performance goals and communicate these goals to all employees,” Bachus says. “It also is vital to then compare actual results to the goals and celebrate successes, while also ensuring that you understand why you came up short and fixing any issues.”

Bachus played an instrumental role in GCU’s successful initial public offering last fall. In addition, Bachus and other members of the management team modified the university’s strategy for market positioning. The focus is on growing GCU as a bricks-and-mortar campus that also is the marketing engine for its online model. This strategy is paying dividends. For its last fiscal year, GCU reported a 67.3 percent increase in student enrollment and a 71.8 jump in net revenue over the prior year.

Raymond C. Bargull
The Sundt Companies Inc.
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

“As a CFO, you can make your company a better place — certainly a more profitable place — but also a better place to work.”

Managing risk is critical in the construction industry and Raymond C. Bargull has excelled in that area at The Sundt Companies in Tucson.

As executive vice president and chief financial officer for Sundt for nearly 20 years, Bargull convinced the general contractor that it was important to insure all of its subcontractors’ liability claims within Sundt’s job sites. The company also provides subguard insurance for subcontractor losses. These are high-deductible, high-risk insurance programs and Bargull has successfully managed both.

“I think for a CFO it’s really critical that you are paying attention and you are assessing the risks; making sure someone is reading the contracts and accepting only the things that we can accept,” Bargull says, “If you can’t handle the risk in-house, make sure you are transferring the risk either to insurance or contractual agreements.”

Bargull’s responsibilities are numerous. He directs the company’s accounting practices and financial plans and policies. Maintaining relationships with shareholders and the financial community is another one of his duties. He also oversees budgeting, auditing, tax functions and real estate, and serves on the board of directors.

Bargull is known for his integrity. He is chairman of Sundt’s ethics committee, and works with employees on ethics programs and training to ensure the company complies with regulations related to the proper conduct of business. Bargull also makes Sundt’s vendors aware of the company’s ethics program and how they can comply.

Allen Bloch
Beatitudes Campus
Senior Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer

“With the … first of the baby boomers now beginning to retire, demand for long-term care services will outpace (the industry’s) ability to supply them by an alarming margin.”

With financial acumen and personal commitment, Allen Bloch has helped transform Beatitudes Campus in Phoenix from a senior-living complex with a limited lifespan to a thriving facility with a future.

Bloch has been senior vice president of finance and chief financial officer for Beatitudes for almost eight years and he began this transformation early in his career there. When Beatitudes needed to redevelop its property, Bloch crafted a plan to obtain $84 million in financing. He proposed two funding methods — a bank-financed commercial loan and tax-exempt financing — and let the two compete for the business. The competitive environment saved the nonprofit organization $2.4 million.

During the first phase of construction at Beatitudes, Bloch took on management of several departments so the chief operating officer could concentrate on the redevelopment.

“Operating managers, whose primary responsibility is to make sure that sales exceed costs, need accurate, easy to interpret and timely financial information,” Bloch says. “Making good reporting tools available to them is probably the most important way I influence the achievement of performance goals.”

Bloch drew upon his keen understanding of trends in the continuing-care retirement industry to propose yet another new approach. He convinced the board of directors to shift from a fee-for-service rental community model to a hybrid concept that added entrance-fee apartments to Beatitudes’ mix of housing. That improved the organization’s balance sheet, as well as its market position.

Kevin J. Burns
University Medical Center

Chief Financial Officer

“Simply put, what drives me is seeing every day how finance impacts our ability to provide the staff and facilities that sustain our long- standing commitment to providing high-quality care to our patients.”

In his seven years as chief financial officer of University Medical Center at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Kevin J. Burns has chalked up an impressive list of achievements.

While overseeing accounting, financial reporting, capital market activities and information technology functions, Burns has guided the hospital’s impressive growth in patient care services. He also has improved operating results at UMC, a 335-bed, acute-care hospital, and Arizona’s only academic medical center. Burns’ understanding and tireless promotion of the relationship between high-quality care and strong operating outcomes has been instrumental in UMC’s improved performance over the past five years.

“I believe my primary role, and the role of our financial services team, is to make certain that the resources are in place to assure the best care for our patients,” Burns says.

His many achievements include playing a leadership role in establishing an equitable policy for UMC’s uninsured and underinsured patients. Burns also oversaw the development of a robust investment policy, as well as the strengthening and documentation of key accounting and operational policies.

When he joined UMC in 2002, Burns’ years of experience and focus on operational performance led to three significant bond issues. They paved the way for the development of the initial phases of the UMC North campus, construction of an expanded emergency department and trauma center, and construction of an additional patient tower slated to open next spring.

Barry Broome

First Job: Barry Broome, President And CEO, Greater Phoenix Economic Council

Barry Broome
President and CEO, Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC)

Describe your very first job and what lessons you learned from it.
I loaded trucks for Mountain Top pies on the west side of Columbus, Ohio. I was in the baker’s local union. I was 15 when I started that job. I remember asking my Dad, who was the plant superintendent at the time, what my goal should be. He said I should become the fastest loader on the dock. After a couple of weeks, I asked the supervisor who the fastest guy was. He said a guy named Sparks. I started requesting to load trucks with Sparks, so I could get fast enough to beat him. Sparks would always finish before me. When he was done, he’d sit around, smoke a cigarette and watch me finish loading. I never did beat him. But he was the only one I couldn’t beat. What I learned from that job was how important college would be for my future. Having grown up working class, it was difficult to see what people’s life was like in a plant. It was very limited. I wanted to build a rewarding life, and I wanted to do something that made a difference in other people’s lives.

Describe your first job in your industry and what you learned from it.
I worked for an initiative in Cleveland aimed at rebuilding inner-city neighborhoods. We focused on areas that had 100 percent poverty rates, high crime and gang violence. We created jobs and organized leadership. We worked with gangs, the Crips and the Bloods. We did a lot of work with the Nation of Islam. And a lot of the guys were ex-Black Panthers. I learned a lot from that experience. I realized how much potential people have, even when they live in poverty; that the amazing talent and potential of people can be harnessed if they are given hope. Hope is the most important thing you can instill in someone.

What were your salaries at both of these jobs?

I earned $5 an hour at Mountain Top. I made $24,000 a year working in Cleveland’s inner city. We almost starved, but the work shaped my life. It really gave me a sense of purpose.

Who is your biggest mentor and what role did they play?
My biggest mentor, outside of my mother, was a (state) senator from Cleveland named Charlie Butts. Charlie was a genius who saw all of the real problems in our country before most did and understood the magnitude of their complexity. He was instrumental in helping balance the moral compass, which needs to be balanced against ambition. He was the first person to instill in me that winning was not everything, but how you won really mattered. He taught me that principle was more important than power, that real leaders were essentially selfless.

What advice would you give to a person just entering your industry?
Do it for the love of community and be inspired by the work. You will never be disappointed.

If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing instead?
Either running a tech company or coaching and teaching kids. I’ve built and launched a lot of new tech companies in Michigan. … If I didn’t do that, I would like to teach. I really enjoy being around young people and mentoring them. It’s important, powerful work.

Marcellas Italian Kitchen

Marcella’s Italian Kitchen Opens At Scottsdale Fashion Square

Cue the strings, fire up the oven and pour a glass of fun while surrounded by friends and family. What better way to experience the comforts and flavors of Italian culture than in a boho-chic restaurant reminiscent of Mama’s kitchen? In fact, that’s where the idea for Marcella’s Italian Kitchen started.

Meet Marcella Libertini, the chef and house manager for the Tuscan villa where nationally acclaimed restaurateur, Cameron Mitchell, vacationed every summer.

“Marcella inspired me to bring authentic Italian cuisine and the atmosphere of a bustling Italian cafe in Rome to our guests in Columbus, Ohio, and Scottsdale, Ariz.,” Mitchell says.

The Scottsdale location, Mitchell’s second concept to hit Arizona — the first being CityNorth’s Ocean Prime — opened Oct. 15. And the best way to experience Marcella’s is to think big. Bring lots of family and friends to eat lots of savory food, and remember what Mama told you — share your food.

To start the night off right, you have to order the braised veal meatball appetizer — or as Marcella’s fondly calls it, The Eighth Wonder of the World. Is it the size that makes it the eighth wonder? Personally, I find the wonder in the presentation of the sweet meat surrounded in marinara and cheese. The way it melts in your mouth also makes this savory concoction live up to its nickname. Other great starters include the calamari with fried zucchini, roasted garlic aioli and a hint of lemon; as well as the roasted garlic and cheese bruschetta.

Executive Chef Geoff Baumberger does not disappoint, as we experienced the full Italian-style pantry Marcella’s offers, stuffed with antipasto, meats and cheeses, bread racks and endless reserves of wine.

“Our menu is unpretentious and we are committed to keeping things fresh every day — that goes for our food and our personality,” Baumberger says.

Prompt service provided by our server, Natalie, who has been with Marcella’s for the past two years and relocated to Scottsdale to share with us her knowledge of the delicious Italian fare, only made the night that much better.

The ravioli mezzaluna filled with goat cheese, cabbage, Italian bacon and mushrooms provided an explosion of flavor. The homemade pasta, sauce and mixture of flavors created a good balance of tastes paired perfectly with a glass of merlot. Another favorite was the salmon al fresco surrounded by brick-oven tomatoes, kalamata olives and roasted potatoes. Drizzled in a lemon juice and olive oil mixture, the savory fish was light and delicious.

And what’s an Italian restaurant without lasagna? Marcella’s lasagna is even better than what Mama used to make, with homemade pasta sandwiched between housemade sweet Italian sausage, juicy tomatoes and marinara layered with alfredo sauce.

Despite being stuffed, we couldn’t say no to dessert. An Italian classic, tiramisu, along with profiteroles, provided a terrific end to the night. The tiramisu was light with a delicate balance of espresso and creamy goodness.

The profiteroles followed suit, replete with creamy pistachio, chocolate and honey vanilla gelato melted between warm chocolate ganache.

For those who need a good meeting place, the 10,800-square-foot restaurant features three private dining rooms — all named after a region in Italy. The rooms accommodate 20 to 40 guests and are fully equipped with audio-visual capabilities. Additional seating also is available in the interior terrace, which seats up to 52 guests.

So make sure to follow the advice on the wait staff’s apparel: “For a good time, call (480) 947-2105 — for reservations silly.”

Table & Chairs alone don't make a workspace comfortable

You Need More Than A Table And Chairs To Make A Conference Room Inviting And Efficient

A 2005 Microsoft Corp. survey of personal office productivity found that people spend an average of 5.6 hours each week in meetings. That meeting time may be spent in a well designed, comfortable conference space. Or it can be in an uncomfortable chair with no plug for the laptop or light to read presentation notes, or with the sun glaring in your face. It is only then that we wonder, did anyone think about the comfort and utility of this space?

Anne Elizabeth Hamilton and architect Nathan Leblang, AIA, both with the architectural and design firm of Orcutt Winslow Partnership, have given conference rooms plenty of thought. In fact, they recently finished designing new administrative offices for Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Arizona, which included conference and meeting space. Here are their thoughts on creating a conference room:

Corporate culture
Think about the culture of your organization. Is there a need for privacy and separation or does your work style favor an open and team-oriented space? The level of visual and acoustic privacy should also be considered. Does the space need to be “dressed to impress” or do you want to create a level of comfort and informality? The company’s identity/culture should be clearly communicated so the space can reflect and showcase that identity to visitors.

Room size and shape

Design always impacts function. A room’s proportions — the height and the width of the room — are important. If a room is small and cramped, it cannot serve a large number of people. If a room is too large, it’s like having an intimate lunch in a train station. A large room needs a higher ceiling to “breathe” or it feels claustrophobic and oppressive. Lighting, color and window walls can make a small room feel spacious.

Tables and seating
Integrate flexibility wherever possible. Tables should be designed to work together or pull apart depending upon the use of the space. Estimate the average number of people who might be using the space. Every person who attends the meeting may not need a seat at the table, and benches or chairs along the sides may provide additional seating. Many conference room tables today are “sight-line” tables, which allow each participant to have a good view to a front screen and create a definite front-of-room layout. Storage space in large conference rooms for chairs, tables or equipment also should be considered.

Materials and lighting
The selection of materials impacts the toxicity of a room. It’s important to select nontoxic laminates, cabinets without formaldehyde, carpet without off-gassing VOCs (volatile organic compounds), “green” paint and wall coverings.

Provide as much natural light as possible, as long as it can be controlled for glare. Avoid placing windows behind a speaker podium or where a presenter will be standing. A comprehensive light plan includes low-energy, high-output lighting with good lighting over the table, flexibility in lighting control to separate perimeter lighting, task lighting, and accent art lighting. Automatic turn-off when the room is not occupied is an available and essential extra. Drop-down electric shades with perforated material for transparency and a second roller for room darkening can add drama by timing all the shades to drop together. Coordinate this with dimming lighting controls to set an anticipatory mood for a presentation.

The interface between technology and room design is critical. A room that works great otherwise won’t be used if there isn’t a sound system to allow people to hear the presentation or if there are no outlets integrated into the table or floor space to plug in laptops and projectors. Provide connections in the center of the table or in recessed junction boxes in the floor below the table for electrical/data/Internet. Place ceiling speakers throughout a large conference room to distribute sound.

You also can have built-in, ceiling-mounted projectors. For video and Web conferencing and presentations, ceiling-mounted screens, LCD TVs, white boards, wall-mounted chart holders and teleconferencing systems integrate cleanly into well-designed spaces.

Students/employees succeed post-recession

New Program At Thunderbird Aims To Help Students And Employees Succeed Post-Recession

Lately, the national and international media have been reporting that the economy is recovering. The chatter is that many of the key indicators (other than unemployment) are starting to predict that we may be just a quarter or two from the “light” at the end of the tunnel.

That light, however, could be snuffed by yet another crisis — a crisis in sustainable leadership. The loss in human potential caused by the high demands and increased stress related to reductions in human resources and development of remaining talent could be catastrophic for businesses.

Sure, many of the cost reductions in companies and organizations have had a positive impact on margins and liquidity, but will this be sustainable? Many executives have shared their doubts about whether the changes and strategies they put in place during this recession will make their organization more capable of reaching their future targets. Even worse, they question their own energy and capacity to continue to try to keep up, let alone get ahead.

This is the crisis at the end of the tunnel. There will be many opportunities that emerge from the post-recession economy. Unfortunately, too many leaders and organizations still will be in survival mode because they are numb, tired, foggy and lack the passion to really capitalize. In short, they won’t have the gas in their tank to use the knowledge they have to bring their business back to the level it should be.

The last year has been a time of less. Less people, less investment in the people remaining, less optimism, less outward focus (on the customers and the opportunities) and less training. Unfortunately, it also has led to a lack of high-performance behaviors. In order to see the light at the end of the tunnel businesses and organizations must change the paradigm to one of MORE. More energy, more passion, more productivity, more preparation, more focus and more design.

The Thunderbird School of Global Management recognizes this missing link in the executive world. This is why it is collaborating with Tignum to incorporate sustainable high performance training into the school’s own work force and educational experiences. The aim is to ensure its employees, graduates and executive education clients not only garner the business and cultural skills needed to run sustainable organizations, but also the personal capacity to maintain their own long-term performance and competitive edge.

Sustainable high performance training was first introduced to Thunderbird’s faculty and staff during a kickoff event on Aug. 18. Later that month, similar presentations were made to new full-time students. Thunderbird now is integrating the program into campus life through follow-up workshops and an on-campus communication campaign. School officials say the goal is to help participants overcome habits that lead to burnout by building a solid foundation that can sustain high performance throughout their careers.

Thunderbird and Tignum also are working to develop a sustainable high performance program for corporate clients who come to the school for executive education.

“Incorporating sustainable personal leadership training with Thunderbird’s No. 1-ranked global business education furthers the school’s mission to produce global leaders who make a lasting impact in the world by creating sustainable value for their companies and communities,” Thunderbird President Ángel Cabrera said in a statement. “In order for individuals to create lasting value, it is imperative they be equipped with strong global business skills combined with a socially responsible and global mindset and the capacity for their own sustainable high performance.”

The fact is, the knowledge, skills and strategies that have gotten businesses to this point will no longer be sufficient to achieve long-term goals in the future if companies do not invest in the sustainability of their people.

Recently there was a special issue of the Harvard Business Review called Leadership in the New World. The name of this issue alone explicitly implies that what we knew in the “old” world won’t work in the future. The habits that you’ve used to be successful in the past won’t be enough to ensure your success in the future.

The New World will require energized, responsive, agile, creative and attentive leaders. It will require that they energize and inspire others so they can meet their customers’ desires and stay two steps ahead of the growing and gainingcompetition. This will require new personal habits to increase their energy, resilience, brain performance and capacity. In the past, too many executives saw these things as a “nice to have,” but now these things are a “strategic must.” Your own personal energy and resilience are your foundation upon which all of your performance is built.

Sustainable high performance is a condition where you are highly motivated, your self-esteem is strong, your excitement to handle challenges is evident and your physical energy is abundant. People perceive you as present,grounded, responsive and focused. You implement sound judgment and innovative solutions, maximizing your impact on your team, company, brand and the world. Sustainable high performance is showing up consistently with your best game on.

Accelerated MBA programs

Accelerated MBA Programs Increasingly Appeal To Out-Of-Work Professionals

Grad school has always been a safe haven for out-of-work professionals in a down economy. Now, as economic indicators suggest the economy has bottomed out and the long recovery has begun, those workers face a tough decision: try to stick it out in a brutal job market or invest in retooling their skills and re-enter the market on the upswing.

For many, the decision comes down to timing.

Accelerated MBA programs are an increasingly appealing option for professionals who want to earn an advanced degree quickly — and affordably — and time their returns to the work force to coincide with the economic recovery. Along with a two-year program for full-time students seeking an immersive experience, the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona has developed three accelerated MBA program options.

The 18-month evening MBA meets once a week and is aimed at working professionals.

The 14-month executive MBA is designed for high-level professionals with extensive work experience.

The newest program, a 12-month Accelerated MBA, is a full-time experience beginning in summer 2010. The program is designed for professionals with an undergraduate business degree and a few years of experience. After completing a summer boot camp experience, the students step into the second year of the full-time program and focus on elective coursework.

The 18-month and 14-month programs also are offered in Phoenix at Eller’s Scottsdale campus.

“Beyond timing, a traditional, two-year MBA program just isn’t the right fit for everyone,” says Trina Callie, assistant dean of Eller MBA programs. “Workers with significant professional experience will be more at home in an accelerated program, like our Executive MBA. Business professionals who are three to five years out of college will get the most out of our 12-month MBA, where they can focus on elective coursework.”

Hoon Choi, a student in the 14-month Eller Executive MBA program, spent months unsuccessfully looking for a job and networking before realizing that “most of the employers were looking for the total package: MBA plus experience. Now I am expanding my network through an opportunity to work on an innovative, exciting project with my peers, who are all experts in their fields.”

Katherine Tunsky entered the traditional, full-time program this fall and sees it as a way to build skills in industries she hasn’t yet explored.

“My passion is real estate finance, but while here at Eller, I plan on focusing on sustainability and I will be applying for the dual-degree program in hopes of earning a master’s in environmental planning,” she says.

The Eller MBA program also recently introduced new focus areas that help students build skills in specific growth industries, such as energy and health care.

“For example, all of our programs include an international component, which we believe is vitally important in today’s global business environment,” Callie says. “But we also offer students access to consulting projects and career services to help them build their resumes and better position themselves for their coming job searches.”

Liz Warren-Pederson is the marketing and communications manager at the University of Arizona, www.eller.arizona.edu.

Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Grant Scholarships

Times Are Tough For Everyone, And Students Trying To Fund Their Educations Are No Exception

With college tuition constantly on the rise, the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation is doing its part to help deserving Hispanic students throughout the Valley pay for their educations.

The foundation is a nonprofit organization whose main goal is to provide scholarships to Hispanic students attending Arizona post-secondary schools. The foundation also supports philanthropic efforts within the Latino community.

“As chairman of the board for the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (AZHCC), one of the accomplishments that I am most proud of is the establishment of a scholarship program,” says Robert Espiritu, who works in acquisition marketing for American Express’ International Business Unit.

Espiritu developed the scholarship initiative in 2008, during the 50th anniversary of the chamber’s Black and White Business Awards Ball — the longest-running black-tie event in Phoenix.

In order to commemorate the anniversary, Espiritu developed the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation Scholarship Program, which now has grown into a permanent component of the awards.

Espiritu also decided on an unconventional way to raise money for the scholarships.

“The idea I had was to ask the audience for pledges for scholarships,” Espiritu says.

The donations began with companies who had pre-committed to donating money and continued from there. “It was kind of spontaneous; I just wanted to ask people if they wanted to join the donation …” Espiritu says.Soon, “call-outs” were made from attendees pledging various amounts to the scholarship fund. Those who pledged then came on stage and stated their pledge amounts.

The 2008 event turned out to be a huge success. Donors big and small, from individuals to corporations, banded together to raise nearly $110,000.
“The generosity on the part of our corporate citizens and individuals has been amazing and gives me great faith that even with this down economy we still have the support from our community,” Espiritu says.

Despite the difficult economic climate, an additional $35,000 was raised in 2009. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, Qwest Communications, Humana, Wells Fargo, APS and SRP were some of the larger corporations to contribute at this year’s ball.

“To date, the AZHCC Foundation has raised approximately $140,000 in scholarships for deserving and aspiring Latino students,” Espiritu says. “I want to personally thank all of our donors for their contributions. Without them, all of this would not be possible.”

On May 19 of this year, 60 Latino students were presented with the scholarships at a private dinner at the Wrigley Mansion. Scholarship recipients ranged from first-generation college students to graduate students.

“To be awarded such esteemed honors means that my hard work paid off. But I still have so much more to do to prove that I am worthy of such recognitions,” says Annalili Chacon, a recipient of the scholarship and a Barack Obama Scholar at Arizona State University.

Cosme Madrid, a student at ASU, also received a scholarship.

“I wanted to apply for this scholarship simply because it applied to who I was. … I learned that the chamber of commerce supports Hispanics to get a higher education and so I went for it,” he says.

Madrid adds that being selected a winner “is a great feeling because it shows the hard work that I have done throughout my high school career to get to where I am and to receive this scholarship.”

Both recipients are grateful for the financial relief the scholarships provide and are better prepared for the road ahead.

“It is so important for us to reach out and help future generations of students, and for the Hispanic chamber especially to be able to assist our Latino students,” Espiritu says. “These students will become our future leaders and the goal of AZHCC’s scholarship program is to help facilitate the development of our future leaders through education.”

DATOS 2009 annual expert analysis of the role and impact of Latino businesses and consumers on the state’s economy

Comprehensive Information On Hispanics In Arizona

On Nov. 18, the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, in conjunction with the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, will release DATOS 2009, an annual expert analysis of the role and impact of Latino businesses and consumers on the state’s economy.

For nearly 15 years, DATOS has provided insight into issues ranging from the purchasing power of the Hispanic market to its prevalence in various segments of private industry. This year’s edition again provides detailed information on the Hispanic population’s growing impact on the economy. The report takes months to complete, with research overseen by Louis Olivas, professor emeritus at W.P. Carey.

The following is a summary of the key findings presented in DATOS 2009. The project is funded by SRP.

Hispanic Business
There are more than 2 million Hispanic-owned businesses in the United States with a combined revenue approaching $465 billion. Arizona is home to more than 35,000 Hispanic-owned businesses.

Nearly two out of every five Hispanic-owned businesses in Arizona is a sole proprietorship and 67 percent are family-owned. More than one-third of Arizona’s Hispanic-owned businesses have annual revenues above $500,000, and the median household income among Arizona’s Hispanic business owners is $76,400.

Purchasing Power
The purchasing power of the Hispanic market commands attention. In 2008, Hispanics accounted for 8.9 percent of all U.S. buying power, up dramatically from 5 percent in 1990. In total, U.S. Hispanics control $951 billion in spending power, and by 2013 this figure is projected to reach $1.386 trillion. In Arizona, Hispanics account for 16 percent of the total state’s buying power, leading Arizona to rank fourth among all states for its concentrated Latino consumer market.

Hispanic Consumers
When it comes to marketing, Hispanic consumers have diverse attitudes. Often, an individual’s language preference is a key determinant in their perceptions of advertisements and products. Understanding more about Hispanics’ household composition, financial resources, homeownership rates, methods of telecommunication and product preferences are all essential to developing loyal consumers. For example, did you know that Latinos nationwide were responsible for buying 297 million movie tickets in the past year, compared to 150 million tickets for African Americans and 155 million for all other ethnicities combined?


The Hispanic population is embracing new media and other technology at a promising rate. Fifty-two percent of the Hispanic population is now online, representing 23 million users nationwide. Internet use is far greater among English-dominant and bilingual Latinos than Spanish-dominant Latinos, suggesting tremendous room for growth. Eight percent of second-generation Latinos and 89 percent of college-educated Latinos go online. In addition to downloading music, uploading photos, and researching products, online news is also popular among Latino Internet users. While online, at least 80 percent said they read the news at least once per month.

Cellular use is also notably high among Latinos. Hispanics are more likely than white non-Hispanics to buy the latest phones, upgrade them faster and use special features. Hispanic adults ages 18-34 use an average of 1,200 cell phone minutes per month, compared to 950 minutes for the general population. They are also more likely to use features such as text messaging and music downloading.

In addition to cell phone use, online social networking is another sign of high social connectedness among Latinos. Forty percent of Hispanics maintain profiles on sites such as MySpace, Facebook or MiGente, a trend that is likely to explode as more Latinos hit their teens and young adulthood.


Arizona contains some major Hispanic media markets. According to Nielsen Media Research, Phoenix ranks eighth for Hispanic TV household markets. Print media is also alive and well in the Hispanic community. The vast majority of Hispanic adults (82 percent) read Hispanic newspapers, and the same proportion pass them on to at least one other person. Among Hispanics aged 25-34, 25 percent have called or visited a store in response to an advertisement.

U.S. Latino Population
As a proportion of total U.S. population growth, Hispanics accounted for 51.6 percent of that growth. This is predominantly the result of births to the existing population rather than immigration; six out of 10 Hispanics were born in the United States. Larger average household size (3.6 for Arizona Hispanics versus 2.7 for all Arizona residents) is another contributing factor.

Over the next four decades, the number of minority workers in the U.S. labor force will grow from 32 percent to 55 percent, with the greatest increase coming from Hispanics. The country as a whole will benefit from the productivity, purchasing power, taxes, and Social Security contributions of Hispanic workers.

AZ Population
Arizona ranks fourth among all states for the largest percentage of Hispanic residents. In 2007, 1.9 million Latinos accounted for 30 percent of Arizona’s total population.

Maricopa County in particular has experienced tremendous growth in the Hispanic population. Between 2000 and 2007, it ranked second (after Los Angeles County) for the largest increase in Hispanic population. Mirroring the nation, the majority of these Arizona Hispanics are U.S.-born (63 percent).

The median age of Hispanics in Arizona is 25, compared to 42 for the white non-Hispanic population, and the median household income is $40,476, compared to $55,554 for the white non-Hispanic population. Given the youthfulness of the Hispanic population, Arizona Latinos are certain to increase in number and purchasing power over the next few decades.

Birth and Fertility

In 2007, Hispanic births accounted for 25 percent of all births in the United States. Teen pregnancy is still a major issue facing the Latino community, but between 1991 and 2004, the birth rate for Hispanic teens fell 21 percent. Clearly, the relative youth of Hispanics will continue to impact future fertility patterns in the United States and Arizona. The Hispanic fertility rate in Arizona exceeds the U.S. Hispanic fertility rate. From 1987 to 2007, the number of Hispanic births in Arizona has increased 211 percent.

Growth trend

The Hispanic population in the United States has increased by 11 million since 2000, and Arizona ranks fourth among states for the largest percentage of Hispanics (30 percent). In the 2008 presidential election, Hispanics voted in record numbers, demonstrating growing civic engagement and a vested interest the country’s future. Specifically, 50 percent of Hispanics turned out to vote, an increase of 2.7 percent from the 2004 presidential election. And Hispanics are voting with their pocketbooks and mouse-clicks as well. Sixty percent of 18- to 34-year-old Latinos and 76 percent of U.S.-born Latinos access the Internet. During a recent 12-month period, the average amount spent online by a Latino in Phoenix was $831.

Hispanics Trend Young

One of the defining characteristics of the Hispanic population is its youthfulness. The median age of Hispanics in the United States was only 27.7 in 2008, compared to 36.8 for the total population. Nearly two-thirds of Hispanics are under the age of 35.

Furthermore, 25 percent of the nation’s children under age 5 are Hispanic. For all children under 18, 44 percent are non-white.

The median age of Hispanics in Arizona is 25, compared to 42 for the white non-Hispanic population. U.S.-born Hispanics’ median age is only 16, which means that half of these native-born Hispanics are not old enough to drive, vote or consume alcohol. However, they will be soon. And they are at a formative stage in their lives when core values and social and consumer habits are being influenced and developed.

Lifetime fertility for Hispanic women has been 45-47 percent higher than for white non-Hispanic women. From 1987 to 2007, the number of Hispanic births in Arizona has increased 211 percent.

Latino Student Population

In the fall of 2008, 416,705 Latino students were enrolled in Arizona’s K-12 system. Hispanics accounted for 86 percent of total growth in school enrollment from 1998 to 2008. According to the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, by 2017-2018, Hispanic high school graduates in Arizona will exceed the number of white non-Hispanic high school graduates. This phenomenon has already occurred in New Mexico and California, and Arizona is clearly moving toward this milestone.

    By the Numbers
    Trends that matter

  • U.S. Hispanics control $951 billion in spending power and by 2013 this figure is projected to reach $1.386 trillion.
  • Young Hispanics will grow to be Arizona’s future workers, business owners, consumers, voters and civic leaders.
  • Along the way, they will have significant impacts on Arizona’s public education system, arts and culture scene, and economy.
  • Hispanics are wired and tech savvy. They already utilize the Internet for shopping, social networking, and news. Their use of new technologies will continue to increase.
  • Source: DATOS 2009
AZ Companies to Watch

Celebrating Second-Stage Entrepreneurial Companies

Presented by the Arizona Small Business Association in conjunction with the Edward Lowe Foundation

Gov. Jan Brewer

The businesses of the 2009 class of Comerica Bank Arizona Companies to Watch represent the determined, innovative spirit necessary to advance our great state. I am especially pleased to extend my congratulations and gratitude to this year’s recipients.

This prestigious recognition celebrates second-stage companies that employ from 10 to 100 people and generate between $750,000 and $100 million in gross annual revenue. These businesses are beyond the startup phase, possessing the capacity for significant growth, generating jobs and innovating new products and services. They make extraordinary contributions to our economy and to our communities.

The focus I have both as governor and as an Arizonan is where our state will be in the coming decade with regard to economic opportunities for our children and families — this is very real to me. Cultivating and sustaining stable jobs must be our highest priority. We must continue to take care of Arizona companies so they stay and grow jobs in our state.

Arizona, the nation and the world have been impacted by slowing economic conditions. It presents significant challenges — but also opportunity. Many of the companies we recognize today are seeing positive results. These companies are vital contributors to Arizona’s economic health and are critical to the well-being of the Arizona business community.

Arizona is a unique landscape ripe with opportunities for businesses. Please join me in honoring the 2009 Comerica Bank Arizona Companies to Watch recipients. We celebrate your current achievements and look forward to your future successes.

With appreciation,
Janice K. Brewer
Governor, State of Arizona

Edward Lowe Foundation

When Ed and I founded the Edward Lowe Foundation in 1985, we wanted to encourage entrepreneurship and a vibrant U.S. economy. In recent years, the foundation has concentrated its efforts on two key audiences: 1) Second-stage companies powered by entrepreneurs that have moved beyond the startup phase and are focused on growth issues rather than survival; and 2) entrepreneur support organizations (ESOs) that assist second-stage businesses and are the catalysts for growing their economies from the inside out by helping existing companies in the community.
To serve these audiences, we have developed a variety of tools and initiatives. In many ways, Companies to Watch creates a pipeline for these programs by identifying outstanding second-stage companies.

Celebration and recognition — Companies to Watch generates greater visibility in the marketplace, drawing attention to second-stage companies as a whole and to individual businesses. Honorees tell us that the program has boosted confidence levels for them with existing customers and suppliers. It has led to new opportunities for many firms. And for second-stage CEOs who spend so much time cheering on the troops, the award is a rare pat on their backs.

Life beyond the awards ceremony — Honorees have taken advantage of other Edward Lowe Foundation programs, such as our PeerSpectives roundtables and leader retreats at Big Rock Valley in Michigan. In fact, we’ve created a retreat format especially for Companies to Watch that gives newly named and past honorees a chance to meet and learn from each other.

Finding peers — This kind of networking is important because second-stage companies typically fly under the radar screen. By their very nature, second-stage entrepreneurs are fixated on their businesses, pressed for time and skeptical of joining groups. This makes it hard for them to find peers to share best practices.

It also make it difficult for ESOs to reach out to second-stagers. And even though many ESOs originally focused on startups, more organizations — such as the Arizona Small Business Association — are starting to target second-stage companies because of their immediate, sustainable impact on the economy. Through its application and nomination process, Companies to Watch helps ESOs discover new clients to serve, better assess their needs and tailor resources especially for these growing businesses.

What’s more, Companies to Watch creates a ready-made pool for researchers and policymakers to study second-stage entrepreneurs and track their impact. This is especially true in Arizona, which now counts four classes of honorees.

By helping second-stage entrepreneurs on their growth journey, and by helping ESOs expand their reach and capacity, the foundation hopes to be a catalyst for innovation and change. For even though Ed supported entrepreneurship broadly, he always believed that it was the second stage that was the greatest source of job creation. He would be delighted with the foundation’s focus on this important group, because the success of second-stage companies benefits not only the local communities i, n which they do business, but our entire nation.

Darlene Lowe
Edward Lowe Foundation


The Arizona Small Business Association (asba) is honored to present the 2009 Comerica Bank Arizona Companies to Watch awards program. The program celebrates second-stage entrepreneurs and is done in association with the Edward Lowe Foundation. A special thank you to all our sponsors, including the event title sponsor, Comerica Bank.

Congratulations to this year’s remarkable honorees. This award is given to high-performing, second-stage businesses that boost economic growth and generate jobs in Arizona. It highlights the significant impact of second-stage companies on the state’s economy.

Over a four-year period ending in 2008, this year’s recipients have generated nearly $630 million in revenue and added 460 employees, a 148-percent increase in revenue and an 83-percent increase in jobs. That translates into 36 percent annual revenue growth and 23 percent annual growth in employees since 2005. If 2009 projections hold, these companies will have generated $849 million in revenue and added 559 employees in five years.

This has been a tough year for many businesses. There are many attributes that contribute to a company’s success. Perhaps the most important reason for small businesses’ survival is flexibility. When course correction needs to be made, small companies can pivot quickly. This ability to rapidly adapt and deploy new strategies often affords them a competitive edge over their larger corporate counterparts.

On behalf of all the members, staff and board of directors at asba, we extend our enthusiastic congratulations. We admire your courage, creativity and resiliency in these challenging times. Thank you for making Arizona a more vibrant place to work and live.

All the best,
Donna Davis
Chief Executive Officer
Arizona Small Business Association