Tag Archives: november-december 2011

Hampton Inn & Suites Scottsdale - AZRE Magazine November/December 2011

Hospitality: Hampton Inn & Suites Scottsdale

Hampton Inn & Suites Scottsdale

Hampton Inn & Suites Scottsdale - AZRE Magazine November/December 2011Developer: HCW Scottsdale, LLC
General contractor: Summit Builders
Architect: Butler, Rosenbury & Partners
Location: 9550 E. Indian Bend Rd., Scottsdale
Size: 64,544 SF

The project is a 4-story, 101-guest room hotel on a 2.72-acre site. Amenities will include an outdoor pool, fitness and business centers, and meeting/conference rooms. Subcontractors include Helix Electric, Ron Kendall Masonry, Noble Steel, Masco Framing, Apodaca Wall Systems and Red Oak. Expected completion is 1Q 2012.

Construction Project - AZRE Magazine November/December 2011

Construction Project News

Construction project news from Phoenix College, McCarthy Building Companies, CyrusOne, D.L. Withers Construction and more.

Phoenix College remodeling work includes student union

Construction Projects - AZRE Magazine November/December 2011Addition and remodeling work to the existing Hannelly Student Center continues at Phoenix College. The main construction project is remodeling of the Learning Center Building into a student union with an exterior patio. Work includes 45,650 SF of remodeling and 13,000 SF. Expected completion of the $16.8M project is 3Q 2012. D.L. Withers is the general contractor; RNL Design is the architect.

McCarthy projects include solar station, new school building

McCarthy Building Companies is completing construction of the 145-acre Cotton Center Solar Station in Gila Bend. The $14.3M project involves installation of the largest (18 mw) photovoltaic ground-mounted solar tracking system in Arizona. Installation includes PV racking system, modules and electrical system. The 75,000 solar panels are arranged in 1,566 rows connected to 108 single-axis trackers. On sunny days the construction project is expected to produce enough energy for 4,500 residential customers. Developer is SOLON Corporation and APS. Subcontractors include Blount Contracting, Buesing Corp., Schuff Steel, Ironco, and Delta Diversified. Expected completion is late 4Q 2011.  … McCarthy completed a new, 2-story, 67,000 SF building that houses 32 classrooms, a library, dining room and administrative offices at Aguilar Elementary School in Tempe. HDA was the architect for the $11.6M renovation project. Subcontractors: E&K of Phoenix, Kortman Electric, Maverick Masonry, Midstate Mechanical, Schuff Steel, Progressive Roofing and Suntec Concrete.

1 MSF data center scheduled to break ground in 2012

CyrusOne, a data center colocation provider, plans to build a 1 MSF facility in Chandler with construction set to begin in 2012 and completion expected by early 2013. CBRE helped complete the sale of a 40-acre parcel at Continuum, a 152-acre master-planned science and technology business park located in the Price Corridor. This facility will serve as the primary location for CyrusOne’s West Coast colocation operations, targeting the Northern and Southern California markets. Luke Walker, David Carder and Nick Di Paolo of CBRE’s Phoenix office represented the seller, Capital Commercial Investments Inc. of Austin, Texas. CyrusOne was represented by Mark Bauer of Jones Lang LaSalle in Phoenix.

D.L. Withers to build MCSO 911 call center

D.L. Withers Construction will begin work on the $80M, 120,000-140,000 SF Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office 911 Dispatch Center and Administration Building in 2Q 2012. The 5- to 7-story building  at the SWC of 5th Ave. and Madison in Phoenix will house the 911 dispatch center and consolidate MCSO administrative functions.  Architect is Gabor Lorant Architects. Expected completion is 3Q 2013.

DPR wraps up renovation at Hospice of Arizona

Construction Projects - AZRE Magazine November/December 2011DPR Construction completed a 12,064 SF renovation of a one-story unoccupied building and existing site area for Hospice of Arizona in Mesa. The interior build-out included 13 resident/patient rooms, staff support and administrative spaces, family gathering areas, a cafe, outdoor courtyard and a commercial kitchen. The Greenfield Comfort Garden, a feature of the exterior site, honors former Arizona Gov. Rose Mofford. Projects DPR is completing in 4Q 2011: Willis TI, Scottsdale, 24,992 SF; West Valley Medical Center PACU renovation, Goodyear, 3,500 SF; SARRC Vocational & Life Skills Academy TI, Phoenix, 10,159 SF; and Merkel Corp. TI, Scottsdale, 25,804 SF.

Mortenson selected for 3 projects on NAU campus

Mortenson Construction has been awarded three projects on the Northern Arizona University campus in Flagstaff, including a new Science & Health Building and major renovation to the Multipurpose Events Center. The $55M, 120,000 SF Greenfield Science & Health Building will add new teaching and research labs and classrooms. Expected completion is 3Q 2014. The $18.5M events center project is a major renovation of the 94,000 SF NAU Fieldhouse into a multipurpose center. Work includes space reconfiguration, structural repairs, a new west entrance and new acoustics and lighting. Expected completion is 1Q 2013. A $3.5M renovation to the Lab 17 building includes HVAC balancing and fire and life safety updates. Expected completion is 4Q 2011.

Pegasus Construction completes TI in Goodyear building

Pegasus Construction completed a $140,000, 2,800 SF tenant improvement of an existing building at 1380 N. Litchfield Road in Goodyear for New Orleans-based Naked Pizza. The project includes a kitchen and customer area for takeout and delivery, an open office area to train kitchen staff and a conference room. The building will eventually become the local corporate office for Naked Pizza. Architect was Reece Angell Rowe Architects. Subcontractors included Uniko Glass and Mirror, Sunset Acoustics, Northwest Floor & Wall, JJJ Electric, Freedom Fire Protection, Diamondback Builders Services, Commercial Service Company, Banker Insulation, AZ Professional Painting, ABBA Aire and Mountainview Flooring.

Kraus-Anderson breaks ground on multi-family project

The Phoenix office of Kraus-Anderson Construction Company broke ground on a 17,176 SF supportive housing project at 1140 E. 5th Ave. in Mesa. The 18-unit accessible apartment complex will serve low-income individuals with physical disabilities. The multi-family building will include 14 one-bedroom units, four two-bedroom units, resident parking and a community building. The complex is located in an infill site and will feature landscaping using native species, pedestrian paths leading through the 2-acre, three-building site, and underground storm water infiltration system. Expected completion is 1Q 2012.

STG Design, MT Builders complete retirement community

Construction was completed recently on the 176,332 SF, $17M Alta Vista Retirement Community in Prescott. STG Design provided architectural services and MT Builders was the general contractor. The project consists of two senior living communities linked by a shared 14,000 SF recreation center. There are 44 units of assisted living and 88 units of independent living. The development is situated on a 6-acre parcel with a view of the mountain ranges that surround Prescott.

On the drawing board

Scottsdale-based AZ Sourcing LLC is planning to build a 1.5 MSF business center in Casa Grande to be named Phoenix Mart. Colliers International has been hired to sign up prospective tenants. The proposed $150M project will include a convention center. Tenants will sell merchandise ranging from consumer products, automotive products and food. … An apartment complex in Scottsdale is being proposed by a local developer who plans to demolish the old Barcelona nightclub at 73rd St. and Greenway-Hayden Loop. Plans by Scottsdale Place LLC call for a four-story, 240-unit apartment complex at the site. …  LWI Advisory Group of Del Mar, Calif., has submitted plans to the City of Gilbert for a 382-unit apartment complex near SanTan Village. The proposed complex is near the SWC of Ray Rd. and SanTan Village Parkway.

Tucson Resorts - AZ Business Magazine November/December 2011

World-Class Tucson Resorts Are Diamonds In The Desert

Diamonds in the desert: World-class Tucson resorts offer a wide range of amenities for romance or family fun

By Michael Truelsen and Teresa Truelsen

The Valley of the Sun is peppered with destinations for weekend getaways, but sometimes a drive down the 51, 101 or 202 doesn’t put enough distance between you and your daily grind.

If you want more “away” in your getaway, head south on Interstate 10 to Tucson. The Old Pueblo, with its Southwestern flavor and character, is rich with places to relieve the stress of the work week. Whether your agenda includes romance or family fun, the perfect resort is waiting just down the road.

“The tone will be casual, relaxed, and friendly versus the frenzy of activity you might find in Phoenix,” says Jessica Stephens, director of communications and public relations at the Metropolitan Tucson Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The Arizona Inn

Tucson Resorts: The Arizona InnFor a real taste of Tucson and its charm, settle in at the Arizona Inn (2200 E. Elm Street,  (520) 325-1541, arizonainn.com). Founded in 1930 by Arizona’s first congresswoman, Isabella Greenway, the Arizona Inn is on the National Register of Historic Places. This unassuming resort is tucked away in a residential area near the University of Arizona campus, which you can explore on a complimentary bicycle.

Relax in a casita-style room with a view of the tranquil central garden, while taking advantage of the Inn’s free WiFi. Finish your day with dinner in the AAA Four Diamond Award-winning dining room. Try the Arizona Inn Getaway package (starting at $499.50), which includes two nights accommodations, a fresh fruit basket and bottle of wine in your room, a three-course dinner for two, and breakfast for two each morning.

Westward Look Resort

In the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains, the Westward Look Resort (245 E. Ina Road, (800) 722-2500, westwardlook.com) offers another peek into Tucson’s past. The luxurious resort opened in the early 1900s. Its 80 acres are home to three pools, tennis courts, nature trails, stables, a full-service spa and the award-winning GOLD restaurant, where the chef prepares meals with foods grown in the resort’s garden.

Once a month, Westward Look’s Cooking with the Chef program allows visitors to spend a day with executive chef James Wallace, learn about the Chef’s Garden, share a lunch made with the freshest ingredients, and take home recipes from the master. Get in the saddle with the Trail’s End Horseback Riding Package (starting at $480), which includes two guided horseback rides, dinner for two at Lookout Bar & Grill, and a fiesta basket fit for a vaquero with beer, chips and salsa.

Loews Ventana Canyon

Tucson Resorts: Loews Ventana CanyonAt the east end of the Catalina Mountain foothills, Loews Ventana Canyon Resort (7000 N. Resort Dr., (800) 234-5117, loewshotels.com) has been collecting awards for years, including the AAA Four Diamond for 25 consecutive years. This pet-friendly destination will pamper you and your pooch or kitty. With two golf courses, two pools, hiking trails, five places to grab a bite and a full-service spa, there’s plenty to fill a weekend.

Want to really pamper Fluffy? No problem. Ventana Canyon’s Woofie Weekend package offers accommodations for you and your pet, a “Wag Your Tail Delight” meal for your pet that is delivered to your room, a luxury pet mat, a bowl, mat and tags. And the resort waives the $25 pet cleaning fee. Woof!

Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa

Tucson Resorts: Westin La Paloma Resort & SpaIn celebration of its 25th anniversary, the Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa (3800 E. Sunrise Dr., (520) 742-6000, westinlapalomaresort.com) is offering a great deal. This award-winning resort boasts five pools, a 177-foot water slide, a Jack Nicklaus signature golf course, the Red Door Spa, award-winning chef Janos Wilder’s J-Bar, plus great activities for the kids.

Enjoy all this through Dec. 31, with two nights at the resort’s best rate, the third night is $19.86, in honor of the year La Paloma opened. The anniversary deal also includes 25 percent off throughout the resort and spa.

JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort

Hit the links, the spa or both at one of the more recent additions to Tucson’s resort lineup. You won’t see JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa (3800 W. Starr Pass Blvd., (520) 792-3500, jwmarriottstarrpass.com), until you round the bend. With its emerald Arnold Palmer golf courses, it’s a jewel tucked into the rocky Tucson Mountains on the city’s west side.

The Hashani Spa offers traditional massage and skin care to more exotic Ayurvedic treatments. It’s perfect after a day on the golf course. Bring the kids and make it a family weekend with the Starr Pass Family Fling and Swing Package (starting at $149 per night,), which includes unlimited rounds of golf for up to four people, free meals for kids 12 and younger, plus use of the pools, Lazy River and Monsoon Falls water slide.

Ritz Carlton Dove Mountain

If it’s relaxation and golf you want – although some might say golf is the opposite of relaxation – try the Ritz Carlton Dove Mountain (15000 North Secret Springs Drive, Marana, (520) 572-3000, ritzcarlton.com). In the beautiful Tortolita Mountains northwest of Tucson, Dove Mountain’s courses are highly regarded. It is home of the Accenture Match Play Championship, attracting the likes of Tiger Woods, Geoff Ogilvy and Stewart Cink.

Play 18 holes on the Jack Nicklaus course, enjoy a 50-minute massage or facial, and get breakfast the next day with the Sonoran Golf and Spa Adventure (starting at $589 per night with a two-night minumum). Or go all out on the links with the Unlimited Golf package (starting at $439 for two people per night). That offer provides unlimited golf, use of all golf practice facilities, and unlimited use of a golf cart. Or skip the golf altogether and indulge in two 50-minute massages with the Signature Spa Deal.

Other resorts to consider:

Omni Tucson National Golf Resort and Spa

2727 W. Club Dr.
(520) 297-2271
omnihotels.com

Hilton El Conquistador Golf & Tennis Resort

10000 N. Oracle Rd.
(520) 544-5000
hiltonelconquistador.com

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For more information about these Tucson resorts:

arizonainn.com
westwardlook.com
loewshotels.com
westinlapalomaresort.com
jwmarriottstarrpass.com
ritzcarlton.com
omnihotels.com
hiltonelconquistador.com

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Arizona Business Magazine November/December 2011

 

Architecutral Achievements - AZRE Magazine November/December 2011

Architectural Achievements – Arizona's Centennial

Arizona’s Architectural Achievements

Masterpieces of style and design have graced Arizona’s diverse landscape for the past 100 years.

Maybe it’s the year-round beautiful weather, or perhaps the diversity of the state itself. No matter the reason, Arizona has undeniably mastered architectural innovation and splendor.

Over the past 100 years, buildings of every purpose and design have decorated city skylines and added artistic elements to the already magnificent desert. Achieving both visual superiority and sustainability, architectural achievements in Arizona range from remote chapels to huge office complexes. AZRE’s Centennial Series celebrates the end of commemorating the past 100 years by honoring these truly remarkable accomplishments.

Sandra Day O’Connor U.S. Courthouse
Architect: Richard Meier
Year: 2000

The Sandra Day O’Connor U.S. Courthouse is hard to miss with a six-story wall of glass splendor. The courthouse’s drum-shaped special proceedings courtroom follows the glass trend with a circular-lens ceiling. This modern architectural achievement reflects a monochrome and sleek style of construction. Most impressively, the courthouse integrates an innovative cooling system in order for climate control. This evaporative system brings outside air into the atrium and under the roof, where it travels to the courthouse block.

Architectural Achievements - AZRE Magazine November/December 2011Burton Barr Library
Architect: Bruder and DWL Architects
Year: 1995

With 280,000 SF distributed over five levels, the Burton Barr Library is a grand sight. Unique architectural touches throughout the library are influenced by both nature and trends in global design. The building’s shape is inspired by Monument Valley’s scenic beauty, with a curving copper mesa split by a stainless steel canyon. A spacious atrium with nine skylights known as The Crystal Canyon allows for the flow of natural sunlight. Shade sails fashioned by sail makers in Maine and accents of bright blue Venetian plaster establish a one-of-a-kind feel for visitors. A “floating ceiling” suspended by cables over the Great Reading Room creates a special ambience that cannot be replicated.

Architectural Achievements - AZRE Magazine November/December 2011Taliesin West
Architect: Frank Lloyd Wright
Year: 1937

Famous for his fusion of artistic beauty and practical functionality, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West is no exception. Originally designed as Wright’s winter home, studio and architectural campus, Taliesin West is headquarters for the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. Located in northeast Scottsdale, it brings life and light to the foothills with an integration of indoor and outdoor spaces. Dramatic terraces, gardens and walkways overlooking the Sonoran Desert connect all parts of Taliesin West in a scenic fashion. As the sun sets and nighttime approaches, its structures are lit from within to produce a breathtakingly luminous effect.

Architectural Achievements - AZRE Magazine November/December 2011Luhrs Building
Architect: Trost & Trost
Year: 1924

Located in Downtown Phoenix, the 10-story Luhrs Building was designed by the El Paso architectural firm Trost & Trost. Following its construction, the top four floors were reserved for the Arizona Club, including a dining room, lounges, bedrooms and other conveniences for members. It provided space for the Arizona Club until 1971. Floors below were leased as office space. The building is uniquely L-shaped and covered with brown brick on its exterior. Elaborate marble detailing decorates the uppermost two floors, and a heavy cornice sets off the top. The Luhrs Building continues to be one of Downtown Phoenix’s most memorable buildings, and serves as a landmark for the city’s past.

Architectural Achievements - AZRE Magazine November/December 2011The Arizona Biltmore
Architect: Albert Chase McArthur
Year: 1929

Crowned “The Jewel of the Desert,” the Arizona Biltmore is the sole existing hotel to have a Frank Lloyd Wright-influenced design. Upon its construction, the hotel represented luxury and extravagance. A geometric pattern in the building resembling a palm tree, fine furniture, carpets and murals are some of the Biltmore’s defining amenities. Constant renovations and additions, including a 20,000 SF spa, have kept the hotel an oasis for celebrities, politicians and world travelers. It recently received the Urban Land Institute’s “Heritage Award of Excellence” for architectural superiority as well as overall quality of service.

Architectural Achievements - AZRE Magazine November/December 2011Chapel of the Holy Cross
Architect: Anshen & Allen
Year: 1956

This spiritual structure serves as a landmark not only in Sedona, but for all of Arizona. Marguerite Bruswig Staude was inspired to design a place of worship as thanks to her creator. After traveling to Europe with her husband in hope of finding the ideal place, she returned to the U.S. where Sedona’s beauty overtook her. Perched on a twin pinnacle spur jutting out from a 1,000-foot wall of rock, the Chapel sits surrounded by red mountains. The Chapel has been maintained by the Diocese of Phoenix and St. John Vianney parish since 1969.

Architectural Achievements - AZRE Magazine November/December 2011Farmer Studios
Architect: Architekton
Year: 2004

Farmer Studios continuously proves to be the epitome of a sustainable building. The economical “flex” creates a pedestrian environment between Tempe and the Sunset/Riverside residential area. Every aspect of functionality was taken into consideration with the design. Retail, office and residential studios are all possibilities for this truly flexible space. With a “gravel pave” parking system to reduce the heat island effect, a sunken courtyard for rainwater retention and custom shade devices for sun protection, Farmer Studios is a prototypical example of modern sustainability.

Architectural Achievements - AZRE Magazine November/December 2011Arcosanti
Architect: Paolo Soleri
Year: 1970-present

The experimental town of Arcosanti developed by Paolo Soleri combines architecture and ecology like never before through “arcology.” This innovative project, some 70 miles north of Phoenix, demonstrates ways to improve an urban atmosphere while minimizing environmental damage. Arcosanti is both visually and scientifically impressive, projecting a practical yet unique way of living. Greenhouses in Arcosanti not only provide garden space, but also serve as solar collectors. Apartments, businesses, production, technology, open space and studios are all included in the town, offering a complex and creative environment for visitors.

Architectural Achievements - AZRE Magazine November/December 2011University of Arizona Stevie Eller Dance Theatre
Architect: Gould Evans
Year: 2003

Honored with a 2003 Citation Award from AIA Arizona, the Stevie Eller Dance Theatre is an architectural treasure in Tucson. This 28,600 SF complex on the University of Arizona campus boasts a 300-seat theatre, orchestra pit, an outdoor stage, fly tower and control suite, catwalks and indoor/outdoor lobby, as well as scene and costume shops. A unique glass box located on the second floor functions as a display window to the outdoor campus mall. Dancers’ shadows are visible moving from the catwalk to the dance studio, portraying the importance of movement.

Architectural Achievements - AZRE Magazine November/December 2011Prayer Pavilion of Light
Architect: DeBartalo Architects
Year: 2007

This tranquil chapel welcomes visitors from all over Phoenix. A true “place of light,” the structure is a 2,500 SF glass box bordered by courtyards. Providing extensive views of the city, the chapel appears to glow brightly at night and can be seen from miles away. DeBartalo Architects intentionally isolated the building on a hill to create serenity. The zigzagging path leading to the pavilion is lined with tall steel plates, creating a unique tunnel effect. A reflection pool and enormous steel cross serve as defining features for the Prayer Pavilion of Light, making every visit one of visual superiority.

AZRE Magazine November/December 2011

Raven Events, NetworkingPhoenix.com - AZ Business Magazine November/December 2011

Raven Events, NetworkingPhoenix.com Promote Face-to-Face Networking

Raven Events, NetworkingPhoenix.com Promote Business-to-Business Events, Face-to-Face Networking

Many business owners have embraced Facebook and Twitter as a way to build virtual relationships with their customers.

“As far as social media goes, I think it has allowed people to believe that they can (network) very easily, and that they can do it well,” says Raven Valdes, owner of Raven Events.

But are those businesses’ face-to-face networking skills up to par? Two networking powerhouses, Raven Events and NetworkingPhoenix.com, help make networking easy by providing a means to navigate and filter through the hundreds of available mixers, as well as providing their own business-to-business (B2B) networking events.

Gelie Akhenblit, founder of NetworkingPhoenix.com, says although the ease of online networking has made global communication possible, people are more interested in doing business with others in their community.

NetworkingPhoenix.com is an online resource for the Valley business networking community listing more than 500 events with more than 18,000 registered members.
“People ask me if I think my business will change once the economy recovers,” Akhenblit says. “Face-to-face networking will never go out of style. Networking will always be the No. 1 way to find jobs, clients and meet key people.”

These B2B networking mixers provide a platform where like-minded individuals can make their introductions in hopes to build long-lasting relationships, according to Valdes.

“To all of the exhibiting businesses at my networking events, I encourage them all the time to be proactive,” Valdes says. “There’s not problem with walking up to somebody, shaking their hands, telling them who you are, what you’re about, and why they need to know you.”

While talking business is important, Akhenblit emphasizes that gaining clients and referrals is made through building friendships, instead of treating networking events as sales opportunities, which she says is not true networking.

Valdes emphasizes the personal, human aspect of face-to-face, B2B mixers and networking events that emailing, Facebook and Twitter can’t provide.

“(B2B networking events) are beneficial because there’s still nothing more important than the handshake or looking to somebody’s eyes,” Valdes says. “You can’t really evolve that kind of confidence through any other way, without this face to face.”

Both NetworkingPhoenix.com and Raven Events, which has a mailing list of more than 35,000 people, have witnessed an increase in attendance for the three and nine years they have been in business, respectively. NetworkingPhoenix.com’s Signature Event, held four times a year, attracts more than 1,500 networkers. Raven Events, holds social and B2B events with attendance ranging from 400 to 1,500 people.

According to Akhenblit, B2B mixers also provide a way to save time scheduling many meetings a week, as well as getting valuable feedback about your business.

“Talking to people out and about is a great way to gather research,” Akhenblit says. “People are happy to share their opinions about our company, our products, their experiences, etc.”

Valdes adds that networking events are not only providing an outlet to build friendships, connections and possible business, but they are also supporting the local economy.

“Raven Events is not only bringing fun, effective events to people of the Valley, but it is also hiring entertainers,” Valdes says. “I hire photographers, DJs, bands and others in the industry — even comedians and magicians. I market and brand them throughout my process of the event, and the participating exhibitors within the event, too.”

For a calendar of upcoming face-to-face networking events and B2B mixers, visit RavenEvents.com or NetworkingPhoenix.com.

 

Arizona Business Magazine November/December 2011

 

Law Firms Report Stability In Financial Industry

Law Firms, Lawyers See Stability in Financial Industry

As Arizona struggles to recover from a struggling economy, law firms are seeing a rise in the number of complaints filed in relation to banks and loans.

Arizona lawyers have specifically seen an increasing number of claims involving commercial real estate and foreclosures.

This indicates to lawyers that banks are stable and will maintain stability if they continue to stay on top of these loans and claims.

Brad Vynalek, partner at Quarles & Brady, says that banking cases are trending upward in number, and have become extremely common in most practices.

If law firms didn’t have financial loan departments in the past, they do now. Small and mid-size firms are expanding to include departments to handle loans.

Vynalek routinely deals with financial cases, and represents banks in various aspects of the litigation process, either as the defendant or plaintiff. He has represented banks in enforcement actions against borrowers and guarantors, lender liability defense, fair market value hearings and trustee’s sales.

About 50 percent of the cases Quarles & Brady takes on involve financial institutions in some way.

“It’s purely a function and a reflection of the market,” Vynalek says. “We’ve seen more cases involving banks than we have over the last five years and will continue to see an increase.”

Some of the most common banking cases that are popping up are cases involving loans against borrowers on large commercial properties.

Often, the people and companies who have defaulted just don’t have the resources to pay the loans back. For commercial properties that had many tenants and now have very few, it can be difficult to come up with the money to pay the lender back.

Law firms are also seeing a growth in the number of counterclaims that borrowers are filing. The counterclaims are usually geared towards dragging out litigations.

Banks are stable because they are staying firm on settling loan delinquencies. Banks want to be able to give out loans to help stimulate the economy, but in order to do that they have to follow up with the loans in default.

“Consumers should know that banks are committed to trying to make this a better economic climate,” Vynalek says. “Banks have to enforce the loans in their books, and banks will do better as the economy does better.”

Banks will continue to play a key role in the economy as they begin to sell the commercial real estate they have obtained through foreclosures.

“I think that there are a lot of banks with significant portfolios of foreclosed properties that haven’t even hit the real estate market yet,” Vynalek says. “They’ve got to sell the inventory of foreclosed homes and commercial real estate properties.”

Jennifer Dioguardi, partner at Snell & Wilmer, has also seen a significant increase in banking cases involving commercial properties.

“A lot of commercial real estate properties are under water,” Dioguardi says. “They have a high vacancy rate, which means they’re not generating enough cash flow to pay the note.”

In cases involving commercial real estate and delinquent loans, lawyers work to help the bank achieve an agreement, either by pursuing payments or working out other options with the borrowers behind closed doors.

Dioguardi regularly handles litigation involving the representation of national and local banks, mortgage lenders, and credit card issuers. She has an emphasis on banking, commercial, financial services and securities litigation.

Specifically, Snell & Wilmer has seen an increase in litigation matters brought against mortgage lenders and services by homeowners.

In these cases, the homeowners file documents to challenge the various aspect of loans or the foreclosure process in order to have their homes avoid being foreclosed upon.

Many of the documents being filed by homeowners are loan modifications or restraining orders to stop trustee’s sales, and oftentimes the allegations in the complaint do not have legal value; however, when loan modifications are appropriate, banks are taking care of them.

According to Dioguardi, it has become common for homeowners to go online, gather information and represent themselves. Many of the arguments posed online don’t have any actual legal merit, so homeowners fail to stop the foreclosures.

Banks are forced to follow up on loans in default to ensure the industry stay stable. If banks don’t take ownership of their finances, the result of many delinquent loans can be detrimental to the bank itself.

If banks aren’t making money or receiving money back from loans, they can fail and be closed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

Arizona had 11 failed banks from 2009 to 2011, according to the FDIC failed bank list.
Dioguardi isn’t expecting that number to skyrocket over the next year.

“We can anticipate some additional bank failures in the next year or so, but I think the vast majority will weather the crisis,” Dioguardi says. “There will always be a need for banking services.”

Despite increasing regulation, banks have continued to remain a working part of the economy, and are focused on helping borrowers to their fullest extent.

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For more information about the law firms mentioned in this story, visit:

quarles.com
swlaw.com

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Arizona Business Magazine November/December 2011

 

Working Internationally - AZRE Magazine November/December 2011

Working Internationally: Designs on the International Market

AIA Arizona members are bringing their skills to the global stage by working internationally.

From Tucson to Phoenix, the rush and excitement of working internationally has hit Arizona architectural firms. With projects in a range of countries from China to France, AIA Arizona  members are bursting upon the global scene and blazing a trail of innovation and expertise in a once untapped market.

The following firms, with niche expertise and wide reaching diversification, are some of the ones to watch.

Vision at Orcutt|Winslow

Working Internationally - AZRE Magazine November/December 2011Vision and high-tech presentation made the difference for architects at Orcutt|Winslow. Though they were able to make initial contact with investors in India, through personal contacts, Vispi Karanjia explains that it was their renderings and video that set them apart from their competitors.

“When proposing this project we went over and above what the client was expecting and that is what gave us the success,”  Karanjia says.

There are two reasons that Karanjia says he believes American companies, specifically Orcutt|Winslow, can be successful in countries such as India.

One is vision and the ability to present that vision expertly. One visit to Orcutt|Winslow’s website will allow you to see that vision in the stunning video that highlights the Sahana Pride at Sion project the firm currently is taking from vision to reality. This high-rise luxury residential building is currently in the works and will meet the needs of India’s growing economy.

The second reason Karanjia gives for success in the international market is the growing need for countries such as India, China and even Brazil.

“As the people are exposed to a rise in disposable income and success they have a increased need and desire for a better lifestyle, better housing and infrastructure,” Karanjia says.

This is where companies such as Orcutt|Winslow can find opportunities. Karanjia explains that though Mumbai has a need for more building, sometimes it is difficult to find architects who are not generalized in India.

“Our company offers expertise and specialization that is sometimes hard to find,”  he says. Which is what opens the door to the International arena.

Building Bridges

For Eddie Jones, principal, at Jones Studio, working internationally is more about getting “a much better perspective of what we all share.”  For his firm and its projects in China and on our own border with Mexico, the opportunity to work internationally is an opportunity to embrace a philosophy of respect for the “dignity of everyone.”

A major border project, the Mariposa Land Port of Entry, is an effort by Jones Studio to build a bridge in international commerce. An area of contention in Arizona and one that has a huge impact on both international relations and homeland security, the Mariposa Land Port of Entry is an international project that poses more challenges than most.

Jones asserts that his studio endeavored to create a welcoming space that minimizes fear and apprehension. In an area that is surrounded by desolation, Jones Studio created a garden of respite.

Jones Studio is committed to creating spaces that people can both live in efficiently and enjoy. The studio’s dedication to opening communication lines across political boundaries is true to a global mindset. Something that is surely needed as the world becomes smaller and communication becomes pivotal to the future of the U.S. economy.

Scientific Expertise

In the arenas of forensic science and laboratory research, the design team at SmithGroup is a leader in architectural innovation.  International governments and universities alike seek the expertise of SmithGroup’s Arizona office to design high quality research labs.

“The international community looks to us as global experts in forensic and medical laboratory design,” explains SmithGroup’s Arizona leader, Mike Medici.

In a stunning effort, SmithGroup designed the largest forensic science facility in the world in Toronto. International governments are beginning to look to emulate the forensic science standards found in the U.S. and SmithGroup is on the cutting edge of such design, poised to take the lead in this growing market.

In addition to the forensic science laboratories, medical facilities and university research labs are at the top of SmithGroup’s international projects list. At Pohang University of Science and Technology in South Korea, the firm is designing a digital research facility and the university’s first science and tech lab for marine biology.

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www.owp.com
www.jonesstudioinc.com
www.smithgroup.com

Read about AIA’s Sharing Success here.

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AZRE Magazine November/December 2011

AIA Arizona - AZRE Magazine November/December 2011

AIA Arizona: Sharing Success

AIA Arizona members thriving and forging ahead with diverse projects.

Despite tough economic times, there are innovative architectural firms and members of AIA Arizona that are thriving and pushing ahead in a shallow market pool. There are many reasons these firms are doing well, some of which may be surprising.

Open to Risk and Flexibility

One thing most successful firms can agree upon is that being open to taking risks with both design and in diverse markets, is a major key to staying busy in a slow economy. Kim Fernandez of ABA-Architects details that, “you have to be a risk taker and push for the growth of the firm.”

Additionally, Eddie Jones of Jones Studio asserts that his firm’s success comes from being open to new opportunities when they present themselves and successful firms a have a sort of “fearlessness,” in accepting diverse projects. Andrew McCance of Andrew A McCance, Architect took the biggest risk when he went out on his own three years ago.

“I started my company on my own three years ago and I am still here and working,” he says. The risk takers in architecture seem to be those who are leading the way in success during this tough economy.

In addition to taking risks, firms must be flexible with how they approach business. Those who are flexible are often able to maneuver into an optimal and timely position.

Mike Medici of SmithGroup explains that one way his firm is staying successful is by being at the right place in the market at the right time. Fernandez has also found that a need to tap markets her firm  would not have gone to in the past is important. She asserts that firms really need to go for the work and expand their circle.

ABA-Architects in Tucson has ventured to Arizona’s neighbor, New Mexico, to find some success in the Southwest part of that state. The DLR Group is finding flexibility in staffing by being able to utilize its Arizona talent pool to balance with its national offices in a work share agreement.

Tom O’Neil, principal at DLR Group says, “This way we can keep talented people and keep tax-paying employees in Arizona.” This flexibility has proven lucrative for firms proving that flowing with the market can provide success even when that market is flowing a bit slower than the industry would like.

Sustainability

A major driving force in finding new business opportunities is sustainability. With the Architect 2030 initiative, which challenges the building community to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero by the year 2030, as a guide, many firms are striving toward green building practices as never before.

“Sustainability is a driving force with government and university projects because they are looking at usable facilities for long stretches of time,” Medici explains. “Thirty or 50 years into the future they want to still be able to utilize their space efficiently.”

SmithGroup’s work with the University of Hawaii at Hilo proves this dedication with a design that integrates harmoniously with the surrounding landscape. Another design firm driven by the 2030 initiative is DLR Group. O’Neil explains that “energy modeling” is paramount in sustainability helping drive new business and cut costs for clients.

Fernandez has also found that federal projects are one of the leading sources for her firm’s project proposals. These projects require builders to use sustainable practices and track those practices clearly. Additionally, Henry Tom with Line and Space tells of how its work with the San Diego National Wildlife Preserve (above) pushes the team to hold to its role as a leader in “resource-conserving design.”

He explains that much of its work puts the firm in contact with environmentalists who are working to preserve those areas and want their architecture to do the same.  The DLR Group’s Arizona office is in the building stages of a “near NetZero” elementary school in Paradise Valley, which is utilizing not only less energy but is striving toward sustainability with rainwater collection initiatives and other innovative strategies.

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www.aia-arizona.org
www.aba-architects.com
www.andrewmccance.com
www.dlrgroup.com
www.jonesstudioinc.com
www.lineandspace.com
www.smithgroup.com

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AZRE Magazine November/December 2011

Business Lending - AZ Business Magazine November/December 2011

Now Is The Right Time For Business Lending, Financial Banking

Now is the Right Time for Business Lending, Financial Banking

Now might be the right time for businesses looking for financial backing to reach out to banks to help with plans for expansion and growth.

“When small businesses are given the tools to grow, that means growth for the economy,” says Craig P. Doyle, Arizona regional president of Comerica Bank. “We have the ability to provide capital to those businesses that can grow.”

The status of business lending in Arizona has been in question during a tough economy, but the reaction from Arizona banking representatives has been similar across the board: banks are lending, and the number of loans issued has increased over the past year.

Most banks in Arizona have weathered the economic crisis fairly well, and have had the ability to continue to make loans.

Dean Rennell, a regional president at Wells Fargo Bank says he has seen a steady improvement in business lending over the past year.

During that period Wells Fargo extended approximately $14.9 billion in loans to small businesses nationwide, a 13 percent increase over the year before.

In Arizona alone, Rennell says he has seen Wells Fargo’s lending increase 15 percent over the past year.

“Borrowers are showing improved financial performance,” Rennell says. “That means they’ve adjusted to what people are calling the ‘new normal,’ and they’ve diversified and become more efficient.”

Rennell is seeing a significant amount of loans from small businesses looking to buy competitors or real estate, or expand the company.

Companies that had cut back on expenses are now starting to invest in new equipment and technology that they had refrained from purchasing in the past.

“We’re seeing expansion requests and some businesses are taking advantage of the opportunities they see in the marketplace,” Rennell says.

Arizona banks have been able to lend during the recession because Arizona has a large number of companies that are well managed and credit-worthy, experts say.

“Most banks in Arizona are capitalized and have enough liquidity and capacity to make loans,” says Curt Hansen, executive vice president of the National Bank of Arizona. “There are a lot of well-run large and small banks, and Arizona is a good market long-term.”

When looking at possible loans, banks still desire the same qualifications they have in the past, such as a good track record, a strong management team and an ability to weather tough times.

The biggest difference now is that banks are paying more attention to the actual documents required for the loan.

“Bankers are looking at borrower’s ability to withstand short-term shocks and the borrower’s ability to repay the loans requesting,” Hansen says.

Lynne Herndon, city president at BBVA Compass, has seen an increasing number of loan requests coming from the small business segment.

“Almost 70 percent of business owners in Arizona belong to the smaller business segment, and that’s the segment where we’re seeing growth,” Herndon says. “Those entrepreneurs and business owners were cautious before and are beginning to venture out more.”

Most businesses large or small have some form of lending, whether it is a line of credit, equipment loan or real estate loan. Lines of credit are necessary for companies to continue to operate, and many companies are renewing the lines of credit they already have.

BBVA Compass Phoenix saw double-digit loan growth in 2010 of about 12 percent, and has seen about a 15 percent increase in 2011.

The only area where Herndon says he doesn’t see as many loans being issued is in real estate lending.

According to Herndon, the uncertainty in the Arizona housing market plays a huge role in the decline of real estate lending. People are still wondering if values have hit bottom.

“The economy is still a concern, and the political climate,” Herndon says. “Most of the companies and businesses here need a banking relationship in order to maintain and grow their company. The demand for loans is definitely increasing and I’m hopeful this trend will continue to improve.”

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For more information about business lending and financial backing, visit:

comerica.com
wellsfargo.com

nbarizona.com

bbvacompass.com

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Arizona Business Magazine November/December 2011

 

Arizona Bankers Association, Bankers Give Back - AZ Business Magazine November/December 2011

Arizona Bankers Association Impacts State’s Economy, Communities

Arizona Bankers Association Impacts State’s Economy, Communities

Ryan Suchala, Bank of Arizona, Arizona Bankers AssociationBank of Arizona President Ryan Suchala recognizes the importance of community.

“This is where we live, work and play and in many cases the city where we are shaping our families,” Suchala says. “As a father of three I give my time to better our community because this is where my boys will become men. Last year, Bank of Arizona employees spent close to 450 hours working in our community and I personally became a board member at Arizona Women Education and Employment.”

To show the Arizona banking industry’s impact on its communities, the Arizona Bankers Association (AzBA) produced a brochure titled “Arizona Banks Give Back.” The report provides a picture of the economic and charitable support the banking industry gives back to the communities it serves, and shows the influence banks have on Arizona’s economy.

Arizona Bankers Association is an organization with more than 70 members that works to create a unified voice and engage members in issues that affect the banking industry.

Lynne Herndon, city president at BBVA Compass“It’s clear the banking industry has been under a microscope the last few years,” says Lynne Herndon, city president of BBVA Compass. “We wanted to pull our information and be treated collectively as an industry to say we are looking to work with companies to help them with their financial needs.”

Arizona Bankers Association created the “Arizona Banks Give Back” survey in November 2010 to collect a variety of data from Arizona banks. The results were released in February 2011. The 12-page brochure includes statistical data that shows how banks provide financial and social stability in Arizona.

The banks that chose to participate in the survey felt that it provided a good opportunity to change the way people currently view banks. The biggest surprise to Paul Hickman, president and CEO of Arizona Bankers Association, was how high bank lending was in Arizona in 2010.

According to the survey results, Arizona banks lent $5.9 billion in new and renewed commercial loans, and more than $11 billion in new and renewed consumer loans in 2010.

“A lot of the feedback we’ve been getting is ‘Wow, I didn’t realize the volume of lending was that great in this economy,’” Hickman says.

The number is likely higher as only 35 AzBA-member institutions responded to the survey, which only represents 63 percent of the organization’s membership, and does not include information from non-member banks.

In today’s economy, banks are more cautious about lending, but the data proves that Arizona banks are continuing to lend to commercial businesses and consumers.

“We keep hearing banks won’t lend,” Hickman says. “But banks don’t make money if they don’t lend.”

Banks want to lend so they can pump money into Arizona’s economy.

Arizona banks provide direct loans to help the state government finance public improvements by improving water, sewer and public health facilities and by helping build schools.

Banks pay income tax to help support local communities as opposed to credit unions, which don’t pay federal income tax.

Arizona banks are also putting money into the economy by being a leading employer of local residents. Banks bring high-wage jobs to the local community, and employ more than 42,000 Arizonans.

Wells Fargo Bank was the fifth largest employer of Arizonans in 2010, and the average salary for an employee working at a bank was around $66,625 in 2010.

By providing jobs, banks provide a ripple effect in the community, because employees pay state taxes and are also consumers that put money back into local businesses.

Arizona banks are also doing more than just putting money into the economy. Members of Arizona banks are striving to aid their community through service.

According to the results from the Arizona Banks Give Back survey, bank employees donated 211,615 volunteer hours to community service in 2010, and donated $15.5 million to charitable and cultural organizations.

“Actions speak louder than words,” says Craig P. Doyle, Arizona regional president of Comerica Bank. “We get out and are active in making a difference in our communities. It’s better than just handing money out.”

To show their commitment to the communities they serve, Comerica employees work with nonprofits like Fresh Start Women’s Foundation, Homeward Bound, Junior Achievement, Sojourner Women’s Shelter, United Food Bank, Central AZ Shelter Services and many others.

An effort from Suchala and the Bank of Arizona helped improve literacy across the Valley.

“Last year, we hosted our annual Caring for Kids Book Drive and collected over 14,000 books for children and adults in our community,” Suchala says. “We educate with multiple employees teaching Junior Achievement programs and with educational programs to local school children. Our employees have worked together this past year sorting school supplies at the annual Salvation Army Pack to School Drive, serving food alongside Alice Cooper for the Cooperstown Christmas for Kids event and pounded nails at two Habitat for Humanity events.”

“These are good members of the community,” Hickman says. “These are people that are donating their money and time at philanthropies around the state and they’re trying hard to impart their discipline.”

Arizona banks participate in programs such as neighborhood revitalization, financial education and assistance for the underprivileged.

In 2008, Mohave State Bank created a program called “Junior Bankers.” Three years later, Mohave State bankers are still training children at Jamaica Elementary School in Lake Havasu about balancing accounts, taking deposits and bank rules. Volunteers meet each week with students before school. The program has expanded to three other elementary schools.

In 2010, the National Bank of Arizona donated one of its foreclosed homes in Glendale to Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona. The bank partnered with the organization to help renovate the property, and 118 people worked to build walls, paint and landscape the property.

Arizona banks are committed to helping the community both financially and through service, Hickman says.
“This industry is like the cardiovascular system of our economy and it needs to be robust and healthy,” Hickman says. “We don’t grow or recover without this industry.”

For more information about the Arizona Bankers Association, visit azbankers.org.

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Arizona Gives Back: By the Numbers

  • More than $5.9 billion distributed in commercial loans (new and renewed) in 2010
  • More than $11 billion distributed in consumer loans (new and renewed) in 2010
  • More than 1,300 banking center locations in Arizona
  • More than 42,000 people work for Arizona banks
  • $66,625 is the average bank employee salary

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Arizona Business Magazine November/December 2011

 

TOBY Awards - AZRE Magazine November/December 2011

BOMA Greater Phoenix TOBY Awards 2011

This year’s BOMA Greater Phoenix TOBY Awards were presented Sept. 9 at the Wyndham Phoenix Downtown.

AZRE Magazine would like to congratulate the 10 winners of this year’s BOMA Greater Phoenix TOBY Awards.

TOBY Awards - AZRE Magazine November/December 2011MEDICAL BUILDING
McAuley Medical Office
OWNED BY
LaSalle Investment Manager
MANAGED BY
Margaret Foster, Senior Real Estate
Manager, CBRE
Suburban Office Park Low-Rise
Target Financial Services Tempe
TOBY Awards - November/December 2011UNDER 100,000 SF
Mesquite Corporate Center
OWNED BY
Mesquite Partners I, LLC, A Division
Of DPC Development
MANAGED BY
Marie Dunn, RPA, Real Estate
Manager, CBRE
TOBY Awards - AZRE Magazine November/December 2011100,000-249,999 SF
US Airways Headquarters
OWNED BY
US Airways Inc.
MANAGED BY
Darwyn Harp, General Property Manager, Hines
 TOBY Awards - AZRE Magazine November/December 2011250,000-499,999 SF
24th @ Camelback
OWNED BY
Gll Properties Fund I, LP
MANAGED BY
John Orsak, Property Manager, Hines Interests Limited Partnership
 TOBY Awards - AZRE Magazine November/December 2011CORPORATE FACILITY
Jeffrey D. McClelland Flight Center
OWNED BY
US Airways Inc.
MANAGED BY
Darwyn Harp, General Property Manager, Hines
TOBY Awards - AZRE Magazine November/December 2011RENOVATED
Scottsdale Financial Center
OWNED BY
BPG Properties Limited
MANAGED BY
Jackie Baumgarten, Real Estate Manager, CBRE
TOBY Awards - AZRE Magazine November/December 2011500,000-1 MSF
One & Two Renaissance
OWNED BY
Hines U.S. Core Office Fund, L.P.
MANAGED BY
William Fehmer, GPM and Monica Greenman, PM, RPA, Designated Broker, Hines GS
TOBY Awards - AZRE Magazine November/December 2011SUBURBAN OFFICE PARK LOW-RISE
Target Financial Services Tempe
OWNED BY
Target
MANAGED BY
Cina Brady, CRE Building Operations Manager, Target
TOBY Awards - AZRE Magazine November/December 2011INDUSTRIAL OFFICE PARK
Goodyear Commerce Center
OWNED BY
Hanover Goodyear LLC
MANAGED BY
Christine L. Manola, RPA, CPM, CCIM, LEED AP, NorthMarq Real Estate Services, LLC
TOBY Awards - AZRE Magazine November/December 2011EARTH
USAA Phoenix Campus
OWNED BY
USAA
MANAGED BY
Kip Linse, CCIM, RPA, CPM; Executive Director Real Estate Services, USAA

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www.bomaphoenix.org

Read about BOMA’s Tools of the Trade and BOMA’s Mentoring Program.

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AZRE Magazine November/December 2011

Young Professionals - AZRE Magazine November/December 2011

Young Professionals Mentoring Up

BOMA’S YOUNG PROFESSIONALS REAPING BENEFITS OF LEARNING FROM ESTABLISHED INDUSTRY LEADERS

The young professionals of BOMA Greater Phoenix knew that the seasoned veterans they met at the organization’s events were a wealth of information.

Some had 20 or more years experience in property management and had weathered their share of mistakes and industry ups and downs.

So how could young professionals tap into that brain trust? They appreciated the peer mentoring available through BOMA’s special events and conferences, but they wanted more.

Like good problem-solving professionals, they came up with an answer: a formal mentoring program — Mentor Society of BOMA Greater Phoenix.

Since its inception in August, the Mentor Society has served as a way for people at the front-end of their careers to glean information, knowledge and wisdom from seasoned professionals in a personal, one-on-one setting.

“These are people who have been in the industry for 10, 20, 30 years and they have all this knowledge,” says Jamie Strecker, a property manager with FM Solutions and a member of BOMA Phoenix Young Professionals Group (YPG). “They’re what we’re calling our ‘elite.’ ”

Mentors who agree to be in the program are listed on the BOMA website, as are associate members — vendors who have worked in fields that serve or are affiliated with property management.

The program is self-managed, Strecker says, which means young professionals can contact a mentor on their own initiative by going to the BOMA website and clicking on a mentors’ biography and contact information.

They are then free to contact that person to set up a 30-minute interview.

Mentors must have at least five years experience in the commercial real estate industry, be a current member of BOMA, and have served on three or more committees or have sponsored five or more events.

Mentors agree to be an active participant by providing insight into the industry, to maintain confidentiality and professionalism, and to respond to a request within 24 hours.

The goal of the program is to increase knowledge among the young professionals of BOMA and to help the next generation of professionals feel vested in their fields and in the BOMA organization, says Colleen LeBlanc, a general manager with Universal Protection Services and an associate member of the YPG.

BOMA is all about building relationships, she says, and this is a great way to do that and strengthen the organization’s base. It’s also a good way to get your business in front of key players in the field.

Young Professionals Group member Mike Amico says he was eager to speak with mentor Tom Pritscher, an associate member mentor who is a commercial general contractor with ties to the facilities management profession since 1993.

Pritscher, Amico says, always seemed to draw a crowd at BOMA functions, so when he called him to “pick his brain” about how to develop network contacts and how to best take advantage of his BOMA ties, he knew Pritscher would have sound advice.

“It turned into a very good conversation,” says Amico, who is an insurance agent at Bennett & Porter Insurance Services, where he specializes in commercial property. “I felt like it was a very valuable use of my time. I asked Tom for 30 minutes and he gave me an hour.”

Pritscher, president of TEPCON Construction, Inc. in Tempe, says he was honored to be included as a mentor, and says he sees the value in passing down experience and knowledge. The Mentor Society is also a great way to take networking to a higher level.

“Even if you didn’t learn anything, you walk out of there knowing someone you didn’t know before,” he says. “But for people to share their experience with you at no cost is tremendous.”

He says, only half joking, “I’m thinking I may want to talk to a property manager — really, you can never stop learning.”

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www.bomaphoenix.org

Read about BOMA’s Tools of the Trade here.

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AZRE Magazine November/December 2011

Arizona Military: Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, AZ Business Magazine November-December 2011

Centennial Series: Arizona Military Milestones

Centennial Series: Arizona Military Milestones

The military has played an enormous role in shaping the first 100 years of Arizona’s history.

Here are some of the Arizona military personalities, places and things that have left their mark on the state’s history:

Lori Piestewa (1979-2003)Arizona Military: Lori Piestewa, AZ Business Magazine November/December 2011

Piestewa was the first Native American woman to die in combat for the United States military and the first woman in the U.S. armed forces killed in the 2003 invasion of Iraq. She was a member of the 507th Maintenance Company whose unit was ambushed. Piestewa was awarded the Purple Heart and Prisoner of War Medal. The army posthumously promoted her from Private First Class to Specialist. Arizona’s state government renamed Squaw Peak in as Piestewa Peak in her honor.

Pat Tillman (1976-2004)Arizona Military: Pat Tillman, AZ Business Magazine November/December 2011

The former Arizona Cardinals football player died while serving in the U.S. Army’s 75th Ranger Regiment in Afghanistan. The Pat Tillman Foundation was established in his honor to support veterans and their families by providing resources and scholarships. Before joining the Cardinals, Tillman was an ASU graduate and star player for the Sun Devils.

Ira Hayes (1923-1955)

Pima Indian Ira Hayes of Sacaton was a World War II soldier in the U.S. Marine Corps. He is one of the six flag raisers depicted in the Iwo Jima Memorial in Washington D.C. The Ira Hayes Memorial Park in Sacaton was established in his honor.

Barry Goldwater (1909-1998)

During WWII, Goldwater joined the U.S. Air Force as a pilot assigned to the Ferry Command, a unit that flew aircraft and supplies globally. He flew overseas between the U.S. and India, later contributing to the development of the United States Air Force Academy. He remained in the reserves after the war and retired as a command pilot with the rank of Major General. The Barry M. Goldwater Range in Yuma was named in his honor.

John McCain

The U.S. Senator served 22 years in the military after graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy. He became a naval aviator, flying ground-attack aircraft from aircraft carriers. During the Vietnam War, he was almost killed in the 1967 USS Forrestal fire. In October 1967, while on a bombing mission over Hanoi, he was shot down, seriously injured, and captured by the North Vietnamese. He was a prisoner of war until 1973, and was beaten and denied adequate medical treatment. McCain retired from the Navy in 1981, and was awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross and the Purple Heart.

USS Arizona (BB-39)

Arizona Military: USS Arizona, AZ Business Magazine November/December 2011Launched June 19, 1915, the USS Arizona was the second and last of the Pennsylvania class of “super-dreadnought” battleships. Arizona served stateside during World War I. The ship is mostly remembered because of its sinking, with the loss of 1,177 lives, during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the event that provoked the United States into entering World War II. A memorial was dedicated May 30, 1962 as part of the Pacific National Monument.

Navajo Code Talkers

They participated in every assault the U.S. Marines conducted in the Pacific from 1942-1945. Navajo code talkers served in all six Marine divisions, transmitting messages in a code that the Japanese were unable to break. The complexity of the Navajo language made for an ideal and indecipherable code.

Bushmasters

The “Bushmasters” of the South Pacific was the Arizona National Guard unit that gained fame in WWII. It battled Apache Indians, Spaniards, Germans and Japanese over a 102-year period. The group was originally formed from a collection of five companies that defended Arizona territory from Apache Indians.

Military technology

Arizona Military: Apache Longbow Helicopter - AZ Business Magazine November/December 2011Arizona has made a name for itself when it comes to innovation in military technology. The Apache Longbow, produced by Boeing in Mesa, is the world’s most advanced combat helicopter. Lockheed Martin in Goodyear is a global company that provides aerospace technology worldwide. The manufacturing and integration of spacecraft hardware, software and ground-support equipment is provided by Spectrum Astro, located in Gilbert. Raytheon Missile Systems in Tucson is awarded military contracts worth millions of dollars annually. General Dynamics C4 Systems in Scottsdale routinely earns military communications contracts, also in the millions of dollars.

Military bases

Air Force

Luke Air Force Base Arizona Military: F16 Fighting Falcon, AZ Business Magazine November/December 2011

Located in Maricopa County, Luke employs more than 8,000 personnel and covers 4,200 acres. It is home to the largest fighter wing in the world, the 56th Fighter Wing. It is also the largest and only active-duty F-16 Fighting Falcon training base in the world.

Davis-Monthan Air Force Base

Located in Tucson, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base is home to the A-10 Thunderbolt II, more commonly known as the “Warthog.” The A-10 was used in combat for the first time during the Gulf War in 1991, destroying more than 900 Iraqi tanks, 2,000 military vehicles, and 1,200 artillery pieces.

Williams Air Force Base

This former base in Mesa allowed more than 26,500 men and women to earn their wings. It broke ground for its Advanced Flying School on July 16, 1941. Williams Air Force Base closed in 1993, resulting in the loss of $300 million in annual economic activity. It reopened in 1984 as a regional, commercial airport known as Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport.

Army

Fort Huachuca

Home of the U.S. Army Intelligence Center and U.S. Army Network Enterprise Technology Command in Sierra Vista, Fort Huachuca was declared a national landmark in 1976. It is the headquarters of the Army Military Affiliate Radio System, Joint Interoperability Test Command and Electronic Proving Ground.

Marines

Yuma Marine Corps Air Station

This air station specializes in air-to-ground aviation training for U.S. and NATO forces. In 1990, almost every Marine that participated in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm trained at Yuma. The Tactical Aircrew Combat Training System was added to provide realistic combat training electronically.

 

Arizona Business Magazine November-December 2011

 

10 Re-careering Tips - AZ Business Magazine November/December 2011

10 Re-careering Tips

10 Re-careering Tips:

1. Check out the hot — and not-so-hot — fields.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics gives indications of which fields expect to grow versus lose jobs, so keep that in mind when you’re deciding whether or not to become a social worker (should be a good bet) or a television anchor (not so much). But don’t throw a dart and pick a so-called hot job. Read on.

2. Don’t start from scratch.

Re-careering doesn’t have to mean throwing out your years of work experience. If you’re an IT professional laid off from a tech company, you don’t have to become a nurse. Brush up on privacy law, network security or database management, and apply with a health care organization.

3. Follow your heart.

Biotechnology might be the next big thing, but if you find it boring, don’t bother. One of the best predictors of success in a field is your passion for it. Good engineers of any type are usually in demand; mediocre ones are rarely in demand. What interests you?

4. Take into account the work environment and physical requirements.

Do you work well when the pace is fast? Or do you prefer to be introspective and analytical? Do you despise being on your feet all day, or are you miserable sitting in a cube?

5. Do a 360-review.

Call upon peers and colleagues — both former supervisors and employees — to assess your strengths and weaknesses. You might be surprised what others say are your best (and worst) qualities, and what you uniquely bring to a position.

6. Network, network, network.

Whether it’s getting to know fellow students, impressing an instructor, volunteering or doing an internship, it’s essential to make connections with people who can help you with your goals.

7. Seek professional help.

Maricopa County Community Colleges’ career centers are free and open to the public.

8. Go back to school.

It can be as simple as taking one course to earning a certificate or a degree.

9. Look for financial assistance.

Subsidized loans, Pell grants and scholarships are available, especially if you’ve lost a job. Even small scholarships add up. Call professional organizations in your field of interest and check the library for lists of scholarships many people don’t even know exist.

10. Differentiate yourself.

Instead of just earning a teaching degree, look into certificates such as English immersion or special education to make you more marketable and malleable.
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Re-careering tips sources:

Joe Patterson, assistant vice president and executive director of Thunderbird Online at Thunderbird School of Global Management; Ruthie Pyles, director of M.B.A. recruitment and admission, the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University; Scott Schulz, director of career and employment services at Glendale Community College
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Arizona Business Magazine November/December 2011

 

Arizona Inventors, Innovators - AZ Business Magazine November/December 2011

Arizona Inventors, Innovations Leave Indelible Mark In American History

Arizona inventors and innovations leave an indelible mark in American history

Arizona may have been one of the last states to join the Union, but in its first 100 years, it’s been a leader in revolutionizing America. From nature’s mysteries to healthcare miracles, from sports to education and the exploration of outer space, Arizonans have had a hand in shaping our lives and the way we view the world.

Arizona Inventors & Innovators:

Name that sound

Arizona Inventors, Karsten Solheim
Frustrated with his putting, avid golfer Karsten Solheim created his “Ping” putter in 1959, named for the sound created when the putter hit the golf ball. Two years later, he moved from California to Arizona and continued to revolutionize golf. His success led to the start of a company that still calls Phoenix home today.

Rings of time

A.E. Douglass, an American astronomer, began researching the idea of tree-ring dating, or dendrochronology, prior to Arizona’s statehood. But the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research at the University of Arizona wasn’t formed until 1937. He is credited with pinpointing the age of ruins that include the Aztec Ruins in New Mexico and the Mesa Verde cliff dwellings in Colorado.

A,B,C and 1,2,3

Joan Ganz Cooney, who received her B.A. degree in education from the University of Arizona in 1951, was part of a team who captured the hearts and imaginations of children around the world with the development of Sesame Workshop, creators of the popular “Sesame Street,” now in its 42nd season.

Mars brought to life

Launched into space in August 2008, the Phoenix Mars Lander was the first mission to Mars led by an academic institution, which was the University of Arizona and its principal investigator, Peter Smith, a professor at the school’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory.

Heart to heart

Arizona Inventors, Jack Copeland, artificial heart - AZ Business Magazine November/December 2011
The first successful surgery and use of an artificial heart was conducted at the University Medical Center in Tucson by Dr. Jack Copeland in 1985. His patient lived nine days using the Jarvik 7 Total Artificial Heart before he received a donor heart.

The ripe test

Dr. Mark Riley at the University of Arizona has developed a sticker that, when placed on fruit or vegetables that emit ethylene gas, will change color. If the fruit is ripe, the sticker will appear dark blue. Once the fruit stops producing the gas, the color fades. The color change takes just a couple of minutes. Tests have been successful on both apples and pears, but the stickers aren’t available yet to consumers.

Arizona Business Magazine November/December 2011

 

BOMA Greater Phoenix - AZRE Magazine November/December 2011

BOMA Greater Phoenix: Tools Of The Trade

BOMA Greater Phoenix hammers home a trio of initiatives: advocacy, smart sustainability, better management practices

It’s still a jungle out there.

Commercial vacancy rates remain high, industry figures show, with some improvement in the industrial sector and a slight downtick in retail. But rates for office properties seem stuck at a persistent 26 percent. Additionally, average asking rental rates per square foot in all categories are still way down from their pre-recession highs.

In these uncertain times, property professionals can turn to BOMA Greater Phoenix to get the tools they need to operate in an economy that is only slowly emerging from recession.

“You need to know you’re doing the right things with your limited resources,” says Susan Engstrom, a senior real estate manager with ACP Property Services, LLC and a BOMA Greater Phoenix member since 1995.

A professional association such as BOMA Greater Phoenix has tremendous intrinsic value for those who tap into its extensive network of property professionals, Engstrom says. These are the people who can help you with either the small, incremental changes that make a difference in your bottom line or the big legislative policy changes that can have a multi-million dollar impact on the local commercial real estate market.

BOMA GREATER PHOENIX HAS MAJOR INITIATIVES UNDERWAY IN THESE IMPORTANT AREAS:

Advocacy

BOMA Greater Phoenix is a voice for the needs of the commercial property management industry, creating channels of communication with federal, state, and local lawmakers, say Engstrom, who is co-chair of the Government Affairs and Community Awareness Committee.

Last legislative session, Engstrom says members encouraged state lawmakers to pass Senate Bill 1001, the jobs incentive package that included a provision to reduce commercial property tax assessment ratio from 20 percent to 18 percent over four years starting in 2013.

This April, during BOMA Greater Phoenix’s annual Advocacy Day, 14 people from the chapter converged on the capitol to thank legislators who voted for the package and discuss other issues that may impact commercial real estate, says Janice Santiesteban, a member of the Government Affairs and Community Awareness Committee.

In her first two years on the committee, Santiesteban says she participated as a member of the group, but after being mentored by committee members was able to lead discussions, including one with  Congressman Ben Quayle (R-Az).

They asked Quayle to co-sponsor legislation to permanently reduce the timeline for depreciating leasehold improvements to 15 years and legislation to promote energy efficiency retrofits to commercial buildings through voluntary incentive programs.
BOMA’s advocacy has not only helped her advance the causes of the commercial real estate industry, she said it has helped her improve her professional footing.

“It’s the ability to have such a wide range of people to draw off of for knowledge,” says Santiesteban, a real estate manager for CB Richard Ellis. “For me, it’s important to be able to have that knowledge and say to my owner, ‘This is what I’m doing for you.’ I don’t think I would be able to do my job the way I do if I didn’t have BOMA.”

This year committee members are making an effort to contact U.S. Congressmen and Senators during the week each month they are in their home districts.

“It makes them aware of who BOMA is and what we stand for,” Engstrom says. “And we let them know, if there are any issues that come before them that impact the commercial real estate industry, give us a call.”

Smart Sustainability

In these economic times, it is important for building owners and managers to decrease energy and water consumption — and thereby boost their bottom lines.

BOMA Greater Phoenix’s Green Building Committee provides opportunities for property professionals to save energy, recycle waste and use green products and services.

One tool is the Kilowatt Krackdown program, a citywide competition open to non-members that steers owners and managers to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Star benchmarking software.

Dave Munn, chief technical officer at Chelsea Group, Ltd., and chair of the committee, says benchmarking is a good way for building managers or engineers to track and assess energy and water consumption, with the aim of improving efficiencies.

“How can you manage what you don’t measure?” Munn asks.

BOMA Greater Phoenix awards property and facility managers who rate the highest in each of nine categories and those who show the most improvement from one year to the next.

Kilowatt Krackdown is one step in aligning the chapter with BOMA International’s 7-Point Challenge: to decrease energy consumption in commercial buildings by 30 percent by 2012. To date, 400 properties have joined the program.

BOMA Greater Phoenix offers free training sessions to property professionals four times a year, with Arizona Public Service and Salt River Project each sponsoring two sessions.

They walk participants through Portfolio Manager software, Munn says, and reassure participants that all data is held in strict confidence and never released to a third-party.

Munn says often participants don’t have to make big capital investments in their properties to make them more efficient. Sometimes, something as simple as raising awareness and making behavior changes can make a big difference to a bottom line.

Better Management Practices

BOMA Greater Phoenix has programs designed to encourage better management practices, and Engstrom says the BOMA 360 Performance Program is a promising one.

The BOMA 360 program evaluates six major areas of building operations and management and measures a building’s performance against industry standards.

Participants must apply and have four prerequisites in place, including having a standard operating procedures manual, a formal maintenance program and benchmarking via the Energy Star system.

The BOMA 360 designation not only improves a building’s operations, it’s a good way for a building to stand out and be more attractive to tenants.

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www.bomaphoenix.org

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AZRE Magazine November/December 2011

Hospital Construction - AZRE Magazine November/December 2011

Please Do Not Disturb: Hospital Construction Zone

During hospital construction, constant planning and communication are top priorities for healthcare builders

The foremost focus in upgrading or expanding a hospital is keeping the work concealed from the patients. So says Steve Whitworth, Kitchell’s Healthcare Division manager, about hospital construction.

It’s not like adding or enlarging a store in a retail center, which might force shoppers to step around a construction barrier for a few days or have the piped-in music occasionally punctuated by a floor sander.

“In a mall, people will be inconvenienced. In a hospital, a patient’s health is at stake,” Whitworth says. “In every single project we strive to be invisible. The ability to heal depends on the environment a patient is in. It‘s the only thing that matters at the end of the day.”

The dilemma is that hospitals, as much or more than other commercial real estate structures, need to continuously get bigger and better, he says.

“Planning, planning, planning,”  is the key to keeping healthcare facilities humming smoothly while making major renovations, says Jay Stallings, associate administrator at Banner Desert Medical Center, which unveiled a major emergency department makeover in August.

That mantra is echoed by other key players — from hospital administrators to construction engineers — who are continuously upgrading and expanding Arizona’s top hospitals to address medical care’s changing needs and technology advances while keeping the work virtually imperceptible to patients and staff.

Finding solutions

Banner Thunderbird Tower - AZRE Magazine November/December 2011Unlike other types of commercial real estate overhauls or tenant improvements, healthcare property renovations come with a whole host of hurdles, from meeting infection control standards to keeping emergency entrances accessible.

The biggest hurdle — no down time.

“What makes a hospital unique, is that it’s a 24/7 facility. There’s never a good time to do the work,” says Sundt Construction’s Russ Korcuska, who has been piloting hospital construction projects in Arizona for two decades.

To maintain top-notch patient care, innovation and expansion is necessary, but upgrading existing facilities means you can’t turn off the power, the water or other utilities, you can’t block fire escape routes or ambulance entrances, you can’t let construction dust or other contaminants get in the air, and you can’t make a lot of noise or cause other disturbances that could impact patients or staff operations.

“If a surgeon is working on somebody’s brain, you can’t be creating vibrations on the other side of the wall,” Korcuska says. “It’s extremely challenging.”

That’s why planning an entire project and all possible contingencies to the tiniest detail before ever flipping a power switch is so critical, says DPR Construction’s Guy Sanders, who is just finishing up Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center’s three-story expansion of operating rooms and pre/post operative care areas.

Especially in renovating older hospitals where documentation of what’s in the ceiling and under the floor is not always complete or accurate, he says. “Knowledge of a campus is critical,” Sanders says. As is double-checking before digging.

During the Banner Good Samaritan project, he planned for alternative power sources to keep all ongoing operations running smoothly based on detailed building documentation. Still, during the planning process, he flipped a breaker and did a walk-through of the whole hospital to ensure the documentation was correct. It wasn’t.

Sanders found some equipment mislabeled and had to do some rewiring — and re-documenting.

Proper planning is crucial

Chris Jacobson of McCarthy Building Companies is just completing a major project at Banner Thunderbird Medical Center. He added a new six-story tower and emergency department expansion in the spot where the old ambulance entrance stood, and then renovated all the newly vacated space after 25 departments relocated to the tower. The project is slated to wrap in January.

It has been a five-year, multi-phased project, with planning for every phase starting almost a year in advance, he says.

Jacobson and his crew had to design everything from infection, noise and dust control to fire exits — and figure out how to get workers and materials in and out of the construction sites without bringing them through the hospital. They plotted everything, “even down to which tools to use.”

“You have to get creative about how to get the work done without coming in with a wrecking ball,” he says.

The biggest challenge was how to keep the existing emergency department functioning while “de-constructing” the old ER entrance. Jacobson says the solution devised in the planning process — building a covered bridge from a new temporary ambulance entry a short distance from the construction site — was key to McCarthy landing the job.

“It was a big challenge that nobody had figured out,” he says.

And that wasn’t the only temporary structure the construction experts had to design and build before even starting the main event. They crafted fire-rated, sound-insulated  temporary walls, new directional signage,  and a complete hospital kitchen in a trailer.

They even planned and built a temporary super-structure that looked like a massive, free-standing fire escape outside the hospital tower to get workers and materials to upper floors without ever opening a hospital door.

McCarthy used a similar technique for building out Yuma Regional Medical Center’s upper floors, which were pegged for expansion space when the hospital was first built. The engineers planned and built an outdoor elevator and trash chute to keep patients and staff below from commingling with construction workers or debris on indoor elevators.

At Banner Good Samaritan, DPR had to excavate an area between the central power plant and the new expansion. Before bringing in the backhoe, Sanders employed a “vacuum” truck to suck up some of the dirt and expose the utilities.

Among the most interesting planning tools McCarthy engineers use are laser scans of a hospital’s ceilings and floors to find exactly where all the pipes, wires and ducts are located, and 3D modeling software to virtually tuck new utilities amongst the old.

“The old way was you had guys with flashlights and measuring tapes,” Jacobson says.

Sometimes engineers have to detour planned utility upgrades to avoid a virtual collision. That’s much better than having workers face a real utility roadblock and have to rethink routes in the middle of a messy construction site, he says.

If planning is atop the experts’ priority list for minimizing patient disruption during construction, keeping everybody in the loop scores a close second place.

A critical component of both planning and construction stages of any healthcare project is communication with all the stakeholders, says Stallings, whose new triple-sized, state-of-the-art emergency department took seven years from drawing board to debut.

Stallings says involving every hospital department touched by the project from start to finish made the process as painless as possible for them and especially for patients.

“This was a collaborative project with physicians, staff, clinicians, infection control, environmental services,” he says. “All were impacted. We worked hand-in-hand with the architects and construction staff. We had weekly construction meetings, sometimes daily, with all who were impacted.”

“We provide an important service to the community. We couldn’t shut down the emergency department and continue to be a hospital,” Stallings says. “In the moment when somebody needs help, we have to be there. We take that very seriously. Our approach was  transparency (to patients), collaboration, a high level of communication and training.”

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www.dpr.com
www.kitchell.com
www.mccarthy.com

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AZRE Magazine November/December 2011

Re-careering - AZ Business Magazine November/December 2011

Unemployed Workers Become More Competitive, Re-careering

Re-careering vs. Education: Unemployed workers can go back to school or re-shape their skill to enhance job prospects

When Ronald Schilling, 54, of Black Canyon City lost his job as a truck driver in July 2008, the future looked bleak.

“I just didn’t see myself at the age I am, getting a job driving a 12-foot box truck and busting my butt for $8 or $9 an hour,” he says.

His uncle suggested he go back to school. Now, Schilling is in the honors program at Glendale Community College with a 3.9 grade point average and is on track to enter nursing school.

Schilling is one of a growing number of returning students who are re-careering after losing jobs, and many are getting training and education to increase their chances in the competitive job market.

Mature students are on the rise in higher education. Between 2000 and 2009, the enrollment of students under age 25 increased by 27 percent, but enrollment of ages 25 and up rose 43 percent, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

The majority of online students at Thunderbird Online are ages 38 to 42, says Joe Patterson, assistant vice president and executive director of Thunderbird Online at Thunderbird School of Global Management.

Still, the idea of going back to school can be daunting, especially because of time and cost. Tuition can range from $299 for a two-week bartending course through ABC Bartending and Casino School in Tempe, to more than $86,000 for a 60-credit master’s degree in business administration degree from Thunderbird.

One way to mitigate the cost, say those in higher education, is to take non-degree courses. This can keep up your skill set to ensure “life employability,” said Scott Schulz, director of career and employment services at Glendale CC, one of the Maricopa County Community Colleges.

Online programs allow students to take classes when it’s convenient, and offer accelerated degree programs. Thunderbird Online offers executive certificates for three eight-week accredited non-degree classes, all the way to a full M.B.A in a year. The W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University offers multiple ways to earn an M.B.A., including online.

No longer is there a stigma to online education, Patterson says. Even top-tier universities such as Stanford and Cornell offer e-learning.

Whether on campus or online, academic classes are more than ivory tower ideas.

Instructors usually are also connected to and working in their industries, so they not only know what’s needed in the job market, they can make important referrals. Networking with other students is essential, too. You never know who might pass along that integral inside job tip.

Volunteering is another way to get a foot in the door. Schilling, the trucker-turned-nursing student, volunteers each week at John C. Lincoln Deer Valley Hospital in Phoenix. And Mark Scarp of Scottsdale, a newspaper columnist who was laid off in January 2009, parlayed his 20 years of volunteering with the Society of Professional Journalists into a job as membership director with the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.

While it’s a good idea to invest in continuing education, career counselors say to assess your strengths, weaknesses, passions and goals first, and keep in mind the idea of career management rather than simply career advancement.

“I think we’ve all heard the term ‘climbing the career ladder,’” Schulz says. “I think what it’s changed to is a career lattice or career web. It’s not as linear. You may have to move sideways or diagonally to get to that next opportunity.”

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Where to take classes if you’re considering re-careering:

Anthem College, (602) 279-9700, www.anthem.edu
Apollo College, (602) 864-1571, www.apollocollege.edu
Arizona State University, (6020 496-INFO, www.asu.edu
Collins College, (602) 997-2166, www.collinscollege.edu
DeVry University, (602) 870-9222, www.phx.devry.edu
Grand Canyon University, (877) 860-3951, www.gcu.edu
Maricopa County Community College District, (480) 731-8000, www.maricopa.edu. Campuses include Chandler-Gilbert Community College; Estrella Mountain Community College; Glendale Community College; GateWay Community College; Mesa Community College; Paradise Valley Community College; Phoenix College; Rio Salado College; Scottsdale Community College; and South Mountain Community College.
Northern Arizona University, (800) 426-8315, www.nau.edu
Midwestern University, (623) 572-3215, www.midwestern.edu
Thunderbird School of Global Management, (602) 978-7000, www.thunderbird.edu
University of Arizona, (520) 621-3237, www.arizona.edu
University of Phoenix, (866) 766-0766, www.phoenix.edu
Western International University, (602) 943-2311, www.west.edu

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Arizona Business Magazine November/December 2011

 

Affordable Patient Care Act - AZ Business Magazine November/December 2011

Affordable Patient Care Act May Cause Businesses To Drop Healthcare Insurance

Although most small businesses in Arizona aren’t dropping their healthcare insurance plans right now, some are thinking about doing it when the Obama administration’s Affordable Patient Care Act is fully implemented in 2014.

Meanwhile, many small business owners are also looking for new plans that will save them money, but may also slash benefits for their employees.

“We’re not seeing a dramatic drop in coverage as of today, but small businesses are asking a lot of questions about the health care reform act,” says Jeff Stelnik, senior vice president of strategy, sales and marketing for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, which has more small group customers than most other health insurers in the state.

“Companies with from two to 49 employees are also thinking about whether it makes sense for them to drop their coverage. Those with from 50 to 100 employees and beyond are less likely to do that.”

On one hand, the smallest companies — from two to 49 workers — are not required to provide insurance for their employees in 2014 and are not subject to any penalties. Those with 50 or more employees will face fines for failing to do so. So that in itself makes it easier for the smallest firms to cancel coverage.

Another incentive for small businesses to end insurance benefits is that many now offer plans with high deductibles, ranging from $3,000 to $5,000, and requiring “strong” co-payments. These types of plans don’t meet the minimum requirements under the Affordable Patient Care Act. That means that as of 2014, they must upgrade their plans at great expense in order to keep insuring employees. Although some federal tax subsidies will be available to help small companies, it is still expected to be costly for small businesses to provide more generous health benefits to employees.

But even though the smallest businesses are considering dropping health insurance, “they absolutely would like to keep it if they can,” Stelnik says.

“If small employers drop coverage, they will probably give employees a bump in pay — another $50 to $75 in their paychecks,” says Thomas Katsenes, president of Katsenes Insurance in Phoenix. “But that’s not going to help those employees much when they go out to buy health insurance.”

One of his clients, who owns several fast-food franchises, is considering canceling an insurance plan it has for managers; the business does not cover other employees. The franchise corporate office provides no health insurance. “Those businesses most affected are the ones with fewer employees,” Katsenes says.

The full impact of the health reform legislation may not hit until 2014, but some changes already phased in have helped raise current health insurance costs by 15 percent and more, according to Katsenes.

“They’ve already phased in the mandated no-cost wellness benefits (like free mammograms for women) and the unlimited lifetime maximum costs for the insured, and they’re requiring coverage up to age 26 for children,” he says. “All these changes translate into higher premiums.”

Another broker, Bob Padgett, president of the Padgett Insurance Agency in the Phoenix area, hasn’t seen any cancellations yet, but some of his clients are looking at plans with $10,000 deductibles as well as partially self-funded insurance plans.

“Some businesses are reducing coverage for their employees, passing more of the cost on to them or no longer offering coverage,” says Donna Davis, CEO of the Arizona Small Business Association, a group in which 85 percent of the membership has 100 or fewer employees.

“In a recent survey of our members, 74 percent indicated that the cost of healthcare was a significant challenge to the future of their businesses,” she says. “Most businesses have seen consistent year-over-year increases even before the Affordable Patient Care Act was enacted.”

Some employers are investigating defined benefit plans that allow six doctor visits per year and pay a limited amount per day for hospitalization, Katsenes says. “I may have a client who will be going for that soon. He has 15 employees to insure.

“It’s unknown what lies ahead for small businesses,” Katsenes adds. “So far we’ve dealt with about 900 pages of regulations and another 100,000 pages lie ahead.”

[stextbox id=”grey”]For more information about the Affordable Patient Care Act, visit healthcare.gov.[/stextbox]

Arizona Business Magazine November/December 2011

 

Arizona Commerce Authority, AZRE Magazine November/December 2011

Arizona Commerce Authority Celebrates Its 1st Anniversary

With the Arizona Commerce Authority celebrating its 1st year, jobs remain the focus as the state’s CRE industry reaps the benefits.

Arizona Commerce Authority, AZRE Magazine November/December 2011In August, Tempe-based First Solar purchased 635 acres in Pinal County for $9.8M and announced plans to build a generating station on the property.

The rapidly expanding, clean-energy company is still constructing its solar module manufacturing plant in Mesa, expected to be up and running by mid-2012 with as many as 600 new, high-paying jobs.

The company also is building generating stations in Gila Bend and Yuma. In January, Power-One opened its first North American manufacturing facility in Phoenix. The California-based company, which makes inverters to convert renewable energy to usable energy, said it will employ as many as 350 people at build-out.

At Power-One’s grand opening ceremonies, Gov. Jan Brewer credited  the Arizona Commerce Authority for the big win and for wielding CEO clout and corporate incentives in making Arizona a hot spot for solar companies looking to expand or relocate.

“I have been consistently focused on ensuring Arizona is a magnet for business relocation, capital investment and a catalyst for the creation of new business and new jobs. And, with the work of my Arizona Commerce Authority, we’re seeing tremendous results in the solar space,” Brewer said at the time.

A year after the Arizona Department of Commerce, a government agency, morphed into the Arizona Commerce Authority, a public-private partnership led by a board of directors filled with many of the state’s top business leaders, six solar companies boasting a combined 1,700 new jobs have announced plans to expand or move to Arizona, says Bennett Curry, who has been piloting t