Tag Archives: partnership

college graduates

St. Scholastica Will Accept All MCCCD Transfer Credits

The College of St. Scholastica, a 102-year-old Catholic Benedictine college, has forged a partnership with the Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) that will allow students to transfer 100 percent of their credits toward St. Scholastica’s bachelor’s programs.

Two of the hottest careers emerging in Arizona today – health information management (HIM) and social work – will be available to MCCCD students through the partnership.

St. Scholastica offers what many consider the nation’s leading HIM program ever since its creation of the first bachelor’s program in the field in 1934. As the health care industry has boomed in Arizona, so has the need for highly-trained HIM professionals to manage health data and records: the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 22 percent growth for HIM careers over the next decade. St. Scholastica’s HIM program features personalized learning plans and industry-leading faculty.

St. Scholastica social work students benefit from an emphasis on individual attention and field experience. They graduate prepared to lead community efforts in health programs, schools, shelters, service agencies and a variety of other settings.

St. Scholastica also offers six online bachelor’s programs that are accepting full transfer credits from MCCCD students:

· Bachelor of Arts in Business and Technology Studies
· Bachelor of Arts/Science in Computer Science
· Bachelor of Science in Health Informatics
· Bachelor of Arts in Management
· Bachelor of Arts in Marketing
· Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Behavior

“We’re excited to partner with Maricopa Community Colleges to offer students a pathway beyond their associate’s degrees to these highly in-demand careers,” said Maria Laughner, regional director for St. Scholastica. “MCCCD students can now earn bachelor’s degrees from a top-tier private college.”

The College of St. Scholastica’s Arizona location is at the Communiversity @ Surprise, an innovative higher learning institution and partnership. In addition, St. Scholastica operates eight other U.S. locations as well as a virtual campus, with a total enrollment of more than 4,200 students.

Visit http://www.css.edu/Locations/Arizona.html for more information about St. Scholastica’s Arizona programs.

Mercury strike deal with Casino Arizona, Talking Stick

Today, the Phoenix Mercury entered into an exclusive, multi-year marquee partnership with Casino Arizona and Talking Stick Resort that includes branding on the Mercury’s home and away jerseys. The new agreement also designates Casino Arizona and Talking Stick Resort as the presenting sponsor of the Phoenix Mercury.

The partnership was announced this morning by Mercury President Jason Rowley, Mercury VP Ann Meyers Drysdale and Casino Arizona’s Senior Director of Marketing Peter Arceo, during a press conference inside the Casino Arizona Pavilion at US Airways Center.

Highlighting the partnership is the appearance of the Casino Arizona and Talking Stick Resort logo across the front of the Phoenix Mercury home and away jerseys, as well as on the team’s warm-ups. With the deal, the Mercury remains one of five WNBA teams with a corporate-branded jersey, after becoming the first team in WNBA history to sign a marquee partnership in 2009.

“The Phoenix Mercury is thrilled to announce our new marquee sponsorship with Casino Arizona and Talking Stick Resort,” said Mercury President, Jason Rowley.  “Having served as the presenting partner for the Mercury’s 2007 WNBA Championship run, Casino Arizona has been a loyal supporter of women’s basketball and we are excited to take that collaboration to an unprecedented level.”

Casino Arizona and Talking Stick Resort’s logo will also be featured on the Phoenix Mercury’s home court at US Airways Center, and incorporated into the team’s official logo. Images of the court and logo are attached. The new co-branded logo will appear on Mercury tickets and other collateral.

“The partnership between Casino Arizona and the Phoenix Mercury is truly an obvious fit,” said Peter Arceo, Senior Director of Marketing for Casino Arizona. “We both provide the ultimate entertainment in our respective fields. We are proud to be a part of all the excitement the Mercury will bring this season and beyond.”

In addition to marquee placement on player jerseys and on-court logo recognition, Casino Arizona and Talking Stick Resort will receive brand exposure on the team’s website, in-arena signage and throughout various in-game promotions. During each Friday and Saturday home game, one lucky Mercury fan will compete in the Casino Arizona Lucky 7’s Shootout for the opportunity to win up to $77,777.

legends

Legends district partners with Southwestern Eye Center

The Legends Entertainment District, a first-of-its-kind joint venture between the Arizona Diamondbacks and Phoenix Suns, announced a new partnership with Southwestern Eye Center that features the District’s first static super graphic with a 3-D embellishment. The announcement was made by Legends Entertainment District General Manager Judd Norris.

“The Legends Entertainment District continues to break the mold of traditional ‘billboard’ advertising by bringing to life its first three-dimensional concept,” said Norris. “Southwestern Eye Centers challenged us to do something unique and memorable. Taking that into account, we were able to bring their already recognizable glasses campaign to life on a 36’ x 42’ super graphic. The glasses are so unique that the creator of the image, BlueMedia, has submitted the design into several marketing concept competitions.”

The first-of-its-kind graphic is located on the Phoenix Convention Center Garage at the corner of 5th Street and Jefferson, across from Chase Field. It is one of 36 static signs in the District that also features four LED signs, six window graphics and five custom signs.

“As a locally based company celebrating 30 years in business, we are excited to be part of something that hasn’t been done before,” said Southwestern Eye Center Vice President and General Counsel Shane Armstrong. “We value the opportunity to work with Legends on this advanced project and to be part of the revitalization efforts downtown.”

Celebrating 30 years in business this year, Southwestern Eye Center, founded in 1982, is dedicated to providing the best possible care for patients seeking or in need of LASIK, cataract surgery, retinal surgery, cosmetic surgery or glaucoma evaluations and treatment throughout the Metro Phoenix area and rural communities of Arizona. With several accomplished specialists in the areas of LASIK, cataracts, retina, glaucoma and cosmetics, Southwestern Eye Center is able to provide patients in Arizona and New Mexico with improved vision by using some of the most advanced and sophisticated techniques and technologies available today. There are 23 Southwestern Eye Center locations in Arizona and three in New Mexico. For more information, visit www.sweye.com.

Southwestern Eye Center joins a growing list of partners for the Legends Entertainment District, including APS, Anheuser-Busch, Chevrolet, Fox Sports Arizona, Fry’s Food Stores, Gila River Casinos, AZ Family, MillerCoors, AZ Pain Centers, Cox Communications, Dodge and the Arizona Rattlers, among others.

The Legends Entertainment District offers customized, larger than life out of home opportunities that run 18 hours a day, 365 days a year. The project was designed to encompass landmark downtown facilities, extending from 1st Avenue to 7th Street and Washington to Jackson Street.

In addition to the corporate partnership signage, the Legends Entertainment District provides digital informational programming in the form of LED news tickers and other relevant content that can change on a moment’s notice.

Nearly two billion individual LED lights are used to illuminate the Legends Entertainment District, which includes 13 screens for a total of 6,819 square feet of LED and over 50,000 square feet of static signage. The fiber optic cable laid end to end is 228 miles in length, which is equal to the distance driving from Phoenix to the Grand Canyon. The Legends Entertainment District includes nearly 100,000 pounds (50 tons) of steel and more than 140,000 feet of electrical wire.

Downtown Phoenix attracts more than eight million visitors annually at over 700 events, while 57,000 office workers are based out of the area. For more information about the Legends Entertainment District, visit www.legendsentertainmentdistrict.com.

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Valley Forward presents environmental awards

The Maricopa County Master Watershed Stewards Program has earned the coveted President’s Award (Best of Show) in Valley Forward’s 32nd annual Environmental Excellence Awards, held in partnership with SRP for 11 consecutive years.

This impactful initiative was submitted by University of Arizona Cooperative Extension in Maricopa County and mentors future stewards of the environment through education and action focusing on the Valley’s most precious natural resource – water. It teaches how the health of watersheds is tied directly to quality of life, not just for humans but also for nature and wildlife.

More than 120 entries were received in Arizona’s oldest and most prestigious awards competition focusing exclusively on sustainability initiatives. Winners were announced Sept. 29, at Valley Forward’s awards gala attended by more than 600 community leaders at The Westin Kierland Resort in Scottsdale.

Valley Forward and SRP presented 17 first-place Crescordia winners and 29 Awards of Merit. The awards set standards for achieving a balance between the built and natural environment in the region’s physical, technical, social and aesthetic development.

The Master Watershed Stewards Program was recognized for training volunteers to protect, restore, monitor and conserve local water and watersheds. The 10-week course combines classroom education and field training, introducing participants to local riparian ecosystems and facilitating an understanding of how to effectively manage natural resources.

In addition to the University of Arizona, project team members include: Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department, Audubon Arizona, Central Arizona Project and EPCOR Water. The submittal also won a first-place Crescordia Award in the Environmental Stewardship (SRP Award) category. Crescordia is a Greek term meaning, “to grow in harmony,” and the President’s Award is selected from among all Crescordia recipients.

“There was a recurrent theme of collaboration and regional cooperation among this year’s project winners,” said Diane Brossart, president and CEO of Valley Forward. “Sustainability is clearly at the forefront in our community, and it’s inspiring to preview such innovative programs directed at preserving natural resources – air, water, open space and our unique desert environment.”

South Mountain Community Library in Phoenix was the only project to receive multiple Crescordia awards this year. The building itself was recognized in the Buildings and Structures – Institutional and Civic categories, and a collaborative multi-faceted public art piece on the community college campus in which the library is located, received first-place honors in the Art in Public Places category.

The innovative 51,600-square-foot facility not only integrates with the natural desert environment in which it is situated, but fully blends elements of the two entities it serves. The public and academic sides converge into a holistic, sustainable landmark building. A signature element, Passage, created by artists Mags Harries and Lajos Heder, combines talking chairs, plaza enhancements, poetry trellises and a new pedestrian crossing of the Western Canal.

The awards competition has become especially competitive among Valley municipalities and government agencies. This year, the city of Phoenix faired especially well, earning six Crescordia awards and four Awards of Merit. Other Valley cities to earn awards include Tempe, Scottsdale, Mesa and the town of Gila Bend, as well as the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community.

Chevy Humphrey, president and CEO of the Arizona Science Center, served as lead judge for the program. Other jurists included: Chris Brown, vice president, SmithGroupJJR; Bert Castro, president and CEO, Phoenix Zoo; Greg Esser, associate director desert initiative, Arizona State University Art Museum; Greg Flanagan, principal, G.K. Flanagan Associates, Inc.; Joe Herzog, director of architecture, Shepley Bulfinch; Park Howell, president, Park & Co; Kyle Hultquist, vice president of marketing and communications, StandardAero; and Steven Lichtenberger, principal, AECOM.

Valley Forward is a non-profit public interest organization that brings business and civic leaders together to convene thoughtful public dialogue on regional issues and to improve the environment and livability of Valley communities. The organization operates with the belief that businesses must take a leadership role in solving the complex and sometimes controversial problems that confront growing population centers.

 

In addition to the Maricopa County Watershed Stewards Program, South Mountain Community Library and Passage, Crescordia winners include:

 

WOLFF RESIDENCE (LEA – Architects, LLC)

The existing structural frame of this 1960s home in Paradise Valley was preserved along with the interior materials significant to the mid-twentieth century during the complete overhaul, floor plan modifications and new addition. Careful, informed decisions were made to protect the original design intent, while enhancing the home’s connection to the natural environment.

 

WINDSOR AND CHURN (Shepley Bulfinch)

Creating a community hub and sense of identity for two prominent historic neighborhoods in north central Phoenix, this adaptive reuse project transformed a 1940s structure into a lively restaurant and adjoining artisan ice cream shop. The intent was to keep as much of the original brick structure and stacked sandstone veneered walls as possible and work with the existing footprint of a building that had seen many uses throughout its history.

 

DPR Construction Phoenix Regional Office (SmithGroupJJR)

DPR Construction purchased an underutilized 1970s building and redeveloped it into a LEED Platinum certified office space for its Phoenix team using cost saving sustainable strategies.
TEMPE LAKE PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE (City of Tempe, T.Y. Lin and Otak)

Tempe Town Lake Pedestrian Bridge provides a beautiful crossing at the western-most end of the lake and is part of the city’s overall efforts to reduce vehicular traffic, improve air quality, connect people to culture, conserve water and create shade.

 

COWLEY COMPANIES OFFICE (Office of Desert Architecture)
Renovating a 1930s produce warehouse in downtown Phoenix, Cowley Companies not only restored the character of an historic building, but created a unique and energy-efficient workspace for its employees.

Central Station (City of Phoenix Public Transit Department)

This refurbishment gave a facelift to the 14-year-old transit facility located near Civic Space Park and Arizona State University’s downtown campus in Phoenix. Updates included improved passenger amenities and a plethora of environmentally friendly features.

 

CENTRAL MAIN PLAN (City of Mesa Development and Sustainability Department)

Mesa developed a Central Main Plan for its Main Street corridor by following three principles of sustainability. The plan aims to create a prosperous, people-friendly setting while reducing vehicle traffic, celebrating cultural diversity and fostering a distinct, environmentally conscious community.

 

TRES RIOS ENVIRONMENTAL RESTORATION PROJECT (Kiewit Western Co)

Phase Three of the Tres Rios program updated and reconfigured drainage systems and removed salt cedar in a 2.5-mile long, 650-acre stretch of open water and wetland marshes at the confluence of the Gila, Salt and Agua Fria rivers. The project has created 44 acres of new open water reaches along with 10 acres of marsh habitat and 46 acres of riparian habitat.

 

GEORGE “DOC” CAVALLIERE PARK (SmithGroupJJR)

Nearly 25 years in the making, George “Doc” Cavalliere Park in Scottsdale established a new benchmark for sustainable practices, demonstrating how to appropriately design and construct an active community park in a sensitive desert context. Open spaces were preserved and site disturbance minimized while maintaining functional uses.

 

PALOMA SOLAR POWER PLANT (Arizona Public Service)

A collaboration between APS, First Solar and the town of Gila Bend, Paloma is a 17-megawatt solar power plant with 275,000 panels situated on a retired alfalfa farm. This zero water-use facility was built in record time and conserves more than 13.3 million gallons of water annually over traditional solar plants.

 

FIX A LEAK WEEK PROMOTION AND ONE FOR WATER 4-MILER & FESTIVAL (Arizona Municipal Water Users Association)

This public awareness campaign empowers residents to eliminate water waste in their homes and was sponsored by the Arizona Municipal Water Users Association with support from more than 40 partner municipalities, businesses and organizations. The program included extensive educational outreach efforts and culminated in a four-mile, professionally timed race.

 

U-HAUL CONTRIBUTIONS TO ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION AND COMMUNICATION

(U-Haul International)

Through its comprehensive educational outreach program, U-Haul promotes environmental awareness and touts the importance of sustainability to its stakeholders, as well as millions who drive along roads and highways every day.

STARDUST NONPROFIT BUILDING SUPPLIES DECONSTRUCTION SERVICES (Stardust Nonprofit Building Supplies)
Stardust Nonprofit Building Supplies Deconstruction Services removes usable building materials from homes and businesses at no cost to the owner for donation of the items, saving more than 1,500 tons of supplies from local area landfills each year. 

2012 ENVIRONMENTAL EXCELLENCE AWARDS
COMPLETE LIST OF WINNERS

BUILDINGS AND STRUCTURES: Residential

CRESCORDIA

Name of Entry: Wolff Residence

Submitted by: LEA-Architects, LLC

 

AWARDS OF MERIT

Name of Entry: Legacy Build

Submitted by: Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona

 

Name of Entry: Whispering Ridge

Submitted by: Knoell & Quidort Architects

 

BUILDINGS AND STRUCTURES: Civic

CRESCORDIA

Name of Entry: South Mountain Community Library

Submitted by: richärd+bauer, llc.

 

AWARDS OF MERIT

Name of Entry: FBI Phoenix Office

Submitted by: AECOM

 

Name of Entry: Ocotillo Library + Workforce Literacy Center

Submitted by: durkin + durkin architects llc

 

 

 

BUILDINGS AND STRUCTURES: Historic Preservation

CRESCORDIA

Name of Entry: Windsor and Churn

Submitted by: Shepley Bulfinch, Phoenix

 

AWARD OF MERIT

Name of Entry: Cutler*Plotkin Jewish Heritage Center

Submitted by: Motley Design Group, LLC

 

BUILDINGS AND STRUCTURES: Commercial & Mixed Use

CRESCORDIA

Name of Entry: DPR Construction Phoenix Regional Office

Submitted by: SmithGroupJJR / DPR Construction

 

AWARDS OF MERIT

Name of Entry: Okland Construction

Submitted by: Weddle Gilmore black rock studio

Name of Entry: Windsor and Churn at Central & Oregon

Submitted by: Venue/Upward Projects

BUILDINGS AND STRUCTURES: Institutional

CRESCORDIA

Name of Entry: South Mountain Community Library

Submitted by: richärd+bauer, llc.

 

AWARDS OF MERIT

Name of Entry: Integrated Education Building at GateWay Community College

Submitted by: SmithGroupJJR

 

Name of Entry: Nursing & Exercise Science Building at Mesa Community College

Submitted by: SmithGroupJJR

 

BUILDINGS AND STRUCTURES: Industrial & Public Works

CRESCORDIA

Name of Entry: Tempe Lake Pedestrian Bridge

Submitted by: City of Tempe, T.Y. Lin and Otak

 

AWARD OF MERIT

Name of Entry: The Greenest Factory on the Planet

Submitted by: DIRTT Environmental Solutions

 

LIVABLE COMMUNITIES: Sustainable Communities

AWARD OF MERIT

Name of Entry: Devine Legacy on Central

Submitted by: Adolfson & Peterson Construction

 

 

 

LIVABLE COMMUNITIES: Adaptive Reuse

CRESCORDIA

Name of Entry: Cowley Companies Office

Submitted by: Office of Desert Architecture

 

AWARD OF MERIT

Name of Entry: IN FLUX Initiative

Submitted by: Scottsdale Public Art & City of Tempe Public Art

 

LIVABLE COMMUNITIES: Multimodal Transportation & Connectivity

CRESCORDIA

Name of Entry: Central Station

Submitted by: City of Phoenix Public Transit Department

 

AWARDS OF MERIT

Name of Entry: Virtual Dial-A-Ride

Submitted by: Total Transit

 

Name of Entry: 27th Avenue/Baseline Road Park-and-Ride

Submitted by: City of Phoenix Public Transit Department

 

LIVABLE COMMUNITIES: Public Policy/Plans

CRESCORDIA

Name of Entry: Central Main Plan

Submitted by: City of Mesa Development and Sustainability Department

 

AWARD OF MERIT

Name of Entry: Vulture Mountains Cooperative Recreation Management Area Master Plan

Submitted by: Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department

 

SITE DEVELOPMENT AND LANDSCAPE: Residential

AWARD OF MERIT

Name of Entry: The Smith Residence

Submitted by: Ten Eyck Landscape Architects, Inc.

 

SITE DEVELOPMENT AND LANDSCAPE: Public Sector

CRESCORDIA

Name of Entry: Tres Rios Environmental Restoration Project

Submitted by: Kiewit Western Co.

 

AWARD OF MERIT

Name of Entry: Salt River Fields at Talking Stick

Submitted by: HKS, Inc.

 

SITE DEVELOPMENT AND LANDSCAPE: Trails

AWARD OF MERIT

Name of Entry: Crosscut Canal Multiuse Path Project

Submitted by: City of Tempe

 

SITE DEVELOPMENT AND LANDSCAPE: Parks

CRESCORDIA

Name of Entry: George “Doc” Cavalliere Park

Submitted by: SmithGroupJJR

 

ART IN PUBLIC PLACES

CRESCORDIA

Name of Entry: Passage, South Mountain Library and Western Canal Public Art Project

Submitted by: Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture

 

AWARDS OF MERIT

Name of Entry: “Contours and Crossings” Crosscut Canal

Submitted by: City of Tempe

 

Name of Entry: IN FLUX Initiative

Submitted by: Scottsdale Public Art & City of Tempe Public Art

 

ENVIRONMENTAL TECHNOLOGIES: Public Sector

AWARDS OF MERIT

Name of Entry: Flood Control District of Maricopa County Tall Pot Tree Program

Submitted by: Flood Control District of Maricopa County

 

Name of Entry: Phoenix Renewable Energy Program

Submitted by: City of Phoenix

 

ENVIRONMENTAL TECHNOLOGIES: Private Sector

CRESCORDIA

Name of Entry: Paloma Solar Power Plant

Submitted by: Arizona Public Service

 

AWARDS OF MERIT

Name of Entry: PanAridus

Submitted by: Fifty Plus One

 

Name of Entry: Power Parasol at Lot 59

Submitted by: debartolo architects

 

ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION/COMMUNICATION: Public Sector

CRESCORDIA

Name of Entry: Fix a Leak Week Promotion and One for Water 4-Miler & Festival

Submitted by: Arizona Municipal Water Users Association

 

AWARDS OF MERIT

Name of Entry: Sustainability Science for Sustainable Schools

Submitted by: Sustainability Science for Sustainable Schools & ASU Global Institute of Sustainability

 

Name of Entry: Phoenix Recycling Program

Submitted by: Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture

ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION/COMMUNICATION: Private Sector

CRESCORDIA

Name of Entry: U-Haul Contributions to Environmental Education and Communication

Submitted by: U-Haul International

 

AWARD OF MERIT

Name of Entry: Green Living Magazine

Submitted by: Green Living Magazine

 

ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION/COMMUNICATION: Educators, Students & Nonprofits

CRESCORDIA

Name of Entry: Stardust Nonprofit Building Supplies Deconstruction Services

Submitted by: Stardust Nonprofit Building Supplies

 

AWARDS OF MERIT

Name of Entry: Plant Something Campaign

Submitted by: Arizona Nursery Association

 

Name of Entry: Urban Hummingbird Project

Submitted by: Audubon Arizona

 

ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP – The SRP Award

CRESCORDIA

Name of Entry: Maricopa County Master Watershed Stewards Program

Submitted by: University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, Maricopa County

 

PRESIDENT’S AWARD (Best of Show)

Name of Entry: Maricopa County Master Watershed Stewards Program

Submitted by: University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, Maricopa County

National Bank of Arizona, APS Energy Efficiency Partnership

APS Home Performance Program Provides Loans For Homeowners Energy Efficient Improvements

National Bank of Arizona has partnered with APS to provide an affordable financial incentive for APS customers to renovate their homes with energy efficient improvements. It’s called the APS Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® program.

The program was started more than a year ago and at the time was only available to schools and small businesses. But now, the partnership has  opened up so all APS residential customers have the ability to benefit not only the environment, but their wallet as well.

“We’re pleased to continue our partnership with a company like APS that views environmental sustainability as a top priority for our community,” says Craig Robb, executive vice president of National Bank of Arizona. “Our business energy financing program has been incredibly successful and, we’ve recognized the need to offer the same initiatives in the residential sector, as well.”

Photo: photos.com

The APS Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® program allows homeowners to receive loan amounts ranging with a standard rate of financing, from $1,000-$15,000 for qualifying energy efficiency improvements. Loans that include improvements for solar water heaters are available up to $20,000. The energy efficient improvements included in the partnership program range from duct sealing and shade screens to heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) replacements, solar water heaters and more.

To get started, customers need to schedule their $99 (regularly $400) APS Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® Checkup with a participating contractor. Customers can locate a contractor by calling (877) 850-8358 or visiting www.aps.com.

Learn more about the APS Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® program and financing details by visiting any one of National Bank of Arizona’s 76 branches statewide or calling (866) 277-5605 for more information. Customers can also log on to www.nbarizona.com or www.aps.com/financing.

Taka Group 2008;Flickr, Michael Ruiz

Aaron Kilby & Amanda Toney: The Taka Group

By Noelle Coyle


A good partnership is born out of a recipe of success, and Amanda Toney and Aaron Kilby have clearly found the right ingredients to make it work.

“He’s a good 8-to-5 husband,” Toney says with a laugh. By Noelle Coyle

Kilby adds, “We trust each other,” as he ticks off the components that have made their company, The Taka Group, flourish. “Honesty, open communication, truly believing in that person’s capability.”

taka_group 2008

Both Toney and Kilby grew up east of the Mississippi — Illinois and Pennsylvania, respectively — but after visiting Arizona, they fell in love with the weather and the “entrepreneurial spirit” found here. Prior to founding their own company, they had worked together for six years at two different companies that became products of mergers and acquisitions. Fed up with the pitfalls of corporate America, they opted to become business partners and The Taka Group was born.

A full-service marketing and creative services agency, The Taka Group offers myriad services, including event planning and marketing, display and merchandising, product graphics, logo design, photography, custom printing, direct mail, ad campaigns and Web site design, among many others.

Located in Kierland Commons in office space above the retail stores, the coffee-loving duo have plenty of options for their daily cup of joe and the perfect setting for research.

“It’s nice to walk downstairs with clients to see what other brands are doing in retail marketing,” Toney says.

Launching their business during tough economic times was a challenge, Toney says, but they believed in their ability to work together and create something they could be proud of. And after just four months in business, their client list already reflects their hard work. Guess Eyewear, Banana Republic Eyewear, Paul Smith Eyewear, Oliver Peoples Eyewear, Xiascapes, and Earthborn are on the who’s who list.

An ironic achievement for the company occurred when it added Oakley to its client list. Toney and Kilby had previously worked for a company associated with Oakley and were offered jobs to help the company launch a new brand. The opportunity would have meant moving to California and working long hours, but they wanted to stay in Arizona.

“If we’re going to work 24/7, it will be for ourselves,” Kilby says. cover october 2008

Toney adds: “It was a tough decision, because we were invested professionally and emotionally in it. But then, when we got them as clients, it was the best of both worlds.”

They were also recently able to hire an additional employee. Sarah Colleran, who used to work withthe pair at another Valley business, joined The Taka Group as its art director.

Looking to the future, they would like to open satellite offices on both the West and East coasts to better serve clients located in California, New York and New Jersey. They also want to open a location in Italy, where they draw a lot of inspiration for campaigns.

“The bulk of our business is the sunglass and eyewear industry,” Toney says, “but we also want to touch all other sides of retail — purses, clothing, shoes — we want to hit all of the markets.”

www.thetakagroup.com

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