Tag Archives: Peoria

Monterey Pines, WEB

Monterey Pines in Peoria Sells for $10.8M

Marcus & Millichap announced the sale of Monterey Pines, a 216-unit apartment home community in Peoria, Ariz., a suburb of Phoenix. The $10.8M sales price equates to $50,000 per unit.

Cliff David, a Marcus & Millichap vice president investments, and Steve Gebing, a senior director with Institutional Property Advisors, a Marcus & Millichap company, both located in the Phoenix office, represented the seller, Murano Properties. David and Gebing also advised the buyer, Mentor Properties Inc.

“The interior amenities and community advantages offered by Monterey Pines are unparalleled for an asset of its vintage,” says David. “The property’s physical improvements include well-designed floor plans that amplify the available living space and feature revenue enhancement capabilities through existing washer/dryer connections.”

“Furthermore, Monterey Pines is located within a submarket that is poised for smart growth through the city of Peoria’s 10-Year Capital Improvement Plan for fiscal years 2013-2022,” continues David. “The plan is a $463M investment in 166 different capital projects focused on coordinating efforts with schools, utilities, developers, and other agencies for the express purpose of creating sustainable community assets.”

Developed by Hrebec Properties in 1984, the apartment complex is located on 10 acres at 8650 W. Peoria Ave. in Peoria, just south of the Bell Road retail corridor, which is anchored by the Arrowhead Towne Center, a 1.2 MSF regional mall.

Apartment interiors at Monterey Pines feature garden kitchen windows, oversized walk-in closets with double rods and shoe shelves, individual exterior storage rooms and covered private patios/balcony decks. Community amenities include two swimming pools and a spa, a poolside ramada with built-in barbecues, a newly integrated and lighted sport court, horseshoe pit, shuffleboard, playground and picnic area, reserved covered parking, contemporary clubhouse and complimentary Wi-Fi connectivity in the clubhouse and pool area.

startup

Getting an angel to open the checkbook

Governor Jan Brewer touts her policies and business regulatory climate as the reason Arizona is growing new businesses. That may be a factor, but it’s not the major reason Arizona topped the Kaufman Foundation Index of Entrepreneurial Activity in 2012. If it were the case, Arizona would have been on top again in 2013—instead of plummeting to 20th nationally.

“Just because there are a lot of startups,” observes Barry Broome, CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, “doesn’t provide a measure of the economic growth in the Valley.” A startup can be someone opening a consultancy, a contractor or the next Apple. Self-employment is a form of startup. The challenge is nurturing a startup so it grows with high value jobs.

Local governments and the Arizona Commerce Authority see major value with growing Arizona startups into enterprises. Chris Mackay, economic development director in Chandler says, “There’s staying power when a business is local. It’s connected to the local community and if the economy falters, the owners are more willing to keep going locally as opposed to closing up shop.” That local staying power is one reason Mackay says Chandler makes big investments in growing future enterprises.

Planting the seeds

Arizona’s new economy needs startups to scale up into enterprises. Those growing small businesses become hiring employers offering high value jobs paying home-buying income. Government policy supporting businesses that can scale up is based on simple economics.

Businesses with more than 20 employees, says the Small Business Administration, generate two of three Arizona paychecks. Those same businesses cut checks for more than 70 percent of Arizona’s private payrolls. The value in 2012 was over $100 billion.

All new businesses are “startups,” but not all startup businesses will be entrepreneurial enterprises. “There is no relation between starting a business and starting a company,” says Dr. Daniel Isenberg, Professor of Entrepreneurship Practice and founding executive director of the Babson College Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Project in Boston. “Ninety percent of companies formed don’t grow high value jobs.”

Isenberg says that the difference between a start-up and enterprise is a matter of scale. He is an international advocate for scaling a business to grow as opposed to opening a business. An entrepreneur, he points out, is a business founder with a large company that just happens to be small right now.

Arizona State University, as the new American university, is at the cutting edge of helping turn ideas into enterprise. Recently, the college joined the elite ranks of schools offering a stand-alone degree in entrepreneurship. It’s on that list with Harvard Business School, Babson, and University of Texas. Its goal is getting new businesses that can grow into the market.

Locally grown

ASU says more than 70 percent of its W.P. Carey School of Business MBA graduates remain in Arizona. Keeping these graduates in state provides the human resources necessary to building new enterprises fueling the future economy.

“Starting a company — as opposed to just starting a business — is hard work,” says Isenberg. “An entrepreneur looks at the business and sees it growing. It’s a time of sleep deprivation, hard work, and endless pitches.” Few startups achieve quality growth—less than ten percent, he believes. “The golden triangle of a growing enterprise,” he continues, “is cash, customers and people.”

“An entrepreneurial endeavor isn’t limited to startups,” Isenberg emphasizes. “University research, family businesses, mature companies, all can be turned into a growing enterprise. Most startups tend to stay small.” The key to the economic contribution of startups in Arizona is scalability. He is adamant about it, “Ambition is not a dirty word. A business founder without ambition does not significantly contribute to overall economic growth.”

“There are a number of entrepreneurial success stories arising from a new direction for an existing, mature business,” Isenberg reports. Sometimes it takes a new owner with a vision; sometimes the existing management team finds a new direction. It can be a license from a university, a new product, or an innovative use of an existing product. Entrepreneurship can occur anywhere in a business’ lifecycle.”

Bringing ideas to market

Arizona colleges are on that licensing bandwagon. Entrepreneurs complain that it takes years to license patents or transfer technology from most universities. In ASU’s Office of Knowledge and Enterprise Development, the Arizona Furnace Technology Transfer Accelerator — first project of its type in the world — slashes technology transfer time from years to months. The AZ Furnace is a joint venture of ASU, University of Arizona, Northern Arizona University and Dignity Health. Funding partners include the Arizona Commerce Authority, BioAccel, and additional support from Thunderbird School of Global Management.

“There are hundreds of patents sitting on shelves at universities that could be in the market earning money for creators, colleges and businesses,” enthuses Gordon McConnell, assistant vice president, Entrepreneurship & Innovation Group in OKED. “We started a program to get patents into the market quickly.” The startups selected for incubation in AZ Furnace are either entrepreneurs in search of an idea to market or idea-creators ready to market through a business entity. The fledgling enterprises are capital-ready in 12 months or less.

Enterprise starts with a leader and a vision. The scale of the vision is what makes the difference, says Isenberg. The vast majority of business owners are thinking of a model that gets them to the point that they’re putting money in the bank. He says, “Entrepreneurs are thinking of a model that finds smart people, willing customers and puts the cash to back into the enterprise.”

“Angels invest in businesses they understand or CEOs they respect,” says Broome. “There’s a need for more of that in the Valley. We’re just not seeing the next Apple or Google evolving here.”

Gaining visibility

“The biggest challenge about getting angel and venture money is visibility,” says Brandon Clark, region coordinator for Startup Arizona.  “If you’re a promising digital startup locally, it’s a little harder to get noticed nationally being from a region not known for its digital startups.  That’s starting to slowly shift.” National publications, FastCompany and Entrepreneur Magazine, have eyed Arizona as an emerging technology region.

The development opportunity for the small business is capital. Combine the “Broome Factor”—known businesses; known leaders—with the large number of startups, and there are too many funding requests heading towards too few checkbooks.

What makes early investors open pocketbooks to startup businesses is scalability. Businesses with potential to grow create the greatest return on investment for the angels. “It’s also makes a difference to the local economy,” says Isenberg. “Local policymakers need to change their focus from ‘startup’ to a ‘high value growth business’.”

Cities like helping scalable startups — and provide resources that build success. There’s a loyalty factor when the business grows; it typically remains in the hometown that helped it succeed. This is important to Chandler, Mesa, Peoria, Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Surprise. These five cities have specifically invested in incubators and accelerators to nurture and graduate businesses achieving market traction. Chandler, Phoenix and Tucson have involvement with collaborative workspaces — Gangplank and Co+Hoots — as well.

While an employee or two in a collaborative workspace works well for a while, the time comes when a move up is needed. Clairvoyant, an enterprise and analytics startup now in Chandler Innovations started with Gangplank. “We grew from four employees in March to 12 in April,” smiles Amber Anderson, a firm partner and its business developer. “We needed a place to meet with clients and work with a growing team.” Still self-funded, the growing entity plans to hit 20 employees by January.

Mackay explains, “We help a company like this grow and hope that as it expands it continues to locate in Chandler.” To that end, the city is working with landlords in its Price Corridor to offer “teenage” space that lets a business move from the heavily subsidized rents and back office support of the incubator into its own place—without too much sticker shock.

Support from cities

The difference by which startup is accepted into a city’s incubator is the ability to scale up from the garage to commercial space; from one employee to more than 20. Chandler and Mesa are looking for businesses with this capacity. Innovations gives lab and office space to businesses that have formed entities — LLCs, corporations, partnerships — and a business plan. Mesa’s new Technology Accelerator is planned with a similar focus, but is looking for businesses at an earlier stage. Surprise’s Arizona TechCelerator wants to shepherd a business to the angel investor stage.

In Surprise, scalability is one of the criteria to be accepted into Arizona’s oldest incubator. The TechCelerator is looking for businesses offering something outside the box or creating a new niche. “The company has to be started before we’ll consider them,” says Julie Neal, the economic development coordinator for the city’s enterprise. “They need a mentor, a plan and have to know where they are going.”

“Scaling up is difficult,” says Isenberg, “but doing it right defines the difference between the successful entrepreneur with a growth business and a startup that just stays small. Marketplaces are competitive. The startup has to acquire customers. That means overcoming inertia or changing buyer behavior. While established companies are cruising on their business platforms, the startup has to hire people, start a company, raise money, and all the while, it’s competing in the marketplace. That’s tough work.”

After incubation, the business must gain market traction. At this phase, the fledgling enterprise has product going out and customers paying for it. The kinks are being smoothed, and it’s time to move up to the next stage and grow. Isenberg says that the high growth criterion is simply 20 percent annual increases in sales or staff for five years.

Getting capital

To make this leap requires high levels of capital — the checks venture capitalists cut. The biggest challenge in Phoenix is that there are few sources for local venture capital. The venturists hang out in places like Silicon Valley, Boston, San Diego and Seattle. “There are even a couple of funds with deep ties to the Valley,” worries Clark, “but they have very little involvement in local startups.”

Clate Mask, CEO of Infusionsoft, had to travel out of town for his venture capital. “At one time, I was told that a fund wouldn’t cut a check for a firm in Phoenix because we didn’t have the workforce for success,” he says. “That’s no longer true; venture funds are seeing that there is a real climate for success in the Valley.”

Another resource for a growing business is the Arizona Commerce Authority’s “Growing Your Arizona Business” services. The quasi-public agency provides mentorship, regulatory assistance, access to incentive programs and site selection. It also works as a liaison connecting the growing business with other business resources. The agency mentors businesses in accessing federal procurement and grant opportunities as well as serving as an entrée to international trade.

Overall, the major resource in Arizona for start-up businesses is the universities. Anemic legislative funding for the schools causes their efforts to help to face the same struggles growing businesses face. Their efforts to improve Arizona’s long-term economy are stymied by a declining source of capital.

“ASU is underfunded,” complains Barry Broome. “The school has done an amazing job despite being financially crippled by budget cuts. It’s suffering from a lack of resources to take its programs to scale.” “Scalability” is applicable to the business-development programs at the universities and other public agencies just as it is for growing enterprises.

“Getting money for those programs is the top job for the next governor,” predicts Broome.
Opportunity in Arizona will come from the core of businesses growing today. They will create the jobs for the new economy and drive economic success for the next generation.

Sonoma Place, Colliers

Sonoma Place Apartments in Peoria Sell for $6.53M

Colliers International in Greater Phoenix recently completed the $6.53M sale of the 100-unit Sonoma Place, located at 11600 N. 75th Ave. in Peoria, for $65,300 a unit, or $80.33 a SF.

Denver-based Investment Property Exchange Services acquired Sonoma Place from Mentor Properties of Scottsdale. Bill Hahn, Jeffrey Sherman and Trevor Koskovich of Colliers’ HSK Multifamily team represented both parties.

Built in 1985, Sonoma Place is a two-story apartment complex with two bedroom/two bathroom units on 7.4 acres with 81,280 net rentable square feet. Recent renovations include new interior and exterior paint, landscape enhancements, refinished countertops, improved fixtures and the installation of washers and dryers into units.

Common amenities include a swimming pool, spa, outdoor barbecues, business center, playground and large grassy courtyards.

Sonoma Place is near higher education opportunities and entertainment destinations including Glendale Community College, Arizona State University’s West Campus, Arrowhead Towne Center, Westgate Entertainment District and University of Phoenix Stadium.

cancer.ytratment

Cancer Center Creates Synergy with Like-Minded Life Savers

Cancer is a scary word.

“The word ‘cancer’ is actually the general name given to some 100-plus diseases from breast to lung to skin cancer, and is when cells in a specific part of the body begin to grow out of control,” said Dr. Daniel Reed, co-founder of Arizona Center for Cancer Care (AZCCC) in Peoria.

While the word itself may be general, those fighting its 100-plus diseases are anything but.

“No two cancer patients are alike – and no two patients’ treatment should be either,” said Dr. Reed, who understands this firsthand as his grandmother fought breast cancer while he was in medical school, inspiring him to go into the field.

Depending on a patient’s needs, he/she may require cancer treatment with chemotherapy, radiation therapy or a combination of both. If being treated with a combination, West Valley patients were often required to go to different cancer centers throughout the Northeast and Southeast Valley – sometimes hours away – for regular care. Unsatisfied with West Valley patients’ access to nearby facilities and support services, Dr. Reed partnered with fellow specialists Drs. Christopher Biggs and Terry Lee in 2008 to launch Arizona Center for Cancer Care in Peoria. Their mission, simply put, was to become the future of cancer treatment in Arizona.

“Our multi-specialty treatment center was designed to give us the ability to offer comprehensive cancer care to patients on this side of town – something never done before in this community,” said Dr. Reed.

Upon launching the facility, the group quickly became the first of its kind to offer West Valley patients Brachytherapy, which is an effective, less-invasive treatment for prostate, breast, lung, esophageal, gynecologic and head/neck cancers, among others. They also became the first to invest in and offer Radiosurgery to the area using a state-of-the-art technology called RapidArc® radiation therapy.

“This very precise form of therapeutic radiation uses beams of radiation to treat cancerous tissues without a surgical incision or opening, allows patients to receive treatment in as little as 10 minutes, compared to the several hours it used to take with older technologies like the cyber knife and gamma knife,” said Dr. Reed.

In 2008 the radiation oncologist and team realized they were ready to expand and partnered with prominent medical oncologist Dr. Devinder Singh and his practice, Arizona Center for Hematology and Oncology, increasing the practice to 10 physicians and the West Valley’s first comprehensive cancer practice. By 2011, when the Peoria center became Arizona’s only freestanding radiation oncology facility to earn The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval™ for accreditation, they had also added gynecological cancer treatment to their growing list of patient services, another first for the West Valley.

Over the past year, two major events have happened:
First, it partnered with Arizona Breast Cancer Specialists (ABCS) and Arizona Radiation Oncology Specialists (AROS) to expand into the Scottsdale and Southeast Valley markets.
Then, thanks in part to relationships with ABCS and AROS, the group joined together to enter into a long-term relationship with Scottsdale Healthcare, wherein AZCCC is now overseeing the Piper Center’s ENTIRE radiation oncology wing and beyond.

Today, the practice in total now boasts 52 physicians, more than 200 employees and 20 partner offices Valleywide as a result.

“We are a cancer center without walls whose services stretch into every inch of this community, offering the West Valley with the best doctors, best treatment technologies and best research in the country,” says Dr. Reed. “Cancer is a disease of survivors – and we want to keep it that way.”

demential

Sun Health launches personalized memory care program

Sun Health has launched a Memory Care Navigator program, the newest offering in the nonprofit organization’s rapidly growing collection of community health programs.

Peoria’s Marty Finley, M.Ed. has been selected as the Sun Health Memory Care Navigator, who will provide personal and professional guidance to patients, family members and caregivers coping with the emotional, psychological and physical effects of dementia. The Navigator will prepare a plan of care individualized to their needs, and will serve as a liaison between patients and families, their physicians and ancillary community services.

Specifically, the Navigator is available to:

• Assess the needs of the patient and family and provide confidential consultation;
• Link patients and family members to education, support groups and assistive services in the West Valley;
• Be an ongoing resource for families and caregivers as new challenges arise through different stages of dementia;
• Educate patients and family members about available local clinical trials that they may discuss with their physicians; and
• Collaborate with and communicate recommendations to each patient’s physician.

“We want to provide a comprehensive resource that minimizes the stress of caring for a loved one with dementia,” Finley said. “A number of wonderful resources exist in the West Valley that can benefit dementia patients as well as their caregivers and families. We want to help people to be aware of these resources and take advantage of them”.

While local physicians can refer patients to the program, family members and other caregivers can also contact Finley directly. She can be reached at 623.832.9300. More information about the Memory Care Navigator program can be found at www.SunHealth.org/memorycare.

The program is offered at no charge to patients and their families, thanks to funds raised in the community through the Sun Health Foundation. Other nonprofit community health programs supported through the Foundation include Sun Health Care Transitions, Vial of Life and File of Life.

In addition, Sun Health will expand the free programming available through its Community Education series to include several seminars each month on topics related to brain health, dementia, and caregiver challenges. The monthly Sun Health Community Education lineup can be found by visiting www.SunHealth.org and clicking Community Education.

Banner Good Samaritan

E.V. residents can preview Banner Health Center

East Valley residents and visitors can be among the first to see the new Banner Health Center at a free “Community Preview” from 8 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 3, at the center located at 1435 S. Alma Road, south of the Loop 202 between West Pecos and West Germann Roads.

Participants can hear the opening remarks and join in the dedication at 8:30 a.m., followed by a celebration including healthy snacks, giveaways, children’s activities and information about Banner Health facilities and services. Community members are invited to meet the center’s primary care physicians and staff, tour the new center, and even make an appointment to see a physician.

Banner Health Center in Chandler will open for patient care on Wednesday, Aug. 7 starting at 7 a.m. Staff physicians will include two pediatricians, three family medicine physicians and one internal medicine physician with plans to increase in the future. Along with 18 exam rooms, basic imaging and laboratory services are also available on site for added patient convenience.

Banner Health Centers accept most insurance plans. The center will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday with same day and next day appointments available. Concierge staff answers the phones one hour before and one hour after center hours. To schedule an appointment or for more information, call (480) 668-1600.

The center will offer a wide range of services including:
·         Well-child checkups and immunizations
·         Adult physcials
·         Care for chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and asthma
·         Treatment for ear aches, sore throats and infections
·         Sports injury and fracture care
·         Minor skin irritation treatment
·         Cuts and suture removal

The Banner Health Center in Chandler is the third of four in the East Valley to open after a shared groundbreaking on Oct. 25, 2012. Banner Health Center in Queen Creek opened May 1; a center in Gilbert opened May 22 and another will open in East Mesa in early September. An additional Banner Health Center opened in Goodyear within the planned community of Estrella on July 10, joining the existing Banner Health Centers in Peoria/Sun City West, Surprise, Buckeye in the Verrado Community, Maricopa, and South Loveland, CO.

baseball

CORE Institute Supports High School Athletes

Phoenix-based orthopedic group, The CORE Institute hosted sports physical which provided local athletes and organizations with the opportunity to support athletic programs. The exams cost $25 and 100% goes back to each respective athletic program.

The CORE Institute was able to raise and donate over $4,300 to local high schools in the Peoria and Dysart School District.  Sports physicians at The CORE Institute were able to complete more than 170 enhanced school physicals during this annual event. Student athletes are required to complete a sports physical in order to participate in their high school team sports.

“Participation in team sports is a significant part of High School for students that builds character, teaches teamwork, and improves one’s physical fitness,” said John Kearney, Jr., MD of The CORE Institute. “Our providers and staff are engrained in the community and enjoy giving back, we raise families in this community and we all work with student-athletes already – this is just one way that we can continue to give back.”

volunteer

SRP Donates $94,500 to Nonprofit Agencies

Salt River Project employees are turning their volunteer hours into much-needed funds for the nonprofit organizations they assist through the SRP Dollars for Doers program.

The program contributes funds, ranging from $250 to $1,000, directly to community nonprofits based upon the number of volunteer hours donated during the 2012 calendar year by SRP employees. The grant program is designed to provide funding to nonprofit agencies that are also supported by the volunteer efforts of SRP employees.

“SRP has a distinct heritage built upon responding to the needs of our customers and the communities in which they live, and we recognize the value of providing support to organizations whose programs are improving the lives of our community,” said Jen Martyn who manages the SRP Volunteer Program.

SRP donated $94,500 to 106 nonprofit agencies in which 141 SRP employees donated more than 29,000 hours of their time and experience in cities throughout the Valley, including Avondale, Camp Verde, Casa Grande, Chandler, Douglas, El Mirage, Gilbert, Glendale, Higley, Litchfield Park, Mesa, Page, Peoria, Phoenix, Pine Top, Queen Creek, San Tan Valley, Scottsdale, St. Johns, Tempe and Tolleson and Tucson.

Employees contributed to their community in a number of ways, including:

· coaching youth football, baseball, soccer and swimming,
· providing children with special needs horse therapy rides,
· ushering during arts and cultural events,
· preparing meals for those in need,
· mentoring and providing leadership to youth and
· assisting schools through parent-teacher organizations and booster clubs.

law

JacksonWhite Names First Female Shareholder

JacksonWhite P.C. announced that attorney Susan Court was made a shareholder of the firm.  Court joins 12 other attorneys at JacksonWhite who share the distinction of shareholder.

Court joined JacksonWhite in 2005 and focuses her practice on elder law, probate, guardianships, conservatorships, and estate planning. Court assists clients with end-of-life issues including incapacity, mental illness and the transfer of assets before or after death. She is a member of the Arizona Fiduciaries Association as well as the State Bar of Arizona. Court is a former Maricopa County prosecutor and taught Business Law at Mesa Community College and Chandler Gilbert Community College. She is also active on the MCC Development Board, the J. Reuben Clark Law Society, and the Mesa Chamber of Commerce.

Founded in 1983, JacksonWhite P.C. offers a full-range of services to assist individuals, families and businesses with their legal needs. Since its inception, the Mesa firm has grown steadily to include 22 highly experienced attorneys and over 40 paralegals, legal assistants and staff. At this size, the firm is large enough to offer the efficiency and technical expertise of larger firms, yet small enough to provide clients with individualized, personalized attention. JacksonWhite has three offices around the state of Arizona including a Mesa, Casa Grande and Peoria location. For more information on a specific attorney or area of practice, visit www.jacksonwhitelaw.com or www.arizonaseniorlaw.com.

medical.research

City of Peoria honors BioAccel

BioAccel has received the City of Peoria’s 2013 Economic Development Award for the development and management of BioInspire, a medical device-focused accelerator program. MaryAnn Guerra, BioAccel’s CEO, and Thomas Rainey, Director of BioInspire, will accept the award on behalf of BioAccel’s staff, Board and advisors at the Peoria Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Awards Celebration, May 22, 2013.

A City of Peoria-funded initiative, BioInspire was launched by BioAccel on September 25, 2012. To date, it has supported the recruitment of six new portfolio companies providing advisory services, funding, individual and common laboratory space and support services at the 6,800-square-foot facility in Peoria. Arizona Medical Systems, Hildeez, Kulira Technologies, Nasseo, Yolia Health and Stimwave Technologies are located at BioInspire.

“The next several years will be exciting as the City continues to execute its Economic Development Implementation Strategy and nurture this public-private partnership to support the region’s bioscience industry,” said Scott Whyte, the City of Peoria’s economic development services director. “As the clients at BioInspire grow and prosper, they will graduate from the resource rich accelerator program into their own commercial space within the City. BioAccel was chosen for this award based on their leadership and execution in assisting us in stimulating the local and regional economy, and planting the seeds for future growth.”

BioInspire’s goal is to create knowledge industry jobs and entrepreneurial wealth by supporting viable new medical device companies.

“Portfolio companies will play a vital role in Peoria’s economic development through their scalable businesses and the products derived from their innovative research. BioAccel provides critical support for that effort by providing proof-of-concept and seed funding, flexible office and lab space, and business and regulator advisory services. This significantly increases their chances of success,” Guerra said.

BioAccel’s interdisciplinary team manages a rigorous client selection process complemented by an expert advisory council that approves final selection of prospective company applications. The Council of Advisors includes senior managers from Medtronic, Covidien, West Valley Bancorp, HLM Partners, the City of Peoria and capital sources among others.

BioAccel was established to stimulate the development of technologies and spin-off companies based on research conducted at other public and private institutions and by local entrepreneurs.

BioAccel is a nonprofit organization dedicated to translating life science discoveries into new business opportunities that drive economic development. Since its founding in 2009, it has invested close to $2.5 million into companies and projects that have secured over $12.6 million in follow on funding thus far. For more information visit www.bioaccel.org.

118315706

Youngtown becomes GPEC’s 21st member community

The Town of Youngtown recently joined the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) as its 21st member community. Youngtown is located at the Agua Fria River between Peoria, Sun City and El Mirage, and has a current population of approximately 6,200.

“We’re thrilled to have the Town of Youngtown on board at GPEC,” said GPEC President and CEO Barry Broome. “Youngtown is a unique, up-and-coming community with tremendous potential for economic growth. We’re excited to assist with their plans to move forward as a community.”

“The 21st GPEC community for the 21st Century — we’re proud to take a seat at the GPEC table,” Youngtown Mayor Michael LeVault said. “Youngtown is well positioned to be a vibrant and vital player in the region’s bright economic future.”

Youngtown was originally designed as a retirement community but has since evolved to accommodate young people and families. The community’s “village” feel sets the town apart from the rest of the region. The Town’s general plan for 2025 has a robust focus on economic development, targeting community revitalization, public relations and marketing, and business enhancement, attraction and diversification.

“Youngtown’s addition to GPEC’s family of communities speaks volumes about the depth and breadth of services available to its member communities and companies,” said Jim Lundy, GPEC’s board chairman and CEO of Alliance Bank of Arizona. “Whether an established business or startup, an older community or one just starting to rev up its economic engine, like Youngtown, GPEC offers expert economic development advice, marketing, research and prospect leads.”

homes

Shea Homes reports steady sales for Q1

Shea Homes saw its sales hold steady through the first quarter of 2013, with its West Valley communities seeing higher than normal sales. Close to two thirds of the sales for Q1 came from Shea’s West Valley communities in Peoria, Buckeye, and Litchfield Park, which is a turn from the boom of its East Valley communities.

“Our overall traffic is up and sales have remained steady from last year, which was a huge recovery over 2011,” said Ken Peterson, VP of Sales and Marketing for Shea Homes. “We have seen hot spots in the West Valley- specifically our luxury homes at Vista Montaña in Peoria, where home prices have averaged $600,000.”

Shea’s two newest product lines, luxury homes and luxury villas, have shown tremendous growth so much so that an additional 23, out of a total of 43 homesites, were opened at Vista Montaña II earlier this year and the luxury villas are being expanded to a new community breaking ground in Verrado later this summer. The new community, called Vallarta at Verrado, will feature 63 homesites with luxury villa floor plans similar to Shea’s Vistancia community; Caletas at Blackstone.

Shea has been active in the East Valley as well, specifically San Tan Valley and Gilbert, where its innovative product SPACES at Evans Ranch has only one inventory home left. Evans Ranch was opened in May 2012 and has sold out ahead of projections. Shea Homes is currently building 9 models at Marbella Vineyards opening late-summer and getting ready to break ground for models at their Bridges communities in Gilbert. With close to 500 lots soon available and showcasing a completely new approach to homebuilding Shea Homes continues to challenge industry standards.

“Our homes at Marbella will be something the Valley has never seen before in homebuilding, it will completely redefine the concept of how the industry has built homes in the past,” said Peterson. “This summer will be an exciting one for us.”

volunteer

11 SRP Employees Honored for Volunteer Work

In recognition of the invaluable contribution of their time, efforts and expertise to their communities, 11 SRP employee volunteers were awarded the SRP Presidents’ Volunteer Spirit Awards. These dedicated employees have given countless hours of their time to help families put food on their tables; provide guidance to Latino youths as they prepare for college and give children with special needs horse therapy rides.

“Each year SRP recognizes inspiring employee volunteers who give of their time to helping Arizonans through a wide variety of community organizations,” said Rosemary Gannon, manager of SRP Community Outreach, who added that SRP employees and retirees, with help from their friends and families, donate thousands of volunteer hours a year to their communities. “Strong, thriving communities rely on the volunteer efforts of individuals like these recipients.”

This year, in addition to the SRP Presidents’ Volunteer Spirit Award, SRP employee Kyle Bridges was honored with the Karl F. Abel Volunteer Recognition Award for his sustained leadership role in addressing significant human service needs in his community. The late Karl F. Abel, a Glendale resident who served as president of SRP from 1972 to 1982, was a strong community advocate and  provided volunteer leadership to numerous organizations.

The 2013 SRP Presidents’ Volunteer Spirit Award honorees and the nonprofits they assist are:

Chandler resident Holly Schaefer – AZ Happy Tails Animal Rescue
Holly Schaefer is a founding member of AZ Happy Tails Animal Rescue, which was established in 2009 to rescue and find loving homes for animals that are stray, abandoned or at risk of euthanasia. To date, AZ Happy Tails has rescued and found homes for more than 400 animals. Schaefer is responsible for all animal intake and adoption decisions, and she coordinates with foster homes to supply them with food and bedding and help with any other needs they may have.

Gilbert resident Barbara Sprungl – The Centers for Habilitation (TCH)
The Centers for Habilitation (TCH) provides promotes independence for Arizonans with developmental and physical disabilities. In 2010, Barbara Sprungl joined TCH’s board of directors, and she volunteers more than 20 hours a month. She chairs the Fund Development Committee and is vice chair of the Finance, Governance and Executive committee. She volunteers for fundraising events and helps with everything from setup and operation to planning. Sprungl implemented a new formal fundraising model and trained the rest of the board on the new approach. In 2012, she raised $12,500 for the Monster Mash Sponsorship Committee.

Glendale resident David Larson – Cactus High School Robotics Team
The Cactus High School Robotics Team is experienced in building, maintaining and operating robots. David Larson has been a mentor and coach since 2009 and volunteers an average of 67 hours a month. Because of his time investment, the robotics team has shown dramatic improvement. Larson readies the team for FIRST Robotics competition and this year they built a robot that plays basketball. Larson also holds workshops for welding, tube and wire soldering, painting, and many other skills. He also started a safety program, complete with a study guide and an exam for the program.

Mesa resident Kyle Tilghman – American Youth Soccer Organization — Region 1079
The American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) provides soccer programs for children ages 4–19 and Region 1079 is the largest soccer program in the East Valley. The region is run completely by volunteer coaches and referees, and a number of volunteers dedicate a lot of time to securing soccer fields and marketing the organization. Kyle Tilghman has been a volunteer coach with AYSO’s Region 1079 since 2006. Six years ago, he was volunteering three hours a month, but over the years, he has taken on more responsibilities. In addition to coaching and refereeing, he serves as the coach administrator for the region.

Peoria resident John Buonagurio – Theater Works
Theater Works is a nonprofit performing arts organization that has been serving Peoria and the West Valley for more than 25 years. John Buonagurio is a volunteer of nearly three years and is chairman of the board. He also serves on the Governance, Development and Artistic committees. It has been a challenging time for Theater Works, like many other arts organizations, as support at all levels has waned because of the recession. Buonagurio’s leadership over the past few years has brought continuity to Theater Works during a time of change and challenges.

Peoria resident Mark Burkhart – St. Mary’s Food Bank  Alliance
St. Mary’s Food Bank alleviates hunger by gathering and distributing food to  two-thirds of Arizona’s 15 counties and is committed to volunteerism, building community relationships and improving the quality of life for Arizonans in need. Mark Burkhart has planned and managed a golf tournament that raises between $10,000 and $15,000 annually. Burkhart is dedicated to St. Mary’s and knows that every dollar he raises means seven meals for the hungry. In the 10 years he has been coordinating the golf tournament, he has helped St. Mary’s serve more than 900,000 meals.

Peoria resident Jim Custis – Joni and Friends Arizona
Joni and Friends Arizona works with local churches and organizations to form outreach programs for those who face the daily challenge of life with a disability. For the past six years, Jim Custis has been fundraising for the organization’s Family Retreat program, which provides a respite for families affected by disabilities. Custis and his family have raised more than $20,000 and spend about 15 hours a month volunteering with Joni and Friends and one week of vacation every summer serving families affected by disabilities.

Peoria resident Christopher Rodriguez – AGUILA Youth Leadership Institute
AGUILA Youth Leadership Institute prepares Latino/Latina youth, beginning as high school freshmen, for college admissions and graduation. Christopher Rodriguez fundraises, serves on the board of advisors and uses his bilingual skill to help Spanish-speaking parents understand the benefits of AGUILA and the importance of higher education for their children. He’s also a mentor, helping these students pursue their goals of higher education. Rodriguez is dedicated to this program because he knows many of the youth who attend AGUILA will be the first in their families to attend college.

Phoenix resident Shari Brady – Arizona FIRST Lego League
Arizona FIRST Lego League (FLL) is a robotics program for students ages 9–14 that promotes science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) projects. Shari Brady began volunteering when she was an ASU student and continues to volunteer about 17 hours a week. She serves on the Advisory Committee, which plans regional tournaments and helps develop volunteer recruiting strategies. This year, the tournament was expanded to include remote northern Arizona teams, allowing a number of school teams from Native American communities to participate without long travel times to tournament venues.

San Tan Valley resident Kyle Bridges – Epic Food Mission
Epic Food Mission provides hope, help and support to families facing financial difficulty in the Queen Creek/San Tan Valley area. Every first and third Saturday of the month, Epic Food Mission provides food boxes, baby food and personal hygiene items for distribution to those in need. For five years, Kyle Bridges has volunteered with Epic Food Mission, serving as the organization’s distribution coordinator. He is responsible for organizing 50 volunteers and six team leaders to prepare hundreds of care packages for families. Bridges donates 50 hours of his time each month. For the past three years, he has also found time to volunteer with Compassion Connect, which helps unite and mobilize local churches, nonprofits, schools, and businesses to provide free dental and medical care for underserved populations.

San Tan Valley resident Marty Sonnenberg – Angel Acres Inc.
Angel Acres Inc. is a program created by Marty Sonnenberg in 2003, successfully combining her love of working with special-needs children with her love of working with horses. Every year from October through May, Sonnenberg and other volunteers teach grooming and horse therapy riding as part of a six-week program. During that time, Sonnenberg donates nearly 90 hours a month to keep program costs low and allow all the funds raised to go directly to the program. To date, the program has helped more than 446 children and given more than 2,680 therapy rides.

BASIS_MESA_View_24

BASIS Selects Eastmark for Its Next East Valley School

The nationally renowned charter school BASIS has selected Eastmark for its next East Valley campus. Construction on BASIS Mesa at Eastmark commences in March 2013.  The new school is set to open fall 2013.

“BASIS is our first 5-12 educational partner and a perfect fit for this community.  Eastmark’s central location in the East Valley will give hundreds of children more opportunities to earn a world-class education, which is a tremendous value for kids, their families and our region’s future workforce,” said Dea McDonald, Senior Vice President of DMB Associates and General Manager of Eastmark.

“Every DMB community features education and lifelong learning among its Community Life pillars, which are empowered by partnerships that extend far beyond the classroom.  We’re delighted to bring to future residents and neighbors this charter school option in the early phase of Eastmark,” added McDonald.

The new BASIS Mesa at Eastmark will complement the East Valley BASIS programs.  Because of the strong interest by parents and students, the BASIS Board of Directors agreed there was enough demand to develop another school in the East Valley, explained Craig Barrett, retired Chairman/CEO of Intel Corporation and Chairman of the Board for BASIS Schools Inc.

“Our BASIS Chandler School has had a waiting list since we opened.  DMB brought us the opportunity to develop in their new community, in an early phase of the development, where we could be a true partner.  Its location, easy access to transportation and vision for the future made Eastmark the right choice for us.  We’re eager to grow another top performing school for the region,” Barrett said.

The BASIS Mesa at Eastmark will open with grades 5-10, adding grade 11 by 2014 and grade 12 by 2015. BASIS Mesa may also add K through 4thgrades in ensuing years.  The design and size of the new school will be similar to its Chandler and Phoenix campuses. The campus will be located adjacent to the Eastmark Great Park situated on approximately 4.5 acres. DMB is advancing the development and construction of Eastmark Parkway to meet the timelines of the opening of the charter school.

Families can sign up for the BASIS Mesa at Eastmark interest list at www.basislink.org.

The first phase of Eastmark’s residential development is in the Queen Creek School District.  The district does not have plans to build another campus in Eastmark in the immediate future.

Eastmark will host its grand opening on June 1, 2013 with seven builders offering homes in the first phase of residential development.

BASIS is the top performing school in Arizona with BASIS students ranked highest in Stanford 10 national test scores in both math and reading in 2012.
All BASIS schools are “A” rated by the Arizona Department of Education (“AZEd”).

Approximately 5,000 students attend BASIS schools with campuses in Tucson, Oro Valley, Scottsdale, Chandler, Flagstaff, Peoria and Washington, D.C.  BASIS is also opening new schools in Ahwatukee, San Antonio, and a new K-4 program in Tucson.

Sun Health

Dignity names new West Valley hospital

Dignity Health announced that “St. Joseph’s Westgate Medical Center” will be the name of its new West Valley hospital during an official groundbreaking at the planned 35-acre medical campus near the Loop 101 and Glendale Avenue.

The $44 million Dignity Health facility is scheduled to open in early 2014 and will provide West Valley residents with a new alternative to receive high quality healthcare services. Dignity Health already operates three hospitals in the Valley including St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, which is home of the Barrow Neurological Institute in central Phoenix, and Chandler Regional and Mercy Gilbert Medical Centers. Dignity Health was previously known as Catholic Healthcare West.

When the new facility opens, the first phase will contain a 60,000 square-foot hospital that will include an emergency room, 24 inpatient beds, two operating rooms and diagnostic services. For the most complex medical cases, patients will benefit from the clinical integration with St. Joseph’s in central Phoenix. Established in 1895, St. Joseph’s today is nationally recognized for its specialty care and its expertise in treating the most complex medical cases.

“St. Joseph’s Westgate Medical Center was selected as the name of the medical campus because it builds on more than a century of healthcare in the Valley and people recognize St. Joseph’s as a beacon of quality care,” says Linda Hunt, Dignity Health Arizona President and CEO. “We intend to deliver that same excellence to the residents of the West Valley.”

The hospital will initially employ 200 staff and will have the capacity to expand to 200 inpatient beds as demand grows. The 35-acre medical campus will house community physicians and outpatient partners, giving patients one location for their healthcare needs.

“St. Joseph’s Westgate Medical Center will be a vibrant medical campus right in the heart of the West Valley,” says Gregg Davis, President of St. Joseph’s Westgate Medical Center. “The campus is designed to be a model for the nation’s changing healthcare environment and will change as medicine and the community evolve.”

The campus will serve as a collaborative venture in partnership with physicians in the West Valley to enhance and better manage the delivery of healthcare to patients in the area.

“This is a great project for the City of Glendale as the Loop 101 corridor near Glendale’s Sports and Entertainment District is one of the city’s key economic focus areas,” says Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers. “The new hospital will not only expand development west of the freeway, it will also attract other healthcare-related businesses and jobs to the area.”

While this is the first Dignity Health hospital in the West Valley, the organization began to lay the business foundation of its launch several years ago. Today, Dignity Health operates a family practice clinic and an orthopedic clinic in Peoria, imaging centers throughout the area, an outpatient surgery center and a partnership with the Minute Clinics located in the CVS pharmacies in Glendale and Goodyear.

movie

159 films selected for Sedona Film Festival

The 26 film screeners who reviewed nearly 1,000 films for the 19th annual Sedona International Film Festival, Feb. 23 to March 3, have selected the final 159 for the week-long event.

Films this year in the documentary, feature and short film categories cover a range of subjects from Last Will. & Testament about William Shakespeare to Avenue Rats Lost Downtown, a documentary about homeless kids in Seattle to A Virus Called Fear which focuses on how fear controls us to even a short list of films for fans of the macabre.

“People who come to the Festival with an independent film spirit and expectation will be very pleased,” said Sagan Lewis, who chairs the selection committee.  “Every film we’ve chosen has a special quality about it, whether it’s in the message, the theme, cinematography, acting or directing, we believe it will be obvious why the film was chosen.”

Among the changes this year is a larger number of short films that the committee matched up with the larger and longer films.

“There were many short films that we felt were important to show,” Lewis explained.  “We try to match the short films thematically with the larger films and this year we had a great number that afforded us that opportunity.  There were dozens of films that were perfect matches.”

The lineup also includes a number of films with Arizona connections, among them five films from the Sedona Film School (formerly the Zaki Gordon Institute) ranging from Avenue Rats Lost Downtown to the comedy Dinner with Alex and Kate to Dead West about zombies and cowboys.

Other Arizona connections include Orchestrating Community, a film about the Flagstaff City Orchestra and Vectors of Autism, the fascinating story of a Cornville resident Laura Nagle’s 57-year journey with Asperger’s Syndrome.

In between is a Family Series of movies including the Disney classic, Mary Poppins; an Australian award-winning film, Red Dog, a true story; and even Bones Brigade, “the best movie ever made about skateboarding,” Lewis said.  Mary Poppins’ choreographer Dee Dee Wood will be in Sedona for the film and to make presentations to schools in the community.

British actress Joan Collins, perhaps best known as Alexis Carrington in the popular 1980s television show Dynasty, Collins’ career spans more than 60 years in film, television and stage.  She made her Hollywood debut in Howard Hawks’ Land of the Pharaohs in 1955 and appeared in Island in the Sun in 1957.

Collins has selected Rally Round the Flag, Boys! with Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, and Decadence for screening.

Festival passes and ticket packages are now available online at www.sedonafilmfestival.org. Films will run all day beginning Tuesday, Feb. 26 on four screens at Sedona Harkins 6, 2081 W. State Route 89A; the Mary D. Fisher Theater, 2030 W. State Route 89A, and the Sedona Performing Arts Center at Sedona Red Rock High School, 995 Upper Red Rock Loop Road.

Workshops and panel discussions featuring a wide range of topics for filmmakers and film lovers organized by Academy Award-winning producer and Sedona Film Festival board member Kathleen Glynn (Bowling for Columbine, Fahrenheit 911) include Screenwriting, Young Filmmakers – Getting Started, Art Into Activism and Women in Film.   Roundtables also will be conducted on topics including producing, directing, financing and marketing independent films as well as on sustainability and the roles of filmmakers and artists in social change and activism.

The full list of presenters and panelists will be announced in late January. Workshops and panel discussions are free and open to the public.

The Festival’s schedule of special events includes an opening-night concert (Saturday, Feb. 23) with 3-time Grammy winner Keb Mo at the Sedona Performing Arts Center at Sedona Red Rock High School; the kick-off to the Sedona Green Series and World Cinema Series (Sunday, Feb. 24) and Oscars on the Rocks (Feb. 24), a live viewing of the Academy Awards ceremony from Hollywood; the Premiere Night Party at Reds (Tuesday, Feb. 26) at the Sedona Rouge; the Sedona Green Sustainable Roundtable (Saturday, March 2) and the premiere of “Awakening World” with special guest honoree Marianne Williamson (Friday, March 1) at the Sedona Performing Arts Center, and the Awards Celebration Brunch (Sunday, March 3) at the Poco Diablo Resort.

Priority Platinum and Gold Passes and 10 and 20-ticket packages are on sale.  Priority Pass holders are the first to be able to select tickets to the individual films as well as other benefits including being first to be admitted into the theater for screenings.

Platinum All-Access Passes are $900; Gold Priority Passes are $475; 20-ticket packages are $200, and 10-ticket packages are $100. Full-time students can get the 10-ticket package for $80.

Priority Pass holders will be able to select the films they want to see beginning at 10 a.m. on Feb. 4.  10 and 20-ticket pass holders can select films beginning at 10 a.m. on Feb. 11.  Individual film tickets go on sale to the general public on Feb. 18, 10 a.m.

Sedona International Film Festival memberships also are available beginning at $65 for a basic membership.  Family memberships for up to four family members living in the same household are $130. Additional membership packages include Cinematographer ($275), Screenwriter ($550), Producer ($1,200), Auteur Society ($5,000) and Legacy ($10,000).  Benefits are commensurate with membership-fee levels.  Full information is available on the website.

Packages, other than for full-time students, can be purchased online at www.sedonafilmfestival.org or through the Festival Box office at (928) 282-1177.  Student packages must be purchased through the Box Office and student ID’s are required.

For more information, visit www.sedonafilmfestival.org.

2013 SEDONA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL SELECTIONS

Documentaries:

5 Broken Cameras,

The Announcement,

Ave Rats Lost Downtown,

Awakening World,

Benny the Barber,

Beyond This Place,

Bidder 70,

Big Boys Gone Bananas!,

Bones Brigade,

Breathe Life,

A Brotherhood Reforged,

Carbon Nation,

Chasing Ice,

Child of Giants: My Journey with Maynard Dixon and Dorothea Lange,

Code of the West,

The Color of Moonlight,

Death By China 2.0,

DESERT DREAMS: Celebrating Five Seasons in the Sonoran Desert,

Do You Really Want to Know?,

Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey,

Ethel,

Far Out Isn’t Far Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Story,

The Flat,

Forgotten Fur,

Go Ganges!,

The Highest Cost,

How to Survive a Plague,

HOZHO The Beauty Way,

The Imposter,

The Invisible War,

Journey to Planet X,

The Kings of BBQ Barbecue Kuwait,

Last Will. & Testament,

Mayan Blue,

Meet the Fokkens,

Missing Home,

Mission of Mermaids,

My Father and The Man In Black,

One Life,

Orchestrating Community,

PAD YATRA: A Green Odyssey,

Paul Williams: Still Alive,

Running Wild:  The Life of Dayton O. Hyde,

Sacred Journey of the Heart,

Shenandoah,

The Shift of the Ages,

Still,

Stolen Seas,

Streams of Consequence,

Sweet Dreams,

Tailings,

Trash Dance,

Trial By Fire: Lives Re-Forged,

Vectors of Autism: About Laura Nagle,

A Virus Called Fear,

We’re Different, My Baby,

Who Cares About Kelsey?,

Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines,

The World Before Her,

World Circus.

Feature Films

3 Days of Normal,

Amour,

Any Day Now,

Anyone Out There,

Asmaa,

Baikonur,

A Bottle in the Gaza Sea,

Chinese Take Away,

Chittagong,

Comes A Bright Day,

Common People,

Decadence,

Dedication,

The Discoverers,

Downtown Express,

Eliot and Me,

Fanie Fourie’s Lobola,

The Girl,

Hank and Asha,

Hello! How Are You?,

The Hunt,

It’s Not You, It’s Me,

King of Devil’s Island,

Least Among Saints,

Leonie,

Liberal Arts,

Lore,

Mary Poppins,

Missed Connections,

No God, No Master,

One Small Hitch,

Passionflower,

Rally ‘Round the Flag, Boys!,

Red Dog,

Rust and Bone,

Savannah,

Shouting Secrets,

Shun Li and the Poet,

Stand Off,

Teddy Bear,

Upside Down,

Valley of Saints,

Violeta Went To Heaven,

The Woman in the Fifth.

Short Films

Abiogenesis,

And The Sky Will Never Be The Same Again,

Any Moment Now,

Arthur and the Bunnies,

ASAD,

Baggage,

The Balibo Night,

Bardo Light,

The Batting Cage,

A Better Place Than This,

Blackwood,

Boo!,

Bunny,

Check Out,

The Color of Christmas,

The Dance,

Dead West,

A Dinner With Alex and Kate,

The End of the World,

Enough.,

Falling Up,

The Future,

Green Acres,

Happy Birthday

Happy Voodoo,

A House, A Home,

The Invention (El Invento),

It’s Really That Simple,

Karen Returns Something to Scott,

The Lake (El Lago),

The Lesson,

Light Me Up,

Like Father,

Lisa,

Little Dad,

No Habla,

(notes on) Biology,

Of Teaching Killer Whales Compassion,

Old Angel,

Pear,

Peoria,

Plush,

Portrait,

Proposal,

Remember To Breathe,

SHAYA,

Song of the Spindle,

Stalled,

Summer Bummer,

Tailed,

The Things My Father Never Taught Me,

A Thousand Empty Glasses,

To The Last Drop,

Wolf Dog Tales,

The Worst Day Ever.

movie

159 films selected for Sedona Film Festival

The 26 film screeners who reviewed nearly 1,000 films for the 19th annual Sedona International Film Festival, Feb. 23 to March 3, have selected the final 159 for the week-long event.

Films this year in the documentary, feature and short film categories cover a range of subjects from Last Will. & Testament about William Shakespeare to Avenue Rats Lost Downtown, a documentary about homeless kids in Seattle to A Virus Called Fear which focuses on how fear controls us to even a short list of films for fans of the macabre.

“People who come to the Festival with an independent film spirit and expectation will be very pleased,” said Sagan Lewis, who chairs the selection committee.  “Every film we’ve chosen has a special quality about it, whether it’s in the message, the theme, cinematography, acting or directing, we believe it will be obvious why the film was chosen.”

Among the changes this year is a larger number of short films that the committee matched up with the larger and longer films.

“There were many short films that we felt were important to show,” Lewis explained.  “We try to match the short films thematically with the larger films and this year we had a great number that afforded us that opportunity.  There were dozens of films that were perfect matches.”

The lineup also includes a number of films with Arizona connections, among them five films from the Sedona Film School (formerly the Zaki Gordon Institute) ranging from Avenue Rats Lost Downtown to the comedy Dinner with Alex and Kate to Dead West about zombies and cowboys.

Other Arizona connections include Orchestrating Community, a film about the Flagstaff City Orchestra and Vectors of Autism, the fascinating story of a Cornville resident Laura Nagle’s 57-year journey with Asperger’s Syndrome.

In between is a Family Series of movies including the Disney classic, Mary Poppins; an Australian award-winning film, Red Dog, a true story; and even Bones Brigade, “the best movie ever made about skateboarding,” Lewis said.  Mary Poppins’ choreographer Dee Dee Wood will be in Sedona for the film and to make presentations to schools in the community.

British actress Joan Collins, perhaps best known as Alexis Carrington in the popular 1980s television show Dynasty, Collins’ career spans more than 60 years in film, television and stage.  She made her Hollywood debut in Howard Hawks’ Land of the Pharaohs in 1955 and appeared in Island in the Sun in 1957.

Collins has selected Rally Round the Flag, Boys! with Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, and Decadence for screening.

Festival passes and ticket packages are now available online at www.sedonafilmfestival.org. Films will run all day beginning Tuesday, Feb. 26 on four screens at Sedona Harkins 6, 2081 W. State Route 89A; the Mary D. Fisher Theater, 2030 W. State Route 89A, and the Sedona Performing Arts Center at Sedona Red Rock High School, 995 Upper Red Rock Loop Road.

Workshops and panel discussions featuring a wide range of topics for filmmakers and film lovers organized by Academy Award-winning producer and Sedona Film Festival board member Kathleen Glynn (Bowling for Columbine, Fahrenheit 911) include Screenwriting, Young Filmmakers – Getting Started, Art Into Activism and Women in Film.   Roundtables also will be conducted on topics including producing, directing, financing and marketing independent films as well as on sustainability and the roles of filmmakers and artists in social change and activism.

The full list of presenters and panelists will be announced in late January. Workshops and panel discussions are free and open to the public.

The Festival’s schedule of special events includes an opening-night concert (Saturday, Feb. 23) with 3-time Grammy winner Keb Mo at the Sedona Performing Arts Center at Sedona Red Rock High School; the kick-off to the Sedona Green Series and World Cinema Series (Sunday, Feb. 24) and Oscars on the Rocks (Feb. 24), a live viewing of the Academy Awards ceremony from Hollywood; the Premiere Night Party at Reds (Tuesday, Feb. 26) at the Sedona Rouge; the Sedona Green Sustainable Roundtable (Saturday, March 2) and the premiere of “Awakening World” with special guest honoree Marianne Williamson (Friday, March 1) at the Sedona Performing Arts Center, and the Awards Celebration Brunch (Sunday, March 3) at the Poco Diablo Resort.

Priority Platinum and Gold Passes and 10 and 20-ticket packages are on sale.  Priority Pass holders are the first to be able to select tickets to the individual films as well as other benefits including being first to be admitted into the theater for screenings.

Platinum All-Access Passes are $900; Gold Priority Passes are $475; 20-ticket packages are $200, and 10-ticket packages are $100. Full-time students can get the 10-ticket package for $80.

Priority Pass holders will be able to select the films they want to see beginning at 10 a.m. on Feb. 4.  10 and 20-ticket pass holders can select films beginning at 10 a.m. on Feb. 11.  Individual film tickets go on sale to the general public on Feb. 18, 10 a.m.

Sedona International Film Festival memberships also are available beginning at $65 for a basic membership.  Family memberships for up to four family members living in the same household are $130. Additional membership packages include Cinematographer ($275), Screenwriter ($550), Producer ($1,200), Auteur Society ($5,000) and Legacy ($10,000).  Benefits are commensurate with membership-fee levels.  Full information is available on the website.

Packages, other than for full-time students, can be purchased online at www.sedonafilmfestival.org or through the Festival Box office at (928) 282-1177.  Student packages must be purchased through the Box Office and student ID’s are required.

For more information, visit www.sedonafilmfestival.org.

2013 SEDONA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL SELECTIONS

Documentaries:

5 Broken Cameras,

The Announcement,

Ave Rats Lost Downtown,

Awakening World,

Benny the Barber,

Beyond This Place,

Bidder 70,

Big Boys Gone Bananas!,

Bones Brigade,

Breathe Life,

A Brotherhood Reforged,

Carbon Nation,

Chasing Ice,

Child of Giants: My Journey with Maynard Dixon and Dorothea Lange,

Code of the West,

The Color of Moonlight,

Death By China 2.0,

DESERT DREAMS: Celebrating Five Seasons in the Sonoran Desert,

Do You Really Want to Know?,

Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey,

Ethel,

Far Out Isn’t Far Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Story,

The Flat,

Forgotten Fur,

Go Ganges!,

The Highest Cost,

How to Survive a Plague,

HOZHO The Beauty Way,

The Imposter,

The Invisible War,

Journey to Planet X,

The Kings of BBQ Barbecue Kuwait,

Last Will. & Testament,

Mayan Blue,

Meet the Fokkens,

Missing Home,

Mission of Mermaids,

My Father and The Man In Black,

One Life,

Orchestrating Community,

PAD YATRA: A Green Odyssey,

Paul Williams: Still Alive,

Running Wild:  The Life of Dayton O. Hyde,

Sacred Journey of the Heart,

Shenandoah,

The Shift of the Ages,

Still,

Stolen Seas,

Streams of Consequence,

Sweet Dreams,

Tailings,

Trash Dance,

Trial By Fire: Lives Re-Forged,

Vectors of Autism: About Laura Nagle,

A Virus Called Fear,

We’re Different, My Baby,

Who Cares About Kelsey?,

Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines,

The World Before Her,

World Circus.

Feature Films

3 Days of Normal,

Amour,

Any Day Now,

Anyone Out There,

Asmaa,

Baikonur,

A Bottle in the Gaza Sea,

Chinese Take Away,

Chittagong,

Comes A Bright Day,

Common People,

Decadence,

Dedication,

The Discoverers,

Downtown Express,

Eliot and Me,

Fanie Fourie’s Lobola,

The Girl,

Hank and Asha,

Hello! How Are You?,

The Hunt,

It’s Not You, It’s Me,

King of Devil’s Island,

Least Among Saints,

Leonie,

Liberal Arts,

Lore,

Mary Poppins,

Missed Connections,

No God, No Master,

One Small Hitch,

Passionflower,

Rally ‘Round the Flag, Boys!,

Red Dog,

Rust and Bone,

Savannah,

Shouting Secrets,

Shun Li and the Poet,

Stand Off,

Teddy Bear,

Upside Down,

Valley of Saints,

Violeta Went To Heaven,

The Woman in the Fifth.

Short Films

Abiogenesis,

And The Sky Will Never Be The Same Again,

Any Moment Now,

Arthur and the Bunnies,

ASAD,

Baggage,

The Balibo Night,

Bardo Light,

The Batting Cage,

A Better Place Than This,

Blackwood,

Boo!,

Bunny,

Check Out,

The Color of Christmas,

The Dance,

Dead West,

A Dinner With Alex and Kate,

The End of the World,

Enough.,

Falling Up,

The Future,

Green Acres,

Happy Birthday

Happy Voodoo,

A House, A Home,

The Invention (El Invento),

It’s Really That Simple,

Karen Returns Something to Scott,

The Lake (El Lago),

The Lesson,

Light Me Up,

Like Father,

Lisa,

Little Dad,

No Habla,

(notes on) Biology,

Of Teaching Killer Whales Compassion,

Old Angel,

Pear,

Peoria,

Plush,

Portrait,

Proposal,

Remember To Breathe,

SHAYA,

Song of the Spindle,

Stalled,

Summer Bummer,

Tailed,

The Things My Father Never Taught Me,

A Thousand Empty Glasses,

To The Last Drop,

Wolf Dog Tales,

The Worst Day Ever.

7401_Amherst_A

Shea Homes opens second luxury home community in Peoria

Shea Homes Arizona is off and running in 2013 and has opened its first new community of the year in Peoria. Vista Montaña II is a gated luxury home community located at 77th Avenue and Happy Valley Road that features 43 one acre plus lots.

The community is an expansion of the original Vista Montaña community which opened late April of 2012 and only has 13 lots left. Both communities offer the same ranch style homes, pricing, and luxury offerings such as optional basements, RV garages, and pool cabanas. The community will open in two phases; the first phase of 23 lots opened last Friday, Jan. 11 and the next phase of 20 lots is set to open at the end of the year.

The community boasts six new floor plans in which in-depth market research and customer feedback were incorporated into every detail. Homes will be sold from the existing Vista Montaña sales office and model homes. Some of the most exciting features include:

· Spacious bedrooms, 10’ ceilings, and various flexible spaces for a “custom” feel
· Large kitchens with expansive islands
· Oversized 3-car, side-entry garages
· Optional RV garages, basements, cabanas, and ramadas

Homes range between 3,091 to over 4,400 square feet and prices start from the $420,000’s. The homes are built using the new Energy Star 3.0 rating, carry the Environments for Living designation and have solar options available.

“The original Vista Montaña community was a different endeavor for us and launching luxury homes in a down real estate market was risky,” said Shea Homes Arizona VP of Sales and Marketing Ken Peterson. “But we felt there was a niche for this product and we have been thrilled at the response.  We are over 50% sold out in only nine months with an average home price of more than $600,000. We anticipate this second community doing equally as well.”

For more information about Vista Montaña II or other Shea Homes’ communities across the Valley, call 1-866-696-7432 or visit www.sheahomes.com/newhomes/phoenix.

boeing-phantom-ray

It takes fuel to win tech race

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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BioAccel Adds Stimwave Technologies To Incubator

BioAccel and the City of Peoria announced that BioInspire has accepted a sixth company, Arizona based medical device startup Stimwave Technologies, Inc., into the medical device incubator facility in Peoria,.

Stimwave Technologies has received a $300,000 investment from BioAccel’s New Venture Development Program and will be a resident of the new incubator facility in Peoria, where it will utilize BioInspire’s exceptional laboratory spaces and advisory services.

Stimwave Technologies is a medical device company that develops that has developed  novel wirelessly powered microimplantable stimulators for the neuromodulation field for pain relief.  The company’s first novel device is a microstimulator placed through a needleless implantable device designed for patients suffering from chronic back and leg pain. Currently only wired solutions are available. The new device is 99% smaller in volume that the next smallest commercially available wired product on the market, and takes 75% less time for the clinician to place.

BioInspire, managed by BioAccel in partnership with the City of Peoria, is designed to foster and facilitate the development of medical device companies and to stimulate the development of products and spin-off companies in Peoria based on research conducted at other academic, public and private institutions.

“We are extremely pleased to be welcomed into the Bioinspire incubator to continue to apply our innovative technology to research new indications and support our transition to commercialization for our pain relief product,” said Laura Tyler Perryman, Founder and CEO of Stimwave. “Our commitment to superior patient care is unparalleled, and our goals are aligned with BioAccel to achieve the vision and purpose of BioInspire,” she said.

“The goal is to create knowledge-industry jobs and new companies that will drive and accelerate local economic development as well as bring novel medical devices more efficiently through the commercialization process,” said MaryAnn Guerra, CEO of BioAccel. “Stimwave is the kind of company that will drive job creation and growth through their scalable business plans and the products derived from their innovative research and accelerated commercialization.

“BioAccel is proud to be able to provide critical support for that effort through BioInspire, by providing funding, flexible office and lab space, business and regulator advisory services and expert mentoring critical to early stage companies.”

BioInspire’s Director Tom Rainey said that adding another company to the incubator space is a great sign of early success.

“We’re very excited to add a sixth company to the BioInspire family,” he said. “Considering that the incubator only opened in September, we are pleased with the number and quality of companies that have located within our space. It shows that BioInspire is achieving the goal of bringing growth and innovation to Peoria through these important medical device companies.”

Scott Whyte, City of Peoria Economic Development Services Director, said he is pleased with the success of BioInspire and glad to see more companies taking advantage of its resources.

“We’re delighted to welcome Stimwave to Peoria, and to see the BioInspire initiative take flight,” Whyte said. “As the client companies at BioInspire grow and graduate from the incubator program we are prepared to support their move into other commercial space within Peoria,” Whyte said. “This will serve as a significant economic engine for our local and regional economy, planting the seeds for future growth.”

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Indiana university to open campus in Peoria

A small private university in Indiana plans to open a branch campus in Arizona and offer undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering.

Angola-based Trine University expects to have its first sit-down classes at its new campus in the west Phoenix suburb of Peoria early next year. The university is already enrolling students for online classes.

Trine is locating its offices in a 17,000-square-foot building formerly occupied by Western International University. Other course offerings are expected.

Trine said in Wednesday’s announcement that it expects to have nearly 200 students at the Peoria campus during the spring 2013 semester and could have more than 1,200 students by its third year.

Thunderbird Crossing

CBRE Completes $14.03M Sale Of Thunderbird Crossing

CBRE completed the $14.03M sale of Thunderbird Crossing, a 79,789 SF neighborhood retail center at the SWC of 83rd Ave. and Thunderbird Rd. in Peoria.

Cam Stanton, Andrew Fosberg and Steve Fernandez of CBRE’s Phoenix office represented the sellers, C&D Thunderbird LLC and K&Y T-Bird & 83rd Shops LLC of Los Gatos, Calif., and structured the sale. The buyer, HAM Maricopa of Phoenix, purchased the property as part of a 1031 exchange.

“Originally only the shop space at Thunderbird Crossing was offered for sale. However, once the anchors were added to the deal, interest peaked and we made a quick sale,” said Stanton. “Investors always prefer retail centers that include the major tenants.”

Built in 2004, Thunderbird Crossing has 24,143 SF of shop space and 55,646 SF of anchor space that is occupied by a Sprouts Farmers Market and a 99¢ Only discount store.

Cactus League - Spring Training is Back

Cactus League Baseball Is Back In Arizona

February in Arizona means two things – gorgeous weather and spring training baseball.

What initially began as minor league exhibition game in the early 1900’s has evolved into Major League Baseball’s conglomerate of Spring Training stadiums within the Phoenix area.  A long-­standing tradition for the Grand Canyon State, MLB’s Spring Training begins again later this month as the Cactus League kicks off its 65th season in Arizona.

Salt River Fields, Colorado Rockies - Image Provided by Flickr

As spring reveals itself, so do players from a four‐month baseball hiatus. More than 15 teams will compete within the coming months in 10 local fields — drawing over 1.5 million spectators, according to a 2009 study of the games.

2011 has the same expectation of past years and brings out potential  collegiate and minor league players the opportunity to showcase their skills, in hopes of generating talk around Major League management for upward promotion to the “big leagues.”

RBI’s, home runs, batting average, chin music and injury reports reenter the vocabulary of sports talk radio hosts and give vitality back to baseball geeks nation.

With several stadium locations throughout the Phoenix area, it’s easy to catch at least one of these 15 teams at a fraction of regular season ticket prices. With lawn seating available from $5, it’s a perfect excuse to call in sick from work and plan a family picnic in Arizona’s weather.

Diamondback News

Coming off a dismal 65 – 97 season, the Arizona Diamondbacks enter 2011 with hopes to compete with NL West rivals, 2010 World Champions San Francisco Giants.

Recent management addition and legendary Los Angeles Dodger Kirk Gibson has full control of the team this year and brings a sense of urgency to the Diamondbacks office.

Reds Pitcher Aroldis Chapman - Image Provided by Flickr

Flashback to 1988; the Dodgers won their fifth title in the City of Angels and have yet to repeat since as the Dodgers later went on to defeat the Oakland Athletics 4-1 in the series. Gibson and the 1988 Dodger team were underdogs to say the least, disproving the expectation of failure.

Professional sports, now more than ever, demands pure physicality in a 162 game season.

Since the D-Backs World Series run in 2001, D-Back fans have been subjected to playing and management decisions far below par. It takes as much a mental toll as a physical one — and Gibson encapsulates experience in both. Gibson’s presence in Diamondback management will hopefully spark the same inspiration as it did in 1988.

Everyone begins the season undefeated and has the ability to prove sports analysts and naysayers wrong. Near rock bottom at all-statistical production, the D‐Backs need inspiration and who better to give it to them than manager Kirk  “Gibby” Gibson. Let’s hope Gibson can effectively command his troops  — or at least clean off the shame of 2010.

For more tickets and schedule information on Spring Training in the Valley, visit cactusleague.com

Food, Wine and Art: Sonoma Showcase Festival

Food, Wine And Art: Sonoma Showcase Festival

Two days full of wine, art, food and jazz await you at the Sonoma Showcase Festival. Vistancia is hosting the festival Saturday, Nov. 20 and Sunday, Nov. 21 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The fun kicks off Saturday with a performance by jazz star Scott Cossu. Other Jazz musicians playing throughout the weekend are Marc Antonie, Eric Darius, Dulce Vas, Sans Moi, Johnny Rawls, Sillan & Young, Euge Groove, and Nicole Pesce.

While listening to smooth jazz you can sample smooth wines. Wineries from all over the Sonoma area will be hosting wine tastings. Along with sampling the wine, you can chat with the winemakers themselves! They will be on hand if you have any questions about the wine, or how it is produced. If you find that a certain wine tickles your taste buds, you can purchase it right on the spot!

Wine isn’t the only highlight of this festival; several local, celebrity and Sonoma-based chefs will show off their delectable cuisine.

Duskie Estes, a competitor from the Food Network’s The Next Food Network Challenge will be there along with Scott Tompkins and Eddie Matney. They will each be giving a presentation and demonstration on how to prepare their signature dishes.

Finally, if wonderful food, music, and wine isn’t enough, more than 100 vendors will be present, selling everything from wine accessories, to jewelry, to kitchen cutlery, to in-home spa treatments. You will definitely be able to find something that sparks your interest.

    If You Go:
    General admission tickets are $27.50 per day or $49.50 for the weekend.
    General admission and wine tasting is $49.50 each day or $88 for the weekend.
    Vistancia is located north of Happy Valley Road and west of Lake Pleasant Parkway in Peoria, Ariz.
    www.sonomashowcasefestival.com