Tag Archives: phoenix

mediation - AZ Business Magazine March/April 2012

Mediation becomes trend for resolving business disputes

While mediation used to be a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), mediation has become mainstream.

Today, virtually every dispute that is not able to be resolved through direct negotiation is proceeding to mediation. The only questions are at what stage of the process will mediation be held and who will be selected as the mediator.   

When should parties mediate?

More often in business today, mediation can be mandatory, pursuant to a contract that requires mediation before arbitration or a lawsuit is filed, or pursuant to company policy that requires mediation before an administrative charge or suit is filed.    

If the timing of mediation is not mandatory, the parties can choose from various options:     

• Pre-suit. This occurs when one party, typically through counsel, sends a demand letter and suggests private mediation. The main advantage of this is privacy: no public suit is filed than can generate negative publicity or that will remain public information forever.   The other advantage is that resolution can occur before much is expended in legal fees. The disadvantage is that, without formal legal discovery, parties are making decisions that are less than “fully informed.”   However, parties can save literally hundreds of thousands of dollars.

• After suit is filed, before discovery. The privacy advantage is lost, but now the primary advantage becomes avoiding the extensive costs and emotional and lost productivity drain of protracted litigation. The disadvantage is that, as with pre-suit mediation, much information will not be known.

• After discovery, before motions filed. Much of the costs of litigation will have been incurred, but it avoids the costs of filing motions, which can run in excess of $25,000, and it avoids the risk of loss if the court rules against a party on a motion that may dispose of all or part of a case.

• After motion is ruled on. At this point, the parties have given their best pre-trial shot at convincing the judge of the righteousness of their positions, and the outcome is known. The advantage here is to avoid the risks at trial, if trial is still available, or of an appeal, if the judge has dismissed the case.

• Post-trial. Mediation at this point occurs after a highly-undesirable result has occurred at trial and the losing party wishes to avoid paying a huge verdict, and/or wishes to avoid the process, costs and risk of an appeal.

Who should be selected as the mediator?

Selection of a mediator is made easier today by on-line research. Ask your lawyer for a recommendation. Search mediate.com, the American Arbitration Association, National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals, the American College of Civil Trial Mediators, or JAMS, for possible sources of lists of mediators. Mediator searches can be run by geographic location and by subject matter expertise and experience.

In making your selection, consider the following:

• Substantive expertise. Does the mediator have an extensive background in the type of dispute (i.e., real estate, employment, commercial, environmental, personal injury, domestic relations, etc.)?

• Reputation. Is the mediator well-known and well-respected in the legal community?

• Style. Do you prefer a mediator that is more directive, evaluative or facilitative?

• Availability. Is the mediator available within the time frame we need?

• Cost. While relevant, this should be the least important factor. Mediations generally last one day and if you can resolve your conflict in one day, it is a heck of a worthwhile investment.

Amy L. Lieberman is a mediator whose practice concentrates in employment and executive mediation. She is the author of “Mediation Success: Get it Out, Get it Over, Get Back to Business,” available on Amazon.com. She is the executive director of Insight Mediation and has been listed in Best Lawyers in America and Southwest Super Lawyers in ADR for more than a decade.

lawyers

GPEC attracted 6,200 jobs during last fiscal year

The Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) saw another record-breaking year for the Greater Phoenix region as GPEC worked with its 22 member communities with the location and expansion of 32 companies over the course of the fiscal year ending June 30th.   

Those companies will add more than 6,200 jobs across Greater Phoenix during the first year of operations, more than half of which are high-wage jobs with an average salary of nearly $70,000. The payroll generated from the new positions is anticipated to be over $330 million, in addition to a nearly $900 million capital investment to the region.   

“This year we saw an increase in the number of high-quality, high-wage jobs GPEC is bringing to the region,” said Chris Camacho, president & CEO of GPEC. “Our communities’ mayors and their economic development teams do a tremendous job showcasing the business-friendly climate and deep talent pool that makes Greater Phoenix a top choice among leading companies to grow their operations.”

New companies to the region spanned across various industry sectors as new tech companies expanded their footprint outside Silicon Valley, financial centers began construction on new operating centers, and regional headquarters for advanced manufacturing broke ground.

Since 1989, GPEC has been responsible for assisting in the location of bringing more than 630 companies to the region, adding more than $12 billion in capital investment and over 110,000 jobs. For more information on doing business in Greater Phoenix, visit gpec.org.

The Studio at Central Arizona Supply 3

Ask the experts: Home Remodeling 101

Undertaking a home remodel is a daunting task so Central Arizona Supply, the leading plumbing supply company in Arizona, is making things easier by hosting a free “Ask the Experts: Home Remodeling 101” event where the Valley’s top home remodeling experts will be under one roof to answer questions, conduct demonstrations and help take the guesswork out of the remodeling process.

From hardware, plumbing and lighting to appliances, countertops and cabinets, the open house event will offer advice, demonstrations, input on which areas of the home add the biggest value and all the ins and outs of remodeling. Industry experts, interior designers, contractors and remodelers will be on-hand to answer questions and give suggestions on how and where to begin when remodeling your bath, kitchen and home. 

The event is free and open to the public. There will be a giveaway for a faucet and showerhead along with a 25 percent discount on all merchandise storewide.

WHEN: Saturday, August 1, 9 a.m. – 3  p.m.

WHERE: The Studio at Central Arizona Supply, 4750 N. 16th Street (16th Street and Camelback Road), Phoenix

WHO: Central Arizona Supply

For more information about Central Arizona Supply, call 480-834-5817 or visit www.centralazsupply.com.  

123rf.com: feverpitched

Marcus & Millichap sells Phoenix apartments for $3M

Marcus & Millichap (NYSE: MMI), a leading commercial real estate investment services firm with offices throughout the United States and Canada, today announced the sale of Tidewood, a 49-unit apartment community located in Phoenix, AZ, according to Don Morrow, regional manager of the firm’s Phoenix office. The asset sold for $3,000,000.

Trevor Hardy, investment specialists in Marcus & Millichap’s Phoenix office, had the exclusive listing to market the property on behalf of the seller, a private investor.  The buyer, a limited liability company, was also secured and represented by Trevor Hardy.

Tidewood is located at 4021 & 4025 North 40th Street in Phoenix, AZ.

marvin

Goodyear defense contractor gets Air Force research grant

Prime Solutions Group, an aerospace and defense consulting contractor located at the West Valley Technology Center near the Phoenix-Goodyear Airport, has received a prestigious Small Business Innovative Research grant from the United States Air Force.

Joseph Marvin, president of the 17-employee firm, said the Phase I grant is a major accomplishment that will allow his company to begin working on a cutting-edge project over the next year to help the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. PSG’s research will help fine-tune weapons systems compatibility and communications that will take fighter jets ranging from the F-16s to F-35s to long-range bombers to the next performance level. If the government accepts the results of his Phase I research, that would put Prime Solutions in line for a $1 million Small Business Innovative Research Phase II grant.

Prime Solutions Group is located in a 10,000-square-foot space of Building 4 at the former Lockheed Martin campus, 1300 S. Litchfield Road, and has continued to grow since Marvin launched it in his Waddell home. Marvin has since added engineers and scientists to accomplish the advanced research at the current location he leased earlier this year.

“This is exciting news,” Goodyear Mayor Georgia Lord said of Prime Solutions Group’s most recent grant. “PSG’s advanced technology represents the future of the Goodyear business ecosystem and mission of innovation. The city plans to maintain its presence in the aerospace and defense industry, and PSG is conducting research that is vital.” 

This grant, which was awarded in the amount of $150,000, marks the third Small Business Innovative Research Grant Prime Solutions Group has received over the last two years in the area of complex system design. It will allow research in Modeling and Simulation for Design, Development, Testing and Evaluation of Autonomous Multi-Agent Models. In 2013 and last year, PSG received SBIR contracts from the Department of Defense that is allowing the firm to conduct research on fine-tuning the accuracy of the missile defense system.

The objective of the latest research is to complement capabilities of future Air Force autonomous systems that require interoperable tools and methodologies to design, verify, validate, assess and operate human-machine system interactions associated with autonomous and manned systems integration.  The first phase of the effort will start with an F-16 tactical environment and expand to Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) operations. 

“The Air Force is looking for “next level” capability necessary to design future complex systems, and that is right in our wheelhouse,” said Marvin, who will collaborate with global leaders on autonomous systems and systems challenges at the International Symposium of the International Council on Systems Engineering next week in Seattle.

“Our winning proposal teamed with world-class partners including the Arizona State University Cognitive Engineering Research Institute, Georgia Tech Research Institute, IBM Research and Lockheed Martin,” Marvin added. We want to see how the existing weapons systems will interact with the new systems including with the pilot, satellite systems and ground systems.”

PSG had established offices at the Phoenix-Goodyear Airport in 2010 to be collocated with their prime customer Lockheed Martin.

“When Lockheed Martin announced its plans to downsize in Goodyear, many people thought it was the end of PSG,” Marvin said.  “Not so. We’ve grown from five to 17 people over the past two recent grant. “PSG’s advanced technology represents the future of the Goodyear business ecosystem and mission of innovation. The city plans to maintain its presence in the aerospace and defense industry, and PSG is conducting research that is vital.”

This grant, which was awarded in the amount of $150,000, marks the third Small Business Innovative Research Grant Prime Solutions Group has received over the last two years in the area of complex system design. It will allow research in Modeling and Simulation for Design, Development, Testing and Evaluation of Autonomous Multi-Agent Models. In 2013 and last year, PSG received SBIR contracts from the Department of Defense that is allowing the firm to conduct research on fine-tuning the accuracy of the missile defense system.

Much of former Lockheed Martin campus is configured with data access and security features necessary to support defense programs.  The uniqueness of the space accommodates PSG’s current and projected growth and can also accommodate other companies focused in cyber security and related information technologies.

Reliance Management working with brokers, Brian Gleason, SIOR and Bonnie Halley, CCIM of Phoenix West Commercial of Litchfield Park, have been marketing space in four buildings previously occupied by Lockheed.  There are three office buildings totaling 22,837 square feet as well as a 13,138 square foot data center available for immediate occupancy.  Phoenix West Commercial is also actively marketing the remaining 11 buildings totaling 412,160 square feet.

Marvin attributes much of PSG’s growth to expanded Lockheed Martin subcontracting that retains key engineering and development personnel.

“Lockheed Martin left a foundation to build upon,” Marvin said.  “Now we have the opportunity to extend the heritage at the Phoenix-Goodyear Airport from sensor integration to new horizons of Sensor Networks of Sensors.  Lockheed has been very helpful and supported PSG as an industry sponsor on the recent innovative research award from the Air Force.”

“PSG’s vision is to be on the leading edge of future complex system developments,” Marvin added. “The company recognizes future system challenges as an opportunity for leadership in new development paradigms.  Data analytics and advanced software programming are essential to meet new imperatives of advanced defense, energy and health care systems.  We are at the edge of developments in cognitive processing and intelligent systems – and we are going to do that right here in Goodyear, Arizona,” Marvin said. 

4830 S 36th St

16,194 SF industrial manufacturing building sells for $1.065M

Commercial Properties, Inc., Arizona’s largest locally owned commercial real estate brokerage, has announced the sale of a 16,194 SF industrial manufacturing building located at 4830 S 36th Street in Phoenix, Arizona.  Jeff Hays of CPI’s Tempe Industrial Team represented the seller, Hadco Corporation, in this $1.065 million sale.

The site offers convenient freeway access and is located south of Broadway Road and east of 32nd Street.  The buyer, Advanced Interior Electronics, a full service home electronics provider, was represented by Century 21.

Roosevelt Pointe

Businesses in Roosevelt Row may get a boost

A group of business and property owners are collaborating to implement a $375,000 business improvement district in the Roosevelt Row/Evans Churchill area of downtown Phoenix by next year. 

According to the business improvement plan newsletter, a Business Improvement District is a plan that allows property owners to gather resources and provide services beyond those provided by government to improve their district through a self-imposed and self-governed property assessment. More than 1,500 BIDs with a renewal rate of 95 percent have been formed in North America.

Nancy Hormann, owner of Hormann & Associates, has led the plan’s development since June 2014 when the City of Phoenix approved a contract with Downtown Phoenix Inc. to create the BID. Hormann has helped create 17 districts including those in California, Texas and Arizona.

“Out of those districts that I have formed, some of them over 20 years ago, all are still in existence and are still very successful,” Hormann said in a phone interview. “It’s been a proven commodity. It really has helped boost the vitality of the districts and creates that colorful clout… so that the area speaks with one voice instead of fragmented voices.”

According to Hormann, a final plan should be done within a week and questionnaires will be sent out to property owners asking if they support the district. In order to get the city council’s approval, support is needed from property owners representing 51 percent of the assessments to be paid. If enough support is granted the plan will go to council in September, and money would be available in February or March 2016 to start the district.

In the earlier stages of the plan’s development Hormann said focus groups and surveys were conducted to gather ideas, and a working group comprised of community representatives and property owners worked to develop them.

Hormann said the community had an advantage in developing the plan because the area was “already viewed in a great light.”

“The Roosevelt Row Community Development Corporation has done fabulous things for the Roosevelt Row area,” Hormann said. “They’re a wonderful, a great success, but they’re all volunteers, and they don’t have a consistent source of income. This is taking it out of the volunteer realm and putting it into the professional realm. “

Wathsna Sayasane, the project manager of community and economic development for the City of Phoenix, serves on the BID working group to provide assistance from the city and would lead the approval process through city council if the plan is supported.

“What the community wanted was to get to that next level in their efforts regarding marketing, branding, holding special events and trying to create more cohesion within some of the downtown groups,” she said. “I think it can add more security in the community’s stability and sustainability for future years.”

Patrick Panetta, the director of project management of university real estate development at Arizona State University, served on the working group as a representative of the ASU downtown Phoenix campus.

“I think it will help define the relationship between the district and the business owners in the district and the campus,” Panetta said. “One of the benefits is the coordination and organization of certain events, their impacts in the area and a more concerted public outreach effort…I think how parking in the area gets managed may be a topic that this new district board could address and help improve.”

Hormann said she is confident most property owners will support the BID, however “you can’t please everybody.”

“I think there are a couple property owners that are concerned about what benefits it’s actually going to provide because they’re essentially going to be assessing themselves an enhanced fee to provide these services,” Panetta said. “There are some that don’t believe it’s worth it, but a majority of property owners who have been involved in the outreach believe this should be a good thing for the area.”

“We’ve had great feedback from a lot of the people,” Hormann said. “There are a lot of great people who are working towards this. It’s a great community effort.”

electricity

Phoenix ranked No. 1 for energy efficiency

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy has ranked Phoenix the Number 1 big-city local government in the nation for energy efficiency. The Council lauded the city for achieving its 2015 goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in local government operations and then resetting its targets to be even more stringent.

The City of Phoenix shared the Number 1 ranking for local governments with Denver and New York. The overall energy efficiency ranking for Phoenix was 18th out of 51 large cities.

“When it comes to energy efficiency, the City of Phoenix leads by example. We don’t ask others to do what we aren’t willing to do ourselves,” said Mayor Greg Stanton. “So it was gratifying – but not surprising – to see our local government lead the nation in energy efficiency.”

Stanton added, “Our goal as a metropolitan area is to break into the top 10 and ultimately top this list in all categories in the coming years, and we are heading in the right direction.”

Phoenix City Councilman Bill Gates, Arizona Organizing Committee Co-Chair Brad Wright, Phoenix City Councilman Michael Nowakowski, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, Tempe Vice Mayor Corey Woods, Mesa Vice Mayor Dennis Kavanaugh, Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane, Glendale City Councilman Sammy Chavira and Arizona Organizing Committee Co-Chair Win Holden.

Sky Harbor unveils football championship countdown clock

With 195 days and counting until the College Football Playoff National Championship, the Arizona Organizing Committee (AOC) and several Valley mayors and city leaders, unveiled a countdown clock at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. This clock will mark the days, hours and minutes until Arizona shines on center stage with the kick-off of the big game.

“The countdown for the 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship has officially begun. This marks another milestone for the AOC and the community as we prepare for one of the most exciting times in Arizona’s sports history,” said Brad Wright, co-chair of the Arizona Organizing Committee. “Everyone traveling through Phoenix Sky Harbor will see the clock and know that Arizona is the destination for the biggest celebration of college football.”

Located in Terminal 4, which serves 80 percent of Sky Harbor’s passengers, the digital clock is illuminated on a 55 inch high-definition LED screen at the west end of Baggage Claim. An additional countdown clock will soon be illuminated on east end of Baggage Claim.

“The first-ever College Football Playoff National Championship was a major success, and we expect an even bigger and better experience for fans when the Valley hosts the second National Championship in 2016,” said Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. “That phenomenal fan experience begins at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, which serves as the gateway to the Valley for the thousands of fans traveling in to attend the game. This clock is our way of showing how much we look forward to welcoming them and providing a world-class experience.”

The second ever College Football Playoff National Championship will be played on January 11, 2016, at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. This will be the Valley’s first time hosting the game which debuted in its new format last year in Arlington, Texas.

More than 85,000 people are expected to visit the Valley of the Sun for the game and surrounding festivities. Phoenix Sky Harbor will serve as the gateway to the events, and provide easy access to Valley-wide activities. The PHX Sky Train® connects with Valley Metro Rail to provide a quick, convenient, and seamless ride from the airport to downtown Phoenix, where a multi-day fan festival called Playoff Fan Central will be held, giving fans the opportunity to be a part of the national championship experience.

Valley leaders in attendance at the countdown clock unveiling included Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane, Mesa Vice Mayor Dennis Kavanaugh, Tempe Vice Mayor Corey Woods, Phoenix City Councilman Bill Gates, Phoenix City Councilman Michael Nowakowski, and Glendale City Councilman Sammy Chavira.

123rf.com: inq

SimonCRE adds Peter Krahenbuhl as Project Manager

PeterKrahenbuhl_web-picCommercial real estate developer SimonCRE added Peter Krahenbuhl as Project Manager to assist with the development responsibilities of SimonCRE’s growing portfolio of projects. SimonCRE currently has over 50 projects in the pipeline valued at over $100 Million, creating thousands of jobs across the country.

Krahenbuhl will work closely with the Vice President of Development coordinating as well as other team members and will be responsible for tracking project timelines, submittals and file management.  He will be vital in the daily planning and processes associated with successfully driving projects from inception to completion.

“We are pleased to add another talented professional to our dynamic team,” says Joshua Simon, president and founder of SimonCRE. “Peter has a variety of commercial real estate skills and experience that will really attribute to the growth of the company.”

Krahenbuhl has experience in condo conversions and was vital in the planning of several multi-family condominium developments in Phoenix, Scottsdale and Flagstaff totaling over $100 million dollars in sales revenue.  He also brings site selection, acquisitions knowledge and several other tenant representation brokerage and leasing experience to the position.

Lauren Stein

UMOM New Day Centers elect Lauren Stine to board

The national law firm of Quarles & Brady LLP today announced that Phoenix partner Lauren Stine has been elected to the UMOM New Day Centers‘ board of directors.

Founded in 1964, UMOM is the largest homeless shelter for families in Arizona. The organization aims to prevent and end homelessness, and it works to give people opportunities to gain the skills they need to rebuild their lives and succeed when they leave.

Stine is a member of the firm’s Litigation & Dispute Resolution Practice Group. She represents health care providers and professionals, pharmaceutical wholesalers, and direct sales companies in cases involving contract disputes, alleged fraud, deceptive advertising, and general litigation matters. She also assists clients in special action and appellate proceedings in state and federal courts.

Stine received her law degree, magna cum laude, from Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University and her bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, from Arizona State University.

Author Paul Johnson, former mayor of Phoenix, is chairman of The Nonpartisan Movement's 501c4 in Arizona.

Partisan system: Is it working? Is it fair?

The evidence says that we should be optimistic about the future.  Through innovation, entrepreneurs and dynamic businesses, we are on get verge of driverless cars, new energy sources, a cure for cancer, extending human life and untold millions of other wonderful discoveries.  Here in Arizona we have an amazing potential for job growth and an expanding economy. 

If businesses and entrepreneurs are our greatest hope, our political system is our greatest threat.

Burdensome regulations, a mounting $17 trillion debt, the possibility of not extending the debt ceiling, and destroying the good faith and credit of the United States. The failure to pass immigration reform.  An educational policy where one party continues to cut spending while the other wants more money but fights any meaningful reform to hold the system accountable.  And Arizona elected leaders pass laws that make us the ridicule of the nation and cause us real losses in economic development.

The partisan system provides incentives to elected officials to look out for small factions within their political parties, while ignoring the broader interests of the full public they represent.  With gerrymandering, stacked districts and low turnout primaries, special interests have disproportionate power over the majority.  But it doesn’t have to be this way!

The partisan system is exactly what the Founders of the United States of America wanted to avoid. They warned us about it.

Before he left office, President George Washington warned his countrymen about parties: “The common mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.”

Washington and his fellow Founders believed that wise leaders focused on the public interest are most likely to appear if they avoided the divisiveness of “faction” created by political parties.

To any wise person today, it is clear that we have moved far away from the ideal framed by our Founders.

Our Founding Fathers challenged the status quo, asking two key questions about the Monarchy: “Is it working?” and “Is it fair?”  These are two questions Americans across the country are asking about today’s Partisan System. 

Disdain for the partisan process is evident as large numbers of regular Americans are abandoning the two political parties and registering as nonpartisan, independent, or unaffiliated.  In Arizona, independents comprise the largest segment of the electorate: 35% of registered voters. And this number is more than 3 times as high as it was 30 years ago. Furthermore, national surveys indicate that 70% of the newest voters – 18 year olds – are registering as independents. In time, independents will be a majority of voters.

Washington’s warnings have become reality.  The partisan system is not working. 

Satisfaction with Congress is at an all-time low, while candidates from both parties drive towards the ideological fringes.  A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll last summer found that despite the steady pace of hiring, 76% of adults lack confidence that their children’s generation will have a better life than they do—an all-time high. The only issue that ranked higher than the economy as a major problem in a recent Gallup poll was the lack of leadership.  It also showed the partisan system was failing on immigration, education and healthcare.

The failure is the most evident when it comes to debt and deficits.  A $17 trillion debt eventually will result in the need to raise the yield to attract new investors.  This will reduce tax revenue and thus other governmental services.  American corporations, viewed as riskier, will face increased costs to borrow, which will increase costs for goods and result in inflation.  The net worth of homeowners will decrease as the cost of borrowing money to purchase a home increases.  The American people are right.  If nothing changes, our future generations will experience a lower standard of living.  Is that working?

To solve this problem, pragmatic Democrats should support entitlement reform to ensure the sustainability of programs they claim to hold dear.  Fiscally responsible Republicans should support reform to restore the good faith and credit of the United States.  Leaders in both political parties understand this, but it doesn’t change anything.  Is that working? 

In a partisan environment all that matters is who has a majority and who wants the majority.  Compromise is avoided to protect partisan causes.  So Democrats oppose entitlement reform and Republicans refuse to raise the debt ceiling, resulting in the possibility of defaulting on the national debt.   Meanwhile, we’re facing an impending crisis of default which would create a crisis as big as the hyper-inflationary period prior to World War II.  Is that working?

This isn’t just a national issue.  Arizona has also been ravaged by partisan politics.  Our partisan process elected Evan Mecham, we grew our state budget to unsustainable levels at the height of the housing bubble, passed SB1070, narrowly avoided the SB1062 embarrassment, and defunded education.  In the past few years, our legislature considered bills that looked like secession movements, questioned the right of the Supreme Court to interpret laws, and opposed higher educational standards.  Is that working?

Why does the partisan system fail to match up with the will of the general public?

It is because many of our elected officials are elected in primaries where less than 5% of the public vote in either primary.  Stacked districts eliminate any real competition in the General Election.  So these politicians never really face a majority of the public.  If they did, they could not sustain these extreme views.  Is that fair?

Out of 435 elected members of Congress, because of gerrymandering, only about 35 districts have real competition in the General Election. That means that in the overwhelming majority of districts, a small minority of people has control over the direction of the United States. Is that fair? 

Meanwhile, voters not registered in a party have fewer voting rights than those who are in a party.  Nonpartisan voters have to re-register every election to receive an early ballot in a primary.   Nonpartisan candidates must collect ten times as many signatures for the same office as their partisan counterparts.  Is that fair?

The most insulting of all is that the parties take taxpayer dollars from independents and nonpartisan voters to fund their primary elections at the same time some are pursuing efforts to prevent those independents from even voting.  Is that fair?

This partisan system is destined to fail.  Our founders called those men who advocated for such a system where the few controlled the many as “tyrants.” 

Arizona needs a system that will grant the right of every voter to vote in every election.  In 2016 the nonpartisan movement will propose just such a measure in Arizona designed to pull people together as opposed to split them apart.

The public understands you can’t be pro-labor if you’re not pro-business.  You can’t be pro-business unless you are pro-education and you can’t be pro-education unless you are pro-funding and pro-reform.  But alas, today our politicians are not accountable to the public, but instead care only for the small factions that vote in their primaries.

As popular business author Jim Collins writes, you must “face the brutal facts” to succeed. The facts are clear. 

It’s time to reawaken American pragmatism, heed George Washington’s advice, and move away from the partisan system that threatens the future of our republic.

 

Paul Johnson, former mayor of Phoenix, is chairman of The Nonpartisan Movement’s 501c4 in Arizona: the Open Nonpartisan Elections Committee. For more information, visit www.openprimariesaz.org.

IO President Anthony Wanger.

Tech-friendly scene makes Arizona a data center hot spot

Phoenix has its head in the clouds.

Digital information—everything from financial and medical accounts to media entertainment and social networks—is now being stored in about 60 high-tech data centers throughout the Phoenix metro area, adding to the state’s growing reputation in the technology industry.

Renewable energy, geo-stability and tech-friendly legislation are a few of the reasons why Arizona has one of the highest concentrations of data centers in the United States, second only to Virginia.

Chris Camacho, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, says one of the reasons Phoenix has seen a significant level of data center activity is power availability and competitive pricing.   

“We have very affordable power costs,” Camacho says. “Our utilities have been very flexible in supporting this industry to ensure we have dual feeds from the electrical standpoint. Having affordable power rates has been critical. The other attributes that are important to this industry as to why we have been successful are the level of infrastructure, that’s generally fiber infrastructure, and latency. We’re very favorable to the West Coast in that regard.  So our communities, as well as Cox, Century Link and others, have done a great job extending infrastructure to support this industry.”

Demand for renewable energy

As data centers continue to propagate, the demand for power increases.

A recent survey by Mortenson Construction, one of the leading data center contractors in the U.S., reported 84 percent of responding data center executives, developers and operators believe there is a need to consider renewable energy. Energy efficiency is a top concern and nearly half the survey participants believe improved technology can increase energy efficiency.

“Technology companies like Apple, eBay, Amazon and Google, all of the organizations that store massive amounts of information, tend to have leaders who are highly environmentally conscious,” explains Steven G. Zylstra, president and CEO of the Arizona Technology Council,  “They would much prefer to use renewable energy to power these data centers rather than power coming from a coal-burning plant. It’s less about the economics and more about doing the right thing.”

IO president Anthony Wanger agrees. IO, one of the largest colocation data centers in North America, has created and patented energy efficient data storage modules and operating software. In 2013, APS evaluated IO’s Power Usage Effectiveness ratings and determined the modules were more efficient than the traditional raised-floor data center environment.

In February, IO announced an agreement the company made with APS to be able to offer renewable energy to its customers.   

“We had a break through,” Wanger said. “We were able to negotiate a rate with APS that allows us to buy renewable energy. We were able to get a rate that reflects the scale of our use, and the option for our customers to simply choose to go green. For about a cent and a half more per kilowatt hour they can buy energy that is 100 percent renewable. It’s solar and wind. We have had terrific customer feedback about it.

“It’s important for us,” Wanger continues. “We want to be leaders in dematerialization and we want to be leaders in giving our customers the tools and the choices they need to manage their energy needs. Our very largest customer, Goldman Sachs, is committed to zero carbon.

“We have taken great strides in moving our energy over to renewables. I’m not going to tell 1,000 customers what they have to do,” he explains, adding that if he puts it on the menu and incentivizes it, he believes they will choose it. “We are committed to renewables, we are leaders in energy efficiency, by putting it out there, it’s going to be a needle mover.”

Making it happen

IO began with three businessmen and a foldup table from Costco, Wanger said. The table, signed by the co-founders Wanger, George Slessman and William Slessman, is somewhere in the Phoenix facility as a reminder of how they began.

“I always liked to build things. I have always been fascinated by buildings and real estate and systems and machines,” says Wanger, who comes from several generations of entrepreneurs. “I was brought up in the ‘you make your job, you don’t get a job’ mentality. Sit down. Figure it out. Make it happen. That’s the only thing that works for me.

“We’ve been really fortunate we have a really solid business with terrific institutional backers and terrific institutional customers. We’ve been able to attract some terrific talent. The way we got here is people. When I say make it happen, it isn’t just the three of us, it’s the entire team.

“Make it happen. That really is the moral of our whole story here. These data centers didn’t build themselves. These folks didn’t employ themselves. The capital didn’t raise itself. The customers didn’t identify and sign themselves. This is hard work.

He suggests that in order for Arizona to continue growing its reputation in the technology arena, it, too, will take hard work.

“If Arizona wants to continue its fantastic growth it’s going to be because it chooses to, not because it happens automatically. I feel very positive about Phoenix and Arizona’s prospects, but I think we have to be careful not to take things for granted,” Wanger says. “It’s a very competitive economy. I think we would be well advised to be purposeful in our recruiting and the way in which we create a climate where risk takers can take risks.”

Trending

Wanger and his partners at IO, which now has six locations around the globe, were among some of the early risk takers in the data center industry.

“We grew up with the GoDaddy guys. If you go back 10 or 15 years ago, they were in data centers. We were in data centers. There was another guy in data centers and that’s about it,” Wanger says.

According to a market overview analysis by CBRE, today there are about 60 data centers in the Phoenix metro area, including colocation operations and those used by individual companies. An additional 21 greenfield sites have been identified mostly in the East Valley for build-to-suit data centers.

Even with the explosion of data centers in Phoenix, Wanger says he is seeing a trend toward consolidation.

“We are moving away from square footage to more power in less space with shared highly utilized banks of computers,” he says. “I think that the Internet went from 400 markets globally to 200 to 50 markets. I think it’s on its way to being in 12 markets globally. That’s mega consolidation. We are doing everything we can do in our power to make sure Phoenix is on the winner side of that equation.”

Tech magnet

Energy affordability, access and renewable options are sited as reasons for locating power-intensive data centers in Phoenix, but there are more.

Geo-stability is an important factor when deciding a data center’s location. Arizona is free of natural disasters, making it an appealing locale.

“We don’t have hurricanes, or earthquakes or tornadoes or floods or any of those things that jeopardize a data center. We are a very sound place from that standpoint,” Zylstra says.

Moderately priced real estate with relatively low property taxes and legislative incentives sweeten the pot.

“A lot of economic policies in the legislature have supported both enterprise use and colocation centers,” Camacho says. “More recently there was legislation in the last few years that provided a sales tax exemption on server and IT equipment. That was one of the last pieces of the puzzle of being a great market in terms of allowing this market to grow and making it competitive against California and these other states.”

According to CBRE, “The financial impact of this law to a 1 MW tenant’s bottom line could be as much as $6 million to $7 million in tax credit savings over a 10-year period.”

Camacho continues, “There are tax credits available for companies of a certain investment scale, so, in a certain investment threshold, when they meet that level of capital investment, they are eligible, assuming they are going to use significant renewable energy resources, to obtain a corporate income tax credit.”

(subhead)The future

Locating data centers here is often an introductory step for some of the larger companies to test the business waters and learn about the Phoenix area.

“We’ve spent a lot of time working to support colocation operations in the market that are already here,” Camacho says. “And we are working as diligently as we can as we travel outside this market and showcase Arizona marketplace to prospective users. We’ll showcase IO data centers and Digital Realty Trust and others that are in this region with the goal of inducing these tenants to come and utilize colocation space and drive new investment and job creation at the same time.

Proximity to California has made it convenient for companies with corporate headquarters on the West Coast to locate their data centers here. “It encourages them to visit and to learn more about the operating environment. Then our goal is to talk further with them about future operational expansion. It could be back office, IT, or technology centers. Data centers and data storage are generally their first foray into evaluating this market on the office side.

“Once you become a nerve center where companies store data, then you start seeing a lot of these colocation tenants that are in these major facilities evaluating opportunities for back office expansion which generally comes with more job creation,” Camacho says.

CBRE reports a high quality of life and low cost of living have encouraged back shop operations for companies such as Wells Fargo, American Express, PayPal, Yelp and others to locate here.

“Companies tend to aggregate around each other,” Zylstra says. “At some point you get to a critical mass that people recognize and they want to be affiliated with it, connected to it.

“The recent Apple announcement is a watershed moment for us,” Zylstra says, referring to Apple’s plans to locate a data center in Mesa. “Apple is the most innovative company on Earth today. It’s the most successful company on Earth. When that kind of company makes a commitment here in Arizona it suggests that we have come into our own. I believe it is an important milestone in becoming known for technology.”

As the technology sector continues to grow, it is important to attract quality talent, he says.“ The greater the reputation the easier it is to attract and retain talent and that’s your competitive asset in a digital economy,” he says.

Drawing in talent is important, Camacho agrees, but he also says it is important to provide a continuing pipeline of trained talent in IT and technical services through our local educational system.

“That’s what is going to make this industry successful,” Camacho says. “We can see that pipeline coming through our Maricopa Community Colleges and the four-year systems that can meet the demand.

“Even though they are not large employers, there’s a very significant level of indirect technology job creation associated with these data centers. On average, you can provide anywhere from two to four indirect jobs for each of the jobs created within the companies themselves.”

LUSTRE 2

‘100 Days of Summer’ returns to LUSTRE Bar

Recently named one of the best hotel rooftop bars by USA Today, LUSTRE Bar in Downtown Phoenix plans to keep things cool this summer with events nearly every night of the week, all summer long with its “100 Days of Summer” event series.

Perched on the third-floor pool deck of Kimpton’s Hotel Palomar Phoenix LUSTRE is an oasis in the heart of Downtown Phoenix with a pool and cabanas that offer sweeping views of the city skyline, craft cocktails, an energetic vibe and seasonal menu items perfect for enjoying poolside.

During the 100 Days of Summer, these weekly events run through Labor Day:

Mondays

  • Industry Appreciation Day
  • Pool opens at noon
  • Happy hour all day for those with a valid industry ID or business card.

Tuesdays

  • Orangetheory Fitness Outdoor Series
  • 6pm – 7pm
  • $10 entry fee (includes a $10 food and beverage credit)
  • Free entry for hotel guests and Orangetheory members.
  • Orangetheory is bringing their popular workout to LUSTRE for this outdoor fitness series! The 60-minute workout is designed to push you into the “Orange Zone” to burn calories and give you noticeable, lasting results. Guests can mingle and enjoy cocktails and bites after the class.

Thursdays

  • Up on the Woof!
  • Rooftop happy hour with your pooch.
  • Food and drink specials from 5pm – 8pm.

Fridays

  • Live at LUSTRE
  • Pool opens at 11am.
  • A guest DJ will spin tunes every Friday night from 8pm until midnight.

Saturdays & Sundays

  • LUSTRE Pool Party
  • Pool opens at 11am
  • Saturday: DJ from 2pm – 6pm and 8pm – midnight. Sunday: DJ from 1pm – 6pm.
  • Free and open to the public.
  • Guests can expect DJs, games like Champong, cornhole and table tennis and plenty of fun in the sun.

50th and 51st Day of Summer

  • Patriotic Pool Party
  • Saturday, July 4 and Sunday, July 5
  • Pool opens at 11am.
  • $10 entrance fee for non-hotel guests. Free entry if you show your UBER receipt.
  • A guest DJ will spin tunes from 2pm – 6pm and 8pm until midnight on 4th of July and from 2pm – 6pm on July 5. Table tennis, cornhole and champong are available for unlimited fun in the sun.
  • Tickets are available at Eventbrite.com (search for LUSTRE 4th of July)

100th Day of Summer

  • Labor Day Weekend Pool Party
  • Saturday, Sept. 5, Sunday, Sept. 6 and Monday, Sept. 7
  • Pool opens at 11am.
  • $10 entrance fee for non-hotel guests. Free entry if you show your UBER receipt.
  • A guest DJ will spin tunes from 2pm – 6pm and 8pm until midnight on Sept. 5, from 2pm – 6pm on Sept. 6 and 1pm -5pm on Sept. 7. Table tennis, cornhole and champong are available for unlimited fun in the sun.
  • Tickets are available at Eventbrite.com (search for LUSTRE Labor Day)

Summer Hotel Packages at Kimpton’s Hotel Palomar Phoenix

Extend your summer fun with a stay at Hotel Palomar Phoenix with summer packages that run from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

  • 100 Days of Summer (rates from $109/night):  Includes beautifully appointed deluxe accommodations and 10 percent off all spa services and food and beverage at Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails or LUSTRE Bar.
  • Urban Eats (rates from $149/night): Includes beautifully appointed deluxe accommodations and a $50 food and beverage credit to use at Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails or LUSTRE Bar.
  • The Suite Life (rates from $155/night): Includes 20 percent off all suites.
  • Park it at The Palomar (rates from $119/night): Includes beautifully appointed deluxe accommodations and $10 valet or self-parking.
  • Uber Package (rates from $129/night): Includes beautifully appointed deluxe accommodations, two cocktails from LUSTRE Bar and, for Uber members, a free ride up to $20 to or from the hotel for new and existing riders.  

Booking: www.hotelpalomar-phoenix.com or 602-253-6633  

To book a cabana at LUSTRE Bar, call 480-478-1707 or see more details at www.lustrerooftopgarden.com. To learn more and to book a room at Kimpton’s Hotel Palomar Phoenix, visit www.hotelpalomar-phoenix.com or call 602-253-6633.

economic development - 8 honored

16 Arizona companies make Fortune 1000 list

Sixteen Arizona-based companies earned spots on the Fortune 1000 list, a reference list of the 1,000 largest American companies, ranked on revenues alone.

The 16 Arizona companies on the Fortune 1,000:

  • No. 108 Avnet, Phoenix
  • No. 137 Freeport-McMoRan, Phoenix
  • No. 323 Republic Services, Phoenix
  • No. 386 PetSmart, Phoenix
  • No. 493 Insight Enterprises, Tempe
  • No. 502 Northern Tier Energy, Tempe
  • No. 593 Swift Transportation, Phoenix
  • No. 645 Magellan Health, Scottsdale
  • No. 683 Pinnacle West Capital, Phoenix
  • No. 692 First Solar, Tempe
  • No. 722 ON Semiconductor, Phoenix
  • No. 726 Amkor Technology, Tempe
  • No. 735 Taylor Morrison Home, Scottsdale
  • No. 746 Apollo Education Group, Phoenix
  • No. 762 Sprouts Farmers Market, Phoenix
  • No. 957 Meritage Homes, Scottsdale
RandyJohnson

Randy Johnson will get first key to the City of Phoenix

Mayor Greg Stanton will present Arizona Diamondbacks legend and Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Randy Johnson with Key to the City during a public ceremony at Noon, this Friday, June 5 at City Hall.  The “Big Unit” will be the first person to ever receive a Key to the City of Phoenix.

Johnson was the World Series Most Valuable Player on the 2001 Diamondbacks team that brought the city its first-ever major sports championship, and earned four consecutive (of his career total five) Cy Young Awards wearing an Arizona uniform.  The southpaw will become the first player to wear a D-backs hat on his plaque at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., on July 26.

Water Conservation, City of Phoenix

East Valley Partnership will host SRP forum on water

East Valley Partnership, a coalition of civic, business, educational and political leaders dedicated to the economic development and promotion of the East Valley of Greater Phoenix, is hosting a Salt River Project lunch forum, “Keeping Water Flowing” beginning at 11:15 a.m. Tuesday, June 9 at Tempe Mission Palms Hotel, located at 60 E. 5th St. in Tempe.

Attendees of the SRP Forum event will hear remarks from Governor Doug Ducey, SRP CEO and General Manager Mark Bonsall, and Sarah Porter, director of Kyl Center on Water Policy at Morrison Institute. 

“Arizona’s vitality comes from sound management, responsible action and finding smart solutions to complex problems. That’s especially true when it comes to how we manage our water,” said Governor Ducey. “Water is one of the most dynamic components of our state, and a crucial player in the health and strength of our economy – it’s imperative that we have our fair share. I look forward to working with our state’s leaders to protect this precious resource and ensure a prosperous future for Arizona.”

Governor Ducey will address the important role dependable, renewable water supplies have played in Arizona’s history and how water is essential for Arizona’s economic future.

“SRP has long understood the critical connection between economic development and dependable water resources,” said SRP CEO and General Manager Mark Bonsall, “and we are eager to work with Governor Ducey to tackle these issues.” 

The SRP Forum is open to the public. Individual registration is $75 for East Valley Partnership members and $100 for non-members. Table reservations can be made for $1,000 for members and $1,250 for non-members. Presenting sponsorship is available for $3,500.

Seating is limited and reservations are requested online at www.EVP-AZ.org  or by phone at 480-834-8335 ext. 201.

banner alzheimers foundation - brain research

Banner Alzheimer’s Institute gets $10M in new funding

The Alzheimer’s Association, GHR Foundation and Fidelity Biosciences Research Initiative announced $10 million in new research funding to Banner Alzheimer’s Institute (BAI), Phoenix, Arizona, to support a groundbreaking Alzheimer’s disease prevention trial that will launch later this year.

The funding, to be paid over five years as part of a broad public/private partnership, supports and extends the Alzheimer’s Prevention Initiative (API) APOE4 trial. The study is focused on determining whether therapies targeting amyloid proteins in the brain may prevent or delay the emergence of Alzheimer’s symptoms in people at particularly high genetic risk for developing the disease at older ages.

The new funding will support three aspects of the API APOE4 trial that otherwise would not be possible: (1) brain PET imaging at the start of the trial and two-year follow-up in 125 participants each year, (2) a sub-study to evaluate two remote genetic counseling approaches, and (3) expansion of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Registry for the APOE4 trial.

“The goal is to accelerate the global effort to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease,” said Maria Carrillo, Ph.D., Alzheimer’s Association Chief Science Officer. “Through efforts such as API, the Alzheimer’s Association envisions a time when we will have effective treatments to slow or stop Alzheimer’s in its tracks; plus preventive strategies and gold-standard care for all people affected by Alzheimer’s.”

The Alzheimer’s Association led the effort to bring the three funding organizations together. The award to API includes a $5 million lead gift from the GHR Foundation, a private family foundation.

API is led by BAI’s executive director, Eric Reiman, M.D., its director, Pierre Tariot, M.D., and one of its principal scientists, Jessica Langbaum, Ph.D.

“We are extremely grateful to these three organizations for their extraordinary support,” said Dr. Reiman. “These funds will not only help make it possible to evaluate two promising Alzheimer’s prevention therapies, but to do so in a way that will help the field find treatments that work as soon as possible.”

API was established to rapidly evaluate potential new treatments in people prior to developing clinical symptoms of Alzheimer’s who, based on their age and genetic background, are at highest risk of developing symptoms of the disease, including the API APOE4 trial and the Autosomal Dominant Alzheimer’s Disease Trial. That study is evaluating an investigational anti-amyloid therapy in 300 cognitively normal members of an extended family in Colombia, South America that includes carriers of a rare genetic mutation causing them to develop Alzheimer’s by about age 45. API is committed to sharing trial data and biological samples with the research community to help find better ways to test prevention therapies in the future, and to clarifying the role of APOE genetic testing and disclosure.

The API APOE4 trial is focused on how two investigational anti-amyloid therapies may prevent or delay the development of Alzheimer’s symptoms in a population known to be at high risk for the disease because of their age and genetic status. Specifically, participants in the trial must be age 60-75 and carry two copies of the APOE-e4 gene that greatly increases their risk for developing Alzheimer’s.

The trial will test two different potential therapies to see if one or both can prevent the development of memory and thinking symptoms of Alzheimer’s. The first treatment is an active immunotherapy aimed at triggering the body’s immune system to produce antibodies that block different forms of the amyloid protein, which many researchers believe plays a critical role in the development of Alzheimer’s. The second drug is designed to prevent the production of amyloid protein that accumulates in the brain to form plaques, one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s. The trial will involve about 1,300 research participants. Pending regulatory approval, the study is planned to begin in the late 2015/early 2016 in sites in North America and Europe, and last five years.

The new funding will support three aspects of the API APOE4 trial:

• Tau PET imaging, amyloid PET imaging, and FDG-PET imaging at baseline and two-year follow-up in 125 participants each year to determine if the two treatments change tau PET measurements and are associated with a therapeutic benefit. Tau protein helps maintain normal cell structure. In people with Alzheimer’s, tau in the brain becomes abnormal and forms tangles, one of the characteristic features of Alzheimer’s.

• The expansion of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Registry, which provides information about Alzheimer’s prevention research and is intended to support enrollment in the APOE4 trial and other prevention trials.

• Evaluation of two remote genetic counseling approaches using telephone versus real-time videoconference counseling. This will include measuring the psychological, behavioral and cognitive effects of APOE genotype disclosure in people who underwent both types of genetic counseling.

“Because participation in the API APOE4 trial requires knowledge of one’s genetic status, we need to determine how to best communicate the genetic risk for developing Alzheimer’s as well as how to counsel individuals on what this risk means,” said Dr. Tariot.

In September 2013, the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced an initial commitment of $33.2 million in partial support for the API APOE4 trial. In July 2014, BAI announced a partnership with Novartis, which is providing its two investigational treatments and financial support. In its NIH grant applications, BAI committed to obtaining $15 million in philanthropic and in kind contributions. To support the API APOE4 trial, $5 million has been obtained through donations to the Banner Alzheimer’s Foundation. The $10 million award from the Alzheimer’s Association, GHR Foundation and Fidelity Biosciences Research Initiative completes Banner’s commitment for this trial.

Health Resolutions to Make Before the New Year

HonorHealth-affiliated NOAH receives $1.2 million grant

HonorHealth-affiliated NOAH, or Neighborhood Outreach Access to Health, was awarded $1.2 million by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services-Health Resources Administration to help increase access to affordable, quality primary care services for low-income, underserved and special populations.

Through this grant, HonorHealth Desert Mission clinics will become a new access point of NOAH. This includes the Desert Mission Community Health Center, Children’s Dental Clinic and Marley House Behavior Health. Desert Mission is an organization of charitable and community services whose purpose is to meet the basic needs of our most vulnerable community members and help them reach their full potential for health and self-sufficiency.

“This is excellent news for our patients and community, and will allow us the resources to provide additional and more comprehensive services for Desert Mission clients,” said Marcia Mintz, John C. Lincoln Health Foundation president. The John C. Lincoln Health Foundation’s fundraising through corporate and individual sponsorship helps to support Desert Mission programs and services.

Community health centers like NOAH provide a medical home for patients in need so they can receive coordinated care. They help improve public health, reduce the burden of non-urgent care services in hospital emergency rooms and provide needed services such as free immunizations for uninsured children.

Currently, four community health centers throughout the Northeast Valley are operated by NOAH:

• Cholla  Health Center, Scottsdale

• Palomino Health Center, Phoenix

• Balsz Health Center, Phoenix

• Heuser Family Medicine Center, Scottsdale

A mobile NOAH health bus also visits local groups, residential group homes for the elderly, businesses and schools to provide health programs.

NOAH clinics are designated federally qualified health centers. NOAH is a 501c3 not-for-profit organization governed by an independent community-based board.

diversity

MLB, Diamondbacks will host diversity summit

Major League Baseball announced that it will partner with the Arizona Diamondbacks to co-host the 2016 MLB Diversity Business Summit in Greater Phoenix in March 2016.  The event, which will be held during Spring Training for the first time, will provide attendees with exclusive access to human resource and procurement executives from all 30 MLB Clubs, MLB Network, MLB Advanced Media, Minor League Baseball Clubs and MLB’s Central Office.

Various elements of the MLB Diversity Business Summit will be held on March 8th and 9th (2016) at Chase Field, the Regular Season home of the D-backs, and Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, the Spring Training home of the D-backs and the Colorado Rockies. The MLB Diversity Business Summit is a unique sports employment and business opportunity career and trade fair.  It provides job seekers and entrepreneurs with opportunities to connect directly with decision-makers regarding employment and business opportunities. Features of the 2016 MLB Diversity Business Summit will include event-wide networking, exhibit floor access, workshops, executive roundtable discussions and a keynote speech by Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. 

 “Major League Baseball is pleased to join the Arizona Diamondbacks in hosting the 2016 Diversity Business Summit, our first during Spring Training,” Commissioner Manfred said. “Diversity and inclusion are core tenets of our industry.  As fans gather in anticipation of the 2016 Championship Season, we will be proud to offer unparalleled access and networking toward the pursuit of business and employment opportunities within our game.”

“Arizona is one of the most diverse states in our nation and we are honored to host this summit next year at a time when all eyes are on us,” said D-backs President & CEO Derrick Hall, who serves on MLB’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee. “We recognize the great importance of a diverse work force and supplier base and we are proud to help lead the way in expanding those opportunities in baseball and making this the best summit to date.”

The D-backs were recently named to the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s Million Dollar Circle of Excellence as an organization that spends more than $1 million annually with minority- or women-owned businesses. Additionally, the team works closely with the African-American, Native-American and Hispanic communities, each of which are expected to be involved in the upcoming summit.

     The previous three MLB Diversity Business Summits were held during the Regular Season calendar in Chicago (2012; co-hosted by the Chicago White Sox), Houston (2013; co-hosted by the Houston Astros) and New York (2014; co-hosted by the New York Yankees).  In total, the three previous MLB Diversity Business Summits attracted more than 3,000 attendees from across the United States.

     For more information and to save the date, visit MLB.com/diversitysummit. Please follow the MLB Diversity Business Summit on Twitter (@MLB_DBS) and Facebook (Facebook.com/DiversityBusinessSummit).

Arizona Public Service recently completed work on one of the largest transmission construction projects in the west - a 500-kilovolt (kV) power line that connects Phoenix to Yuma.

APS completes huge transmission project

Arizona Public Service recently completed work on one of the largest transmission construction projects in the west – a 500-kilovolt (kV) power line that connects Phoenix to Yuma. The project will bolster the reliability for Yuma area customers and the entire desert southwest.

The 110-mile transmission line runs from the Hassayampa substation (near the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station) to the North Gila substation in Yuma. Aptly called HANG2, the $200 million project is the second route connecting the Valley to Yuma.

“When planning for Arizona’s energy future, we look out 10 to 15 years to ensure our customers always have the reliable energy they have come to expect from APS,” said Pat Dinkel, APS Vice President of Transmission and Distribution Operations. “HANG2 is essentially like adding a second extension cord to our customers in Yuma. Residents and business owners in the area will have an ample supply of reliable power to run their businesses and be comfortable in their homes, even as Yuma continues to grow.”

Construction planning for the HANG2 line began more than a decade ago, as Southwest Arizona’s population began to rapidly expand. According to census data, Yuma County’s population has increased by 27 percent since 2000, making it the third fastest-growing area in the United States.

APS understood the essential need to increase the capacity to bring electricity into Yuma County. The HANG2 line meets this need.

“Whether for new power lines or power plants, the long lead time associated with planning and construction means APS must always be looking years ahead to meet current and future power needs,” said Dinkel. “This is part of our obligation to ensure a reliable energy supply for our customers — a role we take very seriously, and embrace throughout the state.

”This project was a huge undertaking, and not just because of its size. The transmission line was constructed in some of the most isolated parts of the state, across remote locations of the southwest desert, and through the rugged terrain of the Laguna and Muggins Mountains – with an emphasis on core APS values of contractor and employee safety, and on environmental sensitivity and care.”

Construction on HANG2 began in August 2013. The largest transmission construction project completed by APS in more than 25 years, the benefits for customers extends well beyond Yuma, essentially increasing reliability for the entire desert southwest.

To see a video of crews constructing the HANG2 line, click here.

APS, Arizona’s largest and longest-serving electricity utility, serves nearly 1.2 million customers in 11 of the state’s 15 counties. With headquarters in Phoenix, APS is the principal subsidiary of Pinnacle West Capital Corp. (NYSE: PNW).

Zeke Barrera is one of the many Amazon associates who take advantage of Amazon’s Career Choice Program and the new onsite classroom. He recently finished a course in computer technology offered through Maricopa Corporate College and taught in the new onsite classroom.

Amazon expands in Phoenix with onsite classroom

Arizona State Representative Diego Espinoza and administrators from Maricopa Corporate College joined Amazon leadership and associates at a special event to formally open its new Career Choice Classroom. The Career Choice Program is an innovative benefit that pre-pays 95 percent of tuition for courses related to in-demand fields, regardless of whether they are related to a career at Amazon.

The onsite Career Choice Classroom, an exciting new addition to this fulfillment center, is a dedicated classroom to make it even easier for associates to take advantage of the Career Choice Program.  Bringing the same amenities you would find on a college campus into the fulfillment center saves Amazon associates the need to worry about transportation, commute times, or fitting class into busy work and life schedules.

Since the onsite class program launched in 2014, Amazon has been proud to partner with local institutions including Maricopa Corporate College to provide associates with a wide variety of classes at the fulfillment center.

energy innovation aps

Phoenix falls in ranking of energy-efficient cities

Phoenix has made improvements in its energy efficiency policies but still fell three spots in a national ranking, as other cities made “impressive jumps” and surged ahead, according to a report released Wednesday.

The second biennial ranking by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy of the largest 51 cities in the nation saw Phoenix slip from 15th to 18th place, despite finishing among the leaders in some areas rated by the council.

“Phoenix is still pretty strong,” said ACEEE research analyst David Ribeiro. “It’s doing well in various places being a leader in energy efficiency and local government operations.”

But Ribeiro said Phoenix could not keep pace with impressive gains by other cities such as Washington, D.C., which jumped from seventh to third overall in the rankings. Despite those gains, Ribeiro said most of the cities still have room for improvement.

He was one of several authors on a Wednesday conference call to release the report. The authors said that energy efficiency is crucial to city life and helps create jobs within the community.

The report rated the 51 largest cities in the country in five categories: energy and water utilities, building policies, transportation policies, communitywide initiatives and local government operations.

Boston finished first overall with 82 points out of 100. Phoenix got 44 points out of 100 this year, just slightly better than its overall score of 43.5 points in the last ranking two years ago.

Phoenix’s best performance was in the local government operations policy category, where its score of 11.5 out of 28 points tied the city for first place with New York City and Denver.

Those three cities were cited for their policies to improve energy efficiency in city government, procurement, and asset management.

Ribeiro said Phoenix saw its biggest gains in transportation policies, where its scores improved from 5.5 to 9 points out of 28 in the 2013 report.

The report noted that in 2015 Phoenix achieved its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 5 percent below the 2005 levels. According to the report, the city still wants to apply energy-efficient measures including building retrofits that ensure the maintenance and conservation of buildings.

In other areas, however, the city had room for improvement. In the ranking on communitywide initiatives, for example, Ribeiro said Phoenix could benefit from having an energy saving goal for the community as a whole and not just for the local government.

Officials with Arizona Public Service did not immediately return a call seeking comment on the report Wednesday. But a Tucson Electric Power spokesman said utilities regulated by the Arizona Corporation Commission, like his and APS, provide programs to help customers save energy and cut their utility costs.

“We support these policies because our customers love them, it helps them to save energy,” said Joe Barrios, the TEP spokesman.

A CLOSER LOOK

Falling Phoenix
The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy ranked 51 cities’ energy efficiency in five areas. Phoenix got 44 points out of 100, dropping from 15th place two years ago to 18th today. The city’s scores:

  • Local government operations: 11.5 of 15 points
  • Communitywide initiatives: 3 of 10
  • Building policies: 11 of 29
  • Energy and water utility policies: 9.5 of 18
  • Transportation policies: 9 of 28
    Overall score: 44 out of 100 possible
lawyers

Fennemore Craig attorneys recognized by Chambers USA

Fennemore Craig, a leading Mountain West law firm, announced that 22 attorneys were selected to the prominent Chambers USA 2015 and the practice areas of Environment (including water rights) and Real Estate were listed in band one in Arizona. The Real Estate practice was also listed in band one in Nevada.    

“The success of our firm is built on the skill and character of our people – and the commitment of those people to the clients we serve,” said Steve Good, managing partner of Fennemore Craig. “We are honored and gratified to see our people and practice groups recognized in the prestigious Chambers USA legal directory.

Fennemore Craig attorneys recognized by Chambers USA 2015 include:

  • Robert D. Anderson, Environment: Water Rights
  • John J. Balitis, Labor & Employment
  • Michael E. Buckley, Real Estate
  • Aaron Cain, Corporate/M&A
  • Lauren J. Caster, Environment: Water Rights
  • Phillip F. Fargotstein, Environment (including Water Rights)
  • Andrew M. Federhar, Litigation: General Commercial
  • Margaret R. Gallogly, Environment: Water Rights
  • Donald R. Gilbert, Labor & Employment
  • Stephen A. Good, Corporate/M&A
  • Gregg Hanks, Real Estate
  • Norman D. James, Environment (including Water Rights)
  • Jay S. Kramer, Real Estate
  • Erwin D. Kratz, Labor & Employment
  • Douglas C. Northup, Litigation: General Commercial
  • Michael J. Phalen, Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use
  • Dan R. Reaser, Gaming & Licensing
  • Heidi K. Short, Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use
  • Ronald J. Stolkin, Labor & Employment
  • Sarah A. Strunk, Corporate/M&A
  • Susan M. Wissink, Corporate/M&A
  • Jeffrey P. Zucker, Corporate/Commercial and Real Estate

Michael Buckley, Gregg Hanks, Norman James, Jay Kramer, Ronald Stolkin, and Jeffrey Zucker were ranked in Band 1 for their specific practice area. Band 1 is the highest ranking for an individual to receive by Chambers USA and this ranking is based on technical legal ability, professional conduct, client service, commercial astuteness, diligence, commitment, and other qualities most valued by the client.