Tag Archives: phoenix

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Valley dining spots welcome patio season

It’s fall which means the desert is starting to cool down! Restaurant and bar goers all over the Valley begin to seek out the best spots to indulge in the beautiful Arizona weather. But look no further— these local restaurants have Valley residents covered with killer patios throughout Metro Phoenix.

TEMPE

Thirsty Lion Pub & Grill: Located in Tempe Marketplace, Thirsty Lion Pub and Grill has a great wrap around patio. With a southwestern exposure, the Thirsty Lion patio is perfect for watching the fall sunset. At this hip gastropub, you’ll find great food, more than a dozen big screen TVs, two bars and 52 beers on tap. Enjoy happy hour, seven days a week from 3:00 p.m.—6:00 p.m. & again from 9:30 p.m. to close. For more information, visit www.thirstylionpub.com.

SCOTTSDALE

TapHouse Kitchen: Located at The Hilton Village in Scottsdale, this neighborhood kitchen features a seasonal menu of “Modern American Cuisine” prepared in a “Scratch” kitchen. The 3,500 square foot location accommodates 144 guests and features a rustic and woody décor. The restaurant has a fully air-conditioned patio, with a large garage door that creates an indoor- outdoor atmosphere. Take advantage of their happy hour seven days a week from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Enjoy $2 off House Wine (Cupcake Chardonnay & Cabernet), $2 off all draft beer, spirits & wine on tap, $2 off all beer flights, $2 off all TapHouse Kitchen custom cocktails, $2 off Tap”House” Margaritas and $1 off all well drinks. TapHouse Kitchen is located at 6137 N. Scottsdale Rd, #108 in Scottsdale. To find out more visit them at TapHouseKitchen.com or visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/TapHouseKitchen.

Kelly’s at SouthBridge: To both enjoy the cool weather and feel the awesome Old Town atmosphere, hit Kelly’s at SouthBridge this fall. Their spacious outdoor patio, adorned with bright red umbrellas, is hard to miss—it’s the perfect place for lunch, dinner, happy hour or late night festivities. There’s also plenty of room for big groups or parties too! Located on Sixth Avenue in downtown Scottsdale, the 8,000 square foot upscale restaurant offers traditional pub classics mixed with exceptional modern cuisine and the perfect laid back atmosphere. Enjoy ½ price bottles of wine (with purchase of food) 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day and all day Sunday. For more information, visit www.kellysatsouthbridge.com.

NORTH SCOTTSDALE

SOL Mexican Cocina: Located at the Scottsdale Quarter, SOL Mexican Cocina’s patio is the ideal place to sit back, relax and sip on margarita after a day of shopping or before a night out. The perfectly shaded patio features plush seating, an outdoor bar and a view overlooking the vibrant heart of Scottsdale. The restaurant’s menu features Executive Chef Deborah Schneider’s bold, modern interpretations of traditional Coastal Mexican cuisine with a focus on fresh, sustainable ingredients. Designed to echo the expansive sea, sky, and desert of the Baja peninsula, SOL features old world charm juxtaposed with an urban comfort. For more information, visit www.solcocina.com.

DOWNTOWN PHOENIX

Tilted Kilt: Overlooking downtown Phoenix at Cityscape is where this patio is located. At this Celtic-themed pub and eatery, you will always find five things: ice cold beer and plenty of it, a mouthwatering menu full of traditional and contemporary pub fare, large TV screens showcasing sporting events, a festive atmosphere full of fun and friends, and attractive cast members eager to put a smile on your face and make you feel right at home. Enjoy specials on their “Hoppy Hour” menu throughout the week. www.tiltedkilt.com.

WEST VALLEY:

Grimaldi’s Pizzeria: Enjoy your favorite pizza while you soak up the beautiful fall season. Each of Grimaldi’s eight Arizona locations has a distinct patio. The Peoria location has one of the largest—lining the entire north side of the building with seating for about 50 people. So if you’re in the mood for pizza and cannoli or just want to enjoy a glass of vino or beer, Grimaldi’s in Peoria is a perfect place to unwind. For more information, visit www.grimaldispizzeria.com.

Uptown Alley: Uptown Alley, located in Surprise, is a 60,000 square foot family entertainment venue featuring bowling, an arcade, two-level laser tag, an ultra-lounge and more. Check out their great patio during this fall at their full-service restaurant, Red Embers Bar and Grill. Indulge in six-hundred calorie selections, gluten free dishes, craft sandwiches, new signature burgers and a custom Burger Bar. Guests can also take advantage of the special Tailgate Menu that’s available every Monday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday throughout football season. The menu includes items such as Smoked Turkey Legs, Chili Cheese Franks and Stadium Nachos. During the regular season every Sunday guests can enjoy the Touchdown Special that includes one game of bowling, shoe rental and a $5 game card all for just $7. Visit www.uptownalleysurprise.com for more information.

Post Office, WEB

Adaptive reuse of Phoenix post office wins architecture award

Post Office 2Holly Street Studio Architects’ Diane Jacob’s infusion of Arizona State University’s 30KSF student center at a historic United States federal building in downtown Phoenix recently won a Crescordia award for historic preservation. Caliente Construction handled construction of the project.

Since the center’s opening in early 2013, students, faculty and the community at large have used the space for a multitude of purposes.

Adaptive reuse of the large-scale, centrally located structure revolves around four key ideas: open up to provide scenic views out and light in; embrace history through the structures expressed and skylights; engage the city with the park and align with existing patterns; and address the student with flexible and dynamic spaces for multiple endeavors.

The building’s mechanical, plumbing and electrical systems were modernized and tied to Phoenix’s NRG Energy Center, an energy-efficient and environmentally sound district energy and power plant serving major downtown structures. New clean-energy boilers eliminate electrical reheat systems, cutting building energy loads drastically and opening up additional usable square footage within the building.

The combination of a contemporary design within a well-worn masonry building begins a dialogue that is critical for environmental awareness in desert cities – creating greater awareness and inspiration for rethinking the way we inhabit our urban desert environment.

healthcare

Humana, Iora Health partner in Arizona

Improved health and more coordinated care for Medicare Advantage members is the goal behind a new Accountable Care arrangement and population health management partnership between Humana Inc. and Iora Health.

The partnership launches Iora’s unique health care model in Arizona and Washington where Iora Health will open four new primary care practices – two in Phoenix and two in Seattle – under the Iora Primary Care brand.

The primary care practices are designed exclusively for Humana’s Medicare Advantage members and will provide members access to affordable, quality care. Building on Iora’s proven success, these practices will have integrated care teams that include doctors, nurses, health coaches, medication management, behavioral health and social services resources. Iora builds practices to meet the specific needs of the communities they serve, including hiring teams who speak their patients’ languages and who understand the local challenges patients face.

“The partnership with Humana allows Iora to help improve the lives of seniors in Phoenix and Seattle,” said Rushika Fernandopulle, M.D., M.P.P., CEO and Co-Founder of Iora Health. “Seniors deserve care matched to their specific needs. Iora’s people-first primary care operating system helps do just that. We’re thrilled to partner with Humana to continue to restore humanity to health care.”

Iora Health serves over 9,000 patients in seven primary care practices across four states. Iora has expanded the definition of primary care to include integrated health and wellness, offering behavioral health and groups like Diabetes Club and yoga. Results have shown improved patient engagement, experience and clinical outcomes. Additionally, Iora’s proprietary collaborative care technology enables Iora to treat and manage their full patient population and allows for patients to view and contribute to their medical record.

“Partnerships like the one with Iora Primary Care help Humana close the gap for our members by making access to care easier and providing coordination of care,” said Mark El-Tawil, West Division Leader for Humana’s Senior Products. “We’re excited that Iora’s unique care model will provide innovative patient-centered care for our Humana Medicare Advantage members, improving their well-being.”

The Arizona primary care practices are located at 3137 W. Indian School Road in Phoenix and 6611 W. Peoria Avenue in Glendale. The Washington primary care practices are located at 306 23rd Avenue South in Seattle and 15214 Aurora Avenue North in Shoreline.

The Arizona and Seattle primary care practices will open September 2014, and will start seeing Humana Medicare Advantage members on Oct. 1, 2014. The Shoreline, Wash., primary care practices will open October 2014, and will start seeing Humana Medicare Advantage members on Nov. 1, 2014.

Humana aims to work closely with doctors and hospitals through its Accountable Care Continuum. The continuum is a stepped approach to pay-for-value reimbursement that allows the company to implement different value-based partnerships with hospitals and doctors based on their infrastructure capabilities and risk-tolerance.

The new partnership between Humana and Iora Health includes value-based incentives tied to performance improvement and will bring better patient care coordination, more cost effective, quality care and a world-class patient experience to Humana members in Arizona and Washington. The partnership will offer more personalized care and a broad range of population management tools like predictive analytics and chronic care, disease management and wellness programs.

The Humana/Iora Health partnership emphasizes quality outcomes with a focus on care coordination and leverages measures as defined by the National Committee for Quality Assurance Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set like diabetes care and treatment, breast cancer screenings, colorectal cancer screenings and high-risk medication.

Humana has a 25-year Accountable Care relationship history with more than one million members that are cared for by 33,000 primary care physicians, in more than 900 Accountable Care relationships across 40 states and Puerto Rico.

K Kramer 006

Boys & Girls Clubs Foundation Hires New Executive Director

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale Foundation has announced the hiring of Kathy Kramer as their new Executive Director. Kramer brings more than 30 years of experience as a development officer with a focus on fundraising in health and human service settings including management, board relationships and strategic planning. Having grown up in Phoenix, Kramer also has a deep understanding of the Boys & Girls Clubs.

“When my children were younger and as a working mother, my children attended the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale for after school care and during school breaks,” says Kramer. “I saw the Club’s mission first-hand and I am thrilled to join the Foundation and build a lasting legacy for future generations.”

Quarles & Brady Managing Partner Nicole Standton, far left, firm Managing Partner Fred Lautz, Matt Dana and firm Chair Kimberly Leach Johnson attend a signing ceremony welcoming Dana to the team, effectively launching Quarles’ Scottsdale office.

Quarles & Brady Adds Dana Law Firm to Practice

The national law firm of Quarles & Brady LLP today announced that Matt Dana, a premier estate planning attorney in Scottsdale, will be joining the firm on November 1, along with two associates and two paralegals on his team. Their affiliation with Quarles & Brady will build on the work of Quarles & Brady attorney Trisha Baggs, a highly regarded estate planning attorney in the firm’s Phoenix office. With the addition of Dana and his team, Quarles & Brady will establish a presence in Scottsdale, its 10th location nationwide and third in Arizona. The new office will be located at 8817 E. Bell Road, Suite 201, Scottsdale, Arizona, 85260.

Dana Law Firm founder Matthew S. Dana will be joining Quarles & Brady as a partner in the firm’s Phoenix office. He will combine his highly developed Arizona trusts & estates practice with Quarles & Brady’s national practice, allowing the two firms to support and augment one another on a single platform, enhancing the new union’s ability to serve clients across Arizona and the country in general.

The new Scottsdale office will continue to serve local trusts & estates clients, but the service offerings at that location will multiply, as it delivers Quarles & Brady’s full range of business legal representations as a full member of the national network.

Also joining Quarles are associates Trevor Whiting and Todd Smith, and paralegals Jennifer Skubic and Kate Sieger. Whiting and Sieger will join Dana in the firm’s Phoenix office, while Smith and Skubic will work in the Scottsdale office.

“We’re gratified that our firm continues to grow at such a robust pace, especially because that growth is driven by solid opportunities,” said Firm Chair Kimberly Leach Johnson. “We look forward to increasing our trusts & estates portfolio through the special strengths that Matt Dana and his team bring to the firm, and we’re also delighted to add Scottsdale to our national service network. It’s a win-win development.”

“My team and I have been providing our clients with premium trusts & estates services for many years, and now we have an opportunity, together with Trisha Baggs and the entire Quarles & Brady team, to offer them even more assistance, in many areas of law, with the power and reach of a national firm,” said Dana. “My team will continue to offer the same excellent estate planning services to our many former Dana Law Firm clients, but the chance to take it up another notch by joining Quarles & Brady is too good to pass on.”

“We are very pleased to have Matt Dana and members of his team join our Phoenix office and to be opening the firm’s third Arizona office,” said Phoenix Managing Partner, Nicole Stanton. “Partnering Matt with our own Trisha Baggs creates a powerhouse trusts & estates ensemble right here in Arizona, enhancing our on-the-ground presence and the width and breadth of our nationwide practice, allowing us to better serve our clients here and on a national scale.”

Quarles & Brady intends to be an active member of the Scottsdale community, as it has been in Phoenix, Tucson and its seven other locations across the country. The firm has a long history of enthusiastic social responsibility, embraced by civic-minded lawyers and staff members alike. The firm is committed to supporting and sustaining its local communities through its Quarles Cares program and pro bono services, reflecting an ongoing devotion to making communities the firm calls “home” better places to live. Matt Dana is himself a long-time, ardent supporter of Arizona State University and has been active in several of its programs and initiatives through the years.

About the Attorneys:

Matthew S. Dana, founding attorney of the Dana Law Firm, has spent last 25 years building one of the top estate planning practices in the state of Arizona. Dana practices exclusively in the areas of estate and asset protection planning. His clients range from modest estates to the extremely wealthy, including multimillionaires and other similarly situated clients, some of which have a net worth in excess of $50 million.

Trevor Whiting concentrates his practice on estate/gift tax planning and estate/trust income tax planning. Whiting’s strong background in tax law is beneficial to addressing the tax issues that arise while planning or administering an estate. He handles the estate and income tax issues related to dealing with out-of-state fiduciaries or trusts and estates owning property in multiple jurisdictions.

Todd Smith focuses his practice on estate planning, probate and trust administration, and business organizations. Smith has extensive experience with business organizations, including advising business owners and preparing buy-sell agreements for business succession planning as well as advising clients with substantial wealth in forming business entities like limited liability companies (LLC’s) and family limited partnerships (FLP’s) for asset protection and estate planning purposes.

Jennifer Skubic assists clients in estate planning, probate and trust administration. She has firsthand knowledge of how to execute trust documents and how to fund a living trust and works very closely with the attorneys to administer trusts and estates once someone has passed away.

Kate Sieger has extensive experience with helping clients attain their estate planning goals and enjoys working with a diverse group of clients. She works closely with attorneys, helping clients administer an estate after the death of a loved one.

Sean-Currid

Blue Hound Hires New Executive Chef

Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails at Kimpton’s Hotel Palomar Phoenix has hired Sean Currid as Executive Chef. Chef Currid comes from Elements at Sanctuary Resort & Spa where he served as Executive Catering Chef. Currid has been in the Valley for nearly 20 years and has also worked at Michael’s at the Citadel, Mary Elaine’s at The Phoenician and Cafe ZuZu at The Hotel Valley Ho.

Blue Hound guests will get a taste of Chef Currid’s cuisine when he releases a variety of new dishes on the new fall menu in late October.

ABOUT SEAN CURRID:

For nearly 20 years, Sean Currid has honed his skills in the Culinary Industry in the Valley. His food style falls under contemporary American cuisine, complimented with classic French cooking techniques.

Sean was born and raised in Thousand Oaks, California. In his teens, his family moved to El Paso, Texas. One of his first jobs in Texas was in a restaurant as a dishwasher and short order cook. It was at this job, his interest in food and cooking grew. Shortly after graduating from high school, he decided that he would take cooking seriously. Sean relocated to Phoenix to attend Scottsdale Culinary Institute and graduated in 1997.

Currid started his professional career at JW Marriott’s Camelback Inn while attending Culinary School. Upon completion of school, he continued working there for the next four years. He moved through the ranks of the restaurants at Camelback Inn and finally promoted to Banquet Chef. He moved on to work at Michael’s at the Citadel and was asked once again to join the team at JW Marriott’s Camelback Inn overseeing banquets. Currid was then offered a position at Mary Elaine’s at The Phoenician and worked with James Beard Award winner, Chef Bradford Thompson. Over the next two years, he immersed himself in the restaurant and refined his cooking techniques. In 2005, Sean went to go with Chef Charles Wiley, another James Beard winner, to re-open The Hotel Valley Ho. His most recent position was working with Chef Beau MacMillan as Executive Catering Chef at Sanctuary Camelback Resort and Spa.

Under his direction as Banquet Chef, at JW Marriott’s Camelback Inn, the resort received the Gold Platter Award by Meeting and Conventions magazine. In 2010, Sean was named one of “The Valley’s Top Five Sous Chefs” in AZ Magazine. He was also named one of “The Valley’s Seven Top Chefs” AZ Foothills Magazine. Sean was on Food Network’s show “Chef Wanted with Anne Burrell.

Sean continues to participate in charity fundraisers, and team with local farmers to create his menus. Currid has also had the privilege of assisting Chef Charles Wiley in New York at The James Beard House, as they represented Café ZuZu.

Key Elements to Retirement Planning

‘YOYO’ Economy Creates New Reality

With Social Security in its 79th year, and with real concerns about the future of the program, there is a different reality for retirement planning than when the agency started many years ago. Preparing for a secure retirement has changed drastically with today’s Baby Boomers living in what many call a YOYO (You’re On Your Own) economy. It is now important to look at retirement planning in a whole new way.

One Phoenix advisor, Andrew Rafal, an investment advisor and founding partner of Strategy Financial Group, offers insight on how to help prepare for the challenges of retirement. “A retirement plan in today’s world will look very different from what it looked like the past. For previous generations, there were company pensions, a well-funded Social Security program and personal savings, including home equity. Today, many retirement savers don’t have those retirement income sources to count on, making planning for requires a much different thought process than generations past,” says Rafal.

While the viability of Social Security is questionable after year 2033, it is still around today. If you’re a Baby Boomer quickly approaching retirement, when and how you file for your benefits is very important to understand. As most people know, you can start claiming Social Security any time between ages 62 and 70, but did you know the longer you can afford to wait, the more your monthly benefit amount grows. This could add up to a significant difference over the course of your retirement. How you file is also important: For instance, a single person has nine different claiming options and couples have 81 all of which could affect the benefits you receive, so it’s critical to evaluate your options carefully.

Another change over the past few years is the decline in the availability of pensions. Many state and corporate pensions have experienced financial difficulties over the years and have cut costs by lowering pension payouts and putting more of the responsibilities to save enough on the individual. Many companies have opted to get rid of their pension program altogether and offer defined contribution plans, such as 401(k) and 403(b) plans and similar, as an alternative.

Rafal says, “This trend away from state and corporate pensions has shifted the burden to the individual who now must contribute enough in order to create a secure income in retirement. In this YOYO economy how well you live in your golden years is up to you and how well you plan.”

No matter where you are on your journey to retirement, it is extremely important to be proactive when building wealth for retirement by saving the most money that you can afford. Put saving on autopilot with automatic payments. If you don’t see the money each month, you may be less likely to miss it.

The key to a secure retirement for most has become personal savings. Unfortunately, the housing and stock market volatility over the past decade stalled many retirement plans. Many have learned over the past decade that accumulating personal wealth, and maintaining it, can be a difficult challenge.

“The “modern retiree” will need to work even harder than generations past to build and manage their personal savings as for most this is all they will have,” says Rafal.

Rafal suggests:

Be cautious with your investments. Extreme stock market volatility and economic uncertainty, as seen over the past decade, shows how unpredictable the economy can be. Take charge of your saving strategies and do not risk too much of your hard-earned money in any one specific savings or investment vehicle.

Be flexible with your investments. Economic conditions often change in a fast-paced global economy, so adjustments to your financial plan may be necessary. The key to success is the ability to adapt to evolving market conditions.

Be strategic with your investments. Choose a variety of different financial instruments and investment vehicles so no one particular investment severely impacts your long-term financial and retirement goals. Diversification is critical to help avoid suffering a huge loss.

While retirement planning has changed over the past decades with some knowledge and guidance, it is still possible to secure a great financial future. One thing is for sure, the earlier you start the better off in the long run you will be so start saving as soon as you can.

Staying Innovative as a One Man Operation

Spirit of Enterprise Award Finalists named

Arizona is still recovering from the Great Recession, and many local businesses are playing a key role in the comeback. Today, some of the state’s best companies are being recognized as finalists for the 18th annual Spirit of Enterprise Awards from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.

The prestigious awards recognize firms for creating jobs, boosting our economy and delivering great customer service. Past winners include well-known names like Cold Stone Creamery, Ollie the Trolley and Total Transit (Discount Cab), as well as fast-growing businesses, such as Infusionsoft.

“We look for Arizona businesses that demonstrate ethics, energy and excellence in entrepreneurship,” explains Sidnee Peck, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at the W. P. Carey School of Business. “We also want to see innovation, a positive internal culture, and an impact on both our economy and our local community.”

The 18th annual Spirit of Enterprise Award finalists are:

• Clean Air Cab (Mesa) – a family-owned, eco-friendly cab fleet with consistent 100-percent annual growth and a Happy Ride consumer guarantee, sourcing more than 83 percent of its business needs from local providers and donating to local charities, including the ONE Community Foundation for advancing the rights of the LGBT community.
• Endless Entertainment (Tempe) – an events production and consulting company started by a college entrepreneur at ASU that has been lauded by Inc. magazine, has a strong customer-service focus, and has worked with a range of clients from San Diego Comic-Con and the X Games to the American Cancer Society, Autism Speaks, Target and Zappos.
• Ersland Touch Landscape (Phoenix) – a state-of-the-art landscape maintenance company with more than 30 years of experience, a complete customer “feedback log,” an Adopt a Highway commitment, work with nonprofits, and more than 400 residences and 20 homeowner associations as clients.
• India Plaza/The Dhaba (Tempe) – a small, minority-owned one-stop shop for all things Indian, including an award-winning restaurant, a marketplace and an education center, with a low staff turnover rate, a no-questions-asked return policy, and vegetarian, gluten-free and environmental initiatives.
• IO (Phoenix) – a firm focused on data-center technology, services and solutions that are defined by software, instead of physical locations, with more than 650 global clients, including Goldman Sachs and LexisNexis, as well as two patents and a focus on energy efficiency.
• I-ology (Scottsdale) – a woman-owned technology company offering Web design and related services that features close client relationships, heavy community involvement, and no management hierarchy, where all employees have the chance to participate in revenue sharing, stock options, flexible schedules and industry events.
• The James Agency (Scottsdale) – a boutique, full-service advertising and public relations agency specializing in high-end brands, which was started by a 25 year old and now boasts flexible work schedules, no outsourcing, annual pro bono clients and last year’s revenue of more than $2 million.
• Kitchell (Phoenix) – a 100-percent employee-owned commercial builder, developer and program manager launched 65 years ago, which now has more than 850 employees, international operations, innovations like virtual construction, an internal leadership program, significant charitable contributions, and a focus on safety, work quality and customer satisfaction.
• Melrose Pharmacy (Phoenix) – an independent pharmacy that offers fast, personalized service, contributions to the March of Dimes and other charities, and involvement in community issues, as well as achieving business goals of $2.7 million in sales by its third year in business and a 119-percent increase in net income so far this year.
• Potter’s House Apothecary (Peoria) – a pharmacy specializing in compounding, with its own continuous-quality-improvement program and patient seminars, which reached its three-year business plan projections in just 18 months and became one of fewer than 15 Arizona pharmacies with accreditation from the Pharmacy Compounding Accreditation Board.

The finalists from the W. P. Carey School for the Student Entrepreneurship Award are:

• Anthony Gonzales/Force Impact Technologies – Gonzales, who just graduated with his MBA, has made headlines as a finalist in Entrepreneur magazine’s College Entrepreneur of the Year competition with his grant-winning, ongoing development of FITGuard, a mouthguard designed to indicate when an athlete should be removed from a game for possible head injuries/concussions, as well as a matching smartphone application that can provide results to a diagnosing physician.
• Paige Corbett/PetSitnStay – Corbett was working as a kennel assistant and attending business school, when she came up with the idea to start an online service to connect pet owners with pet sitters and in-home care options as an alternative to less personal commercial boarding facilities.

Winners will be announced at a luncheon Friday, Nov. 21 at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix. Hundreds of business and community leaders attend the annual event. Also, new this year, an entrepreneurship workshop will be held right before the awards luncheon. There, top W. P. Carey School faculty members will talk about what tools and techniques you can use to advance your business.

For more information on sponsorship opportunities or to attend, call (480) 965-0474, e-mail wpcentrepreneurship@asu.edu, or visit www.wpcarey.asu.edu/spirit.

The Spirit of Enterprise Awards are just one focus of the Center for Entrepreneurship, which helps hundreds of businesses each year. The center recently introduced the Sun Devil Select competition to honor ASU alum-owned or alum-led businesses, as well as the Sun Devil Igniter Challenge to help fund student businesses. The center also offers companies a chance to recruit and meet with top student talent, while allowing students to get hands-on business experience. It is a gateway to access other ASU business resources. The center is self-funded and utilizes community sponsorships and volunteers to sustain its activities.

internet

Cox names new Southwest Region manager

John WolfeCox Communications announced today that John Wolfe will take the reins as senior vice president and southwest region manager, effective immediately. The region is Cox’s largest nationwide and includes Las Vegas, Phoenix and Tucson metropolitan areas. Wolfe comes to the Southwest from Cox’s Northeast region, where he served as the senior vice president and region manager.

A nearly 30-year cable industry veteran, Wolfe has a demonstrated track record of success. After joining Cox in 1995 as part of the Times Mirror acquisition, he led the development of Cox’s government affairs, internal and external communications and corporate philanthropy strategies in New England, before being promoted to general manager, Northeast region in 2012. During his tenure as Cox’s Northeast region leader, Wolfe guided the company’s operations in Rhode Island, Connecticut and Ohio during a time of intense industry competition and company transformation.

Well-known in the communications industry for leading teams and working effectively with people, Wolfe’s abilities contributed to the Northeast’s company-leading customer satisfaction scores in 2012 and 2013. Prior to Cox, he served as director of public information for the National Cable and Telecommunications Association and managing editor for Cablevision magazine.

Wolfe’s appointment follows company veteran Steve Rizley’s recent retirement announcement.

“With his tremendous leadership abilities, combined with a strong sense for what it takes to compete in our industry, I am confident that John will ensure the Southwest region remains a focal point for aggressive investment, growth and innovation, starting with Cox’s Gigabit Internet deployments this year,” said Paul Cronin, senior vice president of customer experience for Cox. “Under John’s direction, Cox will continue to lead Arizona and Nevada as a significant employer, community contributor and technology enabler.”

Cox recently announced plans to offer Gigabit Internet speeds, 100 times faster than the average Internet speed in homes today, starting later this year with new developments nationwide. In addition, the company is aggressively upgrading existing neighborhoods in Phoenix and Las Vegas metro areas in the Southwest region. The first customers are expected to come online in Phoenix in October.

Wolfe will relocate to Phoenix, the company’s Southwest region headquarters, and site of a recently created national call center of excellence.

LUSTRE Deck Ceremony 4.jpg

Hotel Palomar offers chic urban weddings

At Kimpton’s Hotel Palomar Phoenix no two weddings ever feel the same thanks to the variety of unique indoor and outdoor settings, locally-inspired food and beverage options, high design and more, that come together to make every moment, every bite and every stylish detail all about a memorable “I do.”

What makes a wedding at Hotel Palomar so unique?

• 360-degree views of the surrounding mountains, skyline view of downtown Phoenix skyscrapers, historic buildings and city lights
• A variety of stunning venues from a rooftop pool deck to sophisticated ballrooms
• Chef-driven cuisine focused on local artisan and farm fresh organic ingredients, and handcrafted cocktails
• Wedding packages starting from $1,500

As downtown Phoenix’s newest boutique hotel, Hotel Palomar Phoenix offers more than just stunning ballrooms and private dining rooms. One of the most awe-inspiring outdoor wedding venues in all of downtown Phoenix is LUSTRE Rooftop Garden, which is perched on the hotel’s third-floor pool deck and offers 360-degree views of the surrounding mountains, downtown skyline of skyscrapers, historic buildings and city lights. LUSTRE is one of the Valley’s most impressive city venues to host anywhere from 20 to 200 guests to eat, drink and dance the night away under the stars.

For indoor options that also offer captivating downtown views, the Zia Room extends the entire west side of the hotel with three walls of oversized windows delivering unparalleled views overlooking the city. The Dreamcatcher Ballroom also plays hosts to wedding celebrations, with a stately space with soaring ceilings, breathtaking chandeliers and a gallery of large windows with views overlooking CityScape Phoenix. Each venue is also available for bridal showers, rehearsal dinners, cocktail receptions and soirees of all occasions for up to 200 guests.

Creative catering designed to exceed expectations is also on the menu at Hotel Palomar Phoenix. The hotel’s on-site, award-winning restaurant, Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails, is available to create a menu specifically outfitted for each couple. Blue Hound’s talented culinary team focuses on contemporary American gastro-lounge fare that pairs seasonal, chef-driven cuisine with handcrafted cocktails. Restaurant and wedding menus are thoughtfully prepared to highlight skillful flavor presentations with a sampling of the region’s best organic produce and free-range meats.

Wedding packages at Hotel Palomar Phoenix start from $1,500 and offer a number of enhancements specifically catered to a variety of tastes, budgets and styles. With all wedding packages, the hotel provides a complimentary dance floor, celebratory toast, wedding cake, black pintuck or cream damask linens and votive candles.

For information about weddings at Hotel Palomar Phoenix, visit www.hotelpalomar-phoenix.com/wedding or call 602-253-6633.

Dr. Miles Howard, an OB-GYN on staff at West Valley Hospital, who performed the first surgery with the new da Vinci Xi.

New robotic surgery debuts at West Valley Hospital

The first surgery in the Valley using the new da Vinci Xi robotic surgical system was performed September 15 at Abrazo Health’s West Valley Hospital.

West Valley Hospital in Goodyear is the only hospital in the Phoenix metropolitan area that has the da Vinci Xi, which is designed to offer patients minimally invasive procedures and faster recovery from a variety of surgeries.

The new technology provides advanced robotic technology including high-definition, 3-D visualization. It also allows for enhanced dexterity and greater precision and control for the surgeon.

Dr. Miles Howard, an OB-GYN affiliated with West Valley Hospital, performed the first hysterectomy with the da Vinci Xi surgical platform in the Phoenix metropolitan area.

He is among several surgeons on staff at West Valley Hospital who are trained to use the new Xi platform of da Vinci. Dr. Rama Muddaraj, a general surgeon on staff at West Valley Hospital, is scheduled to do the first general surgery procedure with the new da Vinci Xi surgical platform this week. He has been doing robotics surgery since 2012.

Howard, who has done more than 100 robotic procedures, said that the da Vinci Xi provides many advantages over earlier robotic surgery platforms.

For example, he said the endoscope can be used on any of the four arms and the Xi can be docked at different angles providing easier access to the patient and more flexibility for surgeons.

“Robotic surgery may result in less pain, less bleeding, less complications and a shorter hospital stay,’’ Howard said.

Purchasing this technology solidifies West Valley Hospital’s commitment to the healthcare of residents of the West Valley, said Dr. Pankaj Jain, a urologist affiliated with West Valley Hospital, who has done robotic surgeries since 2004.

”West Valley Hospital continues to advance the level of medical care in the region by purchasing some of the latest in robotics technology,’’ Jain said. “With this technology, my colleagues and I will be able to do even more types of complex surgeries with smaller and fewer incisions.”

Stan Holm, chief executive officer for West Valley Hospital, led the effort to bring the daVinci Xi to West Valley Hospital. “The da Vinci Surgical System provides surgeons with an alternative to both traditional open surgery and conventional laparoscopy, putting a surgeon’s hands at the controls of an advanced robotic platform.”

“The use of robotic-assisted surgeries continues to grow at a rapid pace, and West Valley Hospital is at the forefront of that growth. We are pleased to offer the da Vinci Xi Surgical System as part of our continued efforts to offer significant surgical advancements to our patients,” he added.

Surgeons with privileges at West Valley Hospital can perform many different types of robotically assisted procedures including prostatectomy, kidney and bladder surgery and gynecological procedures such as removal of ovarian tumors and other cancers and pelvic prolapse surgery, Holm said.

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Shea breaks ground on Shea3D community in Estrella

Shea Homes Arizona will break ground in mid-September, on its fifth Shea3D community in the West Valley, anticipated to open this December. Inspire at Estrella will be the sixth Shea Homes community opening this year.

Located in Goodyear, Estrella is a 20,000 acre resort-style, master-planned community set against the Sierra Estrella Mountains. Although it’s a short drive from Phoenix, residents have everything they need with Estrella’s extensive amenities, including a championship 18-hole Golf Club of Estrella, 72 acres of lakes for fishing/boating, 20 miles of hiking/biking paths, Starpointe Residence Club and Water Park, nearby shopping, dining, three onsite schools and more.

Inspire at Estrella has 110 home sites sized at 60×115 featuring four popular plans from Shea’s innovative product line called Shea3D. The plans are named Compel, Indulge, Spark and Excite ranging from 2,472-3,351 square feet with 3-4 bedrooms. With four YourPlans and three lifestyle centric spaces, buyers are able to choose between 12 unique layouts at Estrella. Pricing is still being finalized.

Shea3D is an all-new, patent-pending way of building homes that provides homebuyers with a decision they’ve never had before – the opportunity to choose from a variety of interchangeable lifestyle-driven spaces within each floor plan, also known as “YourPlans™”. Shea3DTM allows customers to choose from three unique main living spaces – Outdoor-centric, Entertainment-centric, or Kitchen-centric, empowering the customer to select the one that best fits their lifestyle.

“Our company values match perfectly with the community of Estrella’s values, and that’s all about creating a flourishing environment for families,” said Ken Peterson, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Shea Homes Arizona. “We couldn’t be more excited to be expanding our West Valley presence. The West Valley is booming in general, and we’re happy to be a part of this growing market.”

These homes are also built for optimum energy efficiency and carry the newly upgraded ENERGY STAR 3.0 rating. They have multiple distinct features from other area builders including the Environments for Living (EFL) designation, which is a two year guarantee that the home heating and cooling won’t exceed a specified energy limit. If the home goes over the guarantee, a refund of the difference is given.

For more information about Inspire at Estrella or Shea Homes’ communities across the Valley, please call 1-866-696-7432 or visit http://www.sheahomes.com/arizona.

health

Banner Health sees major gains in quality

Phoenix-area beneficiaries in the Medicare Pioneer Accountable Care Organization (ACO) served by Banner Health Network (BHN) receive a high level of quality care and preventive medicine that results in less cost to the nation’s Medicare system. Today, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the preliminary results for the Pioneer ACO’s Performance Year 2 (calendar year 2013) which further illustrates that point.

Recently released accountable care data from one of BHN’s payer partners in the private sector, offers similar cost and quality findings across commercial populations.

BHN’s quality score in 2013 reflected a gain of nearly 19 percent from the previous year. “Our providers are delivering high quality, coordinated care. The care they want to deliver,” said Dr. Shaun Anand, Medical Director for Banner Health Network. “They are rewarded for providing holistic care to BHN’s members and beneficiaries, and given the infrastructure, information and resources they need to be efficient and effective in preventive, chronic and acute care.”

As a top performer in the Medicare Pioneer ACO for the second consecutive year, BHN’s savings to CMS of more than $15 million made up 16 percent of the total $96 million returned by 23 Pioneers in Performance Year 2. This was possible as a result of delivering the right care, at the right time in the right setting.

“Highly engaged provider partners, information technology tools and an organizational commitment to value-based care were key elements of our success,” says Chuck Lehn, Banner Health Network Chief Executive Officer. “Supporting beneficiaries when they were most at risk and in need of medical advocacy— after a new diagnosis, following hospital discharge, or as a result of multiple emergency department visits, for example— has also been an important strategy in this program.”

BHN has continued to participate with the Pioneer ACO program in Performance Year 3 (current calendar year), and has recruited new qualified BHN physicians to further develop our Pioneer program in Performance Year 4 (calendar year 2015).

In December 2011, Banner Health Network announced that it had been selected as one of only 32 organizations in the country to demonstrate the Pioneer ACO Model. Only 23 organizations continued with the model after the first year. The central premise of the Pioneer ACO effort is to create value through a highly coordinated, collaborative network of providers who are focused on achieving the highest level of wellness and prevention possible for their Medicare patients, while addressing chronic and acute illness aggressively.

Pioneer provider networks benefit financially when they return savings to Medicare, not through increased volume of services that are reimbursed in a traditional fee-for-service model. Revenues are generated through a percentage of Medicare savings. Savings are realized through tight coordination of care and adherence to evidence-based care. If expenses are greater than the expected benchmark, that Pioneer ACO is at risk for a percentage of losses.

In addition to participating in the Medicare Pioneer ACO, BHN has developed accountable care relationships with commercial payers such as: Aetna, Cigna, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, and UnitedHealthcare, among others.

BHN is comprised of Banner Health-employed physicians and Banner Health-affiliated community physicians; 14 Banner Health hospitals; Banner Health Centers and Clinics; hospice, home care, lab and related clinical services. The Network ensures convenient access to Medicare beneficiaries with more than 3,000 providers located throughout Maricopa County and into Pinal County.

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Arizona Theatre Company opens season with laughs

Arizona Theatre Company opens the 2014-15 season with the Arizona premiere of the hilarious comedy of ill manners, the 2013 Tony Award winner for Best Play, “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” from Oct. 9-26 at the Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe in downtown Phoenix.

The show is directed by Joel Sass, the force behind ATC’s critically acclaimed production of The 39 Steps. The 2014-15 season is sponsored by I. Michael and Beth Kasser. Opening night sponsor in Phoenix is Gammage & Burnham.

In Christopher Durang’s “all out-smash” (Talkin’ Broadway), Vanya and his adopted sister Sonia are living a quiet life in the Pennsylvania farmhouse where they grew up, while their sister Masha travels the world as a movie star. Just as their cleaning woman, Cassandra, issues a warning about terrible events in their future, Masha returns for an unannounced visit with her 20-something boy toy Spike in tow – and so begins an unforgettable weekend building to a fever pitch of rivalry, regret and racket. Mixing Chekhov shout-outs with contemporary cringe-worthy flair, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike is a delightfully off-kilter season-opening romp that critics have hailed “a sublime state of hilarity” and “a zany joy!”

“Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike is among the funniest plays to pass our way in a long time,” Arthur Dorman wrote on Talkin’ Broadway Minneapolis. “That it carries with it a tender heart and has been mounted in a sparkling production makes it a show not to be missed.”

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike contains strong language. Total running time is 2 hours, 30 minutes including intermission. This production was produced in association with the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis.

Single tickets prices range from $41 to $72.

Season-ticket packages range from $87 to $372 depending upon the package and seat selection. Pick-Your-Play packages of three, four or five plays also are available as is the Flexpass that includes four tickets to any play in the regular season on any day, in any combination.

Season subscriber benefits include discounts on additional tickets, priority seating and up to 50 percent off regular box office prices, among others.

For more information in Phoenix call (602) 256-6995. For complete information, visit www.arizonatheatre.org.

foodbank

Progrexion Makes Large Donation to St. Mary’s Food Bank

Progrexion, a company dedicated to ensuring fair and accurate consumer credit reports, is hosting a one-year anniversary celebration today (Sept. 16) at 10 a.m. at its call center at 20620 N. 19th Ave. in Phoenix. The public is invited to bring canned goods and other non-perishable food that will be donated to St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance as part of national Hunger Action Month. Those who donate in the month of September to the Progrexion location will be entered into a drawing for a pair of Pro Bowl tickets. Tickets will be awarded the first week of October.

At the event, Progrexion CEO Jeffrey Johnson will present a large check to St. Mary’s President and CEO, Beverly Damore. The company’s 310 Arizona employees collected cash and food over the summer in order to donate to the local nonprofit in September, as part of national hunger awareness campaign.

“We are so grateful to our employees in Phoenix for being so generous with their time and money and for getting behind this important cause,” said Johnson. “I also want to congratulate them all in celebrating a successful first year. Our company has grown significantly this past year, and we will continue to support this and other important community causes as we continue to expand in Phoenix and beyond.”

“We’re very grateful to Progrexion for actively collecting food and cash to help provide for the two million Arizonans who are living at or below the Federal Poverty Guideline,” said Beverly Damore, president and CEO of St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance. “And, we encourage to the community to continue to donate through Progrexion and our other community partners throughout Hunger Action Month.”

Progrexion’s Phoenix location, which started out with 30 employees one year ago, has seen impressive growth, and is now looking to hire 135 more by the end of the year, bringing a total employee count to 445 employees. The company will have recruiter’s onsite at the celebration on Sept. 17 from 10am-4pm to accept resumes and applications from people who would like to work for this organization that prides itself in giving back to the community.

“One in five kids in the United States faces hunger, and Progrexion is proud to be engaged in efforts that truly make a difference in the communities in which we work and live,” added Johnson.

Progrexion and its affiliated brands, including Lexington Law and CreditRepair.com, comprise the nation’s largest consumer advocacy network and employ more than 2,100 people at locations in Utah, Idaho and Arizona. Progrexion’s associates in Utah and Idaho also conducted food and fund donation drives this summer and recently donated more than $73,000 to non-profits in those states.

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St. Joseph’s and Barrow’s add new board members

The Board of Directors of St. Joseph’s Foundation recently elected two new members for Fiscal Year 2015. The new board members are:

Barry Berman, of Scottsdale, graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a bachelor’s in business administration, a major in finance and a minor in accounting. He began his career as an equity trader at The Milwaukee Co. and Loewl & Co. Berman joined Robert W. Baird and Co. Inc. in 1974 as senior vice-president and director, working there for 32 years before his retirement in 2006.

Greg Valladao, of Phoenix, is a senior managing director at Cushman and Wakefield. He earned a bachelor’s degree with a double major in political science and history from Tulane University in New Orleans and a juris doctorate from the University of Arizona College of Law. For the past 30 years, he has used his extensive retail, sales, management and legal expertise to become a well-respected commercial real estate executive with a reputation as a regional retail expert.

The Board of Trustees of Barrow Neurological Foundation (BNF) recently added three new members and elected a slate of officers. The new members are as follows:

David Farca, of Scottsdale, is president of ToH Design Studio. Farca was born and raised in Mexico City. He earned a degree in biomedical engineering from Universidad Iberoamericana, a degree in medical imaging infrastructure from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a master’s in business administration from Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México. Farca built a medical imaging business in Mexico that grew into one of the industry’s largest government suppliers. In 2000, he sold the business and moved to Scottsdale, where he and his wife, Mavi, opened ToH Design Studio.

Michael Hecomovich, of Scottsdale, is the founder and chairman/CEO, Global Marketing Services. Hecomovich earned a bacheolor’s degree in engineering from the United States Naval Academy and a master’s in business administration from the Thunderbird School of Global Management. He has more than 30 years of experience in general management, sales, marketing and business development for a wide range of organizations—from Fortune 100 companies to small start-up ventures.

William R. Metzler, of Scottsdale, is the co-founder and principal of West Coast Capital Partners. Metzler received bachelor’s degrees with honors in accounting and real estate finance from the University of Arizona. He is a senior with the American Society of Appraisers and a certified public accountant. He has previously served as the managing director of New York-based ING’s Investment Banking Unit and Ernst & Young’s Real Estate Advisory Group.

BNF board officers are as follows: Chair—Michael Haenel, Phoenix, executive vice president, Cassidy Turley BRE Commercial Industrial Services Group; Vice Chair—Dan Pierce, Phoenix, president, Kitchell; Treasurer—Karen C. McConnell, Phoenix, partner, Ballard Spahr LLP; and Secretary—Michael R. King, Phoenix, founding partner, Gammage & Burnham.

St. Joseph’s Foundation and Barrow Neurological Foundation are nonprofit support foundations dedicated to raising funds for St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center and Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix. Each foundation is governed by a board of directors made up of community leaders who serve on a voluntary basis. More information is available at SupportStJosephs.org, SupportBarrow.org or at the Foundations of St. Joseph’s on Facebook.

R&R Partners expands into Mexico

R&R Partners has announced that the independent marketing communications firm would make its international debut, opening its ninth office through an ownership stake in CMV, a full service agency based in Mexico City.

CEO Billy Vassiliadis will make the formal announcement September 12 during a keynote address entitled “Translating Success – Learning to Do Business Across Cultures” at Austin’s BonusMX@ATX, a forum for creative industry executives in the United States and Mexico.

Mexico City marks a long anticipated move by R&R Partners into Latin America, and represents the firm’s fourth new office in six years behind Austin, Denver and Los Angeles.

“When you look at American brands like Microsoft, Pfizer and Wal-Mart, which are well-established in Mexico, you’re seeing how 20 years of NAFTA has helped erase many of the old trade barriers,” said Matt Silverman vice president and managing director of the R&R Partners Phoenix office. “R&R Partners is particularly well positioned to help international partnerships that already exist and are forming in Arizona and Mexico,” added Silverman.

Under NAFTA, intraregional trade in North America jumped from $290 billion in 1993 to $1.1 trillion in 2012, roughly half of which crisscrosses the U.S./Mexican border.

Vassiliadis sees opportunity in the 2014 Global Attitudes Survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, which found that six in 10 Mexicans are dissatisfied with their country’s economy.

“Mexico is at a critical point economically, politically and culturally and our skill set and partnership with CMV can have a real impact there,” said Vassiliadis. “Together, we bring an authentic Hispanic vision and voice and a proven track record in communications and government affairs work that will guide clients through this period of rapid change and growth.”

R&R Partners has long had a footprint in Mexico through their Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority client, which markets the Las Vegas destination there. In addition, R&R Partners serves international clients in West Africa, Central Asia, and Europe, as well as U.S.-based clients like Boeing that reach across the globe.

“R&R’s investment in CMV grew out of the recognition that our two agencies share a similar passion for tackling the tough issues, delivering key insights to our clients and building a strong internal culture of excellence,” said Diego Velásquez, founding partner and coach general at CMV. “It’s an ideal match that will continue to deliver top quality results across borders and languages.”

CMV/R&R Partners will use its deep experience in regulatory issues, public relations, crisis communications, research, media and branding to assist industries that face complex challenges in Mexico and Latin America. Areas of specialty include energy, telecommunications, packaged goods, technology, aerospace and travel and tourism.

“Being independently owned allows us to react quickly and guide our clients through the challenging regulatory environments they will find in Mexico,” said Vassiliadis. “It has also allowed us to pursue a rapid growth plan as an agency. International expansion was the next logical step for us.”

angel

Bioscience innovators will pitch at White Hat Investors

Bioindustry Associations from across the Rocky Mountain Southwest Region are coming together to present an opportunity for Angels, Venture Capitalists and Strategic Investors to connect with the biotech and healthcare investment opportunities from across the Rocky Mountain Southwest states at White Hat Investors 2014 in Phoenix, Arizona on September 17 and 18, 2014.

“The West was won by innovators, investors, and prospectors who understood the value of discovery and accepted the challenge of investing in new frontiers,” shared Joan Koerber-Walker, president and CEO of the Arizona Bioindustry Association (AZBio). “Now, industry leaders and accredited investors have the opportunity to meet a new generation of biotech and healthcare pioneers at White Hat 2014, the first annual biotech and healthcare investor conference that showcases the best of the Rocky Mountain Southwest Region.”

White Hat Presenting Companies were selected from the region’s emerging innovation leaders in the fields of Diagnostics, Therapeutics, Medical Devices, and Health IT. Presenting companies are developing lifesaving and life improving innovations that will benefit people today and for generations to come while addressing some of our greatest health challenges including cancer, cardiovascular and pulmonary disease, neurological disorders, infectious disease, and more.

On September 17th, over 400 life science industry leaders will gather to view a company showcase, browse a student discovery zone and listen to presentations from local life science entrepreneurs on the BioAccel Best of the Best Stage from 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. in the North Ballroom of the Phoenix Convention Center. Free and open to the general public, it presents an opportunity for members of the community to connect with the region’s fastest growing innovation sector. The public pre-event will be followed at 6:00 p.m. by the AZBio Awards gala (registration required) honoring life science pioneer Roy Curtiss, III, PhD; Charles Arntzen, PhD, the Arizona State University Researcher who, with his team, played a key role in the development of ZMAPP, the experimental Ebola drug given to two health workers who were sickened by the deadly virus earlier this year; W.J. “Jim” Lane, Mayor of the City of Scottsdale for his work in developing the Scottsdale Cure Corridor; innovative educator Miles Orchinik, PhD of the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University; Jack B. Jewett of the Flinn Foundation for leadership of the longest running statewide bioscience development initiative in the United States; emerging technology leaders SenesTech, Pinnacle Transplant Technologies, and Cancer Prevention Pharmaceuticals along with the 2014 Arizona Bioscience Company of the Year, Insys Therapeutics, Inc.

White Hat events continue on September 18th at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Phoenix with presentations by privately-held life science companies presenting to attending representatives of family offices, investment funds, corporate investment/business development professionals for life science oriented firms (strategic investors), granting foundations, venture capital firms, and accredited investors. In addition to great company presentations in the areas of Medical Devices, Diagnostics, Therapeutics and Health IT, White Hat includes THREE general sessions featuring panel discussions on the investment environment from the perspective of Angels, Strategic Investors, and VCs.
Presenting Companies were selected from the Rocky Mountain Southwest’s emerging innovator leaders in the fields of: Diagnostics, Therapeutics, Medical Devices and Health IT and include:

• Aviratek, LLC
• Breezing
• Calimmune, Inc.
• CardioCreate, Inc.
• Convoy Therapeutics
• DiscGenics
• Elutin Vascular Inc.
• EndoShape, Inc
• Fluonic
• Imagenonics LLC
• Iron Horse Diagnostics
• INanoBio
• Kalos Therapeutics
• Kulira Technologies
• Meditope Biosciences, Inc.
• MSDx
• NeuroRecovery Technologies, Inc.
• NuvoMed
• NuvOx Pharma
• Pediatric Bioscience, Inc
• Portable Genomics, Inc.
• MedTalk Companion (Real Phone Corp)
• Recursion Pharmaceuticals
• RiboMed Biotechnologies
• Savoy Pharmaceuticals
• SenesTech
• Skylit Medical
• Sonoran Biosciences
• T-MedRobotics
• Valley Fever Solutions
• ValveXchange
• ViroCyt
• VisionGate
• Yolia Health

Cholla

APS proposes compromise for Cholla Power Plant

The coal-fired Cholla Power Plant in Joseph City, Ariz., will close its 260-megawatt Unit 2 by April 2016 and stop burning coal at the other APS-owned units (1 and 3) by the mid-2020s if the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approves a compromise proposal offered by APS, the plant’s owner. APS also will ask the Arizona Corporation Commission to approve the plan.

APS made the proposal with the understanding that it would not be required to install expensive emission control equipment on the units to comply with current rules under the agency’s Regional Haze program. The environmental benefits of this proposal are greater in the long term than the benefits that would have resulted from adding the emissions control equipment.

“This proposal provides the best outcome, allowing Cholla to continue to operate, while meeting environmental requirements,” said David Hansen, APS Vice President of Fossil Generation. “This solution balances several needs — supporting the local economy the best way possible; the need to provide reliable, low-cost generation resources for customers; and complying with federal rules and regulations.”

In 2010, APS was notified that Unit 2 needed to upgrade its scrubbers and add a super-sized sophisticated air filter called a “baghouse” to meet the new Mercury and Air Toxic Standards. In 2012, the EPA published a federal implementation plan, which overrides certain parts of Arizona’s plan to deal with regional haze. The federal plan requires Cholla Unit’s 2 and 3 to add expensive Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology used to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions.

“When the EPA issued its final rules to manage regional haze, we told the agency that the cost of adding SCRs along with the other technologies required to meet the mercury rules placed the unit at risk of being uneconomic to operate,” said Hansen. “We are clearly aware of the potential impact closing Unit 2 may have on the neighboring communities and arrived at this decision only after carefully weighing the options.”

By closing Unit 2, mercury emissions are anticipated to decline by 51 percent, particulates by 34 percent, nitrogen oxides by 32 percent, and carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide by 23 percent. There would be additional environmental benefits after units 1 and 3 stop burning coal. APS intends to continue working closely with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality on environmental issues.

According to Hansen, there were three alternative approaches – investing hundreds of millions of dollars in equipment, converting the entire plant to natural gas by 2016, or closing the plant.

If EPA approves the APS compromise, it will save more than $350 million in potential costs that otherwise would be passed along to customers for emission control upgrades.

Potential job losses will likely be mitigated through normal attrition and retirements. Today the plant has 249 employees with an annual payroll of $29 million. It pays approximately $15 million in state, local and federal taxes annually.

The unit has been in service since 1978.

APS has been closing older, less reliable units and replacing them with newer, cleaner and more efficient sources of energy. This includes closing three units at the Four Corners Power Plant in Farmington, N.M., and two units at the Ocotillo Power Plant in Tempe, Ariz.

From an accounting perspective, APS intends to reclassify the remaining book value as a regulatory asset.

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).

health.education

Rural Health Program offers another side of medicine

Jordan Roberts was reminded of his calling to be a physician nearly 200 miles from the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix.

Roberts, a fourth-year student, spent five weeks earlier this year at the Summit Healthcare Regional Medical Center in Show Low. Having grown up not far away in Snowflake, Roberts had a pretty good idea of life in the White Mountains but was reminded of a case he initially encountered as a first-year student.

Roberts has participated in the university’s Rural Health Professions Program since enrolling in the UA College of Medicine – Phoenix. That program began at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson since 1997 but was expanded to include a Phoenix office this year. The first students from the downtown Phoenix medical school spent part of their summer in far off places, including one just outside of Arizona.

In describing his return to his White Mountain roots to complete the Rural Health program commitment, Roberts talked about a patient he first met three years ago with diabetes and how he manages his condition after not seeing a doctor for many years.

“I learned that one of the special things about these folks is their resilience – to the elements, to change, and even to disease,” Roberts said. “But I was also reminded that medicine is my medium to meaningful living.”

The program was created to help address the shortage of physicians faced by Arizona that is even more critical outside its urban centers. While the state ranks near the bottom in numbers of physicians per capita, the statistics for rural physicians are even more stark and problematic.

For every 100,000 Arizonans there were 124 doctors in rural areas compared with 231 in urban areas, according to a 2005 study. This places Arizona far below the national average.

The program also allows students a concentrated clinical experience after their first year of medical school. It also exposes them to procedures outside the urban clinical setting and work with different populations.

“Rural doctors are in short supply and the clinic faculty, staff and patients will want to convince you to return one day as a board-certified physician,” said Jonathan Cartsonis, MD, who is overseeing the program. “You will surely feel the difference your first day in a rural clinical site.”

For the first year of the Phoenix-based program, students spent time this summer at clinics in Page, Prescott Valley, Yuma and Silver City, N.M.

“The summer was part freedom and part ideal mentorship,” said second-year student Brock Bennett, who served in the Silver City clinic. “The freedom came as I was liberated from the walls of the library that are so familiar the first year of med school and able to finally see patients. Despite no required ‘homework’ I found myself studying more in the evenings, on cases I had seen that day, than I did during most block curriculum days.”

The Phoenix program also will recognize students who demonstrate a strong commitment to future rural medical practice with a “Distinction Track in Rural Health” recognition on their transcript.

“The physicians I worked with were willing to provide as much practical teaching as I would embrace,” Bennett said. “The more I put into the experience the more I continued to receive. I learned incredible lessons I will not forget.”

cox-hires-stephen-rizley

Long-time Cox leader Rizley announces retirement

Cox Communications Senior Vice President and General Manager Steve Rizley will retire at the end of the year. During his 34-year career at Cox in Phoenix, Rizley motivated and galvanized those around him, and created unique relationships with his employees, customers and the Southwest community through his many years of service to area non-profits. Rizley announced his retirement to employees last month.

In announcing Rizley’s decision to retire, Paul Cronin, Sr. Vice President of Operations, Cox Communications said “It’s never easy to say good-bye to a friend and colleague, especially one that has been a part of the Cox Family and the cable industry for more than 30 years. As general manager, Steve worked tirelessly on his employees’ behalf each day, and made sure Arizona was at the forefront of new product launches for our customers, including brining the company’s first gigabit residential product offering to the Valley and the latest Internet speed increases to customers statewide.”

Rizley has long been a community advocate for organizations including the American Red Cross, Greater Phoenix Leadership, Arizona Historical Advisory Commission, and Cox Charities to name a few, and is a past-chair of the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce and campaign cabinet co-chair for the Banner/M.D. Anderson Cancer Center capital campaign. He has also received several prestigious business and industry awards and honors including the National Cable & Telecommunications Vanguard Award and the “Man of the Year” from the American Cancer Society, as well as the Cable Television Advertising Bureau’s President’s Award.

“Steve’s well-deserved reputation was built on much more than his professional excellence serving Cox’s Southwest Region. During his time as Chairman of our Board of Directors, he left his mark on our Chamber and the business community with strong, visionary servant leadership that has helped shape our organization and our state. We are all indebted to Steve for his dedication and service, and I, personally, am proud to call him my friend.” said Todd Sanders, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Chamber of
Commerce.

”It has been a great pleasure and inspiration having a leader like Steve at the helm for Cox for so many years. While the company has enjoyed great success in Arizona and Nevada under Steve’s leadership, he has also made our communities stronger with his commitment to local service and business leadership,” said Susan Anable, Vice President of Public Affairs, Cox Communications Southwest Region.

The company said it plans to announce Rizley’s replacement in the coming weeks.

airport

Sky Harbor launches enhanced free Wi-Fi

Boingo Wireless, the leading DAS and Wi-Fi provider that serves consumers, carriers and advertisers worldwide, and Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport announced the launch of the airport’s upgraded Wi-Fi network, offering enhanced Wi-Fi services for travelers.

Phoenix Sky Harbor visitors can enjoy complimentary, ad-supported Wi-Fi access throughout the airport, with improved coverage and capacity courtesy of the new Wi-Fi network featuring advanced 802.11ac technology. The airport will also offer new premium access options for travelers who need additional bandwidth to download high definition video or upload large files.

The upgraded network will also support the new Passpoint wireless industry standard, which was developed to make connecting to Wi-Fi as simple as connecting to cellular. Boingo’s “Passpoint Secure” network provides seamless, instant access to the secure Wi-Fi network using the industry’s latest technologies. Boingo subscribers and roaming partners who have Passpoint-capable devices and have installed a Passpoint profile will automatically be connected to the WPA2-encrypted network.

“The Phoenix Sky Harbor team knows that staying connected is important to our travelers. We’ve been offering complimentary Wi-Fi to our passengers since 2005, and in the last few years we’ve seen usage skyrocket,” said Mike Youngs, Deputy Aviation Director for Technology at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. “Our upgraded Wi-Fi network and services will offer improved free connectivity and new options for power users with heavy data needs, or with multiple devices.”

“The new Boingo Wireless network at Phoenix Sky Harbor takes the airport’s current Wi-Fi services to the next level. This new standalone network was built with state-of-the-art equipment to meet the growing demands of travelers who expect greater coverage, faster speeds, and advanced, seamless Passpoint connectivity,” said Scott Phillips, Boingo Wireless vice president of business development for North American airports. “The new Phoenix airport network is designed to meet both current and future traveler demands, including improved complimentary Wi-Fi and premium access services.”

Boingo is the world’s leading airport Wi-Fi provider, managing services at more than 75 airports, representing more than 40% of the world’s top 50 airports. The company manages Wi-Fi services at five of the top ten highest traffic airports in the United States, including Chicago’s O’Hare International, Los Angeles International, New York’s John F. Kennedy, and Miami International.

hispanic

Valley cities rank high for Hispanic business climate

The United States is often dubbed “a nation of immigrants.” But lately the path to American citizenship has been a rough road, especially for an increasing number of Hispanics. Whether they’ve entered U.S. borders lawfully or otherwise, many have felt the sting of marginalization, racism and discrimination in every kind of social environment. And despite the unfriendly welcome, they’re as motivated as ever to put down roots in American soil in order to find better opportunities and improve their lives.

For Hispanics who’ve successfully integrated into American society, they also have managed to contribute significantly to the economy. Their collective impact is reflected in the growing quantity of Hispanic-owned businesses in the country, which stood at 3.1 million in 2013. Together, they hauled in an estimated $486 billion in revenue, as reported by Geoscape and the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Even the estimated 11.7 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. bestow net positive gains on the national economy over time.

Equally as impressive, Hispanics opened businesses — many owned by self-employed individuals — at a rate more than twice the national average of 18 percent between 2002 and 2007, according to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau figures. Today, Hispanics and Latinos constitute the largest ethnic minority in the U.S. And by 2050, they could make up a third of the country’s population, quickly becoming what USHCC President and CEO Javier Palomarez appropriately described as “America’s business future.”

In celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month beginning Sept. 15, WalletHub, a leading personal finance social network, assessed the minority business climate within the 150 largest U.S. cities. It did so by examining 19 key metrics such as Hispanic entrepreneurship rates, corporate tax systems and the share of businesses owned by Hispanics.

Among the Top 20 best cities for Hispanic entrepreneurs, Metro Phoenix is represented by two cities — Gilbert and Chandler. Below are the rankings of each of them together with the top metrics.

Gilbert ranks No. 4 for Hispanic business climate:
4th – Hispanic Renters to Hispanic Owners Ratio
12th – Unemployment Rate of Hispanics
15th – Housing Affordability for Hispanics
18th – Length of Average Workday

Chandler ranks No. 10 for Hispanic business climate:
15th – Unemployment Rate of Hispanics
18th – Income Growth of Hispanics
18th – Length of Average Workday
19th – Hispanic Renters to Hispanic Owners Ratio

rain

Record rain wreaks havok in Phoenix

Storms that flooded several Phoenix-area freeways and numerous local streets during the Monday morning commute set an all-time record for rainfall in Phoenix in a single day.

The National Weather Service recorded 2.99 inches of rain by about 7 a.m., breaking the old record of 2.91 inches set in 1933.

The Monday morning rainfall also eclipsed Phoenix’s average total rainfall of 2.71 inches for Phoenix’s entire summer rainy season.

A flash flood warning was issued for most of the Phoenix area and its outskirts through late Monday morning because of heavy thunderstorms and showers. Flash flood watches cover most of the rest of Arizona.

Sections of the major commuter freeways Interstate 10 and 17 in west Phoenix were closed during the commute.