Tag Archives: phoenix

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Zach Sakas joins Gust Rosenfeld

ZDS 06Gust Rosenfeld, PLC announced that Zachary D. Sakas joined the firm on February 2, 2015.  Sakas’s practice concentrates public finance, municipal law, and real estate finance.

“Gust Rosenfeld is a preeminent firm in public finance and municipal law in Arizona and it is exciting to join such a distinguished group of colleagues,” said Sakas, who previously worked for J.P. Morgan Asset Management in Scottsdale where he managed approximately $400 million in assets.

Sakas received his J.D. from the University of Texas, graduating with honors and completed additional MBA coursework regarding real estate development and financial modeling.  He holds an undergraduate degree, summa cum laude with Honors, from the University of Arizona. Currently Sakas serve on the board of the Phoenix Art Museum Men’s Art Council and he also is a member of the University of Arizona Honors College Advisory Board.

“We are very pleased to welcome Zack to our firm and to our practice,” said Scott Ruby, partner at Gust Rosenfeld. “In addition to his work at J.P. Morgan, Zach brings solid legal experience in bond counsel and real estate finance law and a commitment to the community. He will be a valuable addition to our team.”

Gust Rosenfeld is a full service law firm established in 1921 with offices in Phoenix, Tucson and Wickenburg. The firm is known for the quality of its lawyers and legal advice as well as its creative insights and practical solutions in business, public and civil law.  Gust Rosenfeld is experienced in alternative dispute resolution, bankruptcy and creditors’ rights, business and corporate law, commercial finance, education law, environmental law, franchises and franchising, insurance, intellectual property, labor and employment, litigation, natural resources, public finance, public law, real estate, taxation, and trusts and estates.

Smart & Final to lease three locations in Valley

Brokers, Martin Leon and Chris Corso of De Rito Partners, Inc. recently announced that they will represent Smart & Final, a value-oriented grocer serving household and business customers with three new location leases.

Founded as the Hellman-Haas Grocery Company in 1871, Smart & Final operates nearly 250 warehouse stores under the Smart & Final and Cash & Carry Smart Foodservice banners. The new location leases will be Smart & Final Extra! stores, which are larger than traditional Smart & Final locations. They will also have an expanded selection of products for both business and household customers.

The first new store will be located at the Tatum and Thunderbird shopping center,  owned by Westwood Financial. This store will be 28,289 square feet.

The second new store will be located at 35th Avenue and Greenway in a property owned by Weingarten REIT. This store will be 28,985 square feet.

The third new store will be located at a property owned by Brixton Capital, on Guadalupe and Gilbert. This store will be 35,949 square feet.

Smart & Final currently has seven stores in the Valley and has been in Arizona for more than 30 years.

“These three locations are the first new Smart & Final locations to open since 2004, another indication of improving market conditions here in the Metro Phoenix area,” said Martin Leon, a broker at De Rito Partners.

All three location leases are scheduled to open during Q2 and Q3 of 2015.

 

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Discover’s Phoenix facility has 250 job openings

Discover, which operates several customer care centers across the country, has announced more than 250 open positions at its Phoenixl office. The hiring initiative will include customer care representatives, analyst positions and service support.
Customer care center representatives will handle inbound calls, share features about Discover’s card options and provide helpful information to Discover’s cardmembers. Analyst will provide modeling and analytical support for departments throughout the customer care center, including credit risk management, marketing, corporate risk management, internal audit and finance.
“We’re committed to creating a workplace culture of collaboration, inclusion and respect, and are excited to expand our workforce in Phoenix with more than 250 promising job opportunities,” said Jim Panzarino, executive vice president and chief credit and card operations officer at Discover. “Our Phoenix Customer Care Center offers the training, resources and tools for our employees to flourish and grow their careers while also providing an industry-leading, award-winning customer experience.”
Discover has received industry and local recognition as a top employer in the region for its company culture, including:
·         Ranked among the Top 25 Companies for Culture & Values in 2014 by Glassdoor.com
·         Listed as one of the Top Companies to Work For in Arizona by CareerBuilder in 2014
Best Places to Work For Extra-Large category
·         Ranked among the highest in Customer Loyalty (18 years in a row) according to the 2014 Brand Keys Customer Loyalty Engagement Index Report.
In addition to its dedication to employees and customers, Discover is committed to contributing positively to the community. In Phoenix, Discover’s employees have helped with local educational programs, supported the troops, and raised funds for charitable organizations. As of 2014, the local office has:
·         Helped build 15 homes with Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona
·         Sent 450 care packages to the troops overseas and also contributed 300 clothing and bath sets to support Operation Shower
·         Raised $6,642 for Susan G. Komen
·         Collected 260 pounds of food for the Salvation Army
·         Participated with Paseo Hills’ Junior Achievement program
The Phoenix center provides customer service, banking, marketing services and supportive functions for Discover and Discover Network customers. The location is a state-of-the-art center with 375,000 square feet of space that is home to an on-site café, fitness center, lounges and sports facilities.

To see current opportunities to work for Discover, including more information regarding locations and benefits, visit mydiscovercareer.com.

Osborn Place apartments sell for $1.83M

CBRE has negotiated the following multi-family sales transaction:

 

  • Phoenix Fund IPIRG, LLC from San Diego, California has purchased Osborn Place apartment complex, a 30-unit, multi-family property located at 1414 East Osborn Place in Phoenix, Ariz. from EQ Downtown, LLC of Tempe, Ariz. Brian Smuckler and Jeff Seaman of CBRE’s Phoenix office represented both buyer and the seller in negotiating the $1.83 million transaction.
Bella Place

Bella Place apartments sell for $7.7M

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 Bella Place, a 280-unit apartment property located in Phoenix, AZ, according to Don Morrow, regional manager of the firm’s Phoenix office. The asset sold for $7,725,000 which equates to $27,589 per unit.

Cliff David, a Marcus & Millichap vice president investments, and Steve Gebing, a senior director with Institutional Property Advisors, a Marcus & Millichap company, both located in the firm’s Phoenix office, represented the seller, Mentor Properties Inc.  The buyer, an individual/personal trust, was secured and represented by Pete Te Kampe, a Marcus & Millichap vice president investments, also located in the firm’s Phoenix office.

“Bella Place is strategically located west of the Central Avenue Office Corridor in Phoenix, one of the most prominent office and employment concentrations in the metro region with over 13 million square feet of office space and more than 60,000 employees ,” says David.

The property is situated on 9.50 acres at 2025 West Indian School Road, featuring a street window of 658 linear feet, promoting drive-by visibility to over 62,000 vehicles per day. “This is a notable benefit from a leasing standpoint, having the ability to generate resident prospects in large volume through walk-in traffic is a distinct community advantage,” adds David.

Developed by Lincoln Property Co. in 1973, Bella Place features unit interiors complete with a fully equipped kitchen including a frost-free refrigerator, chrome finish faucet, laminate countertops, dark wood cabinetry, stainless steel sink, and garbage disposal. Select units also feature a walk-in closet; resurfaced bath tubs and countertops, new shower valves, brushed nickel hardware, and wood-style vinyl flooring in the high traffic areas. Community amenities include two swimming pools, one spa, two common barbecue areas, and two on-site coin operated laundry facilities with new laundry equipment. The leasing office was enhanced to offer a new fitness facility, internet center, and DVD library. Furthermore, the property exterior was upgraded to include new exterior paint, new roofs, two tank-less domestic hot-water boilers, resurfaced parking lot, second floor deck work, and perimeter fencing. In total, the asset has benefited from over $700,000 in exterior capital improvement, invested intelligently to boost revenue and increase resident retention.

Reliable Forklift Sales buys 3 acres, plans expansion

Daum Commercial Real Estate Services has negotiated the $1.337 million sale of a three-acre improved industrial land parcel located at the northeast corner of 21st Street and University Drive in Phoenix.

Steve Bodeman with Daum Phoenix represented the buyers, Don and Mary Carlson, owners of Reliable Forklift Sales of Phoenix.

 The seller, Swaine Asphalt of Phoenix, was represented by Matt Hobaica of Lee & Associates in Phoenix.

Reliable Forklift Sales is doubling in size and relocating from 3652 E. Chipman Road in Phoenix. The buyers plan to add a 15,000-square-foot warehouse building to the new site for a sales, services and rental center for the forklift company. The industrial parcel is currently home to a 2,000-square-foot office building and a 4,000-square-foot steel industrial shop, which Reliable Forklift Sales will also occupy.

Daum Commercial Real Estate Services specializes in industrial and office properties throughout metro Phoenix. Daum Phoenix has successfully sold and leased millions of square feet in industrial and office buildings, and land. Headquartered in Los Angeles, Daum is California’s oldest and most experienced commercial real estate brokerage company. Daum is an affiliate of ONCOR International, a premier global commercial real estate referral network comprised of more than 50 independent commercial real estate partner brokerages in 32 countries.

Gary Lento

Gary Lento Joins Gordon & Rees in Phoenix

Gary Lento has joined the Phoenix office of Gordon & Rees as a member of the firm’s Commercial Litigation Practice Group.

Mr. Lento brings more than 20 years of experience handling business transactions, construction, employment, product liability, professional negligence, and real estate disputes. Mr. Lento is licensed to practice law in Arizona, California and Wisconsin. He has tried cases ranging from criminal prosecution and defense, to personal injury and business disputes. He represents businesses and employers before the National Labor Relations Board, the Equal Rights Division of the Department of Workforce Development, the Federal Trade Commission, the Department of Justice, and the EEOC. Mr. Lento earned his B.A. and J.D. from Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

“We welcome Gary to Gordon & Rees,” said Leon Silver, a partner in the Phoenix office. “As our team continues to grow, we are pleased to be able to offer Gary’s experience and outstanding trial skills to our clients.”

phoenix

Stanton: Super Bowl showcases re-branded Phoenix

In the midst of the Super Bowl excitement, Mayor Greg Stanton and the city’s Community and Economic Development Director Christine Mackay have unveiled a new campaign to send a clear message: Phoenix is hot for new economic opportunity.

“We are about to welcome more than 1 million people to our city, and it’s important that we go all-in to showcase how Phoenix has transformed,” Stanton said.  “Our investments in human capital, a concentrated effort to increase exports, and stronger public-private partnerships have positioned us to be more competitive in the global economy.”

Many corporate leaders already are in town for the Super Bowl on Feb. 1, and Mackay is seizing the opportunity to sell Phoenix as the ideal place to start or grow businesses.

“As companies look for new sites to locate and expand, Phoenix competes very well on a national basis,” Mackay said.  “Our new campaign provides an updated community profile that will help us tell the Phoenix story to companies seeking to create quality jobs in a new market.”

Mackay and the city’s Community and Economic Development Department assembled a profile of Phoenix that highlights its strengths as the state’s center of government, commerce and culture.  The campaign emphasizes the city’s growing entrepreneur ecosystem, investments in higher education and bioscience facilities, and the success of the 20-mile light rail system.

Stanton referred to the campaign as a “re-branding” of Phoenix. “This is the perfect moment for us to show the rest of the world why Phoenix is the best place to work, live and play,” he said.

Joshua Becker - Headshot

Gallagher & Kennedy adds Joshua S. Becker

The law firm of Gallagher & Kennedy announced today that Joshua S. Becker has joined the firm as a shareholder in the business law and intellectual property practice groups.

The primary focus of Mr. Becker’s business law practice is all aspects of franchising, including franchise development and maintenance, franchise licensing and agreements, franchise sales, and federal, state franchise law compliance and mergers and acquisitions. He also advises franchisors in all aspects of the franchise relationship, including operational compliance, enforcement of system standards, default, termination, renewal, workouts, transfers, remodeling/reimaging, debt restructuring, acquisition of franchised outlets, sale of company-operated outlets and sale of franchise systems.

Within his intellectual property practice, Mr. Becker assists technology and digital industry clients with domestic and international license agreements, corporate formation and structure, and trademark registration and maintenance.

Prior to joining Gallagher & Kennedy, Mr. Becker served as senior vice president and assistant general counsel for Kahala Corp., where he directed and managed litigation and trademark activities for national franchises including Cold Stone Creamery.

Mr. Becker is a member of the State Bar of Arizona, the American Bar Association, the American Bar Association Forum on Franchising and the International Franchise Association. He was recognized as a 2013 Rising Star by Southwest Super Lawyers and as one of Arizona’s Finest Lawyers in 2012.

Mr. Becker earned his J.D. in 1998 from the Arizona State University College of Law and his B.S. in 1995 from the University of Arizona.

revel

Revel Systems iPad POS expands into Scottsdale

Revel Systems, the world’s leading iPad Point of Sale platform, today announced it has expanded operations into Arizona through a new Scottsdale office. The company will create 160 new jobs during the next three years to drive its global sales growth. Revel’s Vice President of Sales, Bobby Marhamat will devote resources to create jobs and extend the local footprint in the Greater Phoenix market. Marhamat has been with Revel Systems iPad POS since June of 2014 and has successfully grown sales teams and business initiatives at companies such as Verizon Wireless and Sprint.

“Revel is building a world-class sales team here in Scottsdale, and we cannot wait to get started,” said Marhamat. “Thousands of food service and retail franchise operators and small-to-medium business owners worldwide depend on Revel’s POS platform to help grow their business. We expect 2015 will bring further interest and expansion in our offering and are excited to leverage Arizona’s vibrant talent pool to extend that momentum.”

“We’re excited to welcome Revel Systems to Arizona,” said Governor Doug Ducey. “Their decision to expand in Scottsdale is a strong testament to the pro-business climate, booming corporate base and highly-skilled workforce that have made the East Valley one of the most dynamic and fastest-growing areas in the country. I am committed to ensuring that great companies like Revel continue to look to Arizona as the premiere place to bring their business.”

“We thank Revel Systems for selecting Arizona to expand, and are excited to see its new Scottsdale operation, and innovative POS technology solutions for business, advance the growth of other entrepreneurs across globe,” said Sandra Watson, President and CEO, Arizona Commerce Authority. “Our state’s strategic Southwest location, proximity to key regional growth markets, and competitive cost of doing business continue to provide an attractive platform for today’s leading companies to thrive and achieve their corporate success.”

This Arizona expansion news follows Revel’s announcement in November 2014 where it secured $100 million in Series C funding to strengthen support and operations in order to meet rapidly growing demand and sales for its iPad POS solution.  Additionally, last month Revel opened a UK sales and operations center in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and an IT division in Lithuania.

The Revel iPad POS platform includes complete front-end order entry, POS system and payment processing, back-end personnel scheduling, time clock and payroll, inventory management, comprehensive product/menu management and advanced reporting to successfully measure and optimize business performance.

“We are thrilled to continue Revel’s significant growth with our first office in Arizona,” said Lisa Falzone, CEO and co-founder of Revel. “Our ultimate goal is to empower business owners to start and grow their own businesses, making their lives easier along the way. As we continue to expand Revel’s global reach, scaling a talented team of salespeople will be critical to Revel’s continued success.”

Revel’s new office will be located in the Scottsdale Innovation Center and is officially open for business January 12, 2015. Candidates interested in positions at the new location can contact Revel at jobs@revelsystems.com.

Green Law - Valley Forward’s Goals Are Important To Dan Litteral’s Company, Apollo Group

Albert Acken joins Ryley Carlock

image004Ryley Carlock & Applewhite announced that Albert “Bert” H. Acken has been named Practice Group Leader of the firm’s Water, Energy, Resources and Environmental Law Practice Group.

Acken will oversee 12 attorneys in our Phoenix and Denver offices, which provide a full range of knowledge in water law, environmental regulation, environmental litigation, environmental legislation, natural resource strategies, and power-related issues. The group represents municipalities, banks, golf course developers, homebuilders, and a diverse cross-section of public and private enterprises.

Acken’s practice focuses on environmental permitting and compliance, siting of utility infrastructure projects, and environmental due diligence. His clients include leaders in aggregate mining, hard rock mining, construction, energy, and manufacturing. He serves as board counsel for an aggregate mining trade association and is also an appointed member on the Arizona Mining Advisory Council, which advises state agencies on proposed rules, policies and budget allocations affecting the mining industry.

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State Farm plans to hire 600 in Phoenix

State Farm will be holding a Career Fair January 20th, to help fill openings for its expansion in the greater Phoenix area. The company is currently hiring more than 600 hundred new employees and additional hiring is expected to continue throughout 2015.

The one-day Career Fair will focus on generating a candidate pool for positions in customer-service, call-center, claims, information technology, underwriting and sales-based support functions. Full-time and part-time opportunities are available, including some positions requiring bilingual skills (Spanish-English).  State Farm offers an attractive benefits package in addition to a competitive compensation rate.

The new State Farm facility will serve as a hub that will provide claims, service and sales support to State Farm customers.  The new facility will be adjacent to ASU Sun Devil Stadium and the ASU Athletic Facilities District.

Applicants are encouraged to complete an online application at www.statefarm.com/careers to be potentially considered for an on-site interview.

What:  State Farm will be holding a Career Fair

When:   January 20th, 2015, 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.; 1:00 p.m., – 4:00 p.m.; 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Where:    Marriott Phoenix Airport Hotel, 1101 North 44th Street, Phoenix, AZ

SOME TIPS

1.    Arrive Early
2.    Dress in Business Attire
3.    Bring Resumes
4.    Bring Patience
5.    Become familiar with competency based interviews and questions
6.    Bring excitement and energy needed for an opportunity to work in a fast-paced call center environment with a great company that has growth opportunities

87665813

Seed Spot hosts women entrepreneurs workshop

Do you know any women who are eager to enter the world of entrepreneurship? A woman who wants to learn the ins and outs of launching a company, straight from successful entrepreneurs and mentors? Or perhaps you know a woman who has an idea and wants to scale her business in the New Year? If so, SEED SPOT is a place she needs to get to know.

SEED SPOT is the best place for these aspiring entrepreneurs to camp out for a week, and be part of the first week dedicated exclusively to women. Participants will have the opportunity to strengthen their business model, practice and perfect their business pitch, and even explore the opportunity to secure a $10,000 loan with zero percent interest through KIVA.

Here’s what’s planned for this weeklong workshop:

• Inspiration from energetic mentors and rock-star social entrepreneurs;

• Building a solid business model using the Lean Canvas methodology;

• Discovering ways to raise capital to launch ideas;

• Practicing how to interview customers and determine target market;

• Learning how to effectively market and brand a venture;

• Developing and presenting a three-minute pitch to a live community audience; and

• Surrounding women with a supportive community of mentors eager to help.

When:  Monday, Jan. 26 – Friday, Jan. 30, 2015 (from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., lunch included)

Where: SEED SPOT, 2828 N. Central Ave., 7th Floor, Phoenix, AZ 85004

How:  To register, submit an online application at www.seedsport.org by January 21, 2015. The fee for the program is $500 and a limited number of scholarships are available.

Chris Hill HiRes

St. Luke’s Medical Center has new CEO

IASIS Healthcare recently appointed Chris Hill as CEO of St. Luke’s Medical Center and Tempe St. Luke’s Hospital.

In his role, Hill is responsible for the management and daily operations of both facilities to ensure patients receive high-quality and cost-effective care. Aside from assuming key leadership in developing and implementing goals and strategies for both hospitals, he will also complete rounds with staff and physicians working on the front lines to ensure patients’ needs are being fulfilled and their hospital stay is fully-enhanced.

St. Luke’s Medical Center has been serving metropolitan Phoenix for more than 100 years as a 200-bed tertiary care hospital offering a full range of medical services, including emergency care, orthopaedics, cardiac care, bariatrics, physical rehabilitation and pain management.

Tempe St. Luke’s Hospital is a leading community 87-bed hospital that provides comprehensive health care services including emergency care, orthopaedics, advanced surgical procedures, diagnostic imaging, maternity care, women’s services, pain management and wound care in a caring atmosphere. Hill will also spearhead the future remodel and expansion plans for Tempe St. Luke’s Hospital, which has been serving the East Valley for more than 60 years.

Hill also previously served as Chief Operating Officer of both St. Luke’s Medical Center and Tempe St. Luke’s Hospital.

Hill received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from Arizona State University, along with a Master’s in Healthcare Administration from Baylor University in Texas.

Hill is a Gilbert resident. He is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and Veteran’s Chapter member of the ASU Alumni Association. Hill is also retired from the United States Army, with a Lieutenant Colonel ranking.

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Meet Del Frisco’s Grille new dining duo

What do you get when you pair a renowned local restaurateur with a Seattle-raised/California-trained chef? You get the Valley’s newest powerhouse dining duo, now appearing daily at Del Frisco’s Grille in Phoenix.
Yes, Del Frisco’s Grille is proud to announce the hiring of General Manager, Lawrence Macias and Executive Chef, Jimmy Ton to oversee every aspect of the dining experience at this stylish yet casual all-American grille located in the heart of the Biltmore area.
Starting in Southern California, Macias has spent his entire career in the restaurant industry, most recently as the GM of iPic Theaters in Scottsdale. Prior to that, Macias was the GM of Sapporo and the Managing Partner at Bluewater Grill, where he oversaw the re-branding of this Camelback Corridor landmark formerly known at The Fish Market. In fact, part of the appeal of working at Del Frisco’s Grille was returning to the Biltmore area, and working for a company that really cares for its staff and guests.
“I’ve always loved this neighborhood,” Macias says, “and the more I learned about the Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group, how they go above and beyond to treat their employees, and their guests, like family, made this is a dream job for me.”
Which is why Macias’ top priority is, “getting out onto the local community, building partnerships and working with local organizations and charities to make sure Del Frisco’s is doing its part to be valued member of the neighborhood and beyond.”
A Pacific Northwest native, Chef Jimmy Ton, might be a newcomer to local diners, but his resume speaks for itself. After an injury caused him to lose his University of Hawaii football scholarship, Ton turned to his passion for food – learning cooking traditional Vietnamese food at his mother’s knee – and wrote to celebrity chef, Thomas Keller to beg for an unpaid internship at Bouchon Bistro. More recently, Ton has worked at a variety of recognizable restaurants, ranging from the posh Napa Rose at Disneyland and Skycity at the Seattle Space Needle, to the Del Frisco’s Grille in Santa Monica, CA.
Here in Phoenix, Ton has overseen the roll out of an all-new seasonal menu, including the two-fisted Cali Chicken Sandwich with crushed avocado, lettuce, tomato, lemon-tarragon mayo on toasted challah, the hearty Mesquite Smoked Pork Chop with Anson Mills grits, bourbon-apple glaze, and brunch favorites such as the Southern Fried Chicken & Waffles with spicy maple syrup, thick-cut hickory-smoked bacon.
In his spare time Ton can be found exploring the city’s culinary scene, seeking out the best local flavors and satisfying his sushi and seafood cravings. “I’ve been really excited by the quality and diversity of the restaurants here in Phoenix, especially the seafood.” Ton says. “It reminds me of Oregon and other Pacific Northwest hotspots.”
Del Frisco’s Grille (at The Camelback Esplanade) is located at 2425 E. Camelback Road in Phoenix, AZ 85016.
Lichtenberger.Sue

Susan Lichtenberger Joins Sherman & Howard

The law firm of Sherman & Howard announced that Susan Z. Lichtenberger has joined its Phoenix office as a paralegal in the Business and Corporate Department. Sue’s work will focus on intellectual property and trademark matters. She will also provide paralegal services for the firm’s mergers and acquisitions practice.

Sue brings over 30 years of experience in the legal field including the areas of construction defect, labor and employment, bond and public financing, corporations and securities and general litigation matters. Previously, she worked for the State of Alaska’s Prosecution Division and the City Attorney in Juneau, Alaska.

Sue attended Lane Community College in Eugene, Oregon, where she received an Associate’s degree in science. Prior to joining Sherman & Howard, Sue worked as a legal assistant at Ryley Carlock & Applewhite.

mark.suarez

Multicultural marketing plan can boost bottom line

Mark Suarez spent a decade doing marketing work for companies like McDonald’s, AAA. Rubio’s Fresh Mexican Grill and the Arizona Office of Tourism. While the 35-year-old worked on both general campaigns and campaigns targeted at the Hispanic market, he saw the need for a company that specialized in multicultural marketing and advertising.

“I think folks have tried to create a multicultural division or had a token person who oversees that segment of the marketplace,” Suarez said, “but the fact is that you need to build it out and have capabilities that are culturally relevant.”

To fill that void, Suarez teamed up with Bill Lavidge of The Lavidge Company to create Mosaic Multicultural, a full-service multicultural marketing agency based in Phoenix that provides multicultural advertising, interactive, public relations and marketing services.

“I looked at this as an opportunity to grow my own business in a multicultural market that makes a lot of sense,” Suarez said. “One of the keys that differentiates us is that most folks think of multicultural as a Spanish-language agency. We are more than that. The reality is that we are a multicultural market and multicultural society and we help our customers position their businesses for the long term.”

As a third-generation Puerto Rican who grew up in a diverse neighborhood in Michigan Suarez knows the multicultural market inside and out.

“My friends and I called ourselves the United Nations,” Suarez said. “There were African-Americans, Arabic, Puerto Ricans, Caucasians. If you look around at the Phoenix market today, we all really do live in a multicultural society.”

Suarez said the face of the market is only going to change.

“When you look at the next 10 years, almost 60 percent of the growth in Phoenix is going to come from the Hispanic market,” he said “However your business is doing today, you’re not going to be doing as well 10 years from now if you don’t embrace the new marketplace and learn who tomorrow’s consumers will be.”

Suarez said companies like McDonald’s and AAA and the telecommunications and automotive industries have improved their bottom lines by embracing the multicultural approach. Other industries, he said, need to catch up.

“Industries like healthcare are still trying to find their footprint,” Suarez said. “They are embracing it, but embracing it and acting on it are two different things. They have recognized the need is there, but it’s the ‘how?’ that gives them trouble. That’s where Mosaic fits it.”

technology

Growing tech firms reflect emerging Arizona business sector

Don Hawley is the quintessential product of Silicon Valley. He went to college at the University of California, Berkeley, became a serial entrepreneur and founded and developed many successful technology companies in the San Francisco Bay area.

So why is he doing business in Arizona?

“Arizona is infinitely more business friendly,” said the founder, chairman and CEO of Scottsdale-based Innovative Green Technologies, which creates environmentally friendly products that reduce emissions and save users money. “Favorable tax rates make it less costly to do business in Arizona compared with California, which is attractive to newer companies that have to watch their pennies. Arizona is also blessed with Arizona State University and the University of Arizona, which supply a constant stream of high-quality young talent, which is a great resource.”

Hawley isn’t alone. The recently expansions of Zenefits and Weebly into the Valley and the emergence of Valley-based WebPT and Infusionsoft as technology powerhouses reflect an exploding techn industry in Phoenix that is transforming the state’s economy.

“The technology ecosystem in Arizona has never been more robust and these recent business attractions are going to become more commonplace,” says Steven G. Zylstra, president and CEO of the Arizona Technology Council. “One of the vital attractions for startups in the Silicon Desert as compared with Silicon Valley is the drastically lower cost of living, especially in the area of housing. The word is getting out about Arizona.”

Valley economic developers are doing more than using lower tax rates and promises of sunshine to convince tech companies to relocate here, the state is building its home-grown success stories. A great example is WebPT, which launched its cloud-based physical therapy software in 2008 and has evolved from startup into one the fastest-growing software company in Arizona, creating more than 200 jobs in Phoenix.

“There are great incentive programs available to businesses looking to grow,” says Brad Jannenga, co-founder, chairman, president and chief technology officer at WebPT. “The Angel Tax Credit program offered by the state is a great opportunity for investors to have peace of mind when backing startups and knowing they can take a tax break when doing so. This was a major win for us when we went out for our Series A round back in 2010. Investors were lining up around the block partly because of the early stage success we had, but also largely because of the Angel Tax Credit.”

It’s the success of emerging companies like WebPT that are driving the robust growth of Arizona’s technology sector, says Barry Broome, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC).

“What we’ve done on the policy side was working with the legislature and governor so they understand that even though the headlines belong to Apple and Intel and companies like that, it’s the hundreds if not thousands of small and medium technologically based enterprises that have the chance to be the next GoDaddy,” Broome says. “Maybe you get lucky and you get a Google or a Microsoft or maybe an Infusionsoft becomes a Microsoft. Having the ability to get those small companies to go to scale and having the economic development programs and policies in place to help them are where we’ve been most helpful.”

Jannenga credits organizations like GPEC for helping the technology sector grow by tirelessly looking at new ways to diversify the economy and working closely with Arizona’s universities to produce the next wave of talent needed to feed the workforce demands of the technology industry.

But Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton put it simply: “WebPT is a game-changer, not only in terms of showing the growth in the tech sector in Phoenix, but growth in the warehouse district in downtown Phoenix.”

Experts say Arizona has actually done a number of things well to build a business environment that fosters innovation and an entrepreneurial spirit.

“The state has emphasized economic development through support of key economic development groups like the Arizona Commerce Authority and GPEC,” says Jacque Westling, partner at Quarles & Brady in Phoenix. “(Arizona) has created and maintained some key tax incentives, such as the Refundable Research and Development Credit and the Angel Investment Tax Credit Program, promoted tech transfer from the universities and supported emerging areas of strength such as biotechnology, data centers, energy and other areas.”

Zylstra says having facilities with ready-to-go infrastructure in desirable hot spots such as downtown Phoenix and downtown Scottsdale has been a major part in attracting technology companies to the Valley.
“Knowledge workers like the type of amenities available in these locations,” he says. “When you add Arizona’s ample workforce, low taxes and low cost of doing business, the foundation is very strong.”

Jannenga says the state’s deep awareness of the emerging technology sector and what it means to our state’s economic future has been helpful to WebPT and other early stage companies.

“I think when people began to recognize that we couldn’t rely on the traditional engines that had previously fueled our growth — tourism and migration from colder climates chief among them — to provide the type of jobs we need, it caused a basic shift in how progressive leaders thought about the future,” says Don Pierson, CEO of SpotlightSales, which has developed a sales performance optimization tool.

With the foundation for building a successful technology sector in place, Pierson says he has seen tremendous growth in the software industry and expects that growth to continue.

“I think biofuels are really interesting,” he says, “and I’m always amazed by what comes out of the biotech area.”

Greg Head, chief marketing officer at Infusionsoft, agrees with Pierson that Arizona quickly becoming a center for software businesses.

“Right now, there are thousands of entrepreneurs incubating new innovations, hundreds of software business growing and employing more people and several bigger software companies like GoDaddy, LifeLock, Infusionsoft and WebPT that are growing fast,” Head says. “The Arizona software community is growing up quickly.”

Experts agree that diversifying Arizona’s tech sectors will continue to power its growth. Zylstra expects aerospace and defense and semiconductor and electronics to continue to be strong, “but IT, especially software and data centers, healthcare, bioscience and alternative energy will help lead us into the future,” he says.

“We need to have all tech industries thriving in Arizona,” says Mike Auger, CEO and founder of PikFly, a technology-driven same day delivery network for local businesses. “A focus in one area puts us into a corner. Semiconductors have been great for our state, but that is really what we are known for — we need to be known for all types of tech.”

While Arizona’s growth in the technology arena is impressive, the state must tackle one major issue to maintain that positive trajectory.

“I spend more of my time as mayor in economic development recruiting and retention than I do anything else,” Stanton says. “The reality is this: the companies are concerned about workforce development. Do we have the pipeline of employees that they are going to need as their companies grow?”

Jannenga agrees that Arizona needs to invest heavily into all levels of our education system and diversify our skilled workforce.

“The places where we’re falling short is we’re not delivering the engineering talent necessary for the tech sector to really take off,” Broome says. “We need to make a big move on the production of engineers and make a big move on the production of information communication technology people.”
Broome says that big move can come from anywhere from community colleges to higher education to unique specialty certification programs that are putting students through six-month boot camps and producing a qualified workforce. He cites the Maricopa Corporate College as a unique training program that is developing and delivering customized workforces.

“You’re going to see continued movement in creating new educational options and a huge infusion of these intermediate training strategies to build the technology sector,” Broome says.

Creating a viable workforce to feed the needs is of the technology industry is a must to maintain the state’s robust growth and quality of life, experts say.

“We either grow the tech sector of the economy or we will fail,” Broome says. “That’s how important it is. It’s where the wages are. It’s where the high-end people are. It’s the part of the economy that is most sustainable. If you’re not building a tech sector, you’re relying on your current industries to remain relevant and we know from history that just doesn’t happen.”

Broome says the Valley has learned from companies like Motorola and General Motors than mature companies in mature industries contract and fade away, so it forces the business community to continually recycle its economic strategy around new industries.

“From my perspective, you’re looking at a make-it-or-break-it situation,” Broome says. “The reason the economy is so sluggish is because it’s waiting for consumption. It’s waiting for government spending and it’s waiting for retail spending and it’s waiting for construction and home buying. When your economy can only recover on that basis, you’re going to continue to have ebbs and flows and dips and falls. Even a place like San Francisco, which has a very difficult business climate because it’s expensive to the point of being unimaginable, its net year-to-year economic growth is much more robust than Phoenix and the rest of the country because its economy is built around talent, innovation and the high-tech sector. If we do a good job and build that out better, there’s no reason why Phoenix can’t be the most exciting community in the United States.”

aerospace

Aerospace & Defense Forum will discuss best practices

Members of Arizona’s business community are invited to the Jan. 13 meeting of the Arizona Chapter of the Aerospace & Defense (A&D) Forum, where attendees will learn how to successfully work with Boeing Defense, Space and Security (BDS) from a quality perspective. The event is hosted by the Phoenix office of international law firm Greenberg Traurig at the firm’s Phoenix office.

Bill Valencia, director of Boeing BDS West Region Supplier Quality Operations, will lead the discussion on Boeing BDS’ current activities, supplier product quality strategies, as well as how documentation changes to AS9100 and AS9102 will impact industry suppliers. Valencia also will highlight The Boeing Company overall, and the difference between Commercial and BDS will be covered.

WHAT: Doing Business with Boeing (BDS) from a Quality Perspective

WHERE: Greenberg Traurig, 2375 E. Camelback Rd., Suite 700, Phoenix, AZ 85016

WHEN: Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015; 7 – 7:30 a.m.: Registration/Continental Breakfast/Networking; 7:30 – 9 a.m.: Meeting

COST: A&D Forum Member: Free; Non-member: $30 (before Jan. 6) and $40 (after Jan. 6)

RSVP: Members and non-members must register to attend. To register click here

SPEAKER: Bill Valencia, director of Boeing BDS West Region Supplier Quality Operations

Two attorneys become shareholders

Ryley Carlock & Applewhite adds 6 new shareholders

Ryley Carlock & Applewhite announced that four associates and two of counsel attorneys have been elected Shareholders.

New Phoenix Shareholders:

Molly A. Booker is a member of the firm’s Litigation Practice Group. Booker represents clients in various business disputes in federal and state courts in many aspects of pretrial litigation. She handles matters involving breach of contract, business torts, commercial landlord/tenant, creditor’s rights, products liability, condemnation, insurance, transportation, real property and surety law issues.

Charitie L. Hartsig is a member of the firm’s Labor & Employment Practice Group. Hartsig represents employers in litigation before federal and state courts and agencies in a variety of issues including personnel policies, wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, wage and hour matters, and compliance with federal and state laws.

Andrea Landeen is a member of the firm’s Banking & Finance Practice group. Landeen focuses primarily on the representation of lenders and other creditors in pre- and post-judgment litigation, with emphasis on litigation with respect to the enforcement of promissory notes, personal and commercial guaranties, security agreements, deeds of trust, and commercial contracts.

Lisa S. Wahlin is a member of the firm’s Litigation Practice Group. Wahlin focuses her practice on defending and advising governmental entities in a variety of areas including government liability, road design and maintenance issues, medical malpractice, claims under Title VII and ADA, and the defense of law enforcement and corrections personnel.

New Denver Shareholders:

Mark H. Boscoe is a member of the firm’s Corporate Practice Group. In his real estate practice, Boscoe helps clients with real estate acquisition, development and finance, tax increment finance, entity formation and general transactional and corporate representation. In his tax and estate planning practice, he assists individual clients and families with estate and charitable planning matters including preparation of wills, trusts, gift planning and family business matters.

Sheela S. Stack is a member of the firm’s Water, Energy, Resources and Environmental Law Practice Group. Stack focuses her practice on water rights adjudications and water planning, water quality permitting, and environmental compliance. She represents municipalities, special districts, mining companies, developers, trade associations, and a variety of other businesses regulated by the government.

Photo by Shavon Rose, AZ  Big Media

Joyce Grossman on the power of attraction

 

Joyce Grossman,  © Lillian ReidJoyce Grossman became executive director of AAED in 2011. She has a B.A. from the University of California- Davis and a M.P.A. from California State University-Sacramento. Prior to joining AAED, Grossman was a deputy director with the City of Phoenix and helped attract the International Genomics Consortium/Translational Genomics Research Institute.

WHAT ARE ECONOMIC DEVELOPERS SAYING ABOUT ARIZONA’S ECONOMY?

Our growth is uneven, reflecting different economic drivers. As the geography of Arizona is varied, so is the economic climate of the state. While economic forecasters have noted a “softening” in our recovery this past spring, economic developers are reporting they are busy fielding calls and following up on leads. The Phoenix metro area is leading the state’s recovery. Last year, Forbes magazine ranked the metro area No. 1 for financial services employment. Other areas of the state with a greater dependence on federal funding are recovering more slowly. There are pockets of rural Arizona being proactive by finding ways to use their natural assets to create economic opportunities while others are finding an economic return from the revitalizing of their main streets.

ARIZONA HAS A HANDFUL OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT GROUPS. HOW IS AAED UNIQUE?

AAED is the only association in Arizona that provides professional economic development training for practitioners and service providers. We do this through our Economic Development Academy of Arizona, Arizona Basic Economic Development Course (BEDC), and the sponsored International Economic Development Council (IEDC) and Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA) courses brought to Arizona. Our academy provides courses on key issues related to the profession in Arizona. Participants who complete eight courses in required modules will receive an Arizona Economic Development Professionals (AZED Pro) designation. AAED also hosts a fourand- a-half-day Arizona Basic Economic Development Course that is accredited by the IEDC. It is a required course for those seeking a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD). This class, held in January, is open to anyone who wants to learn more about the profession. Finally, AAED partners with the IEDC and the CDFA to bring their advance trainings to Arizona.

WHAT ARE THE MOST INFLUENTIAL BUSINESSES AAED HAS ATTRACTED TO THE STATE?

When AAED started in 1974 as the Arizona Association for Industrial Development (AAID), there were only two committees (Spring/Fall Conferences and Business Prospecting). Today, there are 12. AAID, made up of private-public partners, promoted the state of Arizona on prospecting trips. In digging through AAID archives, the association was credited with helping companies locate or expand in Arizona, most notably Motorola, Intel and Honeywell. As economic development departments/ agencies came into being, the AAED prospecting missions were replaced by professional education and more stepped up advocacy for economic development tools at the Arizona State Capitol.

AAED’S LUNCHES ARE POPULAR PROGRAMS AND OFTEN SOLD OUT. WHAT IS CONTRIBUTING TO AN INCREASED INTEREST IN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT?

Timely topics and an invigorating slate of speakers are the reasons! We seek value in the luncheons, with such popular topics as high quality economic/real estate forecasts, future of water, sports, town and gown discussions, workforce development and retail trends. We have sponsors from all aspects of the economic spectrum—private, public, utilities— because we provide a buffet of knowledge and some pretty good meals, too. You never know who will be at your table, possibly a collaborator for a future project.

WHAT IS IMPORTANT DIALOGUE YOU WANT TO SEE HAPPENING GOING INTO 2015?

Three areas we have focused on in the past and will continue the dialogue into 2015 include business property tax reduction, infrastructure development/improvement programs and access to capital.

Phoenix’s awkward, exciting urban evolution

Lorenzo Head Shot

Lorenzo Perez Co-Founder & Principal, Venue Projects – Inspired Redevelopment Member, Urban Land Institute (ULI) Arizona District Council Advisory Board

Have you ever reflected upon your adolescent years and recalled how dynamic and confusing life and the world could be? For many, it was a challenging time with a mix of emotions and experiences as they learned to balance the social, emotional and physical changes endured as they evolved from children into adults.

Life was complex, unpredictable, rich with highs and lows as one transformed into their changing bodies and more complex social systems. At times it was scary and uncomfortable, yet with the discovery of new possibilities, it could also be exciting and exhilarating.

Similarly, Phoenix is a community in the midst of an awkward, yet exciting urban evolution. Responding to market forces and an emerging generation’s desire for a more vibrant, walkable city, Phoenix is transitioning from a suburban town into a next generation, urban city. Trying to define its new identity in the world, Phoenix and its residents must navigate many fundamental challenges. As Metro Phoenix continues to grow in popularity and population, neighborhoods throughout the region will grapple with intensification and densification as infill development, adaptive reuse and redevelopment takes place. Established Central Phoenix neighborhoods struggle with issues such as balancing parking requirements and traffic patterns, innovative indoor/outdoor urban restaurants and gathering places. Increasingly, these scenarios are spurring debates between neighbors, business owners and city staff. For example, who should have access to public streets for parking or traffic? The conversation is not limited to Phoenix, nor is parking and traffic the only concern relative to infill, adaptive reuse and redevelopment. It’s a Pandora’s box that includes discussions about higher density residential development, adequate infrastructure to support greater intensity, alternative public transportation and multimodal systems. More importantly, who is going to pay for it?

Regardless of topic, the key to successfully integrating new land uses into the established community fabric – especially those that are innovative and creative – is a clear vision for what the city wants to become, followed by a paradigm of open communication, collaboration and a flexible regulatory environment that facilitates a balanced conversation between all stakeholders involved…the municipalities, neighbors, businesses and developers.

Mac.Cheese

Central Bistro creates perfect blend of French, Italian

They had us at “Drunk Bread.”

It’s not often that a long-time favorite can be replaced with a newer, more innovative model and turn out to be even more engaging, but Central Bistro has accomplished the feat.

Nestled into the former location of Zen 32, which called the hot spot on the northwest corner of Camelback Road and 32nd Street home for more than 15 years, Central Bistro has mixed together modern Italian and French with wood-fired cuisine to quickly build a following all its own.

Central Bistro is a true bistro setting with an ample menu that offers something for everyone, has a selection of more than 350 hand-selected wines, farm-to-bar cocktails and craft beer. It’s a modern, straightforward, energetic restaurant that features a menu of winning dishes from top to bottom. That makes sense because everything is made from scratch daily.

At lunch, freshly made soups, salads and sandwiches take precedence. As the day transitions to evening, hearty flavors reign with handcrafted pastas to brick-oven pizzas to wood-grilled meats and veggies.

Which brings us back to the Drunk Bread, which kicked off our meal during a recent visit. Made with swiss fondue, white wine and crusty bread topped with prosciutto, the decadent indulgence that defines Drunk Bread made us only want to do one thing: Order a second helping.

But we showed restraint and decided to try other items on the menu and each one topped the preceding dish. Here is a quick recap of what we would recommend for dinner:
• The Salumeria Pizza, made with red sauce, mozzarella, house made sausage, Italian cured meats and Sicilian oregano is easily one of the best wood-fired pizzas in the Valley. It’s priced at $15.
• The cabernet reduction on the filet — which is served with mashed potatoes, asparagus and mushrooms, with an option to add either foie gras ($8) or butter poached lump crab ($9) — is so perfect that my mouth is watering onto the keyboard at this moment as I reflect on the memory. It’s priced at $35.
• The Ruby Red Trout, served with sautéed summer squash, pear tomatoes, fresh herbs and lemon caper vinaigrette is as mouth-watering a seafood dish as you will find in Phoenix. It’s priced at $24.
• The Central Mac and Cheese utilizes a house blend of cheeses topped with herb bread crumbs. As we learned from the Drunk Bread, the staff at Central Bistro knows how to work with cheeses. Enough said. The Central Mac and Cheese is a bargain at $16.

Beyond an amazing dinner, Central Bistro boasts a much-acclaimed happy hour featuring $1 oysters that would make my boys in Boston envious; and an incredible brunch with bottomless mimosas made with fresh-squeezed orange juice. If you go for brunch, the Stuffed French Toast is a must-try menu item.

From the decor — lots of natural light and open space — to the desserts, Central Bistro is a taste-tantalizing delight. Where else can you get drunk on bread?

Paul J. Valentine

Jennings, Strouss & Salmon adds Paul J. Valentine

Jennings, Strouss & Salmon, a leading Phoenix-based law firm, announced that Paul J. Valentine has joined the firm as an associate in the Tax Law department.

“The varied experience Paul has earned in the tax field over the past four years makes him an excellent addition to the tax group,” stated Rich Smith, Chair of the Tax Law department at Jennings, Strouss & Salmon. “In particular, his experience in the area of tax controversy, on both federal and state levels, allows the firm to expand its services in these areas.”

Valentine focuses his practice in the area of Taxation Law. He earned his LL.M. in Taxation from
New York University School of Law, his J.D. from American University Washington College of Law, and a B.S. from Leeds University. Prior to joining Jennings, Strouss & Salmon, Mr. Valentine was a Tax and Bankruptcy junior partner at Arboleda Brechner, where he managed clients’ tax collection and controversy matters.

“Joining Jennings Strouss & Salmon presented a fantastic opportunity to be a part of a strong and dynamic tax practice,” stated Paul Valentine. “Although the firm represents clients throughout the United States, its solid reputation in Arizona and commitment to Arizona’s businesses was extremely attractive to me. I am looking forward to working with the other members of the tax law team to help meet our client’s business needs.”