Tag Archives: phoenix

Marketing action plan

Fingerpaint acquires Valley’s Olson Communications

Fingerpaint, a strategic marketing agency headquartered in Saratoga Springs, today announced the acquisition of Phoenix-based Olson Communications, a 13-year-old firm known for its work in the film, entertainment, real estate and hospitality industries. The acquisition will add public relations, content marketing and promotions to Fingerpaint’s scope of services, while also expanding its footprint to the Southwest. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Two questions continue to come up in conversations with clients: When are we adding public relations, and when are we opening an office in the West?” said Ed Mitzen, Fingerpaint founder. “Acquiring Olson Communications answers both. They have a highly regarded reputation for leading companies in their space and can apply their know-how across all industries. We’re thrilled to have them join the Fingerpaint family.”

Olson’s team will offer additional strategic advantages for all Fingerpaint clients. Its Scottsdale office will be rebranded as Fingerpaint and will operate with all capabilities offered by the firm.

“Joining forces with Fingerpaint gives us more resources and a bigger reach for our clients,” said Michelle Olson, president of Olson Communications. “The team is excited to work on client initiatives that span the globe and provide clients one stop for a truly integrated approach to their marketing efforts. It is an exciting next step for me and my entire group.”

recycling

Recycling provides economic incentives for businesses

While first associated with environmentalism and the green movement, recycling can help turn a profit too. For some companies, using recycled materials may be the most economically viable option.

“There’s an increasing interest in buying recycled products,” said Will Herzog. “We’re always looking for local options, and I know that it’s an initiative that the city of Phoenix is looking to draw potential buyers of recycled materials to the market.”

Herzog is the director of marketing for ReCommunity, an organization that operates recycling facilities across the country, including in Phoenix.

According to Herzog, right now a majority of the materials processed in Phoenix and Arizona are exported out of state. That being said, between the two Phoenix recycling facilities ReCommunity operates, there is a high volume of recyclables processed.

“With the city of Phoenix, we handle all the city’s recyclables, and that works out to about 105,000 tons to 110,000 tons of recyclables per year,” Herzog said.

Any given inbound ton of recycled material can be worth about $100, not including operating costs. The materials consist of paper products, cardboard and cardboard-like materials, paper-cardboard combinations called fibers, metals, plastics and glass.

“Across the entire city of Phoenix program, we’re probably recovering between 70 and 80% of the stream,” Herzog said. “90% of the revenue generated goes directly back to the city.”

“Most of our buyers are major national and global manufacturers of products that we recycle,” Herzog said.

One of their buyers is Strategic Materials, which further processes recycled glass to be resold to manufactures.

Strategic Materials has a facility in downtown Phoenix where they take glass shipments from Phoenix transfer stations. These are then resold to manufacturers.

“We process glass,” said Strategic Materials Vice President Paul Faherty. “We basically take glass from recycling operations, clean it, color sort it, size it and sell it to people who make new bottles and fiber glass.”

Buyers vary from container manufacturers to general fiber manufacturers. At the small plant in Phoenix, glass from Phoenix and Tucson is processed and sold to companies primarily in California and Texas.

Faherty explained that for glass manufacturers, using recycled material have become the most economically sound approach to their operations.

“Recycled glass has a lower melt point than making virgin glass,” Faherty explained. “It’s an energy save. You’re burning less gas and getting the same amount of material.”

Burning at a lower temperature also reduces maintenance costs, making it more affordable to maintain a furnace. Additionally, because of emission caps, companies using recycled glass can produce more while staying under the emissions limit.

Although many manufacturers are using up to 80% recycled glass in their products, this does not happen as much locally.

“The problem with Phoenix is that nobody is making glass in Phoenix,” Faherty said. “It’s going to get shipped somewhere…that costs money. It does make the relative cost of shipping recycled glass higher…there’s an economic calculation these guys go through.”

Despite this, Faherty said that glass is one of the most widely reused materials.

Locally, many businesses will use recycled material both out of social responsibility and as a way to make the recyclable movement more viable.

The Arizona Diamondbacks, for example, are part of the Green Sports Alliance, an information sharing organization built to promote green venue operation.

Matthew Helmeid is the director of special projects and brand development for the Diamondbacks, and spoke to some of their efforts at Chase Field.

“If you walk through the ballpark, we’ve got over 200 recycling containers that are matched up with all our trash receptacles,” Helmeid said. “Everything they prepare for concessions…that they don’t sell, they freeze, and overnight, a local group, Church on the Street, comes to the ballpark…and then they distribute it to people in need.”

Helmeid said that they would love to begin composting at Chase Field, but Phoenix does not have the infrastructure for it. Until it becomes economically viable, some reuse projects have to wait.

VCU, Butler, UConn and Kentucky will play in Houston this weekend for the NCAA basketball Final Four. Winners continue to the National Championship game

Phoenix gets 2017 Final Four tournament

Let the March Madness begin.

The 2017 NCAA Final Four men’s basketball tournament will be played in Phoenix, it was announced Friday.

The Division I Men’s Basketball Committee announced Friday that Phoenix was among five cities selected from eight finalists to host the Final Four for the years 2017-2021. The Valley of the Sun will play host to the event at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale in 2017, becoming the first western city selected since Seattle staged the Final Four in 1995.

Experts say the week-long event could generate more than $100 million in economic impact. Final Four games will be played April 1 and 3, 2017 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. The 2015 Super Bowl and 2016 College Football Playoff championship game also will be played at the same venue.

Other cities chosen by the committee to host in future years include San Antonio in 2018, Minneapolis in 2019 and Atlanta in 2020. The committee elected to award the 2021 Final Four to Indianapolis, which as the home of the NCAA headquarters has a unique long-term contractual relationship that guarantees the Men’s Final Four will be held regularly in the city.

diversity

Wells Fargo gives $200K to Chicanos Por La Causa

Wells Fargo & Company announced it has donated $200,000 to Chicanos Por La Causa, Inc. (CPLC) through its 2014 Leading the Way Home® program Priority Markets Initiative to  help stabilize and revitalize neighborhoods impacted by the economy.   The Leading The Way Home® program Priority Markets Initiative provides grant support for neighborhood stabilization projects that are located in areas designated for revitalization to stimulate growth, stability and investment in distressed areas.  This grant was part of a $6 million grant initiative awarded to 54 nonprofits across the country.

“Wells Fargo is proud to provide support to enable Chicanos Por La Causa to continue its work to stabilize and revitalize our local communities,” said Pam Conboy, lead regional president for Wells Fargo Arizona. “Community support and neighborhood revitalization is a key focus for our company and we believe the work of the nonprofit community is a critical conduit to revitalize neighborhoods in cities that have been deeply affected by the challenging economy.”

CPLC is actively involved and experienced in community revitalization efforts and was identified by Wells Fargo as being in need of extra help with large-scale neighborhood revitalization projects. Priority Markets Initiative program grants can be used for any costs associated with the development or redevelopment of the project. Recipients must be an IRS 501c3 organizations with successful histories of building or renovating housing for low-to moderate-income homebuyers.

“We appreciate and thank Wells Fargo for their visionary work and investment in community revitalization,” said Edmundo Hidalgo, CPLC President and CEO. “We look forward to distributing the funding to ensure that quality affordable homes are available in our community; continue to help stabilize housing values and preserve neighborhoods; and empower potential homebuyers to make educated decisions when purchasing a home.”

CPLC will use the grant funds to rehabilitate 10 properties in three distressed Phoenix zip codes and provide down payment assistance to 10 homebuyers at or below 80 percent of the area median income.  The organization has a long-standing history of providing the tools necessary to empower individuals, families, and communities to achieve their aspirations and become self-sufficient. In fact, CPLC successfully led a national consortium to revitalize markets in eight states through the Neighborhood Stabilization Program 2. CPLC understands that having a safe and comfortable place to live is fundamental for families to live healthy and prosperous lives.

Since 2009, the Wells Fargo Housing Foundation Priority Markets Program has provided more than $30 million across 100 communities.

Since 1993, the Wells Fargo Housing Foundation has stewarded nearly $300 million to nonprofits in support of affordable housing and community revitalization programs. Wells Fargo Housing Foundation programs have also delivered 4.7 million volunteer hours to build or rehabilitate more than 5,000 homes during the past two decades.

Arizona Biltmore Remodeled Classic King

Renovation transforms iconic Arizona Biltmore

The legendary Arizona Biltmore, A Waldorf Astoria Resort has completed a major renovation that has significantly enhanced the guest experience and restored the iconic property’s competitive position in the Phoenix/Scottsdale luxury resort marketplace.

The multi-million-dollar renovation has created modern, refined accommodations and public spaces while preserving the historic architecture and design that distinguish the grand dame of Phoenix.  Guest rooms and suites, the spa and salon, and meeting spaces – including ballrooms, pre-function rooms and the Mystery Room, the Prohibition-era “speakeasy” that is used for themed events – have been re-mastered with a sophisticated new look that recalls the seductive style of the resort’s early years. The redesign is chic and contemporary, while continuing the original Frank Lloyd Wright style of organically incorporating the natural environment.

The revamp of the landmark property also comprised rebuilding and redesigning the 15 cabanas at the Paradise Pool that now feature luxurious new interior décor and an array of amenities, from flatscreen HDTVs to full baths. Refinements were also made to the service culture and communications tools were re-imagined, including instituting True Waldorf Service, new uniforms for the front-of-the-house team, a new website and a glossy new, comprehensive history book that recounts the storied lore of the famous property.

“With the renovation we have enhanced our classic luxury with chic modern interpretations and recaptured our top-tier status in the Phoenix-Scottsdale resort marketplace,” said Sheila Foley, General Manager.

In the guest rooms, a soft color palette of mist, linen and latte created a light and cheerful ambiance, juxtaposed with contrasting warm wood colors that emulate the natural tones of the surrounding desert. Specialty glass tops on bureaus in a thick mist color bring the soothing atmosphere of a desert oasis indoors. Echoing the distinctive use of metals in the original hotel design, bronze and gold metal accents in the guest rooms evoke a distinguished vintage ambiance.  A particularly memorable feature, bringing a special touch of elegance and grandeur, are the mist-colored wall coverings embossed with a metallic Frank Lloyd Wright design, echoing the historic pattern on the Biltmore Blocks used to construct the entire resort.

Frank Lloyd Wright drawings of the hotel gardens, blended with geometric shapes, were the innovative inspiration for the new carpet in the corridors, creating an avant-garde historic interpretation. This contemporary merging of Wright designs and geometric patterns was the theme as well for the Frank Lloyd Wright and McArthur ballrooms, which were refreshed with new carpet, wall coverings, artwork and furniture. The ballrooms and their pre-function areas also were enhanced with technologically advanced production, signage and lighting capabilities.

The renovation was directed by Santa Barbara-based Smith & Firestone Associates (SFA), a leading international luxury hospitality interior design firm. www.SFAdesign.com

For more information about the Arizona Biltmore: 800-950-0086, 602-955-6600, www.arizonabiltmore.com.

internet

Cox launches Phoenix WiFi hotspots

At today’s city of Phoenix Technology Summit, Councilman Bill Gates shared that Cox Communications has activated more than 500 city-wide Cox WiFi hotspots in the valley for Cox High Speed Internet customers and visitors to the valley who are cable internet customers in other areas of the country. The Cox WiFi hotspots are located in Phoenix’s City Council District 3 at locations such as the Phoenix Workforce Connection (7th St. and Mountain View), Sunnyslope Community Center (802 E. Vogel Ave.), and Palma Park (8940 N. 12’h St.), just to name a few. Cox will deploy more than 1,200 hotspots in communities valley wide by the end of the year, with a goal of more than 2,500 hot spots in metro Phoenix by the end of 2015.

“As users’ needs and behaviors continue to change over time, especially with the explosive growth of smart phones, tablets and other connected devices, Cox’s launch of a WiFi network, makes Phoenix a more attractive, livable, high-tech city,” said Councilman Bill Gates, Chair of the City’s Finance, Efficiency, Economy, and Sustainability Subcommittee. The Cox WiFi launch comes on the heels of the company’s announcement that residential gigabit internet speeds are now available in the Phoenix Metropolitan area,-Cox first market in the country to offer residential Gig service — offering consumers speeds 100 times faster than the average speed in the market today.

“In addition to the incredible speeds Cox offers in the home, our customers want access to reliable high speed Internet wherever they are,” said Susan Anable, VP of Public Affairs, Cox Southwest Region. “Cox has invested more than $3 billion in Arizona communities through infrastructure upgrades since 1996. This investment has readied us to take the step of offering hotspots all over the Valley, so our customers can access the Internet not just within the walls of their home, but to the corners of their community.”

In addition, Cox customers also have free access to the nation’s largest WiFi network of more than 300,000 cable Wifi hotspots across the country made possible by a collaboration of cable companies across the country, called Cable WiFi, launched in 2013.

“The addition of Cox WiFi hotspots throughout the Phoenix Metro area that link us to this nationwide network of Internet accessibility, is great not only for our residents, but for economic development and tourism,” said Gates.

Cox customers who are looking for WiFi access can go to www.cox.com/hotspots and enter their current location to find nearby hotspots. Users can also click on a WiFi icon on the map or download the Cox Connect app for iPhone and Android devices and immediately access directions to or from the specific WiFi hotspot address. Once a user has logged into a Cox WiFi or CableWiFi hotspot, his or her wireless device will automatically recognize and logon to other Cox WiFi and CableWiFi hotspots for up to two years. For more information, visit the Cox WiFi homepage at www.cox.com/wifi.

lesbians

Phoenix Earns Perfect Score on Equality Index

For the second straight year, the City of Phoenix has earned a perfect score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s municipal equality index (MEI), which measures how supportive U.S. communities are of the gay and lesbian community.

Last year, Phoenix was one of the most improved cities in the nation and became the first Arizona city to earn a perfect score. This year, Phoenix was joined by both Tucson and Tempe.

“People are taking notice that Phoenix is one of the most diverse and friendly cities in America, and that’s good for everyone,” Mayor Greg Stanton said. “We are a more vibrant and more economically viable city when we treat every person equally under the law.”

In February 2013, the City Council passed a sweeping anti-discrimination ordinance that made it unlawful to discriminate against someone based on sexual orientation, gender identity or disability for the purposes of employment, public accommodations, housing, and government contracts.

Over the past year, Phoenix doubled housing grants awarded to the non-profit organization one-n-ten to provide housing for LGBT youth and the City Council called on Gov. Jan Brewer to veto S.B. 1062, the so-called “right to discriminate” bill, with an 8-to-1 vote.

“I am proud that the City of Phoenix supports equality and inclusion for all of our employees and residents,” Councilwoman Laura Pastor said. “I applaud the Mayor’s leadership on this issue and look forward to continuing the progress the City has made.”

“Today’s announcement underscores what many of us already know: after years of hard work by community leaders and advocates, Phoenix is a city that believes in equality through and through,” said Councilwoman Kate Gallego. “From the everyday residents who have made change in our city by advocating for equality to the elected leadership, our city has embraced full equality for all of our residents as a fundamental value, not just a sound bite. I look forward to working with Mayor Stanton and my other colleagues in continuing to improve our city and working to make the change we need to bring full equality to all Arizonans.”

“Phoenix’s continued leadership to promote equality is strengthening our economy,” said Angela Hughey, co-founder of ONE Community, a coalition of socially responsible businesses that actively support diversity. “We’ve come a long way, and I’m proud that we have elected officials who will continue to make sure that all of our diverse citizens is celebrated, respected and protected.”

insight enterprises - cloud messaging solutions

Zenefits will create 1,300 Jobs at new Scottsdale office

Today the Greater Phoenix Economic Council was joined by the Arizona Commerce Authority, Maricopa County and the City of Scottsdale in welcoming Zenefits to the Greater Phoenix region.

Zenefits, the free, cloud-based human resources technology company that automates and eliminates time-consuming paperwork for small and medium-sized businesses, announced today plans to create over 1,300 new full-time jobs over the next three years, and the launch of a new, nearly 100,000-square-foot office in Scottsdale, Ariz.

“We’re thrilled to open our new office in Scottsdale, which will allow Zenefits to meet the growing demand from thousands of small businesses who want to focus on their people instead of paperwork,” said Parker Conrad, CEO and co-founder of Zenefits. “The greater Phoenix area has a talented workforce and an expanding tech community, and Zenefits is excited to grow our team both here and in San Francisco.”

Zenefits is widely considered to be one of the fastest-growing tech companies in recent history. Its user base is on track to grow 1,600 percent in 2014, and in a little over one year in business, the company has signed up more than 2,000 businesses serving over 50,000 employees across 47 states.

This is the largest expansion from a California-based tech company into the Greater Phoenix region since PayPal in 2010. Zenefits has already hired 60 new local employees, and plans to expand to more than 1,300 full-time employees within the next three years. The company’s new office will occupy 94,000 square feet of office space in the Scottsdale Galleria Corporate Center.

“We want to welcome Zenefits to Scottsdale, where it joins a growing field of exciting and innovative tech companies who are drawn here by all the elements that ensure a motivated, skilled workforce, an outstanding quality of life and a positive business environment,” said Scottsdale Mayor W.J. “Jim” Lane. “We are delighted to welcome Zenefits to Scottsdale – they will be an incredible addition to our business community and our City’s economy.”

The expansion into Scottsdale will enable the company to meet the needs of its rapidly increasing customer base. Zenefits is now in the process of hiring a range of new employees for the Scottsdale office, including HR specialists, sales representatives, account managers and executives, and client support staff. Zenefits currently employs more than 390 workers in its San Francisco headquarters, up from just 15 at the beginning of the year.

“Zenefits is one of the fastest-growing tech companies in America, and we are tremendously excited that its leadership selected Arizona for a major expansion that will advance its corporate growth goals,” said Sandra Watson, President and CEO, Arizona Commerce Authority. “Our state’s surging technology ecosystem and highly-educated workforce continue to attract innovative companies seeking to develop operational hubs to help drive business growth and enhance their competitiveness across the country.”

Zenefits automates a wide range of time-consuming, administrative HR tasks that companies otherwise have to handle manually, including: benefits and payroll, hiring, taxes and compliance, employee life events, health insurance and more. Zenefits’ cloud-based HR platform connects seamlessly to a company’s existing third-party benefits systems, so that businesses and employees can manage these systems from a single, beautifully designed dashboard.

“We are thrilled that Zenefits chose the Greater Phoenix region for its first big expansion,” said Barry Broome, President and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council. “Zenefits will provide a substantive impact to the innovation ecosystem, creating 1,300 new jobs in the ICT sector over the next three years, spurring growth and contributing to our broader economy.”

The core Zenefits service is 100 percent free to customers because it is able to collect fees from all kinds of benefit providers. This unique business model is one of the reasons Zenefits has been able to attract so many users so quickly. As of June, the company has raised $84 million from prominent investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Institutional Venture Partners (IVP), and Academy Award-winning actor and investor Jared Leto.

housing

Phoenix Housing Market in Low Gear Until Next Year

The Phoenix-area housing market is unlikely to see a significant boost until next year. That’s according to the latest monthly report from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.

Here are the highlights of the new report on Maricopa and Pinal counties, as of September:

• The median single-family-home sales price was up 5 percent from last September, but that’s largely just because fewer sales are clustered at the bottom end of the market, not because individual home prices are rising much.
• The area has been experiencing sluggish demand and low sales activity for more than 14 months.
• Because there are fewer people buying, the rental market is hot, with both rents and construction permits for new multi-family housing rising.

After the housing crash, Phoenix-area home prices shot up from September 2011 to last summer. This year, prices leveled off and then rose somewhat. The median single-family-home price went up 5 percent from last September to this September – from $198,997 to $209,900. Realtors will note the average price per square foot rose 7 percent. The median townhome/condo price went up 15 percent.

However, the report’s author says the median increases happened primarily just because fewer sales are now clustered at the lower end of the market, with fewer foreclosures and short sales available. Only luxury homes above $2 million are seeing stronger-than-normal demand. Overall, the number of single-family-home sales is down 7 percent from last September to this September.

“Demand has been much weaker since July 2013 and still shows little sign of recovery,” says the report’s author, Mike Orr, director of the Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice at the W. P. Carey School of Business. “Supply is also fairly limited. We anticipate pricing will continue to move sideways over the next few months, and a significant increase in demand will be required to change things.”

Investors are unlikely to bring that increase in demand. They’ve largely lost interest in the Phoenix area, now that better bargains can be found in other parts of the country with more foreclosures. Investors accounted for only 14.4 percent of residential-property purchases in September — way down from the peak of 39.7 percent in July 2012.

“To get the market back to what we would consider normal will require a major recovery in demand from local first-time home buyers,” explains Orr. “The last quarter of the year is rarely one in which first-time home buyer demand takes off without some unusual stimulus, so it looks as though our hopes for a livelier market will have to rest on a stronger start to 2015.”

Orr says if lenders decide to lower their standards for home loans, then that might create some additional demand next year. Many people who went through foreclosure in 2008 will be allowed to enter the market again, after spending the required seven years in the credit “penalty box.”

Until then, the rental-home market is red hot, with fast turnover and a constrained supply of rental homes available. The Phoenix area has already seen a 5.7 percent boost in rents over the past 12 months. Construction permits to build new multi-family housing to meet the demand are also on a strong upward trend.

Those wanting more Phoenix-area housing data can subscribe to Orr’s monthly reports at www.wpcarey.asu.edu/realtyreports. The premium site includes statistics, charts, graphs and the ability to focus in on specific aspects of the market. More analysis is also available at the W. P. Carey School of Business “Research and Ideas” website at http://research.wpcarey.asu.edu.

David Funkhouser

Funkhouser Appointed to GPEC Ambassador Committee

The national law firm of Quarles & Brady LLP announced that David E. Funkhouser III, a partner in the firm’s Phoenix office, has been appointed to the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) Ambassador Steering Committee, which is focused on ensuring GPEC’s Ambassador Program aligns with the organization’s key objectives and mission.  Members of the Steering Committee advise on the strategic direction of GPEC’s Ambassador Program, serve as a sounding board for emerging initiatives and support implementation of programs, and design activities relevant to and in support of GPEC’s mission.

Funkhouser handles complex commercial litigation matters. His litigation practice has an emphasis in real property disputes, trust, estate and probate litigation, and other commercial torts. Funkhouser also routinely represents financial institutions in all aspects of litigation.

He is also heavily involved in the local community, just recently completing his term as president of the Maricopa County Bar Association. Also in 2014, Funkhouser was named a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, selected for inclusion in the 2014 Southwest Super Lawyers magazine and named to both the Phoenix Business Journal’s “40 under 40” and  Richman Media’s “Leaders under 40” lists, respectively. He is a member of the Leadership Council for the Special Olympics Advocacy Resource program, a founding member of Suns 88 Charities and a certified ambassador for the Greater Phoenix Economic Council. He also served in the Arizona House of Representatives from 2008–2009. Funkhouser earned both his law degree and undergraduate degree from the University of Iowa.

gavel

Roshka DeWulf & Patten earns recongnition

Roshka DeWulf & Patten, a Phoenix-based business law firm representing clients in litigation and regulatory issues, announced the firm has been ranked among the 2015 “Best Law Firms” by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers®. Roshka DeWulf & Patten achieved first-tier ranking both nationally and in the Phoenix Metro area.

Firms included on the list of 2015 “Best Law Firms” are recognized for professional excellence with consistently impressive ratings from clients and peers. Achieving a ranking signals a strong combination of quality law practice and breadth of legal expertise. To be eligible for “Best Law Firms,” the firm must have at least one attorney listed in The Best Lawyers of America, which recognizes the top 4 percent of practicing attorneys nationwide. Four attorneys at Roshka DeWulf & Patten have achieved this honor.

“We are incredibly proud of our team, as it’s a significant accomplishment to be recognized at any level. This recognition is a testament to our hard work, dedication to clients and steadfast commitment to representing our clients ethically and effectively,” said Founding Member Paul Roshka.

More than 17,000 attorneys provided nearly 600,000 law firm assessments, and nearly 7,500 clients provided close to 40,000 evaluations. The 2015 rankings are based on the highest number of participating firms and client ballots to date, making the recognition more competitive and valued.

Roshka DeWulf & Patten achieved National and Phoenix Metro rankings in a variety of practice areas:

National Tier 1
·        Litigation – Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy)

National Tier 3
·        Commercial Litigation
·        Communications Law
·        Energy Law
·        Litigation – Securities

Phoenix Metro Tier 1
·        Administrative / Regulatory Law
·        Commercial Litigation
·        Communications Law
·        Energy Law
·        Litigation – Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy)
·        Litigation – Securities

Phoenix Metro Tier 2
·        Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization
·        Litigation – Bankruptcy

The 2015 Best Law Firms ranking comes on the heels of an announcement in August that four Roshka DeWulf & Patten attorneys had been named 2015 Best Lawyers®, and Member Michael Patten was recognized as the Energy Law “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers®, the top honor for the practice area regionally.

nurses, healthcare, doctors

Healthcare drives increase in Phoenix job openings

Simply Hired, the largest independent job search engine with properties in 24 countries and 12 languages, today released its November 2014 U.S. Employment Outlook report which finds that job openings grew 3.17% month-over-month in October 2014.  This increase continues the ongoing job growth reported by Simply Hired over the past several months.

“Steady growth in the U.S. employment market continues as the number of available job listings grew 3.17% in October 2014,” said James Beriker, President and CEO of Simply Hired. “The Simply Hired Employment Outlook also shows gains in every one of the top 25 metros buoyed by healthcare postings and strong job growth in nursing roles.”

The number of job openings in Phoenix increased 3.68% month-over-month (September/October 2014) and Phoenix had 71,937 jobs open in October 2014.

The top hiring companies in Phoenix (in order):

• Banner Health
• Tenet Healthcare
• Dignity Health
• Scottsdale Healthcare
• Bank of America

Key findings from the monthly Simply Hired Employment Outlook report include:

• Every major metro experienced job growth. Job openings increased in all of the 25 largest U.S. metros in October 2014. The largest month-over-month gains were Chicago (5.97%) and Detroit (5.89%).

• Most industries and occupations post gains. A strong majority of industries (15 out of 18) experienced month-over-month growth in job openings in October 2014, with non-profit (13.05%) and real estate (9.61%) showing the largest rise. Job openings increased in 42 out of 54 occupation categories. Firefighters (13.55%) and nurses (13.01%) roles experienced the largest amount of growth month-over-month.

• Healthcare reigns as industry with greatest job inventory. Nearly one-half of the top posting companies in October 2014 were healthcare-related. There were also a significant number of job openings at financial services and academic institutions.

• Metro highlight: Atlanta. Simply Hired data for Atlanta ranks financial services, healthcare and technology as the top three posting industries in the metro region. Atlanta’s top posting companies include WellStar Health System (#1), Deloitte (#2), Northside Hospital (#3), Grady Healthcare (#4) and Piedmont Healthcare (#5).

Test

Ryley Carlock Named to the ‘Best Law Firms’

Ryley Carlock & Applewhite announced that the firm has been listed by the U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” as a National Tier 3, Metropolitan Tier 1 and Metropolitan Tier 2 firm in 24 categories.

National Tier 3 Rankings:
• Environmental Law
• Litigation – Labor & Employment

Metropolitan Tier 1:
Arizona
• Banking and Finance Law
• Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law
• Commercial Litigation
• Corporate Law
• Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law
• Employment Law – Management
• Energy Law
• Labor Law – Management
• Litigation – Labor & Employment
• Water Law

Metropolitan Tier 3:
Arizona
• Environmental Law
• Information Technology Law
• Litigation – Bankruptcy
• Natural Resources Law
• Public Finance Law
• Technology Law
• Trusts & Estates Law

_DSC0122

Valley Leadership honors Man & Woman of the Year

Valley Leadership announced Tommy Espinoza and Judy Shannon as the organization’s 2014 Man & Woman of the Year. The pair will be honored for their long-term contributions and commitment to our community at the 66th Annual Man & Woman of the Year awards luncheon in March 2015.

A native of Phoenix, Espinoza has demonstrated long-term, proactive community leadership in the Valley throughout his distinguished career.  During his 10-year tenure as president & CEO of Chicanos Por La Causa, Espinoza transformed the organization from a community activist organization to a community development corporation, setting it on a path to become one of the nation’s largest non-profits serving the Hispanic community. He has since duplicated this success in his work with the National Council of La Raza and the Raza Development Fund, where he currently serves as president and CEO.  Espinoza serves on numerous boards, including the Catholic Diocese of Phoenix, the New America Alliance, the Phoenix Industrial Development Authority and the National Advisory Board of State Farm Bank. He has also served on the Arizona Board of Education, Greater Phoenix Leadership Council and the Governor of Arizona’s Interstate Banking Commission, as well as serving on the Mexican-American Advisory Council under President Jimmy Carter.

“His tireless work to grow business, public-sector and nonprofit organizations across our great state is a testament to the steadfast leadership and genuine dedication Tommy employs every day to engage individuals within the Hispanic community and beyond,” says U.S. Senator John McCain.

For more than 40 years, Shannon has been making a significant impact on the community as a fundraiser and erstwhile volunteer. She has been a key leader in several important fundraising efforts, including a $17 million capital campaign for the Heard Museum, where she also worked as director of Development and Community Affairs. She also led another successful multimillion-dollar capital campaign for the Ryan House, where she has served on its Board of Directors for a decade. Other current board service includes the Barrow Neurological Foundation Women’s Board, St. Luke’s Health Initiatives and The Board of Visitors. Shannon has also served on the boards of the Arizona Kidney Foundation, the Arizona State University Fine Arts Board and COMPAS and was the founder of the Madison Parent Teacher Organization. Shannon is also well-known for her ongoing 36-year commitment to the Junior League of Phoenix.

“In addition to Judy’s charming and persuasive ability to raise funds for various community causes, she has been a life-long volunteer and has made great contributions to better our community through her passion and compassion for others,” says Dr. Robert F. Spetzler, director of the Barrow Neurological Institute.

Espinoza and Shannon join a prestigious list of past Man & Woman of the Year award recipients.  U.S. Sen. Barry Goldwater was honored as the inaugural Man of the Year and most recently Gary Trujillo and Ellie Ziegler were recognized as the 2013 recipients.

The newest inductees will be formally recognized at a luncheon on March 19, 2015, at the Arizona Biltmore. For more information or to purchase seats or sponsorships, call the Valley Leadership office at (602) 952-6760 or visit www.valleyleadership.org.

abl

AZ Big Media honors Az Business Leaders

The are the deal makers. They are the innovators. They are the movers and shakers. And on Thursday, AZ Big Media recognized almost 500 of the most influential business leaders in Arizona during a reception at the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia.

Az Business Leaders reception.
Az Business Leaders reception.
Az Business Leaders reception.
Az Business Leaders reception.
Greg and Nicole Stanton
Greg and Nicole Stanton
Az Business Leaders reception.
Az Business Leaders reception.
Az Business Leaders reception.
Az Business Leaders reception.
Az Business Leaders reception.
Az Business Leaders reception.
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Az Business Leaders reception.
Az Business Leaders reception.
Az Business Leaders reception.
Az Business Leaders reception.
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Az Business Leaders reception.
Az Business Leaders reception.
Angela Vaughn and Cheryl Green
Angela Vaughn and Cheryl Green
Az Business Leaders reception.
Az Business Leaders reception.
Cheryl Green, Greg Stanton and Michael Gossie
Cheryl Green, Greg Stanton and Michael Gossie
Az Business Leaders reception.
Az Business Leaders reception.
Az Business Leaders reception.
Az Business Leaders reception.
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Az Business Leaders reception.
Az Business Leaders reception.
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AZ Big Media Publisher Cheryl Green
AZ Big Media Publisher Cheryl Green
Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton
Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton
Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton
Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton
Robert Milligan, CFO of Healthcare Trust of America, Inc.
Robert Milligan, CFO of Healthcare Trust of America, Inc.
Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton
Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton
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Robert Milligan, CFO of Healthcare Trust of America, Inc.
Robert Milligan, CFO of Healthcare Trust of America, Inc.
Robert Milligan, CFO of Healthcare Trust of America, Inc.
Robert Milligan, CFO of Healthcare Trust of America, Inc.
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Cheryl Green and Kathleen Goeppinger
Cheryl Green and Kathleen Goeppinger
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Midwestern University CEO Kathleen Goeppinger
Midwestern University CEO Kathleen Goeppinger
Midwestern University CEO Kathleen Goeppinger
Midwestern University CEO Kathleen Goeppinger
Cheryl Green and Kathleen Goeppinger
Cheryl Green and Kathleen Goeppinger
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AZ Big Media Publisher Cheryl Green
AZ Big Media Publisher Cheryl Green
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AZ Big Media Publisher Cheryl Green and Editor in Chief Michael Gossie
AZ Big Media Publisher Cheryl Green and Editor in Chief Michael Gossie
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The men and women recognized at the event were all featured in Az Business Leaders magazine, which profiles the state’s most influential and dynamic business leaders in Arizona. The magazine is published by AZ Big Media, which also publishes Az Business, Ranking Arizona, AZRE, Experience AZ and several other Arizona-based publications.

“When we came up with the concept of Az Business Leaders magazine, we wanted to create a publication that was a guide to the people with whom you want to do business,” said Mike Atkinson, president and CEO of AZ Big Media. “Each year, over the course of about two dozen meetings, we sort through more than 5,000 contenders to find those women and men who have the biggest impact on Arizona’s economy and that’s who we profile in the magazine.”

Fittingly, the welcoming remarks were delivered by Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, who was also one of the leaders featured in the magazine.

Earning the distinction of Arizona Business Leader of the Year was Kathleen Goeppinger, president and CEO of Midwestern University.

“The business leader of the year has done what some may say is the impossible: she has built and grown a medical school from the ground up during a time when the healthcare industry has been in turmoil,” said Robert Milligan, CFO of Healthcare Trust of America, Inc., who presented the award to Goeppinger. “Her efforts have helped feed an educated workforce to an industry that has been exploding in Arizona. And the school that she started from scratch has more than 3,000 students and has an annual economic impact of more than $300 million a year, which boosts all our bottom lines.”

cybercrime

Quarles & Brady Launches Privacy and Security Blog

The national law firm of Quarles & Brady LLP, which has three offices across Arizona in Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tucson, today announced that the firm’s Data Privacy & Security Team has launched Safe & Sound, a blog that provides a practical, business-focused discussion of the legal issues relating to the privacy and security of a company’s data. This blog will keep businesses aware of current events, news, and legislation in this area.

Margaret Utterback, chair of the firm’s Madison Business Law Group, said Safe & Sound will discuss current news about U.S. and international regulations associated with privacy. It will keep businesses abreast of what they need to know to protect their electronic information.

“Our clients are facing new concerns about how safe their data is in a changing privacy landscape. They want to know how best to protect their customers from a breach,” said John Barlament, chair of the Data Privacy & Security Team. “Our Quarles & Brady lawyers often step in to help companies stay on top of changing regulations and get up-to-speed on what they need to know to be prepared. This blog will offer a place for them to get a greater understanding of what the conversation in this area is focusing on and what they need to consider.”

There are so many unknowns right now about what is required since the regulations vary from state to state and from country to country, said Heather Buchta, chair of the firm’s Phoenix Intellectual Property Group. This blog, housed on LexBlog, will allow clients to get a quick snapshot of what they need to know and what questions they should ask their legal counsel.

To subscribe to the blog and get the latest information, visit http://safeandsound.quarles.com/.

haunted

The 5 most haunted places in Arizona

Just in time for Halloween, we thought you might like to consider a ghostly visit to one of the five most haunted places in Arizona.

Hotel San Carlos, 202 N. Central Ave. Phoenix

Blood splattered on Leone Jensen’s white gown as she hit the pavement from the rooftop of the seven-story hotel. Heartbroken and lonely, 22-year-old Jensen committed suicide in 1928 at the Hotel San Carlos. Guests said they have witnessed a woman dressed in a white shear gown blown by the wind from nearby windows. Screaming children have also been heard running the halls late at night from the multiple drownings that occurred in a water well in the late 1890’s. The well remains on the first floor of the hotel and is the main water supply for the residents. Book a night in the San Carlos hotel to see what you might wake up to.

North Morton Hall at Northern Arizona University, 601 S. Knoles Drive, Flagstaff

Built in 1914, North Morton Hall on the NAU campus is a women’s residence hall and home to a girl who committed suicide in the dormitory. Her ghost has not left the premises as students have seen flickering lights, girls being locked in the bathrooms, blankets flying off beds, and even the sight of the ghost lurking the halls.

Jerome Grand Hotel, 200 Hill St., Jerome

A former hospital, a plethora of ghosts walk the halls and visit the rooms in this hotel in “Ghost City.” Many deaths have occurred in the hotel, such as Claude Harvey who was crushed by a self-serviced elevator and two suicides by hanging. Most of the ghosts are allegedly the patients who died in the United Verde Hospital. Flowers, cigar smoke, and whiskey are just some of the smells guests have said to be coming from the rooms. In the heart of the haunted city itself, witness the sights and smells of this five-story hotel.

Fox Theatre, 17 W. Congress St., Tucson

Built in 1930, the Fox Theatre was used as vaudeville and movie house. During the Great Depression, a man would linger outside of the theatre asking for money to feed his family. Watch your wallets, there has been sight of male ghosts walking about outside of the theatre and might just snatch a couple bucks. Suspicious movement of objects in the theatre have some visitors questioning the eerie environment.

Luana’s Canyon southeast of Kingman

A miner and his family lived in a wooden shack in the opening of the canyon. The husband would leave his family for days to find food and mine for gold in the mountains. One day Luana’s husband did not return from his expedition and her family began to starve. Luana began to go insane as the children begged for food and were slowly dying. Impulsive actions took over and Luana chopped up her kids in the wooden house. The remains of her children were tossed into the nearby river, where she wept and screamed in remorse for her murdered children. Her screams are said to still be heard within the canyon and the blood-splattered house is called the “Slaughter House.” Check out this landmark to see if the blood remains on the walls and Luana’s scream can still be heard bouncing off the mountains.

CityScape 2

CityScape offers options for Halloween fun

Celebrate this Halloween with plenty of tricks and treats at the hottest bars and restaurants in the Valley, all within walking distance at CityScape Phoenix.

Located in the heart of downtown, CityScape will be the place to party with a variety of different options for revelers to enjoy costume contests, dining and drinks specials, live music and more. Participating restaurants and special offers include:

LUSTRE Rooftop Garden

On Friday, October 31, LUSTRE Rooftop Garden will host the “Day of the Dead Rooftop Halloween Party” at Kimpton’s Hotel Palomar Phoenix. DJs will be spinning all night long as party-goers enjoy Espolon drink specials, Day of the Dead makeup artists, fun photographers and a costume contest with $500 in prizes and giveaways. Party starts at 8pm. Tickets are $10 online, $15 at the door.  602-876-5432

Copper Blues Live

On Thursday, October 30, dress up as a Rock Star or Rock Group and sing your favorite Karaoke songs at Stand Up Live Comedy Club. There will be drink and shot specials, as well as a contest for Best Dressed Rock Star, Best Voice and Best Group. Doors open at 11am, Halloween events begin at 8:30pm. No Cover.

On Friday, October 31, Copper Blues Live will host “Friday LIVE Goes Dead… Dead 20’s”. The speak easy themed Friday LIVE will offer happy hour from 3pm to 7pm and live music with an acoustic set from 5pm to 8pm. The Halloween party will begin at 8:30pm, hosted by a local radio talent, and will have a live band from 8:30pm to 12:30am, DJs from 12:30am to 2pm, servers dressed as ghosts and a costume contest for best 20s costume, scariest costume, sexiest costume and best overall costume, with the winner announced at 12am. Doors open at 11am, Halloween events begin at 8:30pm. No Cover. 480-719-5005

Lucky Strike

Celebrate “Bowlloween” at Lucky Strike on Friday, October 31 with complimentary tricks and treats, multiple DJs and a $500 cash prize costume contest (with a minimum of 10 contestants). Doors open at 9pm. The costume contest will be held at midnight. General admission starting at $15 with group discounts and VIP access available. 602-732-5490

Gypsy Bar

Gypsy Bar will be participating in the $1,000 cash prize costume contest (with a minimum of 10 contestants) at Lucky Strike and will feature DJ Pickster 1, DJ Tommy Roberts and DJ Body Tricks. Revelers will enjoy complimentary tricks and treats, spooky dancers and more. Doors open at 7pm. The costume contest will be held at midnight. $10 at the door.

Squid Ink

From 11am to midnight on Friday, October 31, Squid Ink Sushi will be offering Halloween dining specials including a Black Widow Roll for $16, Kraken Salad for $14 and a Bat Wing Special $12. 602-258-0510

phoenix

Arizona drops from Top 10 for job growth

We’re still slowly recovering from the staggering loss of jobs during the Great Recession, but some cities and states are rebounding faster than others. The job-growth numbers for the first three quarters of 2014 are now out. Research Professor Lee McPheters of the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University provides rankings and analysis of the winners and losers, based on the latest figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Top 10 cities and surrounding metro areas (1 million or more workers), for non-agricultural job growth — comparing January through September of this year to the same nine months last year:

Orlando, Fla. – up 3.7 percent
Houston – up 3.5 percent
Dallas – up 3.4 percent
Miami – up 3 percent
Portland, Ore. – up 2.9 percent
Riverside, Calif. – up 2.8 percent (tie)
Denver – up 2.8 percent
San Francisco – up 2.6 percent (tie)
Seattle – up 2.6 percent
10.  San Diego – up 2.4 percent

Top 10 states for non-agricultural job growth – comparing January through September of this year to the same nine months last year:

North Dakota – up 4.6 percent
Nevada – up 3.6 percent
Texas  – up 3.3 percent
Utah – up 3.1 percent
Florida – up 2.9 percent
Oregon – up 2.8 percent
Colorado – up 2.7 percent
Delaware – up 2.5 percent
California – up 2.2 percent (tie)
Washington – up 2.2 percent

Analysis:

The United States has added about 2.4 million jobs so far this year. The monthly average from January through September was 1.8-percent job growth nationwide. That pace is only slightly better than last year’s, when we saw an overall annual increase of 1.7 percent, so the recovery remains relatively slow.

On the state list, North Dakota has held the No. 1 spot every year since 2009, largely thanks to its oil and gas production. Nevada, Texas and Utah also topped 3-percent job growth this time, with Nevada’s economy receiving a big boost from building activity and impressive construction gains of more than 10 percent.

“Seven of the top 10 job-growth states so far this year are in the West,” says McPheters, director of the JPMorgan Chase Economic Outlook Center at the W. P. Carey School of Business. “Oregon and Delaware are new on the list this time, replacing Idaho and Arizona.”

Arizona actually fell out of the top 10 for the first time in two years. Even though it ranked No. 3 in health-care job growth and No. 5 in financial-activities job growth, the state has now dropped to No. 14 overall. Manufacturing, government and construction contributed to the decline.
The bottom 10 states so far this year are Michigan, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Maryland, Illinois, Vermont, Virginia, New Jersey, New Mexico and last-place Alaska.  Five of these states were also on the bottom in 2013: Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia, New Mexico and Alaska.

McPheters notes very high interest in state economic performance right now because 30 governors are up for reelection, including those in top-10 states Nevada, Florida, Oregon, Colorado and California, as well as bottom-10 states Michigan, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Illinois, Vermont, New Mexico and Alaska.

On the top 10 cities list, Orlando holds the No. 1 position with 3.7-percent job growth, double the national pace.

“Eight of the top large cities for job creation are in the West,” explains McPheters, “However, Florida also did well, with two cities on the list.”

Seven of the top 10 cities are clustered in Florida, Texas and California. They include Orlando, Miami, Houston, Dallas, San Francisco, San Diego and Riverside, Calif.

The greater Phoenix labor market dropped out of the top 10, as its rate of job growth slipped from 2.7 percent in 2013 to a more modest 2.2 percent during the first three quarters of this year. Phoenix is currently No. 12 among labor markets with 1 million or more workers.

Still, seven large labor markets have job creation below 1 percent: Chicago, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, northern Virginia and lastly, Detroit.

The full rankings and other job-growth data from McPheters can be found at the W. P. Carey School of Business “Job Growth USA” website: www.wpcarey.asu.edu/jobgrowth. Use the “year to date” function for the current 2014 numbers.

Entrepreneurs

SEED SPOT hires Director of Entrepreneur Initiatives

Phoenix-based SEED SPOT, one of six incubators in the country focused on social entrepreneurs in the fields of health, education, energy and environment, human and basic rights, civic engagement, and community impact, hired C’pher Gresham as its Director of Entrepreneur Initiatives.

In his new role at SEED SPOT, Gresham will be responsible for enhancing programs, strengthening recruitment efforts, supporting funding development and guiding overall program growth strategy.

Hailing from the nation’s capital, Gresham attended The George Washington University, graduating with a BA in Psychology, Pre-Medicine, and a minor in Fine Arts and Art History. In May 2014, C’pher received his MBA with Distinction from Thunderbird School for Global Management.

Professionally, Gresham has consulted with venture capital firms, hedge funds, and large institutional investors. Prior to Thunderbird, he worked at Razoo.com, a crowdfunding platform for nonprofits and social enterprises. He has presented to the Arizona Tech Council and the Thunderbird Business Accelerator on how to leverage crowdfunding for early-stage for-profit and non-profit companies. Having worked with several startups and entrepreneurs, Gresham’s passion is spurring innovation, disrupting the market, and helping entrepreneurs.

phoenix

Arizona economy rising, report shows

Phoenix and the broader Arizona economy are expanding again after an extremely difficult recession, although growth will be more modest than the boom times of a decade ago, according to a report released today by BMO Economics.

The labor market is a bright spot, with the city remaining consistent in its job growth performance.  “The city has been a consistent job growth outperformer so far during the recovery and, after a soft patch earlier in the year, growth has accelerated again,” said Robert Kavcic, Senior Economist, BMO Capital Markets.  “If the recent growth clip persists – and we believe that it should – the Phoenix economy should be able to add roughly 85,000 new jobs by the end of 2016.”

“It’s encouraging that the economic health of Arizona, and Phoenix in particular, continues to improve,” said Steve Zandpour, newly-appointed Arizona Regional President, BMO Harris Bank. “It’s nice to see construction activity again. Projects that had been on hold for quite a while have broken ground, adding another positive stimulus to the community.”

The Valley’s economic diversity will help it continue to recover at a solid pace.  “Phoenix boasts a diverse economy with exposure to a wide range of industries in high-tech manufacturing, construction, finance and professional services,” stated Kavcic. “Of the 250,000 jobs lost during the recession, nearly three-quarters of them have recovered.”

The finance and insurance sector employs more than 125,000 people – a record high, in the city.  The fast-growing biotechnology sector also has a strong presence in the region, with two new structures recently approved at the Phoenix Biomedical Campus, including a $136 million investment by the University of Arizona.

On the housing side, the foreclosure rate across Arizona has tumbled to below 1 percent – now among the lowest in America – while higher home prices have reduced the share of mortgages in a negative equity position.  “Fundamentals support a continued, albeit more modest, housing market recovery in the city,” said Mr. Kavcic.

To view a full copy of the report, visit www.bmocm.com/economics.

housing.prices

Could Looser Lending Standards Boost Phoenix Market?

Will banks start to drop their standards and let people with slightly lower credit scores and much lower down payments buy homes? That’s the big question, after the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and other agencies voted to approve new, looser lending rules this week. A well-known expert from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University says if the change happens, and the adjustments are reasonable, then it could be good for the Phoenix-area housing market, stimulating growth.

Here are the highlights of the school’s monthly housing-market report on Maricopa and Pinal counties, as of August:

• The median single-family-home sales price went up 11 percent from last August, but that’s largely just due to having fewer sales clustered at the bottom end of the market.
• Both supply and demand in the market remain relatively low.
• Lenders have been reluctant to expand the number of people eligible for home loans, which is helping to stunt market growth.

After the housing crash, the Phoenix area had a fast boost in home prices from September 2011 to last summer. This year, prices leveled off and then rose somewhat. The median single-family-home price went up 11 percent – from $192,000 to $213,500 — from last August to this August. The average price per square foot jumped 7 percent. The median townhouse/condominium price went up 10 percent. However, the report’s author explains the median gains are not reflective of higher home values across the board.

“The median went up largely just because we saw a big drop in sales clustered at the low end of the market,” explains Mike Orr, director of the Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice at the W. P. Carey School of Business. “The average price per square foot actually dropped last month. I expect prices to move sideways to slightly down over the next few months until supply and demand get back into balance.”

Both supply and demand are relatively low in the Phoenix-area housing market right now. Single-family-home sales activity dropped 15 percent from last August to this August. Investor interest, in particular, has dramatically fallen over the last year. The percentage of homes bought by investors in August was 14.4 percent, way down from the peak of 39.7 percent in July 2012. There aren’t a lot of cheap “distressed” homes to buy, with completed Phoenix-area foreclosures down 43 percent from last August to this August.

“Better bargains for investors can be found in other parts of the country,” says Orr. “Over the last three months, the percentages of homes bought by investors have been lower than we have seen for many years, confirming investors are no longer driving the market the way they did between early 2009 and mid-2013.”

Rental homes remain popular for those who don’t want to buy a house or who can’t qualify for a home loan. Fast turnover and low vacancy rates have already pushed rents up 5.8 percent over the last year in the Phoenix area.

Meantime, we’re seeing a lot of speculation about whether banks will lower their standards and start letting people with good – but not great – credit scores qualify for home loans. Also, conventional loan down payments could be dropped from 10 percent to as little as 3 percent. The chairman of the Federal Housing Finance Agency spoke in Las Vegas this week and indicated that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would likely still purchase and retain those loans, if the banks make them.

“Right now, funds are flowing only to a small proportion of potential buyers, who have excellent credit, which is contributing to weaker-than-normal demand for homes to purchase,” explains Orr. “Lenders are reluctant to take any unusual risks in an environment when Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac might take negative, profit-damaging action against the banks on loans sold to them. It appears it will take a major move by Fannie and Freddie to limit those risks before mortgage availability can get back to a normal level and support the next stage in the housing recovery.”

Orr adds, “Banks have to walk the line on their lending standards. They went from the porridge being too hot (standards too lax) to the porridge being too cold (standards too tight). It’s still a while until we get to ‘just right,’ but striking the right balance could move the Phoenix-area housing market toward more sales and more demand.”

Those wanting more Phoenix-area housing data can subscribe to Orr’s monthly reports at www.wpcarey.asu.edu/realtyreports. The premium site includes statistics, charts, graphs and the ability to focus in on specific aspects of the market. More analysis is also available at the W. P. Carey School of Business “Research and Ideas” website at http://research.wpcarey.asu.edu.

land

Big Deals: Land, June 2014 – July 2014

azre_big_dealsThere’s no such thing as a “small” deal in this industry, coming out of a recession. However, it’s the big deals, and the brokers who make them, that make the market an interesting one to watch. In every issue, AZRE publishes the top five notable sales and leases for a period of 60 days (one month out from publication) based on research compiled by Cassidy Turley and Colliers International with CoStar.

Top 5 Notable Sales (June 1, 2014 to July 31, 2014) Source: Cassidy Turley Research Department, Colliers International and CoStar.

Land Sales

1. Lincoln Road and 56th Street, Paradise Valley
12 acres; $38.7M
BUYER: Cullum Homes
SELLER: Crown Realty & Development, Inc.
Listing BrokerAGE: Nathan & Associates

2. Signal Butte and Guadalupe, Mesa
128.76 acres; $21,623,412
BUYER: Blandford Homes
SELLER: Jerry Ivy Trust

3. N. 130th Ave., Surprise
160 acres; $14,065,413
BUYER: Vistancia West Construction LP
SELLER: TNT Boys LLC
Listing Brokerage: TNT Boys LLC

4. 1350 N. Priest Dr. — Rhythm Subdivision, Chandler
29.20 acres; $11,275,290
BUYER: Mattamy Homes
SELLER: Property Reserve, Inc.
Listing Brokerage: Property Reserve, Inc.

5. 708 S. Lindon Ln., Tempe
14.60 acres; $8.75M
BUYER: Capstone Properties Corp.
SELLER: Cook Native America Ministries
Listing Brokerage: Berkadia

Pecan-Promenade

Big Deals: Retail, June 2014 – July 2014

azre_big_dealsThere’s no such thing as a “small” deal in this industry, coming out of a recession. However, it’s the big deals, and the brokers who make them, that make the market an interesting one to watch. In every issue, AZRE publishes the top five notable sales and leases for a period of 60 days (one month out from publication) based on research compiled by Cassidy Turley and Colliers International with CoStar.

Top 5 Notable Leases and Sales (June 1, 2014 to July 31, 2014) Source: Cassidy Turley Research Department, Colliers International and CoStar.

Retail Sales

1. Pecan Promenade, Tolleson
132,587 SF; $19M
BUYER: CIRE Equity
SELLER: Tate Capital Real Estate Solutions, LLC

2. Chandler Heights Village, Gilbert
50,763 SF; $12.65M
BUYER: West Valley Properties, Inc.
SELLER: Dr. Bradley A. Tinker
Listing Brokerage: Phoenix Commercial Advisors

3. South Mountain Crossing Shopping, Phoenix
132,314 SF; $11,172,825
BUYER: Lamar Companies
SELLER: Moreno Companies LLC
Listing Brokerage: Lee & Associates

4. The Shoppes at Highlands Village, Mesa
87,486 SF; $10.5M
BUYER: Glenwood Development Company, LLC
SELLER: Donahue Schriber Realty Group
Listing Brokerage: Cassidy Turley

5. Greenfield Gateway, Mesa
70,699 SF; $7,975,000
BUYER: Oakpoint Advisors
SELLER: Starwood Capital Group
Listing BrokerageS: CBRE/Colliers International

Retail Leases

Camelback Colonnade, Phoenix

Camelback Colonnade, Phoenix


1. Camelback Colonnade, Phoenix
80,328 SF
Landlord: The Macerich Company
Tenant: Food & Decor
Landlord Brokers: Mike Kallner, RED Development, LLC

2. Peoria Town Center, Glendale
56,875 SF
Landlord: SNS Investments
Tenant: State Trailer RV & Outdoor Supply
Landlord BrokerAGE: Rein & Grossoehme

3. The Village at Sun Lakes, Chandler
27,600 SF
Landlord: Arizona Partners Retail Investment Group
Tenant: Goodwill
Landlord BrokerAGE: Arizona Partners Retail Investment Group
TENANT BrokerAGE: Velocity Retail

4. Camelback Plaza, Phoenix
24KSF
Landlord: SAFCO Capital Corp.
Tenant: V&V Event Hall
Landlord BrokerAGE: ZELL Commercial Real Estate Services, Inc.
TENANT BrokerAGE: ZELL Commercial Real Estate Services, Inc.

5. Shea Scottsdale East, Scottsdale
22,450 SF
Landlord: Karlin Real Estate
Tenant: LA Fitness
Landlord BrokerAGE: Arizona Partners Retail Investment Group
TENANT BrokerAGE: Diversified Partners