Tag Archives: phoenix

bioscience

TGen's Zenhausern is named an NAI fellow

Dr. Frederic Zenhausern, a Professor at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) and developer of a rapid DNA processor, has been named to the Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI).

Zenhausern, Ph.D., MBA, will be inducted into the NAI Fellows by Deputy U.S. Commissioner for Patents Andy Faile, from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, during the 3rd Annual Conference of the National Academy of Inventors, March 7, 2014, in Alexandria, Va.  Fellows will be presented with a special trophy and a rosette pin.

Zenhausern also is a Professor and Director of the Center for Applied Nanobioscience and Medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix. The center uniquely applies a combination of advances in nanoscience, microelectromechanical systems, molecular biology, and genomics to a new generation of biological tools and sensors based on nano and microscale technologies.

Applying interdisciplinary science approaches to medicine, Zenhausern’s work is aimed at early diagnostics of human diseases, in particular, integrating bioassay chemistries with several biomarkers and targets developed by researchers at TGen.. Over the years, his team has collaborated on multiple projects at TGen for designing bioanalytical  platform technologies to translate molecular analysis into clinical tools and, ultimately, promoting adoption of novel technologies for point-of-care diagnostics applications.

The Microfluidic DNA Analysis System (MiDAS), a desktop printer-sized box that is described as robust and user-friendly, is one of Zenhausern’s innovations. The integrated DNA analyzer can be transported directly to a point-of-care or deployed in a mobile setting, eliminating some of the issues that arise when collecting and shipping a specimen from a remote site to a centralized laboratory for molecular testing. The core technology is also enabling the rapid automation of preparation of a biological sample for interfacing with various high-resolution analytical instrumentations, such as Next Generation Sequencing. These emerging diagnostic tools in personalized medicine are being used the team of clinicians at TGen Clinical Translational Research Division.

A similar platform was configured for genomic assays ready for implementations in medical countermeasures against radiological and nuclear disasters, and also applicable in clinical settings for predicting which patients are most sensitive to radiation in guiding personalized treatment, and preventing the development of toxicities that may result from radiotherapy. These innovations are described in multiple patents with TGen co-inventors, which led to significant federal funding of Arizona academic institutions, and to generating commercial interest and licensing from multiple U.S. companies, also contributing to Arizona’s economic development.

Zenhausern has co-authored more than 70 scientific publications and is named on many pending and more than a dozen issued U.S. patents in various domains ranging from DNA sequencing to optical data storage. Zenhausern’s responsibilities also include leading clinical research at the personalized medicine research laboratory at Scottsdale Healthcare Research Institute and serving on several corporate scientific boards and international consortia in life sciences.

Election to NAI Fellow status is a high professional distinction accorded to academic inventors who have demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development, and the welfare of society.

The 143 innovators elected to NAI Fellow status represent 94 universities and governmental and non-profit research institutes.  Together, they hold more than 5,600 U.S. patents.

Included in the 2013 class are 26 presidents and senior leadership of research universities and non-profit research institutes, 69 members of the National Academies, five inductees of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, six recipients of the U.S. National Medal of Technology and Innovation, and nine Nobel Laureates among other major awards and distinctions.

Academic inventors and innovators elected to the rank of NAI Fellow were nominated by their peers for outstanding contributions to innovation in areas such as patents and licensing, innovative discovery and technology, significant impact on society, and support and enhancement of innovation.

bioscience

TGen’s Zenhausern is named an NAI fellow

Dr. Frederic Zenhausern, a Professor at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) and developer of a rapid DNA processor, has been named to the Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI).

Zenhausern, Ph.D., MBA, will be inducted into the NAI Fellows by Deputy U.S. Commissioner for Patents Andy Faile, from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, during the 3rd Annual Conference of the National Academy of Inventors, March 7, 2014, in Alexandria, Va.  Fellows will be presented with a special trophy and a rosette pin.

Zenhausern also is a Professor and Director of the Center for Applied Nanobioscience and Medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix. The center uniquely applies a combination of advances in nanoscience, microelectromechanical systems, molecular biology, and genomics to a new generation of biological tools and sensors based on nano and microscale technologies.

Applying interdisciplinary science approaches to medicine, Zenhausern’s work is aimed at early diagnostics of human diseases, in particular, integrating bioassay chemistries with several biomarkers and targets developed by researchers at TGen.. Over the years, his team has collaborated on multiple projects at TGen for designing bioanalytical  platform technologies to translate molecular analysis into clinical tools and, ultimately, promoting adoption of novel technologies for point-of-care diagnostics applications.

The Microfluidic DNA Analysis System (MiDAS), a desktop printer-sized box that is described as robust and user-friendly, is one of Zenhausern’s innovations. The integrated DNA analyzer can be transported directly to a point-of-care or deployed in a mobile setting, eliminating some of the issues that arise when collecting and shipping a specimen from a remote site to a centralized laboratory for molecular testing. The core technology is also enabling the rapid automation of preparation of a biological sample for interfacing with various high-resolution analytical instrumentations, such as Next Generation Sequencing. These emerging diagnostic tools in personalized medicine are being used the team of clinicians at TGen Clinical Translational Research Division.

A similar platform was configured for genomic assays ready for implementations in medical countermeasures against radiological and nuclear disasters, and also applicable in clinical settings for predicting which patients are most sensitive to radiation in guiding personalized treatment, and preventing the development of toxicities that may result from radiotherapy. These innovations are described in multiple patents with TGen co-inventors, which led to significant federal funding of Arizona academic institutions, and to generating commercial interest and licensing from multiple U.S. companies, also contributing to Arizona’s economic development.

Zenhausern has co-authored more than 70 scientific publications and is named on many pending and more than a dozen issued U.S. patents in various domains ranging from DNA sequencing to optical data storage. Zenhausern’s responsibilities also include leading clinical research at the personalized medicine research laboratory at Scottsdale Healthcare Research Institute and serving on several corporate scientific boards and international consortia in life sciences.

Election to NAI Fellow status is a high professional distinction accorded to academic inventors who have demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development, and the welfare of society.

The 143 innovators elected to NAI Fellow status represent 94 universities and governmental and non-profit research institutes.  Together, they hold more than 5,600 U.S. patents.

Included in the 2013 class are 26 presidents and senior leadership of research universities and non-profit research institutes, 69 members of the National Academies, five inductees of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, six recipients of the U.S. National Medal of Technology and Innovation, and nine Nobel Laureates among other major awards and distinctions.

Academic inventors and innovators elected to the rank of NAI Fellow were nominated by their peers for outstanding contributions to innovation in areas such as patents and licensing, innovative discovery and technology, significant impact on society, and support and enhancement of innovation.

law

Steptoe’s Office Expands with Three New Lawyers

Steptoe & Johnson LLP announced the arrivals of three new lawyers in its Phoenix office.  All three have joined the firm as associates.

Erin Norris Bass, a 2011 summer associate at Steptoe, has rejoined the firm after clerking for Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Rebecca White Berch.  Ms. Bass received her law degree, summa cum laude, from the University of Arizona in 2012, where she was elected to Order of the Coif and was the research editor and marketing manager for the Arizona Law Review.  She is a 2009 cum laude graduate of Arizona State University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a focus on public relations.

Quintin Cushner has joined the firm’s Commercial Litigation and White-Collar Criminal Defense Groups.  He will focus on civil litigation, criminal law, and Native American law.  Mr. Cushner clerked for the Honorable Stephen M. McNamee of the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona from 2010-2011.  He earned his J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Arizona in 2009, where he was elected to Order of the Coif and served as managing editor of the Arizona Law Review.  He received a B.A. in history from Oberlin College in 2001.

Kate Frenzinger has joined the firm’s ERISA, Labor & Employment Group.  Ms. Frenzinger was named Outstanding Young Lawyer of the Year in 2012 by the State Bar of Arizona’s Young Lawyers Division, and was named to Southwest Super Lawyers Rising Star’s list in 2012 and 2013.  She was awarded a J.D. from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles in 2004, where she was elected to Order of the Coif and served as chief copy editor of the Loyola of Los Angeles International and Comparative Law Review.  She received a B.A. in art history from UCLA in 1999.

The associates’ arrivals follow that of former U.S. Attorney Paul Charlton, who joined Steptoe’s Phoenix office in November as a partner.  Mr. Charlton practices in the firm’s Commercial Litigation and White-Collar Criminal Defense Groups.

startup

Getting an angel to open the checkbook

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

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

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

Planting the seeds

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

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

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

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

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

Locally grown

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

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

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

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

Bringing ideas to market

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

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

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

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

Gaining visibility

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

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

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

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

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

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

Support from cities

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

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

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

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

Getting capital

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

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

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

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

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

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

Screen shot 2013-11-26 at 8.42.22 AM

Patience pays off for Tortas Paquime

Restaurants often use the word organic to describe their fresh food, but at Tortas Paquime, organic can also refer to the restaurant’s rapid growth in the valley over the last 11 years.

Tortas Paquime is a locally owned Mexican restaurant with five locations based in the busy Phoenix and west valley markets that are loaded with places for quick Hispanic-based foods. Despite the difficult Phoenix area, the restaurant has found success in the area with patience in a down economy and a distinct menu that focuses on maintaining Mexican authenticity.

“It’s not a menu that you find anywhere else,” said Omar Alvarez, president of Tortas Paquime. Alvarez said that the food on the menu stands apart due in large part to its origins from Mexican culture in Chihuahua and Juarez. “A lot of the things that we have are things that we used to eat at our house with our mom,” he said, referring to his own history growing up in Casas Grandes, Chihuahua in northern Mexico.

Alvarez said that he had no experience working with food and restaurants after moving to Phoenix 12 years ago with his family, but he chose to open a small restaurant with just three common items he ate in Mexico: The Torta Paquime, Tostada Paquime and a ham wrap. “Then we adapted into more products that are very typical and are very products that I used to eat when I was a kid, things that I like,” said Alvarez.

Despite a growth in the food that was served, Alvarez said the company wanted to continue the Mexican authenticity rather than serving Americanized products using heavy condiments and sides that are not general parts of Mexican culture.

Zach Plumb is a first-time customer of Tortas Paquime and he said that he enjoyed the food despite having no experience with products from that region of Mexico. “I thought it was different, but still very good,” said Plumb, adding that the clean and casual feel was more inviting than other restaurants in the area.

“The tortas in Chihuahua are a lot different from the tortas in Sonora and they captured the differences and the authenticities in a true Chihuahuan torta,” said Danny Honea, a Tortas Paquime customer. Honea said he has a lot of experience with eating this kind of food in Mexico and that the restaurant did well to completely bring the culture to Phoenix.

Faithful Mexican tastes were important, but Tortas Paquime may not have survived without patience for development in the crowded Phoenix area.

“I like to grow organically,” said Alvarez, referring to the plan of patience with the business and to take opportunities for growth only when they were available. “Let’s not rush things, lets take things as they come.”

Alvarez said that this business model was sometimes difficult when being pressed to expand to different locations and markets rather than choosing to wait for natural chances to appear. “We had the ability to grow a lot faster, and we haven’t done it,” said Alvarez.

This patience was possibly most difficult in the recent economic recession that endangered numerous locally owned businesses. “By the time it was down we were fortunate and we were still growing,” said Alvarez. He added that the company then used the changing market to gain new customers, focusing advertising to second and third generation Hispanics and modifying the menu to include customer favorites like tacos and salads.

These new markets have led to plans for expansion in the future to join Tortas Paquime catering and a Paquime style of street food for fast eating. According to Alvarez, the company has eyes set on possible enfranchisement and opening restaurants outside of Arizona. Alvarez reiterated that these plans are only feasible if the company can continue to naturally grow, although they are currently heading in the right direction for a big move in the future.

Commercial Photography

Top litigation attorney launches mediation practice

Paul Roshka, a commercial and securities litigator and founding member of Roshka DeWulf & Patten in Phoenix, has opened a mediation practice focusing on securities and general business matters.

During a career spanning four decades, Roshka has earned a reputation as a top attorney in Arizona. In addition to his work as a litigator, he has represented parties in nearly 200 mediations including disciplinary matters before the Arizona Corporation Commission and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority in Arizona, Utah, Florida and California. Cases have alleged securities fraud, unsuitable investment recommendations, supervisory deficiencies, churning, breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duties.

“I am truly passionate about resolving disputes through mediation, and often recommend mediation above litigation,” said Roshka. “It is my experience that mediation is an effective method of reconciling issues, no matter how difficult. Plus, it’s considerably faster and less expensive. Both parties have a say in the outcome, and both are spared the courtroom.”

Roshka earned his undergraduate degree from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, and his Juris Doctorate from the University of Connecticut School of Law. He also has attended mediator training at the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University School of Law.

Roshka is consistently recognized for his legal expertise by Super Lawyers, Arizona’s Finest Lawyers and The Best Lawyers in America®, and he has carried an AV Preeminent Rating from Martindale-Hubbell for 20 years.

To learn more about Roshka and firm services, visit www.rdp-law.com.

microchip technology

Phoenix Joins Initiative to Promote Global Trade

The Greater Phoenix Economic Council announced the region has been selected as one of eight metro areas in the country to join a new exchange network created by the Global Cities Initiative, a joint project of Brookings and JPMorgan Chase. The Exchange is a network of metropolitan areas committed to promoting greater global trade and economic competitiveness. As part of the inaugural Exchange, Greater Phoenix will be required to design and implement a regional export plan in 2014.

In Greater Phoenix, the Global Cities Initiative will be led City of Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton and a core leadership team including the following representatives:

> Joe Stewart, market manager – AZ & NV Middle Market, Chase
> Dennis Hoffman, professor and director, L. William Seidman Research Institute at the
W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University
> Barry Broome, president and CEO Greater Phoenix Economic Council

“A strong trade and export strategy is critical to our region’s economic vitality, so I’m honored to lead this initiative for Greater Phoenix,” Mayor Stanton said. “I look forward to working with my fellow mayors and business and community leaders to build a regional export plan that capitalizes on our unique assets and advances a stronger and healthier economic platform by expanding our global trade and investment strategies.”

Other participating groups include the Arizona Export District Council, Canada-Arizona Business Council, Intel and the Arizona Commerce Authority.

Brookings selected metropolitan areas to join the network after an extensive application process that evaluated regions’ readiness and capability to pursue the Exchange’s curriculum and commitment to fulfill its goals. Greater Phoenix joins Atlanta; Greenville, S.C.; Indianapolis; Jacksonville, Fla.; Milwaukee; Phoenix; Sacramento, Calif.; and Wichita, Kan., in the Exchange’s inaugural class, which will work together over the next four years to establish new metro-to-metro relationships and to share best practices in global economic development.

“For the Exchange, we selected metro areas that are committed to expanding their global economic reach by working together to identify regional competitive strengths and increase exports,” said Brad McDearman, Brookings fellow. “The eight metro areas selected for this round represent a growing group of U.S. metro areas that understand the need to embrace the global market to remain competitive in the 21st century economy.”

Over time, the network will expand to include additional U.S. and international cities working together to strengthen their local economies through increased engagement with the rest of the world. This builds on the Global Cities Initiative’s work, which equips metropolitan leaders with the information, policy ideas, and global connections they need to bolster their regions’ positions in the global economy.

“I’m delighted Greater Phoenix will be a part of this new network – it’s exactly the kind of innovative planning that is needed to ensure our community’s long-term economic success,” said Joe Stewart, market manager – AZ & NV Middle Market, Chase. “We have a long history of helping businesses connect to global markets and now the Exchange brings additional resources to help our region’s leaders design strategies to further create jobs and grow our economy through greater global engagement.”

The Global Cities Initiative supports the region’s existing efforts to implement the Brookings Metropolitan Business Plan (MBP), where business, university, political and civic leaders have adopted several core strategies to leverage  the region’s assets in a way that secures economic strength for Greater Phoenix through the 21st century. The Global Cities Initiative will serve to fulfill the MBP’s global export and foreign direct investment strategy. Further details about the MBP will be announced in early 2014.

“It’s fantastic that Greater Phoenix is participating in this initiative – a reflection of our unified commitment to attract and retain export-based businesses that are ultimately responsible for regional economic growth and prosperity,” said Dennis Hoffman, professor and director, L. William Seidman Research Institute at the W. P. Carey School of Business at ASU. “A strong research university is an important attractor for businesses seeking talent and knowledge capital that can help them succeed in global markets, and I am pleased to represent ASU in this initiative.”

Metro area leaders play a critical role in promoting trade and developing infrastructure. Regional economic development leaders representing both the public and private sectors can help local firms access new markets and align existing export services because they know their regions best. These leaders are also best equipped to coordinate regional assets—such as skills training, innovation capacities, and freight and logistics—to better support global trade.

“In Greater Phoenix, we are already making exports and foreign direct investment a central and consistent part of our broader regional economic development strategy. Adding this partnership with the Global Cities Initiative will only strengthen our results,” said Barry Broome, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council. “I look forward to the collaboration involved – not only within our own regional leadership but also with the other participating metro areas – to advance and diversify our region’s economy and solidify our future prosperity.”

In December, the Greater Phoenix Exchange team will join those of the other accepted metropolitan areas at Brookings in Washington to participate in their first working group session, where they will learn how to develop an export plan as part of a global economic development strategy. Throughout the four-year Exchange, participating metros will periodically convene for in-person working groups and will continually engage in curriculum via conference calls and webinars.

Coinciding with the work of the Exchange, Greater Phoenix will host a forum in 2014, bringing together regional and national experts on trade. Greater Phoenix is the only metro participating in the Global Cities Initiative to host such a forum. Its proximity to Mexico and trade relationships position the region as the ideal host of a conversation on global trade and exports.

diversity

Quarles & Brady Earns Inclusive Workplace Award

The national law firm of Quarles & Brady LLP announced that the firm’s Phoenix and Tucson offices received the Inclusive Workplace Leader Award for a medium-size company from Diversity Leadership Alliance (DLA) at their Annual Conference on Friday, November 1.

The DLA award is designed to recognize companies that are leaders in the area of Diversity & Inclusion and model the mission of DLA. In particular, they create an environment where individuals are treated and respected equally, and they are considered an “Inclusive Workplace Leader.”

“We’ve worked long and hard to create an environment in which any productive person can succeed,” says firm chair Kimberly Leach Johnson. “It’s satisfying to see that our efforts have not gone unnoticed, and the workplace we’ve created is its own reward as well.”

Quarles & Brady makes diversity a central component of its strategic plan. The firm is a recognized industry leader in mentoring and developing outstanding diverse attorneys, routinely ranking above average and among the best law firms for women and diverse attorneys. The firm has women and diverse attorneys heading four of the firm’s eight offices and offers family-friendly policies, informal training and other initiatives that promote a diverse workplace.

In addition, the firm’s Executive Committee appointed a Diversity & Inclusion Committee that consists of representatives from offices across the country and includes partners, associates and staff to ensure that diversity is a part of the organization. The firm also created the position of Director of Employee Relations, Diversity and Corporate Social Responsibility, held by Darlene M. Austin, to provide firm leadership on diversity efforts.

diversity

Quarles & Brady Earns Inclusive Workplace Award

The national law firm of Quarles & Brady LLP announced that the firm’s Phoenix and Tucson offices received the Inclusive Workplace Leader Award for a medium-size company from Diversity Leadership Alliance (DLA) at their Annual Conference on Friday, November 1.

The DLA award is designed to recognize companies that are leaders in the area of Diversity & Inclusion and model the mission of DLA. In particular, they create an environment where individuals are treated and respected equally, and they are considered an “Inclusive Workplace Leader.”

“We’ve worked long and hard to create an environment in which any productive person can succeed,” says firm chair Kimberly Leach Johnson. “It’s satisfying to see that our efforts have not gone unnoticed, and the workplace we’ve created is its own reward as well.”

Quarles & Brady makes diversity a central component of its strategic plan. The firm is a recognized industry leader in mentoring and developing outstanding diverse attorneys, routinely ranking above average and among the best law firms for women and diverse attorneys. The firm has women and diverse attorneys heading four of the firm’s eight offices and offers family-friendly policies, informal training and other initiatives that promote a diverse workplace.

In addition, the firm’s Executive Committee appointed a Diversity & Inclusion Committee that consists of representatives from offices across the country and includes partners, associates and staff to ensure that diversity is a part of the organization. The firm also created the position of Director of Employee Relations, Diversity and Corporate Social Responsibility, held by Darlene M. Austin, to provide firm leadership on diversity efforts.

Tailoring Jobs

Wells Fargo Supports Neighborhood Revitalization

Wells Fargo & Company announced it will donate $75,000 to Native American Connections (NAC) of Phoenix as part of a $6 million in grants awarded across 67 nonprofits through its 2013 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.

“Wells Fargo is bringing much needed support to enable these nonprofits to help stabilize and revitalize local communities,” said Michael Riley, Metro West area president for Wells Fargo Arizona. “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.”

Native American Connections, 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.

“Native American Connections first partnered with Wells Fargo in 2004 for our very first Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) development,” said Diana Yazzie Devine, NAC chief executive officer. “The experience helped us grow our capacity to develop high quality, affordable housing serving a range of our client’s needs throughout central Phoenix.  Wells Fargo supports NAC’s strategies of building along Phoenix’s new light rail system, selecting difficult urban infill sites that increase density, reduce parking, building green, and embracing our mission of ensuring our residents have access to much-needed support systems and employment. We would like to thank Wells Fargo for their years of continued support and we look forward to our work together in the future.”

Native American Connections will use the grant funds to make additional energy efficiency improvements to Urban Living on 2nd (UL2), and to further reduce building operating costs and individual unit energy costs.  UL2, opening January 2014, is a 70-unit LIHTC development offering affordable housing along the light rail line at 650 North 2nd Avenue in Phoenix.  Wells Fargo provided construction financing for the project.
Wells Fargo’s Leading the Way Home® community outreach program helps communities stabilize their current housing situation while advancing homeownership to build strong communities into the future. Since 2009, the Leading the Way Priority Markets Initiative grant program, funded through the Wells Fargo Housing Foundation, has provided more than $25 million to nearly 100 communities.

The Leading the Way Home Program Priority Markets Initiatives are administered through the Wells Fargo Housing Foundation. Since 1993, the Wells Fargo Housing Foundation has invested more than $284 million in support of affordable housing and community revitalization programs, and delivered 4.7 million in volunteer hours to build or rehabilitate more than 5,000 homes.

School District

Charter School Founder Awarded Global Business Award

Arizona Charter Schools announced that its founder, Raena Janes, was honored with the bronze Stevie Award for Women in Business, for female Entrepreneur of the Year in consumer services for businesses with up to 2,500 employees. The award was announced Nov. 8 in New York City.

Established in 2002, the Stevie Awards mark achievement throughout the world of business. The Women in Business Awards are the world’s premier awards for women executives, entrepreneurs, and the organizations they run. Like the Olympics, the awards given are gold, silver and bronze.

The bronze Stevie is the latest award for Janes, 40, who is founder and director of seven Arizona charter schools: La Paloma Academy, with three Tucson campuses; Heritage Elementary School in Glendale and Williams; and Liberty Traditional Charter School in Phoenix and Douglas.

The award recognizes Janes as an entrepreneur, managing seven schools in five cities, maintaining three charters amid a high failure rate for charter schools in the state, and mentoring staff for consistent culture and quality amid fast expansion.

An active advocate for Arizona education for more than a decade, Janes’ schools balance an academic foundation with programs such as sports, arts and music that are increasingly affected by public school budget cuts. The character-based curriculum ensures that students at Janes’ schools learn the importance of character traits such as trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship. Proactive, long-term bullying prevention programs were introduced in some of the schools this year.

Each of Janes’ charter schools also incorporates community service.  An active member in several non-profit community organizations, such as Angel Charity for Children, Junior League of Tucson, the National Association for the Education of Young Children, Habitat for Humanity, Red Cross and the Advisory Council for the Arizona Charter School Association, Janes is a strong believer in bringing community service projects to Arizona’s youths.

law.courts

Phoenix attorney designated advocate for NITA

The national law firm of Quarles & Brady LLP announced that Phoenix attorney John Craiger has been designated as an advocate for the National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA), which is nation’s leading provider of legal advocacy skills training. A 501(c)(3), organization NITA pioneered the legal skills learning-by-doing methodology more than 40 years ago and has since remained the ultimate standard in continuing legal education.

The NITA Advocate designation is awarded to a person who has taken a well-rounded set of courses that prove they are serious about trial advocacy.  This designation requires a person to complete a Building Trial Skills, Deposition Skills and a Specialty program, respectively.

Craiger has practiced in the area of commercial litigation and creditors’ rights for more than 10 years. He is a Phoenix resident.

JCL Surgery

Partnership Creates New Valley Medical Resources

At a time when healthcare dominates the national news, Midwestern University in Glendale and John C. Lincoln Hospitals, Phoenix, are working together to augment local medical resources by creating a general surgery training program for osteopathic medical school graduates.

The new osteopathic general surgery residency program, accredited by the American Osteopathic Association, was jointly developed by Midwestern and John C. Lincoln. The program was approved for two residents to begin each year, for a total of 10 residents in the program.

Residents will be trained at both John C. Lincoln North Mountain Hospital, 250 East Dunlap, Phoenix, and John C. Lincoln Deer Valley Hospital, 19829 N. 27th Ave., Phoenix. John C. Lincoln Hospitals are not-for-profit acute care community medical centers that have been nationally recognized for their quality of patient care and medical technology.

“Midwestern University is committed to the development of quality postdoctoral residency programs in the State of Arizona and around the country,” said Kathleen H. Goeppinger, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Midwestern University. “Our mission is to provide our communities with well-trained physicians and other much-needed healthcare providers both now and in the future.”

“John C. Lincoln brings a vast array of surgical experience to this program,” noted Alicia Mangram, M.D., FACS, Medical Director of the Level 1 Trauma Services program at John C. Lincoln North Mountain Hospital and Program Director of the new General Surgery Residency Program. “We have 20 general surgeons who will be associated with the residency program with experience in trauma surgery, advanced laparoscopic, and robotic procedures.”

Projected physician shortages have made establishing new Arizona-based osteopathic surgical residency opportunities a top priority for Midwestern University’s Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine (AZCOM) and the University’s Osteopathic Postdoctoral Training Institute (MWU/OPTI). According to Midwestern statistics, 97 percent of Arizona-native AZCOM students who receive postdoctoral training in-state remain in Arizona to practice, reducing the state’s physician shortage.

Any graduate of an accredited osteopathic medical school may apply to participate in the surgical residency program, Dr. Mangram explained. Residents selected to participate in the program will complete training in basic general surgery, advanced laparoscopic, robotic, colorectal, trauma, surgical critical care, endoscopy, vascular, and cardiothoracic procedures. Training in burns and pediatrics will be provided offsite.

Downtown Law School Announces New Name

Phoenix School of Law, a private law school located in downtown Phoenix, is pleased to announce its new name:  Arizona Summit Law School. The new name highlights the ambition and drive of the students, faculty and staff at Arizona Summit Law School, collaborating to accomplish more, and ascend toward their personal “Summit.” This concept exemplifies the school’s mission of delivering student outcomes, preparing graduates for successful careers and improving diversity within the legal community.

The American Bar Association (ABA) accredited law school, which opened in January 2005, offers traditional and non-traditional law students the opportunity to succeed through its student-focused curriculum and highly engaged faculty.  The practice-ready curriculum equips graduates with the practical skills and ethical instruction, leadership, management and interpersonal skills necessary for career success. Arizona Summit Law School accommodates students’ diverse needs with options, including full-time and part-time day and evening classes; trimester schedule for graduation in two years; and individualized bar-pass instruction through learning diagnostics and mentoring; and experiential learning opportunities via externships, internships and clinics.

“We look beyond test scores by taking the time to get to know our students’ ambition and work ethic as factors to grant admission,” stated Arizona Summit Law School Dean Shirley Mays. “The new name highlights our commitment to the success of our students who come from diverse backgrounds and stages in life and provides a supportive academic environment where civic-minded leaders and community advocates are nurtured,” she added.

“A core value of our institution is the pursuit of continuous personal improvement, an attribute that we share with our students,” stated Scott Thompson, President of Arizona Summit Law School.  “When we began discussing a name change more than a year ago, alumni, faculty, staff and stakeholders agreed this differentiating characteristic should be incorporated into our name and brand identity,” he added.

The new name and identity were developed in collaboration with Off Madison Avenue, an Arizona-based marketing and branding agency, and Landor Associates, an Illinois-based naming agency. In addition to its new name, Arizona Summit Law School revealed its new logo, web site and advertising campaign.

SONY DSC

Binkley Opening Bink's Scottsdale in Late December

Chef Kevin Binkley announces plans for the opening of his fourth restaurant, Bink’s Scottsdale, at the Shops at Hilton Village, 6107 N. Scottsdale Road, Building C, Suite 110, in Scottsdale.

Chef Binkley looks forward to the opportunities of a central Scottsdale location, “I love that so many of our regular customers live in this area. We also have over 2,400 square feet of space, which allowed us to create a larger bar space to accommodate our customers. ”

Bink’s Scottsdale promises a fresh, organic look with a casual atmosphere. It will open its doors late 2013.

Bink’s Scottsdale will be open every day with brunch, lunch, happy hour, and dinner selections. Dishes will focus primarily on locally grown and harvested meats, fruits and vegetables. The restaurant will also provide a full bar with a regular wine list, as well as a reserve wine list.

Kevin, along with his wife, Amy Binkley, own and operate three award-winning restaurants including Binkley’s Restaurant in Cave Creek, Café Bink in Carefree, and Bink’s Midtown in Central Phoenix. Each restaurant sources and promotes seasonal fare in their menus.

A Valley food pioneer, Chef Kevin Binkley has received numerous accolades. Chef Binkley has been nominated every year since 2005 for the James Beard Award Best Chef of the Southwest. In 2013, the Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame awarded him the Lifetime Achievement award for his long-term excellence in the culinary industry.

Chef Kevin Binkley previously worked at the Inn at Little Washington, and with Chef Thomas Keller at the renowned French Laundry in Napa, California. His creative culinary process has earned national distinction since opening his own restaurants in Arizona.

Established in 2004, his first restaurant, Binkley’s, was named Best Restaurant by the Arizona Republic. Bink’s Midtown, established in 2013, was recently named Best New Restaurant by both Phoenix Magazine and Phoenix New Times. Bink’s Midtown also received the Best Happy Hour Award in Central Phoenix, for the 2013 Phoenix New Times awards.

SONY DSC

Binkley Opening Bink's Scottsdale in Late December

Chef Kevin Binkley announces plans for the opening of his fourth restaurant, Bink’s Scottsdale, at the Shops at Hilton Village, 6107 N. Scottsdale Road, Building C, Suite 110, in Scottsdale.

Chef Binkley looks forward to the opportunities of a central Scottsdale location, “I love that so many of our regular customers live in this area. We also have over 2,400 square feet of space, which allowed us to create a larger bar space to accommodate our customers.”

Bink’s Scottsdale promises a fresh, organic look with a casual atmosphere. It will open its doors late 2013.

Bink’s Scottsdale will be open every day with brunch, lunch, happy hour, and dinner selections. Dishes will focus primarily on locally grown and harvested meats, fruits and vegetables. The restaurant will also provide a full bar with a regular wine list, as well as a reserve wine list.

Kevin, along with his wife, Amy Binkley, own and operate three award-winning restaurants including Binkley’s Restaurant in Cave Creek, Café Bink in Carefree, and Bink’s Midtown in Central Phoenix. Each restaurant sources and promotes seasonal fare in their menus.

A Valley food pioneer, Chef Kevin Binkley has received numerous accolades. Chef Binkley has been nominated every year since 2005 for the James Beard Award Best Chef of the Southwest. In 2013, the Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame awarded him the Lifetime Achievement award for his long-term excellence in the culinary industry.

Chef Kevin Binkley previously worked at the Inn at Little Washington, and with Chef Thomas Keller at the renowned French Laundry in Napa, California. His creative culinary process has earned national distinction since opening his own restaurants in Arizona.

Established in 2004, his first restaurant, Binkley’s, was named Best Restaurant by the Arizona Republic. Bink’s Midtown, established in 2013, was recently named Best New Restaurant by both Phoenix Magazine and Phoenix New Times. Bink’s Midtown also received the Best Happy Hour Award in Central Phoenix, for the 2013 Phoenix New Times awards.

SONY DSC

Binkley Opening Bink’s Scottsdale in Late December

Chef Kevin Binkley announces plans for the opening of his fourth restaurant, Bink’s Scottsdale, at the Shops at Hilton Village, 6107 N. Scottsdale Road, Building C, Suite 110, in Scottsdale.

Chef Binkley looks forward to the opportunities of a central Scottsdale location, “I love that so many of our regular customers live in this area. We also have over 2,400 square feet of space, which allowed us to create a larger bar space to accommodate our customers.”

Bink’s Scottsdale promises a fresh, organic look with a casual atmosphere. It will open its doors late 2013.

Bink’s Scottsdale will be open every day with brunch, lunch, happy hour, and dinner selections. Dishes will focus primarily on locally grown and harvested meats, fruits and vegetables. The restaurant will also provide a full bar with a regular wine list, as well as a reserve wine list.

Kevin, along with his wife, Amy Binkley, own and operate three award-winning restaurants including Binkley’s Restaurant in Cave Creek, Café Bink in Carefree, and Bink’s Midtown in Central Phoenix. Each restaurant sources and promotes seasonal fare in their menus.

A Valley food pioneer, Chef Kevin Binkley has received numerous accolades. Chef Binkley has been nominated every year since 2005 for the James Beard Award Best Chef of the Southwest. In 2013, the Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame awarded him the Lifetime Achievement award for his long-term excellence in the culinary industry.

Chef Kevin Binkley previously worked at the Inn at Little Washington, and with Chef Thomas Keller at the renowned French Laundry in Napa, California. His creative culinary process has earned national distinction since opening his own restaurants in Arizona.

Established in 2004, his first restaurant, Binkley’s, was named Best Restaurant by the Arizona Republic. Bink’s Midtown, established in 2013, was recently named Best New Restaurant by both Phoenix Magazine and Phoenix New Times. Bink’s Midtown also received the Best Happy Hour Award in Central Phoenix, for the 2013 Phoenix New Times awards.

Bill Olson

Newland Hires Olson As Senior VP

Newland Real Estate Group has hired William “Bill” Olson as Senior Vice President and Division Manager with executive oversight of the Phoenix team, its 20,000-acre master-planned community of Estrella and recently added land to the west of the project. In this position, Olson will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of the community’s development, as well as building strategic partnerships to ensure its long term growth as a self-sustaining master-planned community. Estrella, located in Goodyear, has seen steady growth this year and is realizing resurgence in activity following the market downturn with new builder commitments and additional commercial services coming into the community.

Olson has more than 30 years of broad-based real estate industry experience in Phoenix and the Northwestern United States. Before joining Newland, Olson was Managing Director and Designated Broker for Hines Interests Limited Partnership, an international development firm.  He opened the Phoenix office for Hines in 1997 where he led the local team.  During his time with the organization, Olson established Hines’ Arizona presence and oversaw the land acquisition, master planning, entitlements, development, marketing/leasing and disposition of several Hines projects including the trophy-level LEED Platinum 24th at Camelback, a 10-acre mixed-use development. Prior leadership roles also include Vice President/Group Manager of The Rouse Company and Del Webb where he started his career in 1982.

“Bill’s fresh perspective and genuine, collaborative nature coupled with his years of experience will be a tremendous asset for Newland and Estrella,” said Daniel Van Epp, Executive Vice President with Newland Real Estate Group. “Bill is highly regarded in the industry and we are pleased to have him on-board.”

Olson’s impressive list of professional accreditations includes State of Arizona real estate broker, general contractors’ license, National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP) Board of Director’s member and membership in Urban Land Institute and the Institute of Real Estate Management, demonstrating a commitment to the real estate and building industries. As Senior Vice President and Division Manager, Olson is committed to enhancing and growing Estrella and Newland’s long-standing commitment to optimizing relationships and partnerships with existing and new homebuilders, the City of Goodyear and other diverse organizations to advance the economic strength of both Estrella, and the City of Goodyear.

“Estrella offers such a unique sense of arrival, and I couldn’t be happier to join the Newland team,” said Olson. “A 20,000-acre development, with this much diversity, has so much potential to help shape the West Valley and I’m excited to be a part of what lies ahead for  this great community and the City of Goodyear.”

A Michigan native, Olson moved to the Valley of the Sun in 1972 and is a graduate of Arizona State University. A family man and proud father, in his free time Olson is an avid athlete with a passion for running, hiking, skiing, golfing and a host of outdoor activities.  He also enjoys sculpting in marble, granite and various metals.

Located only 17 miles west of downtown Phoenix, Estrella is home to more than 12,000 residents ranging from young couples to retirees. Newland is currently in negotiations with several nationally recognized builders to bring another 345 lots to the market in 2014. Estrella offers its residents top-notch amenities and continues to work to enrich the community as more and more people choose to call Estrella home. To learn more go to www.estrella.com.

ballet

Lee Elected to Ballet Arizona's Board of Directors

Fennemore Craig, one of the largest law firms in the Southwest, announced that T. James Lee, a shareholder and director at Fennemore Craig in the firm’s Phoenix office, has been elected to the Board of Directors for Ballet Arizona.

Lee focuses his practice in the areas of estate planning, charitable giving, and business formation and structuring. He counsels clients on wealth transfer strategies, including the use of revocable trusts, irrevocable life insurance and gifting trusts, family limited partnerships and LLCs, qualified personal residence trusts, grantor retained annuity trusts, installment sales to grantor trusts, and other sophisticated planning techniques. Lee received his J.D. and his B.S. from Brigham Young University.

Ballet Arizona is an innovative and provocative professional ballet company that creates, performs, and teaches outstanding classical and contemporary ballet. The company is dedicated to preserving and celebrating classical dance while creating and commissioning new innovative works.

ballet

Lee Elected to Ballet Arizona’s Board of Directors

Fennemore Craig, one of the largest law firms in the Southwest, announced that T. James Lee, a shareholder and director at Fennemore Craig in the firm’s Phoenix office, has been elected to the Board of Directors for Ballet Arizona.

Lee focuses his practice in the areas of estate planning, charitable giving, and business formation and structuring. He counsels clients on wealth transfer strategies, including the use of revocable trusts, irrevocable life insurance and gifting trusts, family limited partnerships and LLCs, qualified personal residence trusts, grantor retained annuity trusts, installment sales to grantor trusts, and other sophisticated planning techniques. Lee received his J.D. and his B.S. from Brigham Young University.

Ballet Arizona is an innovative and provocative professional ballet company that creates, performs, and teaches outstanding classical and contemporary ballet. The company is dedicated to preserving and celebrating classical dance while creating and commissioning new innovative works.

Charlton, Paul - Phx - 300 DPI

Former U.S. Attorney Charlton Joins Steptoe

Steptoe & Johnson LLP announced that Paul Charlton, the former U.S. attorney for the District of Arizona, has joined the firm as a partner.  He will be based in the Phoenix office and will practice in Steptoe’s Commercial Litigation and White-Collar Criminal Defense Groups.

Mr. Charlton concentrates his practice on high-profile and complex litigation, internal investigations and white-collar criminal defense.  He has represented corporations and public officials, as well as provided special assistance to those who were subjects of a state or federal investigation.  Over the course of his career, Mr. Charlton has also developed an outstanding track record in the representation of Native American governments and tribal leaders.

A former federal prosecutor, Mr. Charlton was nominated by President Bush as U.S. attorney for Arizona in 2001 after serving as an assistant U.S. attorney for ten years.  During his six years of service as the U.S. attorney, Mr. Charlton established the Anti-Terrorism Advisory Council (ATAC), a program that improved communication and coordination between law enforcement agencies.  He also established a national security division within the U.S. Attorney’s Office to actively work with law enforcement agencies on terrorism related criminal cases, and expanded the victim advocate staff in his office to better serve crime victims.  In 2002, the U.S. Attorney’s Office Victim Witness Program was awarded the Federal Service Award.  In 2007, USA Today published an article that ranked Mr. Charlton number one among the nation’s 93 U.S. attorneys for prosecutions and convictions.

“Paul’s arrival represents an important addition to our Phoenix office, by continuing the growth of practices in Phoenix that have local, national and global reach,” said Bruce Converse, managing partner of Steptoe’s Phoenix office.  “Paul joins two recent exciting additions to our office, former Congressman John Shadegg and former chairman of the Arizona Corporation Commission and national FERC Commissioner Marc Spitzer.”

Steptoe Chair Roger Warin commented:  “We are delighted that Paul has joined us.  He has a strong and varied background in both civil and criminal investigation.  He can draw upon his experience as a federal prosecutor to advise companies that might be facing both criminal and civil exposure, as well as handle their large-scale internal investigations.  His addition also adds a top-shelf criminal defense attorney to our white-collar practice west of the Mississippi.”

Over the past 18 months, Steptoe’s white-collar practice has expanded its depth and reach with several key additions.  Earlier this year, it added Jason Weinstein, former deputy assistant attorney general of the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Criminal Division to the Washington office, and Patrick Rappo, the former joint head of Bribery and Corruption of the UK’s Serious Fraud Office to the London office.  In July 2012, it established a Midwest presence with Chris Niewoehner, a former assistant U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois who served as a lead trial attorney in the prosecution and conviction of former Governor Rod Blagojevich.  Also in 2012, Michelle Levin in the firm’s New York office was elected to the partnership.  With Mr. Charlton’s arrival, Steptoe’s white-collar practice, which was named a Law360 “White Collar Group of the Year” in 2011 and 2012, includes nine former federal prosecutors with extensive trial experience and a host of lawyers with substantial experience in other government positions.

“I am honored to be joining such a well-renowned firm with its talented roster of lawyers,” said Mr. Charlton.  “I am truly looking forward to working with my new colleagues, as well as using the national platform that Steptoe offers to expand my practice beyond Arizona.”

Fluent in Spanish, Mr. Charlton has been deployed by the DOJ on numerous occasions to provide instruction to Latin American prosecutors and judges on the American criminal justice system.  An adjunct professor at Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Mr. Charlton was named “Prosecutor of the Year” by the Arizona State Bar a year after leaving the U.S. Attorney’s Office.  He has been recommended by Chambers USA, Best Lawyers in America, and Southwest Super Lawyers, among other accolades.

Mr. Charlton received his B.A. and J.D. degrees from the University of Arizona.

prevention trial - brain scan images

ASU student ‘brains’ behind concussion tutorial

For decades, the devastating effects of repeated concussions on the health of professional athletes was a well-kept secret – until it exploded into a national controversy. As investigative journalists reported scientific evidence of the long-term impact of head injuries on NFL players, the focus soon shifted to high school athletes. How could we protect their health and safety?

Arizona was an early adopter of protection for high school athletes. In 2011, the state legislature passed a law requiring coaches to remove high school athletes from play if they even so much as suspect a concussion. The law requires that the athlete must obtain written clearance from a medical professional, like a physician or athletic trainer, in order to return to the sport.

State legislators also called for preventive measures that would make it mandatory for high school coaches, students and parents to complete concussion-education programs. To comply with the law, the Arizona Interscholastic Association deemed that every high school athlete in the state must complete Barrow Brainbook. This interactive, online training was developed in part by Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix.

But the real brains behind Barrow Brainbook belong to Arizona State University educational technology doctoral student Robert Christopherson.

“Over 180,000 high school athletes in the State of Arizona have benefitted from the knowledge of Robert Christopherson,” said Dr. Javier Cárdenas, neurologist and brain injury expert who is director of St. Joseph’s B.R.A.I.N.S. Clinic. “Robert’s expertise in educational technology is the primary reason Barrow Brainbook has not only successfully taught high school athletes about concussion dangers, but has become the most successful concussion education program in the country.”

When he began his research, Christopherson noticed immediately that most available concussion education programs targeted coaches and parents, but few addressed the athletes themselves. From the start, he said the directive from Cárdenas was empowering youth to assess the situation and be part of the decision-making process. Today, Barrow Brainbook remains the only concussion education program in the nation directed at high school athletes.

To engage the young athletes, Christopherson considered social media for two reasons. First, research showed that student behavior online and in classrooms was becoming increasingly similar. Second, it was important to deliver concussion instruction close to where the head injuries happen. Teaching the athletes on the football field was not an option, so the researcher had to come up with an equally effective venue.

“So we decided to make a pseudo-Facebook,” he explained. “We created an environment that looks like Facebook, has a lot of the same social network interactions and includes characters that represent those people who influence the athletes most – peers, role models including NFL players and college athletes, and doctors.”

housing.prices

Phoenix Housing Market Affected by Government Shutdown

The government shutdown may have dampened interest in buying Phoenix-area homes this fall. A new report from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University shows the latest data for Maricopa and Pinal counties, as of September:

* The median single-family-home price was up about 33 percent from last September, to $199,000.
* However, demand is waning, and that may be at least partly due to the recent government shutdown creating economic uncertainty.
* Meantime, housing supply continues to rise, with more people willing to put their homes on the market as prices go up.

Phoenix-area home prices have been rising since hitting a low point in September 2011. The median single-family-home price rose 32.7 percent — from $150,000 to $199,000 –from last September to this September. Realtors will note the average price per square foot went up 22 percent. The median townhouse/condo price went up 30 percent, to $117,000. However, the price gains are expected to slow down.

“Since the beginning of July, the Phoenix-area housing market has cooled dramatically,” 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. “The main change is a steep fall in demand, which we can see in the 12-percent drop in single-family-home sales activity just between August and September alone. Going forward, we anticipate a much slower rate of price appreciation than the furious pace we have witnessed over the last two years.”

Orr says the recent government shutdown may be at least partly to blame for the hard brakes on the housing market.

“The sudden weakness in owner-occupier demand since July is unusual and unexpected,” says Orr. “Poor consumer sentiment and concern over the government shutdown seem to have accelerated the decline. We also have no government information available yet on new-construction permits because of the shutdown.”

On the positive side, the number of available homes for sale continues to rise, after the area experienced a very tight supply for months. Active listings, not including those already under contract, went up 32 percent from Oct. 1 of last year to Oct. 1 of this year. More people appear willing to put their homes up for sale as prices rise.

“If the current trend continues, supply will exceed demand by the end of the year,” says Orr. “We now expect a balanced market to prevail during November. This is great news for buyers since they will experience less competition and be in a strong position to negotiate.”

The luxury market continues to perform well, thanks to the rising stock market and a big increase in the availability of jumbo loans. Sales of $500,000-plus, single-family homes grew an incredible 51 percent from September 2012 to September 2013.

However, cheap homes are tough to find, with fewer foreclosures coming onto the market. Foreclosure starts – owners receiving notice their lenders may foreclose in 90 days – dropped 61 percent from last September to this September. Completed foreclosures declined 63 percent. Orr expects foreclosures to keep falling over the next several years, thanks to tight underwriting standards.

Institutional investors and out-of-state buyers continue to lose interest in the Phoenix area, since better bargains can now be found elsewhere. The percentage of homes and condos bought by investors in September was down to 22.7 percent, from the peak of 39.7 percent in July 2012. Also, the percentage of Maricopa County residences sold to owners from outside Arizona was only 16.4 percent, the lowest percentage since January 2009.

Orr’s full report, including statistics, charts and a breakdown by different areas of the Valley, can be viewed and downloaded at www.wpcarey.asu.edu/realtyreports. A podcast with more analysis from Orr is also available from knowWPCarey, the business school’s online resource and newsletter, at http://knowwpcarey.com/index.cfm?cid=13.

social media day

Gigya brings 200 jobs with Arizona expansion

A California firm that helps companies connect with customers through social media says it has opened a Phoenix office and plans to hire more than 200 employees within three years.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer touted Tuesday’s announcement by Mountain View, Calif.-based Gigya as the latest sign that her efforts to cut business tax rates and regulations is drawing new companies to the state.

Gigya CEO Patrick Salyer says the fast air access between Phoenix and the Silicon Valley, ease of setting up shop and available trained workforce made Phoenix the company’s top choice. The company will receive $450,000 for training from the Arizona Commerce Authority.

Salyer says the company has begun hiring and expects to have 50 sales, account and client management employees here by the end of the year.