Tag Archives: phoenix

phoenix_housing_2909512_l

Phoenix Housing Shortage Coming?

The Phoenix area could soon see another shortage of homes for sale, like the one it endured from 2012 to 2013. According to a new report from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, very weak demand is masking the fact that relatively few homes are coming onto the market for sale. The area only recently emerged from another shortage, when buyers had to battle each other for relatively few home options.

Here are the latest details about Maricopa and Pinal counties, as of May:

* The median single-family-home sales price was $205,000, almost unchanged for three months in a row.
* Activity in the market is extremely slow, with demand down around 20 percent from last May.
* This quietness is covering up the fact that the market’s supply of homes for sale has stabilized at about 10 percent below normal, which could lead to another shortage, if demand eventually picks up.

Phoenix-area home prices quickly rose from September 2011 to last summer, before slowing down and even dropping a little earlier this year. The median single-family-home sales price was $205,000 in May, about the same as it was in April and March. However, that’s still up about 11 percent from the median of $185,000 last May. Realtors will note the average price per square foot went up 6 percent year-over-year. The median townhouse/condo price went up 4 percent.

The market has now become extremely quiet, and further price increases are unlikely this year without some growth in demand. The amount of single-family-home sales went down 19 percent from last May to this May. Sales of townhomes and condos dropped 20 percent.

“Demand has been much weaker since July 2013,” 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 slight recovery in demand that had been developing over the last two months dissipated again in May. While move-up homeowners and second-home buyers are starting to compensate for the departure of investors who went to other areas of the country for better bargains, activity by first-time home buyers is still unusually slow.”

Orr says some home sellers even appear to be canceling their listings and waiting for another time when buyers have a greater sense of urgency. These families are: 1.) choosing to stay in their homes longer than they did 10 to 15 years ago; 2.) possibly stuck with negative or little equity in their homes, discouraging buying or selling; and/or 3.) wanting to stay in their current homes to preserve their very low mortgage interest rates.

That means the market’s short supply of homes isn’t expected to get much bigger in the near future. Though the supply of active listings went up 69 percent from June 1, 2013 to this June 1, it basically stabilized at about 10 percent below normal. Completed Phoenix-area foreclosures were down 50 percent from last May to this May, eliminating another possible significant source of supply. This could lead to another shortage like the recent one when we saw 95 offers on a single home.

“Between 2012 and 2013, we experienced a chronic housing shortage in Greater Phoenix,” explains Orr. “This shortage has just been temporarily masked by unusually low demand, but that could change at any time. The market has plenty of pent-up demand.”

Orr points out that population and job growth have recovered faster in the Phoenix area than home construction has. The level of single-family-home construction permitting remains very small by historic standards, and single-family new-home construction and sales remain about 65 percent below normal. One bright spot is Pinal County, where new-home sales went up 22 percent from last May to this May.

Meantime, multi-family construction permits and rental-home demand remain strong in the Phoenix area. Unemployment, falling birth rates and greater home-sharing are helping to drive this demand. The supply of single-family homes available for rent was down to 32 days on June 1. The fast turnover and low vacancy rates have already pushed rent up in the most popular locations.

Orr adds, “In Maricopa County, the percentage of properties purchased without financing in May was still at 25 percent. The normal range for cash buyers is only 7 to 12 percent, so mortgage lending still has a long way to go toward recovery.”

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 will also be available from knowWPCarey, the business school’s online resource and newsletter, at http://knowwpcarey.com/index.cfm?cid=13.

sprouts

Sprouts moving HQ to North Phoenix

Sprouts Farmers Market, Inc. (Nasdaq:SFM), one of the fastest growing retailers in the country, today announced it will be moving to a new corporate office to accommodate the company’s growth. The new headquarters at The Offices on High Street (formerly known as CityNorth) will be located at 5455 E. High Street in Phoenix.

The company’s future 77,400 square foot corporate headquarters will include a small-footprint Sprouts grocery store unique to the facility. The store will offer convenient, affordable and healthy shopping to Sprouts team members, as well as High Street shoppers. The company anticipates moving to the new location in the spring 2015.

“We are proud to be an Arizona-based company and are committed to the local community. Our new High Street office will allow for greater collaboration and engagement with team members and business partners; it also will better reflect the Sprouts brand and our commitment to sustainability,” said Doug Sanders, Sprouts President and CEO.

“Sprouts is a strong addition to our project and we are honored they chose High Street for their corporate headquarters,” said Leslie Himley, vice president of marketing and communications for the property. “This lease signing is a tremendous accomplishment for our team, one that will greatly benefit current and future tenants. Additionally, the 24/7 lifestyle of our mixed-use property makes the Sprouts grocery store a welcomed amenity.”

Sprouts currently has more than 175 stores in ten states. The company recently expanded to the Southeast and anticipates continued growth as consumer demand for healthy and affordable eating grows.

maracay

Maracay Homes joins TRI Pointe in blockbuster deal

Phoenix-based Maracay Homes announced that it has combined with TRI Pointe Homes, Inc. (NYSE: TPH) (“TRI Pointe”) as part of the merger between TRI Pointe and Weyerhaeuser Real Estate Company (“WRECO”), which counts Maracay Homes in its family of builders. The transaction, one of the largest in homebuilding history, is valued at approximately $2.8 billion. It positions TRI Pointe as one of the top 10 largest public homebuilders in the United States by equity market capitalization based on the closing price of TRI Pointe common stock on July 3, 2014.

“We are excited to announce that the transaction with TRI Pointe has officially closed and that we are part of a dynamic and highly respected group of companies,” said Andy Warren, president of Maracay Homes. “The ability to tap into the financial strength of our new parent company while still remaining an active decision maker at the local level will give us a heightened capacity to grow our operations in the Arizona market.”

“With the success of this completed merger, TRI Pointe is well-positioned as a leading homebuilder focused on some of the nation’s most attractive housing markets,” said Doug Bauer, Chief Executive Officer of TRI Pointe. “Having built a stellar reputation for innovative design and outstanding quality over the more than 20 years it has operated in the Arizona market, Maracay Homes will continue to be led by the exceptional local, executive team that has helped build its standing as a market leader. Like TRI Pointe, Maracay Homes’ success is largely driven by its entrepreneurial spirit and ability to make decisions on a local basis. That philosophy will stay in place, as Maracay Homes will continue to craft customizable, energy-efficient homes that deliver comfort, style and sustainability.”

Maracay Homes’ beautiful single-family homes are designed for the way premium buyers want to live. The company will continue to offer its suite of proprietary processes and tools, which include FlexDesign® and LivingSmart®, to increase home buyers’ customization options.

Maracay Homes is one of the five WRECO homebuilding companies that have joined TRI Pointe as part of the larger merger with WRECO. With complementary geographic footprints, the new TRI Pointe companies, which will continue to operate under their respective brand names, include:

Maracay Homes – Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona
TRI Pointe Homes – Northern and Southern California and Colorado
Pardee Homes – Southern California and Las Vegas, Nevada
Quadrant Homes – Puget Sound region of Washington State
Trendmaker Homes – Houston, Texas
Winchester Homes – Washington, DC metro area and Richmond, Virginia

The leadership at all levels will remain focused on executing a disciplined homebuilding strategy, including securing new opportunities for growth. Barry S. Sternlicht, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Starwood Capital Group, will remain as Chairman of the TRI Pointe Board of Directors, which has been expanded from seven to nine directors. The merger with WRECO is expected to provide TRI Pointe with significantly enhanced scale, with more than 3,400 new home deliveries and $1.6 billion in revenue on a historical combined basis over the past twelve months ended March 31, 2014.

Deal, WEB

GT lawyer honored for restructuring work

Shareholder David D. Cleary of the Phoenix office of the International law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP was recently honored for his restructuring work at the Turnaround Atlas Awards in Chicago.

The Turnaround Atlas Awards exclusively honor top performances from the distressed M&A, restructuring, reorganization and turnaround communities worldwide, according to the Global M&A Network website.

Cleary was part of a transaction team that worked on the restructuring of FriendFinder Networks Inc. where he and four team members received the “Media & Entertainment Turnaround of the Year”. The team also won a “Deal of Year” award at the 4th Annual ACG New York Champion’s Awards on June 19, 2014.

“Reorganizations are highly complex and require insight and knowledge that come only from decades of experience,” said John E. Cummerford, co-managing shareholder in Greenberg Traurig’s Phoenix office. “Our firm is dedicated to its Business Reorganization & Financial Restructuring Practice and we are honored that David and the entire team were recognized for their work and expertise.”

Greenberg Traurig also received the “Cross Border Special Situation M&A Deal of the Year” award for its role in the AgFeed Industries sale of its assets to Ningbo Tech Bank, TriOadk Foods and Smithfield/Murphy as well as the “Consumer Goods Turnaround of the Year” award for the Orchard Supply Hardware Stores sale to Lowes.

waltdanley1

Danley Ranked No. 1 Selling Agent in Arizona

Walt Danley ranked as the No. 1 selling real estate agent in Arizona by sales volume, according to the REAL Trends “The Thousand: 2014 Top 1,000 Real Estate Professionals.” The list was published in The Wall Street Journal on June 27, 2014.

Danley is ranked No. 30 in the U.S. for individual sales volume, having sold $167,105,094 in residential real estate in 2013. “The Thousand” list is comprised of third-party data and honors the top one thousand real estate professionals and teams in the nation.

Walt Danley is the president and namesake of Walt Danley Realty, a Scottsdale-based luxury residential real estate brokerage. The firm is Arizona’s affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate and boasts the largest inventory of million-dollar estates within Arizona. Danley has sold nearly $3 billion during his 37-year real estate career, and has been ranked in the top one percent of real estate agents nationally every year since 1977.

“The secret to successful real estate transacting is conducting business with integrity, building strong personal relationships, and leveraging the strengths of your team,” said Walt Danley, president of Walt Danley Realty. “I am honored to work alongside a team of the most skilled real estate professionals with vast expertise, market knowledge and creative ideas.”

Walt Danley Realty represents luxury homebuyers and sellers in the Northeast Valley of Phoenix including Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Fountain Hills, Rio Verde, Arcadia, Biltmore, Cave Creek and Carefree. Walt Danley Realty is located at 6720 N. Scottsdale Rd., #140, Paradise Valley, AZ 85253. For more information, visit www.waltdanley.com.

Casino

DOI decision keeps Glendale casino plan alive

The Tohono O’odham Nation says the U.S. Department of the Interior has reaffirmed its decision that the tribe’s property lies within unincorporated Maricopa County.

Tribal officials say that’s a key requirement for taking the land into trust. They still hope to build a massive resort and casino on the edge of Glendale and have been pushing that plan since 2009.

But opponents have argued a 2002 voter-backed compact barred more casinos from opening in metro Phoenix.

The Gila River Indian Community opposes the casino plan, saying it violates zoning and state laws.

Gila River tribal officials say they will decide soon whether to take legal action again.

They also say the Interior Department has yet to decide whether the Tohono O’Odham Nation has permission to have gaming on the land.

97995886

Federhar Appointed to Superior Court Advistory Committee

Fennemore Craig, a leading Mountain West regional firm, announced Andrew Federhar, a shareholder in the firm’s Phoenix office, has been appointed to the Business Court Advisory Committee for the Superior Court of Arizona.

“The firm’s reputation has been built on our attorneys’ unparalleled commitment to legal excellence and continued willingness to serve the legal community,” said Tim Berg, managing partner of Fennemore Craig. “We congratulate Andy on this prestigious recognition.”

Federhar focuses his practice in professional liability, procurement, health care, telecommunications, municipal law, appeals and complex commercial litigation. He earned his J.D. and B.A. from the University of Arizona. Federhar also serves as a member of the National Center for State Courts.

The Business Court Advisory Committee examines the current processes for resolving business cases in the Superior Court of Arizona, business court models operational in other jurisdictions, court rules, and procedures. The Committee makes recommendations on court rules, discovery, alternative dispute re solution, judicial staffing and resources.

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Each Class of Dropouts costs Arizona $7.6B

The more than 18,000 Arizona students who dropped out of high school this year will produce $7.6 billion less economic activity over their lifetimes than if those same students had graduated, according to a new report by the Arizona Mayors Education Roundtable.

Cutting the dropout rate in half would generate $3.8 billion more in economic benefits to the state for each graduating class.

Mayor Greg Stanton and several Valley mayors released the research report today, which measured the economic impact of high school dropouts in Arizona.

Key takeaways from the study include:

· Each Arizona high school dropout results in a $421,280 loss in economic activity over his or her lifetime. This figure includes lost earnings, increased health care and crime-related costs, lost economic productivity and lost tax revenue.

· In the City of Phoenix, the number is higher: each dropout results in a $463,500 economic loss – creating a $1.42 billion economic loss per graduating class.

· In Arizona, each dropout will earn $271,040 less over the course of their lifetime than counterparts who graduate. Dropouts face higher risks of unemployment and economic insecurity.

· Each dropout will cost taxpayers an additional $98,520 more in crime-related expenses over the course of their lifetime.

· Of the $7.6 billion in Arizona economic loss, $1.5 billion represents lost revenue and increased expenses for state and local governments.

· In 2012, Arizona’s disconnected youth population – that is, young people who are neither in school nor working – was 183,200, or 22 percent of population aged 16 to 24. This disconnected population results in an aggregate economic loss of more than $127 billion.

The full report is available at http://azmayors.org/resources/college-and-career-readiness/.

“This report should be a wake up call to everyone in our state about why it is so important that we work together to get every student to graduate high school,” said Mayor Greg Stanton. “It’s important for us to have city-level data so every elected official understands that if we sit idly by and leave this problem for others to solve, we do so at our own peril. In Phoenix, we’re working to tackle the dropout rate by making sure our kids read by the third grade, and opening an online high school that helps those who have dropped out get back into class and earn their diploma.”

“We’ve all known that dropouts have a cost to our society, but this report displays it in a startling way,” remarked Todd Sanders, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce. “We at the Greater Phoenix Chamber commend the Arizona Mayors Education Roundtable for illuminating the stark reality of the economic burden of dropouts in our cities and state, and we look forward to working collaboratively with the mayors and the community to seek educational reforms and provide programs that will ease the economic burden of dropouts and improve our future economy.”

“We appreciate the leadership of the Mayors Roundtable in shedding more light on a critical issue like the impact of the dropout rate on our state’s future economic viability,” said Paul J. Luna, president and CEO of Helios Education Foundation. “Having the Mayors hold these statewide discussions will help enable our communities to identify and respond to the contributing factors and set goals that will re-engage students and put them back on the path toward college and career readiness.”

“Beyond the profound consequences to individuals and their families, we are now able to quantify the impact of school dropouts on Arizona’s economy,” said Paul H. Koehler, director of WestEd’s Policy Center and coordinator of the Mayors Roundtable. “This report should serve as a clarion call to action for state educators, policy makers, and all Arizonans.”

Russell W. Rumberger, a professor of education at the University of California, Santa Barbara and director of the California Dropout Research Project served as lead author. Data was compiled from the Arizona Department of Education, U.S. Census American Community Survey and the 2014 study, “The Economic Losses from High School Dropouts and Disconnected Youth: Evidence from Across Arizona,” written by Clive R. Belfield, a professor at Queens College, City University of New York.

“The losses from failure to graduate from high school are sizeable, robust and pervasive,” Belfield said. “The social loss amounts to more than a high school dropout will earn in their lifetime; and the fiscal loss is almost equivalent to total spending per student over their entire K-12 years in the Arizona school system.”

Jim Patterson, CEO of UMB Bank in Arizona.

UMB Bank Announces New Camelback Location

UMB Bank, n.a., a subsidiary of UMB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UMBF), announces the opening of a new full-service banking center in Phoenix, Ariz. The new center will be located in the prestigious Camelback Corridor at 2777 E. Camelback Road and will replace the company’s current Raintree location. UMB plans to move into the new location this summer. The branch will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday.

In addition to offering full-service consumer banking, the Camelback location will include private banking, investment and wealth management services and commercial banking.

“We have moved our banking center to the Camelback corridor to provide our clients a more convenient location and better accessibility to our associates,” said Jim Patterson, CEO of UMB Bank in Arizona. “Our commitment to this market continues to grow, and we are making a sizable investment to expand our presence in the Arizona region.”

The Camelback location is one of two banking centers UMB has in the Phoenix and Scottsdale market. Its Kierland Commons banking center is located at 16210 N. Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale and is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. To contact the Kierland office, call (480) 315-6800. To contact the Camelback office, call (480) 912-6720 or visit the UMB website at www.umb.com.

same.sex

Stanton Advances Efforts on Marriage Equality

Mayor Greg Stanton and mayors from across the nation joined together to make a strong statement in favor of marriage equality. At the U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting in Dallas this weekend, Stanton also led the effort to pass a Climate Protection Agreement and received the City Livability Award for Phoenix’s Veterans Court initiative.

“We are a stronger, more vibrant and more economically viable when we treat every person equally under the law,” Stanton said. “The change we need to support our diverse communities and to build a more sustainable future – it’s happening in cities.”

Marriage Equality

Mayors approved a resolution to support marriage equality for same-sex couples backed the group Mayors for the Freedom to Marry. Stanton co-chairs the bipartisan group, along with Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles, Michael Nutter of Philadelphia, Annise Parker of Houston, and Kasim Reed of Atlanta.

Climate Protection

Stanton, who chairs the conference’s environmental committee, joined a handful of mayors, including Kevin Johnson of Sacramento, Calif., in declaring renewed support for the U.S. Mayors’ Climate Protection Agreement.

The revised agreement emphasizes – for the first time – local actions to help cities adapt to changing climate conditions and demonstrates support for local conservation efforts.

Stanton now plans to encourage other mayors to sign on to the agreement, which also urges federal and state governments to enact legislation, policies and programs to aid cities in efforts to protect our environment, eliminate waste and fight climate change.

Phoenix Recognized for Veterans Court

Stanton also received a City Livability Award on behalf of the City of Phoenix for his work with the Phoenix Veterans Court. The program has served more than 600 veterans since Stanton took office in 2012 and works in cooperation with the community’s ongoing efforts to eradicate veteran homelessness.

More than 230 mayors from across the country attended the three-day conference to help set the group’s agenda for the next year.

bioscience

Arizona bioscience industry producing ‘aha’ moments

AZBio Expo 2014 had “aha moments” at every turn. With over 250 entrepreneurs, innovators, business leaders, legislators, scientists and researchers in attendance, the energy was sizzling and the outlook endless. Here are just a few of the event highlights, appropriately, A to Z:

A – Access to Capital is the key. No money. No honey. Capital fuels innovation and commercialization. In the first panel discussion of the day – Funding Paths for Innovators – AZBio chief Joan Koerber-Walker engaged Mary Ann Guerra (BioAccel), Paul Jackson (Integrus Capital/Worthworm) and Kelly Slone (National Venture Capital Association) in a no-holds barred discussion. “The entire ecosystem has changed,” according to Slone. “After the tech bubble burst, available venture dollars have been virtually cut in half.” Guerra explains that only one in 100 will get angel funding – and then only one in 100 will get venture funding. We need to think of new ways to help our startup entrepreneurs get funding.” Jackson urges innovators to think like investors and offers one solution with his online valuation process, Worthworm.

B – Bridging the Gap with the 21st Century Cures Initiative. “No industry has to face the challenges we face to bring a product to market,” says Koerber-Walker. “We have new hope in the 21st Century Cures Initiative. Google it. Watch the videos, See what they are doing. There is exciting stuff happening and some of it is happening in Arizona.”

C — Cure Corridor. Scottsdale’s Mayor Jim Lane shares his pride and plans for the largest concentration of bioscience businesses in the U.S., the Cure Corridor, bounded on one side by the Scottsdale Airpark on the West, and the Fountain Hills Mayo facility on the East, “a major driver of our economy, with $2½ billion in direct economic impact and $3.5 billion in indirect impact.” According to Lane, “Health and wellness are a part of Scottsdale’s identity. We should never stop asking how we can find new answers alleviate pain, restore health and improve the quality of life.”

D – Discovery. Development. Delivery. Valley Fever Solutions CEO David Larwood shared his company’s formula for achieving success in development and funding – The Five R’s:

Right drug.
Right patient.
Right safety.
Right time. (How long before we can sell it?)
Right reimbursent.

E – Epigenetics and Personalized Medicine. Start-up company INanoBio founder and CEO Bharath Takupalli, explained that the genome sequencing market is expected to grow to $10 billion by 2020. With a unique capability to combine nanotechnology and biomedicine, his company is in the lead for building new solutions now. “We aim to develop a $100 ultrafast nanopore-based desktop sequencer – a point-of-care diagnostic” that will help change the face of healthcare, he explains.

F – Funding needs to be the focus for the future. According to a Flinn Foundation/Batelle report, “Arizona has many bioscience strengths and opportunities, but a substantial increase in private and public investment will be needed over the next decade to realize the [Flinn Foundation’s] Roadmap’s goals.” Last year, Arizona bioscience sector attracted $37 million in venture capital investment, up from $23 million from 2012, but that is only a fraction of the $9.8 billion invested nationally.

The goal is to increase the annual investment up to $40 million for seed capital in emerging companies and up to $125 million in venture capital.

G – Genomic advances hold high hopes for positively disruption. Explaining that healthcare premiums are growing at three times the rate of inflation and wages, Frederic Zenhausern, Ph.D., MBA, president of Whitespace Enterprise, says “The new era of precision healthcare (also called personalized healthcare) will provide more accessibility, transparency and health information to improve – dramatically – quality and lower cost over time.” His start-up company, based in Fountain Hills, develops methods for automating and miniaturizing the workflow processing of biological specimens.

H – Henry Ford.“I am looking for a lot of men who have an infinite capacity to not know what can’t be done,” said Henry Ford. So does Robert Penny, M.D., Ph.D., co-founder and CEO of the International Genomics Consortium and founder and CEO of Paradigm. “Phoenix has become the Grand Central Station for all the aggregating and analyzing cancer tissues. We have 10,000 tumors – and the information is publicly available. This will accelerate cancer discovery at a rate faster than ever,” he says. “This is a tidal wave that Arizona has led. Everyone in this room should be grabbing a surfboard and figuring out how to ride it.”

I – IPO: The nation’s top IPO of 2013 is right here in Chandler. With 380 percent growth in shareholder value, Insys Therapeutics, a commercial-stage specialty pharmaceutical company, ended the year with a market cap of $800 million. Darryl Baker, the chief financial officer, explained how the company, founded in 2002 by Dr. John Kapoor, was determined to discover better ways to deliver existing medications to patients. A sublingual fentanyl spray technology delivers treatments to opioid-tolerant cancer patients and holds real possibilities for better helping patients with acute pain, major burns and pediatric issues. In the R&D pipeline now is the development of a pharmaceutical cannabinoid, aimed at easing epilepsy, peripheral neuropathy and cocaine addiction.

J – Jobs: 107,000 bioscience jobs – good-paying and growing. Arizona has nearly 107,000 bioscience jobs, based on 2012 industry data, and the sector contributes an estimated $36 billion in revenue to the state’s economy, according to a study by the Ohio-based Battelle Technology Partnership Practice. Hospitals account for 83,000 of those jobs and $22 billion of the revenue. Arizona’s average annual wage in the bioscience sector is $62,775, 39 percent higher than the private-sector average, the report said. Not counting hospital jobs, the average wage for bioscience jobs jumps to $85,571. (2013 data).

K – Kalos Therapeutics is building a promising platform for future drug discovery. Start-up innovator Michael Kozlowski, OD, Ph.D., chief science officer of Kalos Therapeutics, explains that their focus on transforming the atrial natriuretic family of peptides engages a natural biochemical mechanism. This approach holds promise for people with pancreatic cancer because it results in a more complete response, reduced side effects and improved safety and a longer period of effectiveness.

L – Let’s leverage every resource, strength, collaboration and person we’ve got! Arizona’s bioscience industry is aiming to increase research revenue for institutions statewide by 69 percent over the next decade to $782 million and attract additional anchors for the sector.

M – Medtronic models aggressive, needs-focused growth. Keynote speaker Ron Wilson, vice president and general manager of the Medtronic Tempe campus made it clear that passion for people runs through his veins. Locating a small manufacturing facility here in 1973, the company’s facility today covers 30 acres, has 900 employees and generates $17 billion in revenues. How do they do it? We follow our founder’s vision still: We understand what the unmet needs are and we apply our knowledge for the good of people all over the world.”

N – Next Level. “Arizona has made unprecedented progress over the last decade in developing the talent, building research infrastructure, and growing its base. Taking it to the Next Level will require new collaborative partnerships, forward looking leaders, and aggressive investments from both the public and private private sectors to take our place in the top tiers globally,” shared Koerber-Walker. ”Now is our time. Let’s get it done!”

O – Orphans no more. Valley fever, considered an orphan disease, hits about 150,000 people a year – 60 percent live in central Arizona. Current treatments have major shortcomings, with about 60 percent of those treated being unresponsive. The result is 2,000 serious cases and 150 deaths a year. It affects pets in nearly equal proportion. David Larwood, CEO of Valley Fever Solutions, has some answers. His company is developing Nikkomycin Z (NikZ) as a dramatically superior potential cure for Valley Fever. To help raise awareness and prevention, the Arizona Board of Regents created Valley Fever Corridor project, a public health program led by University of Arizona College of Medicine’s John Galgiani, MD, who is also the chief medical officer for Valley Solutions.

P – Policymakers are on board. Gov. Jan Brewer’s time is coming to a close and it’s time to decide which candidate can bring their best to bioscience. Recognizing that the Arizona bioscience sector is growing at four times the rate of the national average, candidates Christine Jones, Doug Ducey, Fred Duval, Ken Bennett and Scott Smith shared their ideas on how to ramp up funding and revenues in 90-second videos. Koerber-Walker says, “The most important thing we can do this summer is vote in the primaries.”

Q – Cues: Here are a few Q’s for success. Some lessons learned, courtesy of Robert Penny:

Make sure you have:

Complementary skills and expertise
Trust
Interpersonal chemistry (It’s better to navigate bumps in the road with people you trust than people you don’t!)

Pick the right projects:

Big enough to be worthy of your efforts
Complex enough to need partnerships
Audacious enough to move the field

R – Remembering Polio: Can Looking Back Catapult Us Forward? How did we cure the world of polio? What did it take to conquer the most feared disease of the 20th Century? What threatens our world today and how can we continue to keep people healthy with the right vaccines, for the right person at the right time? Gaspar Laca, state government affairs director at GlaxoSmithKime, engaged David Larwood, CEO and president of Valley Fever Solutions (and a person who has been directly affected by polio) and Rep. Debbie McCune Davis, executive director of The Arizona Partnership for Immunization, in a rousing discussion of what’s happening in Arizona today, the mounting threats of the ”vaccine exemptors,” and what we need to do now. (See Vaccines.)

S – Shoes. Did you see those shoes? “Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world!” Enough said.

T – Tucson’s Critical Path Institute creates new tools. A jewel in the bioscience crown – and located right here in Arizona! The Critical Path Institute (C-Path) is a breakthrough organization, creating a new movement: “consensus science.” Keynoter Martha Brumfield. Ph.D, president and CEO, shared what can be achieved when people come together with the belief that a “rising tide floats all boats.” Working to improve the unacceptable 95 percent failure rate in the testing of new drug therapies, C-Path is improving medical product development efficiencies by identifying pathways that integrate new scientific advances into the regulatory review process. Check out their Alzheimer’s clinical trial simulation tool.

U – United we stand. Mayors Jim Lane (City of Scottsdale) and John Lewis (Town of Gilbert) will join Koerber-Walker and an Arizona bioscience-business contingent next week at the 2014 BIO International Convention in San Diego (June 23-26), the world’s largest biotechnology gathering. They will surely scoop up new ideas, new connections – and with any luck, new investment!

V – Vaccines: Get ‘em! Talk about ‘em. Challenge the myths. Explain the realities. Polio. Measles. And whooping cough today. Without proper vaccinations, whooping cough (pertussis) could be the polio of our time. “As science-minded people, the best thing you can do is activate conversations about the importance of vaccinations. Here’s some help: Why immunize?

W – White Hat event brings in national investors. (Apply by July 15th.) “AZBio’s White Hat Investor’s Conference is the first ever life science specific investor conference to be held in Arizona,” says Koerber-Walker. “Kelly Slone [of the National Venture Capital Association] has been an amazing partner to bring this together along with the state bioscience association leaders from across the Rocky Mountain Southwest Region. Investors and investment firms from across the country will be here, so get involved. Even if you feel like you are not ready yet, take the leap and apply to present. “

X – “X” marks the spot for our next big gathering. Wear your White Hat! The West was won by innovators, investors, and prospectors who understood the value of discovery and accepted the challenge of investing in new frontiers. Meet a new generation of biotech and healthcare pioneers at White Hat Investors 2014, the first annual biotech and healthcare investor conference that showcases the best of the Rocky Mountain & Southwest Region.

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

Presenting Companies will be selected from the region’s emerging innovator leaders in the fields of:

Diagnostics
Therapeutics
Medical Devices
Health IT

Y – Young Talent is being cultivated. We got it! With nearly 50 abstracts accepted and student presenters presenting at the Expo, Koerber-Walker got it right when she said, “These young people are going to be working on things that we can’t even begin to imagine!” Arizona’s tremendous mentoring people and organizations are sharing knowledge, support and inspiration. For example University of Arizona student Keeley Brown is destined to help the world crack the code on genetically modified foods and farming. (Her presentation was the “Epigenetic Effects of Transgenic Manipulation in Glycine Max (Soybeans).

Zzzzzzzzz – No one fell asleep at this conference! Catherine Leyen, founder and CEO of start-up RadiUp, says she comes to AZBio to stay abreast of the action, connect with like-minded people and soak up inspiration. Her verdict of AZBIO Expo 2014? Mission accomplished!

kids.money

Arizona Central Credit Union Launches Kids’ Website

ACCU smallArizona Central Credit Union is launching a new initiative to encourage financial literacy among children. Designed for children between the ages of 8 and 12, this program is intended to encourage sound financial habits and further an awareness of positive saving and spending practices.

Molly and Moe are the official mascots of the Monkey Money program, which incorporates an interactive website, children’s savings account and club member benefits. Games, stories, contests, jokes, definitions of financial terms, and information about the special Monkey Money savings program, can all be found on the website. Each month a new article and correlating activity will address a different financial theme. A coloring contest, which began at the launch of the website on June 21, 2014, will be held until July 31, 2014. Children don’t have to be Monkey Money members to enter, but can win cash prizes, and fun monkey items. Coloring sheets and the official rules for the contest can be found on the website.

“Arizona Central Credit Union is passionate about helping the children in our communities reach a higher level of financial literacy. By investing in creative and fun educational methods, we hope to encourage positive lifestyle patterns that will then translate into adulthood,” said Todd Pearson, President and CEO of Arizona Central Credit Union­.

Following the launch of the website on June 21st, Arizona Central Credit Union branches will be hosting a week-long youth event. Free gift basket raffle tickets and refreshments will be available at all branches. Arizona Central Credit Union will contribute a $10 deposit into Monkey Money accounts opened during this celebration week.

Founded in 1939, Arizona Central Credit Union has been serving members for over 75 years at 10 full-service branches, with offices in Phoenix, Tucson, Glendale, Chandler, Tempe, Flagstaff and Show Low. Visit www.azcentralcu.org or their Facebook Page, www.facebook.com/azcentralcu for more information.

Nicole Stanton

Stanton Appointed to Business Court Advisory Committee

The law firm of Quarles & Brady LLP announced that Phoenix office managing partner, Nicole Stanton, has been appointed to serve as a member of the Business Court Advisory Committee. This is a newly established committee, by order of Chief Justice Rebecca White Berch, which is dedicated to examining current processes for resolving business cases in the Superior Court of Arizona, as well as reviewing business court models, processes, rules, and procedures in other jurisdictions.

In addition to her position as office manager partner at Quarles & Brady LLP and now serving on the Business Court Advisory Committee, Stanton is a member of the firm’s Commercial Litigation Group. She also serves as a founding board member and past president of the Women’s Metropolitan Arts Council of the Phoenix Art Museum, as well as a member of Chart 100 Women.

Her experience includes defense of local and national law firms in legal malpractice actions and other business litigation disputes. She is an adjunct professor at Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of law, teaching professional responsibility.

As a graduate of Valley leadership Class XXIX, Stanton was the YWCA of Maricopa County’s 2011 Tribute to Women honoree in the business leader category. She was honored as one of the 50 most influential women in Arizona. She received her law degree, magna cum laude, from the University of Arizona and her bachelor’s degree from the University of Utah.

Welcome to the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort

Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort Wins Gold Tee Award

The AAA Four Diamond Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort in Phoenix has earned the 2014 Gold Tee Award from Meetings & Conventions (M&C) magazine.

One of just 65 resorts honored this year, this highly-respected award is given annually to outstanding golf/meeting properties worldwide. Winners of the Gold Tee Award were nominated and selected by the readers of M&C based on their overall excellence.

“This audience of meeting industry’s most respected critics know quality when they experience it – and made their votes count – as they chose the best venues to support their valuable golf events ,” states Kirk Lewis, Meetings & Conventions’ Publisher. “Our entire team salutes the 65 properties worldwide that have distinguished themselves in this industry and earned the Gold Tee honor.”

Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort offers a Troon® golf experience at Lookout Mountain Golf Club, and 65,0000 square feet of indoor/outdoor meeting space including the award-winning Different Pointe of View mountaintop restaurant.

For more information on meetings and events at Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort, visit www.tapatiocliffshilton.com.

121956596

Mortgage lenders prepare for impact of Dodd-Frank Act

Stan Feffer is president and chief operating officer of Grand Canyon Title Agency, Inc. – a Phoenix-based firm with 18 offices located throughout Maricopa County. When Feffer is not leading Grand Canyon’s 120 employees, he prefers to navigate the cool waters off the coast of San Diego on his surf board. Patiently waiting for the right set of waves and watching the horizon closely helps him choose the right wave to commit his efforts. Diligence in picking the right waves makes for a good day surfing.

While at work, Feffer is focused on the pending impact of the Dodd-Frank Act on the mortgage lending community and in particular the title industry. Prepared with more than 30 years’ experience in the real estate and title and escrow industry working both for a large, public firm and a local title agency, Feffer has charted a course for Grand Canyon to successfully navigate these uncertain waters and in doing so, established the organization as a leader nationally with its underwriters. By embracing industry reform, Grand Canyon is better prepared to deal with lenders’ compliance needs and to protect consumers’ privacy needs.

In 2010, the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and provided authority for the CFPB to supervise financial institutions for compliance with federal consumer financial laws. Providing real estate settlement services to one of these regulated financial institutions (like your bank or mortgage lender) is deemed to be providing financial products or services under the act. As a result, the CFPB can bring enforcement actions directly against a real estate settlement services provider (such as your title insurance agent) for a violation of a consumer financial protection law or against the financial institution making the loan.

With the increased risk, banks are giving a hard look at all of their service providers. Complicating the matter, the CFPB has been faulted for its lack of transparency and guidance leaving many uncertain as to how to comply with the new requirements.

As a result, the Wall Street Journal reports that the CFPB’s actions are stirring concerns about large scale consolidation of closing services providers by the banks and the potential that some title companies – especially smaller firms that serve isolated and rural communities – will be forced out of business.

“When the Bureau (CFPB) operates in a transparent … and open … manner, the results are generally positive … However, when the bureau makes unilateral decisions, rolls out initiatives, rules or processes in a more closed deliberation, the results are far more likely to be problematic,” American Land Title Association (ALTA) President Rob Chapman said in testimony on May 21 before the Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit subcommittee of the House Committee on Financial Services.

To strategically position itself and avoid this existential threat, Grand Canyon Title’s Feffer aggressively moved to establish the agency as a leader in “compliance” with the emerging rules to present an easy choice for lenders to work with. In late 2012, Feffer began steering the organization to adopt a series of industry “best practices” put forth by the ALTA intended to put settlement service providers (title agencies and escrow firms) in compliance with the CFPB regulations.

On July 19, 2013, when ALTA published its version 2.0 of “Title Insurance and Settlement Company Best Practices,” setting forth industry guidelines for business procedures and service levels, Feffer engaged WGM Associates LLC, a Scottsdale-based information technology and security consultancy with extensive banking and real estate experience to lead the effort. The ALTA best practices address seven main areas ranging from internal controls regarding trust accounts to protecting customers’ personal information and responding to complaints. Best Practice No. 3 deals specifically with protecting consumers Non-Public Personal Information or NPI. Best Practice No. 3 includes requirements and procedures for physical security of computers, “clean desk” policies, risk management, disaster recovery, information security practices and methods for the encryption of private data.

For instance, loan and closing documents emailed to you containing NPI must be encrypted. Collectively, these practices are a means for settlement service providers to address the need for increased lender oversight and to ensure necessary safeguards to protect consumers. According to Feffer, WGM’s direct industry knowledge and extensive information security experience made the process clear and kept the mission on track.

The implementation of the Best Practices is voluntary, but an important means to ensure reduction of risk in the overall financial system and to protect against identity fraud. Many settlement service providers have adopted a ‘wait-and ’see’ attitude. However, large banks such as Wells Fargo have embraced the ALTA Best Practices Program validating Feffer’s strategy. In their newsletter to Settlement Agents dated March 6, 2014, Wells Fargo says that ALTA’s Best Practices “… are designed to help illustrate to consumers and clients the industry’s professionalism and best practices to help ensure a positive and compliant real estate settlement experience. Wells Fargo supports ALTA’s Best Practices, and considers them to be guidelines for sound business practices that should ideally already be in place for businesses providing title and closing services for our customers.”

Under the ALTA Best Practice Program, settlement service providers perform a detailed review and assessment of their operations – typically using an experienced third-party expert like WGM. The resulting Best Practice Certification Package is then used to certify to consumers, mortgage originators and mortgage servicers that the assessment found the firm to be in compliance with the ALTA Best Practices in all material respects and represent the firm will remain in material compliance for the next two years.

In January of 2014, Grand Canyon successfully completed its first compliance review. Feffer proudly presented the document to his business partners as evidence of their continued leadership in the Phoenix marketplace. Recognizing the effort is a continuing commitment and ongoing journey, Feffer conducts regular training and educational seminars for Grand Canyon employees with WGM’s help. Now Feffer confidently presents copies of the Certification Package to lenders when they meet, assuring them of their continued compliance effort. Feffer’s hope is that mortgage lenders and their peers will recognize Grand Canyon’s efforts and see the company as a logical choice to provide closing services and to help mitigate risk in this changing environment.

Affiliated Urologists

Affiliated Urologists Opens Third Location

Affiliated Urologists announced the opening of a new office in the Biltmore area. The expansion allows this locally and nationally recognized practice with a 40 year history of providing urologic care an opportunity to continue its tradition of excellence in other areas in the Valley.

Dr. Al Borhan and Dr. Mark Hong are heading the move to provide services in a growing area of the Valley. They have both been recognized as leaders in the Valley spearheading new procedures and techniques and trendsetters in the field. The new center is staffed by board-certified, fellowship-trained physicians who specialize in urological conditions including: kidney stones, prostate cancer, male infertility and bladder conditions to name a few.

“We are excited about the opportunity for our group to provide more accessible care to our patients. We have always had a very large referral base in the area and this allows us to concentrate our efforts in the area.” said Dr. Stephen Ponas, who has over 20 years with Affiliated. “We will definitely make an impact with our comprehensive urology care in that part of the Valley,” added Dr. Dan Jaffee, who heads the Female Urology division of the group.

The new office is located at 2222 East Highland Suite 400 in Phoenix near the Biltmore Fashion Park. The local medical practice has another office in downtown Phoenix and in the North Scottsdale/Desert Ridge area.

clear energy systems coming to tempe

SRP Increases Renewable Energy Portfolio

Salt River Project has agreed to purchase an additional amount of renewable geothermal energy from a number of plants located in the Imperial Valley of southern California. SRP has amended its agreement with CalEnergy, LLC to add an additional 37 megawatts to a previous contracted agreement of 50 megawatts for a combined capacity of 87 megawatts. One megawatt is about enough energy to power approximately 250 homes in the Phoenix area.

The geothermal facilities are located in Salton Sea Known Geothermal Resource Area – one of the world’s most prolific regions for the production of renewable energy. SRP’s purchase will begin with 18 megawatts in 2016 and grow to the full 87 megawatts in 2020. The agreement will allow SRP to continue providing its customers with sustainable energy from these facilities until 2039.

A geothermal plant produces electricity from naturally occurring geothermal fluid. Steam is formed when production wells tap into superheated water reservoirs thousands of feet beneath the Earth’s surface. Unlike other forms of renewable energy such as solar or wind, geothermal power plants are highly reliable as they produce energy continuously, irrespective of the time of the day or weather conditions.

Geothermal is one of the cleanest sources of baseload generation because, instead of burning fossil fuel to heat water into steam as seen in most conventional forms of generation, heat from the Earth is used to create steam that powers a turbine generator. Geothermal energy is considered renewable energy because no fuel is consumed and the energy is from naturally occurring sources.

SRP estimates that the geothermal power generated by the project will offset approximately 800 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions each year – the equivalent of taking about 70,000 cars off the road.

Under SRP’s Sustainable Portfolio goals, SRP must meet 20 percent of its retail electricity requirements through sustainable resources by the year 2020.

SRP is the largest provider of electricity to the greater Phoenix area, serving nearly 990,000 electric customers.

housing.prices

Big Increases Unlikely for Phoenix Housing Market

The Phoenix-area housing market has officially rebounded from artificially low recession levels, and we’re unlikely to see any more big price increases this year. That’s according to a new report from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. Here are the latest details about Maricopa and Pinal counties, as of April:

* The median single-family-home sales price stabilized at just under $205,000.
* Demand and sales activity were low for the normally strong spring selling season.
* Rental homes continue to be extremely popular, since many people are ineligible for home loans and/or uninterested in home ownership.

Phoenix-area home prices rose fast from September 2011 to last summer, before slowing down and then even dropping a little bit earlier this year. This April, for the second month in a row, the median single-family-home price was just under $205,000. That’s up 13 percent – from $181,399 last April to $204,900 this April. Realtors will note the average price per square foot was up 12 percent. The median townhouse/condo price went up 4 percent.

Low demand is largely putting the brakes on more significant upward price movement. The amount of single-family-home sales activity was down 16 percent this April from last April. Sales of homes in the range below $150,000 alone fell 37 percent. New-home sales went down 12 percent. All of this, even though the period from March to May is almost always the strongest part of the year for demand.

“The market has completed its rebound from the artificially low prices that prevailed between 2009 and 2011, and further significant increases are unlikely without some growth in demand,” 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. “It’s also likely that the recent advance in pricing will fade during the summer months, when the luxury, snowbird and active-adult markets go relatively quiet.”

Investors continue to show disinterest in the Phoenix housing market now that better bargains can be found in other areas of the country with more foreclosures. The percentage of residential properties purchased by investors was down to just 16.3 percent in April from the peak of 39.7 percent in July 2012. Completed foreclosures on single-family homes and condos were down 54 percent from April 2013 to April 2014.

In contrast, the supply of homes available for sale is way up, with 73 percent more active listings on May 1 of this year than May 1 of last year. As a result, buyers have far more choices. However, Orr believes that may change, if demand and prices don’t pick up. Potential home sellers may stay out of the market, deciding to wait for better times.

“The underlying key problem for entry-level and mid-range housing demand is a lack of household formation due to many factors, including unemployment, falling birth rates, lower net migration and greater home-sharing, especially among millennials,” explains Orr. “However, if household creation were to return to the normal long-term average, we would quickly have a housing shortage here in Greater Phoenix.”

Meantime, the demand for rental homes is very high, and Orr says the availability of those homes is dropping to unusually low levels. He estimates there’s only a 29-day supply of single-family rentals, and therefore, rent is starting to rise in the most popular locations. As a result of this demand, the Phoenix area is seeing a strong upward trend in multi-family construction permits.

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.

Northbank Office

ViaWest Group completes $5.2M sale of Northbank Office Building

ViaWest Group announced the sale of Northbank Office Building, a two-story suburban office building in Phoenix, for $5.2 million. The ±31,231 square foot, multi-tenant property located at 5110 North 40th St., was built in 1983 and completely renovated in 2005, with additional upgrades in 2013. It is part of the master-planned Northbank Office Park, which is comprised of eight high-quality office buildings.

Steve Lindley, Bob Buckley and Tracy Cartledge with Cassidy Turley’s Capital Markets Group negotiated the sale transaction.
Northbank Office Building was 94.2% leased at the time of sale, with 15 of 17 suites occupied.
“The property boasts an exceptional leasing history with average occupancy of 90.6% over the past 15 years, including 11 quarters at 100% occupied,” noted Steven Schwarz of ViaWest Group.

With multiple enhancements and upgrades over the past 30 years, the property includes a large open lobby with striking finishes including new flooring and energy efficient lighting. The façade and landscaping of Northbank Office Building were both updated during the recent renovations. The property sits on a two-acre site with 17 office suites averaging ±1,800 square feet, creating a desirable configuration for private tenants.

“Even though we bought this in 2005 (for $4.3 million) through strong management and negotiating a discounted note payoff, we made this a successful deal for our investors,” added Gary Linhart, also of ViaWest Group.

Northbank Office Building is located in the heart of the Camelback Corridor office submarket with an abundance of amenities within minutes of the property. It offers convenient access to multiple freeways, Sky Harbor International Airport, and high-end employment base.

bioscience

Regents Approve New UA Downtown Phoenix Project

The Arizona Board of Regents on Thursday approved plans to construct a 10-story, 245,000-square-foot research building on the campus of the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix.

The Regents, at their meeting in Flagstaff, endorsed plans for the Biosciences Partnership Building, which will be built immediately north of the Health Sciences Education Building near 7th Street and Fillmore in downtown Phoenix.

“In this building, partnerships will be forged in which our scholars and researchers will be looking for the answers of some pretty daunting questions,” Ann Weaver Hart, president of the University of Arizona, said in announcing the project. “This is critical and central to the core plans of the Never Settle commitment at the University of Arizona. It will advance the interests of health care, it will nurture the best new science and the translation of that science into specific treatments. It will provide a setting where partners can find ways to increase not only our effectiveness but also the economic development of our broader community by tapping into the biomedical sciences.”

Under the plan passed by the Arizona Board of Regents, ground would be broken on the $136 million building by the end of 2014, taking about 26 months to complete. It would translate into nearly 500 jobs in design and construction and another 360 permanent jobs at build-out.

Plans are for the university to pursue expanded partnerships with industry, multi-disciplinary collaborations with its Phoenix partners.

The building would continue the steady expansion of the downtown Phoenix academic medical center after the 2012 completion of the award-winning education building and the ongoing construction of the University of Arizona Cancer Center at Dignity Health’s St. Joseph’s. The cancer center, a 220,000-square foot outpatient and research facility, is scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2015.

“It will mean more lab space for UA and give them even more tools to lead the way on neuroscience and cancer research and put an emphasis on health care outcomes,” Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said. “It is incredibly important that we keep the momentum going on this campus. One of the key components for economic future is best represented by everything going on this campus.”

The funding for the building comes from the Stimulus Plan for Economic and Educational Development bonds approved by the legislature in 2008 that paid for construction of the Health Sciences Education Building and related campus improvements. The construction of this second research building was approved by the Arizona Legislature’s Joint Committee on Capital Review at the same time as the Health Sciences Education Building in 2010.

Research focus areas include neurosciences, healthcare outcomes, cancer and precision medicine.

options grow for telecommunication providers - AZ Business Magazine April 2008

One Stop Voice completes sale to Crexendo

Two Phoenix-based businesses have announced a purchase agreement of One Stop Voice (OSV) to Crexendo, Inc. (NYSE MKT: EXE). OSV, a company built by Joshua Simon, president of SimonCRE, provides top of the line, feature rich, cloud-based communications systems to small and medium sized business customers. OSV is located in Scottsdale and focuses on Arizona markets while providing telecom services nationwide. Crexendo is a hosted services company that provides hosted telecommunications services, hosted website services, website development software and broadband internet services for businesses and entrepreneurs. Their corporate offices are in Tempe.

This purchase will transfer certain infrastructure and customers of OSV to Crexendo. Crexendo has hired OSV’s customer service supervisor as well as their sales director to assure a smooth migration of OSV’s customer base into Crexendo. In addition Crexendo has entered into an agreement with OSV to maintain certain support functions to assure a seamless transition with no disruption to any customers.

Steven G. Mihaylo, Chief Executive Officer, commented, “We are very pleased with the OSV asset purchase and the synergies that our companies offer each other. We have indicated that we intend to grow our business both by acquisition and organically. We expect to add approximately $500,000 in annual revenues with this acquisition and we expect the acquisition to be accretive from day one. This acquisition confirms our commitment to acquiring accretive companies that expand our customer base and increase shareholder value. At the same time, we continue to make improvements to our internal sales as well as our dealer/partner program which we also expect will increase shareholder value.”

“We knew that to keep providing the level of service our customers expect, substantial infrastructure investment was required,” says Simon of the deal. “Crexendo provides world-class products and services and we knew our customers were in excellent hands. We are confident Crexendo will continue to provide the level of service that OSV customers have enjoyed while having the additional opportunity to provide some expanded services and offerings Crexendo has available.”

Simon is now able to focus his attention to his other business venture, SimonCRE, which is a nationally focused commercial real estate development company.

pt

Banner CORE Center for Orthopedics Expands

Integration, collaboration and education are hallmarks of the Banner CORE Center for Orthopedics, a co-management partnership linking The CORE Institute and Banner Health. Recently, the relationship between the two healthcare leaders was strengthened with the expansion of Banner CORE Center to Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona.

One of the state’s oldest and most well-regarded academic teaching hospitals, Banner Good Samaritan, has spent more than six decades teaching and training the doctors of tomorrow. The partnership with The CORE Institute enhances the hospital’s scope of orthopedic services, including expanded orthopedic residency and fellowship training programs and a more robust framework for orthopedic trauma care.

“We’re building upon Banner Good Samaritan’s reputation as a provider of superior medical education and Level 1 trauma care by creating a more comprehensive program capable of managing even the most complex orthopedic cases,” said David Jacofsky, MD, Chairman and CEO of The CORE Institute. “At Banner Good Samaritan, the Banner CORE Center for Orthopedics model will focus on complete musculoskeletal health with sub-specialty programs for everything from spine, hand, and foot and ankle care, to sports medicine, joint replacement and trauma.”

Expansion to Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center, which began with orthopedic trauma coverage in October followed by the launch of elective procedures in February, comes on the heels of the successful implementation of Banner CORE Center for Orthopedics at four other Banner Health facilities across metropolitan Phoenix: Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center in Sun City West, Banner Thunderbird Medical Center in Glendale, Banner Estrella Medical Center in West Phoenix, and Banner Desert Medical Center in Mesa.

DeLyle Manwaring, Senior Vice President of Hospital Service Line Integration for The CORE Institute, highlights improved quality of care, better outcomes and enhanced patient experience as key benefits of the Banner CORE Center collaborative model. According to Manwaring, this manner of bringing together physicians and hospital leaders with a shared objective of improving patient care, outcomes and overall volume does not exist elsewhere in the Phoenix market.

“We’re providing cutting-edge care via an innovative model based on the highest level of collaboration,” he said. “Other healthcare organizations across the country are watching what we’re doing, and they have expressed interest in replicating the model being implemented at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center.”

Being at the forefront of innovation, both in practice and principle, isn’t new to either The CORE Institute or Banner Health. The organizations’ willingness to innovate, push boundaries, explore all options, restructure when and where necessary, and settle for nothing less than the absolute best has earned much deserved distinction in their respective fields. Their collaboration sets a new standard for orthopedic care in Arizona and beyond.

“Given the hospital’s scope of services and position as a teaching hospital, the co-management model for musculoskeletal health at Banner Good Samaritan requires some restructuring in both orthopedic care and education,” noted Jacofsky. “This will touch multiple aspects of the hospital, but the end result will solidify a reputation as a world-class teaching hospital.” Patients often turn to the very hospitals in which physicians train.

“Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center has a long-standing reputation of being the place where the sickest patients from across the region come for care,” commented Steve Narang, MD, CEO of Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center. “This isn’t just a coincidence.”

Indeed, Banner Good Samaritan’s position as a destination medical center is the well-deserved product of a commitment to medical excellence. Banner Good Samaritan invested more than $40 million last year alone in physician residency programs spanning 17 clinical specialties, including orthopedics. Jacofsky says the Banner CORE Center partnership will enhance orthopedic training by giving residents and orthopedic fellows greater access to highly trained specialty teams, including those dedicated to trauma care at the Good Samaritan facility.

“Orthopedic trauma cases at Banner Good Samaritan have tripled in just the first 90 days of this venture,” noted Jacofsky. “Numbers don’t lie. There’s a reason more people are coming to this hospital.”

Creating top-notch teaching programs attracts the best and brightest physicians, nurses, therapists, pharmacists and others who are committed to delivering excellent care, conducting medical research and advancing the field of medicine.

“Our partnership with The CORE Institute is an investment that will ultimately shape the entire service line and distinguish Banner Good Samaritan as a leader in orthopedics,” said Narang. “As such, we will continue to attract leading orthopedic specialists and, in turn, patients who want the best possible care.”

The inevitable result of integrating clinical care teams, enhancing medical education, investing in the tools and technologies to deliver leading-edge care, and centering the entire orthopedic service line on evidence-based protocols is an unmatched, highly-coordinated care experience.

While still in its infancy, the co-management model at Banner Good Samaritan has resulted in enhanced orthopedic education, expanded capabilities, an influx in physicians on staff and a new framework for educating patients.

Banner CORE Center for Orthopedics treats injuries and disorders affecting the bones, joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons and cartilage. From total and partial joint replacements, to sports injuries, congenital conditions, arthritic and degenerative disorders, fractures and spine conditions, Banner CORE Center has the experience and expertise to treat virtually any orthopedic injury or ailment.

lawyer

10 Quarles & Brady Attorneys Earn Distinction

The national law firm of Quarles & Brady LLP announced that 10 attorneys from the firm’s Phoenix office – and a total of 48 attorneys nationwide – have been ranked in the 2014 edition of the prestigious Chambers USA directory.

“Quarles attorneys work hard to establish reputations for excellence,” said Firm Chair Kimberly Leach Johnson. “Chambers provides an excellent independent validation of our efforts.”

The Phoenix attorneys are:
Joseph A. Drazek – Environment (including water rights)
Steven P. Emerick – Corporate/M&A
Diane Haller – Real Estate
Christian Hoffmann – Corporate/M&A
Leezie Kim – Corporate/M&A
Don P. Martin – Litigation: General Commercial
Matthew Mehr – Real Estate
Jon E. Pettibone – Labor & Employment
James A. Ryan – Litigation: General Commercial
Derek L. Sorenson – Real Estate

internet

Cox Brings Gigabit Speeds to Arizona

Joined by government and community leaders at the site of the new Mark Taylor San Travesia Luxury Apartments in Scottsdale, Cox Communications President Pat Esser announced the company’s plans to roll out gigabit Internet speeds across its markets. The company will start with new residential construction projects nationwide. In Phoenix, Las Vegas and Omaha, Cox will begin to deploy technology to enable both new and existing neighborhoods to have gigabit speeds. In all Cox locations, the company will begin marketwide deployment of gigabit speeds by the end of 2016.

“We are excited about our road map to offer gigabit speeds to all of our residential customers,” said Esser. “Starting today, we will begin deploying new technology and infrastructure that will give customers the choice of gigabit speeds in all markets we serve.”

Attended by representatives from cities across the Valley, county and state, the event was held at the site of the new Mark Taylor San Travesia Luxury Apartments in Scottsdale where Cox has partnered with Mark Taylor to begin offering gigabit services to residents of the complex, in addition to providing Cox Metro Wi-Fi service to the common areas such as the community pool and community center.

“We are thrilled to be the first community in the Valley to partner with Cox to offer gigabit speeds this fall. Offering the fastest Internet speeds and Wi-Fi access where our residents live and play, makes it essential to connecting our tech- savvy residents,” said Dale Phillips, president of Mark-Taylor Residential.

The company announced that Cox’s metropolitan Wi-Fi service will launch later this year. The service will be available in high-traffic areas such as restaurants, malls, parks and sports arenas. Additionally, through the company’s partnerships with other cable companies, Cox customers can access 250,000 Wi-Fi hotspots across the country as they travel.

The company also said it will double Internet speeds for existing customers in its most popular tiers this year. Cox High-Speed Internet Preferred tier customer speeds will increase from 25 megabits per second to 50 megabits per second and Premier tier customer speeds will increase from 50 megabits per second to 100 megabits per second. These tiers represent more than 70 percent of Cox Internet customers in Valley. Over the last 12 years, Cox has increased broadband speeds 800 percent.

“Arizonans have made Cox the largest ISP in the state for over 15 years. Millions of customers rely on us each day for personal communications, commerce, education and entertainment,” said Steve Rizley, senior vice president and general manager in the Southwest region. “Cox takes their trust seriously, and we will continue our investment and delivery of the fastest Internet speeds in the market.”

“Cox has consistently and aggressively increased its investment in its broadband network, powering economic growth and development for businesses, residents and our state overall. It is not a surprise to see that they are continuing this commitment to Arizona by expanding gigabit services to our residents,” said Todd Sanders, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Chamber of
Commerce. “Arizona is fortunate to have a committed partner like Cox to help us continue to grow and prosper.”

In the last 10 years, Cox has invested more than $15 billion in its communities through infrastructure upgrades to deliver video, phone and high-speed Internet service to homes and businesses in the company’s service area. In Arizona, Cox has created more than 2,900 jobs and is responsible for a combined payroll of nearly $195 million.
Additionally, this year, the company gave more than $17 million in cash and in-kind support to partners in the cities and towns served in Arizona.