Tag Archives: phoenix

Biosciences_Partnership_Building_poster

UofA breaks ground on 245KSF Biosciences Partnership Building

With a shovel of dirt, construction began Thursday on the 10-story Biosciences Partnership Building; the latest development in downtown Phoenix.

 

University of Arizona President Ann Weaver Hart and Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton tilled the soil ceremoniously marking the beginning of the 2-year design and construction for the 245,000-square foot research building on the Phoenix Biomedical Campus.

 

“This building will foster collaborations with scientists that will lead to more cures, better treatments and bring more federal and private dollars to the state,” said President Hart. “We will pursue expanded partnerships with industry that we hope will lead to groundbreaking discoveries in the areas of neuroscience, cardiovascular and thoracic science. This building will allow us to further these efforts and, ultimately, improve lives.”

 

As announced earlier this year by the university and the City of Phoenix, plans are in place to construct the 10-story, 245,000-square-foot research building just north of the Health Sciences Education Building on the downtown campus.

 

“This building will serve the medical school and beyond with important research and faculty to teach the next generation of health professionals,” Stanton said. “Of course, this just adds to the economic vibrancy of downtown. The research facility initially will bring construction jobs, and then high-paying, research-related jobs, including specialized technicians and other support staff for faculty and scientists.”

 

The 2-year construction on the $136 million building is expected to translate into nearly 500 jobs initially and another 360 permanent jobs at build out.

 

“The Bioscience Partnership Building represents yet another milestone as the city and the university develop a major academic medical center in downtown Phoenix,” said Stuart D. Flynn, MD, dean of the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix. “Research in this building, in collaboration with our partners, will advance healthcare for all and expand our role as an economic driver for the city, valley, and state.”

 

The building is the latest development in the steady expansion of the downtown Phoenix Biomedical Campus and expanding academic medical center. In 2012, the award-winning Health Sciences Education Building opened, housing health education for both the UA and Northern Arizona University. Construction continues on The University of Arizona Cancer Center at Dignity Health St. Joseph’s. The cancer center, a 220,000-square foot outpatient and research facility, is scheduled to be completed in 2015.

 

The Phoenix Biomedical Campus plays host to four UA health science colleges – the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health as well as the colleges of nursing and pharmacy. Also on campus are three NAU programs – physician’s assistant, physical therapy and occupational therapy as part of the university’s College of Health and Human Services. Arizona State University’s School of Nutrition and Health Innovation is housed in the Arizona Biomedical Collaborative 1 building just southwest of the education building and immediately south of the Translational Genomic Research Institute (TGen).

 

The funding for the Biosciences Partnership Building comes from the Stimulus Plan for Economic and Educational Development bonds approved by the legislature in 2008that paid for construction of the Health Sciences Education Building and related campus improvements. Research focus areas include neurosciences, healthcare outcomes, cancer and precision medicine.

Frank Lect 08

Arizona Humanities Announces 2014 Humanities Awards

Arizona Humanities has announced the recipients of the 2014 Humanities Awards. The public is invited to attend the awards reception on Thursday, November 13, 2014 from 4:30 – 7:30 p.m. at the Cutler-Plotkin Jewish Heritage Center in downtown Phoenix, Arizona.

Arizona Humanities Board Member and host of PBS’ “History Detectives,” Dr. Eduardo Pagán, will present the awards to the recipients. There will also be a special poetry performance by last year’s Rising Star awardee, Myrlin Hepworth. Guests can enjoy appetizers, drinks, a silent auction and live music. Tickets are $40 and available here or by calling 602-257-0335.

For more than 20 years, the Arizona Humanities Awards have recognized community members and organizations that have made significant contributions to Arizona’s civic and cultural vitality through the humanities. Carrie Gustavson, Director of the Bisbee Mining & Historical Museum and Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors of Arizona Humanities announced, “We are thrilled to introduce the winners for the 2014 Arizona Humanities Award, and we couldn’t be more proud of David William Foster, ASU’s Project Humanities, and Tyler Wayne Vertrees for their achievements as humanities champions. We invite the public to join us and celebrate these fantastic individuals and organizations who have provided scholarship and research, enhanced public knowledge, and cultivated the humanities in their communities. They have reached people from all walks of life, and taught us to appreciate the richness of arts and culture in our state.”

The recipients of this year’s Humanities Awards are:

Dan Shilling Public Humanities Scholar Award
David William Foster Ph.D.

David William Foster (Ph.D., University of Washington, 1964 [BA, 1961; MA, 1963 University of Washington]) Regents’ Professor of Spanish, Humanities, and Women’s Studies at Arizona State University. He served as Chair of the Department of Languages and Literatures from 1997-2001. In Spring 2009, he served as the Ednagene and Jordan Davidson Eminent Scholar in the Humanities at Florida International University. His research interests focus on urban culture in Latin America, with emphasis on issues of gender construction and sexual identity, as well as Jewish culture. He has written extensively on Argentine narrative and theater, and he has held Fulbright teaching appointments in Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay. He has also served as an Inter-American Development Bank Professor in Chile.

Juliana Yoder Friend Of The Humanities Award
Project Humanities

Project Humanities is an award-winning initiative at Arizona State University that promotes and showcases the range, relevance, and diversity of faculty and student humanities programming and community outreach. With both a national and international presence in conversations about the role, impact, and importance of humanities study and humanist thinking through multidisciplinary collaboration, Project Humanities highlights the value of humanist perspectives through talking, listening, and connecting.

Humanities Rising Star Award
Tyler Wayne Vertrees  

Tyler Vertrees was born and raised in Bisbee Arizona. In high school he was a top ten student that participated in numerous extracurricular activities including Student Council, National Honors Society, Thespian Society, and Football. Tyler also volunteered much of his time at the local radio station KBRP where he produced a number of original pieces, including the national award winning radio drama “Fallen Angels.” He is currently studying at the University of Arizona where he is majoring in Film and Television with a minor in Creative Writing. Afterwards he hopes to pursue a career in film.

The recipients were chosen by the Awards Committee from amongst a competitive field of nominees showcasing the best and brightest of the humanities in Arizona.

Dan Shilling Public Humanities Scholar Award Nominees: Paul Espinosa, James Garcia, Ann-Mary Lutzick, Brooks Simpson, Michelle Tellez

Juliana Yoder Friend of the Humanities Award Nominees: Karen Applewhite, Confluencenter for Creative Inquiry, Frontdoors, Bjorn Krondorfer, Flagstaff Library

Humanities Rising Star Nominee: Johnny Martin

Fiesta Park

The value-add play in Phoenix’s multifamily market

By:  Steve Jaffe, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, BH Properties

 

Steve Jaffe is the executive vice president and general counsel for BH Properties, a Los Angeles-based commercial real estate investment company that acquires and maximizes the value of under-performing properties located throughout the country. The firm also has regional offices in Dallas, Texas and Salt Lake City, Utah.

Steve Jaffe is the executive vice president and general counsel for BH Properties, a Los Angeles-based commercial real estate investment company that acquires and maximizes the value of under-performing properties located throughout the country. The firm also has regional offices in Dallas, Texas and Salt Lake City, Utah.

During the most recent Great Recession, Phoenix saw property values drastically decrease and apartment owners lose tenants due to lost jobs. The domino effect resulted in owners dropping rents to maintain occupancy, which, in turn, caused them to lose out on money they would have spent to reinvest in and improve their properties, leading to further tenant loses. For many of the multifamily properties in the B- to C classes, this downward cycle was fatal.

In 2010, BH Properties stepped back into the apartment business with Arizona as its target market. The Los Angeles-based company brought its proven strategy of purchasing undermanaged or distressed assets at the appropriate price and turning the properties around in one of the markets that had been hit the hardest by the recession.

Fiesta Park in Mesa, Arizona was one such multifamily property suffering from long-term neglect and in need of BH Properties’ value-add approach. Recognizing its upside potential and believing the Phoenix market was (or would soon be) on the upswing, BH Properties purchased the complex in a short sale, making it the first purchase made by BH Properties after the market crashed almost three years earlier.

After purchasing the complex, BH Properties identified areas that needed to be restored and repaired in order for the asset to function properly and to draw new tenants. The 320-unit complex was 54 percent occupied at the time BH Properties went under contract to purchase the property and required extensive renovations to both the exteriors and interiors. Expenses were then prioritized in order to keep rents within reason to fit within the constraints of the C class property.  

To add value without losing sight of investment goals, the firm focused the majority of the renovations on improving common areas and individual units. The exterior of each building within the complex was painted with a fresh color scheme, the fence around the swimming pool was repaired and new furnishings were added, and outdoor lighting was installed throughout the complex illuminating areas that may not have seemed safe before. An archway was also built in front of the leasing office to increase its visibility and provide a welcoming entrance to the complex. The leasing office interior was updated and made more inviting. Individual apartment units were refurbished with better flooring, upgraded light fixtures and resurfaced countertops. For safety, walkways and staircases were improved.

With more than $1 million in renovations completed over an eight-month-time-period, BH Properties turned the neglected complex into a clean, safe, family-oriented living space. Shortly after the final touches were made to enhance the curb appeal, the complex saw occupancy grow to 90 percent from 54 percent at the time of purchase. Gradually, BH Properties was able to increase rents and improve the overall tenant profile.

The keys to success with value-add plays are patience and a true understanding of the market and not “over improving” an asset. Phoenix, like other major cities in the Sunbelt, held all the fundamentals for a great economy and continues to strengthen along with the recovery. In addition to the area’s unemployment rate coming in at almost one percent lower than the national average, recent reports  indicate a slight uptick in the median asking price per unit in the Phoenix market with an increase of 10.7 percent compared to last year’s prices.

BH Properties recognized the potential this business and family friendly environment had for a strong recovery across all sectors, especially the housing market, and employed its quick closing business model to take advantage of the primed opportunity. Purchasing Fiesta Park at the right price allowed the firm time and capital to make the necessary repairs in order to bring the complex back up to par, while the market gradually made a comeback.

 

 

latte

Independent shops create Coffee Culture in Phoenix

It doesn’t take an investigative panel to notice the smattering of new coffee shops in Phoenix. In the past few years, vacant lots and empty buildings have transformed into Cartel Coffee Lab, Songbird Tea and Coffeehouse, JoBot Coffee and Nami.

The culture of local shops have more to offer to Phoenix than a just a latte. The journey from coffee bean to customer tells a story of sustainability and community. These ideas merged together to form Coffee Culture, a downtown Phoenix collective of local coffee shops.

A green coffee bean travels from a plantation in Costa Rica to a roaster in Tempe to a coffee shop in Phoenix to a shared moment between two strangers to in the story of Coffee Culture.

Coffee

Ron Cortez began roasting coffee in the mid-1990s. The backroom of his store front in Tempe, Arizona, smelled of freshly roasted coffee beans. His two young daughters played hide-and-seek as he poured two samples of highly-caffeinated cold brew coffee.

Cortez grew up among the coffee plantations of Costa Rica. He left his career as a banker to found Cortez Coffee Company.

“I remember seeing an 80 kilogram bag of coffee and thinking, ‘How are we going to sell all of this?'” he said. “Now we sell over 120,000 pounds of coffee a year.”

After researching sustainability, Cortez decided he wanted to go beyond Fair Trade and organic. He joined More Than Fair, an organization that buys directly from farmers for a fair price.

Thirty cafes across the valley brew Cortez Coffee. Online sales and social media are revolutionary to the local movement.

“You can now reach out to customers directly,” he said. “People care about the story behind their coffee.”

Cafe

Songbird Coffee and Tea is one of the valley businesses that brews Cortez Coffee. A rotating board lists two roasts with details about the coffee’s origin and roast. The skilled baristas serve the coffee pour over style and swirl steamed milk into latte art. The cafe also offers loose leaf tea and iced espresso-based drinks.

“Songbird is one of the strongest coffee houses in the area,” Cortez said. “They are a true success story.”

Husband and wife team, Jonathan and Erin Carroll, started Songbird in July 2012.

“If we didn’t have a loyal customer base, we wouldn’t be here,” Jonathan Carroll said. “We wouldn’t be thriving.”

A few months ago, he decided to create a community of downtown cafes. He said wanted to create a group where coffee shops could promote not just themselves but also other small businesses and the local movement.

“If you’re going to spend your hard earned money, keep it local,” he said. “Small businesses care about the customers more and listen to their feedback.”

Each coffee shop has something different to offer, he said. Jobot Coffee keeps late night hours and whips up crepes and burritos. Nami serves vegan pastries and brunch. Lola Coffee offers fresh roasted beans and a lively ambiance. Coffee lovers tend to support several different shops.

Community

Quinn Whissen and Ryan Tempest, cofounders of This Could Be PHX, helped Carroll mobilize his mission. Together they formed Coffee Culture

“Jonathan approached us with the idea of promoting all the coffee shops around downtown,” Whissen said. “Even though he’s a coffee shop owner, he doesn’t see them as competitors. He sees them as part of a culture.”

The project consists of a graphic art poster by Whissen highlighting 13 uptown and downtown coffee shops. An interactive map on Coffee Culture’s website lists unique features of each shop and includes biking, walking, driving and light rail directions.

Also included is a collection of people’s story on how the coffee community has transformed their lives “one coffee and one conversation at a time.”

“You go into a coffee shop and you see people working, reading, studying and meeting friends,” Tempest said. “It’s a great way to make connections.”

Those connections has proven to be pivotal in Whissen’s and Tempest’s lives. The pair met at a Phoenix coffee shop, and Whissen, a marketing and design consultant, works and meet clients at cafes.

“Coffee Culture highlights all the great local coffee shops in downtown, the community they create and the culture they foster,” Tempest said.

The movement fell in line with This Could Be PHX’s philosophy of urban revival and sustainability.

Downtown Phoenix has had a bad reputation for such a longtime, Whissen said. People think it’s dangerous or there’s no local business or nightlife. Coffee Culture seeks to change that, latte by latte.

Del Frisco 077

It’s mushroom mania at Del Frisco’s Grille

Del Frisco’s Grille can help you celebrate National Mushroom Day on October 15. Enjoy everybody’s favorite fungi with a Wild Mushroom Flatbread or Veal Meatloaf served with earthy, pan-braised wild mushrooms and bordelaise sauce.

Here are the details:

Who: Mushroom lovers, fungus fiends, and anyone else looking to celebrate National Mushroom Day offered at Del Frisco’s Grille.

What: Fungi lovers unite! This October 15 is National Mushroom Day, and there’s no better place to celebrate mushroom mania than at Del Frisco’s Grille in Phoenix, where earthy, irresistible Wild Mushrooms are always on the menu. Kick off the spore soiree with one of DFG’s signature Wild Mushroom Flatbreads, topped with creamy fontina cheese, caramelized onions and peppery baby arugula. Or go all out with a Knife & Fork entrée, such as the Veal Meatloaf paired with hand-mashed potatoes, braised wild mushrooms and bordelaise sauce. Finally, for those looking for just a scooch more ’srooms can order a side of hearty Braised Wild Mushrooms a la carte or paired with any entrée.

And don’t forget, all football season long, DFG offers the new Burgers and Brews combo, featuring the Grille’s Prime Cheeseburger – two flavorful patties made of a mouthwatering blend of USDA Prime short rib, brisket and chuck topped with cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles and sloppy sauce between a brioche bun. Pair it with your choice of Original, Sea Salt & Parmesan or Sweet Potato Frites, plus your choice of a draft beer pint, all for only $17.50.

When:  National Mushroom Day is on October 15, 2014, but Del Frisco’s Grille’s wild mushroom specialty dishes are available daily!

Where:  Del Frisco’s Grille (at The Camelback Esplanade), 2425 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix, AZ 85016, 602-466-2890,  www.delfriscosgrille.com

Del Frisco’s Grille is modern, inviting, stylish and fun. Taking the classic bar and grill to new heights, Del Frisco’s Grille draws inspiration from bold flavors and market-fresh ingredients. The energetic bar, a destination in itself, creates a buzz throughout the restaurant and sets the stage for an amazing night out.

autism

Valley autism treatment centers open Oct. 18

Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) announced the opening of its new treatment centers in Phoenix and Chandler with Family Fun Days scheduled on Saturday, Oct. 18.  CARD provides a variety of services using the evidence-based principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA) to treat the delays and challenges commonly associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) at over 28 centers worldwide.  ABA is the only scientifically validated treatment for ASD, and research shows that it is most effective when delivered early and at a high level of intensity.  The events will feature a presentation by leading autism expert, Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh, PhD, BCBA-D, child-friendly games and activities, food and refreshments.  The events are free and childcare will be provided.  To RSVP, contact s.price@centerforautism.com or call 818-345-2345 x322.

“We invite the community to join us for a fun-filled and informational day,” said Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh, founder and executive director of CARD.  “CARD’s goal is to ensure that every individual diagnosed with autism has access to top quality treatment for a brighter future.”

The first Family Fun Day will take place at the CARD office in Phoenix from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  The address is 2400 W. Dunlap Ave., Suite 100 in Phoenix, Ariz. 85021.  The next event will take place from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the CARD office in Chandler at 290 S. Alma School Rd., Suite 01, Chandler, Ariz. 85224.

CARD services include center-based treatment, home-based services and supervision, integrated services for adults, parent training, and school shadowing.  Clients receive CARD’s cutting edge curriculum while receiving care from top quality ABA therapists and Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) supervisors.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), estimates that one in every 68 children in America is diagnosed with ASD, with one in 42 boys and one in 189 girls diagnosed.  This is more than a 30 percent increase since the 2008 report.  As the prevalence of ASD has increased, services for children with ASD have not always kept pace with demand. As a result, families affected by ASD may encounter challenges when trying to access quality treatment. The increase in autism diagnoses and the lack of resources available to families in many communities leave parents struggling to access the services that are crucial to their child’s development.

Morris.Michelle

Michelle Morris Joins Sherman & Howard

The law firm of Sherman & Howard announced that Michelle M. Morris has joined its Phoenix office as a Member of the Business and Corporate Department. She brings more than 15 years’ experience to the firm. Michelle’s practice focuses on intellectual property and trademark matters, including development and implementation of brand strategies, trademark prosecution and enforcement, trademark licensing and other intellectual property agreements, and work with foreign agents regarding foreign trademark strategy. Michelle also will provide general corporate legal services including general business counseling and transactions.

“We are excited to have Michelle join Sherman & Howard,” says Gregory Falls, managing partner of the firm’s Phoenix and Scottsdale offices. “She is a well-known trademark attorney, and her experience in that area will be a great complement to the business and litigation services we offer our clients.”

Michelle is an author and speaker on intellectual property and trademark issues affecting businesses. She is a member of the State Bar of Arizona (Intellectual Property Law Section), the Maricopa County Bar Association, the Arizona Women Lawyers Association and the International Trademark Association.

Michelle graduated, magna cum laude, from Arizona State University College of Law, where she was the senior managing editor of ASU’s Law Journal, and received her undergraduate degree from Arizona State University. Michelle clerked for the Honorable Frederick J. Martone on the Arizona Supreme Court. Prior to joining Sherman & Howard, she worked at Ryley Carlock & Applewhite and Perkins Coie.

87690275

Cox begins offering residential Gigabit Service

Cox Communications today announced that its gigabit internet service for residential customers will be available in customer homes starting later this month. Marketed under the brand name “G1GABLASTSM,” Cox will offer speeds 100 times faster than the average speed in the U.S. today.

The service will be first available in parts of the Phoenix Metropolitan area, and will continue to expand there as well as in Las Vegas and Omaha, and in new developments in all Cox markets nationwide. In all Cox locations, the company will begin market-wide deployment of gigabit speeds to residential customers by the end of 2016. The company has been deploying gigabit speeds to businesses for more than 10 years.

“We are excited to deliver the choice of gigabit speeds to our customers,” said Cox Communications President Pat Esser. “Coupled with our 2,300 employees in the Valley and more than 20,000 nationwide, our latest investments and the deployment of the fastest speeds available are powering economic growth and development for businesses and residents of the communities we serve.”

G1GABLAST will be available in the Phoenix market for $69.99 per month when combined with Cox’s most popular service bundles, and will deliver more speed, a powerful home network and rich broadband enabled services to customers.  The service offers speeds as fast as 1 gigabit per second – will deliver more speed, a powerful home network and rich broadband enabled services to customers. G1GABLAST also includes the latest high-speed Wi-Fi router, one terabyte of cloud storage, Cox Security Suite and Family Protection and 10 email boxes each with 15 gigabytes of storage.

“Starting today, trained teams of Cox sales representatives will be personally reaching out, door to door, into the neighborhoods that will be the first to have 1G speed available.  Cox will continue outreach into neighborhoods as gig service becomes available, said John Wolfe, Senior Vice President of the Southwest region-Cox Communications.

Marketing and sales promotions will include broad digital advertising and social media, direct mail and print and outdoor advertising. Cox will be demonstrating the service at community events throughout the region and at its retail Cox Solutions Stores. Consumers also can sign-up at www.cox.com/giglife.

While focused on bringing gigabit speeds to its customers, Cox doubled the speeds of its most popular tiers of service this past summer. Cox High Speed Internet Preferred has increased from 25 megabits per second to 50 megabits per second. Cox High Speed Internet Premier has increased from 50 megabits per second to 100 megabits per second. These tiers represent more than 70 percent of Cox’s high-speed internet customers. Committed to offering access and choice, Cox has increased broadband speeds more than 1,000 percent over the past 13 years.

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 and home security and automation service to homes and businesses in the company’s service area. Additionally, the company gives tens of millions of dollars annually in cash and in-kind contributions to support the communities in which it operates.

Trucks CrossingBorderat Nogales

Arizona Opens Mexico City Trade Office

The State of Arizona today announced the strategic expansion of its presence and investment in Mexico with the launch of the Arizona State Trade and Investment Office.

The grand opening of the Arizona office located in Mexico City was the culminating event of an Arizona-led trade mission conducted this week to strengthen the state’s relationship with its number one trading partner. During the mission, Arizona’s delegation met with Mexican government officials at the federal and state levels as well as private sector business leaders to discuss bi-lateral collaborations in key areas including: Economic Development, Trade and Innovation; Infrastructure and Corridor Competitiveness; and international Tourism.

The Arizona State Trade and Investment Office in Mexico will be led by the Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA), in partnership with the City of Phoenix, and additional funding partners including Maricopa Association of Governments, the City of Tucson and Visit Phoenix. With the support of Governor Jan Brewer and the state legislature, Arizona has made a commitment of $300,000 to the ACA to establish and manage the office, which will create a platform for businesses in both countries to expand their international trade and foreign direct investment opportunities.

“Since becoming governor, I have made it my mission to enhance Arizona’s global competitiveness, support job growth and secure our economic vitality long into the future,” said Governor Brewer. “Our continued success in this mission will depend greatly on our ability to seize business and investment opportunities on an international scale. Expanding our presence in Mexico – by far our largest trading partner – will strengthen crucial economic ties, promoting economic development and contributing to high-paying jobs for Arizonans.”

Mexico is a growing world market, as well as Arizona’s most important trading partner. In 2013, trade generated between Arizona and Mexico exceeded $14 billion. Mexico is the world’s 14th-largest economy, and is projected by Goldman Sachs to be the fifth-largest by 2050.

Arizona’s trade office in Mexico will assist Arizona companies in successfully entering the Mexican market and attract new companies and investments that will contribute to the state’s economy to create high-wage jobs. The office will have a keen focus on targeted sectors that include aerospace & defense, medical devices, biosciences and innovation.

“This represents a significant milestone in building and strengthening a prosperous relationship between two trading partners that share a great deal of synergy, resources and geographical proximity,” said Sandra Watson, President and CEO, Arizona Commerce Authority. “We look forward to working with our partners in Arizona and Mexico to execute a unified strategy to advance a sustainable trade ecosystem that drives innovation, job creation and international commerce for both countries.”

“It’s time that we fundamentally change our relationship with Mexico to one of shared economic opportunities,” said City of Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. “Our trade office is a tremendous step in the right direction.”

“Tucson is fully committed to increasing trade relations with Mexico and our having a presence in Mexico City can only further that goal,” said Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild.

“The Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) has been working on a number of initiatives to help foster economic opportunities with Mexico,” said MAG Chair Michael LeVault, Mayor of Youngtown. “Arizona’s trade and investment office gives us a physical reality that extends beyond our 400-mile border. We believe this move will help us attract a larger share of the growing Mexican middle class and help us take advantage of new opportunities to enhance trade.”

Arizona’s new trade office builds upon the state’s current engagement in Mexico by complementing Arizona’s existing office in Hermosillo, Sonora, which is a collaboration between the ACA and the Arizona-Mexico Commission.

The ACA has secured Marketing One to assist the ACA with its economic development activities in Mexico. The Mexico City-based consulting firm has detailed knowledge of the Mexican market including more than 30 years total of international trade development experience. Victor Aguilar, Managing Director and President of Marketing One, and his team serve as Arizona’s representatives in the Arizona State Trade and Investment Office. The office will have a dedicated staff of international trade experts that will include an office director, trade consultants and specialists responsible for enhancing trade and foreign direct investment, as well as generating quality business leads and creating strategic outreach to key stakeholders throughout Mexico.

The Arizona State Trade and Investment Office is located in the Colonia Juárez neighborhood of Mexico City near the Paseo de la Reforma. The address is Hamburgo 231, Col. Juárez, C.P. 06600, México, D.F., México.

internet

Will the Valley Embrace Google Fiber?

Haynes & Company, a leader in innovative grassroots research and analytics for institutional investors, announced additional findings related to its study of Google Inc.’s high-speed fiber optic internet service in Kansas City. Google is considering bringing its ultra high-speed Internet network in Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tempe.

Google launched the ultrafast internet service in Kansas City beginning with its community-led “pre-registration” program in 2012.  Turning to this new model for deciding where, and when, to launch its 1GB service plus its first-of-its-kind, lifetime free service option hold the potential of closing the “digital divide”. To assess the impact of the roll out, Haynes & Company sent a team of researchers door-to-door in six, low-income neighborhoods to gauge both the awareness and the adaptation of the fiber optic service.

The most compelling takeaway was that only 16% of households surveyed had subscribed to the service. However, in a bright spot for Google, the vast majority (81%) of those households that have not yet subscribed had heard of the service, resulting in a 97% product recognition rate for Google Fiber. Moreover, of those households that had heard of Google Fiber but were not yet subscribers, 37% rated themselves as likely to sign up in the next 12 months. And, a full 12% said they would definitely sign-up.

“While the adaptation rates are relatively low, Google’s efforts are paying off in that consumers are well aware of the product,” said Elizabeth Haynes, Founder and President, Haynes & Company. “However, what we also found in speaking to people is that one thing that is keeping them away is cost, this despite Google’s attempt to structure appealing payment plans.”

Twenty-three percent of those likely to sign up in the coming year cited cost as a factor that could keep them from switching or installing Google Fiber.

The Google Fiber service, which costs $70 a month, offers speed of one gigabit a second, about 100 times faster than the national average. A slower service – about half the speed of the national average – is free after a $300 installation charge. It is this free service that holds the greatest potential for closing the digital divide for lower-income customers.

As Google continues to roll out its fiber product, Haynes & Company believes that significant opportunity remains to capture market share; however, it will require providing more than just access.

“Google has a real foothold in the mobile phone market with its Android operating system, and they should leverage that,” added Haynes. “For example, by bundling the one-time installation fee with mobile-phone plans and having Google Fiber available for sign-up in carriers’ stores where benefits of the service can be reinforced, we believe Google could markedly increase the uptake rate for the free service.”

 

 

 

Winding Creek, ABI Multifamily, WEB

Winding Creek apartments sell for $1.7M in Phoenix

ABI Multifamily, a dedicated multifamily brokerage and advisory services firm, is pleased to announce the sale of Winding Creek, an apartment community in Phoenix. The 54-unit garden-style community was originally built in 1982. Winding Creek sold for $1,700,000, which reflects a price just over $31,000 per unit. The sale is the second transaction brokered by ABI Multifamily in the past week, with the two sales combining for nearly $10M in transaction volume.

The buyer in the transaction, Los Angeles-based Winding Creek Apartments LLC, was attracted to the heavy two-bedroom unit mix, attractive assumable debt, as well as the trending fundamentals in the immediate neighborhood. “The submarket that Winding Creek is located in – Northwest Phoenix – had been lagging behind other submarkets in the Phoenix Valley in rental rate recovery. However, the neighborhood has flourished in recent months and market rents and occupancy have spiked. In the past year, the submarket itself has seen a 5.5 percent jump in market rents and Winding Creek specifically has seen its occupancy go from 75 percent to 100 percent. The result has been renewed acquisition interest in the area as this has been the third apartment purchase on the block in the past seven months,” stated Alon Shnitzer, senior managing partner at ABI Multifamily.

The seller in the transaction, locally based J & Z Property Management LLC, had owned the property for almost a decade and the improving submarket presented them with the perfect opportunity to exit. “The seller has self-managed this property, along with other apartments they previously owned, for decades now. Similar to other owners in the neighborhood, the seller weathered their fair share of struggles during the recent economic downturn and takes great pride in the fact that they sold a fully occupied community. Winding Creek is the seller’s last multifamily asset in the Phoenix market and they are now looking forward to taking their weekends off” according to Doug Lazovick, Partner at ABI Multifamily.

Winding Creek is a two and one-half story apartment community located at 2501 West Ocotillo Road in Phoenix. The property was built in 1982 and sits in Northwest Phoenix on the Interstate 17 (I-17) Corridor. Direct access to the I-17 provides residents with easy access to employment, entertainment and numerous dining options. Winding Creek has a mix of one bed/one bath and two bed/one bath unit types. All apartments include individual HVAC systems. Common area amenities include a swimming pool, on-site laundry facilities and ample parking.

The Phoenix based ABI Multifamily brokerage team of Alon Shnitzer, Doug Lazovick, John Kobierowski, Rue Bax and Eddie Chang represented both the seller and buyer in this transaction.

 

Avnet - Fortune Global 500

Phoenix MBDA Hosts Global Business Conference

The Phoenix Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Business Center, in partnership with the Thunderbird School of Global Management, is hosting Phoenix MBDA’s 2nd Annual Global Business Conference and the concurrent Global Business to Business Trade Expo on Thursday, October 23 and Friday, October 24 at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel. The expo will focus on topical business opportunities and will provide information on how to conduct business with local, domestic, and international companies.

The two-day event is expected to bring in 150 local, national, and international attendees, including foreign consulates, Arizona Mayors, businesses looking to expand their services and product offerings in international markets, and interested individuals who are looking to start and/or grow a business to support global initiatives.

In support of the conference, Penny Pritzker, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce said, “We know that when U.S. firms sell their goods overseas, the U.S. economy stands to benefit. U.S. exports reached a record $2.3 trillion in 2013, and exports now support 11.3 million jobs, up 1.6 million since 2009.”

Alika Kumar, Executive Director of Phoenix MBDA also emphasized the importance of the conference and said, “Understanding the simplified processes of how to do business in international markets is vital to all U.S. based businesses and all individuals looking to do business abroad. This conference will lay the framework and foundation for those looking to succeed abroad.” Panelists include Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild and Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, as well as Barry Broome representing the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC). They will provide information about opportunities, including how to network, connect, do business, and succeed in international markets.

For information about registering or sponsorship opportunities, contact Kaaren-Lyn Morton at (602) 248-0007 or e-mail kaaren@phoenixmbdacenter.com.

medical.research

PCH forms pediatric genomics institute

Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong joined Phoenix Children’s Hospital to announce the formation of a visionary institute, The Chan Soon-Shiong Children’s Precision Medicine Institute at Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

The new partnership brings together the medical expertise and resources of renowned surgeon and healthcare technology visionary Patrick Soon-Shiong, MD, with Phoenix Children’s commitment to genomic research and access to a large pediatric patient base. The institute will transform the pediatric health care landscape by applying state-of-the-art genomic and proteomic technology to identify precision diagnoses, treatments and cures for young patients facing serious illnesses.

“Our goal is to bring genomics research to the forefront of pediatrics,” said Robert L. Meyer, president and CEO of Phoenix Children’s Hospital. “With Dr. Soon-Shiong’s transformative technology implemented at Phoenix Children’s, the realization of all children having access to life-saving precision medicine becomes one step closer.”

Soon-Shiong is the founder of Nantworks, largely dedicated to applying genomic and proteomic analysis studies to translate diagnoses and cures more quickly and accurately. To date, his efforts have been focused on the adult population. Through this institute, Phoenix Children’s will serve as the exclusive national hub for pediatric genomic research and translational precision medicine.

“Phoenix Children’s is unique among children’s hospitals,” noted Dr. Soon-Shiong. “The leadership and the board of this hospital are leading their peers in health care by executing on an operational principle of patient centered 21st century care. They have attracted talented researchers and clinical scientists and have demonstrated their ability to advance a vision for precision medicine in pediatrics.”

At the crux of this revolutionary undertaking is super computing cloud based technology and artificial intelligence. Phoenix Children’s will be home to one of the few dedicated supercomputers in the country, which can deliver genomic sequencing and analysis more quickly than ever before. Appropriate patients undergo full genome sequencing and proteomics analysis in an unprecedented seven days.

“Current genome sequencing takes time,” added Meyer. “And that’s something that these patients don’t have. The mission is to develop innovative and effective diagnostics and therapies for young patients, while empowering physicians with the most up-to-date research and therapeutic models available, all to deliver potentially life-saving treatments.”

Often, existing treatment protocols lack efficacy for patients; this new genomic analysis will alter that dynamic through specific and targeted therapeutic remedies based on the individual’s unique genetic makeup. In time, Soon-Shiong’s technology will lead to a comprehensive genomic database platform, from which a shared information consortium will be integrated into a global diagnosis, treatment, and result-based methodology. A vast bank of pediatric patient data will be generated via a consortium of children’s hospitals, led by Phoenix Children’s.

“The Chan Soon-Shiong Children’s Precision Medicine Institute will fundamentally alter the way pediatric health care is delivered around the world,” said Meyer.

DSC_0221

Valley dining spots welcome patio season

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

TEMPE

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

SCOTTSDALE

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

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

NORTH SCOTTSDALE

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

DOWNTOWN PHOENIX

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

WEST VALLEY:

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

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

Post Office, WEB

Adaptive reuse of Phoenix post office wins architecture award

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

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

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

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

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

healthcare

Humana, Iora Health partner in Arizona

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

K Kramer 006

Boys & Girls Clubs Foundation Hires New Executive Director

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

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

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

Quarles & Brady Adds Dana Law Firm to Practice

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About the Attorneys:

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

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

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

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

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

Sean-Currid

Blue Hound Hires New Executive Chef

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

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

ABOUT SEAN CURRID:

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

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

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

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

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

Key Elements to Retirement Planning

‘YOYO’ Economy Creates New Reality

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rafal suggests:

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

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

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

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

Staying Innovative as a One Man Operation

Spirit of Enterprise Award Finalists named

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

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

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

The 18th annual Spirit of Enterprise Award finalists are:

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

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

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

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

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

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

internet

Cox names new Southwest Region manager

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LUSTRE Deck Ceremony 4.jpg

Hotel Palomar offers chic urban weddings

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

What makes a wedding at Hotel Palomar so unique?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New robotic surgery debuts at West Valley Hospital

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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