Tag Archives: phoenix

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Seed Spot hosts women entrepreneurs workshop

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

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

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

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

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

• Discovering ways to raise capital to launch ideas;

• Practicing how to interview customers and determine target market;

• Learning how to effectively market and brand a venture;

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

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

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

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

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

Chris Hill HiRes

St. Luke’s Medical Center has new CEO

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Meet Del Frisco’s Grille new dining duo

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

Susan Lichtenberger Joins Sherman & Howard

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

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

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

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Multicultural marketing plan can boost bottom line

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

technology

Growing tech firms reflect emerging Arizona business sector

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

So why is he doing business in Arizona?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

aerospace

Aerospace & Defense Forum will discuss best practices

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Two attorneys become shareholders

Ryley Carlock & Applewhite adds 6 new shareholders

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

New Phoenix Shareholders:

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

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

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

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

New Denver Shareholders:

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

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

Photo by Shavon Rose, AZ  Big Media

Joyce Grossman on the power of attraction

 

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

WHAT ARE ECONOMIC DEVELOPERS SAYING ABOUT ARIZONA’S ECONOMY?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Phoenix’s awkward, exciting urban evolution

Lorenzo Head Shot

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

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

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

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

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

Mac.Cheese

Central Bistro creates perfect blend of French, Italian

They had us at “Drunk Bread.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Paul J. Valentine

Jennings, Strouss & Salmon adds Paul J. Valentine

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

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

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

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

LightRailQuestion

Phoenix tackles public transit head on

Remember what it was like to rely on Phoenix public transit last century?

Not in the early part of the last hundred years, but as recent as the 1990s. Phoenix had limited bus service and no service after midnight or Sundays. It was not the best system for a rapidly growing city.

At that time, the city created The Transit 2000 Plan. The plan focused on expanding bus service, building the light rail and creating public transit infrastructure. The plan was designed to create a new public transit system for the sixth largest U.S. city.

Public outreach was significant. There were numerous public meetings on the plan and surveys on the plan were sent to Phoenix households. The plan, and its funding source, four-tenths of a cent sales tax was overwhelmingly approved by the voters in March 2000. The tax would expire in 2020.

The successes of the plan are evident. Light rail is more popular than predicted and bus service has been expanded. However, what the city did not count on in 2000 when projecting the revenue from the tax, was two economic crises, the Sept. 11, 2011, downturn and the Great Recession of 2008. The money generated is less than projected. Consequently, many projects in the plan, such as light rail expansion, remain unfinished. More importantly, the funding source expires in 2020. In effect, all that has been achieved could shut down.
The city remains committed to public transit and is not going to wait until the money runs out to address the situation. Phoenix is also facing a funding shortage with respect to traditional road and freeway transportation.

Combining transit and transportation, the city created the “Citizens Committee on the Future of Phoenix Transportation,” a group of 30-plus individuals with diverse interests and expertise, who are assessing the current transit/transportation status and the looming expiration of the funding source.

The committee is thoroughly reviewing all aspects of Phoenix transit/ transportation and will report to the mayor and city council before the end of the year.

skd283121sdc

Actors Theatre closing its doors

Actors Theatre, which has produced compelling, thought-provoking and often edgy plays for nearly 30 years, is closing its doors.

The Board of Directors has unanimously voted to cease operations and liquidate the professional theatre company over the next 30 to 60 days.

“The simple truth is we’re out of money,” said Actors Theatre Board President Renee Gerstman. “This was not the result of a single event, but a combination of factors, primarily based on the fact that revenues – both earned and contributed – did not meet expectations and we found ourselves in a cash-flow crisis.”

Producing Artistic Director Matthew Wiener said that artists and staff involved in the scheduled productions of Annapurna, Stage Kiss and The Year of Magical Thinking started receiving notification of the shut down on Thursday.

“As we were preparing to produce Annapurna, we looked at the situation to determine how best to move forward,” he said. “We recognized that what Actors Theatre does and, most importantly, the way we do it is not sustainable in our community at this time. Among our strongest guiding principles is to pay everyone – and that includes artists and arts workers – a living wage. The economic dignity of our all of our artists and arts workers is one of our highest values, but our donor base and individual and season ticket sales were not substantial enough to provide the financial resources to support the cost structure of professional artists to the degree it needed to be.”

Gerstman said the company will “work through outstanding obligations to the best of our ability during the next 30 to 60 days. We also know we will receive questions about tickets that have been purchased. Though we would like to say we will refund those tickets, we simply can’t. We’re hoping that our patrons and supporters will consider taking the expense as a tax deduction after consultation with their accountants or CPAs.”

Wiener, who has been artistic director for 19 years, said that “the company made great strides and many changes over the past two years and we heard from a broad base of individuals that Actors Theatre is important. Unfortunately, while we agreed with those opinions, they did not translate into the revenue necessary to sustain the organization and we were unable to significantly improve our financial position.”

In a joint statement, Wiener, Gerstman and Black expressed their “deep and abiding gratitude for the support of our loyal patrons and those individuals, organizations and businesses who stood behind us. We are also incredibly humbled to have been able to work alongside a remarkably talented group of artists and staff to bring to the stage the type of productions that matter.”

“We are incredibly proud of Actors Theatre’s legacy over nearly 30 years.” Wiener added. “We know that many patrons left most of our productions affected by and talking about what they saw on stage. Perhaps we will again see those or similar productions and the high professional quality of what went on both on and behind the stage. In the meantime, and in spite our deep, deep sadness at this time, we do know that there are many great arts and cultural opportunities in the Valley. Perhaps we will be part of them again sometime in the future.”

football

Bluewater offers Fiesta and Cactus Bowl deals

Calling all Wildcats, Broncos, Huskies and Cowboys!  Bluewater Grill Phoenix is making it easy for students, alumni and fans of the teams playing in the Fiesta and Cactus Bowls to enjoy Arizona’s freshest sustainable seafood before, during or after the big games.

Now through Jan. 5, 2015, Bluewater Grill in the Camelback Corridor of central Phoenix will offer a free cup of its award-winning clam chowder or choice of an appetizer to fans in town for the 44th Annual VIZIO Fiesta Bowl on Dec. 31, 2014, and 26th Annual TicketCity Cactus Bowl on Jan. 2, 2015, with the purchase of an entrée at the regular price. (One free cup of chowder per purchased entrée, or one free appetizer per party.)

To take advantage of this special offer, participants must present an official logo or team name of one of the four schools, or identify themselves as a fan, to their Bluewater Grill Phoenix server before ordering on or before Jan. 5, 2015. This offer cannot be combined with any other promotion or discount. One free cup of chowder per purchased entrée, or one free appetizer per party. Some selections on the menu may not be available.

Bluewater Grill will also extend its popular weekday happy hours, featuring $4, $5 and $6 drink and appetizer specials, during all bowl games throughout the Bluewater region of San Diego, Southern California and Phoenix:

Specializing in the absolute freshest sustainable seafood, Bluewater Grill, Bluewater Boathouse and Bluewater Avalon have emerged as a leading family of seafood restaurants since the first location opened in Newport Beach in 1996.  Lunch and dinner menus feature more than 40 varieties of fresh seafood and shellfish served annually. Other highlights include outdoor patios, shellfish bars, kid’s menus, full bars and wine lists, weekday happy hours and monthly tasting events.

Guests visiting before Jan. 5, 2015, can enjoy a special Western version of “Holiday Baked Stuffed Maine Lobster,” the classic New England holiday family.  The limited-time Bluewater Grill offering includes a whole Maine lobster stuffed with a special shrimp and buttery panko-crumb stuffing and served with choice of two sides, unlimited fresh sourdough bread and a Bluewater Grill bib for a market price up to $34.95.  At least 15 minutes prep time is required.

Bluewater Grill is located at 1720 E. Camelback Rd., in the Camelback Corridor of central Phoenix. The phone number is (602) 277-FISH (3474).

School District

Autism schools open in Phoenix and Chandler

Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) today announced the opening of the CARD Academy schools in Phoenix and Chandler, Ariz. They are opening two private day schools for individuals with autism that use applied behavior analysis in the approach.

CARD Academy is a place where children and families can learn, play and thrive.  The curriculum is based on the Department of Education standards and is enhanced by CARD’s own assessment and curriculum called SKILLS®, a technology used by teachers and administrators to organize lesson plans, track progress, identify trends and allocate resources such as extra training.  SKILLS® is aligned with the Common Core curriculum.

“We are thrilled to open schools in Arizona that will offer students with autism an individualized education where they can grow and thrive,” said CARD Academy senior managing supervisor, Mary Ann Cassell, MA, BCBA, LBA.

CARD Academy is designed after the CARD home-based therapy program for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and has developed an institution focused on teaching excellence.  Students receive a personalized curriculum based on their performance on several assessments.  Once the assessment process is completed, teachers and administrators work to create a dynamic Individualized Education Plan (IEP).  Student/teacher ratios range from 1:1 to 4:1 based upon need.

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 the services that are crucial to their child’s development, such as an individualized education in the classroom.

Holiday Parties and Premises Liability Concerns

Proper etiquette for holiday work parties

‘Tis the season for holiday parties in the workplace. While the mood is festive and relaxed, it’s still a work function, and there are things you should remember as you navigate the holiday gathering.

Career coaches Charles and Sherri Mitchell, the co-founders of All About People, a Phoenix-based professional recruitment and hiring firm, say that according to surveys, about 15 percent of companies who have holiday parties say inappropriate employee behavior has impacted an individual’s career growth at a company.

Avoid behaviors like the ones below, and you’ll be at the top of next year’s guest list.

1. Excessive Eating. People who attend events understand that food and drinks will be part of the experience. Enjoy the hors d’oeuvres and buffet, but don’t eat like it’s your only meal for the week. Properly discard napkins, toothpicks, etc. vs. leaving on the table. You don’t want to be labeled as the “messy” party attendee.

2. Excessive Drinking. This is probably the most common mistake some employees and leaders make at company holiday celebrations. Don’t forget where you are — at work! — with coworkers and managers. Treat the party as an extension of your work day. Keep in mind that everything has the potential to turn into judgment about your professionalism. Limit drinks with alcohol to a maximum of two. Regardless of an open bar, nobody should over-consume!

3. Inappropriate Attire. You’re not going to a club, you’re going to a work party. Leave the form fitting, low cut, sequined dress in your closet and lighten up on the new perfume. For men, dress conservatively as well. Same goes for your new cologne … easy does it! This may be a holiday party, but you’re rubbing elbows with your coworkers, not your friends and family. Think about the image you’d like your coworkers to have of you in the coming months. You do need to see these people — and work with them — again on Monday morning.

4. Mingle. Be sure to acknowledge all your coworkers. This is a great opportunity to spend time with associates you don’t know, as well as leaders in the organization. Talk to your coworkers and bosses about work only in a positive fashion. No one wants to listen to someone complaining all evening. Engage your coworkers and management about topics outside of work like hobbies, family, etc. Don’t forget to listen. That’s as important as small talk!

5. Attendance. This is a work function. Some think if they show up discreetly late, circle the room once, speak to a few colleagues, the boss and a direct counterpart that you will be safe to leave 20 minutes later. Understand this: showing up fashionably late is not okay. Arrive within the first 30 minutes if possible. Everyone remembers who stayed for just a few minutes. Senior managers should make a point of staying as long as possible. That means if you’re not there when the event starts, you should certainly stay until the end.

healthcare

Nomination deadline nears for Healthcare Leadership Awards

Az Business magazine is dedicated to bringing the stories of healthcare leaders, innovators, researchers and advocates to its readers. Each April, Az Business shines a special spotlight on the medical industry through its annual Healthcare Leadership Awards.

Arizona’s healthcare industry is a tremendous economic engine for the state and is making Arizona a better place to live, work and recreate. The selection committee is looking for the physicians, hospital administrators, researchers, medical companies and healthcare innovators who are making a difference in our communities.

The categories include:

• Healthcare Advocate of the Year
• Insurance Provider of the Year
• Researcher of the Year
• Medical Research Company
• Legal Advocate of the Year
• Medical Company of the Year
• Bioscience Company of the Year
• Physician of the Year
• Healthcare Executive of the Year
• Medical Center of the Year
• Lifetime Achievement Award

Now is the time to get your nominations in for the 2015 Healthcare Leadership Awards. Is there someone in the healthcare industry who you think deserves this honor? Is there a healthcare facility or company that is impacting the community is serves? Az Business wants to know. Click here to nominate a person, facility or company today. Nominations must be completed by Dec. 29, 2014.

Rosalinda Court Apartments_9-Units_Globe Street

Rosalinda Apartments sells in Phoenix for $545K

Cooper, Cardinal and Company LLC, a boutique multi-family investment brokerage firm with headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona, recently closed the transaction for Rosalinda Apartments, a 9-unit turn-key multi-family community located in Phoenix, Arizona. The sale price of $545,000 equates to $60,556 per unit or $61.44 per square foot.

Jack A. Cardinal, a Managing Director of the firm, and Jennifer Runyon, an Investment Associate, represented the buyer in the transaction.

“The sellers did a great job stabilizing the property. The asset consists of 80 percent, two bedroom and one bath units; and, all units have washer/dryer in each unit. These two key components are what attracted the buyer to this acquisition.” stated Cardinal.

The 8,870 SF apartment community was built in 1986 on a 0.59-acre lot. Jennifer Runyon added, “Properties like Rosalinda are valuable building blocks for a solid foundation to a successful multifamily portfolio.”

housing.prices

Phoenix housing market ending relatively flat year

After several years of wild roller-coaster activity, the Phoenix-area housing market is ready to end a relatively flat year. That’s according to the latest monthly report from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. Here are the highlights of the new report on Maricopa and Pinal counties, as of October:

• The median single-family-home sales price went up just 4 percent from last October to this October – from $200,000 to $208,000.
• Demand remains lower than last year, with sales of single-family homes down 5 percent from last October.
• The Valley is experiencing a very small bump up in two areas – investor interest and new-home sales.

After the housing crash, Phoenix-area home prices shot up from September 2011 to summer 2013. Then, the median single-family-home price rose just 4 percent more – from $200,000 to $208,000 – from last October to this October. Realtors will note the average price per square foot also went up 4 percent. The median townhome/condo sales price rose only 2 percent.

“We’ve seen very little change in the Greater Phoenix housing market for the last year, and stability is the order of the day,” 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. “Price increases look tame over the last 12 months and even tamer if you examine just the last six months. There is no longer any real upward price momentum greater than the general level of inflation.”

Orr’s report notes that demand in the market remains lower than last year. In fact, the amount of single-family-home sales dropped 5 percent from last October to this October. Activity from first-time home buyers has been unusually low, in part because some people had their credit badly damaged during the housing crash and also because millennials are waiting to enter the home market until later in life than previous generations. These are also reasons the rental market is strong. Rents have increased 3.7 percent over the last 12 months in the Phoenix area.

Meantime, Valley foreclosures have dropped way down over the past year. Completed foreclosures of single-family and condo homes were down 19 percent from last October to this October. The lack of cheap foreclosures here has been largely driving investors to other areas of the country, where bargains are more plentiful. However, there was a little bump back up between this September and October. The percentage of residential properties bought by investors hit 15.5 percent, the highest level since May, but still well below last year’s levels.

“Investors and out-of-state buyers are showing a small recovery in buying interest, but to get our market back to what we would consider normal will still require a major increase in demand from local first-time home buyers,” explains Orr.

Some expect the coming introduction of conventional home loans with a lower, 3-percent down payments next year to stimulate more interest, but Orr isn’t sure this will make a major dent. He anticipates small, incremental improvements.

“The big economic gains of the last few years have helped companies, but not necessarily the average person who might consider taking out a home loan,” says Orr.

One other note from Orr: The market share for new-home sales is doing better and has recovered to 14 percent – the same level as October 2013. Taylor Morrison, Pulte Homes and Meritage Homes are leading the way in the Phoenix area.

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

technology

Cox Arizona announces multiple employee promotions

Cox Communications has announced that three Phoenix-area employees, Zabrina Mogro, Scott Martin and Scott Magee Jr., have been promoted and will each be taking on new responsibilities as field supervisors.

With more than a combined 30 years of experience at Cox Arizona, each of the new field supervisors will be responsible for leading a team of Cox field technicians and overseeing their team’s repairs and maintenance of Cox residential services.

Zabrina Mogro has worked for Cox as a Universal Home Technician in field operations since 2007 where she also served as a mentor for other technicians. She served four years in the United States Air Force as an Air Traffic Controller before arriving at Cox. Mogro has been promoted out of Cox’s Tempe location.

Scott Martin began his career at Cox in 2006. During his time with the company, he has progressed and has held the positions of an Expert Technician with Home Security, a mentor to other technicians, and has also served in an interim leadership role. Passionate about development and leadership, he is a 2014 graduate from the Cox Communications Building Blocks Leadership Course and has also been involved in several special projects including the 2008 Super Bowl and Gigablast at Cox. He has been promoted out of Cox’s Scottsdale location.

Scott Magee Jr. started his telecommunications career in 1999 working as a Cox contractor with Western Cable. During his time in Field Operations, he became a three-product expert while also mentoring other technicians and serving in an interim leadership role. He has also been promoted out of Cox’s Scottsdale location.

High Street

11 new companies coming to High Street

Just in time for the new year, High Street in Phoenix is welcoming 11 new companies to their family of tenants. Vacant spaces at High Street will soon be filled with an array of new businesses, including a vacation rental office, nail spa, tea shop and creative studio. The shopping, dining and entertainment destination located just north of the 101 on Deer Valley Road has recently added Sprouts Corporate, Barbershop Jacks, Firehouse Subs and newly signed office tenants include Alliance Home Loans, Impact Global, Hanover Insurance and WJ Bradley.

AZ Vacation Rentals
Whether you are visiting Arizona for the first time or are a returning traveler, Arizona Vacation Rentals offers the finest professionally managed vacation homes in Arizona. Arizona Vacation Rentals has a wide selection of fully furnished vacation rental homes, villas, condos and townhomes which are equipped with kitchens, spacious bedrooms with baths, vaulted ceilings and a variety of amenities including private pools, pool tables, BBQ’s, big screen televisions and more. Even better, our properties are usually located near the most popular Arizona tourist attractions; top area golf courses; superb shopping and dining.

M3V Nail Bar
M3V Nail Bar is a sleek and stylishly designed nail spa that offers a unique, unconventional version of classic nail services with distinctive, relaxing experiences served in a laid back and hip environment.  This modern nail bar offers quality services at a great price, with the beverage bar included within the price keeping the experience hassle free. Whether it is the amazing white tea and fig scent, high quality hot coffee, refreshing morning mimosa’s, uniformed employees with name badges welcoming our guests at the door or relaxing on the couch while e-reading my book; all of this makes our guests smile and look forward to the next appointment.

Tea2Go
The dream of living a healthy lifestyle without giving up on taste is what drives the team at Tea2Go. Tea2Go brings the amazing health benefits and tastes of loose leaf tea from all around the world to the every-day man and woman. We provide an enjoyable experience for our customers while educating on what tea can do for their health brewed fresh in the store or at their very own home. Our unique tea blends are crafted from some of the most high quality tea leafs and ingredients from around the world to bring our customers the strongest flavors, most options, and greatest health benefits all at affordable prices. Tea is great for you and should be able to be enjoyed by all! Whether you are driving by and need your thirst quenched or want to take one of our 120+ flavors of tea home with you to brew, we strive to bring you the highest quality product at the most affordable price.

Pinspiration
Pinspiration is a creative studio space where everyone (young and old) is an artist! Enjoy painting, jewelry making, upcycled décor projects, clay, children’s projects and more in a beautiful setting. Linger with friends over a glass of wine. Relax with no hassles. No mess no excuses. Need inspiration?  Pinspiration’s list of monthly rotating projects feature all the materials and tools needed to create the most frequently pinned and popular craft trends on social media sites, such as Pinterest. Pinspiration removes barriers and saves you time. Step in for a unique and entertaining experience, where community meets creativity.

Sprouts
With an impeccable eye for what’s next in nutrition and a continuous drive to go the extra mile. Sprouts Farmers Market works to deliver the best possible shopping experience, helping customers live a healthy lifestyle at an affordable price—not just buy groceries. Sprouts is a healthy grocery store offering fresh, natural and organic foods at great prices. Since 2002, we’ve been committed to providing our customers with the best-in-class service—and to improving it every day.

Barbershop Jacks
Barbershop Jack is a full service, upscale, barbershop for the modern man and his family, catering to the client looking for top quality cuts, straight razor shaves, cutting edge products and shoe shines. Stop in and you will be transported to a whole new era, with 1950’s chairs, marble counter tops and dark wood stations. You will discover an “old fashioned barbershop experience” taken to a whole new level of sophistication. Barbershop Jack’s offers top of the line services, products, and complimentary refreshments for clients of all ages.

Firehouse Subs
With more than 800 Firehouse Subs restaurants in 42 states and Puerto Rico, owners are convinced we’re doing a few things right. This popular sub shop is known not only for superb customer service, but for having the best meats, cheeses, and toppings. People come back again and again because, unlike other sub places, Firehouse Subs steam heir meats and cheeses, releasing a rush of flavors, then stuff a serving that’s way over code on one of our toasted private recipe sub rolls. It’s a winning combination that satisfies ravenous appetites and the value conscious alike.

phoenix

UA’s Phoenix campus has nearly $1 billion economic Impact

University of Arizona President Ann Weaver Hart and Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton today announced that the economic impact of the UA’s downtown Phoenix academic medical center in 2013 was $961 million, according to a report released by nationally recognized consultants Tripp Umbach.

“Our College of Medicine and the academic medical center have become key generators of economic impact for Phoenix and Arizona,” said President Hart. “It is through the great support of the city, the state and our partners in the medical center that we have been able to achieve this kind of impact.”

The Tripp Umbach report outlines the impact of the health science colleges and the surrounding academic campus as defined by the City of Phoenix master plan that includes education, research and clinical facilities over a designated 28-acre area.

Among the findings:
• The economic impact of the overall biomedical campus in downtown Phoenix in 2013 was nearly $1.3 billion, of which $961 million is attributed to the UA College of Medicine – Phoenix presence.
• In 2013, the academic medical center accounted for 9,355 direct and indirect jobs. The UA College of Medicine – Phoenix is responsible for 7,185 of those jobs.
• The academic medical center generated more than $56.5 million in state and local government revenues in 2013 as a result of operational, employee and visitor spending. Of that total, $44.5 million is attributable to the UA College of Medicine – Phoenix.
• The estimated economic impact of the academic medical center will reach $3.1 billion by fiscal year 2024-25.

The report was commissioned by the UA College of Medicine – Phoenix and the City of Phoenix.

“The activity on the downtown biomedical campus puts top-notch health care and the best-trained health professionals in our backyard, but it also creates high-value jobs in our city,” said Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton.

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 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 south of the Translational Genomic Research Institute (TGen).

The Biosciences Partnership Building is the latest development in the steady expansion of the downtown Phoenix campus and emerging 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 UA 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.

Meghan Martinez, Founder of KEASY, a keyless, digital lock that provides safe and efficient access to rental homes.

KEASY sweeps winning prize at SEED SPOT Demo Day

Move over, Silicon Valley – Arizona is becoming quite the hotbed for startups. Just ask the 800+ people who attended SEED SPOT’s fourth Demo Day event in Phoenix, designed to highlight local, up-and-coming entrepreneurs and their successful and inspiring new ventures.

SEED SPOT, an incubator for socially-minded entrepreneurs, entertained a sell-out crowd at its Demo Day event, held Tuesday, Dec. 9, at 6 p.m. at the Herberger Theater in downtown Phoenix.

During this energetic and uplifting event, ten SEED SPOT entrepreneurs shared their socially-responsible, purpose-driven business plans. Each entrepreneur was given three minutes to give background about his/her startup, along with successes and next steps.

After every entrepreneur presented, everyone in the audience was able to vote via text message for their favorite new venture. The venture who received the most votes, along with a $5,000 cash prize from Cox Communications and a paid trip to a conference of choice was Meghan Martinez, Founder of KEASY, a keyless, digital lock that provides safe and efficient access to rental homes. After spending the majority of her career in real estate and property management, Meghan was always worried about floating keys and break-ins at her properties so an idea was born. KEASY can be managed from mobile and computer devices; it’s different from other keyless locks on the market  because it’s a patent pending technology.

In addition to KEASY, another award given that includes six months of free office space at SEED SPOT was given to Steve Zeidman, Founder of Vestafy, a software created to streamline and better help effectiveness for the animal welfare community. It’s also a mobile-friendly device that will allow animal control agencies and humane societies concentrate on helping to find pets homes.

Additional ventures honored include Paws 2 Read, a non-profit that certifies animal owners to take their pets into libraries and classrooms, helping children build confidence as they learn to read; along with Trade My Show which is an online service that allows leg amputees and people with disabilities to trade their shoes with one another around the world.

To prepare for Demo Day, the ten entrepreneurs went through a rigorous entrepreneurship program, with four months of curriculum from SEED SPOT and support from Arizona business leaders. Those selected to participate in Demo Day have worked hard to validate that they have customers and a solid business model.

SEED SPOT, a Phoenix-based nonprofit, incubates social entrepreneurs who are committed to sustainably solving important societal problems. The incubator has provided more than 25,000 hours of mentorship, positively impacting the lives of more than 107,000 people. Eighty-eight percent of SEED SPOT alumni are still in business, and 93 percent of them are still in Arizona. Applications for SEED SPOT’s 201 Program (a part-time, 12-week course) and 301 Program (a full-time, 14-week course) are being accepted now through Jan. 30, 2015 with the program beginning on Feb. 17, 2015. Visit www.seedspot.org for more details.