Tag Archives: phoenix

The Westin Phoenix Downtown Lapis Pool Terrace.640x360

Westin Phoenix named best city experience

Starwood Preferred Guest® (SPG®), the award-winning loyalty program from Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT), unveiled the Starwood hotels and resorts voted the best beyond compare by SPG members from around the globe with the release of its 2014 SPG Member Favorite Hotels & Resorts list. The select list featured 67 of Starwood’s nearly 1,200 hotels and resorts, from the golf tees in Arizona to the azure waters of Greece. Members selected their favorite hotels worldwide in the following categories: Best Golf Getaways, Best Beach & Island Retreats, Best Winter Escapes, Best Family Adventures, Best City Experiences, Best Exotic Excursions, Best Small Luxuries, New & Noteworthy, Top 10 China, Top 10 USA Resorts, and Ultimate Top 10. The Westin Phoenix Downtown was named to the list of Best City Experiences.

The Westin Phoenix Downtown Exterior Dusk Angle“We are thrilled to be named a Best City Experience hotel,” said Todd Iacono, general manager. “Situated in the heart of a vibrant and resurging downtown Phoenix, our boutique-style urban hotel blends a sophisticated hotel experience with a sense of Westin’s signature elements. Our convenient location to entertainment and sporting venues, hundreds of eateries, and the area’s best theaters and museums, lures guests to our location where they can truly experience the best of downtown Phoenix.”

The annual list recognizes the most loved luxury resorts chosen from more than 200 properties as part of Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ portfolio of more than 1,100 destinations globally including The Luxury Collection, St. Regis, W Hotels, Westin, Le Méridien and Sheraton resorts. Members vote on the resorts they adore most from the Maldives, to Costa Rica, Hawaii, Phuket and beyond each year to curate a list of must-see destinations of – Best Beach Resorts, Most Romantic Retreats, Best Exotic Escapes, Best Family Experiences, Best Golf Getaways, Best Island Paradise, Best Spa Indulgences, Best Winter Adventures and Best Small Wonders.

“The list allows our well-traveled members to identify their most beloved resorts around the world,” said Chris Holdren, Senior Vice President of Starwood Preferred Guest. “Being recognized by our members as a part of this distinguished list is a true honor for our resorts.”

fast.food

Phoenix Fast-Food Workers Strike

Calling for $15 and the right to form a union without retaliation, fast-food workers in Phoenix walked off their jobs Thursday as part of a wave of strikes in more than 150 cities across the US and protests in 33 additional countries on six continents. In all, strikes and protests reached more than 230 cities worldwide.

“No question, I’m here for my families, for my coworkers and my community,” said fast food worker Rochelle Jordan, head of household mother who makes $8.25 an hour. “I struggle to buy formula for my baby and pay rent; meanwhile, Burger King is making a huge profit. I’m a working mom, not a teenager working a summer job. This is my livelihood.”

Workers from Burger King, Taco Bell and other fast food chains went on strike and protested at one of Phoenix’s most visited fast food restaurants, Burger King. Workers and community advocates walked inside the store and called for higher pay and right to unionize.

“Arizona certainly isn’t the friendliest state for workers, which is why today’s fast food workers on strike was not only bold, but history in the making,” stated Maria Jose Lopez of Arizona’s Workers’ Rights Center. “This is only the beginning for workers who are determined to make $15 an hour a reality for their families and our community.”

Across the nation, members Congress joined strike lines around the country and released a video declaring their support for the workers.

“Where Congress is failing to take action to address inequality, these workers are leading the way,” said Rep. Keith Ellison (DFL-MN). “Their fight for $15 and a union is a shining light that will ultimately benefit all workers in the country and help lift up our economy. It’s clear this movement isn’t going to stop until fast-food companies listen to the voices of these workers, who are struggling to support families on as little as $7.25 an hour.”

In the US, fast-food workers went on strike in more than 150 cities from Los Angeles to Boston. Around the world, workers protested in 80 cities spanning nearly three-dozen countries, including Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Germany, India, Japan, Malawi, Morocco, New Zealand, Panama, and the United Kingdom.

In Dorchester, Mass. managers closed down a Burger King where a half-dozen workers were striking. In St. Louis, a corporate McDonald’s closed its doors at 3 am because managers knew the entire morning shift was going to walk out, and reopened three hours later with managers at the helm. Nearly 20 workers from that store are on strike. There was no breakfast at a Chicago Burger King when striking workers forced the kitchen to close. Strikes forced a Wendy’s in Pittsburgh to close, as well as McDonald’s restaurants in Oakland and Sacramento. All non-managerial workers walked off their jobs at a First Hill McDonald’s in Seattle, forcing managers to keep the store running.

San Diego fast-food workers led hundreds of religious and community supporters through a Burger King drive-thru Thursday morning, chanting, praying and holding signs that read, “Strike for Better Pay” and “Poverty Jobs Hurt San Diego.” State legislators joined striking workers outside a Charleston, SC Burger King and a McDonald’s in New York City. And in Los Angeles, the Rev. Al Sharpton was expected to brave 100-degree temperatures to join protesters on a strike line Thursday afternoon.

On Twitter, the #fastfoodglobal hashtag trended in nearly 20 US cities from New York to Phoenix, and around the world it trended in 50 cities from London to Lagos. Overseas, workers protested in 80 cities from Paris to Sao Paolo. Banner-waving protesters in New Zealand kicked off the international protests with a demonstration at a McDonald’s adjacent to corporate headquarters in Auckland, reading out the names of the 150-plus US cities on strike and calling for higher pay and better rights for McDonald’s workers in New Zealand. The police in India tried to shut down protests, but workers were not dissuaded and held a demonstration in front of a McDonald’s in Mumbai. On Friday, fast-food workers across Italy will walk off their jobs in a strike that is expected to bring the industry there to a standstill.

In the Philippines, workers held a flash mob inside a Manila McDonald’s during the breakfast rush. They sang and danced to “Let it Go,” from the movie Frozen, calling on McDonald’s to let go of low pay and let workers organize. In Japan, where protests were held in nearly every prefecture, workers protested at a McDonald’s in downtown Tokyo, adopting the US workers’ fight for 15 by calling for the company to pay Japanese workers 1,500 Yen. Bystanders stopped and applauded protesters in Sapporo, a rare occurrence in Japan. Protesters shut down a McDonald’s in Brussels during the lunchtime rush.

Fast-food workers went on strike in the following U.S. cities:
Alameda, CA; Arvada, CO; Atlanta, GA; Auburn Hills, MI; Aurora, CO; Austin, TX; Ballwin, MO; Belleville, IL; Bellevue, PA; Berkeley, CA; Bloomfield, CT; Bloomington, IN; Boston, MA; Cahoka, IL; Cary, NC; Central Falls, RI; Charleston, SC; Charlotte, NC; Chesterfield, MO; Chicago, IL; Commerce City, CO; Concord, NC; Creve Coeur, MO; Dearborn, MI; Decatur, GA; Denver, CO; Dublin, CA; Durham, NC; East St. Louis, IL; Eastpointe, MI; El Cerrito, CA; Fairfield, CA; Farmington Hills, MI; Ferguson, MO; Ferndale, MI; Flint, MI; Flint Township, MI; Florissant, MO; Forsynth, MO; Fremont, CA; Glendale, CA; Glendale, WI; Greendale, WI; Greenfield, WI; Goldsboro, NC; Greensboro, NC; Greenville, NC; Grandview, MO; Gretna, LA; Haines City, FL; Hamden, CT; Hamtramck, MI; Hartford, CT; Harvey, LA; Hayward, CA; Henderson, NV; Henrico, VA; Highland Park, MI; Houston, TX; Huntington Park, CA; Indianapolis, IN; Inglewood, CA; Independence, MO; James Island, SC; Jennings, MO; Kannapolis, NC; Kansas City, KS; Kansas City, MO; Knightdale, NC; Lakewood, CO; Lansing, MI; Las Vegas, NV; Lenaxa, KS; Lincoln Park, MI; Livonia, MI; Los Angeles, CA; Madison, WI; Milwaukee, WI; Melvindale, MI; Memphis, TN; Metarie, LA; Miami, FL; Miami Beach, FL; Miami Gardens, FL; Morrisville, NC; Mt. Olive, NC; Nanuet, NY; Nashville, TN; New Haven, CT; New Orleans, LA; New York, NY; North Charleston, SC; North Las Vegas, NV; Oak Park, MI; Oakland, CA; Opelika, AL; Orlando, FL; Overland Park, KS; Pawtucket, RI; Peoria, IL; Philadelphia, PA; Pittsburgh, PA; Pleasant Hills, PA; Phoenix, AZ; Pleasanton, CA; Plymouth, NC; Pontiac, MI; Providence, RI; Pueblo, CO; Raleigh, NC; Raytown, MO; Redford, MI; Redford Township, MI; Richmond, CA; Richmond, VA; River Rouge, MI; Rockford, IL; Roeland Park, KS; Sacramento, CA; San Antonio, TX; San Diego, CA; San Leandro, CA; San Lorenzo, CA; Seattle, WA; Seekonk, MA; Slidel, LA; Southfield, MI; Southhaven, MS; Spencer, NC; Springfield, MO; St. Louis, MO; St. Petersburg, FL; Tampa, FL; Taylor, CA; Taylor, MI; Temple Terrace, FL; Union City, CA; University City, MO; Warren, MI; Warwick, RI; Waterford, MI; Wayne, MI; Wausau, WI; Wauwatosa, WI; West Allis, WI; West Milwaukee, WI; Westin, WI; West Memphis, AR; Westview, PA; Wilkinsburg, PA; Wheat Ridge, CO; West Haven, CT; Wethersfield, CT; Wilmington, DE; Windsor Locks, CT; Wentzville, MO; Wiliamston, NC; Winston-Salem, NC.

video

Najafi affiliate acquires JVC’s video game division

Cinram, a Najafi Companies affiliate, has acquired JVC America Inc. (JAI), the games software division of JVC Americas Corp., a fully consolidated U.S. sales subsidiary of JVC KENWOOD Corporation. Terms were not disclosed. The deal is expected to close within 30 days.

With manufacturing and distribution operations in Tuscaloosa, Ala. and Kennesaw, Ga., JAI specializes in the manufacturing and fulfillment of gaming software for major gaming publishers. JAI also provides turnkey fulfillment services such as packaging, shipping and inventory management to satisfy the supply chain needs of software content providers.

JAI is an award-winning supplier of optical media, supply chain management and logistics services whose core vertical markets include leading publishers of interactive entertainment products, OEMs, software publishers, marketing continuity and subscription-based clubs and online retailers.

Toronto-based Cinram is a leading service provider to the entertainment industry and one of the largest global manufacturers and distributors of pre-recorded media products for the world’s leading motion picture studios, record labels and game publishers. Cinram also provides turnkey packaging and distribution services to a growing number of non-media clients.

This transaction provides Cinram with the scale necessary to adapt to the changing landscape of the physical media industry, while strengthening its supply chain and expanding its product offerings to new and existing game publishing clients.

“Video games are one of the pillars of our global media business,” said Steve Brown CEO of Cinram. “This acquisition supports our games group significantly and allows us to further develop our offerings to our media clients.”

“JVC America furthers Cinram’s leading position in the multi-media industry,” said Najafi Companies CEO Jahm Najafi. “This acquisition allows Cinram to continue to lead the industry and strengthen its supply chains while expanding capabilities.”

Financial advisors for JVC Kenwood Corporation were SMBC Nikko.

Najafi Companies is an International private investment firm based in Phoenix, with offices in Los Angeles, New York, Paris, Toronto, London and holdings in sectors including consumer, media, technology, industrial, energy and real estate across seven countries.
The firm makes highly-selective investments in companies with strong management teams across a variety of industries, often in areas undergoing rapid technological transformation. The firm takes a long-term view on its investments and focuses its efforts to create value through growth and superior performance. Najafi Companies funds its investments with internally generated capital, not through a fund. Free from the restrictions of a fund, the firm is able to move quickly and decisively when investing, and with no requirements to return capital to outside partners, Najafi Companies is able to make investments that create maximum value for the long-term.

Broome

Broome taking part in Global Cities Initiative

As part of the Global Cities Initiative, a joint project of Brookings and JPMorgan Chase, the Greater Phoenix Economic Council president and CEO Barry Broome, will join various business and elected leaders for a discussion on the development of a metropolitan export strategy.

“The mayors and business leaders from the region have led in the transformation of our economy” said Broome. “Developing a metropolitan export strategy through the Global Cities Initiative is a critical step toward ensuring our economic future.”

The forum, Going Global: Boosting Greater Phoenix’s Economic Future, taking place today at ASU Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, will feature many speakers, including Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, former U.S. Secretary of Commerce William M. Daly, Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program co-directors Bruce Katz and Amy Liu, and Chase market manager for Arizona and Nevada Curtis Reed, Jr.

The half-day event will center on preliminary market assessment findings on how the Greater Phoenix region can better position its global competitiveness. The city of Phoenix is part of a network of regions across the nation participating in the Global Cities Initiative’s Exchange to help develop global engagement strategies

Closing out the forum, U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker will join the program via satellite to make an announcement regarding the National Export Initiative.

The event will begin at 9:30 a.m. and conclude at 12:15 p.m.

health

UA-Phoenix Graduates 37 Doctors

A new group of 37 University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix medical students were officially conferred with their medical degrees at ceremonies Monday in the fourth graduation for the downtown Phoenix medical school.

Led by a bagpipe and drum corps, commencement exercises began with a procession from the college to the ceremony at Phoenix Symphony Hall. The UA College of Medicine – Phoenix has graduated 151 physicians in four years. The school opened in 2007 in what was the largest city in the nation without an allopathic (MD-granting) medical school.

UA College of Medicine – Phoenix Dean Stuart D. Flynn, MD, began Monday’s ceremony with a short description of the fourth class to complete four years of study on the downtown Phoenix campus.

“You arrived with a wonderful mix of confidence and humility, fun interpersonal skills and leadership characteristics,” Dr. Flynn said. “You have valued being trailblazers on our campus and adjectives you have used to describe your class include that you have a community feel, you are family-centered and you are all in together.”

A special hooding ceremony and the recitation of the oath were part of the ceremony, which included an address from renowned researcher Eric Reiman, MD, executive director of the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute and a faculty member of the UA College of Medicine.

“I am here to tell you that you are entering our profession at the most exciting time in history, the most important moment to become a doctor,” said Dr. Reiman, who is also director of the Arizona Alzheimer’s Consortium. “You will have opportunities to make a difference far greater than you think, far greater than the rest of us could have imagined when we began our own careers. You will be on the frontline of a new frontier, you will transform the way health is promoted and care is provided and you will blaze the trail for generations to follow.”

Graduating senior Christian Dameff, who will be a resident in the emergency medicine department of Maricopa Integrated Health System, gave the student address.

“I am awestruck at the accomplishments of every single person in this class,” Dameff said. “The thousands of hours of volunteer work, the passion and dedication to scholarly research, the diligence they show during their study of medicine and most important, the passion and superior care they give when they treat every single one of their patients. It is truly inspiring.”

The ceremony capped a day of celebration that included a senior luncheon with graduates cited for awards by specialty and achievement in the community, for humanism and scholarship.

At the lunch, graduate Jacob Gold singled out the administration for its leadership, thank them specifically.

“For taking this school from this tiny, three high school buildings to this big building, very well respected organization that we have here,” Gold said.

Among the citations, faculty member Stephanie Briney, MD, who oversees the service learning program on campus noted that the Class of 2014 had collectively served more than 5,000 hours in clinics, teaching and other areas during their four years of medical school.

The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix opened in 2007 as a way for the state to address the critical shortage of physicians in Arizona. Nearly half of this year’s graduates from the Phoenix campus are staying in Arizona for their residencies and a similar number are pursuing primary care specialties.

Sky Harbor Airport

Sky Harbor Sets Record for Passengers

March 2014 was the busiest month in the history of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. More than 4 million passengers traveled through Phoenix Sky Harbor in March, 4,029,861 to be exact. That marked a 3.2 percent increase over March of 2013 and the first time the Phoenix airport has seen more than 4 million passengers in a single month.

“Spring Training, students on spring break, Arizona’s great weather and our state’s many attractions brought visitors to Phoenix in record numbers,” said Phoenix Aviation Director Danny Murphy. “Our tourism partners, such as hotels and rental car companies also enjoyed a tremendous spring travel season.”

“Valley hotels and resorts saw a 2.9 percent increase in occupancy in March 2014 compared to the previous March,” said Debbie Johnson, president and CEO of the Arizona Lodging & Tourism Association. “Tourists spend more than $19 billion every year in Arizona. An increase in the number of visitors to our state is good for everyone.”

In the first three months of this year, the Airport saw a 3.3 percent increase in passenger numbers compared to the same time period in 2013. April statistics for Sky Harbor are not yet available.

housing.prices

What Comes Next for housing market?

The Phoenix-area housing market is experiencing a normal seasonal spring bounce in activity and prices, but what will happen next? A new report from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University talks about the waves of consumers that will likely start returning to the housing market next year, for the first time since the recession.

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

> The median single-family-home sales price recovered from two months of drops and is back to a level similar to December.
> However, demand and sales activity are still dramatically lower than at this time last year.
> The report’s author examines why certain waves of consumers may start returning to the housing market over the next several years.

Phoenix-area home prices quickly rose from a recession low point in September 2011 until last summer, when the jumps slowed down. Then, this January and February, we saw the first two back-to-back monthly drops in the area’s median single-family-home sales price. This March, we saw that dip erased, but probably not for long.

“The bounce is a normal effect of the busy spring sales season, combined with a lot more high-priced homes in the current sales mix,” says the report’s author, Mike Orr, director of the Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice at the W. P. Carey School of Business. “The period from March to May is almost always the strongest part of the year for demand, and it is highly probable we will see pricing fade again during the summer months, when the luxury, snowbird and active-adult markets go relatively quiet. We may still be looking at little to no annual price appreciation by the end of the year.”

The median single-family-home sales price was up about 17 percent from last March to this March – from $175,000 to $204,520. The average price per square foot was up 15.5 percent. The median townhouse/condominium sales price was up 16 percent. We no longer have a tight supply of homes for sale like we did at this time last year. Supply stabilized in March, with 64 percent more listings this April 1 than last April 1.

However, low demand continues to be a problem. Single-family-home sales activity was down 20 percent this March from last March. Some of the drop comes from regular home buyers, but also institutional investors are just not as interested in Phoenix, now that better bargains can be found in other parts of the country with more foreclosures. The percentage of residential properties purchased by investors in the Phoenix area this March was down to 17.4 percent from the peak of 39.7 percent in July 2012.

“The institutional investors are doing very little buying or selling in the Phoenix area at the moment,” says Orr. “Their focus has turned to property management, rather than acquisition or disposal.”

The areas doing especially well right now in Phoenix?

Luxury homes priced at more than $500,000 represented 11 percent more of the market’s sales activity this March than last March. High-end demand above $1.5 million was greater in the first quarter of this year than in any first quarter since 2007.
Rental homes are experiencing very strong demand. Interest is so robust that only a one-month supply is currently available on the market.
Multi-family construction permits are on a strong upward trend. In fact, Orr says the first quarter of 2014 was the second-highest quarter for multi-family permits in 12 years.

Meantime, single-family construction permits were down 18 percent this March from last March. New-home sales were down 15 percent.

Orr says, “A key underlying problem for current housing demand is lack of household formation due to many factors, including unemployment, falling birth rates, lower net migration and greater home-sharing, especially among millennials. However, we could see lenders become the most influential decision-makers in this situation. Many lenders are hurting for business, with applications at their lowest level since 2000, and some may become more forgiving, accepting lower credit scores for loans.”

Orr also predicts we’ll see the first major waves of consumers who lost their homes through foreclosure during the recession coming back into the market, starting next year. He says those who lost their homes at the beginning of the downturn will have spent their required seven years in the “penalty box,” and they’ll reemerge from 2015 to 2019. He adds it’s just a question of how many of them want to try again at home ownership.

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

CGS Documentation Scrubber Removal

SRP Environmental Project Improves State’s Air Quality

A $470 million dollar effort to further reduce emissions from the Salt River Project’s largest single generator of electricity is now complete. On May 1, the last component of the project – selective catalytic reduction technology (SCR) – to lower nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from the Coronado Generating Station in St. Johns became operational.

The project was a result of a 2008 agreement between SRP and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to improve regional air quality by installing equipment and systems to remove additional emissions of NOx and sulfur dioxide (SO2) from CGS.

The new controls not only further reduce SO2 and NOx emissions from the plant, but also address mercury emissions.

“CGS is a critical component of SRP’s fleet of generating facilities that provide affordable and reliable electricity to our customers 24 hours a day,” said CGS manager Dan Bevier. “Now we will be able to achieve this goal and significantly reduce emissions.”

CGS, owned and operated by SRP, uses coal as a fuel to generate electricity from two 400-megawatt units for SRP customers in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area. Completed in 1980, the plant was equipped with then state-of-the-art emission controls including partial flow scrubbers for SO2 reductions and electrostatic precipitators for particulate matter reduction.

The environmental improvement project included the installation of low NOx burners on each of the two units – one in 2009 and the other in 2011. Additionally, SRP constructed new 100 percent flow SO2 removal systems on each of the units – one in 2011 and one in 2012. The project was completed when the SCR on unit 2 was installed and became operational on May 1.

According to SRP senior project manager Gary Barras, the environmental improvement effort at CGS was one of the largest construction projects in Arizona and involved nearly 3,000 workers and contractors at a time when the state was in the midst of the great recession. Barras said the project team completed each phase of work on-schedule and with an outstanding safety record.
The project also included the construction of two new 400-foot concrete exhaust stacks, two 22,000-square-foot multi-level absorber buildings and required more than 4,000 individual pieces of equipment. In addition, more than 29,000 cubic-yards of concrete, nearly 8,000 tons of ductwork and structural steel and more than a million feet of new conductor were needed. The project team also coordinated a global supply chain of consultants and specialized equipment manufacturers located on four major continents.

In addition to installing enhanced emission controls at CGS and as part of the agreement with EPA, SRP funded $4 million in several supplemental environmental projects including installing 100 to 200-kilowatt solar photovoltaic systems at public schools, upgrading emission controls on school buses and replacing wood-burning stoves with clean-burning wood pellet stoves. All of the supplemental environmental projects are contributing to cleaner air in the communities near CGS and in metropolitan Phoenix.

SRP is the largest provider of electricity to the greater Phoenix metropolitan area, serving more than 985,000 customers.

law.courts

Greenberg Traurig attorney earns national honor

Greenberg Traurig Shareholder Nicole Goodwin has been awarded the President’s National Meritorious Service Award by the Forensic Expert Witness Association (FEWA) for her ongoing efforts in the areas of professional development, ethics, education and training of forensic experts.

“Ms. Goodwin has shown extraordinary commitment to the advancement of the field,” said national FEWA President John Levitske during the association’s annual conference. “This is the first President’s National Meritorious Service to FEWA Award which has been presented to an attorney.”

FEWA is a national non-profit professional membership organization of experts who provide forensic services in all technical specialties. The organization presented Goodwin with the award Saturday, April 26 at the association’s annual conference in Tempe.

“For every attorney, obtaining reliable expert testimony is vital to ensuring every litigant receives the best representation at trial,” said Nicole Goodwin, shareholder at Greenberg Traurig. “I am humbled by this award and have been impressed by FEWA’s dedication to expert integrity and professionalism.”

“We are proud that Nicole has been recognized by this prestigious organization,” said John E. Cummerford, co-managing shareholder in Greenberg Traurig’s Phoenix office. “Nicole works tirelessly on behalf of her clients and is very deserving of this honor.”

Goodwin focuses her practice on commercial litigation matters, with an emphasis on corporate governance disputes, fiduciary litigation, financial services litigation, real estate litigation, antitrust counseling and litigation, and health care litigation.

Clean Energy

OneRoof Energy Expands Phoenix Call Center

OneRoof Energy, Inc., a complete solar services provider and subsidiary of OneRoof Energy Group, Inc., announced today that it plans to triple its existing call center from 40 full time employees to 120 full time employees, adding 80 jobs to the Phoenix market over the next twelve months. The call center expansion is necessary to provide support for the company’s growing direct sales force launched in 2013 and comes amid rapid market expansion, including the company’s entry into the Massachusetts market earlier this month. The center will also provide support for new channel alliances currently under development including retail energy partnerships.

“With a number of reputable call center training institutes in the area, Phoenix is a hot bed for call center expertise. It is also a mature solar market and that is an ideal combination for us,” states Nick Hofer, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at OneRoof Energy. “We are committed to providing the best customer experience in the industry and the call center will play a critical role in realizing that goal.”

Arizona remains one of the top three residential solar states in the nation. The residential market saw 72.7 MW installed in 2013, up 17% year-over-year despite a reduction in rebate funding to $0.10/W and a hotly contested regulatory battle over adjustments to Net Energy Metering (NEM).

“The Phoenix metro area has one of the largest call center workforces in the U.S., offering trained agents with excellent call center skills,” said King White, president of Site Selection Group, LLC. – a leading business location advisory firm. “With its expansion, OneRoof Energy is poised to be a leader in customer care in the residential solar market nationally.”

Fresh Water is Becoming Scarcer with the Planet's Changing Climate

CAP has $1 Trillion Impact on Arizona Economy

Key players in Arizona’s water supply gathered today at the GPEC Ambassador Event to discuss the future of water in greater Phoenix at Renaissance Square in Downtown Phoenix.

The event featured a panel consisted of David Modeer, general manager at Central Arizona Project, Grady Gammage Jr., an Attorney at Gammage & Burnham, Dave Roberts, the Senior Diretor of Water Resources at Salt River Project, and Michael Lacey, the director at Arizona Department of Water Resources.

The panel attempted to address various concerns facing Arizona’s water supply that have come to fruition as a result of what has been a 14-year drought extending from Texas to California.

“The efforts that the people on this panel and others have been making over the last 5-10 years in response to the drought, and going forward, are without question one of the most important efforts made to sustain the economy and quality of life of this state,” Modeer said.

The importance of the efforts to sustain Arizona’s water supply was highlighted in a study by the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.

According to the study, “Central Arizona Project’s delivery of Colorado River water from 1986 through 2010 has generated in excess of $1 trillion of Arizona’s gross state product.”

Between 2005 and 2010 alone, it is pointed out in the study, CAP’s contribution to gross state product increased 27.7 percent to 49.5 percent.

“The significance of what’s at stake for Arizona is unparalleled,” Modeer said. “Without water, we don’t have a viable state of Arizona.”

While plans for the future and actions that have already been taken were discussed with optimism, Lacey acknowledged that there are no definitive answers.

“I have people come up to me all the time and say, ‘so do we have enough water?’” he said. “And, that is exactly like if I come up to one of you and say, ‘do you have enough money?’”

The answer to both of those questions, he said, is: “it depends.”

“The real questions are ‘what do we do with the water we have and what are our chances of getting more?” he said.

In addressing these questions, Lacey said that the public needs to overcome several misconceptions.
One of these misconceptions, he said, stems from the fact that Arizona is the junior right holder on the Colorado River.

“Unfortunately, I think the public’s perception is, if there’s a declaration of shortage on the river, then Phoenix is dry,” he said. “That’s not true. While we are the junior right holder, it is highly unlikely that there will be nothing in the canal.”

Also, he said, even if there is a shortage, it will be mostly agriculture that is affected, not municipal use.

“A declaration of water is not going to mean there isn’t water coming out of your tap,” he said.
While it was acknowledged that there is no sure answer in addressing the issues, the discussion served as an opportunity to find consensual agreements between important Arizona figures.

“The issue that we in the system are dealing with is ‘how do you get an agreement among a really diverse group of states and water rights holders within those states to do something now?’” Modeer said.

Michael Gordon MD

Gordon named clinical trials medical director

Michael S. Gordon, MD, one of the greater Phoenix area’s leading medical oncologists and cancer researchers, has been named the new Medical Director for the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials program at Scottsdale Healthcare. Dr. Gordon will oversee the center’s internationally recognized Phase I clinical trials program, which is known for its leadership in first-in-human studies of new cancer therapies.

Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials at Scottsdale Healthcare, a partnership with TGen, is a leading clinical research site for Phase I studies of new cancer drugs. It is often among the first in the world to offer a new investigational drug for eligible patients with a broad range of cancers.

Dr. Gordon is a medical oncologist who serves as CEO of Pinnacle Oncology Hematology, a division of Arizona Center for Cancer Care, in Scottsdale, focusing on translational research and the care and management of cancer patients seeking phase I and phase II clinical trials. He is a Clinical Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Phoenix, and is actively engaged in the education of medical students as co-director of the Oncology Block.

Dr. Gordon’s principal research interests are in development of new cancer therapies with a focus on targeted and immunologic therapies as well as drugs that affect angiogenesis (tumor blood vessel supply). Avastin®, Perjeta® and Neumega® are among the drugs Dr. Gordon has helped validate for FDA approval. His disease focuses include kidney cancer, melanoma, prostate cancer, lung cancer, gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) and ovarian cancer.

Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials at Scottsdale Healthcare, through its relationships with top physician scientists, biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies world wide, offers a variety of early-phase cancer research studies providing local impact to the citizens of Arizona, according to Dr. Gordon.

“The care and management of patients with cancer and associated diagnoses is rapidly evolving. The ability to provide patients with cutting-edge treatments has the potential to transform the way cancer care is delivered. The Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare has always been a leader in this regard and its relationships with its community partners defines Scottsdale Healthcare’s commitment to our patients and our community,” said Dr. Gordon.

“I look forward to working with my colleagues and to the evolution of a new dynamic as we work to accelerate the access to new cancer drugs to our patients in need. By focusing on innovation in a collaborative spirit with our community physicians, we reinforce our primary commitment to our patients and their families,” he continued.

Dr. Gordon specifically noted the strength of the talent in Scottsdale and their commitment to excellence. “Our programs have a tremendous core of individuals at all levels of clinical research and primary patient care who ensure that we do the best work possible, drawing greater focus on Scottsdale as the “go to” place for cancer drug development.”

The Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare and Scottsdale Healthcare Research Institute are known for collaborations with leading genomic scientists, academic centers and community-based physicians such as the Arizona Center for Cancer Care, Palo Verde Hematology Oncology and Arizona Oncology Associates, said Mark Slater, PhD, chief executive, Scottsdale Healthcare Research Institute.

“We will continue to collaborate with our community physicians, our partners at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), Translational Drug Development (TD2), nationally recognized universities and others to better serve our community and accelerate breakthrough innovations for cancer treatment,” added Dr. Slater.

Examples of recent successes in accelerating new drug development at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center are skin cancer drug Erivedge® and the use of Abraxane for treating pancreatic cancer. Both worldwide studies were led in Scottsdale by Daniel D. Von Hoff, MD, chief scientific officer of the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare and TGen Physician-in-Chief.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Erivedge® for advanced basal cell carcinoma in January 2012 and approved Abraxane in combination with standard therapy for pancreatic cancer in September 2013.

“We are honing in on the pathways to help tailor the right drug to the right patient at the right time,” said Dr. Von Hoff. “This is an exciting era of precision medicine and the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials program at Scottsdale Healthcare provides unprecedented access to new therapies for people in our community.”

Ramesh Ramanathan, MD, an investigator at Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials specializing in treatment of gastrointestinal cancers, agreed that the program will benefit from the inclusion of Dr. Gordon.

“My passion is cancer research and I look forward to growing our program along with Dr. Gordon, Dr. Von Hoff and everyone involved in this important work at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare. I’m optimistic that we can continue our strong track record of success as we battle this disease,” said Dr. Ramanathan, who is also a senior investigator and Clinical Professor at TGen and the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Phoenix.

“Our campus is becoming the epicenter of research activity across the Scottsdale Lincoln Health Network, and we are creating an infrastructure that continues to attract top talent to our organization,” added Gary Baker, senior vice president and CEO, Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center.

Baker noted that the depth of science through the diagnostic and genomic capabilities available to local cancer patients is a key benefit of the inclusiveness and collaborative spirit fostered within the Scottsdale Healthcare Research Institute.

“It’s a great example of locally based, yet nationally respected leading researchers, community physicians and clinical teams working together to develop new therapies and innovative treatments that benefit patients here in Arizona and across the United States,” concluded Ron Korn, MD, PhD, medical director of the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare.

The Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare opened in 2001 as the first major cancer center in greater Phoenix, offering comprehensive cancer care and research through Phase I clinical trials, diagnosis, treatment, prevention and support services in collaboration with leading researchers and community oncologists.

Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials at Scottsdale Healthcare is known worldwide for its expertise in studying new treatments for pancreatic cancer. It is a co-lead site with Dr. Von Hoff as the principal investigator for Stand Up to Cancer’s Pancreatic Cancer Dream Team comprised of scientists working to develop new treatments for pancreatic cancer.

The Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare, an affiliate of the Scottsdale Lincoln Health Network, is designated by the Association of Community Cancer Centers as a Community Resource Center for Pancreatic Cancer and holds Accreditation with Commendation from the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons.

coreslab

Coreslab Structures celebrates 25 years

As part of the company’s 25th Anniversary celebration, Coreslab Structures of Arizona will be hosting an open house Friday, April 25 at its facility, located at 5026 S. 43rd Ave. in Phoenix, including such local dignitaries as City of Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. The event will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Expecting more than 200 clients and industry supporters, Coreslab’s open house will include tours of the facility and production facility, double-tee load test, self-consolidating concrete demo, door prizes, and food and drinks.

Arizona general manager and vice president Ron Harman stated, “This open house is an opportunity to connect with our loyal customers, architects and general contractors in the Valley, while demonstrating new innovations possible with precast concrete. As the needs of our clients have changed over the years, we have developed new products and improved our production processes to ensure that they are receiving a quality product at a competitive price.”

Stanton’s confirmation of attendance reflects his commitment to Phoenix businesses. Since taking office just two years ago, Mayor Greg Stanton has worked tirelessly to build a modern economy that works for every Phoenix family. By lifting up local business such as Coreslab Structures, Stanton is leading the way to create an economy built to last. Before he was elected mayor in 2011, Stanton served nine years on the City Council and as Arizona’s Deputy Attorney General.

Rachel 10

HMA Promotes Brockway to senior account executive

HMA Public Relations, recognized regionally as a leader in public relations and marketing communications, has announced the promotion of Rachel Brockway to senior account executive.

Brockway previously worked as an account executive and has been with HMA Public Relations since 2012. As a senior account executive, her responsibilities include client management, strategic media relations, digital communications, new business development, online content management, promotional marketing and creative writing.

“Rachel is a huge asset to our team,” said Abbie S. Fink, vice president/general manager at HMA Public Relations. “Her varied experience across many marketing communications disciplines will continue to be invaluable to our team and to our clients.”

Brockway is an active member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and is currently working with the PRSA Phoenix Chapter’s PR Serving America Project with the O’Conner House. She is among the list of Top 100 marketing professors from around the world and she is also an adjunct faculty member at Arizona State University and Grand Canyon University.

Brockway holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Northeastern State University and a Masters of Business Administration in global management and leadership from Arizona State University. She has a true passion for giving back and is a graduate of Scottsdale Leadership Class 23. She currently serves as a board member with the Anne Rita Monahan Foundation for Ovarian Cancer; is a member of the Scottsdale Unified School District Capital Override Oversight Committee; and volunteers with the marketing committee of Girls on the Run of Maricopa County. An Arizona native and a Phoenix resident, Brockway enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, playing tennis, reading and social media.

Staci Glass TRB_6267-Edit

Midwestern Appoints New Director of Development

Kathleen H. Goeppinger, Ph.D., President and CEO of Midwestern University, announced a new director on the University’s Glendale Campus.

Staci Glass has been named Director of Development and Alumni Relations for the Glendale Campus. Ms. Glass brings nearly two decades of administrative, planning, fund-raising, and event management experience to Midwestern. Most recently, Ms. Glass served as the Chief Development Officer of Florence Crittenton Services of Arizona; she has also worked in the past for Hacienda HealthCare of Phoenix and the Arizona Osteopathic Medical Association.

Over her professional career, Ms. Glass has been heavily involved in Valley non-profit operations. She has worked with such organizations as the Junior League of Phoenix, Junior Achievement, and Arizona Spina Bifida, and is a past president of the Rotary Club of Phoenix West. She has also volunteered for the Halo Animal Shelter, Child Crisis Center, and the Ronald McDonald House.

“I am both grateful and excited to join the Midwestern University family in supporting the mission of educating tomorrow’s healthcare team and building resources for our students, faculty, and patients,” said Ms. Glass.

In her new role at Midwestern University, Ms. Glass will oversee fundraising and alumni relations for all of the University’s six colleges, including event sponsorship programs, corporate and foundation relations, annual giving, major gifts, donor stewardship, alumni organizations and programs, and grant writing.

mayor

Stanton, Gallego Work to Close Gender Pay Gap

Mayor Greg Stanton and Councilwoman Kate Gallego announced Tuesday a new effort to ensure that City of Phoenix contractors – those paid with taxpayer dollars – practice equal pay for equal work among men and women.

This morning, on National Equal Pay Day, Stanton asked Gallego to lead an effort over the next few months to draft an equal pay measure that better ensures fair pay in the workplace, and includes mechanisms to enforce the policy.

Across the nation, women are paid 77 cents for every dollar their male counterparts make. Although it trails the District of Columbia in pay equity, Arizona has the smallest pay gap among the 50 states: women earn about 86 percent of what their male counterparts earned. [Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics]

“The fact that women are paid less for the same work as men is a strike at our core values,” said Stanton. “We have a responsibility to do something about it, and we can take the lead in Phoenix by making sure that companies who do business with the city pay equal wages for equal work.”

“We know that when women win, Phoenix will win,” said Gallego. “I look forward to the day when Equal Pay Day will be January 1. Women should no longer have to work more than four additional months to make the same salary that men did last year. I appreciate Mayor Stanton’s leadership on this important issue.”

Later this year, Gallego will present her recommendation for a City Council vote. As a state, Arizona last considered equal pay legislation in the 1970s. [Source: “BLS data: Arizona has lowest gender pay gap among states,” Cronkite News Service, Feb. 1, 2014]

“I applaud the efforts of my colleagues to close the gender wage gap here in Phoenix,” said Councilwoman Laura Pastor. “Especially in District 4, home to many working families and female-headed households, this effort has the potential not only to help women in the workforce, but to truly move our community forward.”

Equal Pay Day aims to raise public awareness about the gap between men’s and women’s wages. The date – April 8 – was selected to represent how long into the year women must work to earn what men made last year.

Over the course of a woman’s career, pay inequality adds up. “A women who worked full time, year round would typically lose $443,360 in a 40-year period due to the wage gap, and have to work 12 years longer than her male counterpart to make up this gap.” [Source: Fifty Years and Counting: The Unfinished Business of Achieving Fair Pay, National Women’s Law Center, 2013]

Wage discrimination harms families. Women are the primary breadwinners in more than 41 percent of families with children, including 8.6 million families across the country headed by single mothers. [Source: National Women’s Law Center]

The gender gap has not closed in nearly a dozen years. Women earned 77 percent of their male counterparts’ earnings in both 2002 and 2013. [Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics]

Minorities experience the most significant pay gap. Hispanic women make 53 percent of what white men make; Native American women make 60 percent; and African-American women make 64 percent. [Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 American Community Survey]

There is a gender pay gap in nearly every occupation. A 2014 report from the American Association of University Women found that, “From elementary and middle-school teachers to computer programmers, women are paid less than men in female-dominated, gender-balanced, and male-dominated occupations.”

Education does not close the gender gap. “At every level of academic achievement, women’s median earnings are less than men’s median earnings, and in some cases, the gender gap is larger at higher levels of education.” [Source: The Simple Truth About the Gender Pay Gap, American Association of University Women, 2014]

At all education levels, even after experience is considered, the wage gap gets worse as a woman’s career progresses. “A Bloomberg Businessweek story examined wage gaps within occupations and found that out of 265 major occupations, women’s median salary exceeded men’s in only one occupation – personal care and service workers.” [Source: FAQ About the Wage Gap, National Women’s Law Center, September 2013]

Professional women sometimes experience the most significant pay gap. “Female CEOs earn 69 cents for every dollars earned by their male counterparts, and female lawyers make tens of thousands of dollars less than their male peers.” [Source: Think Progress, Jan. 29, 2013]

Female newspaper editors, for example, earn 79 percent of their male counterparts, and male paralegals earn 11 percent more than women in the same job. [Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics]

The pay gap grows and wage loss accumulates over the course of a woman’s career. “By the time women reach 39, their wage growth pretty much stops altogether.” Wage growth for men continues until age 48. [Source: “Mapping the Glass Ceiling,” New York Times, May 29, 2012].

Women without children experience wage discrimination. Just a year out of college, women make 82 percent of the wage of male peers who do similar work.

87665813

New East Valley Women’s Professional Group Launches

The Phoenix-metro-based Women of Scottsdale and Central Phoenix Women groups proudly announce the launch of a third, localized chapter, East Valley Women being added to serve women business professionals who live or work in Tempe, Mesa, Gilbert, and Chandler. East Valley Women will meet on the third Tuesday of every month from 7:30am to 9am at the Hilton Phoenix/Mesa in Mesa, Ariz., beginning on Tax Day, Tuesday, April 15, 2014.

The new East Valley Women group is a sister organization of the esteemed Women of Scottsdale, founded in 1998 and Central Phoenix Women, founded in 2006 by Linda Herold. Herold retired in December 2013, and named JoAnn Holland CEO of the groups. It is under her stewardship that the East Valley Women group has launched. The groups endeavor to support women beginning their professional career, business and professional leaders, women in government, women in education and those who have retired to create a deep and long-lasting community of mutual support.

The group has named community alumna Jodi Towns as the Inaugural Director of the new east valley group and she will serve a two-year term; promoting membership and business sponsorship for the new chapter, as well as acting as Master of Ceremonies at monthly meetings. As the new Inaugural Director, Towns intends to further the spirit of community support with a focus on communities east of Phoenix and Scottsdale. She will continue as the Director of Practice Management for LifeScape Premier, a Scottsdale-based concierge medical practice that has been actively involved in supporting and sponsoring Women of Scottsdale and Central Phoenix Women for several years, and is looking forward to launching the nascent East Valley group.

“I’m honored to uphold and extend the tradition and support that these fine groups provide business women in our communities,” says Towns. “With the new group serving the East Valley we’ll be able to reach, serve and bring more fantastic women into the fray.”

The groups’ CEO and founder is equally pleased with the chapter developments. “Jodi has been such a passionate advocate for our existing groups and we’re thrilled to have her leading the charge for the East Valley,” states JoAnn Holland. “We look forward to continued success under her direction with the new East Valley Women chapter.”

For more information about East Valley Women, please like them on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/eastvalleywomen

To sign up for the breakfast on April 15th please contact JoAnn Holland – CEO and Founder at ceo@eastvalleywomen.org or Anita Welsch – anita@eastvalleywomen.org or 480-567-8131

bioscience

Bioscience Roadmap gets an extension through 2025

The strategic plan that has guided Arizona’s fast-growing bioscience sector for nearly 12 years is gearing up for a new decade.

“Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap: 2014-2025” will be unveiled starting April 8 at events in Phoenix, Tucson, and Flagstaff, the state’s three metropolitan areas that feature growing bioscience hubs. The plan includes updated strategies that can strengthen and diversify Arizona’s economy while providing Arizonans access to the latest health care innovations.

“The updated Bioscience Roadmap builds on the successes of its first decade and adds contemporary strategies to take Arizona’s bioscience base to the next level,” said Jack Jewett, President & CEO of the Flinn Foundation, which commissioned the update and the original Bioscience Roadmap in 2002. “Arizona is now known as a top emerging bioscience state, but we have far to go to reach our full potential.”

The updated Roadmap will continue to focus on developing Arizona’s biomedical research infrastructure but will emphasize turning this research into new therapies, products, diagnostics, jobs, firms, and other benefits to Arizona. Commercialization, entrepreneurship, creating a critical mass of bioscience firms, and the development of talent are prime themes.

The Roadmap’s overarching vision is for Arizona—a young but rapidly growing state in the biosciences—to become a global competitor and national leader in select areas of the biosciences by 2025.

Over the first decade, Arizona built major research facilities at its universities, formed new private research institutes, attracted top talent, created high-tech business incubators, and greatly expanded statewide STEM (science, technology, education, math) education programs. The number of Arizona bioscience industry jobs grew by 45 percent, nearly four times greater than the nation.

“Arizona has many bioscience strengths and opportunities, but a substantial increase in private and public investment will be needed over the next decade to realize the Roadmap’s goals,” said Walter Plosila, senior advisor to the Battelle Technology Partnership Practice, the Columbus, Ohio-based nonprofit research and development organization that authored the original Roadmap and its update.

Plosila noted that Arizona’s greatest needs are access to risk capital by startup and emerging bioscience firms, building a stronger bioscience entrepreneurship culture, and an expansion of the research infrastructure combined with commercialization at the state’s universities.

The new Roadmap plan features five goals, 17 strategies, and 77 proposed actions. The actions are meant to evolve as needs change over the course of the decade. The plan was developed by Battelle following research, interviews, and focus groups with more than 150 local and national bioscience leaders, including extensive input from Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap Steering Committee, a body of more than 100 statewide leaders in science, business, academia, and government.

“An emphasis on the full spectrum of the biosciences—from research to hospitals to bio-agriculture—and a renewed focus on resources, collaboration, and long-term patience is needed for Arizona to continue its ascent in the biosciences,” said Martin Shultz, Senior Policy Director for Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, who chairs the Roadmap Steering Committee. “The impact can be profound—the biosciences are a multibillion-dollar industry for Arizona.”

There are six industry segments that comprise the biosciences in Arizona: agricultural feedstock and chemicals; drugs, pharmaceuticals, and diagnostics; medical devices and equipment; research, testing, and medical labs; bioscience-related distribution; and hospitals. A new economic-impact analysis by Battelle estimates the total revenue generated annually by Arizona’s bioscience industry—not counting hospitals—to be $14 billion. With hospitals included, the figure exceeds $36 billion.

Based on the latest industry data (2012), Arizona currently has 106,846 bioscience jobs spread across 1,382 establishments and an annual average wage of $62,775—39 percent higher than the private-sector average. These numbers do not include academic research jobs at the state universities or private research institutes.

Hospitals account for the majority of the state’s bioscience jobs. With hospitals removed from the equation, the other segments combine for 23,545 jobs, 1,266 establishments, and average annual wages of $85,571. Growth in the non-hospital segments accelerated dramatically over the last few years.

The bioscience-related distribution subsector is a new addition to Arizona’s bioscience definition, following the lead of the Biotechnology Industry Organization, the nation’s bioscience trade association. Companies in this subsector coordinate the delivery of bioscience-related products through processes such as cold storage and product monitoring, and new technologies such as automated pharmaceutical distribution systems. This change also called for several smaller industries to be dropped from Arizona’s definition.

The Roadmap also presents updated data on Arizona’s performance in generating grants from the National Institutes of Health, academic research expenditures, venture capital, and tech-transfer measures involving the state universities. These metrics plus industry measures will be tracked throughout the decade by Battelle and reported by the Flinn Foundation.

The Roadmap also includes analyses of Arizona’s bioscience sector that were critical in developing the strategies and actions, such as an assessment of Arizona’s bioscience strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and challenges. It identified Arizona’s core competencies as cancer research, neurosciences, bioengineering, agricultural biotechnology, imaging sciences, precision medicine, diagnostics, health information technologies, and health economics.

The Flinn Foundation is a privately endowed, philanthropic grantmaking organization established in 1965 by Dr. Robert S. and Irene P. Flinn to improve the quality of life in Arizona to benefit future generations. The Phoenix-based foundation supports the advancement of the biosciences in Arizona, as well as a merit-based college scholarship program, arts and culture, and the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership. “Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap: 2014-2025” is available for download at www.flinn.org.

taxes

REDW Among Fastest-Growing Accounting Firms

REDW LLC, one of the largest and most respected certified public accounting and business consulting firms in the Southwest, announced that AccountingToday.com named the company the fourth fastest-growing accounting firm in the U.S. during 2013. REDW was also recognized as the fifth largest accounting firm in the southwestern United States.

AccountingToday.com , is a leading provider of online business news for the tax and accounting community. The ranking follows Albuquerque-based REDW’s merger with Phoenix based firms Abalos & Associates PLLC, and Miller, Allen & Co., P.C. in late 2012. The combined firm, showed a 33.52% growth in 2013 with revenues of $26.45 million.

“Our Phoenix operations continue to grow following the successful mergers to create one great team of like-minded professionals,” said Sandy Abalos, Principal-in-Charge of the Phoenix office.. “Year one of the merger we focused on a seamless transition into a single entity, and with that overwhelmingly successful effort we expect even stronger benefits in 2014 as we focus on strategic organic growth and increased efficiencies between our Phoenix and Albuquerque offices.”

“REDW’s growth into Phoenix catapulted us to being ranked the fifth largest accounting firm in the southwestern United States and the fourth fastest growing accounting firm in the entire United States,” said Ron Rivera, REDW’s Managing Principal. “The talented team in Phoenix and the synergies and opportunities that the Phoenix office provides REDW as a whole will benefit our ability to continue our organic growth and will serve as a growth model as we look to expand into new markets. Ultimately, our growth is all about our clients as we strive to ensure we maintain the level of forward-thinking business advice that our clients expect from us to meet and exceed their ever-evolving needs.

The AccountingToday.com ranking is based on the percentage increase in income- not dollar amounts- to determine which firms experienced the greatest growth. To view the AccountingToday.com rankings, click here.

aerospace

Industry leaders view aerospace prospects

Through a joint effort led by Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Authority, Able Aerospace Services and SRP, industry leaders at next week’s MRO Americas convention in Phoenix will gain a birds-eye view of expansion and relocation opportunities in the Valley. The opportunity comes courtesy of a VIP aerial helicopter tour, as well as a reception and tour at Able Aerospace Services—a $20 million build-to-suit success story at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport.

“We are extremely proud of our relocation to Gateway, not only because of our expansion into a state-of-the-art facility but also because of the partnership that this building represents,” said Lee Benson, CEO of Able Aerospace Services. “This was a collaboration in every sense. We are honored to share our story with others in our industry who might benefit from these same opportunities.”

A total of three VIP tours will depart from downtown Phoenix on Tuesday, April 8, 2014 on a Bell 212 helicopter provided by event partner SRP. The tour will fly participants over Greater Phoenix for an aerial view of the Valley, then make an intermediate stop at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport for a reception and tour of the new $20 million Able Aerospace Services headquarters—an industry leading repair, overhaul, design and manufacturing facility, and a leading aftermarket supplier of FAA-approved replacement parts.

The Able event will include a short presentation on the cost savings incentives that made its new facility possible, and provide an opportunity for guests to talk directly with local leaders and partners in the MRO aerial tour, including the City of Phoenix, City of Mesa, Town of Gilbert, Town of Queen Creek, City of Apache Junction and the Gila River Indian Community. The return flight will fly over Falcon Field, then back to downtown Phoenix.

“This is a truly unique way for us to share Greater Phoenix’s regional assets with aerospace leaders from across the globe,” said Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Business Development Director Michael Merk. “In the span of about 100 minutes, we will showcase the best and brightest of our development and expansion opportunities—from the sky and from the state-of-the-art Able Aerospace Services operation that has made Gateway Airport a true manufacturing destination.”

MRO Americas provides a world-class venue for the aviation/aerospace industry to exchange ideas, share best practices, gain knowledge, generate new business leads and cement existing relationships with other commercial air transport, maintenance, repair and overhaul leaders. The three-day event is held at a different U.S. location each year. This year, it is being held April 8 – 10 at the Phoenix Convention Center.

Klein_Leslie

Greenberg Traurig Names New Co-Chair

Les Klein, a shareholder in the Phoenix office of the international law firm Greenberg Traurig, has been named Co-Chair of the firm’s Global Benefits and Compensation Group. Klein, with more than 30 years of experience in all aspects of employee benefits and executive compensation, is joined by Co-Chair Jeffrey Mamorsky from the firm’s New York office.

“This recognition is well deserved,” said John Cummerford, co-managing shareholder of the law firm’s Phoenix office. “Les is well known and respected nationally for his employee benefits and executive compensation experience, and his appointment to Co-Chair of the Global Benefits and Compensation Group gives the Phoenix office a unique perspective and ability to explore unmet needs in our local business community. His proven ability to creatively tackle new regulatory challenges and identify new employer trends aligns well with our business objective of providing the very best client service to all our clients.”

Klein has more than three decades of experience advising public and private companies, non-for-profit corporations, fiduciaries and executives involving various employee benefits and executive compensation matters. Klein is recognized as a Fellow of the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel and is admitted to practice law in Arizona and Illinois. Klein earned his J.D. at Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology and holds a B.S., in Accountancy from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

“Having had the privilege of serving for many years as Co-Chair of our Global Benefits and Compensation Group, I thought it was time for me to step down and allow for some new blood to be introduced into that role,” said Greenberg Traurig Shareholder Steve Lapidus. “I could not be more pleased to announce that Les Klein has agreed to take on that responsibility, and will serve as Co-Chair with Jeff Mamorsky in my stead effective immediately. I know that Les has the confidence and support of all in our group and that makes

celebrity-fight-night

Fight Night Auction Includes Trip to Space

Celebrity Fight Night, one of the nation’s most impactful charity events, with XCOR Aerospace, announced today a new space flight experience onboard the XCOR® Lynx® to be auctioned off live, Saturday, April 12 at Celebrity Fight Night XX. This package, along with other items up for auction that night, will help raise money for charity at the milestone 20th anniversary Celebrity Fight Night event at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix.

This exclusive package includes space flight training at Air Combat USA of Fullerton, California, a space suit fitting and an actual space flight experience onboard the XCOR Lynx, a two-seat spacecraft. XCOR Chief Test Pilot and former NASA Space Shuttle Commander Colonel Rick Searfoss will then pilot two separate missions onboard Lynx, one with the auction winner and one with John Corbett, to the edge of space.

The package also includes a pre-flight physical exam as part of the auction winner’s training, a video of the training day experience, a demonstration of a Lynx launch, two first class tickets to Los Angeles and deluxe hotel accommodations.

The XCOR Lynx flight will depart from a runway at the Mojave Air and Space Port north of Los Angeles, rocketing up to 200,000 feet in five minutes to suborbital space. Lynx will then go through several minutes of weightlessness and gently glide home, for a total time of about 35 minutes of flight.

Actor and country musician John Corbett is well-known for his role as Seth Holt in NBC’s hit dramedy Parenthood, and his self-titled debut country album, which climbed to number 42 on Billboard’s Country Albums chart.

“As an artist, I never for a second dreamed that I could make a living making music. And as a child who was inspired by the Apollo program, I would never have dreamed that the experience of space would be so close at hand–until Celebrity Fight Night connected me with XCOR. To be standing at the threshold of an actual space flight is almost more than I can imagine.”

Colonel Searfoss is both XCOR’s Chief Test Pilot and one of only 100 individuals to actually have commanded a Space Shuttle mission (STS-90). Over his career he has logged 939 hours in space, with 6,000 hours flying more than 79 types of aircraft.

Colonel Searfoss stated that XCOR Lynx is “all of the experiences I had flying the Shuttle, all those phases of flight: the boost, the weightlessness.” But the best part, he added, “is the fact that you’re up in a pilot seat, with me, as opposed to being in the back like a passenger on an airliner. It’s really a ‘Right Stuff’ experience. And I couldn’t be more excited to share the opportunity for this experience with John and Celebrity Fight Night.”

Celebrity Fight Night executive director Sean Currie added that CFN, “now in its twentieth year, could not be more excited to offer this once-in-a-lifetime package with XCOR and Colonel Searfoss. This is truly the experience of a lifetime and we are honored that John Corbett is the explorer who will take part in that journey.”

“Because XCOR Lynx is what Commander Searfoss calls a ‘Right Stuff’ experience, it is important to us to work with a celebrity who is not only moved by the idea of a Lynx flight, but also truly gets the vision of space exploration,” said XCOR representative Greg Claxton. “And all of this could not be for a better cause.”

Celebrity Fight Night’s luxury live auction items are one of the most anticipated aspects of the action-packed evening. The coveted auction items are once-in-a-lifetime experiences that cannot be bought or found elsewhere. The items often go for hundreds of thousands of dollars, helping Celebrity Fight Night contribute a significant amount of dollars to the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at Barrow Neurological Institute and other charities. Other auction items and packages previously announced include: dinner with Billy Crystal and Robert De Niro; dinner with Reba McEntire in her Beverly Hills home; backstage dinner with Michael Bublé, a summer weekend with the Kennedys in Cape Cod; an all-inclusive getaway at a private lodge in British Columbia; a west coast trip on the Patron Tequila Express 1927 Vintage Rail Car; a four night stay with Richard Branson on his private British Virgin Islands Necker Island, for a Leadership Gathering, and more.

Joining Muhammad Ali for this special anniversary milestone will be memorable performances from Michael Bublé, The Band Perry and Kenny Rogers. During the gala, Bublé, entertainment icon Robert De Niro as well as philanthropist John Paul DeJoria will be honored with Muhammad Ali Celebrity Fight Night Awards. Billy Crystal will make a special introduction for De Niro; and Bobby Kennedy, Jr. will introduce DeJoria.

Over the past 19 years, Celebrity Fight Night has raised $87 million for the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center and other charities.

Individual tickets range from $1,500 to $10,000 each and tables of 10 are priced from $15,000 to $100,000 each. For reservations, please call (602) 956-1121.

Celebrity Fight Night XX sponsors include USA Today Sports, Patrón, GoDaddy, PRO EM, XCOR Aerospace, ETIHAD Airlines and M Group Scenic Studios.

bioscience

Arizona Biomedical Corridor advances

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton and the City Council today approved the Phoenix Industrial Development Authority to issue up to $180 million in revenue bonds to finance Mayo Clinic’s new proton beam radiation therapy center.

The Council also approved a two-year extension of its agreement with ASU and Mayo Clinic to continue collaborative planning efforts to develop the Arizona Biomedical Corridor in northeast Phoenix.

The Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, the corridor’s anchor, will be the only center in the Southwest to provide proton beam radiation, a technology that precisely delivers radiation to a tumor while protecting surrounding healthy tissue and organs. The 165,000-square-foot underground facility will help Mayo medical teams treat about 2,000 patients, including children, each year beginning in spring 2016.

“Mayo Clinic’s newly consolidated cancer center is exciting for our community because it helps to deliver top-notch care to our residents and contributes to the innovation-based economy we need,” said Stanton.

“I am thrilled we are taking the next step in our partnership with ASU and Mayo Clinic on the Biomedical Corridor in District 2,” said Vice Mayor Jim Waring. “This project will be a great economic driver for the city and the state, and only enhance Phoenix’s image as an international destination for medical care.”

“Arizona cancer patients will no longer have to travel far to receive proton beam therapy,” said Wyatt Decker, M.D., chief executive officer of Mayo Clinic in Arizona. “Proton beam therapy, with fewer side effects and greater precision, is particularly beneficial for children and younger patients. We’re pleased to be offering this important treatment soon in the fight against cancer, right here in our community.”

Stanton also announced that the Arizona State Land Department has accepted the application by KUD International, a private developer, to play a key role in developing biomedical and advanced technology research on the site. As a result, the department plans to auction 225 acres of land within the proposed corridor by the end of this year.

alzheimers

Flinn Awards $2M to Banner Alzheimer’s Institute

Banner Alzheimer’s Foundation, the philanthropic resource for Phoenix-based Banner Alzheimer’s Institute (BAI), part of the nonprofit Banner Health, received $2 million in grant funding from the Flinn Foundation, a privately endowed, philanthropic grantmaking organization in Arizona.

Aligning with the Flinn Foundation’s mission to advance biosciences in the state, the grant is an investment in BAI’s groundbreaking Alzheimer’s prevention research. Specifically, the funds will support activities related to the Alzheimer’s Prevention Initiative. A global Alzheimer’s prevention research endeavor spearheaded by scientists and physicians at BAI, the Alzheimer’s Prevention Initiative has been described by the director of the National Institutes of Health as a “cornerstone in the national plan to address Alzheimer’s disease.”

“The Flinn Foundation is an invaluable part of the fabric of Arizona’s philanthropic community, investing in organizations and programs with a track record for advancing research, civic leadership, and arts and culture in our state,” noted Andy Kramer Petersen, president and CEO of Banner Alzheimer’s Foundation. “We are honored that they recognize the tremendous potential of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Initiative and value the work being done at BAI.”

The $2 million grant to BAI is the latest in a decades-long philanthropic relationship between the Flinn Foundation and Banner Health. Prior funding supported an array of community outreach and pediatric health care programs, the most notable being Banner School-Based Health Centers, a program delivering primary health care services to children and adolescents throughout the greater Phoenix area who lack health insurance and access to regular care.

To learn more about BAI, the Alzheimer’s Prevention Initiative, and corresponding local and global research efforts, visit www.BannerAlz.org. For more information about giving opportunities, please call Banner Alzheimer’s Foundation at (602) 747-4483 (GIVE).