Tag Archives: salt river project

Homeward Bound

Valley Residents Help SRP Give Homeward Bound A “Water Makeover”

Salt River Project has launched a contest that has Valley residents making their community more water-efficient. The contest, in which participants pledge to conserve water by submitting their best water-saving tips, could result in a “water makeover” for Homeward Bound’s Thunderbird Family Village Campus.

If SRP reaches its goal of 5,000 pledges, it will help Homeward Bound conserve water at several of its transitional housing facilities with a $5,000 grant from SRP that will be used by Homeward Bound to install high-efficiency shower heads and water fixtures in its 80-apartment campus located in north Phoenix.

“This process highlights the importance of everyone doing their part to conserve water,” says Sally Smith, Homeward Bound’s director of facilities. “We look forward to the conversion, saving water and the money we’ll save in the process.”

Homeward Bound is an organization that works to break the cycle of homelessness and domestic violence. They help families with children achieve economic independence by providing long-term housing that is secure and safe.

Started in 1990 with one family and one house, Homeward Bound now manages 155 housing units and helps nearly 600 people, 400 of which are children. In 2000, Homeward Bound opened the Thunderbird Family Village, a five-acre, secured campus with 80 two-bedroom housing units.

The pledge contest and the Homeward Bound “water makeover” is one of several initiatives created by SRP to extend and enhance the Together We Conserve campaign, a multimedia campaign to raise awareness of water conservation.

Participants of the Together We Conserve pledge contest will automatically be entered into a drawing to win weekly prizes that includes everything from smart irrigation controllers to movie passes.

For more information, visit togetherweconserve.com.

 

50 Largest Employers in Arizona - AZ Business Magazine January/February 2012

50 Largest Employers In Arizona

These are the 50 largest employers in Arizona, including public and privately held companies and not-for-profit corporations, ranked by the number of employees based on full-time equivalents of 40 hours per week and based on industry research.


50 Largest Employers in Arizona

Walmart Stores Inc.

Arizona employees in 2011: 30,634
Employment change since 2010: Added about 300 jobs
2010 revenue: $421.8 billion
Company’s focus: Discount retailer
Year founded: 1962
Headquarters: Bentonville, Ark.
Phone: (479) 273-4000
Website: www.walmart.com

Banner Health

Arizona employees in 2011: 28,353
Employment change since 2010: Added about 600 jobs
2010 revenue: $4.9 billion
Company’s focus: Health care
Year founded: 1911
Headquarters: Phoenix
Phone: (602) 747-4000
Website: www.bannerhealth.com

Wells Fargo & Co.

Arizona employees in 2011: About 14,000
Employment change since 2010: Stayed about even
2010 revenue: $93.2 billion
Company’s focus: Financial services
Year founded: 1852
Headquarters: San Francisco
Phone: (800) 411-4932
Website: www.wellsfargo.com

Bank of America Corp.

Arizona employees in 2011: 13,300
Employment change since 2010: Added about 2,000 jobs
2010 revenue: $150.5 billion
Company’s focus: Financial services
Year founded: 1904
Headquarters: Charlotte, N.C.
Phone: (800) 944-0404
Website: www.bankofamerica.com

McDonald’s Corp.

Arizona employees in 2011: 12,770
Employment change since 2010: Added about 955 jobs
2010 revenue: $22.7 billion
Company’s focus: Food service
Year founded: 1955
Headquarters: Oakbrook, Ill.
Phone: (800) 244-6227
Website: www.mcdonalds.com

Apollo Group Inc.

Arizona employees in 2011: About 12,000
Employment change since 2010: Lost about 460 jobs
2010 revenue: $4.9 billion
Company’s focus: Educational services
Year founded: 1973
Headquarters: Phoenix
Phone: (480) 966-5394
Website: www.apollogrp.edu

Kroger Co. *

Arizona employees in 2011: About 12,000
Employment change since 2010: Added about 400 jobs
2010 revenue: $76.7 billion
Company’s focus: Grocery stores
Year founded: 1883
Headquarters: Cincinnati
Phone: (623) 936-2100
Website: www.frysfood.com
* Includes Fry’s Food Stores and Fry’s Marketplace

Raytheon Co.

Arizona employees in 2011: 11,500
Employment change since 2010: Lost about 600 jobs
2010 revenue: $25.2 billion
Company’s focus: Missile manufacturing
Year founded: 1922
Headquarters: Waltham, Mass.
Phone: (520) 794-3000
Website: www.raytheon.com

JP Morgan Chase & Co.

Arizona employees in 2011: 10,500
Employment change since 2010: Added about 600 jobs
2010 revenue: $102.9 billion
Company’s focus: Financial services
Year founded: 1799
Headquarters: New York
Phone: (602) 221-2900
Website: www.chase.com

Honeywell International Inc.

Arizona employees in 2011: 9,716
Employment change since 2010: Lost about 700 jobs
2010 revenue: $33.4 billion
Company’s focus: Aerospace manufacturing
Year founded: 1952
Headquarters: Morristown, N.J.
Phone: (602) 231-1000
Website: www.honeywell.com

Intel Corp.

Arizona employees in 2011: 9,700
Employment change since 2010: Stayed about even
2010 revenue: $43.6 billion
Company’s focus: Semiconductor manufacturing
Year founded: 1968
Headquarters: Santa Clara, Calif.
Phone: (480) 554-8080
Website: www.intel.com

Target Corp.

Arizona employees in 2011: 9,300
Employment change since 2010: Added about 500 jobs
2010 revenue: $65.4 billion
Company’s focus: Discount retailer
Year founded: 1962
Headquarters: Minneapolis
Phone: (612) 304-6073
Website: www.target.com

US Airways

Arizona employees in 2011: 8,926
Employment change since 2010: Added about 150 jobs
2010 revenue: $11.9 billion
Company’s focus: Airline
Year founded: 1981
Headquarters: Tempe
Phone: (480) 693-0800
Website: www.usairways.com

Catholic Healthcare West

Arizona employees in 2011: 8,291
Employment change since 2010: Added about 500 jobs
2010 revenue: $9.9 billion
Company’s focus: Health care
Year founded: 1986
Headquarters: San Francisco
Phone: (602) 406-3000
Website: www.chw.edu

Home Depot Inc.

Arizona employees in 2011: About 8,000
Employment change since 2010: Added about 350 jobs
2010 revenue: $66.2 billion
Company’s focus: Home improvement
Year founded: 1978
Headquarters: Atlanta
Phone: (714) 940-3500
Website: www.homedepot.com

Walgreen Co.

Arizona employees in 2011: 7,750
Employment change since 2010: Stayed about even
2010 revenue: $63.3 billion
Company’s focus: Retail drugstores
Year founded: 1901
Headquarters: Deerfield, Ill.
Phone: (847) 940-2500
Website: www.walgreens.com

Safeway Stores Inc.

Arizona employees in 2011: 7,500
Employment change since 2010: Stayed about even
2010 revenue: $41.1 billion
Company’s focus: Grocery stores
Year founded: 1926
Headquarters: Pleasanton, Calif.
Phone: (480) 894-4100
Website: www.safeway.com

American Express Co.

Arizona employees in 2011: 7,465
Employment change since 2010: Added about 200 jobs
2010 revenue: $30.2 billion
Company’s focus: Financial services
Year founded: 1850
Headquarters: New York
Phone: (623) 492-7474
Website: www.americanexpress.com

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc.

Arizona employees in 2011: About 7,000
Employment change since 2010: Added about 935 jobs
2010 revenue: $19 billion
Company’s focus: Mining
Year founded: 1834
Headquarters: Phoenix
Phone: (602) 366-7323
Website: www.fcx.com

Pinnacle West Capital Corp.

Arizona employees in 2011: 6,900
Employment change since 2010: Stayed about even
2010 earnings: $330.4 million
Company’s focus: Electric utility
Year founded: 1985
Headquarters: Phoenix
Phone: (602) 250-1000
Website: www.pinnaclewest.com

Bashas’ Supermarkets

Arizona employees in 2011: 6,641
Employment change since 2010: Lost about 1,800 jobs
2010 revenue: Unavailable
Company’s focus: Grocery stores
Year founded: 1932
Headquarters: Chandler
Phone: (480) 895-9350
Website: www.bashas.com

Scottsdale Healthcare

Arizona employees in 2011: 6,556
Employment change since 2010: Added about 55 jobs
2010 revenue: Unavailable
Company’s focus: Health care
Year founded: 1962
Headquarters: Scottsdale
Phone: (480) 882-4000
Website: www.shc.org

UA Healthcare

Arizona employees in 2011: About 6,000
Employment change since 2010: Added about 2,050 jobs
2010 revenue: Unavailable
Company’s focus: Health care
Year founded: 1971
Headquarters: Tucson
Phone: (520) 694-7737
Website: www.u.arizona.edu

Circle K Corp.

Arizona employees in 2011: 5,690
Employment change since 2010: Added about 590 jobs
2010 revenue: $16.4 billion
Company’s focus: Convenience stores
Year founded: 1951
Headquarters: Laval, QC, Canada
Phone: (602) 728-8000
Website: www.CircleK.com

General Dynamics

Arizona employees in 2011: 5,026
Employment change since 2010: Added about 1,810 jobs
2010 revenue: $32.5 billion
Company’s focus: Defense, communications
Year founded: 1952
Headquarters: Falls Church, Va.
Phone: (480) 441-3033
Website: www.generaldynamics.com

Boeing Co.

Arizona employees in 2011: 4,800
Employment change since 2010: Added about 100 jobs
2010 revenue: $64.3 billion
Company’s focus: Aircraft manufacturing
Year founded: 1916
Headquarters: Chicago
Phone: (480) 891-3000
Website: www.boeing.com

Carondelet Health Network

Arizona employees in 2011: 4,690
Employment change since 2010: Added about 124 jobs
2010 revenue: About $601 million
Company’s focus: Health care
Year founded: 1880
Headquarters: Tucson
Phone: (520) 872-3000
Website: www.carondelet.org

Mayo Foundation

Arizona employees in 2011: 4,522
Employment change since 2010: Added about 138 jobs
2010 revenue: $7.9 billion
Company’s focus: Health care
Year founded: 1864
Headquarters: Rochester, Minn.
Phone: (480) 301-8000
Website: www.mayo.edu

CVS Caremark Corp.

Arizona employees in 2011: 4,500
Employment change since 2010: Added about 50 jobs
2010 revenue: $96.4 billion
Company’s focus: Pharmaceutical services
Year founded: 1993
Headquarters: Nashville
Phone: (615) 743-6600
Website: www.caremark.com

Salt River Project

Arizona employees in 2011: 4,346
Employment change since 2010: Lost about 392 jobs
2010 revenue: $2.7 billion
Company’s focus: Utility supplier
Year founded: 1903
Headquarters: Phoenix
Phone: (602) 236-5900
Website: www.srpnet.com

Costco Inc.

Arizona employees in 2011: 4,151
Employment change since 2010: Added about 951 jobs
2010 revenue: $76.2 billion
Company’s focus: Membership discount stores
Year founded: 1976
Headquarters: Issaquah, Wash.
Phone: (602) 293-5007
Website: www.costco.com

Abrazo Health Care *

Arizona employees in 2011: 4,089
Employment change since 2010: Added about 951 jobs
2010 revenue: $1.5 billion
Company’s focus: Health care
Year founded: 1997
Headquarters: Nashville
Phone: (602) 674-1400
Website: www.abrazohealth.com
* A division of Vanguard Health Systems

Albertsons Inc.

Arizona employees in 2011: 4,000
Employment change since 2010: Lost about 450 jobs
2010 revenue: $5.9 billion
Company’s focus: Grocery and drug stores
Year founded: 1939
Headquarters: Boise, ID
Phone: (602) 382-5300
Website: www.albertsons.com

FedEx Corp.

Arizona employees in 2011: 3,918
Employment change since 2010: Added about 330 jobs
2010 revenue: $34.7 billion
Company’s focus: Delivery, copy centers
Year founded: 1971
Headquarters: Memphis, Tenn.
Phone: (866) 477-7529
Website: www.fedex.com

Southwest Airlines Co.

Arizona employees in 2011: 3,857
Employment change since 2010: Added about 259 jobs
2010 revenue: $12.1 billion
Company’s focus: Airline
Year founded: 1971
Headquarters: Dallas
Phone: (602) 304-3983
Website: www.southwest.com

Marriott International

Arizona employees in 2011: 3,522
Employment change since 2010: Added about 722 jobs
2010 revenue: $11.7 billion
Company’s focus: Resorts and hotels
Year founded: 1927
Headquarters: Bethesda, Md.
Phone: (301) 380-3000
Website:  www.marriott.com

Qwest Communications Inc.

Arizona employees in 2011: 3,200
Employment change since 2010: Lost about 190 jobs
2010 revenue: $12.3 billion
Company’s focus: Telecommunications
Year founded: 1896
Headquarters: Denver
Phone: (800) 244-1111
Website: www.Qwest.com

United Parcel Service

Arizona employees in 2011: 3,170
Employment change since 2010: Lost about 48 jobs
2010 revenue: $49.5 billion
Company’s focus: Package delivery
Year founded: 1907
Headquarters: Atlanta
Phone: (888) 967-5877
Website: www.ups.com

John C. Lincoln Health Network

Arizona employees in 2011: 3,166
Employment change since 2010: Added about 539 jobs
2010 revenue: $551 million
Company’s focus: Health care
Year founded: 1927
Headquarters:  Phoenix
Phone: (602) 870-943-2381
Website: www.jcl.com

USAA

Arizona employees in 2011: 3,045
Employment change since 2010: Added about 74 jobs
2010 revenue: $17.9 billion
Company’s focus: Financial services
Year founded: 1922
Headquarters: San Antonio
Phone: (800) 531-8111
Website: www.usaa.com

Charles Schwab & Co. Inc.

Arizona employees in 2011: 3,001
Employment change since 2010: Stayed about even
2010 revenue: $4.2 billion
Company’s focus: Financial services
Year founded: 1974
Headquarters: San Francisco
Phone: (800) 435-4000
Website: www.schwab.com

Freescale Semiconductor

Arizona employees in 2011: About 3,000
Employment change since 2010: Stayed about even
2010 revenue: $4.5 billion
Company’s focus: Microchip manufacturing
Year founded: 1953
Headquarters: Austin
Phone: (512) 895-2000
Website: www.freescale.com

IBM Corp.

Arizona employees in 2011: About 3,000
Employment change since 2010: Stayed about even
2010 revenue: $95.8 billion
Company’s focus: Technology services
Year founded: 1924
Headquarters: Armonk, N.Y.
Phone: (800) 426-4968
Web site: www.us.ibm.com

Cox Communications Inc.

Arizona employees in 2011: 2,997
Employment change since 2010: Lost about 67 jobs
2010 revenue: $9.1 billion
Company’s focus: Telecommunications
Year founded: 1962
Headquarters: Atlanta
Phone: (623) 594-0505
Website: www.cox.com

TMC HealthCare

Arizona employees in 2011: 2,966
Employment change since 2010: Lost about 84 jobs
2010 revenue: Unavailable
Company’s focus: Health care
Year founded: 1943
Headquarters: Tucson
Phone: (520) 327-5461
Website: www.tmcaz.com

Verizon Wireless

Arizona employees in 2011: 2,901
Employment change since 2010: Added about 201 jobs
2010 revenue: $63.4 billion
Company’s focus: Wireless provider
Year founded: 1984
Headquarters: Basking Ridge, N.J.
phone: (480) 763-6300
Website: www.verizonwireless.com

Cigna HealthCare of AZ

Arizona employees in 2011: 2,865
Employment change since 2010: Added about 401 jobs
2010 revenue: $21.3 billion
Company’s focus: Health care
Year founded: 1972
Headquarters: Philadelphia
Phone: (602) 942-4462
Website: www.cigna.com

Grand Canyon University

Arizona employees in 2011: 2,818
Employment change since 2010: Added about 537 jobs
2010 revenue: $385.8 million
Company’s focus: Educational services
Year founded: 1949
Headquarters: Phoenix
Phone: (602) 639-7500
Website: www.gcu.edu

Starbucks Coffee Co.

Arizona employees in 2011: 2,783
Employment change since 2010: Added about 1,003 jobs
2010 revenue: $10.7 billion
Company’s focus: Food service
Year founded: 1971
Headquarters: Seattle
Phone: (602) 340-0455
Website: www.starbucks.com

Go Daddy Group Inc.

Arizona employees in 2011: 2,754
Employment change since 2010: Added about 441 jobs
2010 revenue: $741.2 million
Company’s focus: Internet services/technology
Year founded: 1997
Headquarters: Scottsdale
Phone: (480) 505-8800
Website: www.GoDaddy.com

These are the state’s 5 largest government employers, ranked by the number of employees.

State of Arizona: About 49,800 employees
City of Phoenix: About 15,100 employees
Maricopa County: 12,792 employees
Arizona State University: 11,185 employees
Mesa Public Schools: 8,376 employees

Arizona Business Magazine January/February 2012

SRP Donations

SRP Donations ~ Providing More than Electricity & Water

SRP Donations: The Salt River Project (SRP) is providing the Valley with more than just electricity and water.

SRP, with help of its employees, has raised more than $1.7 million for charitable organizations in the Valley and across the state.

The SRP Employee Boosters Association allows employees to donate through a one-time payment or payroll deduction throughout the year.  The funds are then distributed to a number of non-profit charities, including the United Way throughout the Valley, Pinal County, Page and St. Johns.

SRP employees here in the valley raised $1.2 million alone; those in Page and St. John raised $146,000 and $66,000 respectively

The SRP board has also approved a $305,000 donation to the Valley of the Sun United Way (VSUW) and another $51,000 for Mesa United Way.  SRP is always the sponsor of the Adopt-a-Pool Fence program through their generous grant of $22,500.

“As the economy continues to recover, many nonprofit agencies are struggling to meet the needs of our community,” said SRP General Manager Mark Bonsall. “SRP recognizes the diversity of programs and services provided by agencies supported by the United Way and in turn, how those agencies help our customers and improve the quality of life of Arizona residents.”

SRP representatives say that these contributions are a part of the company’s ongoing efforts towards improving the quality of life for residents who may be facing challenges.

“The enthusiasm and dedication of our employees have been inspirational,” said SRP Employee Boosters Board President Nicole Abramson, who added the employee booster program is celebrating its 60th year. “I’m very proud of the level of support our employees have given to others in need.”

To read more about SRP donations through  community outreach programs, visit their website at srpnet.com.

SBLA: Building High Performance Teams

Small Business Leadership Academy: Building High Performance Teams (Part I)

Last night, students in the Small Business Leadership Academy (SBLA) formed two teams and competed to see which could navigate a “minefield” best. The exercise was designed to help students experience the dynamics of high performance teams as they move through all the stages of group development.

“Many of these owners are getting ready to launch their businesses into the next stage, and at some point they will need to form and lead teams,” said W. P. Carey clinical assistant professor Ruth Barratt, who is teaching two classes on how to build high performance teams. “Even the solo practitioner needs to understand team dynamics,” she added, “because they will be interacting with customers who work in teams.”

“One of the common mistakes managers make is to give teams too little time to do their work,” Barratt said. Managers must come in on time and under budget, and in a challenging economy, the pressure intensifies. But teams don’t achieve peak performance unless members have a chance to get to know each other – each person’s strengths, weaknesses, style – and the assignment.

Knowing yourself is the first step to understanding others, so before last night’s class the students completed the Myers-Briggs personality inventory. “It’s a valuable tool for understanding what their stressors are and how that affects the way they interact with other people,” Barratt said. Before class she had already heard from a handful of students: “the extraverts,” she laughed.

The class delved into the stages of team development and management, how to build a culture that leads to achievement, and what it takes to lead a team. “Story-telling is an effective way to build culture,” Barratt said, “so for next week’s class the assignment is to get ready to tell your business story.” In preparation, students heard about Miller Brewing Company’s Norman Adami, and how he used culture to turn around a sluggish company. And for an example of a well-told tale, she showed them Steve Jobs’ Stanford commencement speech.

Next week’s class will be the final instructional module of the 2011 SBLA program.

The Small Business Leadership Academy (SBLA) is an intensive executive education program designed to strengthen the business acumen of small business leaders in Arizona. The program was jointly developed by the W. P. Carey School of Business and the Salt River Project (SRP), the program’s founding sponsor. Other seat sponsors this year include: Arizona Lottery, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, Hahnco and U. S. Bank. Each week we will bring you a few salient points from each class as well as comments from the professors themselves and the impact the information has had on the students.

For more information about the Small Business Leadership Academy and building high performance teams and team development, please visit SBLA’s website.

 

Small Business Leadership Academy

Small Business Leadership Academy: Negotiating Skills Build Relationships (Part II)

This week’s Small Business Leadership Academy (SBLA) negotiating module continued where last week’s left off, with participants using the tenets of the Harvard Negotiation Project (HNP).

HNP combines both theory and practice to develop ideas that are useful and successful in everyday application. These standards of practice involve focusing on interests rather than positions. Using independent standards of fairness, all parties involved can come to mutually beneficial agreements (win-win) rather than cannibalizing the relationship for the sake of more favorable terms for one party (win-lose).

W. P. Carey professor Dr. Alan Goldman guided the Small Business Leadership Academy participants through the use of HNP tenets to establish a framework for a current negotiation within their organizations. One of the small business leaders determined that, despite reservations about a deal she had been offered, she was truly getting a fair deal and should consider accepting it because she had undervalued one particular aspect of the offered deal. For another, the tactic to move forward was to try to rebuild a broken relationship. The main difference between the two negotiations was that for the former person, once she accepts her deal, the relationship would be over; there was no need to protect an on-going relationship. The latter, on the other hand, has a long-term contract with the other entity and needed to protect his interests.

Another exercise the class participated in was a brainstorming session. No suggestions were too far outside the box. More than one participant saw an immediate application for that exercise.

“The brainstorming that we did in today’s session was great,” said Alex Zuran, president and CEO of Phoenix National Laboratories. “The whole process of learning how to brainstorm I can see taking straight into my business.”

A term that came up often in the evening’s discussion was “BATNA” or “best alternative to a negotiated agreement.” When determining whether the deal that is on the table is worth accepting, knowing your fall-back plan enables you to make a more educated decision. Is your BATNA better than the deal that is being negotiated? Then it’s time to walk away.

As one of the HNP videos elaborated: “Preparation, know your walk-away alternative.” Another important step is estimating what the other parties BATNA is. Is it a strong option for them or a weak one? Thinking about these aspects ahead of time prepares you for many of the twists and turns that the negotiation can take.

The Small Business Leadership Academy (SBLA) is an intensive executive education program designed to strengthen the business acumen of small business leaders in Arizona. The program was jointly developed by the W. P. Carey School of Business and the Salt River Project (SRP), the program’s founding sponsor. Other seat sponsors this year include: Arizona Lottery, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, Hahnco and U. S. Bank. Each week we will bring you a few salient points from each class as well as comments from the professors themselves and the impact the information has had on the students.

For more information about the Small Business Leadership Academy, please visit the Small Business Leadership Academy’s website.

 

Small Business Leadership Academy

Small Business Leadership Academy: Negotiating Skills Build Relationships (Part I)

Small Business Leadership Academy: Negotiating Skills Build Long-Lasting Relationships (Part I)

With everything that goes on in the day-to-day life of a small business, learning how to better negotiate everything from employee salaries to vendor contracts might not be top-of-mind for the leaders of the organization. “It is tremendously important for small business leaders to learn negotiating skills,” says W. P. Carey Professor, Dr. Alan Goldman.

In this week’s Small Business Leadership Academy (SBLA) session, participants were exposed to the tenets of the Harvard Negotiation Project (HNP). HNP was created in 1979 and combines both theory and practice to develop ideas that are useful and successful in everyday application. These standards of practice involve focusing on interests rather than positions. Using independent standards of fairness, all parties involved can come to mutually beneficial agreements (win-win) rather than cannibalizing the relationship for the sake of more favorable terms for one party (win-lose).

There are both hard (adversarial) and soft (people-oriented) negotiating skills. Which skill is most effective “depends on the type of business that you’re in and what type of clients you have,” commented Dr. Goldman. “Your negotiating approach has to be customized.”

Participants watched videos of both successful negotiations and those in which one or both parties left the table dissatisfied. Through these examples, it was stressed that determining the interests of each party is of utmost importance. They also should determine whether they are in a position with their clients where they are supposed to know best or where their clients are more involved in the decision-making. That is the difference between a specialist model and more of a partnership. For their application exercise, participants will put themselves in the middle of a negotiation and determine the best course of action.

“This is a way that I can perfect my negotiations skills,” shared Jeff Campbell of Western Truck Equipment Company.  “I never went to college so everything I’ve learned has been from my father and other managers I’ve worked with.  This session is showing me a more astute, a more polished way of negotiating.”

The Small Business Leadership Academy (SBLA) is an intensive executive education program designed to strengthen the business acumen of small business leaders in Arizona. The program was jointly developed by the W. P. Carey School of Business and the Salt River Project (SRP), the program’s founding sponsor. Other seat sponsors this year include: Arizona Lottery, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, Hahnco and U. S. Bank. Each week we will bring you a few salient points from each class as well as comments from the professors themselves and the impact the information has had on the students.

For more information about the Small Business Leadership Academy, please visit SBLA’s website.

Small Business Leadership Academy: Understanding Corporate Procurement Practices (Part II)

Small Business Leadership Academy: Understanding Corp Procurement Practices (Part II)

Small Business Leadership Academy: Understanding Corporate Procurement Practices (Part II)

One company’s purchasing is another company’s marketing.

If small and mid-sized businesses can keep that in mind, they will have discovered one of the secrets of success for a supplier, according to Joseph Carter, the Avnet Professor of Supply Chain Management at the W. P. Carey School of Business and instructor for the procurement classes in the 2011 Small Business Leadership Academy. Carter, a leading academic in the supply chain field, is also a Certified Purchasing Manager (C.P.M.) and Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM), designations granted by the National Association of Purchasing Management.

“The eye-opener for these business owners is self-awareness,” Carter said. “They are beginning to understand the role they play in their customers’ supply base.”

And that’s when procurement meets marketing.

“The owners of small businesses are so wrapped up in surviving that they don’t have the time – or the personnel – to specialize,” Carter said. “As a result many feel that their companies are under-appreciated by their customers.”

A company like SRP wants value from all of its customers, but a purchasing manager may be managing hundreds of suppliers. “A company, because it’s a large company, is not going to understand the supplier’s business and the supplier’s potential for adding value as well as the supplier does,” Carter said. Understanding the buying process and how the purchasing groups at large companies think enables suppliers to figure out what and when to communicate.

Suppliers must show how they add value to their customers’ enterprises. Sometimes that means understanding who the customer is. “The procurement officer is not your final customer,” Carter says. “Your customer is the user.” So small business owners cannot just try to compete on price. When dealing with procurement officers, they must elaborate on the total value that their company brings to the table, including “what’s in it for the procurement officer.” Elaborating on why working with their company will be worth the additional work of changing vendors, adding a new vendor, and the inherent risk of working with a new vendor, will enable that procurement officer to make that difficult choice with confidence.

The Small Business Leadership Academy (SBLA) is an intensive executive education program designed to strengthen the business acumen of small business leaders in Arizona. The program was jointly developed by the W. P. Carey School of Business and the Salt River Project (SRP), the program’s founding sponsor. Other seat sponsors this year include: Arizona Lottery, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, Hahnco and U. S. Bank. Each week we will bring you a few salient points from each class as well as comments from the professors themselves and the impact the information has had on the students.

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For more information about the Small Business Leadership Academy, please visit SBLA’s website.

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Small Business Leadership Academy

Small Business Leadership Academy: Understanding Corp Procurement Practices (Part I)

Small Business Leadership Academy: Understanding Corporate Procurement Practices (Part I)

If you are the owner of a small or medium-size business interacting with a big corporation, you need to know how that company thinks about procurement. That’s what students in the 2011 Small Business Leadership Academy are learning from Joseph Carter, the Avnet Professor of Supply Chain Management at the W. P. Carey School of Business.

Typically, suppliers concentrate on the internal operations of their companies, Carter says, but if that’s their predominant focus, they will miss out on the advantages of optimizing their relationships with the companies that are their customers. Jeffrey Campbell of Western Truck Equipment Company, Inc. had the right idea when he asked, “What can I learn to better service the companies that we work with?”

“Today, the creation of value often requires careful coordination of activities across the boundaries between functions, business units and firms,” Carter explains. “In short, organizations that learn how to leverage procurement collaboration can obtain speed, innovation, dependability, flexibility, cost and/or quality benefits that go far beyond those potentially realized from solely optimizing a single firm’s internal operations.”

Carter is one of the top scholars worldwide in the field of supply management. He has published 60 articles about sourcing and supply management issues, and he has shared his expertise with firms all over the world.

Students are learning to understand strategic sourcing and their role as suppliers. To begin, they need to understand the importance of developing a collaborative relationship with a customer and how to manage it efficiently. Carter is taking the students “inside” their client companies by explaining the various roles and functions of a procurement department.

“Business owners need to understand the primary importance of sourcing when developing their strategy,” Carter says. “We’ll be talking about what they need to know in order to drive success for the buyer’s company as well as their own.”

Each week we will bring you a few salient points from each class as well as comments from the professors themselves and the impact the information has had on the students.

For more information about the Small Business Leadership Academy, please visit SBLA’s website.

[stextbox id=”grey”]The Small Business Leadership Academy (SBLA) is an intensive executive education program designed to strengthen the business acumen of small business leaders in Arizona. The program was jointly developed by the W. P. Carey School of Business and the Salt River Project (SRP), the program’s founding sponsor. Other seat sponsors this year include: Arizona Lottery, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, Hahnco and U. S. Bank. [/stextbox]

Small Business Leadership Academy, W.P. Carey School of Business, ASU

Small Business Leadership Academy: Competing Through Services (Part II)

Small Business Leadership Academy: Competing Through Services (Part II)

Last week, Small Business Leadership Academy students learned how to blueprint processes within their organization that affect customer satisfaction. Their application assignment was to pick an aspect of their organization to blueprint. By detailing the process, including both what happens behind the scenes and in plain sight of the customers, students were able to identify areas that are ripe for innovation and improvement.

Several students identified the phenomenon about how readily positive information gets passed up through the organization, while it is harder to get honest information about what is going wrong. Blueprinting your service can find pain points where the customer is not receiving optimal service or when the backroom systems aren’t running optimally.

“By going through this process, we were able to identify double handling inefficiencies,” says Rebecca Koury from Prudential Cleanroom Services. “Now I have a blueprint that I can use to write thorough work instructions. I think that will definitely benefit the customer, us, and our employees. Employees will be able to provide better service to the customer because they’ll now know where our inefficiencies are, and we can do a better job of keeping the customer happy.”

One of the factors mentioned in multiple students’ presentations was how a customer’s expectations of the service can have an influence on how they view the service. If front-line employees don’t communicate with their managers about the quality of their interactions with customers, or if there are too many layers between front-line employees and those managers that can affect change, then there will continue to be a gap between the customer’s expectations of the service and their actual experience with it.

“Another factor that can affect a customer’s perception of a service is how the front-line employee is evaluated,” says Professor Doug Olsen. If a customer wants fast service, but the employee is rated on whether they get the proper approvals, there will be a disconnect. If a customer wants resolution for their problem, but the employee is rated on how quickly they get the customer off the phone, there will be a disconnect. The desires of the customer need to be aligned with the evaluation system for the front-line employee to maximize service satisfaction.

By making those sometimes incremental improvements to their service offerings, small business owners can ensure that a customer will not walk away due to disappointment with a customer service interaction with their organization.

The Small Business Leadership Academy (SBLA) is an intensive executive education program designed to strengthen the business acumen of small business leaders in Arizona. The program was jointly developed by the W. P. Carey School of Business and the Salt River Project (SRP), the program’s founding sponsor. Other seat sponsors this year include: Arizona Lottery, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, Hahnco and U. S. Bank. Each week we will bring you a few salient points from each class as well as comments from the professors themselves and the impact the information has had on the students.

For more information about the Small Business Leadership Academy, please visit the Small Business Leadership Academy’s website.

 

SBLA: Building High Performance Teams

Small Business Leadership Academy: Competing Through Services (Part I)

The second module in the 2011 Small Business Leadership Academy (SBLA) includes an examination of factors necessary for innovation and competitive success. One of the key mechanisms for companies to distinguish themselves in the marketplace, retain loyal customers and grow profits is through the design and execution of service.

Many small business leaders fall into the trap of saying “yes” to any and all potential customers.

“It is easy for small business leaders to get myopic,” says Douglas Olsen, associate professor at the W. P. Carey School of Business. Many owners try to be all things to all potential customers, and in the process, do not satisfy any of them. “Business owners should step back and ask what do people want, how am I segmenting the market, and how can I target segments differently?”

Instead of focusing on features, the focus should be put on benefits. This will help a potential customer determine whether your product/service can satisfy a need for them. Segmenting the marketplace and serving a specific target segment can lead to a clearer expression of your organization’s value proposition. Then, recognize that maximizing the service experience that these customers receive may provide a very strong competitive advantage. Learn how to diagram the process so that improvements may be identified.

Over the course of the next week, SBLA students will pick an aspect of their organization to blueprint. By detailing the process, both behind the scenes and in plain sight of the customers, students will be able to identify areas that are ripe for innovation and improvement.

“A lot of our business is customer service, asking questions about the product, placing orders,” commented Brandon Taylor, president of CPR Savers. “I haven’t really thought about the process from start to finish, of how many times a customer has interacted with our staff. This will be a good assignment for us to apply to our business and learn where we can improve on some aspects.”

The Small Business Leadership Academy (SBLA) is an intensive executive education program designed to strengthen the business acumen of small business leaders in Arizona. The program was jointly developed by the W. P. Carey School of Business and the Salt River Project (SRP), the program’s founding sponsor. Other seat sponsors this year include: Arizona Lottery, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, Hahnco and U. S. Bank. Each week we will bring you a few salient points from each class as well as comments from the professors themselves and the impact the information has had on the students.

For more information about the Small Business Leadership Academy, please visit SBLA’s website.

[stextbox id=”grey”]

Missed any parts of this series?

Read Small Business Leadership Academy: Strategy for Competitive Advantage (Part I)

Read Small Business Leadership Academy: Strategy for Competitive Advantage (Part II)

[/stextbox]

Small Business Leadership Academy series

Small Business Leadership Academy: Strategy for Competitive Advantage (Part II)

Small Business Leadership Academy: Strategy for Competitive Advantage (Part II)

Students spent time over the last week determining their company’s value proposition. Each student presented their value proposition to the class and fielded questions about it. For a small business owner, taking the time to occasionally review their organization’s strategy — and making necessary changes — can be the difference between staying in business and closing their doors.

As Professor Trevis Certo mentioned last week, “A common strategic mistake that many small businesses make is not understanding how common their product or service is and how easy it would be for another company to imitate.” With that in mind, several students put their value proposition in terms of what was rare about their businesses.

For Robert Lassner, project manager for Photovoltaic Systems Manufacturing, the value proposition isn’t always a product. “One of the rare things we have is experience and knowledge,” he says. “That is our most valuable asset.”

Ria Robles, vice president of B2B Delivery, also detailed the valuable aspects of their same-day courier service, commenting, “None of our competitors have all of these aspects, which is what helps keep us so successful.”

This exercise allowed these company leaders to take a high-level look at their day-to-day activities. What plans are pushed aside to keep the business moving forward? Steve Taverna, president and owner of TAVCO Sales & Service Company, has new accounting software just waiting to be implemented. “As we get bigger, we’re hoping to have more people that will be willing to take the lead on implementation of new technology.”

Going through this exercise created a strong foundation for the students as they move into next week’s topic, competing through services. With a better handle on the value proposition of their organization, these business leaders will no doubt refine their business practices over the next eight weeks.

The Small Business Leadership Academy (SBLA) is an intensive executive education program designed to strengthen the business acumen of small business leaders in Arizona. The program was jointly developed by the W. P. Carey School of Business and the Salt River Project (SRP), the program’s founding sponsor. Other seat sponsors this year include: Arizona Lottery, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, Hahnco and U. S. Bank. Each week we will bring you a few salient points from each class as well as comments from the professors themselves and the impact the information has had on the students.

For more information about the Small Business Leadership Academy, please visit SBLA’s website.

[stextbox id=”grey”]

Missed the first part of this series?

Read Small Business Leadership Academy: Strategy for Competitive Advantage (Part I).

[/stextbox]

 

 

Small Business Leadership Academy: Lauri Leadley

Lauri Leadley: Small Business Leadership Academy

Lauri Leadley discusses how her participation in the Small Business Leadership Academy has benefitted her business, Valley Sleep Center.


Small Business Leadership Academy Past Participant:

Lauri Leadley
Valley Oximetry, Inc dba Valley Sleep Center

Lauri Leadley, Valley Sleep Center, Small Business Leadership Academy

Tell us about your business: We diagnose and treat sleep disorders. We have five locations serving 6,000 patients a year, making us the leading independent sleep center in the Greater Phoenix area.

Year of participation in SBLA: 2008

What was the most important thing you learned from SBLA? To have frequent meaningful interaction with my employees.

How have you changed the way you do business based on what you learned during SBLA? A lot of ways; we expanded to three additional locations in 2010. I learned many things that impacted my business which launched us into the leading position in our industry.

How has the SBLA alumni community been helpful to you since you went through the program? Our particular group continues to meet quarterly and supports me personally and professionally. Recently one of my employees nominated me for the GPCC IMPACT Award and some of the SBLA Alumni were there to support me as I was awarded the 2011 IMPACT Business of the year honor.

What aspects of SBLA do you consider most valuable for other small business owners in Phoenix? The aspect of education was very valuable to me, and I believe there are many other businesses like mine where education is needed and would be highly valued. I use the SBLA lessons daily. I would love to go back or nominate a leader in my organization if possible.

Lauri is the owner of Valley Sleep Center, which currently has five locations around the Valley.

 

[stextbox id=”grey”]The next Small Business Leadership Academy program will begin Wednesday, August 31, 2011.

For more information about the program, including admission requirements, please visit SBLA’s website. [/stextbox]

Small Business Leadership Academy, ASU

Small Business Leadership Academy Five-Part Series

The W.P. Carey School of Business and the Salt River Project (SRP) have joined forces to provide an intensive executive program for small business leaders in Arizona — the Small Business Leadership Academy.

This program is designed to strengthen these leaders’ acuity and is now in its fourth year.

The Small Business Leadership Academy consists of mandatory orientation followed by 10 weeks of classes, taught by W.P. Carey faculty, who have the expertise to help participants “connect theory and research to practical business problems” in order to help strengthen and grow their businesses.

The participants of the program had a minimum business tenure of three years, had annual revenues between $1 million and $10 million, had fewer than 100 employees, and were able and willing to attend all scheduled classes and related activities.

Arizona Business Magazine is showcasing a series of past participants in the Small Business Leadership Academy in a five-part series, posted every Thursday.

Lauri Leadley, Small Business Leadership AcademyWeek One: Lauri Leadley, Valley Sleep Center
Donna Stewart, Stewart Electric & Communications

Week Two:

Donna Stewart, Stewart Electric & Communications

David Scott, Dave Scott & Associates

Week Three:

David Scott, Dave Scott & Associates

Small Business Leadership Academy Past Participants, ASU

Week Four:

Virginia Zuber, Diamond Underground Construction Corp.

Small Business Leadership Academy, Steve Lanini

Week Five:

Steve Lanini, McDonald’s

Solar Panels - AZRE Magazine July/August 2011

Solar Panels And Installations Make Good Financial Sense

Figuring out the bottom line return on investment figures for installing solar panels on commercial buildings is a bit like hitting a moving target. Incentives from utilities are apt to change and sow uncertainty in the market, thus access to capital can be iffy in these challenging economic times.

But some business owners who have installed systems in the past year agree: The right incentive package from Arizona Public Service or Salt River Project, combined with federal and state tax incentives, makes solar a good financial — as well as environmental — bet.

Here is a snapshot of two businesses that managed to put the right ingredients together.

Cowley Companies and APS

Cowley Companies, a Phoenix real estate investment firm, placed one of the largest commercial rooftop solar arrays in the country on one of its warehouses near 25th Avenue and Buckeye Road.

The project cost $11.5M and includes 7,872 panels, which generate about 2.4 megawatts of power. According to CEO Mike Cowley, the solar array is producing half of the electricity needed in the 850,000 SF building, which includes tenants with industrial refrigeration requirements. His annual bill had been running about $1M.

Cowley says he had to sign a non-disclosure agreement with APS and cannot reveal what the utility company is paying him per kilowatt hour, but the agreement obligates APS to pay incentives until 60% of the project costs — the amount he borrowed to finance the project — is paid off. The incentive payments cover the loan payments. Cowley estimates that will take about 12 years.

He’ll recoup 30% of the cost through a federal tax credit. Additionally, tenants now reimburse him for power used. With that mix of incentives and payments, he calculated his self-financed portion of the project, about 10%, will be paid off in about six years.

With a 25-year warranty on the panels, the decision to erect the array made good financial sense, Cowley says.

In 2009, APS established a reverse-auction system that requires commercial entities to bid for an incentive package. Spokesman Steven Gotfried says APS scores each application and awards the bid to those who produce the most electricity for the lowest incentives.

APS’ calculator takes into account the system size, the amount of energy it is expected to produce, the incentive requested and years of payment. The lower the score, the smaller the incentive per kilowatt hour requested. Incentives are then awarded starting with the lowest score. This continues until all the funds are allotted. It’s a competitive, market-driven process designed to lower incentives.

Lower incentives, Cowley says, would have made his deal less feasible.

“People are not going to get excited about a 20-year payback,” he says. Businesses may even “be waiting for SRP and APS to bring the rate back up to where solar makes sense again.”

Gotfried says APS is trying to find the right balance between offering too few and too many incentives, with a finite pool or resources.

“The goal at the end of the day is to drive down the cost of solar,” he says. “The incentives weren’t meant to go on forever, they were meant to get things started.”

The price of solar panels has dropped 50% in the past three years, says Lee Feliciano, president of the Arizona Solar Energy Industries Association and a solar developer with CarbonFree Technology.

There may come a time, he says, when the industry no longer offers incentives for the panels, but that day is not yet on the horizon.

“The incentives are there to position the industry,” Feliciano says. “A lot of the biggest industries in the country would not be here without incentives.”

Even with incentive amounts dropping, installing solar panels on a commercial building can still be a good deal, says Gary Held, sales and marketing manager with Harmon Solar, which worked on the Av-Air project.

With incentive rates running around 10 cents to 12 cents per kilowatt hour, someone with access to capital can have a system paid off in about eight years. With a 20-year production-based incentive, that still makes financial sense, he says.

An owner who leases a system can see the end of lease payments in about 12 years and have eight years of incentives.

“We shout from the rooftops: If you are a commercial business owner with cash or access to capital with good credit, putting solar on your rooftop is a sound investment,” Held says.

Av-Air and SRP

“I am extremely satisfied with the way it is turning out for us,” says Bob Ellis, president of Reason’s Aviation, the parent company of Av-Air, a Chandler-based company that offers aftermarket parts and services to the airline industry.

Harmon Solar of Phoenix installed a 151,800-watt photovoltaic system made up of 550 solar panels on Av-Air’s rooftop, which is equivalent to about 20 residential-sized systems.

Ellis says the total cost of the project was $808,000. About 30% of the cost was covered by a federal grant and $25,000 will come back to him as a state tax credit, which is available to companies whose solar systems are operational this year.

The solar array covers 100% of his energy needs and SRP, he says, is paying him an incentive of 21.4 cents per kilowatt hour for 10 years, which comes out to $6,000 a month. Add that to the approximate $4,000 a month his tenants pay him for solar generated electricity and the fact that he’s no longer paying an electric bill, and the decision to go solar was “a no-brainer.” Ellis says it will take him about four years to pay back his $560,000 in up-front, out-of-pocket expenses.

The only downside to the process occurred when none of the four or five banks he does business with would lend him money for the out-of-pocket expenses, saying they were too unfamiliar with the incentive process.

Ellis also concedes it may be difficult for companies today to replicate Av-Air’s circumstances because SRP’s incentives are much less generous than they were in 2009.

“It was a really good deal and I got in on it just at the right time,” he says.

Both SRP and APS have production based incentive (PBI) programs for medium- and large-sized commercial customers. PBIs pay a customer over time based on the amount of energy produced, as opposed to the up-front incentives given to homeowners or small-business owners.

SRP now offers a PBI of 12 cents per kilowatt hour for 20 years for the first two megawatts of power applied for, but lowers the funding to 11 cents and then 10 cents respectively for each successive two megawatts. Its annual pool is for six megawatts.

Lori Singleton, SRP manager for sustainable initiatives and technology, says the utility simply has a finite set of resources and is trying not to over-subsidize an emerging industry.

“As the cost of solar decreases and demand increases, we have restructured our solar incentives to reflect that,” Singleton says. “It has been our intent from the beginning to reduce the rates as prices come down, so one day the industry can stand on its own without incentives.”

Reducing incentives also allows SRP to provide them to more customers, she says.

For more information about solar panels and incentive programs, visit srpnet.com or aps.com.

AZRE Magazine July/August 2011

SRP and Banner Strive for Energy Efficiency, 2011

SRP and Banner Strive for Energy Efficiency

Banner Estrella Medical Center and Salt River Project (SRP) are teaming up to save money, conserve energy and promote sustainability. Banner was the first recipient of the SRP PowerWise Retrocommissioning Solutions Program.

Instead of purchasing new equipment, Banner has received a tune-up on its existing systems, includes heating, ventilation, air conditioning, central plants, lighting systems and (HVAC) components. It expects a payback in less than six months, estimating energy savings of more than $100,000 in the first year.

So far, Banner has lowered its natural gas usage and improved its water consumption in the cooling tower due to the tune-up it received.

Being able to save money and energy is a big step for companies in this economic day and age. Some smaller companies are not able to purchase new equipment to be “green” or sustainable; Banner has opened the door for them. Retrocommissioning is an option being provided by SRP to use what you have to gain what you need.

The not-for-profit medical center opened six years ago and has been consistently looking for ways to reduce cost, reduce waste streams and energy. In 2009, Banner saved nearly $1 million by installing reverse osmosis water systems and eliminating bottled water, according to its website.

Salt River Project is the third-largest public power utility in the country and serves more than 945,000 electric customers. It is the largest supplier of water in the Phoenix, providing resources for consumers and businesses.

Working together, the two companies are a guiding force for sustainability.

BIG Green Expo & Conference 2011

Speaker: Lori Singleton ~ BIG Green Expo & Conference 2011

Lori Singleton, Salt River Project (SRP)

Lori Singleton, SRP

Lori Singleton is the manager of sustainability initiatives and technologies at Salt River Project. She is a 29-year employee of SRP and 40-year resident of Arizona. She is responsible for design and implementation of SRP’s environmental outreach programs with special focus on renewable energy.

Lori’s responsibilities at SRP include development and implementation of renewable energy projects to meet SRP’s sustainable resource goals. Singleton oversees research and development projects to support company-wide initiatives for SRP including gasoline lawn mower recycling, tree planting, clean school bus initiative, travel reduction and other internal environmental programs.

She works on development and implementation of the “green” energy pricing program, solar incentive program for residential and commercial customers and renewable energy education programs for implementation in middle school and high school curricula.

In addition, she does promotion and public relations for all new renewable energy projects and purchases (solar, wind, geothermal, landfill gas, low head hydro, fuel cells) while serving as the environmental issues media spokesperson for SRP and being a constant representative of SRP on numerous environmental committees, boards and commissions.

She was appointed by Governor Janet Napolitano to serve on the Solar Energy Advisory Council and also has several other current affiliations including: Valley Forward Association, Board of Directors; Audubon Society, chair, Board of Directors; Maricopa County Regional Travel Reduction Task Force, chair; Association for Commuter Transportation, Valley of the Sun, President & National Board Director; Southwest Center for Education; and the Natural Environment (ASU), Board of Directors.

Current Affiliations

Solar Energy Advisory Council, appointment by Governor Janet Napolitano
Valley Forward Association, Board of Directors
Audubon Society, Chair, Board of Directors
Maricopa County Regional Travel Reduction Task Force, Chair
Association for Commuter Transportation, Valley of the Sun, President &
National Board Director
Southwest Center for Education and the Natural Environment (ASU), Board of
Directors

Affiliations (Past)

Valley Forward Association, Chair, Board of Directors
Maricopa County Regional Travel Reduction Task Force
City of Phoenix, Environmental Quality Commission
Valley Metro, Clean Air Advisory Committee
Tempe Chamber of Commerce, Environmental Committee
Valley of the Sun United Way Loaned Executive


Topic: How people & organizations can get involved in the green movement from an energy perspective.

Conference Speaker
Friday, April 15, 2011
1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
Room 157

BIG Green Conference 2011


 

BIG Green Expo
Friday & Saturday
April 15th & 16th 2011
9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

 



 

Land Swap between Gilbert Charter School and SRP

First Of Its Kind Land Swap Ends Battle Between Gilbert Charter School And SRP

Phoenix (December 10, 2010) – Who says that you can’t beat city hall? An effective group of Gilbert elementary school parents and residents took on that challenge…and won, with the cooperation of SRP.

Salt River Project logoSRP had plans to install the Finley Substation, a two-bay substation with 69-kilo volt power lines, on a vacant lot located on the northwest corner of Baseline Road and Monterey Street in Gilbert. The lot is located immediately north of the playgrounds for Edu-Prize School, Arizona’s first charter school.  The result of an 18-month long battle between school parents, the City of Gilbert and SRP is a land exchange deal with the utility that affords SRP the opportunity to construct the facility farther away from the school.

Edu-Prize SchoolEdu-Prize School parents and school administrators have been actively crusading against the substation with a Facebook campaign, meeting with state legislators and circulating petitions that they presented to the Gilbert Town Council with about 1,000 signatures. Their concerns with the proposed substation stem from fear of health risks from exposure to electromagnetic forces upon the 1,200 kindergartners through eighth-graders that attend Ed-Prize and enjoy the playgrounds that are located in close proximity to the initial substation site.  Before co-founding the Gilbert charter school, Superintendent Lynn Robershotte taught for eight years at Frost Elementary School. It was located near high-tension wires, which Robershotte blamed for a handful of cases of childhood leukemia, brain cancer and neurological problems.

The issue of these concerns is one on which the two sides agree to disagree. Despite the school community’s concerns, SRP has always maintained that its substations are safe and pose no harmful effects. SRP has nearly 200 substations throughout the Valley and many are located near schools, day care centers, churches and homes.  SRP often encounters neighborhood opposition to proposed substations for a variety of reasons. This case presented a unique opportunity for negotiation, making it easier for the utility to work with the school on an alternative solution.

Edu-Prize School Parent NewsletterEdu-Prize was in negotiation to expand and essentially bought another parcel of land upon which SRP could build its substation. The company that owns the school’s building bought a nearby lot for $420,000 and swapped it for the proposed substation site. SRP can now build the substation farther away from the school about one-half mile west, on the northeast corner of Merrill Avenue and Marvin Street.  The 1.3-acre vacant lot is still in the same four-square-mile area where SRP said it needs a new substation to meet increased power needs by nearby businesses and homes. This exchange could very well be the first of its kind for SRP.

Read more at Livability Law

Southwest Build-it-Green Expo & Conference

Speaking Opportunities At The Annual Southwest Build-It-Green Conference

Don’t miss out! The annual Southwest Build-It-Green Expo & Conference is scheduled for April 15-16, 2011 and speaking opportunities are still available! Fill out your speaker form (PDF) today.

As the largest sustainability expo in Arizona, this is one event you won’t want to miss. Last year’s expo attracted more than 200 exhibitors and 10,000 attendees, with topics ranging from green awareness, to solar power, LEED certification, water filtration, and many more.

BIG also features guest speakers of local, national and international prominence. Among some of the speakers last year were Anthony Floyd, AIA, LEED-AP Green Building Manager for the City of Scottsdale; Dr. Tom Rogers, professor and Chair of Construction Management at Northern Arizona University; Diane Brossart, president of Valley Forward; James Brew from the Rocky Mountain Institute; Lori Singleton, manager of Sustainability Initiatives and Technologies at Salt River Project and many more.

In addition to the conference, the exhibits showcase products such as eco-friendly appliances and environmentally conscious landscaping techniques that aim to reduce Arizona’s carbon footprint. There are a wide variety of topics and something for everyone – homeowners and businesses alike.

For more information visit www.builditgreenexpo.com.