Tag Archives: september-october 2011

Meeting Professionals International, AZ Business Magazine September/October 2011

Face-To-Face Meetings Are Still Relevant, Despite Technology

Face-to-face meetings are back: Despite teleconferencing and technology, study shows meetings that provide human contact — face-to-face meetings — are still relevant.

As technology provides businesses with cost-effective means for communication with cloud technology, smart phones and Skype, one element among these virtual options will never be outdated — human contact.

MPI, Photos: Courtesy of MPI Arizona and Mark Skalny

Sure you can conduct a business meeting with your staff convened in a conference room to other parts of the country via teleconferencing. But meeting face-to-face is as personal — and effective — as you can get.

Dirk Smith, president and founder of Sports Destination, Inc., says face-to-face meetings haven’t fallen out style. “They might have fallen out of favor because of the economy,” he adds.

Jen Merkel, operations manager for CMI Resources, says she’s seen some scaling back in meetings, but lately, “in general, our clients seem to be back booking like they always have.”

In the white paper, “Why Face-to-Face Business Meeting Matter,” by Richard D. Arvey, professor at the Business School, National University of Singapore, it states that while business attributes 84 percent of communication to emails, teleconferences and other technology, meetings that provide human contact are still relevant.

Arvey states that physical meetings provide people with a way to build trust, figure out social norms, develop social identities and engage with each other. It also provides better business outcomes, with more negative outcomes associated with virtual meetings. Offsite meetings at hotels were surveyed to be 94 percent productive.MPI, Photos: Courtesy of MPI Arizona and Mark Skalny

“Technology makes it possible to connect with people from your own office, couch or pool deck, but when was the last time you made a new contact that way?” Merkel questions. “When a person attends a conference, they meet new people and have new experiences that are so much more than just looking at a laptop screen. Face-to-face conferences are far more enriching than virtual ones.”

In making efforts to be in the same physical space as other colleagues, co-workers or clients, “there is a perceived value in making the effort to physically meet,” Smith says. “Also, if you want to show off a product, to touch or feel something has intrinsic value for people. You can’t get that from a picture. People need to experience the value of interaction.”

Face-to-face meetings are important, but human interaction can sometimes create more complicated situations. Smith says face-to-face meetings tend to fail when there are no agendas, clear goals, important information, entertainment, or way to meet other people.

Merkel says he believes if your speaker isn’t engaging or meet the audience’s expectations — then attendees walk away with feeling they’ve wasted their time. One way to combat this is to ask audiences questions addressing these areas after meetings.

Another way is  to “listen to your planners,” Merkel adds. “They want the meeting to be as successful as you do, try to give them a little free reign to get creative and shake things up.”

Avery concludes in his paper that while teleconferencing and other virtual elements may be used by business, the key is to figure out the balance of virtual and face-to-face for creating a successful workforce.

[stextbox id=”grey”]Check back next Friday, September 16, to read what Meeting Professionals International members had to say about the importance of face-to-face meetings.[/stextbox]


Arizona Business Magazine September/October 2011


Brigadier General Jerry D. Harris Jr., Commander, 56th Fighter Wing of Luke Air Force Base, Phoenix, Ariz. - AZ Business Magazine September/October 2011

Brig. Gen. Jerry D. Harris Jr., Luke Air Force Base

Brigadier General Jerry D. Harris Jr. discusses how his position is equivalent to that of a CEO, the importance of Luke Air Force Base, the importance of servant leadership, and more.

Brigadier General Jerry D. Harris Jr.

Title: Commander, 56TH Fighter Wing
Company: Luke Air Force Base

Why is your position equivalent to that of a CEO?

I look at our stakeholders as being the American public and certainly our senators and our governor, our government, and the political leadership that we have. Our customers are the combat forces, because here at Luke we train F-16 pilots and F-16 crew chiefs and we deploy combat ready airmen; so it’s those warriors and the commander on the other end that use them in combat that are customers we try and service.

How important is Luke Air Force Base to the economic success of the West Valley?

It’s a growing and vibrant economy here. Luke’s impact is about $2 billion a year. I heard a lot of great stories about how the 2008 Super Bowl contributed $500 million to the West Valley. Luke does that four times a year, every year, so that’s a big part of it.

What will the economic impact be if Luke Air Force Base is selected as the F-35 training site?

Based on the mission that’s going on with 138 airplanes that are currently on the ramp, with the F-35 arriving here we won’t see a whole bunch of long-term impact. We expect the F-35, if selected here, is going to bring in some immediate upfront building, some new construction – which will help with the local labor – and some of the things that are going on buying material and such.

In your brief tenure at the base, what type of feedback have you received from the West Valley communities?

It’s been phenomenal support. I have been probably at 15 or 16 different bases and some of those consider themselves to be the best support. Yet right here in Arizona — which is my home, too, by the way — I truly see that we’ve never had better support. All government from the county and the state are very positive with what we do. They’re looking to have, as they would say in their words, managed growth around Luke, yet compatible with Luke and that works out very well. I see a long-term relationship still going.

You’ve been quoted as saying you’re a believer in servant leadership. Why do you believe it’s the right thing to do?

When we show an organizational chart, we always show the CEO or the commander right at the top. That’s the way it makes sense because everybody sees how it branches out and goes to the different divisions or squadrons or groups in the organization. The way I’ve employed that here is while that is the way we show our organizational chart, I explain it to everybody that my job is to keep the next level of commanders trained, motivated, and certainly have the supplies they need in people, equipment and money to get what they need done.

Vital Stats: General Harris

    • Graduated from Washington State University in 1985 with a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering
    • Command pilot with more than 3,000 flying hours in F-16, T-37, T-38, Mig-29 and Mig-21 aircraft
    • Served as Chief of Strategy for 16th Air Force Commander and COMAIRSOUTH’s Crisis Action Group in Naples, Italy
    • Served as the Combined Air and Space Operations Center Battle Director for Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom
    • Decorations include: Legion of Merit (2); Defense Meritorious Service Medal; Meritorious Service (3); and Air Medal (4)
    • Assistant Director of Operations, Plans, Requirements and Programs, Pacific Air Forces, Hickam AFB, Hawaii
    • Promoted to Brigadier General on Nov. 3, 2010

Arizona Business Magazine September/October 2011


Arizona Casinos - AZ Business Magazine September/October 2011

Arizona Casinos Add New Amenities, Including Night Spots

When AiRIA nightclub opened at Gila River Casinos Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino in 2009, a new trend in tribal gaming in Arizona came full circle.

There was now a hip, Las Vegas-style nightclub at an Arizona casino. It represented the last piece in the puzzle.

“Gaming guests want more than what’s been offered to them in the past,” says Melody Hudson, public relations manager for Gila River Casinos. “They want an all inclusive entertainment experience to include dining, gaming, nightlife, shows and hotel accommodations. We have the ability to offer all of those amenities in one place and have created a premier gaming destination in the Valley.”

The industry has come a long way since 16 tribes signed compacts and 10 casinos opened their doors in 1994. The trend is now to make casinos a destination, and not just a place to plunk down a few bucks on the tables or spin the reels on the slot machines – and then go home.

There are now hotels with upscale suites, Vegas-style entertainment, golf and spa packages, fine dining and even family activities.

Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino is one of those destinations. There are 242 rooms (including 20 suites) and the property was recently awarded the AAA Four Diamond Award. Guests can enjoy a meal at the renowned Shula’s American Steak House, play 18 holes at Whirlwind Golf Club, and see performers such as Jay Leno, Sinbad or Michael Bolton in the Ovations Live! Showroom.

With all those amenities, there is one thing guests won’t find at the three Gila River Casinos properties: a buffet. And that’s by choice.

“We’re seeking to modernize the traditional image,” Hudson says. “The shift is to offer the public a wide variety of dining options and to give guests choices.” Besides Shula’s, there’s Ling & Louie’s Asian Bar & Grill (Asian cuisine with an American twist) and casual dining that includes a Fatburger.

Arizona CasinosCasino Arizona at Talking Stick Resort is the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community’s newest and biggest property. The tribe’s first property, Casino Arizona at Salt River, can actually be credited with starting the entertainment trend. When it opened in 1998, its Showroom – a cabaret-style venue for hosting a variety of live entertainers – also made its debut.

“In planning Talking Stick Resort, we wanted to set a new standard for Arizona destination resorts with exceptional service, entertainment, dining, ambiance and amenities, and that is exactly what we have done,” says Ramon Martinez, director of public relations for the resort. “We already had the best gaming in town, now we’ve added world-class dining; our Orange Sky restaurant has won rave reviews with its … incomparable views.”

Talking Stick Resort’s amenities include proximity to shopping and spring training baseball (the new Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies facility), a 497-room luxury hotel, golf, live entertainment and seven restaurants including the upscale Orange Sky Restaurant.

“Our Showroom and Salt River Grand Ballroom have already welcomed incredible headline performers like Dwight Yoakam, Smokey Robinson and Brian Wilson,” Martinez adds. “And the property has been recognized for its service by receiving the AAA Four Diamond rating in its first year of operation.”

Presently there are 25 tribal casinos in Arizona, with the Navajo Nation’s first gaming operation in the state – Twin Arrows Casino – scheduled to open in 2013 just outside of Flagstaff. While not all of them feature the amenities found at the Gila River and Casino Arizona properties, most are also changing their marketing strategy to make their location a “staycation” destination as well.

“Casinos are not immune to the current economic challenges that other businesses must contend with,” says Mark Brnovich, director of the Arizona Department of Gaming. “However, many are using this time to better position themselves for the economic rebound. We are seeing tribes make significant investments in updated facilities and technologies to provide more entertainment options for their patrons.”

Apache Gold:

This casino 70 miles from Phoenix outside of Globe is a popular destination for Valley residents who want to get away from the city, shoot a round of golf, spin the reels on the slot machines and stay the night at the hotel or the RV park.

Bucky’s and Yavapai Casino:

This is a popular convention destination for Valley businesses wanting to escape the city and meet instead at the Prescott Resort and Conference Center. It features two restaurants and entertainment at the Yavapai Cantina.

Casino del Sol:

A 215-room resort and conference center is scheduled to open in November at this Tucson casino. The current property boasts the popular Ava Amphitheater, which plays host to varying musical acts. Amenities will include six restaurants – including a new buffet – an arcade for teens, a 44,500-square-foot convention center and a 1,120-car multi-level parking structure.

Cliff Castle Casino:

One of the hotel packages offered is called Wine and Down, a one-night stay which includes a bottle of wine from a Verde Valley vineyard. Family features include Shake, Rattle & Bowl, a 20-lane bowling center and Kids Quest, supervised child care. Entertainment venues at Cliff Castle, located in Camp Verde, are the Dragonfly Lounge and the outdoor Stargazer pavilion. There are four restaurants – including a Johnny Rockets – and three lounges.

Fort McDowell Casino:

One of the best golf courses in the state makes Fort McDowell a popular destination. We-Ko-Pa Golf Club, a  three-time national winner of Golfweek’s “Best” award, features two 18-hole courses designed by Ben Crenshaw, Scott Miller and Bill Coore. Golf and lodging packages are available at the Radisson Resort. Fort McDowell also features the Eagle View RV Resort.

Harrah’s Phoenix-Ak Chin:

The addition of 152 rooms this summer pushed the number to 300 at the casino in the city of Maricopa. Harrah’s offers free entertainment in the Oasis Lounge, features four restaurants – including a buffet – and golf packages at nearly Southern Dunes Golf Club.

Hon-Dah Resort-Casino:

Location, location, location. Nestled among the pines of the White Mountains in Pinetop, Hon-Dah is a year-round popular destination. Cool off in the summer; hit the slopes in the winter. Lodging includes a hotel and RV park. There is entertainment in the Timbers Lounge and the Showroom. At the Indian Pine Restaurant, guests can eat at the buffer or order off the menu.

“Tribal gaming has a great economic element to it and that is diversification,” says Valerie Spice, acting executive director of the Arizona Indian Gaming Association. “With the funds from gaming tribes are able to diversify their amenities and thereby their business portfolio. All of these offerings coupled together raise the bar on the level of sophistication and quality entertainment that tribal properties can offer; not to mention the ripple effect these investments have on our local business economy.”

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For more information on Arizona casinos …



 Arizona Business Magazine September/October 2011


Fennemore Craig lawyers, AZ Business Magazine September/October 2011

Centennial Series: Fennemore Craig Continues Legal Legacy

Fennemore Craig, founded in 1885, has helped shape the legal landscape of Arizona and its economy for more than a century. Founded more than a quarter-century before Arizona attained statehood, the firm has both helped the state grow and grown within the state.

What started as a frontier town law office has grown to more than 180 attorneys concentrated in Phoenix, Tucson, Denver, Las Vegas, and Nogales, with 440 total employees firm-wide. In the beginning, it was known as Sloan & Chalmers at what is now First Avenue and Washington Street in Phoenix. Even then, long before moving into swanky downtown offices, the law firm was contributing to the quality of life for Arizonans.

A Fennemore Craig spokesperson identified some significant milestones from the past 100 years:

1. In 1910, Edward Kent, who served on the Arizona Territorial Supreme Court and later became a firm partner, authored the Kent’s Decree. It established and governed water rights in Arizona for decades. The decree is still referred to today. The firm also authored the Arizona Workmen’s Compensation Act and Arizona Sales Tax Act in 1912.

2. In 1927, the firm helped organize the State Bar.

3. From 1954-1962, Fennemore Craig partner Cal Udall was a member of the legal team that represented Arizona in its battle with California for control of Colorado River water. Fennemore Craig’s efforts here spurred development of Arizona’s major cities.

4.  The Arizona Groundwater Management Act. Jim Johnson, a Fennemore Craig water, natural resources and environmental lawyer, was a principal negotiator and draftsman of the 1980 Arizona Groundwater Management Act. As special counsel to the state’s newly created Arizona Department of Water Resources, he successfully defended  the Act’s constitutionality. The Act marked a critical benchmark in Arizona’s efforts to manage and preserve its groundwater. It established comprehensive and effective approaches to groundwater management and allocation.

5.  Arizona Telecommunications Deregulation, 1995-96. Tim Berg and Theresa Dwyer-Federhar, Fennemore Craig utilities and appellate lawyers, served as Arizona  primary outside counsel to US West, the predecessor to Qwest, now CenturyLink, when Congress mandated telecommunications deregulation with the Federal Telecommunications Act of 1996. They represented US West, which had commenced working with other communications companies and stakeholders and the Arizona Corporation Commission on telecommunications deregulation issues in 1995. When Congress passed the Telecommunications Deregulation in 1996, a competitive telecommunications framework for residential and business customers emerged in Arizona that provided a regulatory regime for multiple providers, competitive pricing and use of a company’s infrastructure by other providers.

6.  Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority. Fennemore Craig lawyer Sarah Strunk, who practices in the area of business and finance, served as general counsel (and continues to do so) to the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority in connection with the siting, development, construction, and ongoing operation and maintenance of University of Phoenix Stadium, home of the Arizona Cardinals and an anchor of Glendale’s sports complex. The development of University of Phoenix stadium, also home of the Fiesta Bowl and site of Super Bowl XLII, marked a shift in the economic landscape of the West Valley and Arizona sports.

Fennemore Craig, AZ Business Magazine September/October 2011

[stextbox id=”grey”]Fennemore Craig
3003 N. Central Ave., Ste. 2600
Phoenix, AZ 85012
(602) 916-5000

Arizona Business Magazine September/October 2011

Incubator Building, AZRE September/October 2011

Education: Incubator Building, Gateway


Developer: GateWay Community College
General contractor: Core Construction
Architect: SmithGroup
44th St. and Van Buren Rd., Phoenix
Size: 18,100 SF

Programmed, designed and built parallel with its sister building (the IEB), the $4M Incubator Building will house research space for start-up companies in bioscience and other emerging technology fields. It is pursuing LEED Silver certification. Subcontractors include Sun Valley Masonry, S&H Steel, Kovach, K.T. Fabricators and Pete King Construction. Tentative completion is 4Q 2011.

AZRE Magazine, September/October 2011
UA Cancer Center

Medical: University of Arizona Cancer Center


Developer: City of Phoenix
General contractor: Hensel Phelps
Architect: ZGF Architects
Location: NWC of Seventh and Fillmore streets, Phoenix
Size: 250,000 SF

The $135M, 6-story UA Cancer Center will be the latest addition to Downtown Phoenix’s Biomedical Campus. UA will partner with St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center and provide inpatient care and clinical operations. Expected start and completion dates: 4Q 2011 to 1Q 2014.

AZRE Magazine, September/October 2011
San Marquis, AZRE September/October 2011

Multi-Family: San Marquis


Developer: Mark-Taylor/Kitchell
General contractor: Mark-Taylor Development
Architect: ADG
Location: SWC of Rural and Baseline roads, Tempe
Size: 229,093 SF

The $28M Mark-Taylor/Kitchell venture is a 229-unit luxury apartment community. It will feature 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom units ranging from 654 SF to 1,442 SF. Expected completion is 3Q 2012.

AZRE Magazine, September/October 2011
Arcadia Neighborhood Learning Center, AZRE September/October 2011

Education: Arcadia Neighborhood Learning Center


Developer: Scottsdale Unified School District
General contractor: McCarthy Building Companies
Architect: Corgan Associates
Location: 3811 N. 44th St., Scottsdale
Size: 61,877 SF

The $16M project will be a K-8 campus rebuild and will include a new, 2-story classroom building and full-size multipurpose building. Subcontractors include Echo Canyon Electrical, Stone Cold Masonry, TD Industries and Hardrock Concrete. Expected completion is 4Q 2012.

AZRE Magazine, September/October 2011
ASA Phase 4, AZRE September/October 2011

Education: Arizona School For The Arts


General contractor: Hardison/Downey Construction, Inc.
Architect:  Orcutt | Winslow
Location: 5th St. and McDowell, Phoenix
Size: 25,700 SF

Phase 4 of the $3.3M project at the college preparatory and performing arts charter school includes completion of the final classroom building. With the completion of the 4-story building, the school will become independent from leased space. Subcontractors include CP Mechanical, Tpac, Wilson Electric, Encore Steel and Brothers Masonry. Expected completion is 1Q 2012.

AZRE Magazine, September/October 2011

Education: Integrated Education Building, GateWay


Developer: GateWay Community College
General contractor: Core Construction
Architect: SmithGroup
Location: 44th St. and Van Buren Rd., Phoenix, within the Discovery Triangle
Size: 137,000 GSF

The $34M Integrated Education Building is GateWay’s first new construction in more than 10 years. The 3-story IEB will combine five separate programs traditionally built as stand-alone structures, including a library and learning center. It is pursuing LEED Silver certification. Subcontractors include L.R. Cowan, Jen Electric, Barret Homes, Wholesale Floors, Harris Mechanical and Iron Tree Plumbing. Expected completion is 3Q 2012.

AZRE Magazine, September/October 2011
Hilltop And McConnell, AZRE September/October 2011

Education: Hilltop And McConnell, NAU


Developer: American Campus Communities
General contractor: Hardison/Downey Construction, Inc.
Architect: Todd & Associates
Location: NAU campus, Flagstaff
Size: 434,058 SF

Hilltop and McConnell are two student housing projects combine for 1,126 beds in 419 units. The $60.6M project will consist of two separate developments: a modern residence hall called McConnell (550 beds) and a student townhouse community called Hilltop (576 beds). Subcontractors include Hilty’s Electric, Dial Mechanical, Associated Cement Contractors and TKO. Expected completion is 3Q 2012.

AZRE Magazine, September/October 2011