Tag Archives: Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel

District American Kitchen and Wine Bar

Sheraton Phoenix Downtown adds new executive sous chef

Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel has appointed Joshua Johnson to role of executive sous chef of the hotel. Formerly, the chef de cuisine for Kai, Arizona’s only AAA Five Diamond and Forbes Five Star Restaurant, Chef Johnson brings creativity and an enthusiasm for sustainability in the kitchen, using the freshest, local ingredients. A mindset he shares with his new culinary team.

“Chef Johnson is a great culinary talent, and we are excited to have him join us at Sheraton Downtown Phoenix Hotel and District American Kitchen and Wine Bar,” said Mike Ehmann, general manager of Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel. “He brings a depth of experience that will be beneficial for our hotel and our guests.”

As executive sous chef, Chef Johnson will work closely with Executive Chef, Chaz Frankenfield in managing all aspects of the kitchen from personnel to purchasing. He will help to oversee the date-to-day financial statistic of the culinary department. He also will be responsible for quality preparation and presentation of all menu items as well as new menu development.

Prior to joining Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel, Chef Johnson served as chef de cuisine of Kai, the only AAA Five Diamond and Forbes Five Star restaurant in Arizona. Kai, located in Sheraton Wild Horse Pass & Spa, offers high-end Native American menus with global accents. There, he honed his craft to create seasonally fresh gourmet dishes using local ingredients, while marrying them to the history and culture of the Pima and Maricopa people.

“For me, the transition to Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel is a natural one,” said Chef Johnson. Both properties are within the same Sheraton brand family, but beyond that the team shares my passion for creating with fresh herbs and vegetables. I look forward to digging in with the culinarians and into the hotel’s garden.”

In addition to his eight years with Kai, Chef Johnson spent more than a decade in luxury hospitality and culinary industries. Some of his most notable positions include his role as sous chef at Nikai Restaurant in Jackson, Wyo. and The Four Seasons Resort in Jackson Hole, where he helped drive The Westbank Grill to its Four Star rating. He also spent time as chef at the Four Diamond, Jenny Lake Lodge in the Teton Mountains and the once famed Letece, a Four Star French restaurant in Las Vegas.

Originally from Wyoming, Chef Johnson moved to Oregon to attend Le Cordon Blue, and graduated with an almost perfect GPA. Today, he resides his Gilbert, Ariz. with family and is an avid outdoorsman with a passion for golfing, snowboarding and hiking.

William Eaton

Governor’s Arts Awards honors Arizona’s best

Guitar artist, musician and luthier William Eaton of Sedona, Tucson arts advocate I. Michael Kasser and Arizona State University strings professor Dr. Margaret Schmidt captured the top individual awards at the 2015 Governor’s Arts Awards at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel.

More than 600 arts supporters, artists, advocates and business leaders were on hand for the presentation of awards and remarks by Arizona Governor Doug Ducey.  The event was emceed by CBS5 anchor Nicole Crites.

Sixty-five nominations were submitted from 22 Arizona communities in six categories for this year’s awards. SRP was the Presenting Sponsor; APS, the Nominees Sponsor; Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, the Entertainment Sponsor; and the Arizona Lottery was the Artist Award Sponsor.

The 2015 Governor’s Arts Awards were presented to:

  • William Eaton, Artist Award
  • I. Michael Kasser, Individual Award
  • Dr. Margaret Schmidt, Arizona State University, Arts In Education Individual Award
  • Phoenix Conservatory of Music, Arts in Education Organization Award
  • West Valley Arts Council’s Gallery 37, Community Award
  • CopperPoint Mutual, Business Award.

Also during the evening, the tenth annual Shelley Award was presented to the Papp Family for their individual and collective support of the arts as advocates and donors.  The Papp Family is represented by family patriarch the late L. Roy Papp and his wife, Marilyn  A. Papp; their son, Harry A. Papp, and his wife, Rosellen Papp.  The Papp family’s devotion to arts and culture endeavors also is shared by Marilyn and Roy’s daughter, Victoria Papp Cavallero and her husband, Patrick F. Cavallero.

Each honoree received specially created awards by Arizona artists Alexandra Bowers, Randy Kemp, Jacob Meders, Gabriela Muñoz, Rossitza Todorova, Kathleen Velo and Claire A. Warden.

The 2015 Governor’s Arts Awards honorees:

Artist Award: William Eaton (Sedona): Building guitars and beyond since 1971, William Eaton’s imaginative, sculptural multi-stringed instruments are showcased at major museums, art galleries and in books, magazines and publications. During the past 40 years the Roberto Venn School of Luthiery, a guitar making school he co-founded in Phoenix, has graduated over 2000 students, from Arizona, the U.S. and every other continent, except Antarctica. As Director of the School, William has influenced hundreds of luthiers who have become artist-entrepreneurs, employees, managers, foreman and repair techs – for major guitar manufacturers, small custom shops, touring companies and music stores – worldwide. Eaton has composed for and performed solo, with the William Eaton Ensemble, Nouveau West Chamber Orchestra, Nebraska Chamber Orchestra, Amadeus Trio, and R. Carlos Nakai, among others.

Individual Award: I. Michael Kasser (Tucson): Michael Kasser and his wife, Beth, have been ardent and generous supporters of the arts in Southern Arizona for many years. His passion extends to Arizona Theatre Company, Tucson Museum of Art and other arts and cultural programs working to enrich the lives of those within his community. Specifically, through his business acumen and generous donations, Mike has ensured the survival and growth of a number of arts organizations in Southern Arizona. He strongly believes that the arts attract businesses to Southern Arizona and has encouraged many of his fellow business leaders to communicate their support for the Pima County Bond election to the Pima County Bond Committee, which would include a number of arts and cultural-related projects. He is active in the revitalization of downtown Tucson and is vocal in his belief that arts and culture are vital to this revitalization.

Arts In Education Individual Award: Dr. Margaret E. Schmidt (Tempe): Dr. Margaret Schmidt’s extraordinary contributions to arts education in string music education occur in nearly every imaginable facet, from the earliest years of education to the high-level work of research and publication. As a string specialist at Arizona State University and a vibrant member of the Arizona string education community, since 2001, every undergraduate student at ASU who wants to teach strings has been prepared for his or her career by Dr. Schmidt, whether through course work with her and/or through internships in the ASU String Project. She also has collaborated with K-12 string music teachers throughout the state in developing their own programs and has conducted string festival orchestras for children statewide.

Arts in Education Organization Award: Phoenix Conservatory of Music (Phoenix): The Phoenix Conservatory of Music is bringing best practices and national practices to our local community through their affiliation with the Berklee City Music Network and Berklee College of Music. By implementing its unique college preparatory program, Phoenix Conservatory of Music is creating a pipeline of popular music learning and critical skill sets in musical and developmental assets in youth grades 4-12. The Phoenix Conservatory offers innovative and engaging programs for teens that develop their musical skill sets, life skills and developmental assets. PCM’s City Music college prep program allows students who don’t have as much access to music education or access to contemporary music education. In 2014, 99 students were in the program, including 12 seniors who all graduated high school and earned over $445,000 in scholarships.

Community Award: West Valley Arts Council’s Gallery 37 Programs (Surprise): Since 2001, the West Valley Arts Council’s signature Gallery 37 (G37) summer public art program has employed over 200 teens from the West Valley and beyond to create works of public art under the guidance of local master artists. Fourteen works of art include murals, sculptures, ramadas, seating and shade structures and are located throughout Avondale, Buckeye, El Mirage, Goodyear, Surprise and Tolleson. For several of these West Valley cities, Gallery 37 was their first step into the world of public art. Over time as these cities grow, they often reengage and integrate G37 projects into the planning and development process.

Business Award: CopperPoint Mutual (Phoenix):  CopperPoint Mutual has been committed to helping both the arts and community groups in many ways throughout its history. The company invests in the arts statewide, extending from Phoenix and surrounding cities to Tucson, Prescott, Flagstaff, Globe, Miami and well beyond. The arts are a particularly integral component to the company’s commitment to and investment in education in Arizona. CopperPoint also works directly with 25 major arts groups across the state and has invested and assisted in the launch of a wide variety of arts related programs for groups such as Autism Speaks and Arizona Autism United, Arizona Lost Boys Center, and Apache ASL Trails, a senior living center for the hearing impaired with a robust arts program.

The Governor’s Arts Awards are presented by Arizona Citizens for the Arts, the Arizona Commission on the Arts and the Office of the Governor.

Avnet - Fortune Global 500

Phoenix MBDA Hosts Global Business Conference

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

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

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

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

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


Helios Scholars at TGen featured at symposium

The 45 interns in the 2014 Helios Scholars at TGen summer internship program graduated today, following a daylong scientific symposium at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel.

Arizona’s future leaders in biology and medicine worked for eight weeks in one of the nation’s premier scientific internship programs, sponsored by the Helios Education Foundation in partnership with the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen).

At today’s symposium, students presented scientific posters and oral presentations about their biomedical investigations, which were conducted under the one-on-one guidance and mentorship of TGen researchers. Like their mentors, Helios Scholars use cutting-edge technology to help discover the genetic causes of diseases such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, infectious disease and many types of cancer.

This is the eighth class of Helios Scholars at TGen, funded for 25 years by Helios Education Foundation. Helios is focused on creating opportunities for individuals to succeed in postsecondary education by advancing the academic preparedness of all students and fostering a high-expectations, college-going culture in Arizona and Florida.

“TGen’s summer intern program enables students to learn first-hand what it is like to work in a professional scientific environment, and helps them discover the skills they will need to make important contributions in science and medicine,” said Helios Education Foundation President and CEO Paul Luna. “The Helios Scholars at TGen program is helping prepare students for further academic success and for meaningful careers that not only benefit them, but will improve people’s lives through breakthrough medical and scientific research.”

The program is open to Arizona high school, undergraduate and graduate level students, including those in medical school.

“Our partnership with the Helios Education Foundation helps prepare a new generation of biomedical investigators for Arizona,” said Dr. Jeffrey Trent, TGen’s President and Research Director. “As we help them explore the biosciences beyond the classroom, TGen provides them with opportunities to participate in potentially life-changing research that can benefit actual patients.”

Helios Scholars also participate in professional development programs in science communication, public speaking, and basic business etiquette. This year’s interns were selected from among more than 500 applications.

“Our students arrive here with a passion for science and medicine,” said Julie Euber, TGen’s Education and Outreach Specialist and supervisor of the Helios Scholars at TGen. “Participating in authentic research projects helps shape their skills and abilities, preparing them for a lifetime of discovery and achievement in the biosciences.”

The program application opens in January of each year for the following summer at www.tgen.org/intern.

Cultivator (4)

Sheraton Phoenix Downtown 1st to use Urban Cultivator

Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel recently installed Arizona’s first commercial-use Urban Cultivator™ to grow, sprout and harvest a wide selection of fresh and aromatic micro greens and herbs. Now guests of the hotel and its restaurant, District American Kitchen and Wine Bar, can experience a wide array of delicious and hard-to-find greens all year round.

The decision to install a six-and-a-half-foot tall commercial-use Urban Cultivator was not just to provide hotel and restaurant guests with the freshest ingredients, but also to align with the company’s sustainable commitment to consume less and care more for the planet. The Urban Cultivator is a fully-automated indoor growing appliance that resembles a refrigerator with double glass doors and a series of growing shelves, lighting and water spouts. It is climate controlled and uses a method similar to hydroponic growing to grow herbs and micro greens. By growing right on property, the hotel is conserving time, water and energy, thus minimizing waste and emissions.

“With much success from our rooftop herb garden that currently yields everything from organic French lavender to thyme to chocolate mint and much more, we decided to install a commercial-use Urban Cultivator to supplement what the garden might not be able to produce,” said General Manager Mike Ehmann, Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel. “This environmentally conscious effort is much more than simply growing and serving the freshest ingredients. As the largest hotel in Arizona with 1,000 guestrooms and a vast amount of meeting space, Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel caterers to thousands of guests – it is important that we provide the best quality while reducing food and energy costs.”

The culinary team at Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel and District American Kitchen and Wine Bar take pride and ownership in growing and harvesting the freshest herbs and micro greens. Some of the many greens the team grows include: arugula, basil, dill, endive, lettuces, radishes, and a plethora of others. The herbs and micro greens are added to a variety of dishes, used in catered functions and infused in many mixed beverages.

To learn more about Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel, visit www.sheratonphoenixdowntown.com.

Top 10 Accommodations: Phoenix & Paradise Valley Hotels, Resorts (Spring-Summer 2012)

Top 10 Accommodations: Phoenix & Paradise Valley Hotels, Resorts (Spring-Summer 2012)

The Top 10 Phoenix and Paradise Valley hotels and resorts — as voted on by Experience AZ readers:

Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa

2400 E. Missouri Ave.,
Phoenix, AZ 85016
An Arizona landmark since its opening on Feb. 23, 1929, when it was crowned The Jewel of the Desert.

Hermosa Inn

5532 N. Palo Cristi Rd.,
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253
In-room fireplaces, secluded patios, hand-painted Mexican tile, HD TVs, high-speed Internet, swimming pool, Jacuzzis and Lon’s at the Hermosa.

Hyatt Regency Phoenix

122 N. 2nd St.,
Phoenix, AZ 85004
800-55-HYATT (49288)
This sophisticated hotel showcases 693 rooms and suites, award-winning dining and versatile meeting space. Features an indulgent outdoor pool and spa and nearby world-class golf and tennis facilities.

Montelucia Resort & Spa

4949 E. Lincoln Dr.,
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253
The Montelucia Resort & Spa is a luxurious hotel in Paradise Valley that is inspired by the architecture and culture of Spain’s Andalusia region.The resort offers an escape from the city and provides access to recreation, nightlife and dining.

JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

5350 E. Marriott Dr., Phoenix, AZ 85054
Two 18-hole championship golf courses, Marriott’s original Revive Spa, 10 dining options, four acres of turquoise swimming pools and waterways, and Arizona’s largest ballroom.

Pointe Hilton Resorts-Tapatio Cliffs

11111 N. 7th St., Phoenix, AZ 85020
Whether visiting for business or pleasure, you will enjoy luxury all-suite accommodations, complimentary access to our expansive water feature, unique dining experiences, championship golf, relaxing spa and salon services and an array of shopping options. Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort truly is an extraordinary escape from the ordinary.

Ritz-Carlton Phoenix

2401 E. Camelback Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85016
The 11-story, 281-room hotel features spectacular city views, fine dining and an exquisite outdoor patio and pool.

Royal Palms Resort & Spa

5200 E. Camelback Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85018
Nestled at the base of Camelback Mountain, the original 1929 mansion features 119 guest rooms, casitas and suites. Combining the graciousness and sophistication of a Mediterranean villa with the intimacy and privacy of a secluded retreat.

Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain

5700 E. McDonald Dr., Paradise Valley, AZ 85253
Situated on 53 acres, the resort offers its guests unparalleled privacy and peace. Guests enjoy the most modern of pleasures and conveniences. The spa features 12 indoor/outdoor treatment rooms, a meditation garden, Sanctum and Watsu pool.

Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel

340 N. 3rd St., Phoenix, AZ 85004
As Arizona’s largest hotel, the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel sits 31-stories high, redefining the city skyline. The 1,000 room hotel offers panoramic city, skyline and mountain views, and puts you within walking distance of some of the city’s finest arts, dining and entertainment venues.

Experience AZ Spring-Summer 2012