Tag Archives: technology

bioscience - economic outlook - AZ Business Magazine May/June 2012

Strength Of Bioscience Helps Brighten Arizona’s Employment Outlook

Bioscience brings strength to Arizona’s employment opportunities.

Arizona’s economic doldrums are finally starting to appear in the rearview mirror.

“Here in Arizona, the state ranked No. 12 in job creation (in 2011),” says Lee McPheters, director of the JPMorgan Chase Economic Outlook Center at ASU’s W. P. Carey School of Business. “That’s a vast improvement from last year at this time, when it ranked No. 40.”

Twenty percent of the Phoenix-area companies interviewed for a Manpower Employment Outlook Survey plan to hire more employees during the second quarter of 2012, while just three percent expect to reduce staff.

Leading the charge in Arizona job growth is technology, healthcare and bioscience, Ernst says. “We’ve also seen manufacturing pick-up substantially in the last month with roles in accounting and finance,” he added.

According to Manpower spokesperson Frank Amendariz, other job prospects for the next quarter appear best in construction, transportation, utilities, wholesale and retail trade, information, financial activities, professional and business services, and leisure and hospitality.

“Employers expect stronger employment prospects compared with one year ago,” Amendariz says optimistically.

“There’s a lot more optimism among hiring managers than in years past,” says Andy Ernst, regional vice president of Robert Half International, a specialized staffing services company. “Businesses are looking to hire. As the economy continues to regain its foothold, we anticipate an uptick in hiring as more companies look at ways to market themselves to attract new candidates and retain key members of their team. We anticipate the next 3-4 years being very good on the job front here in Phoenix.”

But no sector has shown the strength or potential that bioscience has shown. During the post-recessionary period of 2009-10, bioscience jobs in Arizona increased by 7.4 percent, compared with a 1.8 percent decline for the state’s overall private sector, according to a new performance analysis of Arizona’s bioscience sector, commissioned by the Flinn Foundation.

The annual study by the Battelle Technology Partnership Practice found that since 2002 Arizona has outpaced the nation in generating bioscience jobs and firms, and in winning National Institutes of Health grants, the gold standard for biomedical research funding. Even venture-capital funding, long a challenge for Arizona’s bioscience sector, was on an upswing in the past year.

“Through the most trying economic circumstances of our lifetimes, bio in Arizona more than held its own,” says Walter Plosila, senior advisor to the Battelle Technology Partnership Practice. “The bioscience sector is past the ‘promising’ stage. It is now becoming integral to Arizona’s future.”

Since Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap was launched in 2002, bioscience jobs in the state have grown 41 percent to a total of 96,223, versus 11 percent growth for the nation as a whole. Those jobs pay an average annual wages of $55,353, 29 percent higher than the overall average for private-sector wages in Arizona.

With those jobs comes the demand for a better educated workforce.

“In the Phoenix market, there is high demand for experienced professionals with four-year degrees or more who have 2-3 years experience working in their field,” Ernst says. “The unemployment rate for college-degreed workers 25 and older is 4.2 percent and even lower from some specialties such as IT, accounting and finance.”

While the investment in education is paying off for Arizona’s workers, the investment of time and energy in developing a cohesive plan to further the state’s bioscience industry is paying dividends for the state’s workforce and its economy.

Martin Shultz, chair of the statewide steering committee that oversees the Bioscience Roadmap, applauded the commitment of Arizona leaders. “Over the past decade, officials ranging from school principals to mayors to three governors have made long-term investments in our state’s future by supporting the biosciences,” Shultz says. “The excellent return on those investments is undeniable.”

For more information on the Bioscience Roadmap, visit the Flinn Foundation’s website at flinn.org.

Arizona Business Magazine May/June 2012

home insurance scottsdale az technology

Home Insurance In Scottsdale AZ Goes Boldly

Do you hear the phrase “turn of the century” and think 1900, then realize people were talking about TWELVE YEARS AGO? Then you think, “Hey, it’s the 21st century!” and the next thought that zips into your brain is “Where the heck is my flying car?”  Well, odds are you are one of those people who had a definite vision about what the future would be like, and there’s a good chance that this vision got its inspiration from the old Star Trek series.

You are not alone if you crave that cool stuff the crew of the Enterprise took for granted. Ok, “The Fly” (both the original 1958 version and the 1986 remake) may have severely reduced our enthusiasm for the transporter, but who doesn’t wish for one of those handheld scanners Dr. McCoy used to determine if someone was sick every time the doctor orders a blood panel, x-ray or some other unpleasant test? If only it were that simple.

Just scan me Doc, and let me know what’s what!

Well, the medical tricorders aren’t available yet, but there is something eerily similar that’s currently being used in Scottsdale, AZ for Home Insurance. Insurers of high-end homes in Arizona typically send out appraisers for a first-hand look, and the technology they’re using looks an awful lot like Dr. McCoy’s medical tricorder. The NY Times describes these devices;

“We’re applying what used to be commercial technology to uncovering hot and cold spots behind walls and beneath flooring,” said Mark Schussel, a spokesman for the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies in Warren, N.J. Chubb’s appraisers are using HomeScan cameras that employ infrared thermography to spot water damage and fire risk. Areas that show up as “cold spots” could indicate moisture in a wall or lack of insulation. “Hot spots,” Mr. Schussel said, “could be a sign of electrical arcing, which can lead to a fire.” If moisture is detected, the appraiser will attempt to find its source.

Other insurance companies such as Fireman’s Fund and AIG use similar devices. The focus on risk management and loss prevention is greater on high-end homes so perhaps it’s no surprise that insurance companies are investing in better technology to help them accomplish this. What is a surprise, though, is the range of services that insurance companies employ to protect their clients.

Services like risk-management specialists meeting with clients to develop emergency plans in the event of natural disaster, mobile wildfire units spraying homes with fire retardant when a threat is reported, concierge services that visit customer homes in advance of impending disasters to store valuables and minimize damage are increasingly offered (Wall Street Journal). Companies offer relocation services and restoration teams when disaster strikes, but loss prevention is the more forward-thinking option.

Despite the high-tech devices like tricorders, transporters, and communicators, the real appeal of Star Trek was the crew. The Enterprise held a team of forward-thinking and creative professionals who bravely flew into situations and worked together to avert disaster or rescue the imperiled. Not unlike the crew of the Enterprise, risk management and loss prevention professionals offer home owners in Arizona a similar service, bringing options to avoid loss of property or life that was often not available in the last century; such as tracking the paths of wildfires, or storms, and leveraging resources to keep your family and valuables out of that path.

Perhaps it’s no surprise that many of the companies insuring high-end homes take this approach, since the people in those companies watched the same Star Trek episodes that we did. The Star Trek vision about what the future would be like was a positive one. And we’re on our way to this future. We have our communicators, Dr. McCoy’s tricorders are being used on our homes, and it’s just a matter of time until we can park our flying cars in the garage!

Contact your local insurance agent to find out about the latest technology and services available in home insurance policy.

BAE Systems

BAE Systems Receives $10.8 Million To Manufacture Bradley Survivability Seats

BAE Systems received a $10.8 million award to manufacture Advanced Survivability Seats for Bradley Fighting Vehicles used by the U.S. Army.

These seats, called the Survivor Post Mount 1000 and Survivor Modular Troop 3000, include an energy-absorbing technology that helps protect soldiers from spinal injuries.

“The seat and restraint system are integral components of the overall vehicle survivability capability to protect occupants from blasts and other threats,” said Frank Crispino, director of vehicle protection programs at BAE Systems Support Solutions.

The order, awarded by SSI Technology, Inc., will be carried out at the BAE Systems’ facility in Phoenix, with deliveries beginning this May and will conclude in June 2013.

The facility in Phoenix has been providing occupant safety products for more than 30 years, and the company has produced more than 1,900 Bradley Advanced Survivability Seats since 2009. The most recent upgrades are in association with the Bradley Advanced Survivability Seats–Driver program and will be applied to the Army’s Bradley Urban Survivability Kit program.

BAE Systems provide a range of products and services to meet the needs in readiness and operational support across the land, aviation and maritime domains that support the U.S. Department of Defense and federal agencies.

For more information visit, baesystems.com
Managing Downstream and Upstream Risks

Managing Downstream And Upstream Risks

Examine your company’s cash flow needs and managing downstream and upstream risks

Even the strongest, most sophisticated contractor has probably taken a lump or two over the past year as a result of one of the worst stretches the construction industry has seen in decades. Because of these challenges, there are many ways that you should be examining your own company, your cash flow needs, profit estimate and balance sheet projections.

Managing both your upstream risks and downstream risks will be critical to your success in the coming years. Ask the following questions:

  • How much bad debt can my company absorb before having a critical impact on my balance sheet and cash flows?
  • How long should I perform work without being paid? What does my contract allow for in terms of work stoppages for non-payment?
  • Who bears the risk of non-payment by the ultimate project owner? Do I have any “Pay If Paid” contracts?
  • How is this private project being financed? Has anyone seen a bank commitment letter?
  • What would happen if my receivables were stretched another 30-45 days on average?
  • How would this job be impacted if one of my subcontractors could no longer perform their work (due to bankruptcy or otherwise)? How much would it cost me to replace them?
  • What is my added exposure when I bond a job?
  • How do I address onerous contract terms with my owner/GC/client?
  • How do I know if my subcontractors are still financially viable?

There are landmines at every turn so be sure to not discount the value of doing your homework before signing a contract. What are some specific areas of risk to pay close attention to?

Upstream Risks

We all understand the inherent risks with subcontracting a portion of “your work” to another contractor for whom you will be responsible. How many of us though give a lot of thought to upstream risk? Are you a sub to a general contractor? Sub to another sub? Vendor, supplier? Or a general contractor doing work for a private company? All of these scenarios carry several risks.

The most obvious upstream risk is no pay/slow pay from your client. As a general contractor doing work for a private owner, you will typically have the ability prior to starting the work to inquire about project financing. Do not dismiss this right and take full advantage of this opportunity as you will likely have difficulty getting anything else from the owner once the project has begun. Useful tools here include a “set aside” letter from their bank, loan commitment letter for project specific funding or a bank reference letter stating that the owner has sufficient cash on hand to pay for the project.

Even if you are not prime to an owner, all of these risk factors affect you. Unfortunately, you will not likely have access to your upstream contractor’s financials and will be somewhat dependent on their due diligence with the owner. Even so, don’t be afraid to ask your prime contractor (or upstream contractor) if they have done their homework. Also, check with your peers or any subs/suppliers who are working for your general contractor to see how timely they are currently making payments.

Downstream Risk

If you are a general contractor, part of your normal operating procedure is to monitor subcontractor bids and hopefully that includes a formal prequalification process for the majority of your subs. The amount of data you request is up to you, but the following is a key list of things you should know about your potential subcontractors:

  • What is their reputation? Do they have reference letters? How many jobs of similar size and scope have they performed in the past?
  • What is their safety history? Do they have a dedicated safety director?
  • What is their financial status? Have they ever failed to complete a job? Will they share financials?
  • Do they have a bond company and/or a bond line? If so, what are their single and aggregate limits? Can you obtain a letter from their surety stating these limits and current capacity?
  • Do they have all the required insurance currently in place? How do you monitor and track expiring certificates throughout the year?
  • Do you know how many subs or suppliers they will engage to fulfill the contract? If you are providing a bond as a prime contractor, these parties will all be covered by your Payment Bond and add to your potential exposure for non-payment claims.

This economy has certainly taken its toll on a large number of contractors. Often the smaller, trade contractors are hit the hardest as they did not carry large backlogs of work or large balance sheets into this downturn. They could be dependent on their next job for their very survival so it is critical that all parties are aware of potential risk factors with key subs and suppliers and employ as many additional tools as possible to mitigate those risks and prevent another contractor’s problem from being your problem.

[stextbox id="grey"]For more information about downstream and upstream risks, visit www.mjinsurance.com.[/stextbox]

 

Incubator Building, AZRE September/October 2011

Education: Incubator Building, Gateway


INCUBATOR BUILDING

Developer: GateWay Community College
General contractor: Core Construction
Architect: SmithGroup
Location: 
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
Intel Corporation Headquarters in Santa Clara, CA

Intel To Invest More Than $5 Billion To Build New Factory In Arizona

CHANDLER, AZ., Feb. 18, 2011 – Intel Corporation today announced plans to invest more than $5 billion to build a new chip manufacturing facility at its site in Chandler, AZ. The announcement was made by Intel President and CEO Paul Otellini during a visit by President Barack Obama at an Intel facility in Hillsboro, Ore.

The new Arizona factory, designated Fab 42, will be the most advanced, high-volume semiconductor manufacturing facility in the world. Construction of the new fab is expected to begin in the middle of this year and is expected to be completed in 2013.

“The investment positions our manufacturing network for future growth,” said Brian Krzanich, senior vice president and general manager, Manufacturing and Supply Chain. “This fab will begin operations on a process that will allow us to create transistors with a minimum feature size of 14 nanometers. For Intel, manufacturing serves as the underpinning for our business and allows us to provide customers and consumers with leading-edge products in high volume. The unmatched scope and scale of our investments in manufacturing help Intel maintain industry leadership and drives innovation.”

Computer component, image provided by Flickr

While more than three-fourths of Intel’s sales come from outside of the United States, Intel manufactures three-fourths of its microprocessors in the United States. The addition of this new fab will increase the company’s American manufacturing capability significantly.

Building the new fab on the leading-edge 14-nanometer process enables Intel to manufacture more powerful and efficient computer chips. The nanometer specification refers to the minimum dimensions of transistor technology. A nanometer is one-billionth of a meter or the size one ninety-thousandth the width of an average human hair.

“The products based on these leading-edge chips will give consumers unprecedented levels of performance and power efficiency across a range of computing devices from high-end servers to ultra-sleek portable devices,” said Krzanich.

Fab 42 will be built as a 300mm factory, which refers to the size of the wafers that contain the computer chips. The project will create thousands of construction and permanent manufacturing jobs at Intel’s Arizona site.

About Intel

Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) is a world leader in computing innovation. The company designs and builds the essential technologies that serve as the foundation for the world’s computing devices. Additional information about Intel is available at newsroom.intel.com and blogs.intel.com.

Provided By Flickr

Five Monopolies, Methods of Communication Losing Their Hold

1.

Landlines

According to CITA, an International Wireless nonprofit organization, 91% of Americans carry a cell phone as of 2009, and those numbers have continued to expand.  Now more than ever, with the growing popularity of the iPhone and Droid, cell phones have become both a necessity and an addiction.

In past decades, landlines were an essential part of the home, but with cell phone giants like Apple, wireless communication is quickly eliminating the need for both a home phone and cell.  Now, phones do much more than dial, and let’s be honest — landlines don’t have Angry Birds or Restaurant Finder Apps.

Landline Phones No More

2.

“Snail” Mail vs. Email

Once a monopoly on long-distance communication, mailing letters to friends or loved ones has been virtually phased out of everyday conversation and proven to be the least efficient means of interaction.  What was once a necessity for love notes, bank statements, and college acceptance letters, “snail” mail is quickly becoming replaced with the popularity of social media platforms and widespread use of email.

Since cell phone’s and the internet explosion in the early 1990’s, this generation’s lack of composition skills have been harshly scrutinized.  In 2009, The United States Postal Service stated that 177 billion pieces of mail were delivered in the US, compared to 14.4 trillion by email.  Now, young people rely heavily on a keyboard, 140 characters and auto-correct spelling.

"Snail" Mail Replaced by Email

3.

Newspapers

Electronic tablets, such as Apple’s iPad, Samsung’s Galaxy Pad, Amazon’s Kindle or the BlackBerry Playbook, have been 2010’s newest toy.  According to the Washington Post, “average daily circulation of all U.S. newspapers has been in decline since 1987″ and “has hit its lowest level in seven decades.”

Newspapers have been undoubtedly hit hard — as major stations are reporting record losses, cuts and even closures across the country.  Despite the change in the medium which news is delivered, there will always be a desire and need for the public to be informed and educated on current events.  It’s just that now news is viewed on a 9 x 5 LED screen — not paper.

Physical Newspapers Moving Online

4.

Video Rental Stores

Some of my fondest childhood memories include “Power Rangers:  The Movie” and the newest Nintendo 64 game — both of which were rented from the local Blockbuster.  Video rental stores, like Blockbuster, have been slowly declining in business over the past 6 years as online sites such as Netflix and RedBox have stolen much of the business which these stores once had.

Having closed over 600 stores in just the past three years and reported record losses in the hundreds of millions, it’s no wonder Blockbuster is struggling to stay afloat.  According to an article by MSNBC.com, “Blockbuster Inc. may close as many as 960 stores by the end of next year,” primarily in response to appeal and ease of online streaming — in a society glued to their computer screens.

Video Rentals Like Blockbuster Replaced by Nexflix, Flickr, Scott Clark

5.

In-Person Classrooms

As a current student at ASU, I recognize that most classes still meet in a physical room with a paper syllabus and wooden desks from the Jimmy Carter administration.  However, as technology of educational tools increases, so does the medium with which it is taught.

Arizona State University offered over 700 online classes this spring, which range from Managerial Economics to History of Hip Hop.  It’s not just ASU, but virtually all major universities across the country offer online classes and degrees, and sites like Blackboard allow professors to post assignments and readings for the week online.

Classrooms Moving Online
Delete Exterior Shot

Delete Tattoo Removal Salon Erases The Past

Excuses for not getting an unwanted tattoo removed may be a thing of the past with the opening of the Valley’s first free-standing tattoo removal salon.

Delete Tattoo Removal and Laser Salon, which opened Nov. 8, uses three-wavelength technology combined with Alex TriVantage laser treatment that is safe, effective and affordable.

Owner and founder Marci Zimmerman got the idea for her business while at a spring training baseball game two years ago.

“There were a lot of bad tattoos out there and I said to my friends, ‘That’s going to be a huge business,’” she says. “It was just one of those things that stuck in my head and I couldn’t let it go.”

Zimmerman, two doctors, and three trained technicians are helping clients take the next step in removing unwanted body ink.

The process begins with a complimentary consultation where patients sit down with a doctor to discuss treatments, costs, risk factors and pain reduction options.

Next, a photo is taken to track the removal progress.  Patients are given protective eyewear that is worn throughout the laser procedure and are asked to choose from a variety of pain-numbing options.

“We can either do cold air, ice, a topical numbing or an anesthetic numbing injection that goes under the surface of the skin,” says Dr. Julie Keiffer, medical director and supervisor for Delete. “Most clients choose the anesthetic. They feel a little needle stick and slight discomfort and then they don’t feel anything.”

After each session, patients wait four to six weeks before coming back for another round. The number of treatments and cost both depend on the amount of ink, colors and the location of the tattoo.

Zimmerman says that Delete specifically targets 29- to 45-year-olds who are going through a change in life, whether it is marriage, children or a new job. Clients also include those who never liked their tattoo to begin with and want it removed.

“It’s a need out there and no one deserves to live with something permanently if there’s the technology out there to remove it,” she says.

Samya Cochran, 35, a mother of two, says she felt that it was time to remove two of her tattoos after being overlooked several times for modeling jobs because of her body art.

“It just wasn’t my style anymore,” she says. “I wanted my skin back and I’m just over-the-moon thrilled that this is getting done.”

In addition to its tattoo removal services, Delete also removes unwanted pigment spots on the body such as freckles or birthmarks.

As a sponsor of the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, the company launched All Clear, a complimentary removal service for breast cancer survivors that removes the small mark left from the radiation site.

The removal salon is the company’s first location, but Zimmerman says she hopes to expand and eventually franchise Delete nationally.

“The more salons we have the bigger our messaging can be,” she says. “It’s a huge gamble but I really believe if we provide a superior product at a superior price, great results and great costumer service, then we’ve got a winner.”

Arizona's high technology industry - AZ Business Magazine Jan/Feb 2011

Far-reaching Initiatives Are Driving The AZ Tech Council

When it comes to new initiatives to promote and develop Arizona’s high technology industry, there is no telling how far the Arizona Technology Council will go.

Would you believe … China? A 10-day, fact-finding journey — led by Arizona Technology Council President and CEO Steven Zylstra — to one of the oldest nations on the planet ranks as the most spectacular effort to assist Arizona’s technology companies and individuals. But there’s much more.

For example, Consultants on Demand, a program run by Dick Stover, CEO of Go1099.com, connects businesses with consultants and professionals for various contract services. It’s free to all Tech Council members.

With the addition of Consultants on Demand to the council’s website, members can post projects and special assignments without charge. Consultants and professionals can access and bid on these projects, also without charge.

Then there is the Mentoring Program, launched in 2010 to provide Tech Council members with a venue for strengthening and building their business knowledge and network. A pool of talented and experienced business professionals is available to fill the role of mentors. Under the program, a mentor spends a year working with a Tech Council member on mutually agreed upon goals for business and personal growth. In addition, the Tech Council has speakers address the group throughout the year on various business topics.

“As the group progresses through the program,” Zylstra says, “new relationships will be formed via networking, and stronger companies will be built by learning new business practices for strategic planning and efficient operational management.”

Because the technology industry is still somewhat male dominated, Women in the Workforce is a program that provides an opportunity for women in technology to share ideas and experiences. Teresa Snyder, marketing director for OneNeck IT Services, says the program is an attempt to fill a need for women in technology.

Arizona Business Magazine Jan/Feb 2011

IPic Theaters Image

IPic Theater In Scottsdale Quarter To Offer New Movie-Going Experience

A traditional night out at the movies will be redefined in Scottsdale this December after the opening of IPic Theaters.

The new, eight-auditorium cinema will seat between 71 and 91 people per theater featuring plush seats, pillows, blankets and state-of-the art technology.

IPic movie goers will have the option of choosing between two types of seating: premium seats will feature 30-inch leather chairs or Gold Class seats with custom recliners and foot rests that also offer food-and-beverage service during the movie as well as complimentary popcorn and valet parking.

Dining selections will include a seasonal menu, a 60-bottle wine list, cocktails, beer, breads, salads and desserts. Food and beverage service is available before or after the movie. Those items may also be brought directly into the theater.

A smart phone application is in the works that will enable guests to order food from their seat.
“We will give them as little or as much service as they want,” says Mark Mulcahy, Vice President of Marketing for IPic Theaters. “We’re trying to make sure the people who come in have the greatest experience possible.”

The theater’s opening couldn’t have come at a better time. Its Dec. 17 date will allow it to benefit from the holiday season’s offering of such first-run films including Little Fockers, Tron and True Grit. In an effort to promote a more stress-free environment for its viewers, iPic will not show pre-movie advertisements on the screen.

Apart from bringing an upscale form of movie-going to the Scottsdale area, the theater is also a boon the economy by creating 150 new jobs.

Open-call interviews will be held daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. until all positions are filled. Positions include sales and marketing, guest services, and bartending. All new employees will go through a three-week training session.  Training will include educating workers on proper food and wine pairing.
In addition to providing jobs, the theater hopes to further boost the economy by bringing in more business to the surrounding Scottsdale area.

“This is a movie town,” Mulcahy says. “It will be a great asset to Scottsdale’s night life and will increase business for the Scottsdale Quarter as well as driving people over here for movies.”

Until its Dec. 17 opening, IPic is offering a free movie ticket for those who sign up online for its membership services. Members will also receive discounts for online advanced ticket purchases, member-only movie screenings along with weekday promotional events.

“They’re just going to have a better night out,” Mulcahy says. “People like to go out and people like to eat and we’re bringing it all to them.”

For more information on IPic Theaters or to sign up for membership services visit www.ipictheaters.com.

selfservicemakingyourbusinessbetter

Are Self-Service Technologies Making Your Business Better?

Self-service technologies, which automate routine interactions between companies and customers, are a source of convenience and efficiency to both parties — until something goes wrong and the customer cannot make the system work. Many companies should be focusing more closely on the overall customer experience, says Michael Goul, a professor of information systems and a researcher at the Center for Advancing Business Through Information Technology. Curiously, here’s a case where businesses could learn something from government! (12:32)

Old Fashioned Marketing, relationship building

New Year, New Business Ideas!

While working away on planning your New Year’s resolutions, perhaps a consideration for your personal goals is to reach out professionally for new, fresh ideas that make your business work better. We have witnessed the biggest recession in decades, borderline depression, with failing businesses, jobs lost, and homes given back to the bank. Yet, I personally have seen a major shift in spending.

What is working for businesses, for those who have survived, and why?

In years past, many categories of business grew complacent as new clients seemed to just ‘flood’ in without having to reach out to grab them. We witnessed a lack of networking and heavy reliance that the money would never go away.

What is different today? We are going back to the good old days of having to build relationships, networking, and grass-roots marketing. Sure, the influx of the Web, social media, and digital connect is imperative today… however, it does not replace the power of face to face interaction and a “good ‘ole hand shake” to seal the deal.

People want to do business with someone they are familiar with. We all got so caught up in “cyber-space” that it truly put a big fat wedge between us and the potential client! It also cannot offer a reliable way to advertise… by itself. The World Wide Web is a beautiful tool, but on its own, without traditional advertising means to drive people to it, it won’t work properly.

The business owners that are combining a healthy dose of personal touch and face to face time, are those who are winning. So, back to the New Year’s resolution…most business is a means to your end to live your life the way you want to. Do yourself a favor, look at your business and make some personal adjustments. Combine the ways of yesteryear along with the technologies of today to create a win-win that will last a lifetime. You never know… you just may enjoy your business again.

luxury movie theater lobby

Luxury At UltraLuxe Scottsdale Theater

Going to the movies will never be the same thanks to the newly remodeled luxury theater UltraLuxe, owned by San Diego-based UltraStar Cinemas. Located on Indian Bend Road and the 101 in Scottsdale, the renovation of the former United Artists theater was completed by DeRito Partners, an Arizona brokerage firm specializing in retail.

The grand opening was Nov. 16 with former Diamondbacks star Luis Gonzales serving as the guest of honor to cut the “film” to open the theater.

The theater, know as UltraLuxe, is located in the Scottsdale Pavilions Shopping Center just behind the new Diamondbacks spring training facility in Scottsdale. It will feature 11 auditoriums showcasing state-of-the-art Pure Digital Cinema, which UltraStar Cinemas describes as the crispest motion picture technology available. Each house will have stadium or luxury VIP seating in high-back reclining chairs.

UltaLuxe also will include special D-BOX enhanced motion chair technology, which moves the seats with the motion of the screen. For example, if there is an explosion in the movie that occurs on the left side of the screen, the seats move to the right to simulate the blast — creating a true movie experience.

There will also be five “Star Class” auditoriums, which will include seating reserved for guests 21 and older, special VIP viewing rooms with extra large leather chairs, menus and a call button for servers. Menu items include flavored popcorns, hummus, pizza and a selection of panini sandwiches. Specialty coffees, Italian sodas, beer and wine, and desserts will also be available in the Café and Star Class auditoriums.

If these delicious incentives and exciting amenities don’t get you into the theater, maybe the affordable prices will further entice you. Ticket prices are $7.50 for an adult matinee; $9.75 for an adult evening ticket; $7 for seniors and ages 12 and under; $8.75 for students and military with I.D.; and $5.50 for “early bird” tickets to the first matinee showing of each movie. 3-D, D-BOX seats or star class auditoriums add $2 to $8 to each ticket price.

Cost-Effective Marketing Materials

5 Tips For Creating Cost-Effective Marketing Materials

Don’t work harder: Market smarter

It’s time for that marketing brochure to be updated or to create a direct mail campaign to generate new business, but you are questioning the expense. Before you even begin, there are key considerations that will help control your costs and create a greater impact.

It is no surprise that the most expensive factor in creating new marketing materials can be the cost of production. But, buyers beware: Reducing production costs is possible if you plan ahead.

A collaborative effort between the designer and the print vendor is key. Graphic designers will always have a vision when creating a project. Your job is to ensure your designer and print representative are in communication during the development process. A knowledgeable print representative should and will ask questions in order to determine options that can ultimately lead to cost-saving.

The List

Optimal results in a direct mail campaign can be attributed to a combination of things – cool eye catching designs, attention grabbing message, strong calls to action – but it all begins with the list. Are the addresses on your list accurate? Are you reaching the right audience?

All too often the mailing list is a last-minute thought pulled together after materials have gone to print. Supplying and processing mailing lists ahead of the print run will help reduce waste by establishing an accurate count number of your actual needs. Investing in a service to thoroughly cleanse your list can remove old records and improve accuracy. The cleaner the list is, the higher your return on investment.

Flexibility

Most innovative printers today are running various projects in combination to help offset costs.  If you are able to provide flexibility regarding paper stock and printing time you can take advantage of an opportunity to print your marketing materials in combination with others. This helps save you money up front by sharing the set-up costs.

Finish The Job

A large portion of the costs incurred producing marketing materials derive from the set-up costs, the materials and the cost of labor or time it takes to put your project together. The more finishing services you can complete in-line, the lower your overall cost. For example, if you need 20,000, 16-page, 8.5 x 11 catalogs, think about sourcing it to a printer that can fold and glue the spine on a web press, opposed to a vendor that can only print flat sheets and then must separately fold and spine staple your catalog off-line.

Bigger Isn’t Always Better

In any print project the actual size or dimensions of your piece can have a significant impact on production costs. A larger postcard means less pieces fitting on a page. The more units you are able to fit onto a full-size sheet, the less time your job spends on the press, which results in savings. Additional factors to strongly consider are the postal regulations on each direct mailer.  Reducing a standard 8.5 x 11 catalog to 6 x 10.5 can reduce postage by as much as $0.12 per piece depending on the weight.

The Digital Age

When you are printing a large volume and seeking a high quality finish, more conventional, off-set printing is the method of choice. But, advancements in technology now allow a greater level of customization with digital printing, which is typically best for short runs and quick turnaround times. Digital printing is perfect for a short run, four color, print on demand project, like business cards or postcards.

Managing the production budget of your marketing materials can easily get away from you and significantly increase costs with what appears to be small decisions or choices. Adding things like a fifth color or spot varnishes, choosing an out-of-the-ordinary paper stock, or even adding a small foil stamp can put you over budget.

As a former print production manager, I’ve been tasked with controlling costs on marketing collateral for many years. In looking beyond cost saving practices like size reductions, paper selection and combining production, one particular project comes to mind that is a great example of how planning with your team can save on costs.

The client had a limited budget, but needed 25,000 two-piece pull card window mailers, which traditionally require a great deal of handwork to put together. By involving the bindery supervisor in the design process, we created an automated one-piece mailer, with a zip strip opening and perfed-out windows on both sides. The automation not only saved roughly $3,000, the finished piece was fun and very interactive for the end user.

Whatever the project, it is always best to incorporate unique design elements and strong messaging in order to create effective marketing materials without going overboard on cost.

It all goes back to the importance of planning during the design stage and enlisting the expertise of those involved.

Photo: www.designerclothesonline.co.uk

Social Media Hasn’t Reached Luxury Brands, Yet

With celebs tweeting about everything from their morning latte to a product they’re peddling and Facebook taking over the world one movie at a time, you can’t go a day without being involved in social media.

However, luxury brands, like Chanel and BMW, have yet to catch the social media bug.

This Forbes.com article explains why many luxury brands aren’t advertising on social media sites the way most retailers are.

One reason is that consumers looking to buy luxury items are seeking more than just a sleek sports car or a perfectly-fitted suit. They’re looking for an experience that drips luxury from the attentive staff to the chilled champagne they’re sipping. That experience isn’t something a consumer can achieve sitting at home on a computer, even in the plushest of pads.

Luxury retailers are about decadence not convenience, which is why some of them don’t have a huge online presence.

At Oscar de la Renta, online transactions make up only 10 percent of the company’s overall sales, while Chanel doesn’t sell its items online.

If online sales aren’t a big deal to companies, how can they get excited about social media advertising?

The answer is that most of them don’t, even though a recent Unity Marketing survey of luxury brand consumers found that almost 80 percent of them have a social media profile.

Brands like Jimmy Choo and Oscar de la Renta have used social media to reach consumers.  But these retailers are the leaders, not the norm.

Photo: TED / James Duncan Davidson.

TEDxPhoenix Brings Together Local Minds

TEDxPhoenix is bringing together Arizona’s thinkers and doers on Nov. 6 in the hopes of finding solutions to our local and global community’s problems.

The TEDx program aims to provide communities with an experience similar to the international TED conference.

TED began as a “Technology, Entertainment and Design” conference but has since become a forum for people to discover new ideas and possibilities and receive inspiration. The TED conference has been bringing together scientists, educators, adventurers, entrepreneurs, social activists and business leaders since 1984.  TED has drawn such big-name speakers as Bill Gates, Al Gore, Sir Richard Branson and Jane Goodall.

A staff of local volunteers, speakers and sponsors organized the nonprofit TEDxPhoenix event. Like the international TED conference, the second annual TEDxPhoenix lineup of speakers includes educators, innovators and community activists.

The list of speakers includes Lawrence M. Krauss, director and founder of Arizona State University’s Origins Initiative; Jany Deng, program manager of the Arizona Lost Boys Center; Kimber Lanning, community activist and Local First AZ founder; and Dry River Yacht Club, an acoustic symphony indie rock band; among others.

If You Go:
Tickets: $50
Date: Saturday, Nov. 6, 2010
Time: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Venue: Eight KAET Arizona PBS Studio A, 555 N. Central Ave.
Website: www.tedxphoenix.com

Spirit of Enterprise

ASU Honors Small Businesses

Five small businesses were recognized at the 14th annual Spirit of Enterprise Awards, presented by the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.

The awards are given out to small businesses that exemplify the best in ethics, energy and excellence in entrepreneurship.

“Finding a niche and starting a business is a daunting task,” says Gary Naumann, director of the Spirit of Enterprise Center W.P. Carey. “Growing and sustaining that business — and coming up with innovations to keep it competitive — is an even greater challenge. The common thread among our 2010 winners is that they all had the tenacity to make the critical adjustments needed to power through to the next level.”

The winners are:

Overcoming Adversity Award: Arizona Air Boutique

The company started as a home-based balloon bouquet business, then diversified its offerings to become one of the largest helium distributors in Phoenix, and one of the largest nonflammable gas distributors in Arizona.

Emerging Entrepreneur Award: China Mist Brands

China Mist is the first tea company to offer fresh-brewed iced green, flavored, Fair Trade, organic and herbal teas to food service companies. A co-founder is working toward a sustainability degree to influence all of the company’s offerings.

Spirit of Enterprise Entrepreneurial Leadership Award: Elontec

Elontec specializes in technology, telecommunications and commercial relocation. It has a 99 percent customer satisfaction rate, extensive community involvement and a track record that includes tripling its gross revenues in one year.

Spirit of Enterprise Survivor/Innovator Award: International Cruise and Excursions

International Cruise and Excursions changed the landscape of the travel industry with its “barter-for-travel” initiative, offering cruises in exchange for timeshares, airline miles, credit card loyalty points and other alternative currencies. It is now among the top five cruise providers in the world.

Gary L. Trujillo Minority Enterprise Award: Maintenance Mart

This is a family-owned janitorial and facility supply service with a heavy emphasis on recycling and the use of environmentally friendly products. The minority-owned business also has a very high employee retention rate and a focus on maintaining long-term customer relationships.

The awards ceremony was held at the Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa.

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Newly Formed Arizona Commerce Authority Convenes Its Inaugural Board Meeting

Vowing that “today the rubber hits the road,” Gov. Jan Brewer and Jerry Colangelo assembled and introduced 35 state leaders representing diverse backgrounds for the inaugural board meeting of the Arizona Commerce Authority.

The private-sector board will work to align diverse assets and opportunities within the state to compete economically in both domestic and international markets to create high-quality jobs for the Arizona residents.

“For the first time in our state’s history, we convene the Governor, the Speaker of the House and the Senate President, and more than 35 of our nation’s most acknowledged leaders within both the private sector and academia – all with one express purpose: to advance the global competitiveness of our state the economic prosperity we seek for each person, each family and, perhaps more importantly, each child – it’s about a vision for a strong, vibrant economic future for this great state,” Gov. Brewer said.

“When I became Governor, I promised to get Arizona back on track by creating quality jobs, attracting high-growth industries, and advancing our competitive position in the global economy. We are doing just that. With this board, I have now delivered a model to advance Arizona.”

Presentations to the board outlined the impacts of the global economic crisis on the state, the forecasts if Arizona does not address diversification and growth in base industries, the state’s overall global competitiveness, and a focused approach to four core areas on which the ACA will focus and develop a planned approach to advance the state.

The authority will focus on improving the state’s infrastructure and climate to retain, attract and grow high-tech and innovative companies. That focus will be on aerospace and defense, science and technology, solar and renewable energy, small business and entrepreneurship.

“During one of the most challenging economic conditions in our nation’s history, Arizona is competing for something that is even greater than Olympic Gold; we are fighting for the health and future of our families and this state,” said Colangelo, co-chair of the board. “Today, with the expertise and leadership of each board member, we begin to compete aggressively for what really matters.”

Don Cardon, current director of the Department of Commerce, will serve on a selection committee to recruit a president and CEO of the ACA. Other committee members are Gov. Brewer’s chief of staff Eileen Klein; Mo Stein, senior vice president of HKS; Jerry Fuentes, president, AT&T Arizona/New Mexico; and Michael Kennedy, co-founder and partner, Gallagher & Kennedy.

Other notable board members include Kirk Adams, speaker, Arizona House of Representatives; Benito Almanza, state president, Bank of America; Michael Bidwill, president, Arizona Cardinals; Dr. Michael Crow, president, Arizona State University; Linda Hunt, president, St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center; Anne Mariucci, chairman, Arizona Board of Regents; Doug Pruitt, chairman and CEO, Sundt Construction; and Roy Vallee, chairman of the board and CEO, Avnet.

Cash In On Solar Stimulus Funds - AZ Business Magazine Sept/Oct 2010

Time Is Running Out To Cash In On Solar Stimulus Funds

Companies and investors across Arizona are deciding whether it’s time to “go solar.” As with any other financial undertaking, moving forward with solar must make economic sense. Despite dramatic strides in technology, solar energy projects are not yet viable without government incentives. Those hoping to maximize incentives for solar should note that a particularly useful one — Treasury grants in lieu of energy credits — will expire soon.

The American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009 (aka the stimulus bill) contained two key provisions for solar:
Solar now qualifies for a federal energy tax credit of 30 percent of cost. The credit applies when equipment is placed in service, allowing faster recovery than the renewable electricity production tax credit. Unfortunately, credit in excess of tax liability is carried forward to the next tax year, for up to 20 years.

But taxpayers may elect a Treasury grant in lieu of the energy credit. Grants are paid in as little as 60 days after equipment is placed in service or under construction. Treasury grants thus allow recovery of 30 percent of the cost of solar equipment, regardless of current income tax liability. More than $3 billion has been set aside for the grant in lieu of energy credit program.

However, the grant has an expiring provision; to qualify, construction must begin by Dec. 31, 2010. Physical work of a significant nature is required. Site selection, planning, design, site clearing, and even excavation to change the contours of the land do not count as beginning construction.
Although Dec. 31 is fast approaching, with proper guidance and execution, there is still time to act. Planning is crucial. Overlooking certain regulatory and permitting requirements early on, for example, could push your project groundbreaking into 2011.

Steps for developing a successful solar plan:

  • Whether choosing more common photovoltaic (PV) rooftop panels or a larger thermal system, visit other companies with solar power systems already in place. Most states have associations dedicated to renewable energy that can direct you to these companies.
  • If a solar system appears feasible, assemble a team of experts to handle environmental, regulatory, tax, real estate, energy procurement and financial matters.
  • Determine your regulatory requirements and financial incentives. A good resource is www.dsireusa.org.
  • Hire a contractor to conduct an energy audit to establish a baseline for the energy needs that must be met.
  • Companies usually partner with a “solar energy provider” that installs, owns and operates the system. The provider sells lower-cost electricity to the company under a long-term contract, while generating valuable renewable energy credits that can be sold to your electric utility, further reducing electricity costs. State associations can provide listings of providers.
  • From a list of pre-selected providers, request information regarding their abilities, such as technology, installation time frames, references and financial information. Choose the best finalists. Then issue an RFP specifying the amount of energy needed, the desired length and key terms of a power purchase agreement (PPA), project size, and the warranty you expect.
  • Once a provider is selected, the land or roof lease and PPA need to be negotiated. A 20-year fixed-rate PPA is common. Companies also should meet with their electric utility to determine the grid interconnection and meter requirements, and the amount of renewable energy credits to be received.

How To Solar Stimulus Steps:

  • Do your homework.
  • Assemble a team of experts.
  • Determine regulatory requirements and financial incentives.
  • Hire a contractor to conduct an energy audit.
  • Partner with a solar energy provider.
  • Issue an RFP.
  • Negotiate a power purchase
  • agreement (PPA).


Mark Vilaboy also contributed to this article.  He practices tax law in the Phoenix office of Quarles & Brady. For more information, visit www.quarles.com.

Arizona Business Magazine Sept/Oct 2010

Future Generations Go Green

The American Dream Reborn Through Sustainability

When my father’s grandparents immigrated to America, they had one objective: to give their children, and some day their grandchildren, a better life. They worked hard and sacrificed to instill the desire to make thing better for the next generation, my grandparents.

Maybe you can remember the sacrifices you saw growing up, how past generations saved money and withheld pleasure from themselves in order to make sure the next generations strived.

That generation is long gone and has been replaced with an American culture that is more focused on the here and now. We don’t think as much about the future, particularly one that doesn’t include us. Today, we look out more for our own best interest. Yes, of course, we want our children to have a better life than us, that is, as long as our lives are exceptionally good.

In 1928, Herbert Hoover was elected president based on the promise of prosperity. “A chicken in every pot and a car in every garage” boasted the campaign slogan, and people lined up at voting booths. Think about that for a moment – to our ancestors the thought of owning a car and having a good meal seemed like a dream! Times have changed.

Our society is in debt, and I am not just talking about our financial woes. We are borrowing resources from future generations: their trees, water, air, flora, fauna. And we have no plan or intention to pay it back, leaving the bill and a big mess to our children and their children.

So the question is: How do we deal with environmental issues that will exist beyond our allotted time here on earth, affecting generations that may never even know our names but will remember our water bottles?

Issues like global warming, pollution, loss of biodiversity and an economy based on carbon will have a much larger effect on our ancestors than it ever will on us, and the solutions for those issues will take generations to fix. Weaning ourselves from carbon is not as easy as electric cars and solar panels, carbon-based fuels are used for much more than powering our cars and heating and cooling our homes. Plastic, makeup, diapers, medical equipment, roads, computers, nearly everything you have in your home in some way or another is connected to these products. Our demand continues to grow and the technology to replace oil, coal and natural gas will take time to evolve and take even longer to meet our growing needs.

So what can we do? First, we need to start thinking beyond our own lifetime and the impact that our actions today will have on future generations and take personal responsibility for those actions. It is a seedy picture of those 25 generations from now weeding through mounds of our plastic, living amongst a significantly smaller circle of species, and enduring famine and disease as a result of decisions made by us today.

Second, we need to demand accountability of our government and the companies we support, asking them to create positions and departments that represent the rights of future generations. In addition, our justice department needs to aggressively defend the rights of those inheriting this planet.

Finally, we need to reconnect to our instinct of sacrificing to create a better world for our children.

To our children, our impact will not be taught from history books but seen in the evidence we left on the planet we lived.

Green Innovation SRP Earthwise - AZ Business Magazine Jul/Aug 2010

BIG Green Awards: Green Innovation

Twelve categories, hundreds of nominations — but only one will take home the green. It’s the first annual Southwest Build-it-Green Awards, where BIG teamed up with the USGBC to bring you the leanest sustainable leaders and projects in Arizona.

Recipient: SRP EarthWise

SRP has a wide variety of sustainable solutions that allow customers to reduce their carbon footprint and do their part to help save the environment. The SRP EarthWise programs are the first step in this process.

One program, EarthWise Energy, produces electricity from renewable resources like the sun, wind and water. Once the electricity is produced, it is sent to the SRP electric system for all customers to use. By using renewable power, there is less need to use fossil fuels. This program is offered to customers for an extra $3 per month. So far, EarthWise Energy has about 5,300 people participating.

Another SRP EarthWise program, EarthWise Solar Energy, allows customers to install solar electric or solar water systems in their homes or businesses for a reduced price. Businesses also can offset electricity usage with natural sources by joining the EarthWise Renewable Energy Credits program. SRP customers also are given the option to support reforestation through Trees for Change.

SRP EarthWise has several other programs that help the community take an active part in the movement to save energy. These programs include: EarthWise Solar for Schools; EarthWise Renewable Energy Credits; EarthWise Trees for Change; EarthWise Mowing Down Pollution; and EarthWise Powering Our Future.

www.srpnet.com


Finalist: Burgis Envirolutions
www.burgisenviro.com

Burgis Envirolutions is redefining the traditional composting process, and allowing food operators to effectively manage food waste with innovative green technology.

The Organic Refuse Conversion Alternative is a technology that converts food into a water waste that can be discharged or treated and reused in irrigation. The ORCA uses natural microorganisms and biochips to process and break down food on site.

The ORCA allows businesses to save time and money, while reducing their carbon footprint. Businesses will not have to pay for hauling fees or labor costs that come from disposing their food waste at compost locations. By making less trips hauling food, carbon emissions will be lowered.

The ORCA is offered in six sizes. It requires very little power and uses only a small amount of water, from 40 to 200 gallons depending on the machine size.

Burgis Envirolutions was awarded the 2009 Valley Forward/SRP Crescordia Award in Green Technology.


Finalist: Phoenix Children’s Hospital
www.phoenixchildrens.com

Phoenix Children’s Hospital is changing the way hospitals approach their responsibilities to the environment and their patients.



The Hospital recently spent $588 million to build an additional 11-story tower for patients. During construction the hospital was conscious of the design, construction and operations practices it used, and as a result the new building will use 20 percent less energy.

Phoenix Children’s most recognizable sustainability effort is the Central Energy Plant (CEP) that powers the hospital’s 34 acres. The CEP uses an 800-ton water-to-water heat pump chiller that saves 5.6 million gallons of water each year, and over the next 15 years the CEP is expected to save the hospital $11 million in energy and operating costs.

The hospital maintains a paperless policy, and sends materials to subcontractors through online distribution. Recycling is heavily emphasized and throughout the construction process more than 70 percent of the construction waste was recycled.

Arizona Business Magazine Jul/Aug 2010

General Dynamics Green Processes - AZ Business Magazine Jul/Aug 2010

BIG Green Awards: Green Processes

Twelve categories, hundreds of nominations — but only one will take home the green. It’s the first annual Southwest Build-it-Green Awards, where BIG teamed up with the USGBC to bring you the leanest sustainable leaders and projects in Arizona.

Recipient: General Dynamics C4 Systems

Scottsdale-based General Dynamics C4 Systems is cutting costs and its environmental impact at the same time. The company has applied various sustainable practices to its Scottsdale facility and achieved almost $750,000 in cost savings annually.

General Dynamics C4 Systems develops and integrates secure communication and information systems and technology for businesses and governments. Although the company does not directly focus on green products, it is committed to becoming environmentally friendly. The company’s Environment, Health and Safety Policy states that it strives to reduce its impact on the environment and continues to pursue improvement.

General Dynamics C4 Systems certainly found a way to shrink its environmental impact at its research-focused, 1.5 million square foot Scottsdale campus, which houses more than 5,000 employees, visitors and contractors.
The site utilized sustainable ideas and practices on the road to becoming a Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certified facility. Through the certification process, General Dynamics C4 Systems replaced or reconditioned the existing structures to lessen the site’s environmental impact. Also, the Scottsdale campus has saved more than 1.4 megawatts of power simply by turning off thousands of devices when they are not in use.

General Dynamics C4 Systems also integrated green cleaning and maintenance practices into its operations. The company utilizes reusable cleaning materials and cleaning chemicals that are non-obtrusive. It also extensively re-uses construction materials, equipment and components. Plus, the campus has upgraded the lighting system at its LEED-certified site and converted completely to locally manufactured recycled paper products.

The company also integrated its Computerized Aided Facilities Management system into its construction and maintenance processes. This system tracks sustainable data such as materials, infrastructure capacity, energy impacts and indoor air quality at its Scottsdale campus.

Additionally, General Dynamics C4 Systems produces the maximum energy savings and extends the life of equipment by integrating building operations procedures with systems commissioning.

Not only is General Dynamics C4 Systems’ own site lessening its impact on the environment, the company strives to meet environmental and safety requirements as it designs and manufactures products and services for its customers.

www.gdc4s.com

Arizona Business Magazine Jul/Aug 2010

Alternative Energy Leaders Award - AZ Business Magazine Jul/Aug 2010

BIG Green Awards: Alternative Energy Leaders Award

Twelve categories, hundreds of nominations — but only one will take home the green. It’s the first annual Southwest Build-it-Green Awards, where BIG teamed up with the USGBC to bring you the leanest sustainable leaders and projects in Arizona.

Recipient: CarbonFree Technology

CarbonFree Technology campaigns for the use of green energy solutions throughout the United States and North America. The company, which was founded in 2006 and is headquartered in Ontario, Canada, is a solar power project developer. It helps businesses and institutional customers develop solar power solutions for their energy needs.

CarbonFree Technology’s 2009 merger with SolEquity allowed it to increase its potential. The company negotiated the first successful implementation of a solar power purchase agreement in Arizona. This deal allowed Arizona State University to create a leadership position in its sustainability programs through the financing of two solar rooftop top installation and one rooftop. These installations create more than 1.5 megawatts of solar power. The ASU solar installations also are a visual reminder of the power of creativity and environmental responsibility that CarbonFree Technology champions.

CarbonFree Technology recommends appropriate solar solutions and securs available government incentives based upon each individual project. The company’s other duties include managing project construction, arranging financing, finding contractors to build the system and arranging monitoring and maintenance for the life of the system.

CarbonFree Technology’s work has a beneficial impact on the environment and the economies of the communities in which it works. In addition to creating solar power, CarbonFree Technology also creates jobs with each solar power installation. Every installation requires workers for everything from installation and arranging permits to painting and maintenance.

www.carbonfreetechnology.com


Finalist: Green Fuel Technologies
www.greenfuelsolar.com

Green Fuel Technologies combined its original vision and market-savvy timing to become a leader in technology development and implementation.

At its inception in 1999, Green Fuel Technologies’ goal was to provide economically and environmentally conscious alternative energy sources to Arizonans.  In 2006, CEO John Casey and president Dustin Hamby decided to explore the green building industry.
Now, not only does the company consult on developing technologies like bio fuel, wind and solar thermal, but it also develops unique green power systems for its clients. Green Fuel Technologies works with existing structures as well as conceptual designs to integrate alternative energy sources.

The company is currently partnering with Coulomb Technologies to create a network of 4,000 electric vehicle charging stations throughout the Southwestern United States by the end of 2010.  This partnership exemplifies Green Fuel Technologies’ key to long-term growth — bringing new energy technologies to the marketplace.


Finalist: Republic Services, Inc.
www.republicservices.com


Republic Services not only provides trash collection services, it also derives useable energy from its landfills. Headquartered in Phoenix with 34,000 employees in 40 states and Puerto Rico, Republic Services has continually striven to be an industry leader since its founding in 1998.

The company has 74 landfill gas-to-energy projects nationwide, in more than one-third of its landfills.  Landfill gas is methane produced by organic materials as it decomposes in landfills.  After it is captured, the gas can be converted to an alternative fuel source for cars or to generate heat, steam, and electricity, among other things.  These landfill gas-to-energy projects combine to produce the equivalent of removing four million cars from the road.

Landfill gas-to-energy projects have economic impacts as well as beneficial environmental impacts.  These projects create jobs for professionals from engineers to equipment vendors.  Along with the landfill gas conversion, the company continues to research, develop and implement environmentally friendly technologies.

Arizona Business Magazine Jul/Aug 2010