Tag Archives: tempe

usairways

How will airline merger impact Arizona?

The potential merger of US Airways and American Airways raised fears in Arizona that the combined airline would ditch its major hub in Phoenix, costing thousands of jobs in a region just now recovering from the housing collapse and recession that crippled the economy for years.

But when the merger was announced Thursday, city and airline officials both said those worries were overblown.

US Airways CEO Doug Parker said Sky Harbor International Airport and the vast majority of the employees based there aren’t going anywhere when the two companies merge. Instead, he said not only Sky Harbor, but the combined airlines’ seven other major hubs will stay.

That brought elation from officials in Phoenix, where 300 US Airways flights a day use 50 gates at the airport’s largest terminal. US Airways has about 9,000 employees in Arizona, most at Sky Harbor. Between 600-750 work at the company’s headquarters in nearby Tempe, and some of those are expected to go to Texas once the merger is complete, including Parker.

But John McDonald, the company’s vice president for corporate communications, said US Airways just signed a new five-year lease with a five-year option on its headquarters building and expects to keep hundreds of people working there.

American has a tiny presence by comparison, with just 20 departures a day using three gates in the smaller Terminal 3. Those operations will most likely move to the US Airways area of Terminal 4 when the merger is complete, airport spokeswoman Deborah Ostreicher said.

Still, the loss of the headquarters is a blow, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said, even though the city will see more international destinations added with the merger.

“It’s great news that the world’s largest airline will maintain Sky Harbor and Phoenix, Arizona as a hub. It good news for the business environment in our entire region,” Stanton told reporters at the airport. “But we’re not naive, we’re not naive, we know it’s disappointing to lose a corporate headquarters, particularly one that has the history of US Airways and before that America West. We went through the 90s together, we went through Sept. 11 together. Phoenix was a big part of the recovery of America West after that tragedy.”

America West Airlines, headed by Parker, merged with US Airways in 2005 and kept its corporate headquarters in Tempe. The company has struggled with combining its labor contracts, but McDonald said that’s never been something that affected customer service. That, he said, has become better, with better on-time and lower baggage loss rates.

Some airline analysts questioned Thursday whether the combined company could keep all eight hubs, placing Phoenix on the short list for eventual closure. But McDonald said that’s not the case, American’s Los Angeles hub complements Phoenix, just as several hubs in the eastern U.S. complement each other.

“When you have an airport like Phoenix that can have a massive western region to feed, out of Phoenix, you have an asset to bring to this equation,” McDonald said. “American Airlines has a lot of trans-continental out of Los Angeles, they also operate some Asian Pacific out of Los Angeles, with very little West coast feed into that hub.”

usairways

Report: AMR, US Airways boards meet Wednesday

Directors of American Airlines and US Airways reportedly plan to meet Wednesday to consider a merger.

The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that negotiators were still considering the makeup of the combined company’s board and an exact role for the CEO of American parent AMR Corp.

US Airways and AMR declined to comment.

The companies are trying to finish a deal before Friday, when a confidentiality agreement covering some AMR bondholders expires. That could result in public disclosure about negotiation details.

If the two carriers were to strike a deal, it would create the world’s biggest airline by passenger traffic, although United Continental Holdings Inc. would still be bigger if regional affiliates are counted.

AMR has been operating under bankruptcy protection since November 2011.

US Airways has pushed for months for a merger. AMR executives were initially reluctant, but the company’s bankruptcy creditors urged AMR to consider a merger that they could compare to an independent American Airlines.

Shares of US Airways Group Inc. fell 29 cents, or 2 percent, to $14.46.

3

Female-owned AutohausAZ.com thrives in auto parts industry

In 1996, a Phoenix woman and her husband purchased an automotive parts wholesaler by the name of Autohaus Phoenix, Inc. During the 10 years that followed, the couple transformed the company from a local distributor into an entirely internet-based retailer and wholesaler, distributing automotive parts to more than 115 countries under the name AutohausAZ.com.

But the real growth story began when Carolyn Lefebvre, president and CEO of AutohausAZ.com, purchased her husband’s 49 percent share of the business, claiming 100 percent ownership of the company.

“I bought him out when we got divorced in January of 2006,” Lefebvre says. “Since that time, we have grown by 317 percent (from $4.59 million in sales in 2006) to projected sales for 2012 of $17.0 million.”

Also, just two years after the buyout, the formerly highly-leveraged company had paid down every cent of debt on its books, internally financing all growth since that time.
And the company has experienced explosive growth. By 2011, AutohauAZ had outgrown its facilities and relocated to its current 51,000 square-foot home, nearly three times the size of the previous location.

In such a male-dominated industry, Lefebvre says that being a female-owned company has given AutohausAZ unique advantages that have aided its tremendous growth.

“I think more than anything, the woman ownership has helped build a corporate culture of people who care about one another and who want to help the company succeed — a close-knit group much like a family,” Lefebvre says. “It’s that close-knit team that’s really been the driving force behind our growth ever since we became 100 percent woman-owned.”

At AutohausAZ, there is a saying that “customer service is a company-wide commitment, not a department.” It is Lefebvre’s belief that while it is not easy to earn respect and trust from customers, it is much more difficult to get it back once you lose it. This commitment to the customer has helped the company far exceed industry standards for conversion and customer retention.

“We’re doing extremely well with our commitment,” Lefebvre says, “but we don’t rest on our laurels. We’re always striving to find areas in which we can improve.”

This caring attitude has also fostered incredible employee loyalty. The average tenure at the company is more than 12 years, a number which, Lefebvre notes, would be higher, were it not for the many positions added out of necessity during the past several years of growth. Lefebvre says she honestly does not remember the last time an employee left the company.

“In short, it’s our focus on quality and people at AutohausAZ that gives us our momentum,” Lefebvre says. “Truly caring about everyone on the AutohausAZ team builds employee loyalty which, in turn, helps us build customer loyalty and this is what ultimately fuels our success.”

AutohausAZ.com
2850 S. Roosevelt, #102
Tempe AZ, 85282
602-276-9402

gokart

Octane Raceway will open in Scottsdale

The Valley leader in active entertainment, Octane Raceway, announced the opening of their new kart racing and entertainment venue in Scottsdale. Opening this spring, Octane Raceway will move their current Phoenix facility to a new location in the Pavilions at Talking Stick. The new Scottsdale location will be conveniently located just off the 101 freeway and Indian Bend Road. The venue is designed with a one-third mile racetrack and a unique layout where each lap begins indoors then winds through an outdoor section of the course covered by a permanent steel canopy. This is the only full-time indoor and outdoor racetrack in the United States.

“The new location in the Pavilions is a fresh and more upscale version of Octane Raceway’s proven karting entertainment concept,” says President Scott Sanders on why Octane is moving to Scottsdale. “The new, central location makes Octane Raceway more accessible to many people in the Valley, particularly providing easy access to our existing customer base in Tempe, Mesa, Chandler and Phoenix as well as puts us in the heart of Scottsdale just minutes from the Scottsdale Airpark and North Phoenix business districts.”

Adding to the allure of the new space are state-of-the-art high-speed electric karts that travel up to 45 miles per hour.

The first track in the United States to offer this model, the Sodi RTX electric kart is exclusively available at Octane Raceway at The Pavilions. Focused on delivering a great racing experience, before switching from gas to electric karts, Sanders traveled to Sodi headquarters in France to personally review and test the prototype RTX’s advanced technology and handling characteristics. Impressed with the kart’s technological advancements, Sanders confidently selected the model for the new Octane racetrack. Drivers of all sizes can expect a comfortable driving experience with fully adjustable pedals, seats and tilt steering wheels. An added emphasis on sustainability, the new karts will deliver a high performance ride with zero emissions.

The sprawling new facility covers 65,000 square feet allowing Octane to effectively host corporate clientele and social groups of up to 500 people. The novel 20,000 square feet of outdoor track and patio space gives groups flexibility to further customize their events. Corporate clientele can leverage Octane’s new flexible meeting spaces, the Indy and Daytona Rooms, to conduct meetings and presentations taking advantage of the venue’s full audiovisual capabilities. The spaces also can easily transform into the perfect setting for “lunch & learn meetings” or fully catered dinner parties.

Octane Raceway at The Pavilions boasts additional casual gathering spaces including the Billiards Room, the Trackside Bar & Grill and Victory Lounge. The Billiards Room comfortably accommodates groups of up to 50 people and includes billiards tables, foosball and a number of flat screen televisions. The on-property restaurant, Trackside Bar & Grill, serves up classic American fare including hamburgers, pizza and sandwiches with a full upscale catering menu available for group events. Domestic and imported beer and wine are available with a strict two-drink maximum enforced for kart racers.

Besides heart-pounding racing, many other activities await Octane guests. One of the most popular events at Octane Raceway is the Phoenix International Raceway Pit Crew Challenge, which is available as an additional enhancement to any of the group or team building experience packages where guests complete a full pit stop on a real NASCAR. The Segway Performance Course at Octane tests participant’s balance as they race against the clock with either an indoor or outdoor set up increasing both the challenge and fun. An interactive arcade is adjacent to the Trackside Grill for added fun for all ages.

A seamless transition is planned from the current location into the new Pavilions facility. The Phoenix location will be fully operational through March with the new location opening this spring.

gokart

Octane Raceway will open in Scottsdale

The Valley leader in active entertainment, Octane Raceway, announced the opening of their new kart racing and entertainment venue in Scottsdale. Opening this spring, Octane Raceway will move their current Phoenix facility to a new location in the Pavilions at Talking Stick. The new Scottsdale location will be conveniently located just off the 101 freeway and Indian Bend Road. The venue is designed with a one-third mile racetrack and a unique layout where each lap begins indoors then winds through an outdoor section of the course covered by a permanent steel canopy. This is the only full-time indoor and outdoor racetrack in the United States.

“The new location in the Pavilions is a fresh and more upscale version of Octane Raceway’s proven karting entertainment concept,” says President Scott Sanders on why Octane is moving to Scottsdale. “The new, central location makes Octane Raceway more accessible to many people in the Valley, particularly providing easy access to our existing customer base in Tempe, Mesa, Chandler and Phoenix as well as puts us in the heart of Scottsdale just minutes from the Scottsdale Airpark and North Phoenix business districts.”

Adding to the allure of the new space are state-of-the-art high-speed electric karts that travel up to 45 miles per hour.

The first track in the United States to offer this model, the Sodi RTX electric kart is exclusively available at Octane Raceway at The Pavilions. Focused on delivering a great racing experience, before switching from gas to electric karts, Sanders traveled to Sodi headquarters in France to personally review and test the prototype RTX’s advanced technology and handling characteristics. Impressed with the kart’s technological advancements, Sanders confidently selected the model for the new Octane racetrack. Drivers of all sizes can expect a comfortable driving experience with fully adjustable pedals, seats and tilt steering wheels. An added emphasis on sustainability, the new karts will deliver a high performance ride with zero emissions.

The sprawling new facility covers 65,000 square feet allowing Octane to effectively host corporate clientele and social groups of up to 500 people. The novel 20,000 square feet of outdoor track and patio space gives groups flexibility to further customize their events. Corporate clientele can leverage Octane’s new flexible meeting spaces, the Indy and Daytona Rooms, to conduct meetings and presentations taking advantage of the venue’s full audiovisual capabilities. The spaces also can easily transform into the perfect setting for “lunch & learn meetings” or fully catered dinner parties.

Octane Raceway at The Pavilions boasts additional casual gathering spaces including the Billiards Room, the Trackside Bar & Grill and Victory Lounge. The Billiards Room comfortably accommodates groups of up to 50 people and includes billiards tables, foosball and a number of flat screen televisions. The on-property restaurant, Trackside Bar & Grill, serves up classic American fare including hamburgers, pizza and sandwiches with a full upscale catering menu available for group events. Domestic and imported beer and wine are available with a strict two-drink maximum enforced for kart racers.

Besides heart-pounding racing, many other activities await Octane guests. One of the most popular events at Octane Raceway is the Phoenix International Raceway Pit Crew Challenge, which is available as an additional enhancement to any of the group or team building experience packages where guests complete a full pit stop on a real NASCAR. The Segway Performance Course at Octane tests participant’s balance as they race against the clock with either an indoor or outdoor set up increasing both the challenge and fun. An interactive arcade is adjacent to the Trackside Grill for added fun for all ages.

A seamless transition is planned from the current location into the new Pavilions facility. The Phoenix location will be fully operational through March with the new location opening this spring.

Tilted-Kilt_Roselle-IL-600x400

Tilted Kilt Hires New CFO to Focus on Expansion

Tilted Kilt has recently hired Eddie Goitia as the new Chief Financial Officer for the company. Goitia’s most recent experience includes a 19-year run at Monti’s La Casa Vieja Steakhouse in Tempe, serving most of his time as CEO and managing partner. At Tilted Kilt, Goitia will be responsible for developing and executing a strategic financial plan to assist in the expansion of the Tilted Kilt brand. As of now, Tilted Kilt has over 70 locations, in the United States and Canada.

“This is truly an incredible opportunity to work with a dynamic company with phenomenal growth,” says Goitia. “I look forward to working with the team at the Titled Kilt organization as we continue its expansive success.”

During his nearly 2 decade-long position at Monti’s, Goitia helped the restaurant’s sales grow exponentially, specifically in the catering and banquet arenas, utilizing the expansive space the restaurant boasts. His creativity, determination and success allowed him the opportunity to be scouted by Tilted Kilt.

Prior to joining Monti’s, Goitia served as Director of International Sales for Windsor Industries based in Colorado.  He began his working career as a member of the staff of Senator John McCain.

Goitia received a BS in Marketing from Arizona State University and an MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management.  He has served his community as a member of the Tempe Diablos and is currently on the Board of Directors for the group.

He and his wife Stacey, an author, reside in Tempe. Their son Brice attends Barrett Honors College at ASU and their daughter Elise attends Seton Catholic Preparatory High School.

usairways

Fuller planes help US Airways double profit

US Airways said net income doubled in the fourth quarter as its planes were fuller and it made more money off each passenger.

The airline on Wednesday reported a profit of $37 million, or 22 cents per share, compared with $18 million, or 11 cents per share a year ago. Excluding special items, net income was 26 cents per share, 7 cents higher than analyst forecasts, according to FactSet.

Revenue rose 3.9 percent to $3.28 billon.

Per-seat passenger revenue — a key performance indicator for airlines — rose 2.2 percent. Occupancy rose 2 percentage points to 83.9 percent.

US Airways is in merger talks with American Airlines, but didn’t address the talks in its earnings release.

Some have assumed that as the fifth-biggest U.S. airline, US Airways needs the American merger to survive. J.P. Morgan analyst Jamie Baker wrote in a note to investors Wednesday that he disagrees.

“With 2012 margins just shy of Delta while topping those of Southwest and United, we find investor stand-alone pessimism to be significantly misplaced,” he wrote.

Shares of Tempe-based US Airways Group Inc. rose 30 cents, or 2 percent, to $15.15 in morning trading.

running

Runners pour into Valley for marathon

With ideal weather forecast and more than 25,000 participants itching to lace up their Nikes, the 10th annual P.F. Chang’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon & ½ Marathon looms this weekend.

Thousands of runners, cyclists and even occasional weekend joggers will gather Sunday for the  yearly affair. Throughout its 10 years, the event has been known for its runners smashing world records, raising thousands of dollars for charity, and even qualifying one local Arizonan for the U.S. Olympic Trials.

The 2013 P.F. Chang’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon & ½ Marathon will be one to remember as it offers a little something everyone. There is the standard full marathon (26.2 miles), a half marathon (13.1 miles), a mini-marathon (5.4 miles) and the KiDS ROCK mile-long run, allowing runners of all levels to participate.

KiDS ROCK is an untimed run for children grades K-6, which ends with every child receiving a T-shirt, finishers medal and goodie bag.

This year’s full marathon begins at CityScape in Downtown Phoenix, winds through Scottsdale, and after 26.2 hard-earned miles the runners will cross the finish line next to Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe.

As if this route wasn’t enough to get any exercise enthusiast interested, the event has made an appeal to cyclists as well. The first annual Cole Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Bike Tour will also be on Sunday, prior the running events.

On Friday and Saturday, the Phoenix Convention Center will be taken over by more than 60 vendors and exhibitors for the Health & Fitness Expo. They will be showcasing and sampling the newest running gear, nutrition products and athletic apparel. Attendees can also participate in interactive clinics where they can test state-of-the-art sports equipment. This event is free to the public.

Since its start in 2004, the marathon has raised more than $28.5 million for 45 different charities. This year the event will be partnering with organizations such as St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital, ASPCA, Team in Training and several other charities.

But don’t worry if running or cycling isn’t your thing. The event provides more than 3,000 volunteer opportunities for those who also would like to give back to the community.

With runners coming from all 50 states and 14 countries, the 2013 P.F. Chang’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon & ½ Marathon will be one for the books. Also featured will be a Health & Fitness Expo. This event will conclude with a Finish Line Festival and a post-race concert at Sun Devil Stadium headlined by artist Andy Grammer. Both of these festivities are free and open to the public.

Event Schedule

Friday

Noon to 7 p.m.

Health & Fitness Expo presented by Fox 10 and My45

Phoenix Convention Center, North Building

100 N. Third Street

Saturday

9 a.m.

KiDS ROCK Arizona

Tempe Beach Park

9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Health & Fitness Expo presented by FOX10 and My45

Phoenix Convention Center, North Building

100 N. Third Street

Sunday

RACE DAY

7:15 a.m. – Cole Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Bike Tour Start

7:50 a.m. – Half Marathon, Relay, Mini Start

7:45 a.m. – Wheelchair Invitational Start

7:50 a.m. – Full Marathon Start

8:00 a.m. – 3 p.m.– Finish Line Festival

 

roosevelt row arts district

Nominations announced for Governor’s Arts Awards

Sixty-two nominations from 18 Arizona communities were submitted in six categories for the 32nd annual Governor’s Arts Awards for individuals and businesses who have made substantial and outstanding contributions to arts and culture statewide.

Winners will be announced on Wednesday, March 6, at The Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe.  The Governor’s Arts Awards are presented by Arizona Citizens Action for the Arts in partnership with the Arizona Commission on the Arts and the Office of the Governor.

Since 1981, 152 artists, individuals, arts and cultural organizations, educators and businesses have received Governor’s Arts Awards

Nominees, by category, and their hometowns are:

Artist: Lee Berger, Phoenix; Charles Bruffy, Phoenix; Daniel Buckely, Tucson; Michael Christie, Phoenix; Bobb Cooper, Phoenix; Barbara Dahlstedt, Glendale;  Maria Isabel Delgado, Chandler; Shawn Franks, Phoenix; Deb Gessner, Mayer; Kristine Kollasch, Phoenix; Bruce Marion, Chandler; Fredric Myers, Apache Junction; Monica Saldana, Goodyear; Mike Vax, Dewey; Jim Waid, Tucson.

Arts in Education – Individual: Annica Benning, Scottsdale; Kathryn Blake, Phoenix; Dennis Bourret, Tucson; Simon Donovan, Tucson; Patti Hannon, Phoenix; Marion Kirk Jones, Phoenix; Sherry Koopot, Paradise Valley; Barbara Nueske Perez, Gilbert; Charles St. Clair, Glendale; Joshua Thye, Phoenix.

Arts In Education – Organization: Arizona Dance Education Organization, Phoenix; Copperstar Repertory Company, Chandler; The Glendale Arts Council, Glendale; Lovena Ohl Foundation, Scottsdale; Marshall Magnet Elementary School, Flagstaff; OpendanceAZ, Phoenix; Phoenix Conservatory of Music, Phoenix; The Phoenix Symphony, Phoenix; Sonoran Glass School, Tucson; UAPresents, Tucson; West Valley Conservatory of Ballet, Surprise.

Business: BMO Harris Bank, Phoenix; LDVinci Art Studio, Chandler; Southwest Ambulance, Mesa.

Community: Alwun House Foundation, Phoenix; Contemporary Forum, Phoenix; Del E. Webb Center for the Performing Arts, Wickenburg; Flagstaff Cultural Partners, Flagstaff;
James E. Garcia, Phoenix; KXCI Community Radio, Tucson; Mesa Arts Center, Mesa; Release the Fear, Phoenix; Scottsdale International Film Festival, Scottsdale; Virginia G. Piper Charitable Foundation, Phoenix; Warehouse Arts Management Organization, Tucson; Young Arts Arizona Ltd., Phoenix.

Individual: Marco Albaran, Tempe; James K. Ballinger, Phoenix; Richard A. Bowers, Phoenix; Ted G. Decker, Phoenix; Faith Hibbs-Clark, Phoenix; Kaitlyn Mackay, Glendale;
Constance W. McMillin, Sun City; Nichole Newman-Colter, Litchfield; Hope Ozer, Paradise Valley; Rebecca Taylor, Yuma.

Honorees will be selected by an independent panel of judges.

The eighth annual Shelley Award also will be presented to an Arizona individual who has advanced the arts through strategic and innovative work in creating or supporting public policy beneficial to the arts in Arizona.  The award is named for Shelley Cohn, who spent more than 25 years as executive director of the Arizona Commission on the Arts.

Ticket prices are $135 for members of Arizona Citizens for the Arts and $150 for nonmembers.  Sponsorships are available.
For information and to make reservations go to www.governorsartsawards.org.

roosevelt row arts district

Nominations announced for Governor's Arts Awards

Sixty-two nominations from 18 Arizona communities were submitted in six categories for the 32nd annual Governor’s Arts Awards for individuals and businesses who have made substantial and outstanding contributions to arts and culture statewide.

Winners will be announced on Wednesday, March 6, at The Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe.  The Governor’s Arts Awards are presented by Arizona Citizens Action for the Arts in partnership with the Arizona Commission on the Arts and the Office of the Governor.

Since 1981, 152 artists, individuals, arts and cultural organizations, educators and businesses have received Governor’s Arts Awards

Nominees, by category, and their hometowns are:

Artist: Lee Berger, Phoenix; Charles Bruffy, Phoenix; Daniel Buckely, Tucson; Michael Christie, Phoenix; Bobb Cooper, Phoenix; Barbara Dahlstedt, Glendale;  Maria Isabel Delgado, Chandler; Shawn Franks, Phoenix; Deb Gessner, Mayer; Kristine Kollasch, Phoenix; Bruce Marion, Chandler; Fredric Myers, Apache Junction; Monica Saldana, Goodyear; Mike Vax, Dewey; Jim Waid, Tucson.

Arts in Education – Individual: Annica Benning, Scottsdale; Kathryn Blake, Phoenix; Dennis Bourret, Tucson; Simon Donovan, Tucson; Patti Hannon, Phoenix; Marion Kirk Jones, Phoenix; Sherry Koopot, Paradise Valley; Barbara Nueske Perez, Gilbert; Charles St. Clair, Glendale; Joshua Thye, Phoenix.

Arts In Education – Organization: Arizona Dance Education Organization, Phoenix; Copperstar Repertory Company, Chandler; The Glendale Arts Council, Glendale; Lovena Ohl Foundation, Scottsdale; Marshall Magnet Elementary School, Flagstaff; OpendanceAZ, Phoenix; Phoenix Conservatory of Music, Phoenix; The Phoenix Symphony, Phoenix; Sonoran Glass School, Tucson; UAPresents, Tucson; West Valley Conservatory of Ballet, Surprise.

Business: BMO Harris Bank, Phoenix; LDVinci Art Studio, Chandler; Southwest Ambulance, Mesa.

Community: Alwun House Foundation, Phoenix; Contemporary Forum, Phoenix; Del E. Webb Center for the Performing Arts, Wickenburg; Flagstaff Cultural Partners, Flagstaff;
James E. Garcia, Phoenix; KXCI Community Radio, Tucson; Mesa Arts Center, Mesa; Release the Fear, Phoenix; Scottsdale International Film Festival, Scottsdale; Virginia G. Piper Charitable Foundation, Phoenix; Warehouse Arts Management Organization, Tucson; Young Arts Arizona Ltd., Phoenix.

Individual: Marco Albaran, Tempe; James K. Ballinger, Phoenix; Richard A. Bowers, Phoenix; Ted G. Decker, Phoenix; Faith Hibbs-Clark, Phoenix; Kaitlyn Mackay, Glendale;
Constance W. McMillin, Sun City; Nichole Newman-Colter, Litchfield; Hope Ozer, Paradise Valley; Rebecca Taylor, Yuma.

Honorees will be selected by an independent panel of judges.

The eighth annual Shelley Award also will be presented to an Arizona individual who has advanced the arts through strategic and innovative work in creating or supporting public policy beneficial to the arts in Arizona.  The award is named for Shelley Cohn, who spent more than 25 years as executive director of the Arizona Commission on the Arts.

Ticket prices are $135 for members of Arizona Citizens for the Arts and $150 for nonmembers.  Sponsorships are available.
For information and to make reservations go to www.governorsartsawards.org.

Eric Marcus, CEO of Marcus Networking.

CEO Series: Eric Marcus

Eric Marcus
CEO, Marcus Networking
marcusnt.com

Az Business: What does Marcus Networking do?
Eric Marcus: We are a technology and telecommunications company. We manage people’s infrastructure. The easiest way to describe it is you can give us an empty building and we can cable it, bring in the dial tone, install the phone system, procure all the equipment, set up you private industry software, and then we can support it on a 24-hour basis. Our biggest customer base is medical providers. We work a lot with electronic medical records (EMR) and behavioral health.

Video by Cory Bergquist

AB: How is being CEO of Marcus Networking different from being CEO of a company in a different industry?
EM: It’s fun to be the CEO because I get to write my own rules. It’s nice to go out, meet with clients, build a relationship, and let them know that at the end of the day the company will be there for them and I will be there to support them.

AB: How did you start in your industry?
EM: I got into the IT field in 1999, working for a software company that did network management. That company grew from about 15 employees to about 155. As that company grew, my responsibilities grew.

AB: Were there challenges to launching a tech company in Arizona?
EM: For startup capital, I had to use money I had saved working at my previous job. The biggest challenge I had was with credit capital to support projects. You can sell a project all day long for $100,000, but if you don’t have the capital to buy the equipment, you’re kind of dead in the water.

AB: What qualities do you have that make you an effective CEO for Marcus Networking?
EM: I am able to educate a client about what they need to do for their company and let them make the decision. It’s their money, their business, their infrastructure, and at the end of the day it’s my job to be that consultant to educate them and take them from Point A to Point B and decide what is best to build them as a business.

AB: What has been the biggest change you’ve seen in your industry since you started?
EM: The advance of technology. What I mean by that is the cost of equipment and the specifications of equipment like hard drives and bandwidth. Ten years ago, a large hard drive was consider to be 73 gigs. Now, you can buy two- or three-terabyte hard drives for a fraction of that cost.

AB: What changes do you see coming?
EM: Equipment is going to get faster. As bandwidth becomes cheaper or larger, you’re going to see more teleconferencing and unified communication.

AB: What is your greatest accomplishment?
EM: Being in business for 10 years. Being a small business, it’s tough. We had our best years through the worst times. This year, our business is up 50 percent and I know there are companies out there closing their doors or downsizing. The thing I’m most proud is we can scale our business tomorrow, so if I found five salespeople in California tomorrow that wanted to come on board and start selling our product and grow our business, I could hire them tomorrow and start.

AB: How were you able to weather the economic downturn so well?
EM: We are in the medical industry. Doctors have to be on EMR systems. It’s mandated by the federal government, so the government has created a need for our services.

AB: What advice would you give someone looking to start a tech company?
EM: Make sure you’re very organized and make sure you’re ready to sacrifice and be ready to work any day and any time. If we have a doctor call us at 3 a.m. and we don’t pick up that phone, we don’t have a job.

veterans

ASU President, Carter earn Veterans awards

Arizona State University President Michael Crow will receive the Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame Society’s highest award for his support of veterans through his leadership, actions and advocacy.

The Copper Sword award will be presented on Feb. 13 during the 2013 Copper Sword and Copper Shield Award Gala at Tempe Mission Palms Hotel in Tempe. This year’s Copper Shield award will be presented to ASU Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College Clinical Associate Professor and Arizona State Representative Heather Carter, R- Cave Creek and North Phoenix, who has acted to help the state’s veterans, military service members, their families and survivors.

“It’s important to honor veterans’ service to their country with programs and services such as those we’ve instilled at ASU. We work to ensure that our returning servicemen and women have access to services that ease the transition into the civilian and academic environment,” Crow said.

ASU serves veterans through venues such as the Pat Tillman Veterans Center that opened in 2011 to provide a single point of contact for ASU veterans and their dependents, bringing together academic and student support services to promote a smooth transition from the military and provide assistance for veterans’ benefits, deployments, information and referrals. It also serves as a place where veterans can gather to study and socialize.

In addition, ASU was named a “Military Friendly School for 2013” by GI jobs magazine, the fourth consecutive year the university has earned the honor. ASU was named one of the top 30 “Best for Vets: Colleges 2010” by Military Times Edge magazine and the university was chosen as one of the first eight institutions to be part of the Veterans Affairs pilot program, VetSuccess on Campus. Two Veterans Affairs staff, a vocational rehabilitation counselor and a Vet Center outreach coordinator are assigned and located on ASU’s campus to assist veterans with services such as vocational testing, career counseling and readjustment counseling  to promote successful completion of educational and employment goals.

ASU was also chosen as a University Partner for the 2012-2013 academic year in support of the Tillman Military Scholars program, which provides scholarships for active and veteran service members as well as their spouses. The Pat Tillman Foundation established the Tillman Military Scholars program in 2008 that is dedicated to supporting educational opportunities for service members and their families by filling the financial gaps in the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill. The Tillman Military Scholars program covers not only direct study-related expenses such as tuition and fees, but also other needs, including housing and child care.

Carter will be recognized for initiatives such as introducing a bill in the Arizona legislature that provides for employment preference for veterans when calculating points for employment with the state, counties, cities and towns, as well as other political subdivisions in the state. She has worked on other veterans issues as well.

For more information on ASU’s programs and support services for veteran students, visit http://students.asu.edu/military. For information about the gala, go to www.avhof.org.

From left: Steven Murray, president of Direct Energy; Jim Lundy, chairman of GPEC; Kevin Sullivan and Matt George of the Arizona Commerce Authority. Photo by Huan Vo/Az Business

Direct Energy bringing 500 jobs to Valley

Wednesday marked the official announcement of the expansion into Arizona of Direct Energy, a multibillion-dollar energy company which promises to create about 500 new jobs by the end of this year.

Based in Houston and specializing in upstream production and downstream delivery, Direct Energy is one of North America’s largest energy services providers with approximately 6,000 employees.

The company worked with the Arizona Commerce Authority and Greater Phoenix Economic Council to open a new call center in Tempe, which is expected to bring $7 million of capital investment to the region and create 250 to 300 new jobs when it’s open.

“I can’t tell you how easy they have made it for us to expand and invest in Arizona,” said Steven Murray, president of Direct Energy. “It’s an easy, pleasant experience.”

Expected to be fully functional by the end of the first quarter year of 2013, the new call center will be tasked with call taking for the residential energy business, which will enable Direct Energy to “offer a wide range of products and services in one location,” according to the company’s news release.

Working with the ACA and GPEC gave Direct Energy an understanding of and access to a quality workforce that attracted Direct Energy in the first place, Murray said.

“Beyond the ease, I mean the quality workforce, you can have an entirely educated, motivated, hardworking people, and it really makes it easy,” he said.

“I think this commitment just illustrates that we do have a quality workforce in addition to the quality, smart economics policies that GPEC and ACA, the governor’s office, the state Legislature have been working behind the scenes just to get this economy going again,” said Jim Lundy, chairman of GPEC’s board of directors and CEO of Alliance Bank of Arizona.

Direct Energy is on a mission to make a difference to its customers through the provision of choice, which will help families with tight budgets.

“In a world of constraint household economics, people on tight budgets need to have products that meet their needs and give them control of how they are actually consuming and spending money,” Murray said.

Murray said Direct Energy has grown quickly over the years, and with each step in growth, the company is doing its best to invest and create jobs in communities where it started.

Direct Energy is accepting job applications online at www.directyourenergy.com, and at the Nation Career Fair at Phoenix Airport Marriott, 1101 N. 44thSt., from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on January 21.

First Solar

First Solar buys Chilean solar company

Solar panel maker First Solar has purchased Chilean solar development company Solar Chile as energy demand continues to rise in the region.

The companies provided no financial terms in announcing the deal on Wednesday.

First Solar Inc., which is based in Tempe, bought Fundacion Chile’s stake in the company. First Solar and Fundacion Chile created a strategic working alliance with each other in October 2011. Fundacion Chile will continue to provide consultation services.

Solar Chile has photovoltaic power projects totaling approximately 1.5 gigawatts in northern Chile. Its five employees will join First Solar.

First Solar shares finished at $31.02 on Tuesday. They have almost tripled from a 52-week low of $11.42 in June. They peaked for the past year at $50.20 last February.

Eric Marcus, CEO of Marcus Networking.

Tech Q&A: What is cloud computing?

Question: What is cloud computing?

Answer: Everyone is talking about cloud computing.  So, what exactly is it and it is right for your business? Cloud computing is the use of computing resources (hardware and software) that are delivered as a service over a network (typically the Internet).

The real question is should you use a hosted or non-hosted cloud? In other words, does your company want to own the system or lease it?

We’re firm believers that owning is a better solution. There are so many variables in cloud computing that no one takes into consideration. Where are you geographically located? How reliable is your internet connect? Can you survive without access to your cloud system? These are just a few things to think about.

Some benefits of cloud computing are lower overhead and system maintenance. Lower cost of ownership and upgrades. To determine which solution is best you really need to sit with a IT consultant and map out the big picture of your company.

Eric Marcus is CEO of Tempe-based Marcus Networking, which specializes in telecommunications centered on phone systems, cabling, and the network infrastructure also known as the “backbone.” Read more about Eric Marcus in the January issue of Az Business magazine.

Grand-Canyon-University

Grand Canyon University looks to expand

Administrators at Grand Canyon University say they’re seeking bids from Tempe, Gilbert, Mesa, Queen Creek and Chandler for another campus.

The Arizona Republic reports that GCU also may build elsewhere in the southwest such as Las Vegas and Albuquerque, N.M.

Officials with the private Christian college say a growing number of students from the Mesa area attend GCU’s main campus in west Phoenix, but most find the commute too difficult.

The 63-year-old university went public with stock traded on Nasdaq in 2008 and has been expanding its campus since then.

A deal that would have allowed GCU to move into a vacant campus in Massachusetts earlier this year fell through because the land was too remote and underdeveloped.

Eric Marcus, CEO of Marcus Networking.

Tech Q&A: Outsourcing vs. consultant

Question: In this economy, does it make more sense to outsource IT or utilize a consultant?
 
Answer: Outsourcing is more cost effective than a full time person and you gain 24/7 support, whereas an employee only works a certain shift like 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Outsourcing means you are getting more than just a single person who manages your network. You are a getting a team of experienced technicians who can handle all areas of telecommunications and technology.

Let’s say you have an IT issue in the middle of the night, Marcus Networking has the ability to connect remotely to most computers and take control of the user’s session and see what’s going on.  We can provide hands-on support without being onsite. Most issues are resolved within 15 minutes and that’s faster than it would be to wake a sleeping employee, have them get dressed and drive to the office.

If we find a problem with parts or equipment, we can generally purchase a replacement component and be on-site and have the issue fixed within an hour or two of the diagnosis.  Again, much more efficient than waiting for the employee to get to work and diagnose what’s going on.

In today’s marketplace, outsourcing is about 45 percent less than the cost of a full time employee.  When you consider salary, benefits, payroll taxes, mandatory workman’s compensation, vacation days, sick days, 401K’s or a bonus plan it adds up quickly. Outsourcing is an affordable option for many businesses who wish to get a higher level of work.

Eric Marcus is CEO of Tempe-based Marcus Networking, which specializes in telecommunications centered on phone systems, cabling, and the network infrastructure also known as the “backbone.” Read more about Eric Marcus in the January issue of Az Business magazine.

IMG_4844

Fulton Homes’ sales spike

It’s been a good year for Fulton Homes.

The Tempe-based homebuilder has seen a 46 percent increase in sales compared to last year through the week ending Dec. 16.  Although final numbers for the calendar year won’t be calculated for a couple more weeks, Fulton Homes has sold 692 homes so far.  That compares to the 463 homes sold in all of 2011.  Fulton Homes sold 358 homes in 2010.

“The market for new homes is definitely improving,” Doug Fulton, CEO of Fulton Homes, said. “We’ve seen increased sales at many of our East Valley communities, which is a testament to the housing recovery.”

Preliminary figures reveal that Fulton Homes sold more than 57 new homes per month for 2012.  The top selling developments include Ironwood Crossing (284 homes), Freeman Farms (217) and Fulton Ranch (109).  Ashcreek has sold 25 homes and Victoria Estates has sold 23 homes.

While the housing market is improving across the board, Fulton Homes set itself apart as the only homebuilder to maintain a consistent presence throughout the recession.  Fulton Homes has several communities in the East Valley, an area of the Valley that is seeing the most significant home-buying traffic.  In addition, Fulton Homes buyers have seemingly endless choices when designing their new home.  Buyers can choose from 5,000 upgrades at the Fulton Homes Design Center, and they have the ability to customize their homes at certain communities by adding a 52-foot garage, or a separate living space for extended family.

Eric Marcus, CEO of Marcus Networking.

Tech Q&A: Year-end budgeting

This is the first of what will be a continuing series of technology questions answered by Eric Marcus, CEO of Marcus Networking in Tempe.

Question: What technology or telecommunications products should we purchase before year-end?

Answer: December is an excellent time to evaluate your IT needs for the coming year and with Section 179 Deductions changing, small businesses should take advantage of purchasing new equipment before it’s too late.

According to the IRS, Section 179 of the IRS code allows small businesses to deduct the cost of machinery, vehicles, equipment, furniture and other property. This was part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. At that time, the maximum amount that a business could deduct was $250,000. In 2011, the maximum deduction that a small business could make was $500,000, but in 2012, the amount drops to $139,000.

Marcus Networking recommends replacing old laptops, wireless access points, battery back-ups, MS Office, VoIP phone systems, and servers before Dec. 31, 2012.  All of these products and services can improve workplace efficient and save money in the long run.

We’re also available to provide a free consultation and discuss your business needs.  Does some of your staff work remotely? Will you be adding or reducing staff in the coming year? Are you building a new office? Would you like to cut travel costs and have the ability to do presentations remotely? All of these factors determine what products and services we’ll recommend for your business.  And remember, you’ll always want to talk to your accountant before making any large capital purchases to ensure you follow the Section 179 code and take advantage to its fullest.

 

Eric Marcus is CEO of Tempe-based Marcus Networking, which specializes in telecommunications centered on phone systems, cabling, and the network infrastructure also known as the “backbone.” Read more about Eric Marcus in the January issue of Az Business magazine.

Vesely

CRA Finance Department earns honors

Clinical Research Advantage’s Finance Department received two national honors in this year’s Best in Biz Awards, the only independent business awards program judged by members of the press and industry analysts. The company received the Silver Award for Finance Executive of the Year and Finance Department of the Year.

Jim Vesely, Chief Financial Officer, and his team of Sandy Zipp, Accountant, and Jan Jacobson, Accounting Associate, were recognized for developing and implementing a metrics system that allowed the company to increase revenue and obtain the capital needed for expansion. CRA experienced rapid growth in 2011 and 2012, becoming largest and most therapeutically diverse integrated site network in the clinical trials industry.

“Jim Vesely and his team have done an extraordinary job. Through their efforts, CRA was able to grow our geographic presence and our employee base at a time when many other businesses in our industry were cutting back,” said Mark S. Hanley, CRA’s Chief Executive Officer. “The awards received by Jim, Sandy and Jan are well deserved.”

More than 400 entries were received in this year’s awards program, from a wide array of public and private companies of all sizes and from a variety of industries and regions in the U.S. and Canada.

Winners of Best in Biz Awards 2012 were determined by an independent panel of 32 judges from top-tier news, business and technology publications, as well as broadcast outlets and analyst firms, such as ABC, Businessweek, Computerworld, ECT News Network, Entrepreneur, eWeek, Examiner, Financial Times, Forbes, FOX News, Hartford Business Journal, IDG Ventures, IEEE Institute, Inc., Insight Media, King Features Syndicate, Lab Reviews, Network World, The News and Observer, PC Magazine, ReadWriteWeb, South Florida Business Journal, Tech-Gaming, Techtalk, Upstart Business Journal, USA Today and ZDNet.

medical.marijuana

Only 27.1% of medical marijuana cardholders are women

Two years after the legalization of medical marijuana in Arizona, the use of the plant is still taboo for many members of a group that makes up half of the population: women.

Only 27.1% of medical marijuana cardholders are women, according to statistics released by the Arizona Department of Health Services. Several factors, including the system the DHS has set up and certain aspects of marijuana culture, may explain this disproportionate number.

Ashley and Rachel Beeder are sisters who co-own Green Dignity Medical Center in Tempe, a clinic that helps patients with qualifying medical conditions become cardholders. The Beeders employ three naturopathic doctors, all of whom are women. Most of the patients that go in to get their cards, however, are men, Ashley Beeder said.

She believes a large reason why women are hesitant to become patients is that they’re afraid.

“It’s fear, fear of being labeled as a ‘druggie’,” Ashley Beeder said. “Guys put themselves in risky situations, they’re not scared of pot. But even women who have smoked don’t want their name in a database.”

Ashley Beeder said she has only seen two women go in to get their cards, although women go in quite often just to ask questions.

Dr. Kristi Norris also said that many women are afraid of the social stigmas that surround marijuana use.

“Women are supposed to be the caregivers, we hold ourselves to a higher standard,” Norris said. “The fact that marijuana is still [thought of] as a ‘drug’ makes it unacceptable for women to be using it.”

Ashley Beeder thinks this disproportion may also be caused by the types of medical conditions that qualify people to become cardholders. While the DHS accepts 13 debilitating conditions, including cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, chronic pain, severe nausea, and severe muscle spasms, the lack of any mental illnesses on that list eliminates the possibility of becoming a cardholder for many women.

“Depression is a condition in California but not here. If it’s approved somewhere else why isn’t it approved here?” Ashley Beeder said.

Depression is a mental illness that affects one in eight women at some point in their lifetime, and twice as many women as men, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. The California Department of Public Health gives room in their list of qualifying conditions to allow for mental illnesses such as depression. The DHS, on the other hand, only accepts requests for adding conditions in January and July and requires applicants to provide scientific research that proves marijuana can treat that condition.

Rachel Beeder believes that another reason for this is the way medical marijuana is marketed.

“They use a hot girl in a bikini [as advertising] to bring in men,” Rachel Beeder said. “The whole medical marijuana industry is marketed towards men.”

However, there are several health benefits that marijuana can have for women, Norris said.

“It helps people with their appetite if they’re going through chemotherapy. Even if it wasn’t approved by the state for anxiety, it helps with that,” Norris said.

Recent scientific studies have found that cannabidiol, a compound found in cannabis, was able to stop the spread of aggressive breast cancer cells, according to an article published in the UK Daily Mail on Sept. 20. The study was published by a team of doctors at the California Pacific Medical Center, and is based on five years of research.

Norris said she has offered to hold classes through Phoenix March, an organization of women who advocate for marijuana as a safe alternative to prescription drugs, in order to educate women about not only marijuana but other alternative medicines as well.

“When it comes to pain, doctors prescribe people oxycodon and morphine and that’s acceptable…pretty soon you’re taking a handful of medications and you still have the pain,” Norris said. “The whole idea is to get rid of their pain, not just to drug them.”

The Green Dignity team believe that it’s important to inform and educate women about the benefits of marijuana. They are all members of Phoenix March, and participate in their bi-weekly lunches.

“I think [women] are closed-minded about it, especially older women.” Rachel Beeder said. “We need to band together and spread knowledge and truth.”

Phoenix FC Stadium

Phoenix FC will play games at ASU

Phoenix FC, a franchise member of the USL PRO professional soccer league, is proud to announce a stadium agreement with Arizona State University for the 2013 inaugural season.  The team will play home games at Sun Devil Soccer Stadium in Tempe beginning in the spring.

As part of the deal, Phoenix FC will invest to significantly expand seating capacity by more than 4,000 additional seats, taking the total capacity to over 5,000 seats.  Designs include the addition of North, South and East seating areas, with the South side reserved for a “Supporters Section” dedicated to the most avid fans.  Phoenix FC has already purchased the additional seating with construction slated to begin next month, and it will be completed before the team begins professional play in April.

Says Phoenix FC Chairman Eric Cornwell, “The entire Phoenix area has an incredible fan base for soccer, and we have been working hard to find the perfect location to launch a professional soccer team that allows enthusiasts to easily be a part of the experience. Sun Devil Soccer Stadium in Tempe is beyond ideal.  It’s centrally located, adjacent to the freeways and light rail, and it’s right in the middle of a fantastic area for restaurants and entertainment.”  Cornwell continued, “I cannot say enough about the hard work of Tim Thomas, Phoenix FC’s President and Steve Patterson at ASU in making this deal happen.  Both of them saw the amazing opportunity that this location presents to the Valley’s soccer community, and they simply got it done.  We couldn’t be more thrilled about the location, the process and our new partnership.”

“We’re proud to stand with ASU to welcome Phoenix FC to our city,” said Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell. “This is an exciting opportunity to introduce people from all over the Valley, state and nation to Tempe and to have them watch a great soccer game in a first-rate location.  Fans are going to have a terrific time exploring our downtown and enjoying all that Tempe and ASU has to offer.”

Added Steve Patterson, Vice President of University Athletics at Arizona State University, “We are excited to partner with the city of Tempe to host professional soccer at Arizona State University. We will provide a first-class soccer stadium for Phoenix FC to play its home matches. Our women’s soccer program has been in the NCAA Tournament three of the past four seasons, and as soccer grows in the state, a partnership with Phoenix FC is a natural way to maintain that momentum. We share the same goals of competing for championships and cultivating a fan base with youth and adult soccer fans across the state, and we can work together to reach our goals.”

Season tickets deposits of $50 for Phoenix FC’s inaugural season are currently available and more than 500 deposits have been collected.  Seating is limited and interested soccer fans are encouraged to visit the team’s website at www.PhoenixFC.com to purchase season tickets before they are sold out.  Season ticket packages will start at just $187.00 per seat, with the option of General Admission seating or seats in the exclusive Supporters Section behind the South goal available at a later date.  Tickets will be made available through Glendale-based GetTix.NET.

With this location, near the northeast corner of University Drive and Rural Road, Phoenix FC looks to make an immediate impact and draw sell-out crowds of soccer enthusiasts across Arizona.  The team will play fifteen home games between April and September of 2013, joining the USL PRO’s Los Angeles Blues as the two premiere western franchises.  Additionally, the club will play exhibition matches against MLS clubs and International teams, and compete in the 100th edition of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in May of 2013.

Phoenix FC is well on its way in establishing a competitive team led by management and coaches with a wealth of International soccer experience.  Former Portuguese professional player and coach, Rui Filipe Bento, will serve as General Manager of the team, while former Scottish star David Robertson will serve as Head Coach. Six professional players have already been signed to the team, including players from professional leagues in Scotland and Brazil, as well as established players from USL PRO.

The team will continue to enhance its professional roster, and it has already held open tryouts over the past few months. A number of local players have garnered the attention of the coaches, including Reid Schmitt of Ahwatukee and Brad Keller of Phoenix.  Schmitt played last season on the Professional Development League team, FC Tucson, and he recently signed on to join Phoenix FC in 2013.  The roster will be completed in January, 2013, and team practices will begin soon thereafter.

Orvin & Drake

CRA Receives Gold Best in Biz Award

Clinical Research Advantage (CRA) received top honors in this year’s Best in Biz Awards, the only independent business awards program judged by members of the press and industry analysts. CRA received the Gold Award for Business Development Department of the Year.

Casey Orvin, Vice President of Business Development, and Amanda Drake, Director of Business Development, were recognized for their achievements in helping the company grow to become the largest and most therapeutically diverse integrated site network in the clinical trials industry.

“Casey Orvin and Amanda Drake have been vital to CRA’s substantial growth over the past couple of years,” said Mark S. Hanley, the company’s Chief Executive Officer. “Through their efforts, the number of clinical trials conducted by CRA increased by nearly 150%, and it continues to grow at an unprecedented rate.”

More than 400 entries were received in this year’s awards program, from a wide array of public and private companies of all sizes and from a variety of industries and regions in the U.S. and Canada.

Winners of Best in Biz Awards 2012 were determined by an independent panel of 32 judges from top-tier news, business and technology publications, as well as broadcast outlets and analyst firms, such as ABC, Businessweek, Computerworld, ECT News Network, Entrepreneur, eWeek, Examiner, Financial Times, Forbes, FOX News, Hartford Business Journal, IDG Ventures, IEEE Institute, Inc., Insight Media, King Features Syndicate, Lab Reviews, Network World, The News and Observer, PC Magazine, ReadWriteWeb, South Florida Business Journal, Tech-Gaming, Techtalk, Upstart Business Journal, USA Today and ZDNet.

Mark H pics 001

CRA forms alliance with Quintiles

Tempe-based Clinical Research Advantage (CRA), the country’s largest community-based network of clinical trial sites, has entered into a strategic agreement  with Quintiles to facilitate a higher level of clinical trial participation with an emphasis on safety, improved study efficiencies and excellent quality data in medical research. Clinical Research Advantage is the first therapeutically aligned network of Family Medicine community-based sites selected by Quintiles as a strategic alliance.

“It is an honor to be chosen by Quintiles, the world’s largest biopharmaceutical services provider with the highest standards for quality and safety,” said Mark S. Hanley, CRA’s Chief Executive Officer. “The core value and principal purpose of Clinical Research Advantage is to improve the lives of patients through the development of new medical therapies. Working with Quintiles will allow CRA to conduct an increased number of community-based trials with unparalleled accuracy and safety.”

“Clinical Research Advantage impressed us with their high standards for quality, high patient enrolments, and exceptional study start-up abilities,” said Lindy Jones, Senior Vice President, Integrated Site Services, Quintiles. “Many chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease are now managed in the community. It is imperative that these patient populations have the opportunity to participate in studies and be a part of the quest to develop new and better medicines for conditions that have a significant impact on both individuals and society.  We are pleased to enter into this relationship with CRA and anticipate that together we will ensure that studies start on the right path.”

The CRA-Quintiles relationship marks a new era in Phase II – IV clinical trials, enabling physicians and clinical researchers to conduct an increased number of trials across a wide range of disease areas. In addition, it will streamline and expedite the process of bringing these potentially life-changing and life-saving drugs to market.
About Clinical Research Advantage

Tempe, Arizona-based Clinical Research Advantage, Inc. (CRA) is a provider of a range of research services to pharmaceutical companies and clinical research organizations. As a leading trial management organization, CRA operates from 38 sites across 17 geographic markets nationwide, helping trial sponsors bring drugs to market more quickly and efficiently. Founded in 1992, CRA has successfully completed more than 1,800 clinical trials on behalf of its clients. For more information, please visit www.crastudies.com.