Tag Archives: tempe

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.

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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.

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Clinical Research Advantage VP earns Silver Stevie

Kim Kundert, RN, BSN, CCRC, has received the 2012 Silver Stevie Award for Female Executive of the Year in the Business Services category. Kundert was honored for her achievements as Vice President of Clinical Operations for Clinical Research Advantage, an integrated network of clinical trial sites.

The Stevie Awards for Women in Business are the world’s top honors for female entrepreneurs, executives, and the organizations they run. All individuals and organizations worldwide are eligible to submit nominations – public and private, for-profit and non-profit, large and small. The 2012 awards received entries from 17 nations and territories.

Stevie Award winners were selected by more than 200 executives worldwide who participated in the judging process this year.

“In 2012, Clinical Research Advantage became the largest integrated site network in the United States, and Kim Kundert has been a driving force behind the company’s rapid growth and expansion. We are thrilled that she has received national recognition for her executive leadership,” said Mark S. Hanley, CEO of Clinical Research Advantage.

This year marked the 9th Annual Celebration of the Stevie Awards for Women in Business. “This year’s Stevie Award-winning women are the most accomplished, impressive group we’ve ever had. Their stories of success will be an inspiration to women around the globe who dream of starting and growing a business and making a difference in the world,” said Michael Gallagher, president and founder of the Stevie Awards.

solar

Shea Homes partners with Sunrun

Shea Homes is proud to announce a partnership with Sunrun, the nation’s largest home solar company, to help homeowners go solar without the high cost and hassle of owning and maintaining a solar system.

Through this partnership, homeowners can opt to have affordable solar preinstalled on their new homes.  The solar is lower in cost than typical solar installations because Sunrun owns, maintains and insures the systems.  Homeowners pay a low amount upfront for the solar power, taking control of their electric bills for 20 years.  Sunrun works with top local installation company American Solar to design and install the systems.

“Offering solar is in alignment with our overall goal to continually build homes that are highly energy efficient for our customers,” said Ken Peterson, VP of Sales and Marketing for Shea Homes. “Having this partnership with Sunrun is an added benefit to provide solar solutions to our customers which will ultimately reduce the monthly investment of operating their homes.”

“Sunrun invented solar service so that homeowners don’t have to choose between the planet and their wallets, and now it’s becoming a standard option for new homes,” said Sunrun Co-CEO Lynn Jurich.  “As solar adoption continues to grow, solar will be as common a consideration as countertop finish or flooring material.”

The Sunrun solar power service program will be available at Vista Montaña, Ridgeview and Hideaway at Johnson Ranch, Lantana at Power Ranch and SPACES at Evans Ranch. Homeowners can choose between three different system sizes, and systems will be custom-designed according to the square footage and orientation of the home. Check out a video about the new partnership here.

For specific pricing details, contact Shea Homes at 1-866-696-7432 or visit http://www.sheahomes.com/arizona.

facebook

LifeLock Unveils New Facebook App: ‘LifeLock for Life’

LifeLock Unveils New Facebook App: ‘LifeLock for Life’

LifeLock, Inc., an industry leader in proactive identity theft protection has launched ‘LifeLock for Life’, a Facebook application enabling fans to explore different life stages and events to test their security knowledge. Upon answering correctly, users can enter for a chance to win prizes. The foundation of the game educates consumers about the threats looming from infancy, adolescence and adulthood.

“Here at LifeLock, we are always working to educate consumers and advocate for their rights,” said Marvin Davis, Chief Marketing Officer for LifeLock. “LifeLock for Life is an educational and entertaining tool that allows us to reach a wide range of consumers and share information that could potentially benefit them. In addition to the education opportunity, there’s also a chance to win some great prizes, from gift cards to travel vouchers.”

According to the 2012 Identity Fraud Report by Javelin Strategy and Research, overall identity theft rates were constant among all age ranges; however the type of fraud did vary between age groups. Being aware of the risks is the first step in combating the rising crime. ‘LifeLock for Life’ will demonstrate how consumers can best protect themselves and their families at every life stage.

The LifeLock Facebook page also provides consumers an opportunity to defend themselves with knowledge. Followers can find the latest identity theft stories and news of what advocates like LifeLock, law enforcement and elected officials are doing to protect consumers from becoming victims of identity theft. Fans are alerted about breaking news of identity theft reports, the latest data breaches including tips and advice on how to stay protected and can even submit a request for an identity theft expert to present at their next group meeting.

To learn more, visit www.facebook.com/LifeLock.

GroupTacoHorizontal

The backstory: RA Sushi

What started as a childhood friendship during grade school at a Scottsdale elementary school grew into an enduring business partnership. At the age of 28, Rich Howland and Scott Kilpatrick, along with two of their college friends, founded the now national sushi restaurant chain, RA Sushi Bar Restaurant.

Fresh out of college from The University of Arizona, Rich and Scott began their professional careers separate from one another, but it wasn’t long until the two concocted an idea to start a business together in their hometown of Scottsdale. Another college friend, Todd Belfer, was brought in as a business partner. It started when they purchased an Old Town Scottsdale restaurant called Trappers. With great enthusiasm, they decided to open an upscale Mediterranean restaurant in its place featuring complex entrees and an upscale design. The restaurant fell flat in less than eight months.

Back to the drawing board, longtime sushi fans, Rich and Scott realized there was something missing in the sushi restaurant scene in the Valley. Many traditional sushi restaurants were drawing crowds, but they didn’t have an alluring ambiance to combine with quality sushi.  The pair realized there was a demand for sushi restaurants, but they thought they could improve the concept by combining quality Japanese fusion cuisine, with a hip, stylish decor that would appeal to a younger crowd.

The concept was born, but the owners knew little about sushi operations. In June of 1997, they sought out a longtime acquaintance from their days in college, Tai Obata – a sushi expert and someone they trusted. Tai accepted a proposal to become a partner. To obtain funds to transform the failed Mediterranean restaurant into a trendy, contemporary sushi bar and restaurant, they brought in a number of colleagues who served as part owners. By adding investors, the original owners were able to greatly expand their circle of friends and customers. They credit much of their start-up success to this business decision.

The original team of owners quickly became the construction crew, interior designers and marketing professionals. Tai drew on his expertise as a native of Japan and longtime sushi chef to design the sushi bar and create the menu. Rich, Scott, Tai and the crew rolled up their sleeves and began building the restaurant’s interior all the while touting the new restaurant concept to locals.

In less than six months, the four business partners and a host of local investors opened the first RA Sushi in Old Town Scottsdale in October 1997. The concept took off and the place soon became the hotspot. By mid-1999, RA Sushi opened its second location in Tempe. The concept thrived and although there were some growing pains along the way, Rich and Scott remained at the helm. With a new bank loan and an extremely tight budget, RA opened two more locations in the Phoenix area in 2001 and 2002. In 2002, they were surprised to learn that Benihana Inc., operator of the nation’s largest chain of Japanese theme and sushi restaurants, was interested in purchasing the company.

Benihana purchased RA Sushi in late 2002 and immediately began expansion of the concept. What four young friends started has grown into a successful national restaurant concept with 25 locations throughout the United States. Initially, Scott, Rich and Tai stayed on board to oversee the exciting new adventure. To this day, RA’s corporate office remains in Scottsdale, with Scott as the Vice President and Tai as the Executive Chef. Rich has since moved on to other restaurant ventures.

 

medical.research

Tempe’s CRA acquires Radiant Research

Tempe-based CRA Holdings, LLC announced that it has acquired Radiant Research, Inc. CRA Holdings is the company that also owns Clinical Research Advantage (CRA), another major player in the SMO market. By combining these two entities under the same investment portfolio, the organizations collectively have 57 sites with more than 550 research professionals and an aggressive plan for growth.

Over the past 15 years, Radiant Research has focused on common and chronic conditions that can be recruited from the general population. Radiant specializes in trials that require large numbers of subjects to be recruited in a short period of time, or complex trials that require specialized equipment or procedures. Radiant has large stand-alone facilities in which it conducts research; the company recruits studies primarily from an active database of over one million volunteers. CRA, on the other hand, is a practice-based organization, where 85% or greater of trial participants are recruited from the investigator’s private practice. This has allowed CRA to focus on trials where disease-state management is required. Both organizations are leaders in vaccine trial execution. The union of these two companies provides for better access to patients, an ability to conduct a diverse array of trials and broader geographic diversity.

“The Radiant platform will facilitate faster expansion of our model by utilizing the Radiant sites to help launch practice-based satellite locations in the cities where Radiant already has sites. We have grown CRA from seven to 37 sites in the last five years. In order for us to achieve our goal of 80 or 90 sites in the manner we have been doing would take us at least another five years.  The Radiant acquisition will be the catalyst for much faster growth in the next 12 months,” said Mark Hanley, CEO of CRA.

“By combining the models under one umbrella, we will be able to conduct almost every type of trial, be it point of care or studies more appropriate for a stand-alone research facility,” said Julie McHugh, CEO of Radiant Research. “We have been looking for a partner that has a shared vision for growth without any sacrifice in quality. In CRA, we have found that partner.”

The combined companies will continue to function under the names of Radiant Research and CRA, but will be looking to integrate and streamline their operations in areas where integration makes sense.

Tempe-based 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 37 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.

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Newtown CDC Receives $150,000 Grant from Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo announced it has donated $150,000 to Newtown Community Development Corporation as part of $6 million in grants awarded across 59 nonprofits through its Leading the Way Home Priority Markets Initiative to help stabilize and revitalize neighborhoods hard-hit by the economy.   The Leading the Way Home Priority Markets Initiative provides grant support for neighborhood stabilization projects that are located in areas designated for revitalization to stimulate growth, stability and investment in distressed areas.

The grant will help to provide down payment assistance toward the purchase of vacant REO properties in Chandler and help fund the Newtown CDC’s Recoverable Rehab Loan Program that provides home rehabilitation loans for CLT homes in Tempe and Chandler.

“Community support is at the heart of our Vision & Values and these grants will help stabilize, rebuild and sustain local communities,” said Pam Conboy, lead regional president for Wells Fargo Arizona.  “We are so pleased to assist Newtown Community Development Corporation in their efforts to provide affordable housing and revitalize neighborhoods in the East Valley.”

“We are delighted to receive this generous grant from Wells Fargo,” said Allen Carlson, executive director of Newtown Community Development Corporation.  “It will go a long way to helping us in our mission to provide homeowners with the assistance they need receive much needed rehabilitation loans and help qualified prospective and existing homeowners receive down payment assistance.”

Newtown CDC was selected from requests submitted by local team members and nonprofits Wells Fargo identified as being in need of extra help with large-scale neighborhood revitalization projects.

Wells Fargo’s Leading the Way Home community outreach program helps communities stabilize their current housing situation while advancing homeownership to build strong communities into the future.  From 2008 through October 2012, Wells Fargo has invested more than $148 million in community revitalization programs and $40 million in support of housing and credit counseling services.

The Leading the Way Home Priority Markets Initiatives are administered through the Wells Fargo Housing Foundation. Since 2009 the Leading the Way Home Priority Markets Initiative grant program has provided more than $18 million to more than 75 communications.  Since its inception in 1993, the Wells Fargo Housing Foundation has stewarded nearly $200 million and 4.5 million team member volunteer hours in support of creating affordable housing and community revitalization programs.  Wells Fargo Housing Foundation’s Team Member Volunteer Program has mobilized more than 175,000 volunteers to build or refurbish 4,0oo homes in low-to-moderate income communities.  In 2011, Wells Fargo Housing Foundation programs delivered a record 1,245 donated properties to support local affordable housing and community revitalization programs.

sushi

RA Sushi Celebrates 15-Year Anniversary

Valley-based RA Sushi Bar Restaurant opened their first restaurant in 1997 in Old Town Scottsdale, founded on the premise of great sushi and good times. Fifteen years later, the company has grown to 25 locations nationwide, including five in Greater Metro Phoenix. To celebrate 15 years of successfully combining fresh sushi, Japanese fusion cuisine, and a “RA”ckin’ vibe, RA Sushi is hosting a customer appreciation day and throwing the mother of all parties on Thursday, November 15!

RA’s anniversary celebration will be all about good food, good times and good deeds! As a way of saying “thank you” to the loyal guests who have supported RA over the years, all day long on November 15, receive a 15 percent discount off your tab at any RA Sushi location. RA also feels it’s important to continually give back to the communities in which it does business. During the customer appreciation day on November 15, RA will donate 15 percent of all profits to St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance, whose mission is to provide food assistance to those who need it the most in the community.

Time flies when you’re having fun, and RA has made sure this anniversary celebration will be the bomb! On November 15 from 7 p.m. to close, take a trip down memory lane to the 90s and enjoy a variety of slammin’ food and drink deals. A selection of $5 drink specials include: The Usual Suspects (Jack and Cola), Teen Spirit, Baywatch Punch, Pineapple or Grapefruit Gin and Juice, Vanilla Ice Martini, Boombastic Bombers (Kirin & Kirin Light), or go for a $3 Spud’s Suds (Bud or Bud Light). Treat yourself to 90s-inspired sushi, such as the Fresh Prince Roll ($7), Kramer Roll ($8), Show Me the Money Roll ($9), and the “RA”dical Roll ($10).

Visit RA Sushi on November 15 at any one of five Valley locations:

* Ahwatukee: 4921 E. Ray Rd., Phoenix, Ariz., 85044. For more information, call 480-940-1111.

* North Scottsdale at Kierland Commons: 7012 E. Greenway Pkwy., Scottsdale, Ariz., 85254. For more information, call 480-951-5888.

* Downtown Tempe: 411 S. Mill Ave., Tempe, Ariz., 85281. For more information, call 480-303-9800.

* Mesa at Dana Park: 1652 S. Val Vista Dr., Mesa, Ariz., 85204. For more information, call 480-632-9500.

* Old Town Scottsdale: 3815 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, Ariz., 85251. For more information, call 480-990-9256.

fulton

Report: Fulton Homes leads E.V. Home Sales

Fulton Homes’ domination in new home sales continues.   According to the latest KnowledgeBase Market Insights report released by Phoenix-based Belfiore Real Estate consulting, Fulton Homes had three communities ranked among ten of the best-selling Phoenix-area subdivisions over the past two months.  The Tempe-based homebuilder placed Queen Creek’s Paradise at Ironwood Crossing, and both Mediterranean at Freeman Farms and Caribbean at Freeman Farms in Gilbert. Overall, six of the Top 10 Phoenix area subdivisions were in the East Valley, with the remaining four in the West Valley.

“We provide the best, quality-built home in Arizona,” Doug Fulton, Fulton Homes CEO, said. “We are tremendously pleased by the public’s response to all of our East Valley communities. We have an extraordinary team of professionals who every day help people realize their dream of homeownership.”

Fulton Homes is also outpacing the market when it comes to monthly sales in each community.  Belfiore Real Estate Consulting anticipates an average of 3.3 sales per subdivision per month for the year.  Fulton Homes is currently selling more than twice that, on average.

Belfiore Real Estate consulting is a full-service residential market research firm, offering a variety of residential data and analyses.

video

Insight Named Top Mobile Video Reseller of the Year

Tempe-based Insight Enterprises, Inc. (Nasdaq:NSIT), a leading worldwide technology provider of hardware, software and service solutions, announced that its U.S. division was named the Top Mobile Video Reseller of the Year by Panasonic at the annual Panasonic Solutions Partner Summit 2012 in Phoenix.

The awards recognize reseller partners of the B2B solutions company, Panasonic System Communications Company of North America, who demonstrated an outstanding year, both in revenue growth and in developing new market opportunities for Panasonic’s broad product portfolio.

“We are very proud to be named the Top Mobile Video Reseller of the Year by Panasonic,” said Brian Davis, senior vice president, product marketing at Insight. “Over the past six years, Insight’s relationship with Panasonic has evolved from being a product provider to being their number one partner in this space, due to our strong service delivery capabilities and our deep business understanding of the mobile video space.”

“Insight has been an invaluable partner over the last year,” said Bill Brennan, Senior Director, Channel Sales – Resellers, Panasonic System Communications Company. “Insight has proven it understands mobile video and the value of providing reliable B2B technology solutions to the marketplace. As a result, the company has become a strong partner with Panasonic, creating a winning combination for customers in need of integrated business technology solutions with a particular emphasis on mobile video.”

Winners were selected by Panasonic’s sales and channel leadership based upon three major criteria: revenue performance and growth, strength of partnership and level of proactive business development. Winners mirror the company’s vertical market and product solutions focus.

Panasonic System Communications Company of North America’s unified business communications, mobile computing, security and surveillance, retail point-of-sale, office productivity, high definition visual conferencing, visual communications (professional projectors, displays, digital signage) and HD and 3D video production solutions are sold exclusively through an extensive channel network of resellers.

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Cookies From Home Celebrates 31 Years in Tempe

Cookies From Home, locally based in Tempe, is celebrating 31 years in business with a day dedicated to charity and cookie decorating with Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell. Mayor Mitchell will arrive at Cookies From Home on November 2 at 10:30 a.m. to decorate cookies in honor of their long-standing success in the Valley.

Cookies From Home is located at 1605 W. University Dr., Unit 106, Tempe 85281 (On University, Just west of Priest).

Cookies From Home will also be donating a portion of the proceeds from all in-store and online orders on November 2 to benefit the Tempe Community Action Agency. The organization assists children, seniors, homeless individuals and working-poor families in Tempe with emergency programs such as rent/utility assistance, food and gas vouchers and more.

The Tempe bakery has long been a staple in the community. Owner Corey Meiteen is set to launch a new brand and overhaul to the logo, packaging and image. The packaging will be replaced with modern tins and boxes encompassing the Cookies From Home brand and a rich color palette. In looking towards the future, Meiteen envisions taking the company to the next level.

Cookies From Home has also introduced a new line of brownies and sugar-free cookies to their offerings, including a dozen brownie flavors and six flavors of sugar-free cookies.

For more information, call (480) 894-1944 or visit www.cookiesfromhome.com. Follow Cookies From Home on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cookiesfromhome.

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Tilted Kilt goes ‘Undercover’

Since franchising the Tempe-based Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery in 2006, Ron Lynch has been on a mission to open the contemporary, Celtic-themed sports pub concept staffed with beautiful servers in sexy plaid kilts and matching plaid bras in every city and town in America. His personal and professional journey will unfold on national television as he investigates the inner workings of Tilted Kilt pubs across the United States in the hit CBS series “Undercover Boss,” Friday, Nov. 9 at 8 p.m. on the CBS Television Network.

“Being 6 foot 6 inches tall with a very recognizable look and voice has made it difficult in the past for me to visit our locations without being recognized,” said Lynch. “Going undercover allowed me to step into the shoes of our employees and franchise partners to better learn the ins and outs of what makes our company successful, as well as see objectively where there is room for improvement.”

Adding that the company never stops looking for ways to evolve and improve, Lynch noted that the experience was a once in a lifetime opportunity to share his story and hopefully inspire other leaders to look deeper into the everyday experiences of their employees to create a better culture that fosters a family environment.

Lynch’s own family is very involved in the day to day business of Tilted Kilt. Employees at the Tempe-based corporate office that are family members include his brother, wife and two daughters. It was important for the President to see if the family culture cultivated at the home office was spread to the more than 70 locations existing today.

The Tilted Kilt brand is fueled by Lynch’s commitment to The Code of the Clan Tilted Kilt by which he expects every person at every level of the organization to operate. The code embodies the values of pride, integrity, respect, strong work ethic and fun. Lynch believes in building customer loyalty through exceptional service and commitment to family and community.

“Traditional public houses began when families would open up their home to travelers. Fathers would cook and tend the bar while mothers and daughters would wait tables,” said Lynch. “I am responsible for spreading the concept, upholding brand standards and ultimately delivering the idea that ‘A Cold Beer Never Looked So Good.’ Participating in ‘Undercover Boss’ allowed me to see if those standards were being delivered to our customers and make changes to our company that will ensure they will be in the future. I am very grateful for this experience and have so much respect for all of the employees who work in the various positions of our organization.”

Through his “Undercover Boss” experience, Lynch gained valuable insight into key areas of the business that he will continue to fine-tune and improve in the coming months. Jobs that he participated in during the experience include bartender, line-cook, manager and busser/security guard.

Each week, the Emmy Award-winning “Undercover Boss,” which is just starting its fourth season, follows a different executive as they leave the comfort of their corner office for an undercover mission to examine the inner workings of their companies. While working alongside their employees, they see the effects their decisions have on others, where the problems lie within their organizations and get an up-close look at both the good and the bad while discovering and rewarding the unsung heroes who make their companies run.

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LaHood visits Mesa to unveil $75M for light rail

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood has unveiled $75 million in federal funding to help build a three-mile light rail extension connecting Phoenix and Tempe.

LaHood took part Friday in a grant signing ceremony in Mesa and said the light rail extension helps fast-growing cities in Arizona.

The new Central Mesa Extension, operated by Valley Metro Rail, will run from Sycamore to Mesa Drive on Main Street and connect residents in the downtown hubs of Phoenix, Mesa, and Tempe. Officials say it’s expected to spur residential and commercial development in downtown Mesa while providing access to Arizona State University and Sky Harbor International Airport.

In the last six months, ridership on Valley Metro light rail has risen 6.2 percent on average, compared with the same period in 2011.

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Valley lands Dr. Tattoff clinic

Dr. Tattoff Medical Director and Board-Certified Dermatologist Dr. Will Kirby formally announced that the opening of Dr. Tattoff’s new clinic location in Phoenix, Arizona will be on Tuesday, November 13, 2012.  The newest facility will be located at 740 South Mill Avenue, Suite 130, Tempe, AZ 85281 (www.drtattoff.com/phoenix).  This will be the seventh location nationwide for Dr. Tattoff.

In business since 2004, Dr. Tattoff (www.drtattoff.com) is the country’s first branded laser tattoo removal chain.  To date, the company has performed over 100,000 tattoo removal treatments, over 165,000 laser procedures and has treated over 20,000 patients.

To celebrate the Company’s expansion to the Phoenix area, Dr. Tattoff will offer free tattoo removal to the public on November 13, 2012.   Anyone who shows up between the hours of10:00 AM and 6:00 PM will receive a free tattoo removal treatment.  Patients will be treated on a first come first served basis and can get up to ten (10) square inches treated.  To book an appointment anytime after the grand opening event, prospective patients can call (480) 525-9238 or visit www.drtattoff.com.  Patients should understand that tattoo removal usually involves multiple treatments and should not expect that their tattoo will be gone after this one free treatment.

Consistent with the Dr. Tattoff brand, the Phoenix clinic will be a state-of-the art medical facility, custom designed and built specifically to service the diverse range of consumers wanting tattoo removal.  From soccer moms to tattoo enthusiasts, business professionals to pro athletes, Dr. Tattoff has a wide variety of patients, each with their own story and reason for seeking tattoo removal.  In markets like Phoenix where tattoo removal is mostly performed by people with an unsettlingly low level of training (typically a two-day training course), Dr. Tattoff sets the bar for patient care incredibly high by having all treatments performed by licensed clinicians with a designation of Registered Nurse or greater.  In addition, all Dr. Tattoff clinics are overseen by board certified dermatologists with special expertise in tattoo removal.

According to Dr. Kirby, “Everyone makes mistakes or has a change of heart, but they should not be made to feel bad or pay a fortune for those decisions.   The mission of Dr. Tattoff is, as it always has been, to provide the highest quality affordable laser tattoo removal and laser hair removal in a non-judgmental, friendly environment.”

Dr. Kirby will personally be on-hand along with the Dr. Tattoff staff to meet and treat patients on opening day.

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US Airways profits may exceed expectations

UUS Airways Group Inc. said on Wednesday that its flying capacity for the year will rise 2 percent, and an investor update suggested that its third-quarter profit will be bigger than Wall Street had been expecting.

US Airways has added flying capacity as it replaces old Boeing 737s with slightly larger Airbus A321s. It also completed 99.6 percent of its scheduled flights in September, which also boosts flying capacity.

For the third quarter, which ended on Sunday, the airline’s costs came in lower than expected, including a slightly lower price for fuel.

JPMorgan analyst Jamie Baker wrote that the results suggest US Airways will report a bigger-than-expected profit for the quarter. He wrote that the guidance suggests a profit of 90 cents per share, versus a consensus by a survey of analysts for 74 cents per share.

Baker wrote that some of the costs are simply shifting into the fourth quarter. That’s likely to produce a loss or maybe a break-even quarter, he wrote.

For the quarter, US Airways traffic rose 2.7 percent. Flying capacity rose 3 percent. Because the airline added more seats than passengers, its planes weren’t quite as full. Occupancy fell 0.2 percentage points to 85.8 percent.

Per-seat passenger revenue for September was flat compared to September 2011, the airline said.

For September, traffic rose 2 percent. Capacity rose 1.1 percent. That pushed occupancy up 0.7 percentage points, to 84 percent.

Shares of US Airways Group Inc., based in Tempe, jumped 99 cents, or 9.1 percent, to $11.87 in midday trading. They’ve traded between $3.96 and $14.51 over the past year, boosted by the airline’s improving financial prospects and its ongoing efforts to merge with American Airlines.

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LifeLock falls in 1st day of trading on NYSE

Shares of LifeLock fell more than 3 percent in its first day of trading as the online provider of identity theft protection services priced its initial public offering below the anticipated range.

The Tempe company dropped 30 cents, or 3.2 percent, to $8.70 in morning trading on Wednesday. The shares opened at $8.38, down 7 percent from the $9 per share that the initial public offering was priced at. The broader markets were mostly higher.

LifeLock disclosed in a September regulatory filing that it expected the offering of 15.7 million shares to price between $9.50 and $11.50 each.

The offering raised $141.3 million.

LifeLock is offering 15.5 million shares in the IPO, while certain selling stockholders are offering 200,000 shares. LifeLock won’t receive any proceeds from the shares sold by selling stockholders.

The underwriters have a 30-day option to buy up to an additional 2.4 million shares from LifeLock.

LifeLock said in its filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it planned to use its net proceeds to pay back an outstanding balance for a term loan related to its acquisition of ID Analytics. The company also said it would use part of the proceeds to pay the amounts due to some preferred shareholders and for working capital and other general corporate purposes.

LifeLock Inc. is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the “LOCK” ticker symbol.

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Mobile Mini CEO Bunger stepping down

Mobile Mini says Chairman, President and CEO Steven Bunger will step down from those posts at the end of the year.

Lead independent director Michael Watts will become chairman once Bunger departs. Watts has served as a board member since 2002 and became lead director in 2005.

The company, which sells and rents moving and storage units and mobile offices, said Tuesday that it has created a search committee to help find Bunger’s successor as CEO, with both internal and external candidates being considered.

Bunger has worked at Mobile Mini since 1983 and served in various roles. He became president and CEO in 1997 and became chairman in 2001.

Heidrick & Struggles has been hired to assist with the search process for a new CEO.

Mobile Mini Inc., which is based in Tempe, Ariz., says a new CEO is expected to be in place when Bunger departs or shortly after that.

Bunger said in a statement that he will help the new CEO over several months to ensure a smooth transition.

Shares of Mobile Mini rose 7 cents to $17.40 in afternoon trading. Its shares have traded in a range of $12.60 in late June to $23.08 in late February.

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Insight Names Dodenhoff as President

Insight Enterprises, Inc. (Nasdaq:NSIT), a leading worldwide technology provider of hardware, software and service solutions, announced today that Steve Dodenhoff has been named president, Insight United States. Dodenhoff will report directly to Ken Lamneck, president and chief executive officer, Insight Enterprises.

In this new role, Dodenhoff will lead all aspects of the U.S. business, including sales, marketing, operations, services and profitability.

“As we continue to strive for growth and operational excellence globally, it is important that we remain focused and aligned with our partners and clients in the U.S.,” said Lamneck. “Steve has demonstrated an exceptional ability to build relationships while maintaining trust and transparency. His collaboration with the senior leadership team has already led to significant contributions to our business strategy. Steve’s background and experience complements our team and aligns to our key growth initiatives.”

Dodenhoff joined Insight in January this year as the senior vice president of human resources and business development. With over 20 years of experience in building and leading growth-oriented technology companies, he has brought a wealth of sales, service delivery and talent development skill to Insight. Before joining Insight, Dodenhoff was president of Enghouse Interactive and held senior leadership roles with Integrated Information Systems and MicroAge.

“It’s an exciting time in our industry and our clients are increasingly looking to Insight to provide the consulting, implementation and managed services that complement our world class IT product and software sales capabilities,” said Dodenhoff. “I look forward to building on the strong foundation in place with our teammates and our partners and ensuring we are well positioned to meet our client’s IT solutions needs going forward. “

The move  is effective immediately. Dodenhoff is based at Insight’s headquarters in Tempe.

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SCNM sets enrollment record

A record number of students have enrolled for the Fall 2012 starting class at the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine & Health Sciences (SCNM), continuing a consistent growth trend showing a 60 percent increase since 2008.

Nearly new 100 students have been accepted into the medical college’s four-year naturopathic physician degree program, which begins Oct. 1 at 2140 E. Broadway Rd. in Tempe, bringing the total number of students to 412.  Students accepted into the program must have previously earned a bachelor’s degree and completed science, English and humanities prerequisite coursework.

“During the past five years, there has been a steady increase in interest in naturopathic medicine and careers as naturopathic physicians,” said Melissa Winquist, SCNM Vice President of Student Affairs.  “We receive more than 8,000 inquiries a year into our program.  Students graduating from SCNM are the highest-trained experts in natural medicine.”

In 2008, 60 students were accepted into the fall class.  The next year, the number increased to 70, to 81 in 2010, 86 in 2009 and 97 this year.   Students this fall represent 27 states and Canada, where eight students live.  There are 26 students from Arizona.

Winquist said students spend the first two years studying basic sciences complemented by clinical observations.  Students begin seeing patients in their third and fourth years.  One-year post-graduate residencies provide hands-on practical experience.

SCNM, one of only five naturopathic colleges in the nation, will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2013.

The college’s faculty includes naturopathic physicians, medical doctors, osteopaths, PhDs, and acupuncturists who teach in disciplines that include physical medicine, homeopathy, botanical medicine, mind-body medicine and environmental medicine.

“We train physicians by combining the best of conventional and alternative therapies with an emphasis on prevention,” said SCNM President and CEO Paul Mittman, ND, EdD.  “Our integrated curriculum exposes students to a diversity of medical knowledge, clinical applications, lab work and patient care that concentrates on whole-patient wellness to find the underlying causes of a patient’s condition rather than focusing strictly on symptomatic treatment.”

The college holds two open houses each year, called Discovery Days, when individuals interested in attending SCNM can learn more about the programs and the public can learn more about naturopathic medicine. Doctors will discuss natural options for pain management, fatigue, thyroid issues and digestion, among other subjects, and free activities include blood pressure checks, herb tea and green protein drink tastings, pulse ear acupuncture and chair massages.

The next Discovery Day is scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 3 on the campus in Tempe.

For information, visit www.scnm.edu.