Tag Archives: The James Agency

Staying Innovative as a One Man Operation

Spirit of Enterprise Award Finalists named

Arizona is still recovering from the Great Recession, and many local businesses are playing a key role in the comeback. Today, some of the state’s best companies are being recognized as finalists for the 18th annual Spirit of Enterprise Awards from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.

The prestigious awards recognize firms for creating jobs, boosting our economy and delivering great customer service. Past winners include well-known names like Cold Stone Creamery, Ollie the Trolley and Total Transit (Discount Cab), as well as fast-growing businesses, such as Infusionsoft.

“We look for Arizona businesses that demonstrate ethics, energy and excellence in entrepreneurship,” explains Sidnee Peck, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at the W. P. Carey School of Business. “We also want to see innovation, a positive internal culture, and an impact on both our economy and our local community.”

The 18th annual Spirit of Enterprise Award finalists are:

• Clean Air Cab (Mesa) – a family-owned, eco-friendly cab fleet with consistent 100-percent annual growth and a Happy Ride consumer guarantee, sourcing more than 83 percent of its business needs from local providers and donating to local charities, including the ONE Community Foundation for advancing the rights of the LGBT community.
• Endless Entertainment (Tempe) – an events production and consulting company started by a college entrepreneur at ASU that has been lauded by Inc. magazine, has a strong customer-service focus, and has worked with a range of clients from San Diego Comic-Con and the X Games to the American Cancer Society, Autism Speaks, Target and Zappos.
• Ersland Touch Landscape (Phoenix) – a state-of-the-art landscape maintenance company with more than 30 years of experience, a complete customer “feedback log,” an Adopt a Highway commitment, work with nonprofits, and more than 400 residences and 20 homeowner associations as clients.
• India Plaza/The Dhaba (Tempe) – a small, minority-owned one-stop shop for all things Indian, including an award-winning restaurant, a marketplace and an education center, with a low staff turnover rate, a no-questions-asked return policy, and vegetarian, gluten-free and environmental initiatives.
• IO (Phoenix) – a firm focused on data-center technology, services and solutions that are defined by software, instead of physical locations, with more than 650 global clients, including Goldman Sachs and LexisNexis, as well as two patents and a focus on energy efficiency.
• I-ology (Scottsdale) – a woman-owned technology company offering Web design and related services that features close client relationships, heavy community involvement, and no management hierarchy, where all employees have the chance to participate in revenue sharing, stock options, flexible schedules and industry events.
• The James Agency (Scottsdale) – a boutique, full-service advertising and public relations agency specializing in high-end brands, which was started by a 25 year old and now boasts flexible work schedules, no outsourcing, annual pro bono clients and last year’s revenue of more than $2 million.
• Kitchell (Phoenix) – a 100-percent employee-owned commercial builder, developer and program manager launched 65 years ago, which now has more than 850 employees, international operations, innovations like virtual construction, an internal leadership program, significant charitable contributions, and a focus on safety, work quality and customer satisfaction.
• Melrose Pharmacy (Phoenix) – an independent pharmacy that offers fast, personalized service, contributions to the March of Dimes and other charities, and involvement in community issues, as well as achieving business goals of $2.7 million in sales by its third year in business and a 119-percent increase in net income so far this year.
• Potter’s House Apothecary (Peoria) – a pharmacy specializing in compounding, with its own continuous-quality-improvement program and patient seminars, which reached its three-year business plan projections in just 18 months and became one of fewer than 15 Arizona pharmacies with accreditation from the Pharmacy Compounding Accreditation Board.

The finalists from the W. P. Carey School for the Student Entrepreneurship Award are:

• Anthony Gonzales/Force Impact Technologies – Gonzales, who just graduated with his MBA, has made headlines as a finalist in Entrepreneur magazine’s College Entrepreneur of the Year competition with his grant-winning, ongoing development of FITGuard, a mouthguard designed to indicate when an athlete should be removed from a game for possible head injuries/concussions, as well as a matching smartphone application that can provide results to a diagnosing physician.
• Paige Corbett/PetSitnStay – Corbett was working as a kennel assistant and attending business school, when she came up with the idea to start an online service to connect pet owners with pet sitters and in-home care options as an alternative to less personal commercial boarding facilities.

Winners will be announced at a luncheon Friday, Nov. 21 at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix. Hundreds of business and community leaders attend the annual event. Also, new this year, an entrepreneurship workshop will be held right before the awards luncheon. There, top W. P. Carey School faculty members will talk about what tools and techniques you can use to advance your business.

For more information on sponsorship opportunities or to attend, call (480) 965-0474, e-mail wpcentrepreneurship@asu.edu, or visit www.wpcarey.asu.edu/spirit.

The Spirit of Enterprise Awards are just one focus of the Center for Entrepreneurship, which helps hundreds of businesses each year. The center recently introduced the Sun Devil Select competition to honor ASU alum-owned or alum-led businesses, as well as the Sun Devil Igniter Challenge to help fund student businesses. The center also offers companies a chance to recruit and meet with top student talent, while allowing students to get hands-on business experience. It is a gateway to access other ASU business resources. The center is self-funded and utilizes community sponsorships and volunteers to sustain its activities.


Phase 2 of Portland on the Park to begin

The award-winning condominium community Portland Place will soon have an adjacent sister property that will begin construction late this year adding 170 true lofts and finished condos to the Downtown Phoenix Roosevelt Historic and Art District. The new urban living project is aptly dubbed Portland on the Park as it is situated between the three-acre Portland Park and the 32-acre Margaret T. Hance Park bordering Central Avenue. Towers of 4 stories, 12-stories and 14-stories will be completed by mid-year 2016, with homes available for sale beginning in the low $200,000’s and penthouse suites under $1 million. Limited reservations will begin mid-summer with presales occurring in the early fall.

“Portland on the Park is a continuation of Portland Place, the most successful condominium project created in Downtown Phoenix,” says Tim Sprague, principal of Habitat Metro, developer of both projects. “The new development will be built to the standards of Portland Place, including concrete construction, which adds structural integrity and stability for our homeowners while delivering a building that will be there for years to come. The team involved with this project are hand-selected because they are the best in the industry, all of whom are committed to creating homes of unmatched quality for the Downtown Phoenix homebuyer.”

For a project valued at over $75 million, Habitat Metro has assembled an expert development team to bring Portland on the Park to fruition. For the first time in a Downtown Phoenix residential project, Sunbelt Holdings has partnered to develop the urban living concept. The DAVIS Architecture team designed the first phase, Portland Place, winning the prestigious Golden Nugget Award for the best multifamily project in the West, and is designing the residential and commercial spaces for the second phase. Sunbelt and DAVIS bring years of residential expertise and quality commercial insight. Both firms are part of the development team of Marina Heights at Tempe Town Lake, which at two million square feet, is the largest single-user office project in Arizona’s history. Rounding out the team are attached housing expert Habitat Urban, Designated Broker David Newcombe. Urban living and lifestyle specialists Braun Allison from Vancouver and Scottsdale-based The James Agency are managing marketing and public relations.

Blurring the distinction between home, work and the neighborhood coffee shop, Portland on the Park will offer its residents an energized, metropolitan standard of living. The first floor 7,200 square foot commercial space will house a coffee shop, wine bar and restaurant providing a social space for residents and the Roosevelt neighborhood. Looking to the future, ample bike storage and electric car charging stations are built-in. A true downtown experience, the Central Avenue and Portland Street area has been rated a “very walkable 86” on WalkScore.com for the significant amount of offerings within walking distance.

The development is designed with generous community amenities including a resort-like pool on the ground level. An open-air gathering spot on top of the 14-story tower will give unobstructed views of the Japanese Friendship Gardens, lush parks and vistas of the mountain preserves as well as the greenery of the surrounding mature neighborhood. A state-of-the-art workout facility will also be available for resident use.
Home sizes range from 745 square feet to 2,381 square feet presented in 21 thoughtful and efficient floor plans. The lofts are true to the urban experience with exposed metal ductwork giving a modern appeal to a comfortable space. Finished condominiums offer homebuyers options of one, two and three bedrooms.

“With a metropolitan mixture of arts and culture, nightlife, boutiques, restaurants and sporting events, Downtown Phoenix is blossoming into the true epicenter of the Valley,” adds Sprague on the future of Downtown Phoenix. “The excitement continues to grow as projects like Portland on the Park attract exceptional partners like Sunbelt and DAVIS. Together, we are proud to help create a welcoming environment where people will affectionately call the area not just amazing or inspired, but most importantly, home.”


The James Agency Champions Comfortable Work, Home Environment With New Office Design


Scottsdale advertising and public relations firm, The James Agency, kicks off 2013 in a completely new environment.

Entering its ninth year of business, the firm returned to work after the holidays to a new address on Indian School Road just east of Hayden. Because of growing business needs, the new office space is twice the size of the previous one, giving employees some much needed elbowroom.

Contributing to the office expansion, as client needs and roster continue to grow, the James Agency plans to hire up to six employees in 2013.

“This is the third office space that The James Agency has called home since inception in 2005. Every move has been to accommodate our growing staff while ensuring that we maintain a comfortable and productive working environment,” Veronique James, president of The James Agency, said of the move.

“When we moved into our previous office, which was half the size of the new space, I was nervous that it was too big and actually sub-let one of the inner office spaces. Moving out in December of last year, our staff had grown so much that we utilized every square inch of that space. It was definitely … cozy. The new space fits us well and gives us the flexibility to expand as our business does.”

Entering the front door of the new office, two things stand out: an antique chandelier that was refinished by James in a soft blue that coordinates with the chosen color palette and a full wall imagery of a bicycle wheel.

According to James, the bicycle wheel resembles a team environment in that a wheel has many spokes providing strength and stability, without which, the wheel will not work. If you are paying close attention when walking through the space, you will notice another very small version of a bicycle transposed on a wall, giving again, a subtle nod to the team dynamic.

The new headquarters is more than 4,000 SF, boasting seven offices, a 1,000 SF creative bullpen and lounge, two conference rooms, a full kitchen, storage and restroom facilities. Pulling in design elements to make the new office as homey as possible, the color palette of a warm white base with soft blues and grays, gives an inviting feel.

Orange accent walls are pops of color and energy throughout. Workspaces, including a reception desk, seven graphic designer desks and a 9-foot by 5-foot, 10-person conference table, were custom-built by local artisan Andrew Seiferth. Their solid blonde wood contributes to the natural, relaxed atmosphere. The office is filled with modern shelving and organizational units creating overt clean lines.

The James Agency is an award winning brand development and public relations firm with 20 employees that specialize in lifestyle brands.

“The new space has given the entire staff an inspirational beginning to 2013. From conception, the look and feel of the new office has been to create a work environment that feels like home. I think we’ve accomplished that,” James said of the new energy. “From a stocked refrigerator to the creative lounge, the atmosphere is a home-away-from-home that will continue to inspire my talented team throughout the years ahead.”




Veronique James, The James Agency

Stylish Scottsdale Ladies: Veronique James, The James Agency

The James Agency stands out as one of Scottsdale’s best firms to take your business to if you want to take your company to the next level. This boutique firm specializes in updating Web pages, creating billboards and even completely rebranding companies and their respective logos. The James Agency prides itself in its laid-back vibe, while still remaining completely professional and productive. But behind every successful business stands an innovator behind the scenes making it all possible, right? At The James Agency, Veronique James serves as not the only the brains, but also the beauty behind the operation.

On The James Agency’s website, James is pictured in a gray, scoop-neck sweater dress, accessorized with a mischievous wink on her face. Right off the bat, you notice she isn’t a woman who takes herself too seriously; but then you delve into the “show and tell” section of the website and see all of the meticulously created logos and advertisements for which James, and her team, of course, is responsible.

But we’re curious: How does a woman who has so much on her plate incorporate style and fashion into her busy life?

Q&A with Veronique James

Scottsdale Living (SL): You don’t seem like the run of the mill, pantsuit-wearing businesswoman. Would you say that you like to have a little more fun with the way you dress compared most successful business owners?

Veronique James: On days I have meetings with new clients, I definitely put my “big girl pants” on. But for the most part, clients expect us to be casual since we are a creative firm. We don’t have a dress code here at TJA (The James Agency). As long as the dress is conservative and not too over the top, I am cool with anything. I love my high heels and slacks, but I’m also a fan of flip flops and ball caps — it just depends on what the day calls for!

SL: If you had to sum up your style in three words, what would they be?

James: Personal style, that’s tough. I’m simple and classic in some ways but love the boho-chic look too. I’m a huge fan of torn jeans and platform shoes. I guess I am more eclectic depending on my audience and environment. On the weekends, I am much more of a laid-back dresser, and to be honest, I’m not a label girl, either.

SL: We noticed a really playful but professional vibe on your website. Would you say your style is reflective of the company you’ve created?

James: Absolutely. It was our intention that our website really convey the personality of the firm and not be an “online brochure” of fluffy copy and messaging that didn’t mirror the experience of working with us. As a new relationship progresses, of course we provide clients with collateral that covers the nuts and bolts of operations, policies and protocols. It is very important that we act like the business we want to be versus the business that everyone thinks it should be in the industry. So, we break a few rules here and there, but the formula has worked out well for us so far.

SL: When you know you’ll be going to have a long day at work, do you typically opt for comfort or style?

James: [Comfort] because every day for me is a long one. On average, I’m in the office until 8-9 p.m. every night, so it really just depends on the day. Our office is designed to be a comfortable place to work so even if I’m in a meeting outfit, I still feel really relaxed. I keep a pair of flip flops in my drawer (most of the girls do) for those days when heels just aren’t cutting it anymore. It’s always fun to see the girls in dress slacks or skirts running up and down the hallways in their Havianas!

SL: Do you think the way you dress is important when working in such a competitive market?

James: It is from a new-introduction standpoint. As a young woman in this male-dominant and very competitive industry, sometimes it can be difficult to garner the immediate level of respect from a potential client at first impression. I make sure to present myself in a professional and put together way when I’m meeting with an older demographic for the first time. Traditionally, it takes about 15 to 30 minutes for them to realize I know what I am actually talking about.

SL: You slept through your alarm and are running late to work. What is your go-to outfit?

James: Skinny jeans, riding boots and a long-torso tank top with a piece of big jewelry — whether it be a cuff or big earrings.

SL: Are there any pieces in your closet that you just can’t imagine your life without?

James: My closet is a pretty simple collection of basics that work really well together. I can’t think of just one off the top of my head, but I can say that if there was a shortage of jean material in the world, I may have a large panic attack.

SL: Your company creates one-of-a-kind events and parties for clients. What do you typically wear when you attend those?

James: Since we are typically running around prior to the start of the event with finishing touches and coordinating vendor logistics, a black dress that isn’t too formal and can be worn both pre- and post-event is usually the best bet.

SL: Say your company gets a client that happens to result in a huge payoff. Is there a certain handbag or pair of shoes that you would treat yourself to?

James: Only recently did I start appreciating the quality and comfort that comes with an expensive pair of shoes. My husband calls them “car payment shoes,” but I have a new affinity for Christian Louboutin’s!

For more information about Veronique James and The James Agency, visit thejamesagency.com.