Tag Archives: Todd Sanders

phoenix

Phoenix Chamber appoints new VP of public affairs

huckinsThe Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce today announced the appointment of Mike Huckins as Vice President of Public Affairs. Huckins will spearhead the Chamber’s lobbying efforts at the Capitol, oversee the Chamber’s public affairs and seven issue committees, as well as provide leadership for the Chamber’s internal public affairs team.

“We are thrilled to welcome Mike to the Chamber’s public affairs team,” said Todd Sanders, President and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce. “His extensive knowledge of the Legislative process, strong connections with members and staff, as well as his deep understanding of the State’s budget process, make him a valuable addition to the Chamber.”

“I’m very excited to join the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce,” said Mike Huckins, Vice President of Public Affairs. “I’m looking forward to my new advocacy role as the “voice of business” for the Chamber’s 2,500+ member organizations and collaborating on critical input to policy decisions to best represent the interests of business during the upcoming legislative session.”

Added Sanders, “We are confident Mike’s expertise, guidance, and leadership will result in many successful legislative cycles for the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce and our member businesses. The voice of local business will be heard at the Capitol and at the City of Phoenix.”

Prior to joining the Chamber, Huckins served as Director of Research for the House of Representatives, a position he has held with distinction since 2009. His tenure at the House began in 1999 as a Legislative intern. He was subsequently promoted to assistant research analyst and then to senior research analyst for the Appropriations Committee.

With the legislative session just on the other side of the new year, Huckins is very busy, but took time out to answer a few questions about his experience and new role. To read the Q & A with Mike Huckins in its entirety, click here.

Q. Give us a sense of your background in public affairs, which has led you to this position.
A. I started my career as an intern at the Arizona House of Representatives in 1999 and spent the last 15 years there. For the last five years, I have been the House’s Research Director, responsible for the research team of analysts, assistant analysts and interns. I also staffed the Appropriations Committee where I was responsible for presenting and explaining bills with fiscal impact, the final budget proposals to House members and coordinating the flow of amendments on bills.

Q. What was attractive to you about your new position as vice president of public affairs?
A. When you’ve been inside the legislature for that long, it’s easy to get insulated and not really see the impact that bills make on actual business people. It was intriguing to me to have the chance now to see how things that go on at the legislature actually impact business from the other side. The opportunity to make a difference and to help Arizona’s economy is quite an attractive proposition.

Q. With the new legislative session just over a month away, obviously to call it “hitting the ground running” is an understatement. What are your objectives going into the session?
A. I hope to ensure the Chamber remains very visible at the Capitol, which entails everything from meeting with legislators to showing the business community that they are actively represented and that we’re working on and monitoring bills that impact them. I’m trying to get up to speed very quickly on our internal processes so we can be efficient and make the most of the time in the leadup to the session. And veterans like PAC Chairman John Moody and Public Affairs Committee Chair Susan Anable will be invaluable to me. They’re the experts, and while I have experience in the legislative world, I’m new to this side of it, so I will be learning from them.

Q. How do you see the Chamber’s role in making sure the voice of business is heard by elected officials at all levels of government?
A. I think our biggest role will be making sure members get involved and stay involved. If they don’t do that, it doesn’t matter what we do. Whether it’s coming to public affairs committee meetings or being a part of an issue committee, our members have a multitude of ways to really “get their hands dirty” in the process. And anyone who thinks the legislature does things in secret should attend for an afternoon or a day and see how it all happens. It’s good for legislators to see more than just the “usual suspects” they see on a daily basis. And it helps reinforce that the business community is involved.

diversity

United Way Announces New Board Members

Valley of the Sun United Way welcomes six new Board Members: Ruben Alvarez, Co-founder and Managing Partner, Molera Alvarez, LLC; Bridget Olesiewicz, Principal, The Vanguard Group; Steve Purves, President and CEO, Maricopa Integrated Health System; Todd Sanders, President and CEO, Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce; Rob Schaffer, Vice President and General Manager, USAA; and Farzana Scofield, Social Media Specialist for Honeywell Aerospace in Phoenix.

As new Board Members, each will provide dynamic leadership to achieve United Way’s three Community Objectives: 1) Ensure Children and Youth Succeed; 2) End Hunger and Homelessness; and, 3) Increase Financial Stability of Families and Individuals.

“The depth and breadth of experience of our 2015 Board Members represent the diverse voices in our community, will facilitate even greater change in the Valley and broaden our impact,” said Merl Waschler, Valley of the Sun United Way President and CEO. “Each has significant influence personally and professionally and will advance long-term community solutions as we transform individual lives.”

The new members will work with the existing Board and United Way executives to engage a broader base of community members to inspire them to give, advocate and volunteer with United Way. With a keen focus on creating new connections with businesses, seasoned professionals, young leaders and Millennials, United Way will build a stronger community.

“We appreciate our Board Members’ willingness to serve and look forward to working together to ensure each member of our community has the ability to achieve the aspirations we all share: a good education for our kids, food on the table, a roof over our heads and the security of financial self-sufficiency,” Waschler added.

122401693

Each Class of Dropouts costs Arizona $7.6B

The more than 18,000 Arizona students who dropped out of high school this year will produce $7.6 billion less economic activity over their lifetimes than if those same students had graduated, according to a new report by the Arizona Mayors Education Roundtable.

Cutting the dropout rate in half would generate $3.8 billion more in economic benefits to the state for each graduating class.

Mayor Greg Stanton and several Valley mayors released the research report today, which measured the economic impact of high school dropouts in Arizona.

Key takeaways from the study include:

· Each Arizona high school dropout results in a $421,280 loss in economic activity over his or her lifetime. This figure includes lost earnings, increased health care and crime-related costs, lost economic productivity and lost tax revenue.

· In the City of Phoenix, the number is higher: each dropout results in a $463,500 economic loss – creating a $1.42 billion economic loss per graduating class.

· In Arizona, each dropout will earn $271,040 less over the course of their lifetime than counterparts who graduate. Dropouts face higher risks of unemployment and economic insecurity.

· Each dropout will cost taxpayers an additional $98,520 more in crime-related expenses over the course of their lifetime.

· Of the $7.6 billion in Arizona economic loss, $1.5 billion represents lost revenue and increased expenses for state and local governments.

· In 2012, Arizona’s disconnected youth population – that is, young people who are neither in school nor working – was 183,200, or 22 percent of population aged 16 to 24. This disconnected population results in an aggregate economic loss of more than $127 billion.

The full report is available at http://azmayors.org/resources/college-and-career-readiness/.

“This report should be a wake up call to everyone in our state about why it is so important that we work together to get every student to graduate high school,” said Mayor Greg Stanton. “It’s important for us to have city-level data so every elected official understands that if we sit idly by and leave this problem for others to solve, we do so at our own peril. In Phoenix, we’re working to tackle the dropout rate by making sure our kids read by the third grade, and opening an online high school that helps those who have dropped out get back into class and earn their diploma.”

“We’ve all known that dropouts have a cost to our society, but this report displays it in a startling way,” remarked Todd Sanders, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce. “We at the Greater Phoenix Chamber commend the Arizona Mayors Education Roundtable for illuminating the stark reality of the economic burden of dropouts in our cities and state, and we look forward to working collaboratively with the mayors and the community to seek educational reforms and provide programs that will ease the economic burden of dropouts and improve our future economy.”

“We appreciate the leadership of the Mayors Roundtable in shedding more light on a critical issue like the impact of the dropout rate on our state’s future economic viability,” said Paul J. Luna, president and CEO of Helios Education Foundation. “Having the Mayors hold these statewide discussions will help enable our communities to identify and respond to the contributing factors and set goals that will re-engage students and put them back on the path toward college and career readiness.”

“Beyond the profound consequences to individuals and their families, we are now able to quantify the impact of school dropouts on Arizona’s economy,” said Paul H. Koehler, director of WestEd’s Policy Center and coordinator of the Mayors Roundtable. “This report should serve as a clarion call to action for state educators, policy makers, and all Arizonans.”

Russell W. Rumberger, a professor of education at the University of California, Santa Barbara and director of the California Dropout Research Project served as lead author. Data was compiled from the Arizona Department of Education, U.S. Census American Community Survey and the 2014 study, “The Economic Losses from High School Dropouts and Disconnected Youth: Evidence from Across Arizona,” written by Clive R. Belfield, a professor at Queens College, City University of New York.

“The losses from failure to graduate from high school are sizeable, robust and pervasive,” Belfield said. “The social loss amounts to more than a high school dropout will earn in their lifetime; and the fiscal loss is almost equivalent to total spending per student over their entire K-12 years in the Arizona school system.”

economic development - 8 honored

TGen recognized as ‘2014 Economic Driver’

The Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce has selected the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) for one of its 2014 Impact Awards.

TGen was selected among small to medium business in the category of 2014 Economic Driver.

“These companies represent the spirit of the entrepreneur — a spirit that truly makes an impact on our community and our Chamber,” Todd Sanders, GPCC President and CEO, said in a press release. “It’s a privilege to honor those who continue to innovate, take risks, boost our economy and create jobs. Their ability, tenacity and sense of community are an inspiration to all.”

The IMPACT Awards honor the accomplishments of small and large businesses and the impact they have on the Valley’s business community and economy.

“TGen is honored to be recognized by the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce. Through our research into the human genome, we strive to not only make an impact on the Arizona economy, but also endeavor — though precision medicine — to help develop new tools, capabilities and therapies that benefit our patients, and benefit Arizona patients first,” said Tess Burleson, TGen’s Chief Operating Officer.

This year, GPCC recognizes two recipients in each of four categories: Community Champion, Economic Driver, Entrepreneurial Excellence, and Response to Adversity.

Small to Medium Business Category:

2014 Community Champion: Native American Connections

2014 Economic Driver: Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen)

2014 Entrepreneurial Excellence: Risas Dental and Braces

2014 Response to Adversity: NJOY, Inc.



Large Business Category:

2014 Community Champion: Phoenix Children’s Hospital

2014 Economic Driver: Sundt Construction, Inc.

2014 Entrepreneurial Excellence: The CORE Institute

2014 Response to Adversity: Phoenix Zoo

The 2014 IMPACT Businesses of the Year will be selected from these honorees and announced at the 27th annual IMPACT Awards luncheon, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. May 15, at the Arizona Biltmore. For more information, visit www.phoenixchamber.com/impact.

sales.tax

Arizona Business Community Supports HB2111

The undersigned organizations and businesses want to express their strong support for the passage of HB2111 with the floor amendment that will be offered by Senator Steve Yarbrough. This final amendment represents major concessions to address concerns that have been expressed by the city representatives.

This final amendment reflects the cities’ request for a separate online portal for the collection of sales taxes in the 18 non-program cities. In addition, the amendment reflects the cities’ demand to maintain the authority to audit single-location businesses in their city. Lastly, the amendment removes all of the changes to prime contracting tax except for the trade and service contractors.

While the Yarbrough amendment reflects major concessions to the cities that undermine some of the important reforms recommended by the Transaction Privilege (Sales) Tax Simplification Task Force, we believe this final proposal still reflects historic progress that deserves final passage.

The Senator Yarbrough floor amendment will provide for the following:

* Single Point of Administration – the Department of Revenue (DOR) will become the single point of administration and collection of TPT. However, at the request of the cities, there will be a separate online portal for the 18 non-program cities. Despite this concession, the cities remain opposed because they want to continue to require businesses making paper sales tax remissions to pay the state and city separately. Their proposal provides most small businesses no administrative relief from making multiple payments to multiple jurisdictions each month.

* Single and Uniform Audit – DOR will administer a standardized state audit program where all state and city auditors are trained and certified by DOR. Despite major concessions from the business community to allow cities to continue to audit local businesses, the cities continue to push for further changes that will undermine much needed reforms to standardize state and local audits.

* Trade/Service Contracting Reform – Service contractors working directly for an owner to maintain, repair, and replace existing property would pay tax on materials at retail and not be subject to the Prime Contracting Tax. During Task Force deliberations, the cities repeatedly conceded that this area of the prime contracting tax was problematic and should be changed. However, after almost a year of study and discussion, they have offered a change to the taxation of service contractors that provides no administrative relief and couples that change with a request that the state give the cities $80 million from use tax collections.

Arizona’s chaotic and dysfunctional sales tax system has been the subject of considerable controversy at the Capitol for over 30 years. The creation of the Task Force, as well as the appearance for the first time that the cities recognized the need for reform, gave Arizona businesses great hope that this system would finally be reformed. We strongly encourage state policymakers to pass a sales tax reform bill that is grounded in sound tax policy and focuses on reducing the extraordinary compliance costs on Arizona businesses.

Kevin McCarthy, President, Arizona Tax Research Association
Michelle Lind, Chief Executive Officer, Arizona Association of REALTORS
Bas Aja, Executive Vice President, Arizona Cattlemen’s Association
Glenn Hamer, President & CEO, Arizona Chamber of Commerce
Steve Macias, Chairman, Arizona Manufacturer’s Council
Francis McAllister, Chairman, Arizona Mining Association
Courtney LeVinus, Arizona Multihousing Association
Michelle Allen Ahlmer, Executive Director, Arizona Retailers Association
Steve Chucri, President/CEO, Arizona Restaurant Association
Rick Murray, Chief Executive Officer, Arizona Small Business Association
Steve Zylstra, President & CEO, Arizona Technology Council
Greg Turner, Vice President, Senior Tax Council, Council On State Taxation (COST)
Lisa Rigler, President, Small Business Alliance AZ
Todd Sanders, President & CEO, Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce
Tom Franz, President, Greater Phoenix Leadership
Connie Wilhelm, President, Home Builders Association of Central Arizona
Tim Lawless, Chapter President, NAIOP
Farrell Quinlan, Arizona State Director, NFIB
Ronald E. Shoopman, President, Southern Arizona Leadership Council
Scot Mussi, President, The Arizona Free Enterprise Club
Matt Beckler, Vice President, Treasurer & Chief Tax Officer, Apollo Group, Inc.
Steve Barela, State & Local Tax Manager, Arizona Public Service
Steve Trussell, Executive Director, Arizona Rock Products Association
Michael DiMaria, Director of Legislative Affairs, CenturyLink, Inc.
Gayle Shanks, Owner, Changing Hands Bookstore
Michelle Bolton, Director of Public Affairs, Cox Communications
Nikki Daly, Owner, Flair! Salons
David Karsten, President, Karsten’s Ace Hardware
Reuben Minkus, Minkus Advertising Specialties
PetSmart, Inc.
Tina Danloe, General Manager, Pima Ace Hardware
Molly Greene, Senior Government Relations Representative, Salt River Project
Les Orchekowsky, President & Co-Owner, Sierra Ace Hardware, Inc.
Ann Seiden, Administrator/Corporate Public Affairs, Southwest Gas Corporation
Joseph Hughes, Director of Government Affairs, U.S. Airways
Walgreens Co.

Glenn Hamer is president and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry is committed to advancing Arizona’s competitive position in the global economy by advocating free-market policies that stimulate economic growth and prosperity for all Arizonans.

radio

KJZZ Announces Board of Directors

KJZZ is pleased to announce the appointment of 2013 officers and members to serve on the Board of Directors for Friends of Public Radio Arizona (FPRAZ).  Mark Dioguardi, Co-founder and Partner at Dioguardi Flynn, LLP, Todd Sanders, President and CEO of the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, Steve Curley, Senior Vice President at Alliance Bank of Arizona and Laura Martin, Director of Science Interpretation at the Arizona Science Center were recently selected to return for another term as officers for 2013.

Mark Dioguardi, will return as Chairman, Todd Sanders as Vice Chairman, Steve Curley as Treasurer and Laura Martin as Secretary.  Other board members chosen to serve a second term include Luis Ramirez as Chair of Tequilazona Committee, Jennifer Hadley Dioguardi as Chair of First Press, Larry Ashkin as Chair of Community Engagement Outreach and Laura Martin as Secretary.

The Friends of Public Radio Arizona Board of Directors is comprised of community leaders who truly appreciate the value of public radio.  These individuals are committed to improving the accessibility and quality of public radio throughout Arizona for all residents.

The FPRAZ 20-member board of community leaders was founded in 2001 to assure the vitality and future excellence of central Arizona’s public radio stations, KJZZ 91.5 and KBAQ 89.5, through stewarding all membership revenue and charitable contributions made to these stations.

Public Policy, AZ Business Magazine Oct/Nov 2006

Greater Phoenix Chamber Of Commerce Outlines Its Most Pressing Public Policy Efforts

Public Policy in Focus

Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce outlines its most pressing public policy efforts

 

Virtually any group that has experienced the give-and-take of supporting or opposing legislation at the state Capitol is aware of the truism—half a loaf is better than no loaf at all. Indeed, that’s how the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce views the 2006 regular session of the Arizona Legislature. And for those who didn’t get everything they wanted, there’s always next year.

Public Policy in FocusTodd Sanders, vice president of public affairs for the chamber, sees the organization’s public policy efforts as challenges, not necessarily hits or misses. One of the chamber’s biggest challenges, Sanders says, was and still is the issue of employer sanctions in connection with the growing problem of illegal immigration.

“We believe employer sanctions are necessary,” he says. “But in drafting legislation, it was difficult to put something together that was tough, but fair to employers, something that businesses can implement. There is a federal requirement that we check IDs, but the way the bill was conceived, even if we do that and find someone who is illegal, we could still be subject to sanctions.”

The Greater Phoenix Chamber and other stakeholders representing restaurants, homebuilders, small businesses, the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry and other chambers of commerce worked with legislators trying to craft an acceptable bill. What was drafted was combined into an omnibus bill dealing with illegal immigration that Gov. Janet Napolitano vetoed.

The chamber was silent on other parts of the bill, including border security, but Sanders says, “We were in favor of employer sanctions. It was drafted in such a way that it was tough, but our members could still implement it.”

One of the biggest obstacles is that federal law requires employers to check IDs, including Social Security cards and driver’s licenses, but those are easily forged, Sanders says. “Business owners are trying to make money,” he says. “They’re not ID experts or document experts. It’s one of the issues we’ll be looking at in the next session. There is a misperception that we were against employer sanctions, which we were not.”

Regarding border security—a hot topic in the general election—Sanders says, “We need to get this done at the federal level. Fixing it at the state level is very dicey at best.”

Another issue and a top priority for the chamber was property tax cuts. “It was quite a process, a lot of give and take,” he says. “The governor wanted a rebate and we wanted a tax cut. We got the cut. Actually, it’s a suspension for three years, so we’ll probably want to go in again for a permanent elimination of that tax. It was our biggest win, given the valuation increases, to protect taxpayers from massive tax bills in the future.”

Elimination of the property tax doesn’t affect the counties, because programs formerly financed by the tax will receive money from the state’s General Fund, Sanders says.

He recalls the big push at the Legislature for eminent domain reform, which the governor vetoed, and the possibility of such an initiative getting on the November ballot. In her veto message, Napolitano has said the bill would have ended existing slum clearance and redevelopment areas and inappropriately restricted the ability of cities to deal with slums and urban blight. “As a chamber, we favor strong private property rights protection,” Sanders says. “We want to make sure it’s balanced. Protection is very important to us.”

AZ Business Magazine October / November 2006The chamber chose not to weigh in on funding for all-day kindergarten and teachers’ raises. “We have supported all-day kindergarten, but with a full phase-in over time,” Sanders says. The chamber was active in efforts to establish and fund the 21st Century Fund. The money is to be used to build and strengthen medical, scientific and engineering research programs and infrastructure, with a non-profit corporation expected to provide matching funds. “We wanted $100 million, and they came in at $35 million,” Sanders says.

Regarding a constitutional proposal to establish a state minimum wage of $5.95 an hour effective July 1, 2007, to be raised to $6.75 an hour on July 1, 2008, and thereafter adjusted for inflation each year, Sanders says, “It’s a safe bet we will be opposed to that measure. We generally oppose those mandates, when government mandates what to pay someone. It’s got a built-in yearly inflator, and that’s where the real pushback will come. In good times, like now, it’s different and maybe business could absorb it, but in bad times it becomes problematic.”

www.phoenixchamber.com

Arizona Business Magazine Oct/Nov 2006