Tag Archives: University of Phoenix

Arizona State Credit Union Awards Scholarships

Arizona State Credit Union Awards $34,000 To College Students, Graduates

Arizona State Credit Union awarded $34,000 in scholarships to 18 individuals – a combination of both college students and recent college graduates of Arizona schools.

The scholarships were awarded through Arizona State Credit Union’s Community Leaders Scholarship and Loan Reduction program.

The Community Leaders Scholarship provides help for students to pay for tuition, books and other academic expenses, whereas the Load Reduction Grant helps graduates pay for student loans. The graduates were awarded for their academic achievements and commitment to the community.

Recipients of the scholarships are from various Arizona schools, including Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, University of Arizona, University of Phoenix, Gila Community College, Mesa Community College and Paradise Valley Community College.

“I commend each of these students for the commitment they have made to their education,” said David E. Doss, President/CEO of Arizona State Credit Union.

These scholarships are only one part of the scholarships and grants that Arizona State Credit Union supports. The Credit Union is a supporter of sustainability and providing assistance to the Arizonans and local communities that it serves.

Arizona State Credit Union is a non-profit, statewide financial cooperative. The company has 21 branches across Arizona that provides financial products and services.

The 18 award recipients are Casey Lee Green, Brigitte Steinken, Eric Lehnhardt, Mathew Wadsworth, Maria Pina, Sawsan Hamad and Kevin Denhardt, all of Arizona State University.

Camille Adkins-Rieck, Daniel Cheek, Noam Dorr and Alegra Savage are the recipients from the University of Arizona.

Timothy O’Donnel and Chelsea Wilson are of Mesa Community College, James Burgos and Angela Towner are of the University of Phoenix, Jacquelina Blanch of Gila Community College and Joseph Cook of Paradise Valley Community College are also recipients.

“It is a privilege to be associated with some of the state’s brightest and most deserving individuals,” Doss said. “I am certain their dedication will enhance not only their futures but the future of Arizona as well.”

For more information about Arizona State Credit Union or its Community Leaders Scholarship and Loan Reduction program, please visit www.azstcu.org.

 

San Tan Valley Sunrise, Valley Forward initiative Arizona Forward

New Arizona Forward Initiative Hopes To Balance Future Economic Development With Sustainability Concerns

The future of Arizona’s economic development is one that is still being decided. In order to help push Arizona in the right direction, Valley Forward has launched an initiative called Arizona Forward.

The more than 40-year-old group brings together business and government leaders to help improve the environment and livability of communities in the Valley. Arizona Forward is an idea that Valley Forward has had in the works for years. Until now, however, the organization hasn’t had the funds to act on the idea. That all changed recently when the group received a grant that will fund the initiative for one year. Depending on the results it drives, the initiative may or may not look for additional funding.View from Cleopatra Hill, Powder Box Church in foreground

“Our areas of focus have a far greater impact than the immediate geographic location we currently serve,” Diane Brossart, president of Valley Forward, said at a luncheon in February. “Arizona cities and towns are facing many common issues that should be addressed holistically and statewide.”

Arizona Forward will focus on bringing together cities and businesses to effectively put Arizona on the right path toward growth and sustainable development, turning ideas into reality.

“Arizona Forward will bring the business community, large companies and small businesses, and the government sector together to begin the dialogue,” Brossart said. “We want to reach consensus and drive a balanced public agenda.”

The initial goals of Arizona Forward are to establish cooperative relationships, convene public dialogue to improve Arizona’s sustainability, increase awareness and interest in the environment and serve as a technical resource for environmental issues in the state.

The main region Arizona Forward will focus its efforts on is the Sun Corridor, the area stretching from Phoenix to Tucson, which is home to 80 percent of the state’s population.

The Sun Corridor is a prime area for development in Arizona, and projects already are in the works, according to Morris Mennenga, president of the Central Arizona Regional Economic Development Foundation and president of
Discovery Building Companies.

“There were some great things happening in the Sun Corridor and then the recession came on,” Mennenga said. “They’re coming back into play now. For example, we’re putting in an incredible infrastructure in that area. There will be an I-10 expansion (six lanes) that will stretch all the way to Tucson.”

According to Lisa Lovallo, chair of the Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities and vice president and systems manager of Cox Communications, Southern Arizona, there are several issues that businesses and communities in Arizona need to focus on in order to have successful economic development in the Sun Corridor. Those issues include: high-skill high-wage jobs, a vibrant urban core, education, and government.

Creating high-skill high-wage jobs means bringing industries such as aerospace, biotechnology and information systems and logistics to Arizona. There is a need to make Arizona attractive to those industries so they will want to expand their business to the Sun Corridor. That in turn will bring development to the corridor — development that needs to be managed responsibly.

Roosevelt Lake Apache Trail, Valley Forward Arizona Forward“It will be a balance between economic development and economic equality,” Brossart said. “Our focus is going to be the issues related to land planning, open space, transportation, air quality issues, water management and energy.”

Gov. Jan Brewer signed new legislation in February that will make it easier for Arizona to recruit businesses to the Sun Corridor.
The new legislation, called the Arizona Competitiveness Package, includes business incentives and tax reforms that are designed to stimulate Arizona’s economy.

Another key opportunity for economic growth for Arizona lies with the solar industry. For a state that sees more than 300 days of sunshine a year, the chance to be at the front of the industry’s development is huge.

“There are a lot of good things happening in solar,” Lovallo said. “If we can keep the government positive to business corporate expansion, there’s no reason businesses won’t want to be here showing off their solar capabilities.”

The biggest challenge Arizona Forward faces is finding solutions that all Arizona cities can agree with and put into effect.
“For so long we have operated as separate cities,” Brossart said. “We’ve been focusing on Phoenix or Scottsdale instead of focusing on how we can market and benefit Arizona as a state.

“We have to do a better job of finding our commonalities between cities so we can make a difference in ensuring long-term development,” she added.

In terms of that long-term development, Arizona Forward will use data collected in 2008 by the Urban Land Development Institute during a Reality Check visioning exercise. ULI collected data from 300 Arizonans who worked together in groups to envision future job centers, transportation lines and housing.

While Arizona Forward will initially focus on the Sun Corridor, plans are to take the initiative to other parts of the state and work with existing environmental and economic development groups.San Tan Valley sunrise, Valley Forward Arizona Forward

“It is not our intent to duplicate efforts already underway in areas outside our traditional jurisdiction or to undermine existing civic structures,” Brossart said at the February luncheon. “Rather, we will foster relationships, build coalitions and maximize resources toward a sustainability agenda.”

Bill Pepicello, chair of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council and president of the University of Phoenix, says Valley leaders have to step up to the job of designing Arizona’s future.

“We think the growth should not be counted on again as we did in traditional areas of retail and real estate,” Pepicello said. “As we look at the cycles of our past we know that if we don’t position ourselves going forward, we’re doomed to repeat those cycles.”

Arizona Business Magazine May/June 2011


 

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Companies may go out of business, but some are so memorable, they’re hard to forget.

Do you know of any companies that are gone but definitely not forgotten?

Let us know! Submit a company, and let us know if we’re missing any.

We’d love your input.[/stextbox]

Bill Pepicello, chairman of GPEC and president of University of Phoenix - AZ Business Magazine Jan/Feb 2011

Q&A Bill Pepicello, GPEC Chairman And University Of Phoenix President

What are your top goals as chairman of GPEC?
First, and foremost, my goal is to build on the momentum that Michael Bidwill, GPEC’s immediate past chairman, and Barry Broome, GPEC’s president and CEO, have driving the region toward new high-quality jobs. … I also want to expand on their vision and ideas to build a healthy economy. Many of the pieces of the puzzle are coming together now. Arizona’s Renewable Energy Tax Incentive Program is driving hundreds of new jobs and millions in capital investment. In addition, many leaders are focused on moving Arizona’s economy beyond its former reliance on the construction, retail and real estate industries.

How would you characterize Greater Phoenix to companies looking to expand here?
Greater Phoenix is a strong investment decision for companies. We have ground-floor business opportunities for companies looking for the right place to expand their businesses. Renewable energy companies and bioscience companies do very well here. The semiconductor and aerospace industry are intertwined in Arizona’s history. Also, Greater Phoenix is an ideal location to launch a business and export products to California, which has a more expensive business environment. … We have highly skilled labor, an affordable operating environment and new available buildings.

Why is GPEC targeting the renewable energy industry?
The industry provides high-quality jobs for local communities, injects millions in capital investment, and draws other companies that serve as suppliers. … GPEC will continue to focus on renewable energy policy and the state’s aggressive Renewable Energy Standard that appeals to companies. Michael will continue to play a pivotal role in advancing the renewable energy industry, as Gov. Brewer has appointed him to lead the Arizona Commerce Authority’s Renewable Energy Growth Sector Committee.

What is GPEC doing this year to advance the region?
We are partnering with the Legislature to bring more high-quality jobs to Arizona, and we are working with lawmakers to modernize the state’s Enterprise Zone to draw more companies here. We are continuing with rebranding efforts to move Arizona’s national image beyond the immigration debates. I believe our efforts to continue diversifying the region’s economy will have a lasting impact for the region and Arizona. GPEC is working very hard to strengthen the economy. We have many tasks to accomplish this year but we are definitely up for the challenge.

AZ Business Magazine Jan/Feb 2011

Sea Life Interior

Paramount Promotions Puts Its Products On The National Stage

Each year Paramount Promotions transforms the University of Phoenix Stadium from the home of the Arizona Cardinals into the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl with colorful and eye-catching graphics.

 

 

Paramount Promotions Tostitos

Photo: Paramount Promotions

 

 

Phoenix-based Paramount Promotions designs and manufactures most of the graphic signs, banners and inflatables for the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl held in Glendale annually.

The company created 25-foot tall inflatable Tostitos chip bags for the Fiesta Bowl, along with most of the banners and signs in the University of Phoenix stadium that can be seen during the game.

The 2011 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl was the second year of a five-year agreement between Paramount Promotions and the Fiesta Bowl. In addition to the Fiesta Bowl, Paramount Promotions also creates graphic signs for the Insight Bowl, held in Tempe at Sun Devil Stadium each year. The company also created graphic banners for the University of Arizona’s football stadium.

“Working with bowl games have always been probably my favorite,” says Brad Bergamo, president of Paramount Promotions. “It’s always fun to go in and take a stadium and completely change the look of it. … So, you go from a stadium that’s just a lot of concrete, colorless, to having a lot of color and graphics.”

Although making over the stadiums is Bergamo’s favorite project, Paramount Promotions does much more.

The company, which was established in 1992, also designs and manufactures wraps for boats, cars, trailers, golf carts and more, all at its Phoenix location.

Paramount Promotions produces light boxes, banners, billboards, fence wraps, window graphics, inflatables, flatbed boards and more that can be seen across the country. The company also makes “fly guys,” the dancing or wiggling inflatable “men” often seen on the side of the road.

Paramount Promotions, which employs 11 people, serves clients nationwide, but about 85 percent of the company’s business comes from Arizona companies and individuals, Bergamo says.

 

 

Sea Life Exterior

Photo: Paramount Promotions

 

 

Another large project Paramount Promotions undertook was creating all of the signs and wall graphics for the Sea Life Aquarium at Arizona Mills.

With the use of digital printing machine, the Nur Expedic, Paramount Promotions prints an average of 1,800 square feet per hour. At that speed, the company could wrap 30 semi-trucks per day.

Even though Paramount Promotions works with large clients such as the Fiesta Bowl and the University of Arizona, it also offers many services for individuals and small companies.

Currently, the most common product for individual clients is canvas paintings of personal photos. The company has also done life-sized wall graphics — similar to Fathead sports wall graphics — of individuals or their children playing sports.

One of the more creative ways people use Paramount Promotions is to create a large graphic photo, whether it be of the beach, mountains or snow, to cover the boring brick walls that are so common in Phoenix.

“We’re pretty diverse right now. So as of right now, we’re not looking to expand into other products or services,” Bergamo says. “We’re trying to specialize in what we do now.”

The company has been growing steadily, even in the recent down economy, Bergamo adds. In the fall of 2010, Paramount Promotions acquired MonsterColor, a local, large-format printer. The acquisition has expanded Paramount’s capabilities.

Earthfest Provides Free Resources to Teachers

EarthFest Provides Free Resources To Teachers

Teachers are desperately in need of assistance, especially during these tough economic times with budget cuts, fewer resources and larger class sizes. That’s why it’s important to get the word out about some exciting opportunities to assist educators, both personally and in the classroom.

Arizona teachers can apply for one of two full-tuition scholarships being offered by University of Phoenix and/or $5,000 in funding for environmental programs in their school, classroom or community through an EarthFest Education Grant made possible by STMicroelectronics.

Valley Forward Association has partnered with University of Phoenix to offer two full-tuition scholarships to Arizona K-12 teachers in an effort to expand its environmental education outreach. Each scholarship will allow a prospective student the opportunity to obtain a Master of Arts in Education (MAED) degree.

The purpose of the scholarship program is to provide educational opportunities to local teachers who have demonstrated sustainable practices in their classroom and want to continue to make a difference in their community. The scholarship application deadline is Oct. 22 and recipients will be announced by Nov. 12. To obtain a copy of University of Phoenix’s Valley Forward Scholarship application, teachers can visit valleyforward.org or phoenix.edu/scholarships.

In addition, Valley Forward recently announced $5,000 in grant funding for teachers in the 2010-11 school year to support projects that enhance awareness of and interest in environmental sustainability. It is the fourth consecutive year STMicroelectronics has funded this program.

Projects should focus on such topics as: energy, water, air quality, transportation, land planning, plants and animals or waste management. The deadline for submitting applications is Dec. 10. Applications may be mailed or emailed to info@valleyforward.org and projects must be completed by May 1, 2011.

These and other opportunities were offered in conjunction with the sixth annual EarthFest Educators Night, presented in partnership with Intel Corporation and the Helios Education Foundation. To learn more about what resources are available, visit: Environmental Education Directory.

Why does it matter? Because if we expose kids of all ages to ways they can contribute to a healthier environment, it helps ensure a more sustainable future for generations to come.

Ipad vs. Textbooks

IPad vs. Textbooks, A Greener Facebook And More

Some really interesting things happening in sustainability this week. Check out these stories about: Facebook, Japan’s dolphin hunting season, Notre Dame using the iPad in a paperless course, and others.

EarthFest Educators Night
On Sept. 16, more than 400 educators will receive resources on how to make their schools greener.  At this free event, educators can enter to win two full-tuition scholarships to the University of Phoenix to obtain their Master of Arts in education and $5,000 in grant funding for the 2010-2011 school year.

Japan’s Controversial Dolphin Slaughter Begins Again
Yesterday marked the beginning of open season for dolphins in Japan.  This famous annual slaughter is the subject of the Oscar winning documentary “The Cove”, which was turned into a miniseries on Animal Planet called “Blood Dolphins”.  The first episode aired last Friday, Aug. 27.

Notre Dame Starts Paperless Course With iPad
The University of Notre Dame is using the iPad in a project management course instead of a textbook.  The course has 40 students and isn’t the first e-reader classroom test, Princeton University tested the Kindle last year.

Facebook Comes Under Fire to Be Greener
Facebook is the subject of a petition that Greenpeace says 500,000 people have signed.  The petition is protesting the social media site’s planned use of coal to power a facility it is building in Portland, Ore.  The facility is projected to get 67 percent of its power from coal.

U.S. Ban on Drilling Could Be Overturned
A United States ban on deep water oil and gas drilling could be overturned for a second time.  On Sept. 1, U.S. District Court judge rejected the Obama administration’s request to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the oil industry.

Photo Credit: www.apple.com

Marinello standing in front of a building

CEO Series: Anthony Marinello

Anthony Marinello
CEO, Mountain Vista Medical Center/IASIS Healthcare

What will be the impact of Arizona’s budget cuts on hospitals in particular and the health care industry in general?

All hospitals are going to feel the impact. There are several areas: education, economy, jobs, general medical education; and it’s just going to take a big effect on us. It’s really going to change the way we do things. But we are still going to be here to take care of our patients and give them high quality of care. The cuts this year, that just occurred in March, are going to cost several millions of dollars, which will drastically impact patient care and patient’s ability to come there. But, like we say, we’ll be open and still take care of our patients.

What will be the effect of the recently signed federal health care reform?

I think everybody agrees that we need health care reform. There’s no doubt about it. The key with this will be to continue to build and strengthen relationships with our physicians, who ultimately have the relationships with the patients. It’s so new right now, that I think everybody is trying to grab it and grasp onto what the effects are going to be. You have physicians that are nervous; you have hospitals trying to figure out what (it will mean to them). It’s going to be interesting. The key part we all really agree on is the electronic medical records, which is good for the transparency and being able to avoid duplications of testing and things like that. We are currently, at Mountain Vista, way ahead of the curve on our electronic medical records, and physicians like that. It’s a very good tool to be able to see the records from the hospital or even your office, because it’s Internet based. So it’s been very, very good for us.

We’ve heard much about the nursing shortage in Arizona. Has there been any improvement in that situation?

There will always be a need for nursing. Per se, we haven’t really seen much of a shortage here. We’ve been able to attract a lot of the new graduates coming out. IASIS as a company, since 2005, has been engaged with schools and several universities. We’ve seen about 350 students coming through, which we work with them and eventually employ them, so we have been very, very fortunate in that part. We always have people looking to become a nurse. You have certified nursing assistants that want to go to the next level, so that ability is there where we provide assistance for them.

What are the areas where Arizona’s health care industry is really excelling?

In the short time I’ve been in Arizona, where I’ve seen (the health care industry is excelling in) is education. (Arizona State University) has a health school, (University of Arizona), (NAU), A.T. Still (University), Midwestern University. And actually our facility is partnered up with Midwestern University for the medical student program for physicians, and we’re looking at what the future can be to keep education and future physicians in this area. So we are really proud to be partners with them and just continuing to grow. We just engaged in this last July, so it’s very new to us.

In these changing times, what does a C-level executive need to succeed in the health care industry?

You have to build strong relationships. You have to be a good communicator. You have to be honest. You have to be up front. If something can’t be done, you’ve got to tell it. You can’t just leave things alone. You have to be visible, high visibility. You have to be able to talk to all staff, from your environmental services person to the president of your company to every physician. It’s just very, very important to think outside the box, to listen to what people have to say, because there are a lot of people with good ideas out there. That’s something I’ve prided myself on and the team I work with and our C-level here that our doors are open, we’re always there, we want to hear, we want to listen. The relationship building has been a strength for us here.

Vital Stats: Anthony Marinello

  • Named CEO of Mountain Vista Medical Center in Mesa in 2008
  • Served as CEO of IASIS’ North Vista Hospital in North Las Vegas from 2005 to 2008
  • Served as hospital administrator for Desert Springs Hospital Medical Center in Las Vegas
  • Began career in 1979 as a hospital laboratory manager
  • Received MBA from the University of Phoenix
  • Member of the American College of Healthcare Executives
  • www.mvmedicalcenter.com
ROI on mba

Higher Degrees Are Still A Solid Investment In Corporate America

If ever there was a time for a Master in Business Administration to pay dividends, this is it. In a troubled economic climate, experts say businesses are more careful about who they hire. Having an MBA opens doors to jobs and salary levels otherwise out of reach, and it provides a layer of protection against downsizing.

When the economy is in a downturn, the employees businesses let go first are the least valuable. People who are investing in themselves, gaining new skills through an MBA, send a signal to the marketplace that they are the one a business wants to keep.

Gerry Keim, associate dean for the W. P. Carey MBA in the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, says MBAs are better off in the job market under any circumstances.

“They’re more likely to get hired in today’s environment than people without an MBA, and when the economy is booming and everybody is getting hired, these are the people who tend to move up,” Keim says.

Craig Bartholomew, MBA, vice president/director of the Phoenix Campus of the University of Phoenix, says economic downturn, slow market and rising prices are terms being used to describe the current economic landscape.

“The word recession is looming over everyone’s heads, employers are hesitant to add staff, and one’s climb up the career ladder may look like it is coming to a sudden halt,” Bartholomew says.

Earning an advanced degree goes a long way toward enhancing one’s economic future.

“Initially, it might seem like a risky investment, but trends traditionally indicate that now is the time to gain a competitive career advantage through a higher-education degree,” Bartholomew says. “A slow economy is temporary, but higher education is a long-term investment that can make a professional more valuable today and in the future.”

But Keim doesn’t necessarily believe that having an MBA in and of itself makes a difference.

“The market is very discriminating,” he says. “Having a degree is not enough. Having an MBA from a school with a very strong program is a good investment. You have to have skill sets and mind-sets that enhance your ability to manage in today’s business world.”

Last year, 97 percent of ASU’s MBAs landed jobs within three months of graduation, and the program was on target to match that mark in 2008. In what Keim calls “a very down economy,” salaries and bonuses are in the upper $90,000 area, perhaps even six figures. MBAs are making almost double what they were before entering the program, he says.

One of the key elements of the MBA field involves competition. Schools compete for the best students and the students compete against one another for the best jobs. Competition among students gets especially tense. Earning an MBA from an elite, private university can cost upwards of $120,000, compared to $32,000 for a full-time student at ASU, Keim says.

Some students from elite schools, such as Harvard, wind up owing $100,000 when they graduate.

“Our students graduate with virtually no debt,” Keim says. “They get to take home their entire salary. I’d say that’s a pretty good investment.”

Richard Bowman, area chair for graduate business at the University of Phoenix, a faculty member for 16 years and a financial planner, sums up the value of an MBA, telling his students: “You will run into a point in your career that to move up to the next level, a master’s degree is required or desired. If you want to be promoted to operations manager, director, vice president or general manager, you will not be competitive without an MBA degree or a master’s in general.”

An advanced degree is also vital in the military if an officer hopes to rise above the rank of captain, Bowman says.

Pursuing an MBA online has the advantage of flexibility. Bowman says he has taught students online who were in such places as Iraq, Kosovo, Japan, Great Britain and China. It’s convenient for mid-level managers who travel a lot, he says, but there is little opportunity for interaction with other students and the instructor.

He tells of working mothers who are full-time employees.

“After they put the kids to bed, they can do their master’s degree,” Bowman says.