Tag Archives: valley forward association

Richard Picciotto, Valley Forward Association 42nd Annual Lunch

9/11 Firefighter Richard Picciotto To Speak At Valley Forward Luncheon

The highest-ranking firefighter to survive the World Trade Center collapse and the last fireman to escape the devastation, Richard “Pitch” Picciotto, was on a stairwell between the sixth and seventh floors of the North Tower when it collapsed on Sept. 11, 2001.

Picciotto is coming to Phoenix to speak at Valley Forward Association’s 42nd Annual Lunch on Dec. 9, 2011, and will provide an outspoken account of that indelible day.

His inspirational presentation to some 500 business and community leaders in attendance will address how to lead effectively and achieve optimal teamwork to help organizations achieve their goals; the training, preparedness, risk management and decision-making know-how necessary to tackle any problem; and how hope and positivity can emerge out of tragedy and adversity.

An FDNY battalion commander, his is the harrowing true story of an American hero, a man who thought nothing of himself and gave nearly everything for others during one of our nation’s darkest hours. Picciotto will share the positives that can emanate from a major disaster.

Picciotto’s book, Last Man Down, is a tribute to the 343 firefighters and 2,400 civilians who lay dead in the rubble that surrounded him on that day. Moreover, it is a heartfelt remembrance of a day of infamy and profound humanity. The book was an immediate New York Times bestseller upon its release in May 2002. He will personally autograph copies of his book for luncheon attendees.

Sept. 11 demonstrated the power of the human spirit, revealing a nation united and tenacious, saddened but resilient. Life has carried on even in the face of unthinkable loss. We may never understand the whys of what happened, but we can use our collective energy to create a stronger America.

For more information about Picciotto and the Valley Forward’s 42nd Annual Lunch, visit www.valleyforward.org.

 

Feature Big Green 2011

Speaker: Diane Brossart ~ BIG Green Expo & Conference 2011

Diane Brossart, Valley Forward

Diane Brossart, Valley Forward, BIG Green Conference 2011 SpeakerDiane Brossart has a longtime connection with Valley Forward Association, having first joined the non-profit public interest organization 20 years ago. Brossart served on the Valley Forward Board of Directors for several years and was named President of the association in 1991. As President, Brossart oversees a staff of four and manages a host of committees, which focus on such issues as land use planning and desert preservation, transportation and air quality, water concerns and environmental education.Under Brossart’s leadership, Valley Forward has received widespread recognition for its role in addressing environmental and quality of life issues in the Valley. Awards include an Outstanding Achievement Award from the Environmental Protection Agency, Region 9; Award of Distinction from the Western Mountain Region of the American Institute of Architects; and first-place honors from the City of Phoenix Mayor’s Environmental Awards Program.

Brossart also received the Phoenix Award from the Public Relations Society of America’s Phoenix Chapter in 2008, in addition to the 2009 Champion of Sustainability Award through the Phoenix Business Journal’s Green Pioneers program. She is also involved as a member of several civic organizations, including the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, Valley Partnership, Friends of the West Valley Recreation Corridor and Phoenix Community Alliance.

Prior to her work with Valley Forward, Brossart was Vice President of one of the Valley’s largest public relations agencies, serving as a marketing consultant to Valley Forward and several commercial accounts. Brossart received her Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Wayne State University in 1979 and began her professional career as a reporter for a daily newspaper in metropolitan Detroit.


Topic: Sustainable & How You Can Be Part of the Solution: How people & organizations can personally get involved in the green movement.

Conference Speaker
Friday, April 15, 2011
1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
Room 158

BIG Green Conference 2011


BIG Green Expo
Friday & Saturday
April 15th & 16th 2011
9 a.m. – 4 p.m.



Sponsors:

The Canalscape Project Beautifying The Phoenix-Area Canals

The Canalscape Project Envisions Beautifying The Phoenix-Area’s Many Canals

Forget “The Valley of the Sun.” Imagine “The Venice of the Southwest.”

It’s an idea that’s hard to fathom now, especially when most Valley residents think of canals as “ugly, smelly and dangerous,” says Nan Ellin, a former Arizona State University professor who conceived Canalscape with her students.

Canalscape is a concept that encourages Phoenicians to embrace the canals that give life to the desert by developing “places of urban vitality” where major streets meet canals, Ellin says.

Despite the canals’ bad reputation, Valley Forward Association and Ellin see a bright, watery future for Phoenix. With more than 181 miles of canals, Phoenix has more of such waterways than Venice and Amsterdam combined. But unlike their European counterparts, canals in Phoenix are not a vital part of the city’s culture.

“The canals used to be the front porch and they became the back alleys,” with the urban sprawl of the 1960s and 1970s, Ellin says.

Valley Forward is committed to transforming the canals from eyesores to amenities, says Jay Hicks, chair-elect of Valley Forward.

“Canalscape represents the next evolution of Valley Forward being able to really bring their membership to a project,” Hicks says.

He adds that the diversity of Valley Forward’s members will help establish connections and relationships between cities, developers, the Salt River Project and other entities to push Canalscape forward.

Currently, the Canalscape project is in the research and discussion stages in Valley Forward’s land use and open space committee. By the end of this year, Valley Forward hopes to create a separate Canalscape committee to allow all of Valley Forward’s members to participate in the creation process, says George Pasquel III, chair of the land use and open space committee.

Canalscape fits perfectly with two of Valley Forward’s goals — promoting sustainability and giving Phoenicians a high quality of life, Hicks says.

Two important aspects of the Canalscape vision are to bring nature into the city by not hardscaping the selected areas, and to keep the ground level spaces public to attract visitors.

“When the ground floor is public, it’s saying welcome,” Ellin notes.

Each “canalscaped” location would have a unique look. The Canalscape developments could range from a naturally landscaped public recreation area to a public school to small urban hubs complete with restaurants, grocery stores and dry cleaners, Ellin says.

Canalscape’s urban centers would create a lifestyle in which walking, biking and mass transit replace cars as the main modes of transportation, thus making the Valley more sustainable and increasing the quality of life, Ellin says.

Currently, there are several locations being considered for Canalscape’s pilot project, but no decisions have been made.

“The best location for a pilot project is whatever location can get implemented the fastest, have the most positive public impact and be the greatest catalyst for future locations,” Pasquel says.

Gateway Community College, which houses the Canalscape Exhibit, is a possible location and GCC President Eugene Giovannini says he hopes the college is chosen.

“I can’t think of another area in the city that is more worthy of the initial pilot project (to) move (Canalscape) forward, because of its location as it relates to mass transit and an underserved, underdeveloped area in the city,” Giovannini says.

The METRO Light Rail’s 38th Street stop at Gateway Community College will connect to Sky Harbor International Airport’s tram when it is completed. As a result, the stop becomes the front door to the city for visitors, and the city should roll out an attractive welcome mat, Giovannini says.

Whichever location is chosen, Pasquel says he hopes to see Canalscape fully developed in the coming decade.

“I’d like (the canal system) to be an active part of the Valley that’s not so ignored, that people … actually think of it as a thoroughfare that connects areas,” he says.

Canalscape connects the Valley, while also maintaining each community’s uniqueness by involving a “combination of urban and nature, and a combination of live, work, play that you don’t see anywhere else in the Valley,” Ellin says.

“So it would really improve the quality of life … and overall it would really enhance the reputation of the Phoenix metropolitan region.”

16th Street and Indian School Road proposed by Jens Kolb

The intersection of 16th Street and Indian School Road as proposed by Jens Kolb.


16th st and indian school exisiting canal

The intersection of 16th Street and Indian School Road as it exists today.


Metrocenter Proposed by Nicholas Glover

Metro Center as proposed by Nicholas Glover.


metro center today

Metro Center as it exists today.

Electric Vehicles and Charging Stations - The future will happen first in Arizona

Electric Vehicles And Charging Stations an Arizona Reality

The future will happen first in Arizona. That’s because Phoenix and Tucson made a list we can be proud about – we’re one of six states selected to deploy “smart” charging stations as part of an electric vehicle (EV) program funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. Thousands of charging stations will soon be placed throughout our region and 900 zero-emission Nissan LEAF electric vehicles will rollout in our metro areas.

As a project stakeholder, Valley Forward Association was privileged to participate in a press conference at the Desert Botanical Garden to officially unveil ECOtality’s plans to electrify Arizona’s Sun Corridor.

ECOtality is a leader in clean electric transportation and storage technologies and is facilitating The EV Project, the largest electric vehicle infrastructure venture ever undertaken. It will deliver 15,000 residential and commercial charges to 16 cities in six states.

Part of the planning process included the involvement of local government agencies and regional stakeholders to ensure the proper locations for the charging stations. Collaboration on the infrastructure is essential to prepare Arizona for the next wave of electric vehicles and enable more rapid adoption. The company also evaluated a variety of factors, including population density, zoning regulations, employment centers and transportation routes, when developing the blueprint.

The goal of the project is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by making the Valley ‘plug-in ready’ and enhance alternative transportation efforts that encourage individuals to incorporate green technology into their lives. The success of EVs is dependent on charge infrastructure that makes recharging convenient, practical and cost-effective.

Standing in the way of wider spread EV adoption are perceptions and myths about how far the car will go on electricity – approximately 100 miles on a full charge – in addition to fears of being stranded, even though charging stations are being placed every 30 miles along most freeway systems. ECOtality plans to collect and analyze data from the vehicles and charging systems to characterize vehicle performance and the effectiveness of local charging infrastructure under various use patterns and climate conditions to prepare for the next deployment and help encourage additional adoption.

The EV deployment plan is good news for Arizona on several fronts, including more green jobs, less pollution and a reduction on foreign oil dependency.