Tag Archives: Westgroup Research

minorities

Summit spotlights impact of minority-owned companies

Fifteen corporations and nonprofits that do tens of millions in contracts with minority-owned companies in Arizona, and the release of a detailed new, post-recession survey of minority-owned business will be among the highlights of the 2012 Minority Business Enterprise Summit in downtown Phoenix Friday.

The 2012 Minority Business Enterprise Summit was organized by the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Phoenix MBDA Business Center . The event takes place Nov. 16, 2012, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., at Renaissance Hotel Downtown, 50 East Adams Street in Phoenix.

“The summit speaks to the growing influence of minority-owned businesses in Arizona and the historic demographic shift that’s helping reshape the economy of our state and our nation,” said Gonzalo de la Melena, president and CEO of the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, which operates the federally-funded Phoenix MBDA Business Center.

MBE summit highlights include:

* The release of the 2012 Minority Business Enterprise Report (the first-of-its-kind since 2007) regarding the state of minority-owned businesses in Arizona.
* Inaugural inductions into the Arizona Million Dollar Circle of Excellence: Leading the Way in Supplier Diversity recognizing corporations and non-profits that do at least $1 million in business with minority- and women-owned companies in Arizona.
* The annual presentation of the Minority Enterprise Development Awards.

The 2012 MBE Report will be released during a Friday morning presentation starting at 10 a.m. The report was conducted by Westgroup Research and designed to serve as a resource for businesses, organizations, educators, government agencies and individuals who want to help Arizona MBEs succeed.

The report’s findings include:
* About 78% of the MBEs in Arizona have less than 10 employees.
* Nearly one-quarter of MBEs did not feel they were treated with respect when applying for a loan.
* Among survey participants, the median gross revenue in 2011 was $215,000 with a median staff size of four employees.
* Minority business owners are optimistic about the future — 63% feel their financial situation will improve in the next 12 months.

During the Summit’s Friday luncheon, 15 companies and governmental organizations will be inducted in the Arizona Million Dollar Circle of Excellence. AZHCC President De la Melena said the this initiative breaks new ground by recognizing major corporations and governmental entities that directly spend at least $1 million purchasing goods or services from minority-owned and women-owned businesses in Arizona. Several of the companies individually spend tens of millions annually contracting with minority- and women-owned firms. The project also is intended to promote and share best practices regarding supply-chain diversity, said de la Melena.

The AZ Million Dollar Circle of Excellence is co-chaired by Donald E. Brandt, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Arizona Public Service, and Lorena Valencia, President/CEO, Reliance Wire & Cable and a member of the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce board of directors. Arizona Public Service is a major purchaser of good and services from minority- and women-owned companies and the presenting sponsor for the summit and the 2012 MBE Report.

“Our state is rapidly becoming a national leader for diverse business supplier programs,” said APS’s Brandt, whose company has spent about $1.5 billion with women- and minority-owned businesses since 1992. “All of Arizona benefits from the jobs that are created and the resulting competition that leads to better goods and services. For our state to achieve its full economic potential, Arizona businesses must continue to seek out qualified diverse suppliers, hire them and put them in a position to succeed.”

De la Melena added, “The induction of the inaugural members of Arizona Million Dollar Circle of Excellence is our way of recognizing companies that are doing the right thing by ensuring they have diverse supply chain.”

The MBE Summit luncheon will also honor the winners of the annual Minority Enterprise Development Week Awards which recognize the achievements of minority-owned companies in the Southwest.

MINORITY CONSTRUCTION FIRM OF THE YEAR, Fortis Networks, Inc., Reyna & Clarence McAllister

MINORITY TECHNOLOGY FIRM OF THE YEAR, 360 Vantage, Mario Martinez

MINORITY FIRM OF THE YEAR, Technology Integration Group, Ying McGuire

ACCESS TO CAPITAL AWARD, Prestamos CDFI LLC

Arizona Forward - AB Magazine November/December 2011

Arizona Forward Hopes To Preserve Parks, Open Land

As one of the earliest pioneers of sustainability in the Valley, Valley Forward has had an Arizona presence for 42 years. The organization’s focus on land use and open space, air quality, water, energy and transportation has grown immensely since its inception. It is no surprise that this progressive group has once again embarked on the next sustainable step with the creation of Arizona Forward — a public interest coalition aimed at bringing together business, community and civic leaders to convene public dialogue and advocacy on sustainability in the state.

“By promoting cooperative efforts between Arizona cities and towns, the state’s livability, sustainability and economic vitality will be enhanced for both current and future generations,” says Kurt Wadlington, employee-owner at Sundt Construction, Tucson Building Group Leader and Arizona Forward advisory board chair.

Arizona Forward is initially expected to focus on the Sun Corridor, the region encompassing Tucson to Phoenix, hoping to encourage collaborative efforts between members and strike a balance between economic growth and environmental quality.

“We believe there is a strong connection between the health of our environment and the health of our economy,” says Pat Graham, state director of the Nature Conservancy in Arizona. “Arizona Forward provides an opportunity for like-minded businesses and organizations from across the state to come together and come up with solutions.”

First on the agenda for the coalition is spreading the message about the importance of parks and open spaces and their economic impact on the state.

According to the Outdoor Industry Foundation, nearly 5.5 million Arizonans participate in outdoor recreation. This leads to approximately $350 million in annual state tax revenue and supports 82,000 jobs in Arizona.  Arizona Forward leaders say the economic impact of parks and open spaces is just one reason why the business community should take notice and take a stand.

“One of the challenges today is the complexity of the problems we face,” Graham says. “It requires working together in new ways and with new partners to find solutions that improve the health of both the economy and our environment to maintain a good quality of life in Arizona.”

A study compiled by WestGroup Research on behalf of Valley Forward found that 93 percent of Arizonans categorize parks and open space as “essential” to Arizona’s tourism industry. The study also found that 23 percent of Arizonans visit parks or recreation areas at least once a week.

Just how much open space are we talking about? State and federal entities, along with Native American tribes in Arizona manage more than 70 million acres of land (excluding county and municipal parks). Not surprisingly, negative effects on our parks and open space have a big impact on the state’s bottom line.

“Economic development and new jobs rely on lifestyle considerations,” Wadlington says. “Parks, forests, refuges and other open spaces support the quality-of-life factors that can make a difference for communities seeking to attract employers and a strong workforce. Access to open space boosts property values and provides healthy outdoor recreational opportunities for residents and tourists alike. If we don’t prioritize our parks and open space, we will lose our most treasured resources.”

Prioritizing these aspects has a major economic impact on Arizona. A 2009 National Parks Second Century Commission projected that every $1 in taxpayer money spent on national parks returned a $4 economic benefit through tourism and private sector spending. A June 2011 press release from the Department of the Interiors’ Economic Contributions Report further emphasized this information, with data showing that Arizona’s public lands supported 21,364 jobs and contributed nearly $2 billion to Arizona’s economy.

It is figures like these that Arizona Forward hopes will get the public and policy makers involved with protecting parks and open spaces. State legislators must stop encroaching on the parks-system budget and instead focus on securing funding for their protection, Valley forward leaders say.

“A depressed economy has impacted parks negatively at every jurisdictional level,” Wadlington says. He noted that an already-weakened parks system could be further depleted if lawmakers don’t get the message from their voters about protecting these open spaces.

“As the economy recovers and state revenues return, legislators will be faced with many choices on how to best allocate these funds,” Wadlington says. “As a community, we have to step forward collectively and make a strong case for the parks system and open space preservation.”

Like the mission Valley Forward embarked on 42 years ago, Arizona Forward hopes to serve as the catalyst for change during these trying times.  A diverse membership group with a common goal of environmental stewardship hopes to protect the state’s important parks and open spaces and other environmental issues facing Arizona.

“Future Arizona vision: A place where people want to live and work, where growth occurs responsibly and does not diminish quality-of-life,”  Wadlington says. “A place where business thrives, creating public revenue that can be reinvested in perpetuating sustainability of our state’s natural resources and quality-of-life amenities.”

For more information about Valley Forward and Arizona Forward, visit www.valleyforward.org.

Arizona Business Magazine November/December 2011

 

Arizona Forward, State Park Issues

Arizona Forward Enhances Awareness of Arizona’s Park Issues

Arizona Forward Enhances Awareness of Arizona’s Park Issues

Arizonans value their parks and open space, consistently ranking them as key quality of life indicators. A recent survey conducted of residents statewide shows that 87 percent visit a park or recreation area at least once a year, with 23 percent doing so on a weekly basis. In addition, parks and open spaces create thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in revenue.

Multiple land ownerships and funding mechanisms have produced parks and open space issues that are complex, confusing and sometimes controversial. In fact, the telephone survey conducted by WestGroup Research further revealed that most residents (80 percent) rate their knowledge of how state and local parks are funded as very low or in the middle range. Meanwhile, a depressed economy and recession has impacted parks negatively at every jurisdictional level from federal and state to county and municipal governments.

Recognizing the need for public education on the subject of parks and open space issues, Arizona Forward, a new statewide environmental/business coalition launched by Valley Forward earlier this year, developed a comprehensive report to provide unbiased facts, background information and answers to frequently asked questions about state and federal lands as well as county and municipal parks.

Designed to enhance awareness of and interest in solving Arizona’s parks issues, the primer is among Arizona Forward’s first projects towards its mission to promote cooperative efforts to improve the livability, sustainability and economic vitality of cities and towns across Arizona. Readers can sort out how much open space is available in the state, who is responsible for it and the challenges facing various jurisdictions of government. The user-friendly reference guide is described as ‘parks and open space 101’ and can be downloaded at arizonaforward.org.

While the primer doesn’t take a formal position on how to solve funding issues relating to parks, it communicates the economic impact of recreational and open space amenities and why Arizonans should care about these natural resources.

Charter members of Arizona Forward include: Arizona Community Foundation, First Solar, Freeport McMoran Copper and Gold, National Bank of Arizona, Solon Corporation, Sundt Construction, The Nature Conservancy, Total Transit and Wells Fargo.

For more information about Arizona Forward, visit arizonaforward.org.

top 10 places 2011

Top 10 Places To Work In Arizona For Women

Arizona has an increasing number of employers that women have seen as a beneficial place to work. The following are companies that have been selected as the best places for women to work . No matter what your background there is a company that is dynamic enough to fit your needs.

10.

Bryan Cave LLPLaw firm

Bryan Cave professionals practice in client service groups and industry practice teams that offer legal counsel and advice in virtually every area of interest to business and entrepreneurial clients. Services range from insurance, commercial litigation, government contracts to non-profit organizations. This is a great place for women to work because of the diversity and the women’s groups the company supports such as:

St. Louis Women’s History Month Symposium

New York Women’s Forum Holds ‘Women of Inspiration’ Luncheon

New York Women’s Forum Holds Trunk Show

top 10 places 2011

9.

Express Scripts Inc. – Pharmacy benefits manager

Founded in 1986 and never owned by a drug manufacturer, Express Scripts aligns its interests with those of plan sponsors and their members. Express Scripts handles millions of prescriptions each year through home delivery and at retail pharmacies. A nice place for women to work because of the diversity and the wide-range of departments from which to choose.

8.

Arizona Women’s Education and Employment Inc. - Workforce development

AWEE has been transforming the lives of Arizonans into “faces of success” for nearly 30 years. Since their inception, they have helped create successful beginnings and renewed hope for more than 90,000 women, men and young adults. They assist in getting people off welfare. Today, AWEE is Arizona’s preeminent workforce development organization, offering a diverse range of evidence-based training and support services throughout Maricopa and Yavapai counties. This is a great place for women because it allows women to inspire other women and educate one another on business and employment. The name speaks for itself.

7.

WestGroup ResearchMarket-research services

WestGroup Research is a full service market research company based in Phoenix. As Arizona’s original and largest research firm, they have a history of working with most key government and corporate entities in the state since 1959. They are now the Southwest’s largest full-service market research firm, serving clients across the nation. This company has been selected as a great place for women to work because of they dynamic client base that connects with positions that typically are male based, such as banking and government.

top 10 workplaces 2011

6.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of ArizonaHealth insurance

BlueNet offers online tools, resources and services for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona members, brokers, providers and group benefit administrators. Women have advanced with this company quickly and possess skills for all health insurance offices.

5.

Arizona Department of Corrections

Women have been raising the bar with the Dept. of Corrections positions they obtain. Forty-seven percent of the officers are women.

4.

Intel Corp

Intel corporation are sponsors of tomorrow not only through their technical innovation, but through the endless efforts in education, environmental sustainability, healthcare, and much more — with the belief that technology makes life more exciting and can help improve the lives of people around the world. This is a great place for women to work because of the growth and transfer opportunities.

top 10 workplaces 2011

3.

Cox Media

As the third-largest cable entertainment and broadband services provider in the country, Cox Communications Inc. is best known for pioneering the bundle of television, Internet and telephone services together, offering consumers the ability to consolidate their services with one provider. This company made the list because they provide training that encourages women to be committed to ongoing learning, entrepreneurship, and Cox offers great benefits.

2.

Phoenix Children’s Hospital - Children’s hospital

Phoenix Children’s is one of the 10 largest children’s hospitals in the country and provides specialty and sub-specialty inpatient, outpatient, trauma, emergency and urgent care to children and families in Arizona and throughout the Southwest. This is a great place for women to work because as it expands the need for positions will grow giving women a wide variety of areas to transfer and explore higher educational options.

top 10 workplaces 2011

1.

USAA - Insurance, banking and financial services

USAA provides a full range of highly competitive financial products and services to the military and their families. Their  world-class employees are personally committed to delivering excellent service and great advice. Women have been able to gain great skills that will promote growth. This company encourages women to succeed and do better.