Tag Archives: women empowerment

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Girls on the Run: Local organization races to empower young women

“Girls on the Run” is part three of a series about local views on women’s rights issues facing local businesses. Part one addresses the Ban Bossy campaign and part two addresses the Paycheck Fairness Act.

There are many groups dedicated to the empowerment and well-being of pre-teen and teenage girls. Many of these groups are receiving more attention because of the spotlight on equal pay, Ban Bossy, Lean In and women’s rights in general. One such group is Girls on the Run, a nonprofit company dedicated to helping girls achieve their full potential.

Girls on the Run is designed to help pre-teen girls discover self-respect and self-accomplishment. The program spans 12 weeks with meetings twice a week. The curriculum is divided into three parts: how girls can better understand themselves, how they value relationships and teamwork and how they connect with and shape the world at large.

The program also incorporates running, being physically active and a 5k run at the end. Meagan Kukowski, the executive director for the Maricopa County council, explains that the girls never run just to run, but instead the running serves as a role to embrace a healthy lifestyle and helps the girls complete lessons and activities that reinforce the curriculum.

Kukowski explains that the 5k race does not emphasize winning and that it is not timed. All of the girls wear the number one. “The race gives them a tangible sense of achievement and a framework for setting and achieving goals in life. Many of the girls start by saying that there is no way they can run three miles, and when they achieve that goal, they get to see that they could do it,” says Kukowski.

Girls on the Run also addresses important social issues that affect girls such as their appearance, negative self-talk and stereotypes. Kukowski explains that the program addresses the importance of appearance by telling the girls to unplug negative self-talk and talk about others. “We teach them to think positively towards ourselves and others we come in contact with,” states Kukowski. She also explains that they encourage girls to reach outside of the girl box. Despite pressure girls may feel from society, friends and the media to look and act different, Girls on the Run “teaches girls to identify these problems and to embrace who they are.”

Kukowski also explains that the volunteers are great role models for the girls. “Part of the program that reinforces and takes attention off of appearance are the hundreds of volunteers – they are not all star athletes, but they are strong female role models that reinforce what they are teaching them,” states Kukowski.

Along with the other campaigns working to empower girls and women, Girls on the Run promotes girls exercising their voices. “Regardless of the end goal, we teach our girls that if they see something they don’t like or agree with that is happening, they should stand up,” states Kukowski, “And by standing together, they can have a bigger and stronger voice.”

On a resounding note Kukowski states, “What we try to do is recognize stereotypes and negative talk, whether it is being called bossy or being encouraged to not speak up. We teach girls to recognize that and give them the tools to feel empowered and achieve their dreams, regardless of what society or people around them might say.”

Check out your local council of Girls on the Run or one of the many other women’s campaigns helping to empower girls and women everywhere.

SimonCRE

SimonCRE, One Stop Voice Relocate to Scottsdale

SimonCRE and One Stop Voice, headed by Scottsdale entrepreneur Joshua Simon, moved into a larger office space this month at a location at Scottsdale and Chaparral roads. The new office space more than doubles the square footage giving some much needed breathing room for the expanding businesses. The purposeful timing of the move capitalizes on market conditions of office rental spaces.

According to recently published data, office vacancy has dropped to 21.4 percent in Phoenix. In large part this is due to overall employment increasing, which has created more jobs within companies that need room for growth. During the first quarter of 2013, office rent per square foot was at a six-year low, then changed direction in the second quarter with a 3.1 percent increase. In the third quarter rental rates are expected to continue to climb. Based on the data, it appears that the worst is in the past and that the market is entering a more Landlord-friendly environment. For Tenants, this means that the timing it good to now lock in rental rates with multi-year contracts.

“We paid particular attention to a couple of major factors before pulling the trigger on a larger office space,” explains Simon on the timing of his recent move. “One of those factors was that we wanted to make sure a larger office space was a prudent fiscal decision for both SimonCRE and One Stop Voice. We had the ability to make a move sooner, but waiting until now was a better answer for us. As importantly, we had a clear physical need for more space and amenities.”

The new office space covers more than 4,000 square feet with significant conveniences built-in. In their former location, community spaces were converted into offices because business growth demanded it. Now, the staff has ample room with dedicated space for both SimonCRE and One Stop Voice. A large reception area welcomes guests and comfortable conference room offers dramatic views of Camelback Mountain. The completely remodeled suite is a professional environment that is well-suited to the growing team.

The new address headquarters both Simon companies: SimonCRE and One Stop Voice. SimonCRE is a commercial real estate development firm that caters to regional brands searching to expand their reach. The firm specializes in shopping center development and redevelopment opportunities, as well as build-to-suit and single tenant projects. They have successfully completed projects across the United States. Cloud-based communications systems company One Stop Voice champions VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol communications for corporate clients. Because of the cutting-edge technology offered, the firm has experienced significant growth.

4222 E Thomas Road

Tucson Law Firm Launches Phoenix Office at Arcadia Gateway Center

hopley greg 5X7 photo

Greg Hopley

Zanes Law, a 10-year highly successful firm in Southern Arizona, selected the 90,000-square-foot Arcadia Gateway Center, 4222 E. Thomas Road in Phoenix, for its first office in the Valley.

Serving personal injury clients, the firm is led by Doug Zanes, an Arizona injury lawyer, and Claudia Zanes, the CEO.

“We chose a location that was central enough to serve all areas of the Phoenix community,” said the firm’s CEO Claudia Zanes (non-attorney). 

Arcadia Gateway Center also is the home of Phoenix Seminary, Center for Arizona Policy, Whiting Turner, Reliance Standard Life Insurance, Hormel Foods and Stealth Solar, among others.

Greg Hopley, executive vice president at Colliers International, served as the landlord’s broker. Zanes Law did not have a broker. 

“The Arcadia Gateway Center looks forward to Zanes Law serving as a dynamic new tenant that will bring additional energy and vibrancy to the business center,” Hopley said.

 

Girlfriend University - AZ Business Magazine Jan/Feb 2011

Girlfriend University Isn’t Just For The Ladies

Don’t let the rhinestones, quotes by Madonna, crystal chandeliers and fuchsia touches fool you; Girlfriend University is serious business.

Founders Renee Dee, former publisher of Arizona Foothills Magazine, and Jodi Low, a former sales and marketing professional, combined their corporate and entrepreneurial backgrounds to create Girlfriend University as a way for women to grow personally and professionally.Girlfriend University Shirts, Lipstick

It’s a place for women to “catapult themselves into a great season of change,” Dee says.

Located in the upscale Scottsdale Quarter, Girlfriend University is equally chic. Clean lines and modern decor set the scene for business and personal growth.

The campus, as the women call it, features a lobby, complete with stick figure renderings of Dee and Low; a conference room; a 50- to 70-seat classroom; and an intimate mastermind room in which teachers and students can brainstorm.

March will mark the first anniversary of Girlfriend University, but it has already grown.

The staff has burgeoned from two, founders Dee and Low, to five, in part because of the success of Girlfriend University’s two and a half day leadership development intensive programs, Dee says. This program doesn’t center on creating a business plan, as most of the university’s other programs do. Instead, it focuses on encouraging women to invest in themselves and their businesses for a good return, Dee says.

The students of the intensive program walk out of the program in a “clear, focused, confident, passionate way,” Low says.

Girlfriend University is committed to doing this “powerful” program monthly, Dee says. To continue this intensive program, Girlfriend University hosts “class reunions” for the students, Dee says.Girlfriend University

Although, as the name suggests, Girlfriend University markets primarily to women, men make up half of the university’s student body.

“The ‘guy’ friends, you could say, are not afraid to stop by,” Dee says.

One of those men is Christian O’Connell, global ambassador for TheScene.com.

“Their two-day course, in my opinion, was more valuable than every other personal development course I’ve ever done,” O’Connell says. “I’ve heard Donald Trump speak on business leadership principles, if you will. The element of personal growth and business knowledge growth that happens at that (Girlfriend University seminar) just surpassed anything that I’ve done.”

O’Connell found this course so useful he encouraged other employees at TheScene.com to take the class.

In addition to the intensive programs, Girlfriend University also hosts a variety of other classes.

It’s a one-stop shop for those looking to grow their current business or create a new one, Low says.

Girlfriend UniversityThree and a half hour marketing sessions, during which the student and teachers “go bananas” in a brainstorming session, is another popular class, Dee says. The session ends with the creation of a business model and a list of people to call and connections to make.

Monthly Business 101 classes focus on a variety of topic, including optimizing social media and maximum time efficiency.

In 2011, Girlfriend University will focus on more “intensive, life-changing programming for leaders and entrepreneurs,” Dee says. The next decade might hold a location change to a freestanding facility as the university grows, Low says.

Wherever Girlfriend University is, Dee is confident that it is unique.

“We feel very one-of-a-kind here,” Dee says. “You can’t go to every city and look at everything they’ve got, so it’s hard to confirm, but we’ve not bumped into anything like this any place else in the country. We’re excited about that.”

Upcoming GU Events:

GU hosts a variety of workshops and one-on-one business intensives, but what sets them apart and makes GU unique is their two-and-a-half day Leader 101 trainings. This intensive course is designed to amplify the passion, enthusiasm, commitment and connectedness in your life.

The monthly classes have received amazing testimonials, and CEO’s in the Valley are even putting their employees in the program. Once completed, the attendees can go onto Leader 202, Communication 101 and 202. The Mastery Curriculum is designed to build strong leaders and passionate employees.

Arizona Business Magazine Jan/Feb 2011