Cresa announces new industrial leadership council

Cresa, the world’s largest occupier-centric commercial real estate firm, announced that Steven Rector and Ted Liles have been appointed Co-Chairs of the company’s new Industrial Leadership Council. The move comes as Cresa continues to experience significant growth in the industrial sector, largely driven by changes in the e-commerce supply chain.

Cresa’s industrial client portfolio has more than doubled the number of producers it serves to over 120 producers in the past four years, and expanded its footprint to 38 global locations.

“As the industrial sector expands from evolving and growing demand, one of the greatest challenges our clients face with high-growth models is space shortages and soaring rents. Some markets have risen as much as 20 percent year over year and are changing quarterly. By integrating fully with our clients’ businesses, we help them reduce redundancies in their supply chains and navigate volatility by creating optimum flexibility,” said Steven Rector, Principal of Industrial Services in Toronto. 

Demand for industrial properties remains strong, driven by e-commerce related demand for logistics centers. According to the latest figures from the U.S. Department of Commerce, total e-commerce sales for 2019 rose to $601.7B, an increase of 14.9 percent from 2018.

Prompted by this transforming industrial landscape, Cresa has seen a record number of new developments under construction in the fourth quarter, indicating industrial occupiers will need to become more creative when acquiring and designing industrial spaces, including looking at pre-existing buildings with accommodative zoning and design-build opportunities.

“As the way we live and consumer habits evolve with the expansion of e-commerce, helping our clients rationalize inventory and expedite their fulfillment delivery systems will be critical for retail and manufacturing companies to gain a competitive edge given the current pace of this sector,” said Ted Liles, Principal of Industrial Services in Phoenix. 

“The industrial sector is a priority growth market for Cresa,” said Cresa CEO Jim Underhill. “Under the leadership of Liles and Rector, this move further positions Cresa to deliver customized real estate solutions on an international scale.”

Heartwarming podcast ‘Bedside Stories’ returns

Banner Health has launched the second season of its podcast “Bedside Stories,” highlighting some of the most captivating and emotionally compelling personal experiences that take place behind the scenes in health care.

The narrated podcast takes listeners through a variety of medical challenges, tense moments and inspiring successes. Each roughly 15-minute episode offers tightly woven storytelling similar to podcasts like NPR’s “This American Life.”

This season will include the case of a 10-year-old girl who is literally one in a million — a survivor of an extremely rare cancer requiring a surgery that was spellbinding in its intensity. Listeners will also hear fascinating stories from a physician assistant who’s been quietly helping hundreds of people in undeveloped areas around the world.

“Each of these unforgettable stories leapt out to us among hundreds we hear about from doctors, medical staff, patients and volunteers,” said Bedside Stories host and narrator Corey Schubert. “It reminds us that the person next to us in line at the grocery store or pumping gas might have the most interesting story to tell.”

Schubert has dedicated his career to storytelling. He’s a former NASA editor and journalist whose work has been featured on Dateline NBC and Discovery ID. Schubert is a public relations specialist for nonprofit Banner Health, which produces the podcast.

Bedside Stories is available on iTunes, Spotify and Anchor. New episodes will be available every three weeks.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona waives telehealth cost share

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona (BCBSAZ) announced expanded support today in an effort to combat the spread and impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19). BCBSAZ will seek to minimize barriers for testing and treatment, including waiving prior authorizations for members with COVID-19, eliminating member cost share for telehealth sessions, increasing access to prescription drugs, and enhancing other clinical support systems.

“Our top priority is protecting the safety and well-being of our members and Arizonans,” said Pam Kehaly, president and CEO of BCBSAZ. “As the coronavirus continues to spread, we’re taking comprehensive steps so that our members will have easier access to medical services if they become ill with COVID-19. We’re also actively sharing preparedness guidance, prevention tips and other resources with our members to help them stay healthy and address any concerns with trained medical professionals.”

BCBSAZ is taking the following steps to assist members:

• Waiving Prior Authorizations: BCBSAZ will waive prior authorizations for medically necessary covered services that are consistent with CDC guidance for members diagnosed with COVID-19. BCBSAZ will also make dedicated clinical staff available to address inquiries related to medical services.

• Covering Medically Necessary Diagnostic Tests: Members will pay no cost share for medically necessary diagnostic tests related to COVID-19 and consistent with CDC guidance (when services are not covered as part of the Public Health Service response).

• Eliminating Cost Share for Telehealth Sessions and Expanding Hotline Services: BCBSAZ will waive the member cost share for telehealth sessions, and expand access to telehealth and nurse/provider hotlines. Given the nature of the COVID-19 outbreak, seeking in-person medical care may lead to further spreading of the virus. BCBSAZ will encourage the use of virtual care and will also facilitate member access and use of nurse/provider hotlines.

• Increasing Access to Prescription Medications: BCBSAZ will increase access to prescription medications by waiving early medication refill limits on 30-day prescription maintenance medications (consistent with a member’s benefit plan) and/or encouraging members to use their 90-day mail order benefit. BCBSAZ will also work with members to find alternative covered medications if there are shortages or access issues. Patients will not be liable for additional cost share for a non-preferred medication if the preferred medication is not available due to shortage or access issues.

Footprint among the World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies

Footprint, a sustainable technology firm specializing in materials science announced that Fast Company ranked it number 38 on the World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies for 2020.

Footprint joins the ranks of globally impactful brands through reimagining the grocery store, replacing single and multi-use plastic used in common packaging for items such as produce and meat, as well as cups, lids and straws. Footprint’s plant-based packaging is marine biodegradable, compostable, recyclable and free of toxic PFAS chemicals. This effort aids in the company’s mission to eliminate plastic waste and meets growing consumer sustainability and health expectations.

“We’re extremely proud to work with the world’s leading consumer packaged goods companies, grocery retailers and restaurants to help them achieve their sustainability goals,” said Footprint CEO Troy Swope. “Through material science and process innovation, we are working to solve some of the greatest issues of our time: plastic pollution, the negative health impacts of plastic, and climate change. We’re committed to moving quickly to meet global consumer needs for fiber-based, biodegradable, recyclable and compostable products.”

Footprint’s global customer partners include food and beverage leaders such as Conagra Brands, McDonald’s, Molson Coors, Tyson Foods, Sweetgreen and Wegmans. Footprint is also working with the Rob and Melani Walton Sustainability Solutions Service at Arizona State University, recognized by US News as the nation’s most innovative university for five straight years.

“Footprint has been an invaluable partner to Conagra Brands as we seek to extend our sustainability efforts,” said Katya Hantel, Director of Sustainable Development at Conagra Brands. “Plant-based fiber packaging has helped Conagra avoid use of more than 2.1 million pounds of plastic packaging to date, and this technology will be key to helping us achieve our goal of avoiding use of an additional 33 million pounds of plastic packaging over the next few years.”

About Ranking Arizona

Ranking Arizona is an annual publication that ranks businesses in more than 300 categories based on public voting in the state’s biggest and most comprehensive business opinion poll. Ranking Arizona is based purely on opinion and ranks companies based on how voters answer this simple question: with whom would you recommend doing business? The magazine is published by AZ Big Media. To learn more about Ranking Arizona, contact Sheri King, director of sales.