Grimaldi’s Pizzeria launches national franchise program

Grimaldi’s Pizzeria today announces the launch of its first ever domestic franchise program. Known for award-winning, coal-fired, brick oven pizza, the renowned New York-style pizzeria is now available to qualified operators in markets throughout the United States.

Grimaldi’s operates 43 company-owned restaurants in 12 states from coast to coast. The restaurants capture the essence and energy of the original Brooklyn pizzeria, including the legendary centerpiece coal-brick oven and custom water system that is designed to replicate New York City water, essential to achieve the pizzeria’s authentic, award-winning taste. Among Grimaldi’s many awards, it has been named “Best Pizza” by Food Network and has received the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences’ Five Stars Diamond Award four years in a row.  The concept attributes its ongoing success to its three key ingredients – people, product, and service.

Joseph Ciolli, Grimaldi’s CEO, explained that “We have an incredible brand with more than 100 years of history in its making, enjoyed by pizza lovers from around the world. With best in class culinary offerings and a highly capable leadership team poised for growth, we are now ideally positioned to deliver our exceptional guest experiences to neighborhoods all around the U.S. through franchising.”

MRA Associates recognized on InvestmentNews’ List

MRA Associates, a leading independent and wealth management firm, was recently recognized for the second consecutive year on InvestmentNews’ Best Places to Work for Financial Advisors list.

The ranking is presented by InvestmentNews, the leading source for news, analysis, and information essential to the financial advisory community. The Best Places to Work for Financial Advisors survey and recognition program is dedicated to identifying and recognizing advisory firms that empower, encourage, and inspire employees to provide their clients with the best possible investment and wealth management advice.

“We are honored to be selected for the second consecutive year as an InvestmentNews’ Best Place to Work for Financial Advisors,” said Mark Feldman, CEO and managing partner of MRA Associates. “We strive to create an environment where our employees can thrive. Our collaborative culture establishes opportunities where team members can be mentored by senior management, develop strategies with talented individuals from various professional backgrounds, and ultimately grow careers and the positive impact of the firm.”

Scottsdale-based HomeSmart expands into Florida

Fast-growing real estate brokerage, HomeSmart LLC., today announced its entry into Florida. This will be HomeSmart’s twenty-ninth state in which it operates, and the fourth state in which the brokerage operates company-owned locations, including California, Colorado and Arizona where it holds the No. 1 market share. 

Florida will be HomeSmart’s first virtual platform state, which means agents will be empowered to work anywhere while supported by the company’s robust tech offerings. Using RealSmart Agent, a proprietary technology platform developed by HomeSmart, agents are able to manage every aspect of their brand and business via mobile and desktop applications. Agents will also have access to 76 statewide office workspaces, business growth tools, a marketing design center, training and readily accessible broker support. 

“The combination of our proprietary technology and our 100-percent commission offering is ideal for the Florida market,” said HomeSmart Founder and CEO Matt Widdows. “The HomeSmart model provides agents more time and money to focus on developing their business by equipping them with technology tools and support.” 

“We are excited to serve Florida agents. A shifting market makes now the ideal time for agents to evaluate their brokerage affiliation and align their business and brand with a company like HomeSmart that can guide them through a changing business climate,” said HomeSmart COO Wendy Forsythe. “Expanding HomeSmart’s footprint across the country is a top priority.”

Lori Carroll & Associates will design Grande Vita Project

University of Arizona graduate and Tucson resident, Lori Carroll, and her award-winning team have been chosen as the lead interior designers for the $300 million Grande Vita assisted living facility in Mesa. Even though she is based out of Tucson, her desert-inspired designs have been recognized nationally by the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), as well as HGTV. She is also being recognized as a female icon in the interior design industry by Sources for Design on April 4th in Phoenix.

Lori Carroll, Founder of Lori Carroll & Associates, discusses why she was interested in an opportunity to be a part of Grande Vita. “The sheer size and complexity of this project is certainly different than other commercial projects I have worked on. Grande Vita is designed to provide a healthy and active lifestyle where people 55+ can thrive, packaging resort style amenities with skilled care in one location. It is truly an amazing concept,” said Carroll. Her experience and interests play well into the Grande Vita project that is nearly 700,000 square feet of independent and assisted living, hotel rooms, multiple dining options, medical offices, a luxury tower and luxury condos, nursing school and rehab clinic.

Platinum Living Realty opens Casa Grande office

Local top-performing real estate agents Gretchen Slaughter, Georgia Schaeffer, and Dawn Zimbelman have re-opened their real estate business as Foxtail Group at Platinum Living Realty. Their Casa Grande office is the fourth Arizona office location for Platinum Living Realty, an independent luxury real estate brokerage with additional offices across the state.

“We are thrilled to have Gretchen, Georgia, and Dawn join Platinum Living Realty as they already have a proven track record of success in helping people find their dream home or get the asking price they’re seeking for their property,” said Jay Macklin, co-owner of Platinum Living Realty. “Casa Grande is a wonderful community, and we’re proud to be part of it.”

The real estate agents behind the Foxtail Group at Platinum Living Realty have deep roots in Casa Grande. Georgia Schaeffer was born and raised in Casa Grande, and her daughter Gretchen Slaughter raised her three children in the same home that Georgia was raised in. Dawn moved to Arizona in the 1970s and later met Georgia through her work in administration. Each woman came to real estate as a full-time career in their own way, but they all share a passion for their community and for helping people achieve their real estate goals.

“We love Casa Grande because it has a small-town feel, but at the same time has the amenities of a larger city, which we found has a lot of appeal to many potential home buyers,” said Schaeffer. “When we had the opportunity to form our own real estate group and join Platinum Living Realty, we jumped at the chance. We’ve appreciated all of the resources and coaching that Jay and his team have been able to offer us so far, and we feel well prepared to help people buy and sell their homes.”