Goodyear REI Distribution Center recognized by DOE

On March 25, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Better Buildings Challenge will visit REI’s distribution center in Goodyear, Arizona to recognize the center for its leadership in energy-efficiency.

Better Buildings Partner REI’s LEED® Platinum distribution center opened in July 2016 and was designed to be a zero-energy facility. It also supports more than 40 percent of the co-op’s sales. In order to achieve its goals, REI implemented:

• A 2.2-megawatt solar system, which is expected to power the entire facility, bringing REI’s overall annual energy savings to 100%. The solar array covers 280,000 square feet of roof space.

• A non-evaporative cooling system, which eliminated the need for cooling towers, saving millions of gallons of water every year.

• Hyperchairs for employees to control their own microclimate with individual fans and heating elements, allowing employees to heat or cool individual office chairs.

In 2018, REI’s distribution center achieved an annual energy savings of 18% and annual cost savings of $170,000 from the baseline. Additional energy and cost savings are expected for 2019 as a result of retro-commissioning work completed in late 2018.

REI’s 400,000 square-foot facility is located on 34 acres outside of Phoenix. It employs more than 200 people. The facility is also the industry’s first omni-channel one-touch fulfillment system, which enables one person to process items eight times faster than at a typical distribution center by using robotic shuttles to move products to staff.

Arizona-based Brightroot debuts cannabis-infused soup line

Brightroot, the Tempe-based parent company of The Mint Dispensary and vertical multi-state cannabis dispensary operator and product developer, is introducing a wide range of high-quality, cannabis-infused packaged food options. Delivering convenience and flavor, the company will launch its first product line – Budoodle Noodles, a ramen soup powered by nano-cannabis – in March, timed to National Noodle Month. 

As the innovator behind Arizona’s largest medicinal cannabis dispensary and first gourmet cannabis kitchen in the nation, Brightroot’s foray into packaged food is a natural extension of its commitment to pursuing continued research and innovative development of cannabis-based products. The food lines have been specially infused with nano-cannabis, a proprietary cutting-edge formulation that delivers more accurate dosing and improved bio-availability of the cannabis that allows more cannabinoids to enter the bloodstream. The line of products is created to address often complex needs of people who are battling a variety of illnesses, from cancer and epilepsy to Alzheimer’s disease.

“As the medicinal cannabis space has continued to evolve, we saw a significant need at the dispensary level to a add greater diversity of higher-quality cannabis-infused packaged food options,” said Eivan Shahara, CEO of Brightroot and The Mint Dispensary. “We blended our in-depth understanding of the positive health benefits of cannabis, along with pharmatech nanotechnology, with our knowledge of food and nutrition to create a more flavorful, gourmet shelf-stable meal options.”

Provision Coffee wins U.S. Coffee Championships

Provision Coffee, with two locations in the valley — one within Palette Collective at 2100 South Gilbert Road in Chandler and the second at 4501 North 32nd Street in Phoenix, was represented by Joel Cronenberg and was awarded fifth in the “Coffee in Good Spirits” Category at the U.S. Coffee Championships. The event, which took place in Kansas City, Missouri from March 15 through 17, drew coffee professionals from around the country to compete in various competitions including Barista, Brewers Cup, Coffee in Good Spirits and more. 

“We are so excited to be recognized in this category by such a prestigious organization,” says Dan Suh, co-founder of Provision Coffee. “The U.S. Coffee Championships brings together the best of the best in the coffee industry and we could not be more proud of Joel representing us among this talented group.” 

Provision Coffee is revolutionizing the way coffee is enjoyed by eliminating the sometimes pretentious rules about these beverages and simply focusing on making it really, really good … and then having some fun with it! Provision specializes in a variety of coffee beverages including Nitro cold brew, unique coffee-based cocktails, signature espressos and teas as well as an all-new made-to-order sangria that is set to launch later this spring.

New Flagstaff office for Speedie & Associates

Speedie & Associates, Inc. (S & A), a leading provider of consulting engineering services statewide, moved their operation to a new facility at 2026 N. 3rd St., Flagstaff, AZ 86004.  After successfully operating for 25 years out of a space only two miles from the new building, the move became necessary because of the sustained growth of its services in Flagstaff and surrounding communities. 

Mayor Coral Evans has spearheaded a revitalization for the Sunnyside neighborhood and S&A is thrilled to be part of that movement. 

“The new space gives us the elbow room to process samples and generate the necessary reports in a more timely and efficient manner. The laboratory now has the ability to cure three times the number of concrete cylinders utilizing the same floor space thanks to a dedicated climate-controlled fog room.” said Clay Spencer, Northern Arizona Regional Manager for S & A. “Also, the new location is easily accessible for our clients and contributes to the superior customer service that has always put us above our competition, the move puts us one step further ahead.” 

UA among top volunteer-producing schools

The University of Arizona ranked No. 15 among large-size schools on the Peace Corps’ list of top volunteer-producing colleges and universities in 2019. There are 46 Wildcats currently volunteering in countries around the world.

This is the fifth year the UA has ranked among the top 20 large-size schools with more than 15,000 undergraduates. The UA made a significant jump from No. 20 in 2018 to its current No.15 position. Since the Peace Corps’ founding in 1961, more than 1,640 UA alumni have served abroad as volunteers.

“We have seen time and again that the colleges and universities that produce the most Peace Corps volunteers focus on cultivating global citizens in addition to promoting scholarship,” said Peace Corps Director Jody Olsen. “I am proud that so many graduates of these esteemed institutions leverage their educations to make the world a better place. They bring critical skills to communities around the world and gain hands-on, life-changing experience along the way.”

Gabriel Camacho graduated from the UA in 2016 with a degree in public health and is now serving as a health volunteer in Zambia. He credits his professors and the returned Peace Corps volunteer community at UA for his inspiration to join Peace Corps.

“The University of Arizona and the public health program prepared me well for Peace Corps – especially the workshops and the returned Peace Corps volunteers that were also teaching assistants and answered my questions about the Peace Corps,” Camacho said. “The classes and subjects prepared me for what issues and health problems some communities are still facing and inspired me to help others and spread the knowledge I learn from the University of Arizona.”