Esperança receives $25,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities

Esperança, a Phoenix-based nonprofit whose mission is to improve health and restore hope both locally and globally, is the proud recipient of a $25,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities, the charitable giving arm of The Thunderbirds – hosts of the Waste Management Phoenix Open. 

This grant will be used to further support Esperança’s health literacy programs for at-risk, low-income Latino children, adults, and seniors in the Phoenix area. These health literacy programs include Salud con Sabor Latino (Health with a Latin Flavor), Diabetes Empowerment Education Program (DEEP), Platicas (30-minute talks on various health topics), and oral health education for all ages. The grant is projected to serve almost 4,000 participants. 

“In the local communities where we serve, more than 64 percent of kindergarteners suffer from untreated tooth decay,” says Jeri Royce, President & CEO of Esperança. “This is just one example of how this generous support from Thunderbirds Charities will help us continue our mission to combat poor oral health, obesity and diabetes through our bilingual health education programs.” 

Over the past two decades, Esperança’s domestic program has served more than 30,000 children, adults and seniors in the most vulnerable communities of Maricopa County, ensuring they receive culturally appropriate preventive health education for chronic disease and illness. 

For more information about Esperança, visit

Extreme Aerial Productions celebrates more than 9,000 flights in 2020

Extreme Aerial Productions (EAP), headquartered at 8924 East Pinnacle Peak Road, Suite G5-561, has proudly been serving clients in Arizona and around the country since 2014 with its technology-forward aerial drone production services that focus on safe and professional video and photography across a number of industries. This year, the company surpassed 9,000 flights with zero safety issues, putting Extreme Aerial Productions among the top 30 in the country in its field. 

“We’re proud to be just one of 48 in the nation that carries FAA day and night waivers to operate in all air spaces as well as the waiver to fly over people,” says Mark Taylor, self-designated “Chief Geek” of the company. “We’re constantly pushing the boundaries of technology to provide safety improvements for our clients.” 

As one of the larger and more established drone operations companies in the country, Extreme Aerial Productions manages a high-level of clients including real estate agents, project managers, surveyors, television stations and more including big names in the commercial construction field such as Lifetime Fitness and Hensel Phelps; EAP has even done work for national companies including Red Bull and Netflix. With two to three flights per day and major productions every two weeks, EAP is also focused on bringing the latest technology to industries — such as ground-penetrating radar, home delivery, security, and surveillance — and bringing new methods to the state including drone roofing technology that provides further safety for roofers during roof inspections. 

While Taylor admits the drone industry has changed greatly over the years as equipment has become more accessible, Extreme Aerial Productions prides itself on not only its FAA approvals (that are both costly and hard to come by), but also its state-of-the-art equipment and exclusivities that other drone service companies simply cannot provide. For example, EAP is the only company it Arizona that offers tethered drones (which can stay up in the air for months at a time). Through aerial drone video and photography, Extreme Aerial Production tells each client’s story and is committed to delivering the best results through their detail-oriented and professional approach. For more, visit

StartupAZ Foundation adds 3 board members

StartupAZ Foundation, the organization created to catalyze Arizona’s technology and innovation ecosystem by connecting and empowering entrepreneurs, has added three prominent leaders, Brenda Schmidt, Jim Prendergast, and Gregg Scoresby, to its board of directors. The organization has also opened applications for its spring StartupAZ Collective and will be expanding the program to include three new cohorts: healthcare, growth stage and scale stage. 

StartupAZ Foundation, which just received its 501(c)(3) nonprofit status, has been steadily growing its network of Founders in Residence (FIR), StartupAZ Collective alumni, and community partners. To help guide the organization’s growth, co-founder and interim CEO, Brandon Clarke and chairman of the board Tom Curzon have been building the board of directors with individuals who are at the forefront of the Valley’s technology and innovation ecosystem. 

The three new board members, Brenda Schmidt, president of Coplex and founder and former CEO of Solera Health; Gregg Scoresby, founder and CEO of CampusLogic; and Jim Prendergast, CEO of 317 Ventures and founder of HealthiestYou (acquired by Teladoc), will help advise on programming and community initiatives, expand partnerships, and provide support to startup founders. 

“The individuals who make up the StartupAZ Foundation board are at the leading edge of Arizona’s technology and innovation community, yet they prioritize time to give back in this very generous way,” Clarke said. “Brenda, Gregg and Jim are tremendous assets to our outstanding board and we’re all looking forward to working together to usher in the next phase of growth for the organization and ecosystem at large.”    

“In the early days of CampusLogic, StartupAZ Foundation played an important role in our development,” Scoresby said. “The relationships I’ve cultivated through the StartupAZ Collective have supported our growth and I believe this wheel of generosity –– founders sharing lessons learned, providing mentorship, making connections for fellow founders –– is what will support the sustained growth of our Valley’s most promising tech startups. I’m looking forward to deepening my commitment to StartupAZ Foundation and the future generations of founders rising up through the ecosystem.”

StartupAZ Foundation will be recruiting for its spring StartupAZ Collective now through the end of March. There are three new cohorts: healthcare, which will include devices and wearables; growth-stage, those on the cusp of breaking through; and scale, those who’ve surpassed $5M to $10M in revenue. To be considered for the Collective, companies must have a scalable business model with an innovative, market-defining technology. For more details and criteria, visit

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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.