AzBusiness magazine January/February 2017

Page 1





GPEC shows that Phoenix is no longer just the low-cost alternative for businesses Michael Crow, president of ASU

Influential Millennials


Arizona Corporate Counsel Awards


Arizona Lodging & Tourism Association


Industry Leaders of Arizona Awards


Greater Phoenix Economic Council



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Table of Contents 6



CEO Series



18 Influential Millennials 26









Arizona Corporate Counsel Awards


Arizona Lodging & Tourism Association

Arizona associations are economic engines




79 Industry Leaders of Arizona Awards 105 Greater Phoenix Economic Council CONNECT » GUIDE » INSPIRE



On the cover:

Michael Crow is president of ASU, which tops U.S. News & World Report's list of “most innovative schools” and is credited with helping transform the business image of Phoenix. PHOTO BY MIKE MERTES, AZ BIG MEDIA



GPEC shows that Phoenix is no longer just the low-cost alternative for businesses Michael Crow, president of ASU

Influential Millennials



Arizona Corporate Counsel


Arizona Lodging & Tourism Association


Industry Leaders of Arizona Awards


Greater Phoenix Economic Council

he numbers are staggering. • A $12.8 billion contribution to Arizona’s Gross Domestic Product in 2015. That’s the economic impact equivalent of hosting a Super Bowl every two weeks. • New generated payroll in the last year that adds up to nearly nearly $400 million (another Super Bowl of economic impact) and nearly $390 million in a additional capital investment. Thankfully, those numbers benefit Arizona and those numbers were both generated in the last year by the Arizona Lodging & Tourism Association (AzLTA) and the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC). Both associations are featured inside this issue of Az Business magazine. You can read about how GPEC has helped transform Phoenix from having the reputation of being the “low-cost alternative” for companies looking to relocate or expand into a vibrant destination that packs value thanks to its business friendly environment, skilled workforce, strong public-private partnerships and the leading university for innovation, led by this issue’s cover model, ASU President Michael Crow. You can also learn about the economic impact the hospitality industry has in Arizona, the tourism industry’s focus on legislative issues and how many of Arizona’s most iconic hotels and resorts are being transformed into smart, edgy, inviting and more relevant destinations. Enjoy reading how these two amazing organizations are changing the way the world views Arizona, one deal, one company, one visitor at a time.


AB | January - February 2017

Michael Gossie Editor in chief




FEI recognizes CFOs of the Year


he Arizona Chapter of Financial Executives International (FEI) presented its 2016 CFO of the Year Awards to professionals for outstanding performance in their roles as corporate financial stewards. The five CFO of the Year Awards were presented to:

Susan Barnes

Adam Miller

NONPROFIT: Susan Barnes, executive vice president and CFO, Blood Systems. Barnes

has been instrumental in designing and implementing several cost-savings initiatives to assist the Blood Center Division in lowering the cost of blood to its hospital customers. PRIVATE COMPANY, MEDIUM: Michelle Hoffman, CFO and COO, Real Time Companies. Hoffman has demonstrated

Michelle Hoffman

Marc Levine

President and CEO: Michael Atkinson Publisher: Cheryl Green Vice president of operations: Audrey Webb EDITORIAL Editor in chief: Michael Gossie Associate editor: David McGlothlin Interns: Alyssa Hesketh | Taylor Neigum Contributing writers: Grant Crone | Erin Davis Steven G. Zylstra ART Art director: Mike Mertes Graphic designer: Anita Richey DIGITAL MEDIA Digital editor: Jesse A. Millard MARKETING/EVENTS Marketing & events manager: Heidi Maxwell Marketing coordinator: Kristina Venegas

Matt Verbin

success in handling significant growth, turnaround and downsizing environments. She serves as an instrumental key decision maker in all aspects of the business. PRIVATE COMPANY, LARGE: Matt Verbin, CFO and acting COO, Tanga. Since

Verbin started, the company has earned numerous awards, including a spot on the Inc. 5000 three years in a row and ACE Awards in 2014 and 2015. PUBLIC COMPANY: Adam Miller, CFO, secretary and treasurer, Knight Transportation. Miller became Knight’s CFO at age 31 and despite a

OFFICE Special projects manager: Sara Fregapane Executive assistant: Mayra Rivera Database solutions manager: Cindy Johnson AZ BUSINESS MAGAZINE Senior account manager: David Harken Account managers: Jennifer Heberlein | Brit Kezar | Bailey Young AZ BUSINESS ANGELS

softening freight market, Miller has helped Knight maintain industryleading operating ratios.

AZ BUSINESS LEADERS Director of sales: Sheri Brown

SPONSORS AWARD: Marc Levine, executive vice president and CFO, JDA Software. Under Levine’s leadership, JDA returned to top-line

AZ HOME & DESIGN Director of sales: Joe Freedman

growth, with 2016 revenue up 2 percent through first half and critical software revenue metric up 37 percent.

Children’s Action Alliance honors Stanton Quarles & Brady Managing Partner Nicole Stanton was honored by the Children’s Action Alliance with its 2016 Horace Steele Child Advocacy Award for her courage, commitment and resolve in improving the lives and life chances of Arizona’s children and families.

Abrazo volunteers earn Lifetime Achievement Awards Abrazo Arrowhead Campus honored three long-time volunteers — Diane Elder, Jane Kane and Teresa Zamborini — who earned the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award for donating more than 16,000 hours combined at the hospital. 4

AB | January - February 2017

AZRE | ARIZONA COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE Director of sales: Ann McSherry EXPERIENCE ARIZONA | PLAY BALL Director of sales: Jayne Hayden RANKING ARIZONA Director of sales: Sheri King Az Business magazine is published bi-monthly by AZ BIG Media, 3101 N. Central Ave. Suite 1070, Phoenix, Arizona 85012, (602) 277-6045. The publisher accepts no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts, photographs or artwork. Submissions will not be returned unless accompanied by a SASE. Single copy price $4.95. Bulk rates available. Copyright 2017 by AZ BIG Media. All rights reserved. No part of this publication can be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from AZ BIG Media.


Steve Hart

Area vice president Marriott International

Hart is a 45-year hospitality industry veteran who developed the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa and opened the resort as general manager in 2002. Business advice: “Take awesome care of the people you work with and those you serve. Family is always first. Be committed. Have a terrific serving attitude and be willing to take on any additional responsibility.” Greatest accomplishment: “Developing the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa. It changed the resort/hospitality business in Arizona. Opening Desert Ridge Resort also fueled additional JW’s to be built around the globe.” Dream superpower: “To be able to feed the world. No one would go hungry.” Dream dinner: “Abraham Lincoln on the patio of Rita’s at the JW Camelback Inn.” Surprising fact: “I helped created the bourbon served in our lounge twenty6. I wanted something that would appeal to a broader audience.” To read more about the best and brightest business leaders in Arizona, get a copy of the 2017 edition of Az Business Leaders at 6

AB | January - February 2017

Are expectations on board members too high? 60%


he 2016 Global Board of Directors Survey, released from Professor Boris Groysberg and Yo-Jud Cheng of Harvard Business School, Spencer Stuart, the Women Corporate Directors (WCD) Foundation, and researcher Deborah Bell, surveyed more than 4,000 directors and found these results:

60% of directors see a gap between the expectations placed on boards and the reality of the board’s ability to oversee a company.


67% of respondents cited strategy as one of the most important areas of expertise for directors today – the highest of all skills named.


Only 33% of respondents said that strategy expertise was among the skills the board most wanted to acquire with its most recent appointment.


As greater regulatory requirements have put board performance under a microscope, two-thirds conduct performance evaluations of directors.


One-third of respondents have served on a board where evaluations were used to remove a director, showing evaluations do have teeth.


Both male and female directors feel that board leaders’ serving as champions of diversity is the No. 1 way to build diverse corporate boards.


80% of respondents believed the compensation level of the CEO at their company was “about right” and only 12% believed it was too low


65% of directors felt the compensation of directors on their board was “about right” and 32% believed it was too low.


Directors are spending an average of 9.4 hours/month on networking with peers, with female directors investing 10.1 hours in this activity.

Phoenix becomes a hot spot for finance


hoenix is a hot spot for the financial services industry. Faced with heightened regulations and competition for skilled labor from technology companies, the financial services sector is finding the workforce it needs by expanding to Phoenix, according to a new report from CBRE. “Phoenix is a stable and low-cost location for

companies with high-skill requirements,” said Kevin Calihan, senior vice president in CBRE’s Phoenix office. “The metro area offers low costs of living, affordable wages and a diverse and – this is key — scalable workforce. With one of the deepest financial services labor pools in the county, this is a market that can offer firms cost effective and sustainable growth.”

Financial Activities Concentration

Dallas/Ft.Worth Phoenix Tampa Charlotte San Antonio Columbus Jacksonville Nashville Salt Lake City Richmond Active Markets

Employment 284,600 173,700 106,000 86,000 84,900 80,700 62,600 60,700 55,900 51,200 1,046,300

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016.

2006 8.1% 8.2% 8.5% 8.3% 8.0% 8.7% 9.6% 6.1% 8.0% 7.5% 8.0%

2015 8.2% 8.7% 8.3% 7.7% 8.5% 7.8% 9.5% 6.6% 8.1% 7.7% 8.0%

Total Employment Growth (Since 2010)

Percent 20.4% 22.0% 18.4% 14.6% 22.5% 15.4% 10.5% 24.0% 21.9% 20.2% 19.4%

Absolute 48,200 31,400 16,500 10,900 15,600 10,800 5,900 11,700 10,000 8,600 169,600

Growth (Since 2010)

Percent 17.9% 15.2% 14.5% 16.4% 16.6% 14.2% 13.3% 20.8% 15.9% 13.0% 16.2%

Absolute 527,300 258,100 161,500 157,400 142,400 131,100 77,600 160,700 93,900 77,000 1,787,000

AB | January - February 2017 7

TRENDSETTERS How do Arizona colleges

rank by value? Rank




martAsset released its second annual Best Value Colleges study. Top performing schools ranked as a result of their performance in categories including scholarships provided, starting salary, tuition, living costs and retention rate. Here are the top schools in Arizona: Avg. scholarships and grants

Avg. starting salary

College tuition

Student retention rate

College education value index


University of Arizona









Arizona State University









Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University









Northern Arizona University









Grand Canyon University








Presidential dinner picks

Be careful?!

Fake apps


his month, Donald Trump becomes the 45th president on the United States. We asked Arizona business leaders which president would be their pick for dinner:

are the next big cyber scam


ore than 80 percent of the times we spend on smartphones is on apps. But experts say app scams are on the rise. When shoppers buy items on fake apps, products don’t arrive and the scammers have the user’s information and credit card data. So how can you tell the difference between a fake app and a real app? Bob Meshinsky, practice leader of forensic services and cyber security investigations for Scottsdale-based WGM, offers these tips: • Use caution: With any link delivered to you, always read the message first. Do not click on the link provided, but go directly to the website in question. • Check the details: For example, a bogus app for called itself Overstock Inc. • Think before you click: Do some research before downloading an app. Read reviews. Look at the developer. How many times has it been downloaded? What will the app have access to? • Review the content: Many fake apps have nonsensical menus written in broken English, no reviews and no history of previous versions. • Safety first: Download and install a mobile antivirus application.


Student living costs

AB | January - February 2017

Phoenix is the No. 2 tech market P

hoenix landed at No. 2 on CBRE’s annual Tech-Thirty list, which analyzes the 30 leading technology markets in the U.S. and Canada in terms of high-tech job growth. Second only to San Francisco, the Valley continues to see the strongest tech-sector job growth in North America, reporting 44.5 percent job growth and more than 15,000 new jobs from 2013 to 2015. Here is how the Top 10 cities ranked and their percentage of high-tech software/ services job growth from 2013 to 2015: 1. San Francisco, 47% 2. Phoenix, 44.5% 3. Austin, 33.3% 4. Charlotte, 33.2% 5. Indianapolis, 27.9% 6. Silicon Valley, 26.1% 7. Toronto, 25.9% 8. New York, 25.9% 9. Chicago, 21.1% 10. Dallas/Fort Worth, 19.7%

Mark B. Bonsall, general manager and CEO, SRP: “I would like to have dinner with Teddy Roosevelt. Our 26th president Bonsall was a fascinating, bigger-than-life, rightperson-at-the-right-time type of icon … I could tell him how his ideas about reclaiming the Wild West have turned out.” Rick A. Kettner, senior director, Orbital ATK: “Abraham Lincoln. He faced extreme obstacles early in his career, then faced Kettner equally daunting challenges during his presidency. Lesser countries and weaker leaders would not and have not endured similar tribulations. I would likely take him out for some good, local Mexican food.” Rick W. Smith, CEO and co-founder, TASER International: “Ronald Reagan. Growing up under the fear of nuclear war, he Smith became one of my heroes, both for turning around the self-identity of the U.S. … and for having the courage to take a stand which ultimately ended the cold war.” Michael J. Thorell, president and CEO, Pinnacle Bank: “Thomas Jefferson, since he was such a strong influence Thorell in the formation of our country and Constitution. His vision and influence is truly unimaginable and to have the opportunity to discuss would be special at Mastro’s City Hall.” Todd Pearson, president and CEO, Arizona Central Credit Union: “I would choose any of the ‘Founding Fathers’ and ask Pearson what they think about the chaos of our current, flawed political system. Is this what they intended, or over time have we just screwed the process up?”

R E S P E C T T H E FA N S | R E S P E C T T H E P L AY E R S | R E S P E C T T H E G A M E

The Waste Management Phoenix Open is a golf tournament like no other. Huge crowds. Enthusiastic fans. Exciting golf. It’s truly The People’s Open.

#THEPEOPLESOPEN Please enjoy the tournament and have fun. Remember to be safe, act responsibly and behave with class. Let’s show the world that we have the greatest fans in golf.

J a n u a r y 3 0 – F e b r u a r y 5, 2 017 | T P C S c o t t s d a l e | W M P H O E N I XO P E N .C O M

TRENDSETTERS Love thy (office) neighbor

4 ways to de-stress at your desk


isliking coworkers may be bad for your health. Australian researchers from University of Queensland reviewed nearly 60 studies to find that positive social interactions in the workplace correlate with better mental and physical health. “People who do not like each other will not be productive in working together,” says Dr. Jon McCaine, clinical director at Bayless Healthcare Group. “The closer the team works together, the more important it is to consider allowing them to be involved in the selection process. They will be more invested in the new employee’s success.” To develop a healthy workplace, McCaine encourages the following: Purpose: To build a meaningful connection with one another, employees need a sense of purpose. Pride: Co-workers should be encouraged to establish their meaning of excellence beyond minimum job performance standards. Personality: Allow brief periods in open meetings to discuss non-work related concerns, interests and activities. Relationships will develop naturally as will the feeling of work-life balance.


eadlines? Workloads? Conflicts? Unreasonable supervisors or clients? Try these simple and easy ways to help you deal with common workplace stress from Alisa Gray, a shareholder at Tiffany & Bosco who is also a certified yoga instructor at Desert Song Yoga & Massage in Phoenix. 1. Hands and wrists. Counteract the strain of pecking at a keyboard with some gentle wrist rotations. Spread the fingers wide and make a soft fist. Repeat 4-5 times. 2. Neck and shoulders. Inhale and shrug your shoulders up as high as they will go. Hold for a second or two, then exhale and drop your shoulders all at once. Do this two or three times. 3. Stand up. Get out of your chair and move around a little bit. Lift your arms up and arc a little from side to side. 4. Breathe. Either seated or standing, place your hands on your belly, down near your navel. Take a deep breath and see if you can breathe deeply enough that your hands move up and down. When you exhale, gently draw your navel in to empty out. Do this 5-10 times.

The best places to retire in Arizona Rank




Doctors’ offices per 1,000 People

Recreation centers per 1,000 people

Retirement centers per 1,000 people

% of Best place to retire seniors index


Litchfield Park 11.5%







Sun City West








Sun City








Green Valley
















Fort Mohave
























Cave Creek















AB | January - February 2017

3 tax tips for 2017


ale A. Walters, a CPA who is one of the leaders at KeatsConnelly, offers these tax tips for 2017: 1. Be aware that a number of tax forms have new filing deadlines. Key deadline changes under the new law, which took effect Jan. 1 are: • Partnership (Form 1065): New deadline March 15 (a month earlier) • Corporation (Form 1120): April 15 (a month later) Foreign accounts (FinCEN 114): April 15 or Oct. 15 with extension (previous deadline was June 30 with no extension) 2. Maximize charitable contributions that qualify for an Arizona tax credit. Arizona has made positive changes to tax credit programs. Three tax credit programs now allow you to donate up to the filing date to qualify as a credit in the previous year. Also, maximum credit amounts have been increased. 3. Use your IRA’s required minimum distribution to contribute to charity. A person age 70½ or older can donate the required minimum distribution to charity, up to $100,000 per year, without including the distribution in your taxable income.


Space man With help, the CEO of KinetX thinks Arizona’s aerospace industry could be out of this world


KJELL STAKKESTAD: In 1992, the president and CEO of KinetX Aerospace helped develop a prototype satellite ground system using off-the-shelf hardware and software products to demonstrate that a satellite ground system could be rapidly, cheaply and reliably developed.



inetX Aerospace faced a Herculean challenge when it was asked to develop a navigation system to guide the fastest spacecraft ever launched to the farthest destination ever explored. “We have done navigation to a number of planets, but it was a different kind of challenge going to Pluto,” says Kjell Stakkestad, president and CEO of KinetX Aerospace. “We had to travel 3.5 billion miles and had to hit a very precise box. It was like having to hit a dime from 5 miles away.” But KinetX delivered. After a journey of 9½ years and more than 3 billion miles, the team from KinetX helped the New Horizons spacecraft hit its mark and captivate the world with the first close-up images of Pluto. Operating out of Tempe, KinetX Aerospace is a privately held company that specializes in the design, development and operation of large-scale space systems, in addition to working on deep space missions. It is the only private company involved in deep space exploration. Az Business had an out-of-this-world discussion with Stakkestad about the state of space in Arizona. Az Business: What’s the story of KinetX? Kjell Stakkestad: What we do is we make systems work. We helped

the IRIDIUM satellite system get working and we are the longestrunning subcontractor for IRIDIUM. We have also worked on defense projects and worked on communications systems for the military. Now, we are trying to use what we’ve learned to develop intellectual property that allows soldiers to use cell phones instead of big backpacks for communications. We are using our systems to tie genetics to cancer treatment and drug trials. The medical community has all these great methods to measure everything you could imagine in a patient. But how does it all fit together? That’s what we do: systems engineering. 12

AB | January - February 2017

AB: What are you working on now? KS: The most flashy stuff we do is space and we are very proud

of that. We just launched a mission to get asteroid samples from Bennu. This project is difficult because Bennu is only 500 meters across, so navigation is tricky. There is a lot of physics and a lot of math. There’s no plugging it into a formula and doing it. But the information we’re going to get from Bennu will help scientists examine the origin of our planet, so it’s exciting. AB: How is Arizona as a place to operate an aerospace company? KS: The state is fantastic and has a lot of spectacular space work

going on. ASU, Northern Arizona University and the University of Arizona have some of the best programs in the world. But the state has some problems, too. Arizona helped put the largest set of satellites into orbit and got almost no press. Arizona is in the top three or four states for aerospace and we tout it far less than other states. I think there are a lot of opportunities for Arizona to get itself more on the map and we miss those opportunities. AB: What should we be doing so we don’t miss those opportunities? KS: If we had a vibrant advocacy group fighting for (and focused

on) the aerospace industry, you would see commercial space and space work in Arizona grow dramatically. Arizona is a place where people want to come. The only drawback is that we have to do something about the education system. When we try to attract people here, they say, “You’re 49th in education.” It doesn’t preclude people from coming, but these are educated people and they want their children to be well educated. So we need to do something about that.

Your unused airline miles can give wishes wings!

Nikolas, 6

life-threatening genetic disorder I wish to meet the Pope

Make-A-Wish Arizona needs approximately 180 million miles EACH YEAR to grant wishes that include travel. Donate your unused or about to expire airline miles and give wishes wings.

More than 77 percent of Arizona wish kids choose wishes that involve some kind of air travel. With Make-A-Wish covering 100 percent of the cost of air travel, the need for airline miles has never been greater. Visit to find out if your unused or about to expire airline miles can help a future Arizona wish kid reach their destination.

Only select airlines participate in the airline miles donation program: American Airlines Kids in Need program, Southwest Airlines, Delta Airlines, United Airlines and JetBlue Airlines all accept donations for Make-A-Wish.



With the promise of staggering debt, how do we convince young people to consider a career in medicine?


AB | January - February 2017



he debate surrounding a shortage in physicians in the United States has loomed for decades — some experts have offered solutions to problems surrounding a shortage in care, and others have disputed claims of a shortage all together. Possible warning signs have gone unheeded, and over the next 10 years, the pending existence of a shortage in care throughout the nation will come to fruition. Per a 2016 report conducted by the Association of American Medical Colleges, the United States will face a shortage in the medical workforce ranging between 61,700 and 94,700. The study, conducted by the Life Science division of IHS Inc., a global information company, includes projections of rapid growth in non-clinician physicians and new payment and delivery models. According to the report, surgical specialties will face the most significant shortage. Research conducted by the AAMC concludes that, by 2025, projected shortfalls in primary care physicians will range between 12,500 and 31,100, and the demand for non-primary physicians will exceed supply by up to 63,700.

Arizona impact As of 2014, Arizona ranked in the second lowest number of physicians based on population, with 234 reported active physicians for every 100,000 residents. Surrounding states, including Nevada, Utah and Texas, were reported among the lowest number of physicians for every 100,00 residents. Although proposals have been made by lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate to increase the number of residency positions, the AAMC said action must be taken immediately to eliminate the problem and to ensure that the aging and growing population has enough physician care. “The doctor shortage has been anticipated for quite a while and I think one of the things that significantly contributes is the lack of increase in training programs and residency spots,” said Dr. Julia Nimlos, MD, a surgery specialist at Banner Baywood Medical Center and Banner Heart Hospital. For Nimlos, what initially began as a desire to be just like her father, grew into a desire to combine her interests in science and technology with a job that would allow her to serve others.

Nimlos graduated from the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Tucson at age 26. Now, at 32, she believes that the younger generation is shying away from the medical field because of the cost. “The amount of student loan debt that people acquire going through sometimes undergraduate … as well as medical school is just crippling,” said Nimlos, “and the idea of owing all of that money before you even start your career, I think, is very daunting.”

Tim Bert

Julie Euber

Julia Nimlos

David Virgil

Cost of career In general, a medical license requires the completion of a four-year undergraduate degree program, four years of medical school, and three to seven years of residency training. Per, the median cost of medical school alone for the 20142015 academic year was $226,447 for public schools, and $298,538 for private schooling. The average reported cost of medical school debt in the United States was $166,750 in 2012, according to personal finance site NerdWallet. Nimlos also believes that the younger generation values a balance between work and personal life much more than the older generation, another reason behind the lack of interest in becoming a doctor. “I think that, being in the medical field, it can be difficult to strike a good work-life balance,” she said, something she has personally struggled with throughout residency and continues to struggle with as a young physician. “I think we see that trend already because the specialties that have become most popular in the last five to 10 years are specialties that do afford a better work-life balance.”

Waiting for the payoff Dr. David Virgil, MD, a family physician from the Abrazo Community Health Network, believes that, on top of the amount of student debt, the delayed gratification that comes with joining the medical workforce pushes away younger individuals. “You know you are going to have to work hard for around a decade before you start seeing the benefits,” said Virgil. He believes that the younger generation wants to earn a high income early on, and in the medical workforce, he said it takes years of learning and working your way up in the profession.

“I think that, being in the medical field, it can be difficult to strike a good work-life balance”

AB | January - February 2017 15

HEALTHCARE “You are going to have to work hard and make sacrifices,” he said, “and it is no easy task to become a doctor.” Dr. Virgil decided to become a family physician while volunteering at a clinic during his undergraduate work at Arizona State University, where an interest in community medicine grew. He became a doctor at the age of 28. Four years later, at 32, he believes the predictions for the physician shortage are underestimated, and the demand is growing much faster than the supply in care. “It takes at least a decade to train a physician,” he said, “so we should have been planning in the year 2000 for now, and now we are just playing catch-up, and the problem is only just getting worse and worse.” “What people were saying 20 years ago was that we need to increase the number of positions in medical school to get more people into medical school, so you have seen various medical schools across the country, and internationally, increase their class sizes and increase their cohort student pool.”

“You are going to have to work hard and make sacrifices” Taking action Dr. Virgil said the underlying problem has shifted, and a separate form of action must be taken to diminish the shortage in physician care. “You have all these people going to medical school, graduating with their doctorate, but to become a fully licensed physician in the United States, you have to complete your residency program, and that is with all of the specialties. If the residency programs are not increasing their cohort sizes as well, then you see the bottleneck is happening at the residency programs.” Dr. Tim Bert, MD, a 32-year-old orthopedic surgeon who specializes in sports medicine, also cites the extensive amount of schooling and the long road to earning a paycheck as the reason fewer individuals are choosing to enter the medical workforce. “You really do not start making money until you are into your early to mid-30s, so I think people see that as an issue, particularly with the rising cost of medical school, the debt that you come out with,” said Bert. Dr. Bert also believes that the United States has yet to catch up with the high demand in physician care, and said that fewer doctors are completing residency programs compared with other countries. “Obviously, the Baby Boomers are getting older, sicker, and have more complex conditions, so we are seeing more patients, and because of the Affordable Care Act, there is an increase in people being covered with insurance, so therefore there is an increase in demand in physicians.” Dr. Bert said that other countries are utilizing more health professionals than the United States, and believes the nation could benefit more by taking advantage of all aspects of the medical workforce. “We rely too heavily on physicians and not enough on developed 16

AB | January - February 2017

practitioners, like physician assistants and nurse practitioners, to be able to provide that level of care that could be provided by them,” he said.

Making a difference Dr. Bert said that increasing reimbursement for physicians, decreasing the amount of debt from obtaining a medical degree, and financing medical school from a federal level could alleviate the shortage and attract more young people to the medical profession. “I think you are seeing a lot of the graduates coming out of medical school, choosing professions based on finances, and not what they truly want to do, so you are seeing a move away from the general practitioners or the primary care doctors who do not make as much as people who work as specialists,” he said. Data provided by the AAMC proves that, in addition to team-based care and better use of technology to provide more effective and efficient care, eliminating the shortage in physicians requires additional federal support, which would allow training of 3,000 more doctors per year. The Helios Education Foundation and Translational Genomics Research Institute in Phoenix are taking steps toward producing the next generation of the biomedical workforce here in Arizona through their premier internship program partnership, Helios Scholars at TGen. The partnership program celebrated its 10th year in September, and now has more than 400 alumni. Through the program, high school, undergraduate, graduate and medical school students can work on research projects under the mentorship of TGen scientists during a paid summer internship. “They are taking ownership of a project that could have real implications for the laboratory, so they become very invested and also very quickly learn if this is something that they would like to do for the rest of their life,” said Julie Euber, TGen director of education and outreach.

Next generation Euber said that what students can learn in the laboratory is much different than what they would learn in a classroom. The internship aids students in developing software skills and features seminars on professional etiquette and how to be a good communicator of science, things Euber said provides students with a full experience of the biomedical workforce. The application for the program opens in January and all applicants must have attended high school in Arizona, or must be currently attending school within the state. “Our selection panel is all pure scientists, so they ultimately decide who will be in their lab that summer,” Euber said. Euber believes that by providing students with biomedical experience and the opportunity to see if a career as a medical professional is something they would want to pursue, the program is a step towards alleviating the doctor shortage. “We have students that are in the program where this is their first time getting a foot in the door, where this is their first research experience and they can build from there, so we give them a starting point,” she said, “and another big part of that is making the field more accessible and open to more people.” Of those who have graduated from the program, 22 percent are minorities and 52 percent are women. Congress has also stepped in with the introduction of the Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act. The act would provide 15,000 new federally funded GME residency spots to teaching hospitals, 3,000 per year for five years, beginning this year.


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AB | January - February 2017 17


Why Millennials are ready to take the reins of Arizona’s technology sector


AB | January - February 2017


he technology world is built on the innovative ideas of the next generation of our workforce. Today, we look to the Millennial generation to take over for the Baby Boomers in building the technology landscape of tomorrow. To understand Arizona’s growing technology startup ecosystem, one must understand the reasoning behind the education and motivations of the Millennial generation. Millennials have hit the ground running because unlike Baby Boomers, they are technology natives. While Baby Boomers began as immigrants to technology, Millennials have grown up fully immersed in it. They don’t buy into the concept of sitting at a cluttered desk 10 hours a day. Instead, by leveraging technology, they have the ability to add meaningful value from anywhere at any time. And despite all the negativity we hear about the U.S. education system, Millennials are the most highly educated generation in our history. In fact, education is a key reason for the early success of Millennials in technology. Beginning in the 1990s, the American education system began to put more resources towards science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The marriage of these fields by the National Science Foundation officially resulted in the acronym STEM, and the U.S. began a stringent education reform to include STEM initiatives. The Millennial generation grew up with the resources to take a deeper dive into STEM. At the same time, business programs moved away from focusing on teaching the operation of large companies to paying equal attention to entrepreneurship. Arizona State University’s SkySong entrepreneurial programs — such as the Edison Student Entrepreneur initiative, Innovation Challenge, TechShop and the ASU Startup Accelerator — are great example of this in the state’s postsecondary education system. Millennials have responded by taking the idea of being their own boss to heart. To get a good sense of the impact that the STEM and entrepreneur education initiatives have had

on our state, take a look at the participation in Arizona Commerce Authority’s spring 2016 Arizona Innovation Challenge. Nearly 100 startups competed for $1.5 million in seed money, with up to $250,000 granted to each winning company. The majority of these startups were run by Millennials who developed companies with innovative ideas worthy of receiving funding. Steven G. Zylstra Arizona has benefited greatly Technology from this transition in the American business landscape. Our state has steadily become a hotbed for technology startups, followed closely by a boom in incubators and a strong small business development ecosystem. Organizations like SEED SPOT, CO+HOOTS, the Northern Arizona Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology and the Center for Entrepreneurial Innovation are helping technology startups develop their ideas and collaborate with like-minded individuals. More importantly, the growth of Arizona’s small business ecosystem is helping startups prepare their products and companies to seek funding in the Valley. The companies that have found success here are making a significant impact on the growth of Arizona’s economy. Phoenixbased WebPT — born by Millennial innovators Heidi and Brad Jannenga — is a great example of a homegrown startup. The young couple saw a need in the market and used their entrepreneurial and technology backgrounds to create a company that in 2016 ranked No. 1,445 on the Inc. 5000 list of America’s fastest-growing companies. There are many examples of Millennial-run startups that have shown the ability to grow and make a significant impact on Arizona’s economy. This generation is well-equipped to take over for Baby Boomers. The number of large technology companies and the growth of the startup ecosystem have effectively positioned Arizona as a national leader in technology. The Arizona Technology Council understands that our Millennial generation is the key to the next 40 years of technology growth in the Valley. Our mission for 2017 is to continue to support STEM initiatives, encourage investment groups to move to Arizona and bolster angel investment opportunities in the state. With these initiatives as key focal points, we will continue to support our thriving startup ecosystem and help the millennial generation take the reins of the technology sector. Steven G. Zylstra is president and CEO of the Arizona Technology Council, where he is responsible for strategy, operations and accomplishment of policy development. Zylstra is a vocal spokesman for the value that technology can provide in raising social and economic standards in Arizona.

AB | January - February 2017 19


Influential Millennials Meet the young business leaders who are changing Arizona’s landscape and the way we approach business



an you guess the average tenure of Millennial employees? Two years. That doesn’t instill much confidence for human resources executives who are trying to create a stable workforce, especially when you take this into account: More than one-in-three American workers today are Millennials (adults ages 18 to 36). And in 2015, Millennials surpassed Generation X to become the largest share of the American workforce, according to Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. Millennials embrace a strong entrepreneurial mindset and they are often on the lookout for opportunities that can continue to move them up the ladder, even if that means up and out of their current position. But that’s not always the case. Over the next several pages, you’re going to meet 20 Millennials who are staying put long enough to have a big impact on Arizona’s economic landscape, changing the way their companies do business and altering the workplace culture at the same time.


AB | January - February 2017


Corporate development officer Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation Age: 35

Barney has three degrees from ASU — two undergraduate degrees and a master’s in communications. By the time she was 26, Barney had raised $1 million dollars for various charities.

Value of youth: “I have been fortunate to have great role models who instilled in me to give back to the community — my parents, Girl Scouts, friends and bosses.” Impact of Millennials: “My favorite Millennial business owner is Aaron Pool of Gadzook’s, a fastcasual restaurant that is redefining the enchilada. He’s changing the food industry and in the process inspiring those around him of all ages.”



Age: 32

Age: 34

Bayless took the medical group from a staff of 18 in 2008 to 100 in 2016. He is known for challenging the status quo. While most patients have to patronize two clinics for primary and mental healthcare, he brought the two under one roof in the transformative Bayless model of care.

In her current position, Friedly is trusted by some of the state’s top companies to help ensure profitably and manage risk.

CEO Bayless Healthcare Group

Impact of Millennials:

“Millennials will help shape a new paradigm as it relates to receiving your healthcare services through technology and the patient experience. Brand, customer service, access to care, price, technology applications and quality will be the competitive advantages that medical groups will need to obtain to stay relevant.”

Vice president Lovitt & Touché

Value of youth:

JOHN CHAYKA General manager Phoenix Coyotes Age: 27

Chayka is in his first season with the Coyotes as general manager after being promoted to the position on May 5, 2016. At 26, he became the youngest general manager in NHL and North American major sports history. Chayka joined the Coyotes prior to the 2015-16 season as assistant general manager, analytics. He was involved in all areas of hockey operations, including NHL, minor league and amateur player evaluation, as well as player development and coaching support. Prior to joining the Coyotes, he co-founded and served as director of hockey operations at Stathletes Inc.

“Millennials are known for relationship building. I’m driven to always help others first, whether that is improving their business, growing their networks or making impactful introductions.” Impact of Millennials:

“Millennials will have made the business landscape a much more collaborative environment, pulling in resources from many different industries and networks to improve the communities we live in. This will only continue to grow, especially in the insurance industry.”

GREG GAUTAM Partner Snell & Wilmer Age: 34

Gautam is a member of the State Bar’s Committee on Minorities and Women in the Law. Next year, he will assume the role as lead coordinator of the State Bar’s Diversity Legal Writing Program, which has provided almost $800,000 in scholarships to almost 170 law students. Impact of Millennials:

“The legal profession lags behind other industries in areas like technology, innovation, leave policies and flexible work arrangements. I believe Millennials will play a leading role in these areas and will work with senior firm leadership to develop new approaches to talent management and delivering legal services in an efficient and sensible manner.”

AB | January - February 2017 21



Gleckler guides companies through all phases of the business cycle and provides ongoing advice and counsel on day-to-day operational, business and legal issues. She is also a powerlifter who holds multiple Arizona state records.

Kopparthi is a healthcare entrepreneur on a mission. He and his Millennial team have developed a treatment for jaundice, a condition that causes 1,293 infants globally to either die or suffer permanent brain damage every day. Value of youth: “Being a Millennial has empowered me with dynamism and the ability to think out of the box to get to my end goal.” Impact of Millennials: “Our elder generation has sacrificed a lot to give us this elevated pedestal. Thanks to them, we are here to innovate, empower, solve some key problems and change the world.”

Associate Polsinelli Age: 29

DR. RANDY S. GELOW II Physician Banner Health Age: 31

Gelow specializes in LGBT medicine, including the treatment of HIV, PrEP and transgender hormone medicine. He incorporates humor, empathy and shared decision making into healthcare. Value of youth: “Being born into a generation centered on technology and friendly competition allows quicker improvement of self and society through ease of access to resources and the drive to innovate.” Impact of Millennials:

Value of youth: “Millennials are not afraid

of change. Not being afraid to make changes has helped me look at business challenges in different ways and work toward new solutions.”

Impact of Millennials:

“Our use of technology in business will continue to break down barriers, making Arizona more accessible to companies outside Arizona and making the rest of the world more accessible to Arizona companies.”

“We are already seeing the changes brought to health care by Millennials with improved access as medicine is turning digital: online appointments, immediate electronic contact with your doctor and electronic prescribing are just a few of the advancements.”

Co-founder and CEO NeoLight Age: 27


Professor and researcher Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) Age: 36

Hendricks helps lead TGen’s canine cancer program, which uses saliva samples to study dogs’ DNA and look for not only what drives various types of cancers in canine, but how to use those discoveries to drive new insights into the causes and treatments for cancer in people. Value of youth: “I’m driven by a deep desire to improve the lives of cancer patients through innovative research. As a young scientist empowered by extraordinary mentors, colleagues, collaborators, trainees, and by cancer patients themselves, I bring an unconventional perspective to expert teams working to solve difficult problems.”

MELISSA IYER JULIAN Partner Burch & Cracchiolo Age: 36

Julian’s practice focuses on complex business litigation matters and corporate transactions. Value of youth: “Millennials are creatures of change, not habit. Our lives have been defined by how well we adapt to rapid changes in technology and in our


AB | January - February 2017

environment. And that is our greatest asset – we embrace change, we thrive on innovation and we tend to be fearless in our willingness to challenge the accepted wisdom.” Impact of Millennials: “Millennials will push businesses — in my case, law firms — to adopt more streamlined operations that rely more heavily on technology as a means of improving communication, increasing productivity and decreasing overhead.”


Founder and executive director Vista College Preparatory Age: 34


Employer relations manager CTCA Age: 36

Lantz develops wellness programs for companies across Arizona. She sits on the board of Westmarc and Southwest Valley Chamber of Commerce. Value of youth: “There is something to learn from every person you meet, regardless of generation. I incorporate those lessons in both my personal and professional life.”

Meyerson recently completed a year-long fellowship with Building Excellent Schools, where she had the opportunity to study high performing charter schools serving low income students. Value of youth: “Our team believes that we can redefine what is possible in urban education in Arizona. We are

proving demographics do not determine destiny.” Impact of Millennials:

“Young entrepreneurs are committed to quick change. Within education, these leaders are embracing innovation, unrelenting in their commitment to excellence and truly believe that every student, no matter where they live, deserves a quality education.”

DAVID RACICH CEO Brokers Alliance Age: 36

Racich is a serial entrepreneur in the fields of technology, online marketing and finance and began his career while still in college. Value of youth: “I am the son of two school teachers who, if nothing else, taught

Impact of Millennials:

“Millennials love to innovate, which is great for the healthcare industry. I believe millennials will continue to push the boundaries in healthcare, contributing to new technologies and advancements, which will eventually lead to even better patient care.”

Value of youth: “I think

Millennials have been adopting to dramatic technological change most of our lives, which has helped mentally prepare us to changes in our work environments.” Impact of Millennials:


Senior vice president Alliance Bank of Arizona Age: 34

Schelter began working at Alliance after graduating from the University of Arizona in 2005.

“Millennials continue to demand innovation from banks, looking for new ways to access and utilize financial information, obtain credit, manage finances and enhance data security. This will continue to change in how day-to-day banking is conducted by businesses and consumers.”

JEN WATSON KOEVARY COO Avery Therapeutics Age: 30

Koevary helps lead Avery Therapeutics, a biotech startup, and is also a research assistant professor of

me the value of hard work and perseverance.” Impact of Millennials:

“Millennials will continue to push organizations toward continued innovation while better leveraging technology to work more easily within their day to day. This will make it easier for any organization to seamlessly serve up their product/service with a tight integration into one’s day.”

biomedical engineering at the University of Arizona. Her expertise spans technical and business domains. Value of youth: “Growing up in an increasingly technologybased environment where information is shared rapidly has made it easier to understand complex technology and take an active effort in innovation.” Impact of Millennials: “There is an opportunity to find connections and solutions spanning many domains and I see immense potential for new themes and technologies that will impact social well-being.” AB | January - February 2017 23


Innovators take leadership roles at SRP


he leadership at Salt River Project says there are many young people on their team that blend positive Millennial traits, such as being tech-savvy, with the traditional traits that older generations see as assets in the workforce. Those Millennials are helping to make SRP a more successful business. Here are five of those SRPshaping Millennials:


Manager of fuels Age: 35

Felix oversees the procurement of fuels for SRP’s baseload generation. In his 12 years of service, Felix has held various engineering and leadership positions, including manager of Customer Program Innovation. Value of youth: “I am a firm believer that a good work ethic and following the Golden rRule transcends all generations, from Boomers to Millennials.” Impact of Millennials: “SRP is starting to address these trends as they are beginning to impact us now. Mobile customer engagement will be more dominant and it will be interesting to see how the ‘Uberization’ of society will impact our business landscape.”


Board and council relations manager in the corporate secretary’s office Age: 30 Value of youth: “As a young


AB | January - February 2017

SRP MILLENNIALS: David Felix, Lesly Swanson, Dan Killoren, Lora Hobaica and Josh Schwartz. PHOTO BY MIKE MERTES, AZ BIG MEDIA

Millennial, with time on my side, I had the opportunity to serve on community boards, volunteer and participate in Valley Leadership, all of which have helped me gain the diverse perspective I now instill in my daily life.” Impact of Millennials:

“Millennials bring a bright new perspective to the workforce and the community. We are not only giving, but also are open to hearing both sides of the story and keeping an open mind when coming up with solutions.”


Manager of strategy, archives and contracts Age: 31

Killoren earned a Ph.D. in history from ASU in 2011, completing his graduate work on Native American water rights settlements. He serves as president of the Heritage Square Foundation in Phoenix. Impact of Millennials:

“Millennials will continue to reshape the business landscape in Arizona through their high

tolerance for transformative change. Arizona is historically a place where barriers to social and economic innovation are low by national standards, and if this continues, Millennials will be attracted to the state in increasing numbers. This will spur innovation across industries and increase the competitive position of Arizona businesses.”


Manager of learning and development Age: 35 Value of youth: “Much of my

career has been spent working to engage with Arizona students on the topic of possible careers in our industry. I have been able to leverage my youth to do just that — engage prospective talent. This has led me into several roles in the talent management arena.” Impact of Millennials: “By 2027 we will be the thought leaders, the industry drivers and the experts. Through greater use of social mediums, community awareness, a connectedness with

technology, not to mention our ceaseless proclivity for asking why? we will drive industry to look, feel and act more like us.”


Senior environmental scientist Age: 34

Swanson stepped into her current role and transformed how her department works to support SRP personnel and the public. She coordinates internal environmental compliance efforts and works with public, state and federal agencies on environmental projects. Value of youth: “My youth has allowed me to step into the business community with an open mind and a fresh perspective. I bring a sense of possibility and a belief that challenges can be overcome.” Impact of Millennials: “By leveraging new tools and fresh approaches, Millennials will help drive innovative thinking, leading to a more efficient and more productive workforce.”



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With interest waning, what are firms looking for in young people who want to be attorneys? 26

AB | January - February 2017



career in law isn’t looking as attractive to young people as it might have before the age of slow growth, piling student debt and constant economic uncertainty. Between the fall of 2006 and the fall 2015, applications to American Bar Association accredited law schools decreased from 88,700 to 54,500, according to the Law School Admission Council. During that same time period, students admitted to law schools dropped from 56,000 to 42,300, the council reports. In recent years, the decline has tapered off with only a 2.2 percent decrease between 2014 and 2015, and the 2015-2016 academic year saw a 4.1 percent increase in administered Law

School Admission Tests (LSATs), according to the council. Last year, publications such as Forbes, The New York Times and the Boston Globe reported that there was a glut of lawyers with not enough jobs to go around. A Kaplan Test Prep survey from October reports that 111 of the 205 American Bar Association-accredited schools are showing optimism, but many “favor the closure of existing J.D. programs and limiting new ones.” Much of these problems and uncertainty can be tied to the 2008 recession. The legal profession, like many professions took a hit in the number of jobs. AB | January - February 2017 27

LAW How law schools adapt and deal

W. Scott Jenkins

Robert Kramer

Don Lively

Doug Sylvester, dean of the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University, saw law schools react without much foresight in the wake of the economic downturn. Sylvester says schools raised tuition and class sizes when they should have realized the same number of students wouldn’t have been able to find jobs in 2010 compared with 2008. “I think that kind of somewhat toxic reaction to a difficult environment really did lead to a general disillusionment on many, many potential applicants about a legal career,” he says. With this sense of uncertainty floating around the legal profession, law schools like the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law took steps to ensure the industry has skilled lawyers. Over the years, Sylvester has focused on keeping tuition costs low for students. With low tuition costs in one hand, his school still only focuses on admitting the best and brightest, Sylvester says. ASU’s school of law spends a lot of time on admissions, Sylvester says. His law school doesn’t use statistics or formulas when it’s considering a prospective student. Instead, every file is read in its entirety, Sylvester says. Sylvester also makes sure each student is enthusiastic about ASU’s mission and that they have a real energy and passion for going into law, something that is really important for a student going into the profession. The tired cliché of the law student or lawyer who was forced into the profession from external pressures didn’t come from a vacuum. Arizona Summit School of Law President Don Lively says there are two things a student should consider before going into law: 1. If they want to go to law school. 2. If the law school of their choice is the right school for them.

Kelly Mooney

Doug Sylvester 28

“I never try to persuade people,” Lively says. “I just want them to get to an informed judgement.” As a result, Lively wants to make sure the students are going to law school because it’s their choice, not because of parental pressure or other pressures. He wants prospective students to read about the critics, cynics and more before committing to a career in law. “I don’t want people to come here, load up on student debt and look at their rear view mirror and ask themselves, ‘Why did I ever do that?’” Lively says. Lively believes that when a student makes an informed judgement and is not coaxed into law school by a student’s parents, peers or a persuasive admissions department, it works out in the best interest of the school and for the student in the end. A lot of times, Lively says, the student will come your way because you’ve demonstrated you’re working in the student’s best interest. Since the recession, Summit has lowered its class

AB | January - February 2017

"The student will come your way because you’ve demonstrated you’re working in the student’s best interest."

sizes and has seen a reduction in admissions like many other schools in the country. In these different times, where the schools have been changing, what are law firms looking for in law school graduates?

What the profession wants Firms like Fennemore Craig, Gallagher & Kennedy, Sherman & Howard and Quarles & Brady are all looking for bright and intelligent lawyers to join their firms. But what is changing is how many lawyers are getting hired and who is getting hired, experts say. Robert Kramer, chief talent officer at Fennemore Craig, says needs for starting lawyers are different than they were 10 or 15 years ago. In the past, Fennemore Craig’s yearly associate additions floated between 10 and 15 new lawyers. But now it’s down to around five a year, Kramer says. W. Scott Jenkins, partner at Quarles & Brady, says one of the biggest changes in the legal market since the downturn is a bigger emphasis on a new lawyer’s business development at the firm. The process of having lawyers generate more business for their firm starts much earlier than it did in the past, Jenkins says. “New lawyers can’t just be good, they have to bring in money,” he adds. “That’s just an economic reality.” In the past, recent law school graduates would spend their first year or two learning the ropes of what it was like to work at a legal practice. Summit’s president, Lively, recalls a time when he spent his first year as a lawyer basically holding someone’s briefcase, observing while others practiced law. Today, firms don’t have that kind of patience or extra bodies to serve as mentors, which is why schools have been preparing students for immediate work. Kelly Mooney, shareholder at Gallagher & Kennedy, has been seeing recently graduated law students come in with more practical experiences from their externships in law school. “We’ve been impressed with the externships that these students have been getting,” Mooney says. “(The externships) have been giving students good practical experience.”


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January 26, 2017 6:00-8:00 p.m. Reception and Dinner

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AB | January - February 2017 29



grows up

Financial technology presents opportunities and a new set of challenges as the industry enters 2017 By MICHAEL GOSSIE


AB | January - February 2017


hen Snoop Dogg disrupts your business, you know you’ve got problems … and “Gin and Juice” ain’t one. The rapper is among those investors backing Robinhood, a popular FinTech (financial technology) app that makes trading stocks simple and free. Both Apple and Google say it was one of the 10 most downloaded apps of 2015. “As the use of technology continues to grow exponentially, the consumer’s demand for convenience is growing with it,” says Michael McAndrews, director of network security services at WGM Information Security Services in Scottsdale. “Over the last several years, the financial services industry has seen remarkable growth in consumer’s use of technology to access money and transact business.” Whether you’re a gangsta rapper, the CEO of a bank or a consumer looking for an auto loan, there’s no doubt that you’ve seen how FinTech is transforming the way we think about financial services. FinTech allows companies to serve their customers better and makes it easier to get paid for your goods or services, but it also presents challenges. And at a time when the mountain of regulatory challenges facing the financial services industry seems overwhelming, the last thing it needs is the challenge of keeping up with the Joneses … or the Robinhoods.

Industry impact “Banks are becoming technology service firms that just happen to sell financial services,” says Cathy Cooper, executive vice president and Retail Banking Group manager for Washington Federal. “It has become a central component of every strategic initiative we undertake.” That effort is vital in today’s tech-driven business climate. To keep up with the competition, traditional financial services firms have ramped up their FinTech efforts dramatically and the effort is paying off. Mobile banking apps from JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Capital One and Wells Fargo ranked among The top 10 U.S. banking and FinTech apps in 2016, based on ratings. Although they lack the bells and whistles packed into other more innovative apps, traditional firms score higher in fraud protection and transparency, two key concerns for FinTech customers. “The single biggest development is the wide use and availability of mobile

finance applications,” says Tim Lipsky, senior vice president of digital strategy for Desert Schools Federal Credit Union. “Not just banking apps or the ability to complete mobile deposits from your phone, but the wide range of credit reporting, fraud protection and even real estate shopping applications that are now available.” But mobiles apps are just the appetizer in terms of how technology has transformed the financial services sector. Email and text messaging have also turned the industry upside down. “There has been a dramatic migration to electronic communication with clients and other financial institutions, accompanied by an equally dramatic increase in requirements and focus on cybersecurity,” says Eric Nystrom, director of process and technology at MRA Associates. “Across the board, today we are almost exclusively using encrypted web portal and email communication with clients and other financial institutions, where five years ago we often used U.S. mail, fax and telephone communication.” Charles Schwab got ahead of the tech trend and was named to Fast Company’s 2015 list of the Most Innovative Companies in personal finance after it launched a fully automated investment advisory service, Schwab Intelligent Portfolios. It is the only investment advisory service using sophisticated computer algorithms to build, monitor and rebalance diversified portfolios based on an investor’s goals, time horizon and risk tolerance without charging any advisory fees, commissions or account services fees. “The Internet and technology in general has allowed our clients to research, trade, open accounts and interact with Schwab from the convenience of their homes, their offices and nearly anywhere on their smartphones,” according to Ed Obuchowski, senior vice president of Advisor Technology Solutions for Schwab Advisor Services. “One of the biggest challenges that Schwab, and frankly every firm that has an online presence must contend with, is protecting our clients from online threats and fraudulent activities.”

Challenges ahead

Bryant Andrus

Cathy Cooper

Steve Bayans

Tim Lipsky

Michael McAndrews

Eric Nystrom

Ed Obuchowski

Jim Patterson

While Jim Patterson, CEO of UMB Bank’s Arizona Region, says the regulatory environment is still one of the greatest challenges financial institutions face, the industry faces the added challenge of trying AB | January - February 2017 31

BANKING to balance innovation that enhances the customer’s experience with fraud, compliance and other areas of risk that might be introduced when adopting and adapting to new technologies. “There are new types of payments contemplated every day, whether it’s paper-to-electronic, peer-to-peer, realtime or mobile transactions, and we need to be able to continually enhance our offering to keep up with — and lead this — positive momentum,” Patterson says. “That’s where FinTech can play a role and provide a great way for us to work with those entrepreneurs to create the symbiotic relationship between banking and emerging technologies.” Bryant Andrus, president of KeatsConnelly, says technology is changing so fast that by the time his team members are comfortable with a new technology, it can be outdated. “Additionally, financial companies are targets for cyber-attacks because of the amount of information we have on our clients,” Andrus says. “We have to be extremely diligent about ensuring our technology for safeguarding our clients’ data.” The greatest threat to the financial services business continues to be the theft of access tokens, credit card numbers, PIN codes and passwords, experts say. “Whether obtained from breaches or phishing, these transactional validation means are increasingly vulnerable,” McAndrews says. “The relationship between demand for more convenience and the need for increased security will continue to be a difficult balance for financial services businesses.”

Opportunities await In an interesting twist, UMB has taken on an innovative “if you can’t beat them, invest in them,” strategy to compete in the increasingly tech-heavy financial services sector. “We believe there is a real opportunity in our communities to create, innovate and accelerate business in the FinTech sector,” Patterson says. To that end, UMB has invested in several FinTech startups and accelerator programs throughout the company’s footprint as a means to support local entrepreneurs and gain access to the


AB | January - February 2017

latest in financial technologies. “When we have homegrown startups that are transforming the way the financial and technology industries are doing business, everyone benefits,” Patterson says. “We also benefit by having insight and awareness of the developing technologies and how those can assist our clients now and in the future.” Another potential game changer in financial services, particularly the traditional banking system, is the industry is in the early stages of exploring a new digital currency technology. “With each new generation of young people, acceptance of new payment technology, including digital currency, has become more prevalent,” McAndrews says. “In order to keep up with consumer demand for faster and more convenient access to their funds, financial services companies must move to embrace these new technologies.” Perhaps the greatest threat to the traditional banking system is the Blockchain, according to McAndrews. Probably most well-known for its use with the digital currency Bitcoin, a Blockchain provides near real-time transaction settlements with multiple layers of verification. A Blockchain is a distributed ledger database that uses a cryptographic network to provide a single source of truth. “Compared with traditional clearinghouse systems, the Blockchain has shown promise by settling transactions more quickly and at a lower cost with greater security,” McAndrews says. “A Blockchain allows untrusting parties with common interests to co-create a permanent, unchangeable and transparent record of exchange and processing without relying on a central authority.” Within the financial service industry, many large financial institutions are already experimenting with private Blockchains and industry experts expect more to come in 2017. “Much the same as The Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act (Check 21) changed banking and expedited the movement of funds in 2004,” McAndrews says, “the Blockchain promises to do the same in the near future.”

Opportunities for 2017 Bryant Andrus, president of KeatsConnelly: “Automating our processes so that we can spend more time building/deepening relationships with our clients and prospective clients. Our industry still is a relationship business. Over time, relationships may become a less important, but if you believe everything you read the world would’ve ended several times over.” Steve Bayans, vice president of operations at Discover’s Phoenix Call Center: “The financial industry will continue to undergo transformative changes as new technology emerges and consumer demand increases. These financial technology companies are partnering with financial institutions to bring better ideas to the table.” Cathy Cooper, executive vice president and Retail Banking Group manager for Washington Federal: “The opportunities are tremendous, but we’re staying focused on those that making us ‘easier to bank with.’ We’re also aware that consumer expectations around technology and service delivery are built by quality organizations outside the financial industry and that banks need to think like retailers and like technology companies when deciding which strategies to deploy.” Eric Nystrom, director of process and technology at MRA Associates: “We are leveraging cloud-based computing whenever possible to increase our ability to respond to the continuous changes in business and regulatory requirements, improve reliability and availability, enhance our business continuation and disaster recovery capabilities, and in some cases contain or reduce cost.” Ed Obuchowski, senior vice president of Advisor Technology Solutions for Schwab Advisor Services: “In 2017, and beyond, we will continue to make significant investments in our open architecture integration capabilities, our proprietary custody, trading and portfolio management platforms, as well as the internal systems our operations, sales, and services teams use to delight our clients.”



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AB | January - February 2017 33


Marketing to Millennials 5 ways to capture the attention of this famously attention-deficit generation


lease excuse the sweeping generalization, but marketers today sure do love making sweeping (and often contradictory) generalizations about the so-called Millennial generation. One day, they’re fearless and tech-savvy cord cutters who are shaking up the staid media-consumption landscape. The next day, they’re everything that’s wrong with modern America: fragile and entitled thanks to their helicopter parents, obsessed with selfies and posting pictures of their locally-sourced lunch. However, one thing is certain, with Millennials already accounting for more than $1 trillion in U.S. consumer spending and the nation’s 75 million people Grant Crone aged 18-34 expected to comprise Marketing more than one in three of adult Americans by 2020 and make up as much as 75 percent of the U.S. workforce by 2025, marketers ignore Millennials at their peril. So here are five simple tips to help you speak to—and not down to—Millennials.

Image is everything Gone are the days of words carrying the weight. In today’s evermore digital world, it’s critical to polish the look and feel of the entire marketing message, from the written word, to the photography, graphic design and packaging, to ensure the message is flexible to fit within the multitude of mediums out there. From the agency perspective, we have to intimately understand the intended market, and know what catches eyes. Selecting a photographer that can capture lifestyle images of the experience you envision your product within. Writing copy that is timely in the ever-changing lexicon spurred by social media. Enhancing your message with seamless graphic design that brings the words and images together in harmonious fashion.

One size doesn’t fit all Once you’ve got your assets (a trove of high-quality photography, words that intimately and accurately describe your product or experience) you need to develop marketing tools tailored to a multitude of mediums. Consider yourself as the consumer for a moment: when you’re learning about a new brand, you might cross-reference web presence with social presence, and you look at 34

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what other people are saying about the brand, who’s aligning with it, and who it’s for. Before ever seeing the product or experience, you’re making a judgment based on the visual identity of the brand whether it’s for you, whether it represents what you represent, and whether you align with the other people that back the same brand. Now more than ever, a brand can manage the online experience, and put its best foot forward on so many platforms.

Planning is key According to a study of media usage and ad exposure by Media Dynamics, Inc., the average American now consumes an average of 10 hours of media daily while being exposed to 360 ads; of which only about “150 ads are even noted, and far fewer make a strong enough impact to be recalled, make an impression, and ultimately, make a sale.” So with this rapid increase in frequency of communication between a business and its target market, your marketing message needs to evolve by the day, and it needs to be timely. Let your calendar be your guide, and fit your message into brand-appropriate happenings throughout the year, whether this includes on-site activations, PR outreach, or curated content developed for a blog or social platform.

Collaborate With brand-driven audiences being developed at breakneck paces, collaboration is the best way to naturally bring together likeminded markets. So don’t be afraid to check your ego at the door and learn something new, or revise your expectations based on previously timetested results. After all, all these high-tech new tools that allows you to seamlessly (and affordably) connect with people across the globe won’t do you any good if you are still stuck in your own little silo.

Still trust traditional While new technology, a smart digital strategy, and tight content development are essential in reaching Millennial, don’t count out radio, tv, and other so called “traditional” media outlets. Why? Simply put, a lot of people still consume media that way, and will continue to do so for a very long time – including Millenials. The audience is broad in definition, but it’s one of the best ways to establish visibility, and credibility, with trained professionals crafting the editorial content. The tighter your brand strategy, the more appealing your businesses will be to journalists, many of whom are Millennials themselves. Grant Crone is an award-winning public relations pro and principal at MMPR Marketing.


TOP IT OFF: Bourbon & Bones allows

Strong Bones

customers to top their steaks with lobster stiacks, foie gras, sautéed shrimp or a number of other options. PHOTO PROVIDED BY BOURBON & BONES

You’ll want to make a toast to Scottsdale’s newest steakhouse By MICHAEL GOSSIE


inding a restaurant in the heart of Scottsdale with a hip and modern vibe isn’t exactly difficult. Play “flip cup” on any corner in Old Town and you’re sure to hit one with a decent flick. But finding an upscale steakhouse that combines exceptional food, extraordinary cuts of meat, on-point service, edgy-withoutgoing-over-the-top interiors and the best drink menu in Scottsdale is more difficult. Bourbon & Bones Chophouse & Bar just made it a whole lot easier. Bourbon & Bones is the best offering yet from Square One Concepts, the team behind such popular Old Town restaurants as Crab & Mermaid Fish House and Cold Beer & Cheeseburgers. The modern, upscale chophouse in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale showcases an entree-based menu from Chef Isaac Carter — who also oversees Crab & Mermaid — that consists of classic American fare that focuses on wet aged and dry aged cuts of beef, including bone-in cuts and chops, plus fresh seafood. That’s the “Bones” half. The menu for the “Bourbon” half of Bourbon & Bones was created by innovative mixologist Richie Moe. It features classic hand-crafted cocktails with a modern twist and is backed up by a selection of more than 75 high-end bourbons and a 750-bottle wine case. The atmosphere inside the 4,000-square-foot, Midcentury Modern building is lively and the decor is sleek and modern, utilizing reclaimed wood, distressed leather booths, and walnut tables to create an environment that is perfect for a business dinner or a night out with friends. But where Bourbon & Bones really separates itself from its competitors is the food. Some highlights from a recent visit: • The “Medjool Bleu Cheese Stuffed Dates” ($14), with Nueske’s bacon, banyuls and salted marcona almonds, are pure magic. The perfect combination of salty, sweet, creamy and crunchy make this the perfect starter. • It’s sometimes scary to order raw oysters in the desert, but Bourbon & Bones’ “West Coast Oysters” ($18) shows that its chefs know how handle raw food. The oysters are


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amazingly fresh, perfectly shucked and the accompanying house mignonette and cocktail sauce makes this a dish worth coming back for … and we haven’t even gotten to the meat yet. • The biggest surprise of your night will be the “BBQ Baby Back Ribs” ($26). While these were initially ordered to create a more wide-ranging culinary experience for a party of four, they are deliciousness defined. Moist, tender and packed with flavor, these ribs made one Kansas City native exclaim, “These are the best ribs I have ever had in my life.” And she was right. • The 14-ounce “Bone in Filet Mignon” ($49) and 24-ounce “Bone in Ribeye” ($49) are worth their weight in gold. Perfectly aged, perfectly seasoned and perfectly prepared, these steaks stand up to the best red meat dishes you will find anywhere in the West. Bourbon & Bones also has a popular happy hour that includes the must-try “Truffle Cheddar Popcorn” ($8) and the “Sub Zero Whiskey and Coke” ($10), which features Russel’s Reserve Bourbon. Whether you try it out for happy hour or dinner, you’ll find Bourbon & Bones is a very welcomed and pleasantly unpredictable addition to Old Town Scottsdale’s dining scene.

Bourbon & Bones Chophouse & Bar 4200 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale (480) 629-4922

10th annual

Call for Nominations! The 2017 Healthcare Leadership Awards nominations are now open!

10 Nomination Categories to celebrate 10 years! Tell Az Business about the Healthcare Leaders you know. Nominate at Deadline February 17, 2017

Presenting Sponsor

Presenting Partner


Sponsorships available: or call 602-277-6045 AB | January - February 2017 37

ACC Awards honor Arizona’s most accomplished in-house attorneys By MICHAEL GOSSIE

ffective corporate counsel has never been more important than it is in today’s new and ever-evolving knowledge-based economy. Az Business magazine is recognizing the important and vital role that in-house counsel plays in the success of a business with the Arizona Corporate Counsel Awards (ACC Awards). Candidates in several categories will be recognized for their extraordinary legal skills and achievements across a full range of in-house responsibility, exemplary leadership and for contributions to Arizona’s communities. The 23 finalists and winners will be honored during a ceremony and dinner on Thursday January 26, 2017 at the JW Marriott Camelback Inn Scottsdale. Over the next several pages, you will meet the finalists, in alphabetical order.

Presenting Sponsors

Presenting Partner



AB | January - February 2017 39

Congratulations to the 2017 Finalists and Winners! As the largest advisory firm that exclusively represents tenants globally, Cresa is a proud sponsor of the 2017 Arizona Corporate Counsel Awards.

Cresa Phoenix | 602.648.7373 |


Bravo. Well done. CONGRATULATIONS to the 2017 Arizona Corporate Counsel Awards nominees, especially our friends and clients Renee Scatena and the Intel Law & Policy Group. Perkins Coie applauds your achievements and contributions to the legal profession.

Perkins Coie LLP Attorney Advertising


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Arizona Corporate Counsel Awards | 2017 FINALISTS

DIANDRA D. BENALLY General counsel Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation Benally is the first female general counsel of the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation. She is also commissioned as a special assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Arizona. Prior to her current positions, Benally worked as a staff attorney with the Navajo Nation Department of Justice. She

was also a former adjunct professor at Diné College. She currently serves as the president-elect of the National Native American Bar Association and is former president of the Navajo Nation Bar Association and Native American Bar Association of Arizona.

MICHAEL BENNETT Executive vice president and general counsel STORE Capital Bennett is responsible for negotiating, documenting and closing all sale-leaseback and mortgage-related transactions for STORE, one of the fastest-growing net lease real estate investment trusts (REITs) in the U.S., with assets of almost $5 billion. He is also responsible for negotiating and closing all debt transactions

that underlie STORE’s saleleaseback transactions. Bennett is a legal expert whose considerable experience in negotiating and documenting real estate and financing transactions ensures STORE’s customers receive documents tailored to their specific needs.

PAUL BREAUX General counsel and corporate secretary Carvana Carvana, which allows customers to shop, finance and trade in cars online, faces constant challenges as the company tries to drag car buying into the 21st Century. To overcome those challenges, Breaux had to quickly assemble a legal team flexible enough to handle the broad range of issues facing a business


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of Carvana’s size and scope and pivot with the company’s needs, while simultaneously navigating the learning curves of recreating an industry. Breaux’s efforts helped the company grow from less than 200 employees to more than 700 employees in less than a year.

Arizona Corporate Counsel Awards | 2017 FINALISTS

AHRON COHEN General counsel Arizona Coyotes Cohen serves as the general counsel and corporate secretary for the Coyotes and its related entities, including the Tucson Roadrunners and the Arizona Coyotes Foundation. He joined the organization in August of 2015. In this role, he oversees and advises on all legal and business aspects affecting the organization, including ownership and corporate

governance matters, new arena strategic planning, Collective Bargaining Agreement analysis, employment issues, player safety compliance, litigation management, significant corporate transactions, and government relations. Cohen is an advisory board member to the American Bar Association’s Forum on Entertainment & Sports.

DOUGLAS CURRAULT Deputy general counsel and corporate secretary Freeport-McMoRan Inc. Currault serves as deputy general counsel for Freeport-McMoRan, the world’s largest publicly traded copper producer, and is a trusted advisor to senior management. He assists in leading FreeportMcMoRan’s legal department and is responsible for managing corporate governance, securities law, capital market transactions, commercial

matters, mergers and acquisitions, global compliance and general corporate law. Currault led efforts to design an effective stockholder outreach program that has resulted in significant governance enhancements. Prior to joining Freeport-McMoRan, Currault was a partner at Jones Walker LLP in New Orleans.

LINUS EVERLING General counsel Gila River Indian Community Under Everling’s leadership, the Gila River Indian Community has worked together to provide better quality of life for the community and its more than 11,000 residents. Between 2006-2015, the officer of the general counsel successfully negotiated contracts with the Indian Health Service under the Indian


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Self Determination and Education Assistance Act and was awarded more than $110 million to construct and administer two healthcare facilities (Komate Health Care Center and the Red Tail Hawk Health Center) that will serve American Indians and Alaska Natives residing throughout the Phoenix Metro Area.

With almost 450 members, the Arizona Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel promotes the professional and business interests of Arizona’s in-house counsel and supports them through education, networking opportunities, advocacy initiatives and information. The Arizona Chapter also supports our community through the work of its Pro Bono Committee. As a Chapter of an international organization, the Association of Corporate Counsel, with over 34,000 members from over 10,000 organizations in over 85 countries, the Arizona Chapter connects its members to the worldwide resources available through the Association of Corporate Counsel. Everyday, Arizona Chapter members use both their legal expertise and business leadership skills to contribute to the success of companies doing business in Arizona. The Arizona Chapter wishes to thank our Chapter Sponsors! Their generous support makes our programs possible. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor of the Arizona Chapter or want to learn more about our activities, please visit: We invite all in-house counsel in Arizona to join ACC and the Arizona Chapter. Membership will allow you to take advantage of the unique opportunities and education we provide to our members. To join, please visit: If you have any questions, please email the Arizona Chapter at:

AB | January - February 2017 45

Arizona Corporate Counsel Awards | 2017 FINALISTS

MARTIN FELLI Chief legal officer, chief compliance officer and corporate secretary JDA Software Felli heads JDA’s global legal team and is responsible for providing leadership on all legal matters for JDA, including corporate governance, compliance, litigation and risk management, acquisition activity and commercial transactions. As a key member of JDA’s executive leadership team,

Felli has demonstrated how the legal function can contribute to not only protecting a company’s value, but also to creating value. He understands the importance of building collaborative partnerships and peers say his personal engagement style further enhances his ability to influence outcomes.

ROZA FERDOWSMAKAN In-house counsel and office of CEO Zivelo Ferdowsmakan has more than 18 years of in-house experience, both in the private and public sectors, with more than 13 of those years as a technology attorney. She serves as in-house counsel and shares the office of CEO of ZIVELO, an accelerated growth technology company. Ferdowsmakan

collaborates with the CEO on company vision and special projects that will shape the future of the company. Ferdowsmakan sits on the Arizona Technology Council’s Startup and Entrepreneurship Committee, as well as their Women in the Workforce Committee.

PAUL HOLMA Senior counsel, real estate and construction Dignity Health Holma created and oversees the Real Estate Center of Excellence within the Dignity Health Legal Department, which serves the real estate, leasing and construction legal needs of the organization, including acute care hospitals, clinics and other owned and leased real estate assets. Hola is also the client


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service leader to Dignity Health’s Corporate Real Estate Department. Holma’s undergraduate degree is in civil engineering and he worked as a project engineer for four years before attending law school. He practiced construction and design law for 14 years prior to joining Dignity.

The pace of change in more industries gets faster and the world gets smaller. Which is why Grant Thornton LLP is part of a global network of member firms, comprising more than 40,000 people in more than 130 countries. Combining global scope with local savvy, we’re ready to help you capitalize on opportunities wherever they arise, now and into the future.

Audit | Tax | Advisory |

“Grant Thornton” refers to Grant Thornton LLP, the U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd (GTIL), and/or refers to the brand under which the independent network of GTIL member firms provide services to their clients, as the context requires. GTIL and each of its member firms are not a worldwide partnership and are not liable for one another’s acts or omissions. In the United States, visit for details. © 2015 Grant Thornton LLP | All rights reserved | U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd

At Gordon & Rees we believe that for your business to thrive you need counsel that understands your industry, your company and your needs. We are committed to partnering with you to meet your goals. Our lawyers have succeeded in the most difficult commercial cases and structured the most challenging transactions. With the growth of our Phoenix office in 2016, we’ve added expertise in products liability, business transactions, intellectual property, real estate, technology, and employment law to our existing team of accomplished commercial and construction trial lawyers.

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Martin Felli Chief Legal Officer, Chief Compliance Officer, Corporate Secretary JDA Software

JDA congratulates Martin Felli for being a finalist for the Arizona Corporate Counsel of the Year. Martin’s strong leadership and balanced perspective has contributed to JDA’s business growth and at the same time, enhanced the company’s compliance and risk management profile. Martin leads what is among the best team of corporate attorneys in the southwest.


Arizona Corporate Counsel Awards | 2017 FINALISTS

INTEL CORPORATION LAW AND POLICY GROUP The Intel Law and Policy Group includes about 25 Arizona-based lawyers who cover many areas of legal work, including patent analysis, prosecution, and transactions; public policy; product counseling; manufacturing; regulatory; environmental; construction; and employment, labor and benefits. Four Arizona-based

lawyers are members of Intel’s global Business Legal Group, which help bring business strategies to life. The cuttingedge legal support that BLG provides spans areas from PC innovation to drones, and from sports and healthcare to television shows, including Intel’s April launch of its first-ever reality TV show, “America’s Greatest Makers.”

JESSICA JARVI Senior vice president, deputy general counsel and assistant secretary Western Alliance Bancorporation Jarvi manages the legal department’s corporate practice group and operations team. She has been successful in executing and achieving regulatory approvals for mergers, acquisitions, corporate consolidations and capital market offerings. She supports the company’s compensation committee, corporate governance program,

human resources department and more. Jarvi is dedicated to helping clients achieve great results and has more than 14 years of experience in banking and corporate law. She is passionate about early childhood issues and currently serves as vice chair of the First Things First Phoenix South Regional Partnership Council.

SHARON KOATH Senior IP transaction counsel Microchip Technology Koath has since spent her 22plus year legal career in Arizona supporting national, international, and Arizona based or tied businesses and clients, including Microchip Technology, Arizona State University and Motorola, Inc. Koath has served Microchip as managing counsel, technical transactions since August 2015, supporting licensing and 50

AB | January - February 2017

mergers and acquisitions. Prior to Microchip, Koath served ASU in various roles, including associate general counsel with ASU’s Office of General Counsel. At ASU, Koath helped establish and managed ASU’s Office of Industry Research and Collaborations. Koath is an electrical engineer and registered patent attorney.

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W O R L D W I D E˚

Greenberg Traurig is proud to support our friends and clients in the Arizona business community at this year’s Corporate Counsel Awards. Special congratulations to Linus Everling and the Gila River Indian Community’s Office of General Counsel, a finalist in the Government, Municipal, and Public Sector category.

2375 East Camelback Road | Suite 700 Phoenix, AZ 85016 | 602.445.8000


G R E E N B E R G T R A U R I G , L L P | AT T O R N E Y S AT L AW | W W W . G T L AW . C O M Greenberg Traurig is a service mark and trade name of Greenberg Traurig, LLP and Greenberg Traurig, P.A. ©2016 Greenberg Traurig, LLP. Attorneys at Law. All rights reserved. Contact: Brian J. Schulman in Phoenix at 602.445.8000. °These numbers are subject to fluctuation. 28453

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11/30/16 2:19 PM

AZ Business will be highlighting the in Arizona in the March/April issue. in Arizona

In every issue of AZ Business, we cover the legal issues that impact Arizona’s business community and its economy. Be a part of the annual Top 100 Lawyers issue and keep your message in front of the business leaders who decide whom to hire.

Call 602.277.6045 or for more information! 52

AB | January - February 2017

Arizona Corporate Counsel Awards | 2017 FINALISTS

MICHAEL T. LIBURDI General counsel Office of Arizona Governor Doug Ducey Liburdi is general counsel for Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey. Prior to joining the governor’s office, Liburdi was a partner at Snell & Wilmer. His law practice focused on commercial litigation, government relations and political law. He advised clients on all aspects of campaign finance law, assisted with drafting legislation and initiatives, assisted with

referendum campaigns and litigated cases involving constitutional disputes, ballot access requirements and the separate amendment rule for constitutional amendments. Liburdi speaks to local groups and organizations on political law topics such as campaign finance law and impeachment.

MONA MEHTA STONE Senior vice president, general counsel and chief compliance officer Goodwill Industries of Central Arizona, Inc. Stone has nearly 20 years of wideranging experience as an attorney and compliance specialist. Peers say Stone has the rare ability to look beyond litigation and dispute issues in order to provide integrated business strategies and a practical, efficient approach to problem-solving. Having successfully

defended numerous complaints at administrative hearings, arbitrations, mediations and trial, Stone is a published author and frequent speaker at seminars and training sessions on labor and employment, compliance and business law topics.

JOHN MURPHY General counsel and secretary Nextiva Murphy has built the legal department at Nextiva from the ground up. He was the first inhouse counsel for Nextiva four years ago and has been involved with its tremendous growth from both a business perspective and a legal/regulatory perspective. He has effectively managed Nextiva’s growth through proactive


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outreach and education, policy implementation and technology utilization. Murphy has also traveled to Washington, D.C., multiple times to advocate, along with the VON Coalition, on behalf of the VoIP industry. Prior to Nextiva, Murphy was associate general counsel for JDA Software.

CONGRATULATIONS RENEESCATENA Nomi na t e df orPubl i cLa wye roft heYe a r Co n g r a t u l a t i o n st ot h ee n t i r e Ar i z o n al e g a lt e a mf o rt h e i rn o mi n a t i o na s Le g a lDe p a r t me n to ft h eYe a r .

Jackson Lewis P.C. Congratulates the

2017 ACC Corporate Counsel Nominees and Winners With 800 attorneys in major locations throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico, Jackson Lewis provides the resources to address every aspect of the employer-employee relationship.

Proud member of an alliance of employers’ counsel worldwide

Jeffrey A. Bernick 2398 East Camelback Road • Suite 1060 • Phoenix, AZ 85016 602-714-7044 •

ATTORNEY ADVERTISING | © 2016 Jackson Lewis P.C.

AB | January - February 2017 55

Littler congratulates all of the

2017 Arizona ACC Award Winners Camelback Esplanade | 2425 East Camelback Road | Suite 900 | Phoenix, AZ 85016 602.474.3600 ABOUT LITTLER: Littler is the largest global employment and labor law practice, with more than 1,200 attorneys in over 75 offices worldwide. Littler represents management in all aspects of employment and labor law and serves as a single-source solution provider to the global employer community. Consistently recognized in the industry as a leading and innovative law practice, Littler has been litigating, mediating and negotiating some of the most influential employment law cases and labor contracts on record for over 75 years. Littler Global is the collective trade name for an international legal practice, the practicing member entities of which are separate and distinct professional firms.


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Arizona Corporate Counsel Awards | 2017 FINALISTS

RENEE J. SCATENA Associate general counsel Intel Corporation Scatena is the lead lawyer for Intel’s worldwide manufacturing and supply chain organization. Scatena supports some of the most complex and important aspects of Intel’s current and future business, including investments in facilities, technologies and other corporations. She also oversees intellectual property agreements, collaborations

and licensing that enable Intel to maintain and improve its worldclass manufacturing technology, which has long been envied for its innovation and quality. The business organization that Scatena supports spends $22 billion annually and involves 18,000 suppliers, 450 supplier locations, and 50,000 supplier products and services.

IAN SCHULDER Vice president of risk management and general counsel TruWest Credit Union Schulder has served as TruWest’s general counsel and vice president of risk management for 14 years, overseeing all legal, compliance, internal audit, risk management, insurance, physical security and cyber security matters. Despite increasing complexities in these areas, Schulder has managed to maintain efficient

oversight over these varied subjects with minimal resources. Schulder is involved with International Association of Financial Crimes Investigators and the Mountain West Credit Union Association. Prior to entering the banking industry in Phoenix, Schulder was a litigator in New York City.

JUSTIN STELTENPOHL Vice president and general counsel PB Bell & Associates, Inc. Steltenpohl is responsible for all legal matters involving P.B. Bell, including corporate governance matters and negotiating joint venture agreements, purchase and sale agreements and financing transactions. Prior to joining P.B. Bell, Steltenpohl was a partner with Squire Patton Boggs, where he focused on financings related to the acquisition and 58

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development of commercial real estate, and in advising clients on corporate and real estate finance matters including asset-backed financings, securitizations, construction financings, contingent interests, mezzanine financings, subordinate financing, conduit warehouse and repurchase facilities and restructurings.

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Congratulations Ian Schulder Vice President, Risk Management & General Counsel

On being named a Finalist for an Arizona Corporate Counsel Award. From your colleagues, we thank you for your accomplishments, leadership and commitment to the organization.

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Arizona Corporate Counsel Awards | 2017 FINALISTS

RONALD R. STUFF Senior vice president, general counsel and chief compliance officer Sundt Construction, Inc. Stuff is responsible for all corporate legal matters pertaining to Sundt’s operations, advising management and overseeing all aspects of the company’s law department. Stuff assists all of Sundt’s employee-owners in meeting their commitments to know and comply

with the laws, regulations and contract provisions that apply to their performance on Sundt projects. Stuff also is a member of Sundt’s board of directors and advises the board on matters relating to legal and ethical compliance in the Company’s business operations.

JAMES TODD Assistant general counsel and assistant secretary Limelight Networks Todd has more than a decade of experience representing publicly traded companies, with a diverse practice that includes being the principal advisor on matters involving securities and disclosure, corporate governance, international and domestic labor and employment, employee benefits and executive compensation,

merger and acquisition transactions, risk management, international subsidiary management, high-dollar procurement of goods and services, data privacy, and regulatory compliance. Prior to Limelight, Todd was at CSK Auto, where he assisted in the $2 billion sale of the company to O’Reilly Automotive.

HELENA VARNAVAS GORMAN Senior legal counsel ASML US, Inc. Gorman counsels ASML, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of chip-making equipment, assisting with a broad range of corporate and transactional matters. Gorman is involved in drafting and negotiating complex commercial contracts, as well as employment, corporate, compliance and litigation matters for the


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company’s U.S. operations. Gorman and the legal team work hard to make ASML an even greater place to work, all while pursuing the company’s mission to invent, develop, manufacture and service advanced technology for high-tech lithography, metrology and software solutions for the semiconductor industry.

You know kids will get the best care from a hospital that’s ranked by US News & World Report as one of the Best Children’s Hospitals in the country! Phoenix Children’s Hospital earned this honor based on their high quality of care, patient safety scores, and reputation among pediatric specialists nationwide.

Congratulations to the Phoenix Children’s Office of General Counsel and all of this year’s honorees.

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Arizona Corporate Counsel Awards | 2017 FINALISTS

PHOENIX CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL OFFICE OF THE GENERAL COUNSEL PCH’s Office of General Counsel began its inception in 2007 when CEO Bob Meyer recognized the critical need to develop a strong legal department to help lead the hospital into its next stage of growth and expansion. In the nine years since Carmen Neuberger was recruited to lead the team, the office has grown into a full-scale legal department that employs 18 people who handle compliance, government relations, risk management, insurance and legal services for Arizona’s only licensed, freestanding children’s hospital. The team also provides counsel for Phoenix Children’s Care Network.

PINNACLE WEST CAPITAL CORPORATION LEGAL DEPARTMENT Members of the APS law department are highly respected by their clients, outside counsel and peers. The attorneys and support staff lead by example in promoting teamwork, taking time to learn how the business operates and the issues it faces and partnering with the business to achieve desired results. In recent years the law department has launched a very successful summer intern program geared to first-year law students from our Arizona law schools and has pursued an active pro bono program to help Arizona veterans and others with legal problems.


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Showcase Your Business to the Tourism & Meeting Planning Industries Az Business Magazine proudly publishes annual magazines for:




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Arizona Lodging & Tourism Association

MODERN MAKEOVER Renovation, innovation, modernization: The makings of an impressive tourism and lodging metamorphosis By ERIN DAVIS


rizona’s tourism and lodging industry hasn’t simply experienced a facelift (or “facial rejuvenation” to be more relevant). With impressive renovations, new construction and modernization, the Grand Canyon state has undergone a complete metamorphosis. Rather than solely a topical alteration, hotels, resorts and accommodations have collectively transformed from the inside out. In terms of modernization, desirability and relevancy, Arizona tourism has long shed its caterpillar reputation – the butterfly has taken over. And who better to speak on behalf of the butterfly, than experts from some of the Valley’s most impressive and captivating hotel and resort renovation projects. A

whole new world, a whole new experience When the term “modernization” is linked with renovation and innovation of Arizona’s hotels, the initial thought may be upgraded technology, sleek architecture and contemporary art and design. While these components are indeed applicable, the more prominent example of tourism and lodging modernization is demonstrated through consumer experience. 66

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“More and more travelers want to experience the locale they’re going to,” says Greg Miller, general manager of The Camby, which underwent a five-month makeover at the ends of 2015. “The more you can make an emotional connection with guests, the more you can provide a memorable experience.” According to Joe Iturri, managing director of The Saguaro Scottsdale, which recently renovated its event space and guest rooms, unlike the consumer of years past, today’s modern traveler does favor consistency in accommodations (think big-box hotels), so much as the desire for an individualized experience. “In the summer, we have pool activities open to both hotel and non-hotel guests,” Iturri says. “We kick off on memorial day with an amazing DJ lineup that lasts every weekend throughout the summer.” The Saguaro also offers a seasonal “Workout Wine Down” on Thursdays, with poolside Barre workout, paddleboard workouts in the pool and even a “Pound” workout involving drums. Unique experiences offered onsite, combined with Arizona’s natural beauty and resources will continue to entice guests, according to FOUND:RE General Manager V Calamur. The former Lexington Hotel in central Phoenix was transformed into

modern times call for modern measures – especially meeting the demands of a technology-driven consumer base. “All generations are looking for current technology,” says Bill Nassikas, president and CEO of Westroc Hospitality, whose properties include the iconic Hotel Valley Ho, Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort and the upcoming Mountain Shadows, a 183-room resort on the grounds of the former Marriott Mountain Shadows, which closed in 2004. Experts are unanimous in the importance of modernizing technology. High-speed Wi-Fi, for example, is no longer considered an amenity – it’s a universal-traveler expectation. “People want to remain connected,” Miller suggests, “even if checking into a dude ranch.” Some lodging accommodations — like The Saguaro’s bluetooth door activations or The Camby’s ability to check-in any guest by utilizing a tablet — may seem like technology perks now, but they too, may become standard-traveler expectations in the beat of a butterfly wing. As for architectural and design elements, they too will need to stay up to snuff. Bill Nassikas

FOUND:RE, a boutique art hotel that opened in late 2016. “As the Greater Phoenix market has matured, we’ve begun to appreciate our own identity and highlight a more local experience,” Calamur explains. “Phoenix used to have a bit of an inferiority complex, but now we’re celebrating our own local artists, local producers and local creators.”

A new spin for the old cocoon While experts agree that experience takes precedent in the modern lodging experience, they also acknowledge that

V Calamur

Joe Iturri

Greg Miller

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AZLTA The realm of the butterfly FOUND:RE

Mountain Shadows

“I think renovation and modernization is reflective of how our guests design their homes today,” says Miller. “Take larger, more extravagant bathrooms as an example.” Nassikas agrees, seeing a trend in “larger and more stylish rooms and lobbies that double as social gathering places.” In sync with consumer expectations for experience and individuality, travelers are also looking for unique design elements – something for which many of our local hotels exemplify: The Camby, The Saguaro, FOUND:RE, Hotel Valley Ho, etc. Experts also agree that these customer expectations are not relegated to a specific demographic. “We reject the notion that appreciation for details, design and authentic experiences is generationally based,” adds Calamur. “If you enjoy a fun, unexpected, curated space or experience, why couldn’t your aunt or nephew enjoy the same thing? We’ve seen couples in their 60s and 70s strolling through our public spaces, smiling and commenting on the art on display, at least as often as we’ve seen 20-something hipsters enjoying our vibe.” Arizona

tourism – spreading competitive wings

Saguaro Scottsdale


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“The world is changing at warp speed,” Nassikas says. “The time for Arizona tourism to jump ahead is now. Desert modern is viewed as more than an architectural style. It says experiential activities, dramatic geographic surroundings, healthy and creative cuisine, youthful fashion, friendly hospitality and a destination that is culturally significant through its arts and historical offering.” Modernization has expanded to encompass utilization of more than Arizona’s desertscape into architectural and design elements, but also to reflect food and dining. “We have a phenomenal farming industry here, and many chefs are buying local,” says Miller. “Environmentally, it’s the right thing to do and guests are getting fresh and indigenous product.” Then of course, our accessibility can’t be overlooked as one of Arizona’s most attractive tourism assets. “I think we’re a top destination market,” says Iturri. “Sky Harbor is attractive to business planners, as is the diversity of what we offer in the Sonoran dessert.” “I believe our state offers so many lodging experiences,” says Miller, “many of which are historical, people come seeking that rustic authentic experience.” As Arizona tourism and lodging continues to strengthen its marriage of modernization with the fundamental characteristics we love about our state, we will assuredly remain a strong competitive contender in attracting business.

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IMPACT Arizona’s lodging and tourism industry pumps up state’s economy

KIM SABOW: “We are an industry with 95,000 guest rooms at more than 1,000 properties across this state, supporting more than 183,000 jobs,” says the president and CEO of the Arizona Lodging & Tourism Association. “Arizona hotels and resorts supported $3.5 billion in local, state and federal taxes in 2015. This is the only industry to positively impact all 15 counties in Arizona, creating opportunities so that good workers can earn a living and support their families.” PHOTO BY ANA RICHEY AZ BIG MEDIA


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ovember 29, 2016 was a significant day for the Arizona Lodging & Tourism Association (AzLTA). Why? Take a seat – or jump out of one – this is good. On that chilly day in Tempe (by Arizona standards), an industry analysis by Oxford Economics revealed that in 2015, 42.1 million people enjoyed overnight accommodations in our state, resulting in nearly 28 million guest nights, with the hotel industry contributing $12.8 billion to Arizona’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). If you find those statistics impressive, just wait. Arizona’s current tourism and lodging economic impact is like a 9.5 earthquake,

the aftershocks of which are multiple and far reaching.

Shaking things up The fact that we don’t have natural disasters (like earthquakes) here in Arizona – barring an occasional haboob – coupled by the fact that we have practically perfect weather nine months out of the year – makes us a prime tourism location. It’s more than our perma-sunshine, Grand Canyon, Sonoran desert and natural beauty, however, which drive the economic engine of lodging and tourism. “All the events in Arizona have put us at the center of the global stage,” says AzLTA

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AZLTA President and CEO Kim Sabow. Some of the events Sabow refers to: The 2015 Pro bowl, The 2015 Super Bowl, the 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship and college basketball’s Final Four coming in March. And these are simply the headliners. Additional economic impact is boosted by Cactus League spring training baseball and Arizona’s numerous natural attractions — from the Grand Canyon to Lake Havasu to countless other state parks. According to the Oxford economic study, Arizona hotels and resorts supported $3.5 billion in local, state and federal taxes in 2015. In and of itself, the revenue is something to behold, but add the fact that lodging and tourism was the only industry in Arizona to positively impact all 15 counties in Arizona – that’s remarkable. To further emphasize the gratitude Arizonans can impart on the tourism industry, $2.99 billion of 2015 tax revenue equaled an annual tax savings of $1,180 for every Arizona household.

Absorbing the aftershocks (in the best way) Part of AzLTA’s mission is to uphold the three pillars of advocacy, collaboration and education. Evidence of this isn’t simply in notable revenue – although we can pause to appreciate the magnitude of the millions and billions being invested into our state. Further proof of positive economic impact is exemplified by way of job creation. “Arizona supports more than 183,000 jobs in hospitality alone,” Sabow explains. Arizona’s hotel industry supports $7.8 billion of labor income. Visitors spend $11.8 billion at Arizona hotels, local businesses and on transportation. Nationwide, guests spend $500 billion at hotels and local businesses, and the industry supports 8 million U.S. jobs. With a combined 95,000 guest rooms and more than 1,000 properties statewide, it’s easy to connect the dots. Furthermore, Arizona’s travel and tourism industry is considered one of the most vital “export-oriented” industries in Arizona, according to a Dean Runyan Associates report for the Arizona Office of Tourism.

“Arizona supports more than 183,000 jobs in hospitality alone” Visitors fuel our economy and jobs by generating revenue in lodging, food services, recreation, transportation and retail. And they have increased spending – more so over the last two consecutive years – making it the first modest boost in revenue since the recession. The relationship between travel promotion, job creation, tax revenue, increase in demand and generating spending are what Sabow explains as “a virtual cycle that feeds itself.”

National impact Arizona’s positive economic impact stands out even more when compared with national averages. According to Matt MacLaren, senior vice president of member relations at the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), annual hospitality sales hover close to $500 billion for hotels and local businesses. In terms of employment, the national hospitality industry yields 8 million jobs in the U.S. “This data is a powerful illustration of our industry’s contributions to jobs, to the economy and to local communities nationwide,” says MacLaren. “The hotel industry is in the business of people, serving our guests and providing lifelong careers for our employees.” As the economy improves and the consumer continues to regain resources and confidence, will we see the magnitude of Arizona Lodging and Tourism rise to a 10 on the Richter scale? With $3.5 billion in local, state and federal tax support in a single year – brace yourself for more aftershocks Arizona.


$12.8 billion

$11.8 billion

$7.8 billion

$3.5 billion

Amount Arizona’s tourism industry contributed to the state’s Gross Domestic Product in 2015

Dollars spent by visitors at Arizona hotels, local businesses and on transportation

Amount Arizona’s hotel industry supports in labor income

Total Arizona hotels and resorts supported in local, state and federal taxes in 2015


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28 183,000 million Number of guest nights in Arizona in 2015

Number of jobs supported by Arizona’s tourism industry

95,000 Number of guest rooms in Arizona

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Fighting back AzLTA enlists government relations firm to advocate for the lodging and tourism industry in Arizona


he numbers clearly prove that Arizona’s lodging and tourism industry flourishes as the state’s second-leading sector in terms of positive economic impact. Despite the success of this multi-billion-dollar industry, a subtle foe continues to attempt the throttle vitality of a thriving market. But Arizona is not alone in facing this threat. In December, Anderson Cooper hosted a segment on “60 Minutes” titled “Drive-by Lawsuits,” highlighting rampant frivolous lawsuits involving the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act). States like California and Florida have been hit hard with litigation involving questionable ADA lawsuits, as has our state, with a single organization filing 1,700 non-compliant ADA lawsuits to date, with a potential total of 100,000 yet to come, according to Caroline Larsen, employment attorney at Ogletree Deakins. This rash of ADA-related lawsuits started showing up in Arizona in the summer of 2015, according to Lindsay Leavitt, a litigator who practices commercial litigation, personal injury, administrative law and labor and employment law for Jennings Strouss. According to the Arizona Department of Transportation 74

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(ADOT), the “ADA prohibits a public entity from discriminating against qualified persons with disabilities in access to facilities and services that the public entity provides.” In 2015, Theresa Brooke, a woman who uses a wheelchair, called different hotels around the Valley to see if they had a pool lift at their facility. If they said “no,” she went and filed a lawsuit against the facility. She filed more than 100 lawsuits. According to Leavitt, most of these cases are not going court. But in the ones that do, the hotels are arguing that they shouldn’t be sued because Brooke never intended to actually visit the hotel. Even though this sounds like a reasonable defense, the courts sided with Brooke because it is required that any building built after March 2015 have accommodations for the disabled. Brooke is known as a serial plaintiff, according to Leavitt, because of her multiple cases on ADA regulations on the same topic and against the same industry.

How is this happening? Since August, local ABC 15 news investigator David Biscobing has been following the barrage of lawsuits filed by Advocates for


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David Drennon

Marc Lamber

Caroline Larsen

Lindsay Leavitt

“This industry is a particular target and will continue to be a high area of litigation” 76

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Individuals with Disabilities (AID), the entity responsible for single-handedly filing 1,700 ADA lawsuits within six months. How exactly is this impressive endeavor being accomplished? It’s easier than you might expect. As explained by Discobing and Cooper (from a national perspective), the ADA stipulates that buildings, businesses, commercial facilities – hotels are obviously included – must adhere to very specific measurements related to accessibility in parking spots with adequate space, signage at proper height/distance and ramps constructed to precise dimensions. An individual need only drive by (thus the coined phrase “drive-by lawsuits”), hop out of the vehicle, take a quick measurement and if any of the previously mentioned mandated logistics are off point – you’ve got yourself a lawsuit. Is it really that easy? For now, yes, according to Larsen. “This is still a narrow area of the law.” Larsen explains. “You only need to know a little, but can do a lot of damage.” For example, if a hotel or motel offers a free shuttle, but does not offer accessibility for those with disabilities, that hotel is noncompliant under the ADA. An ADA reserved parking sign an inch off specifications is also ADA noncompliant. Even if a website doesn’t state certain information pertaining to ADA compliancy in bookings, the opportunity for legal penalty is possible.

How is Arizona fighting back? According to Arizona Lodging & Tourism Association Executive Vice President David Drennon, the Molera Alvarez Team, a local government and public affairs firm, has aligned with AzLTA to advocate for tourism interests in Arizona going into the next legislative session. “They’ve been around a long time and have strong policy experience, as well as a strong network of contacts,” Drennon says. “Having them as government affairs representation for lodging and tourism stands to elevate the voice of the industry.” A strong voice that advocates for the tourism industry is assuredly needed in regard to ADA lawsuits in Arizona, as well as those occurring at a national level, Drennon explains. One of many advantages of bringing on the Molera Alvarez team, according to Drennon, it its ability to supersede issues even before they are addressed at the legislature.

Being one step ahead with legal advocacy will be what is necessary moving forward for the lodging tourism industry, as will educating local accommodations on how to be ADA compliant, Drennon says.

What can Arizona hotels do to protect themselves? Having a larger voice, like the one Molera and Alvarez will provide through advocating at the state government level, is invaluable toward achieving the goal of protecting Arizona’s thriving tourism industry, experts say. On a micro level, there are initiatives that can benefit Arizona’s lodging destinations. “Be sure to train your staff,” Larsen recommends to hotel and resort management. Something as seemingly simple as the ability to enable closed captioning for a guest can become problematic on a legal level if a staff member isn’t aware that the option exists, or doesn’t know how to operate the feature. Although legal repercussions resulting from this scenario may seem farfetched to some, it’s an example of the growing reality that lodging purveyors need to face. “If you don’t know what services are ADA compliant (or not),” Larsen warns, “you can’t protect yourself. This industry is a particular target and will continue to be a high area of litigation.” Hot spots for ADA lawsuits that accommodations should be aware of according to Larsen: parking spots and lots, bathrooms and websites. “There are a hotbed of compliance issues across the Valley,” Larsen says, “I don’t think it’s going away.” Until they do go away, or diminish (if the day comes), expert say Arizona’s lodging and tourism market can benefit by adopting Plato’s famous words of “know thyself” with the addition of “know ADA compliancy requirements.” “As a business owner, the worst thing you can do is to bury your head in the sand and wait until there’s a problem,” says Marc Lamber, chair of the Personal Injury Practice at Fennemore Craig. “Be proactive and consult with an attorney experienced in ADA compliance issues for an evaluation of your premises. According to the Department of Justice, more than 50 million Americans – 18 percent of our population – have disabilities, and each is a potential customer.” Each is also a potential litigant.



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2017 Businesses in five key sectors recognized for leadership and innovation By MICHAEL GOSSIE


ach year, Az Business magazine is proud to present the Industry Leaders of Arizona (ILoA) Awards, which recognize the contributions and impact of Arizona-based companies on both the economy of Arizona and in the communities they serve. For 2017, companies were selected from these five key industries: • Commercial general contractors • Education • Entertainment • Financial services • Technology The 32 finalists for this year’s ILoA Awards are profiled on the pages that follow. Winners will be recognized at the awards dinner that will be held Thursday, February 23 at the JW Marriott Camelback Inn.

AB | January - February 2017 79

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2017 FINALISTS Arizona Diamondbacks Leadership: Derrick Hall, president and CEO; Tom Harris, executive vice president and CFO Website: What it does: Major League Baseball team. How it leads: The success of the Diamondbacks both on and off the field has led to numerous awards and honors, including being named the most affordable for families by Team Marketing Report’s Fan Cost Index for 10 consecutive years. The D-backs’ community efforts are also among the best and have surpassed a total of $45 million in charitable giving since 1998 and the team outfitted 40,000 Arizona youth baseball and softball players in 2016.

Ballet Arizona

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Leadership: Samantha Turner, executive director;

Leadership: Chris Loeffler, co-founder and CEO; Leland Harty, CFO Website: What it does: Manages new construction/redevelopment of commercial, hospitality, multifamily and residential properties and also executes value-add renovations and tenant improvement projects. How it leads: Typically, firms have specific core competencies. Caliber has divisions in many areas under the Caliber brand for consistency, economies of scale and increased revenue. From start to finish, whether Caliber-owned or owned by third-party investors, Caliber works collaboratively with clients and partners to deliver new construction and redevelopment projects that offer community betterment, create jobs and provide maximum investor returns.

Christopher J. Marsh, director of finance Website: What it does: The only professional ballet company in the greater Phoenix community that creates, performs and teaches classical and contemporary ballet. How it leads: For the past 15 seasons Ballet Arizona has blossomed under the artistic leadership and vision of Ib Andersen. The School of Ballet Arizona under the direction of School Director Carlos Valcarcel has expanded to unprecedented levels of enrollment for students and adult students alike, as well as through expanding accessibility programs such as Dance for Parkinson’s Disease and Adaptive Dance for Down Syndrome.


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Caliente Construction

Canal Partners

Leadership: Lorraine Bergman, president and CEO; Lisa Autino, CFO Website: What it does: Family-owned, commercial general contractor celebrating its 25th year of providing new construction, MEP infrastructure, tenant improvement and renovation services. How it leads: Since assuming leadership of the company after her husband passed away in 2005, Bergman has helped Caliente triple in size and revenues. Relocating to its new 22,000-square-foot Tempe headquarters in 2014, Caliente has more than 80 employees and expects to build more than $75 million in construction projects in 2017, while giving back to the community.

Leadership: Todd Belfer, managing partner; Sue Ford, CFO Website: What it does: Venture capital firm that provides investor

Digital Air Strike Leadership: Alexi Venneri, co-founder and CEO; Michael Pordon, CFO Website: What it does: Social media and digital engagement company that helps clients solve the problem of consumer engagement while generating measurable ROI. How it leads: Digital Air Strike was started when Venneri saw an opportunity to disrupt the automotive industry by changing the way car dealerships and the industry in general market themselves by leveraging social and review sites to reach their consumers. In 2015, Digital Air Strike grew its client base by more than 25 percent, hired more than 50 new employees and achieved record profitability.


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services and capital to B2B software and internet technology companies with market-proven products and services. How it leads: Canal Partners has successfully created significant value in both public and private enterprises utilizing its managers’ entrepreneurial and operational experiences in creating value-added growth. Many of the products and services that Canal has invested in are revolutionizing their respective industries through the use of cutting edge technology and proprietary products and services.


Everspin Technologies, Inc.


Leadership: Phill LoPresti, president and CEO; Jeff Winzeler, CFO Website: What it does: Leader in designing, manufacturing, and commercially shipping discrete and embedded Magnetoresistive RAM (MRAM) and Spin-Torque MRAM (ST-MRAM). How it leads: Everspin has more than 50 million MRAM and ST-MRAM products deployed in data center, cloud storage, energy, industrial, automotive, and transportation markets. With an intellectual property portfolio of more than 500 active patents and applications, Everspin leads the market in development of both in-plane and perpendicular magnetic tunnel junction (MTJ) ST-MRAM bit cells.

Leadership: Joel E. Barthelemy, founder and CEO; E. Patrick LaVoie, chief operating officer Website: What it does: Industry leader in the design and manufacture of telemedicine delivery systems that allow doctors to see and treat patients remotely. How it leads: GlobalMed is the worldwide industry leader in connected health delivery systems. The company has 2,400 installations in the VA Healthcare System, enabling veterans to see their physicians without traveling long distances to a medical center. GlobalMed’s systems are installed in the White House, Camp David, Air Force One, Marine One and in presidential motorcades for use by the president and White House staff.

Grand Canyon University Leadership: Brian Mueller, president; Dan Bachus, CFO Website: What it does: Arizona’s premier private Christian university,

with more than 200 academic programs tailored to both traditional undergraduate students and working professionals. How it leads: While other universities are cutting budgets, eliminating programs and raising tuition, GCU is investing $1 billion over a 10-year period in academic programs, technologies, classroom buildings and laboratories. This includes two STEM buildings, a music recording studio and a 152-room hotel that serves as a training ground for its hospitality management students. The university also added academic programs in emerging growth fields.


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2017 FINALISTS Great Hearts Academies Leadership: Ward Huseth, CEO Website: What it does: 501(c)(3) nonprofit that operates a

network of high-performing public charter schools, serving over 11,000 students in 23 academies across Metro Phoenix. How it leads: Founded in 2003, Great Hearts grew from a single school in a leased space to become Arizona’s largest charter school network, serving more than 11,000 students in 23 academies across metro Phoenix. An analysis of statewide SAT scores placed all five of Great Hearts’ eligible high schools within the top 15 public high schools across Arizona.

Jokake Construction Services, Inc.


Leadership: Casey Cartier, president and CEO; David Miller, CFO Website: What it does: Plans, coordinates, communicates and delivers

Leadership: Sally A. Taylor, CEO; Jon Schade, CFO Website: What it does: Canada-U.S. cross -border wealth management firm. How it leads: KeatsConnelly is recognized in the industry as

construction and facility services. How it leads: In an industry where success correlates to revenue and profits, Jokake looks to corporate culture as the mark of success. “Culture is not about office pets or foosball tables, it’s about creating an environment that encourages and promotes personal and professional growth opportunities,” Cartier says. “There’s a lot of accountability in our culture to constantly improve, innovate and grow. When you place entrepreneurial-minded individuals in this environment, you witness sustainable growth.”


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one of the premier wealth management firms in North America. KeatsConnelly was one of the first firms to operate as a “feeonly” firm in 1990 and over the years, KeatsConnelly has had a number of other “firsts.” KeatsConnelly was named Top Wealth Management Firm by Wealth Manager Magazine in 2011 and 2012 and was named one of Arizona’s Most Admired Companies in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

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2017 FINALISTS Kinney Construction Services, Inc. Leadership: Tim Kinney, president and CEO; Erik Whealy, controller Website: What it does: Specializes in commercial building construction and renovation, civil construction and renewable energy projects. How it leads: In addition to its dedication to its clients, KCS is an avid community advocate known for its passion and commitment to nonprofit and community organizations. KCS invests its timing resources to strengthen the core community infrastructure. Some of the organizations that KCS supports include Arizona Forward, the American Heart Association, Flagstaff Shelter Services, Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra, Northern Arizona University and the Sustainable Economic Development Initiative.


LGE Design Build

Leadership: Jim Swanson, president and CEO Website: What it does: Building company providing everything from

Leadership: David Sellers, president; Julie Bergo, controller Website: What it does: Handles projects every step of the way from the

development and program management to construction and facility management. How it leads: Kitchell has led the charge in innovations that improve processes, safety and enhance the commercial construction industry. Recently, the company was the first in the region to establish an off-site prefabrication facility, building a safer, more streamlined process and environment for constructing everything from headwalls to bathroom components. In addition, Swanson is co-chairing the Classrooms First Initiative Council, which is looking at how classrooms are funded and developing a system of reform.

design of architecture to the management of construction. How it leads: LGE is responsible for the successful design and construction of nearly 19 million square feet in commercial office, industrial and retail space. Through its David R. Sellers Foundation, LGE is also focused on supporting organizations that are dedicated to improving the lives of children, including Child Help, Wordly Kids, St. Jude Children’s Research, Adelante Healthcare, Worldly Kids, Crockett Elementary School, Arizona Cancer Foundation for Children and Children First Academy.


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ARIZONA STRONG We’re a family owned company that has delivered everything for the office and award winning service since 1955!

Office: 800.999.WIST


Local Motors

M Culinary Concepts

Leadership: John B. Rogers, Jr., co-founder and CEO; Jean Paul Capin Gally, CFO Website: What it does: Technology company that designs, builds and sells vehicles. How it leads: Local Motors was founded in 2008 with the belief that co-creation and open collaboration could change the world of transportation. Local Motors utilizes its growing system of microfactories to build small, just-in-time batches of vehicles through direct digital manufacturing. This strategy allows Local Motors to make its ideas big and its footprint small, reducing the need for capital and decreasing its environmental footprint.

Leadership: Brandon Maxwell, CEO, president and co-owner; Noreen Lauf, director of finance and accounting Website: What it does: Provides food and beverage and event experiences for corporate, private and nonprofit clients. How it leads: M Culinary is a homegrown company co-founded in 1997 by celebrity chef Michael DeMaria and business partner, Brandon Maxwell. The duo met as part of the team redeveloping Lon’s at the Hermosa Inn and T. Cook’s at Royal Palms Resort. The company’s portfolio includes the Waste Management Phoenix Open, Barrett-Jackson Car Collection Auction and the Fiesta Bowl.

Markham Contracting Co., Inc. Leadership: Michael Markham, Sr., president;

Teresa Walker, CFO

Website: What it does: One of Arizona’s largest full service grading,

paving, utility and general engineering contractors.

How it leads: Markham is vigorously involved in project

safety and prides itself on having performed more than 1 million hours with no lost time incidents. Markham provides clients with a full civil/construction package including pre-construction, construction and self- performing work. Markham’s culture that “our name is forever on each project we build” strengthens its commitment to collaborate with clients during a project’s pre-construction and construction phases to minimize issues.


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Our Awards. Well of course we love our trophy shelf full of shiny plaques, certificates and medals. But there’s a reason why that shelf even exists. Actually, there are 47 reasons -- and they're all listed below. That’s every one of our team members. Because when LGE Design Build wins awards, we win them together. Every accolade is credited straight to each LGE Design Build team member. Every colleague here dedicates their passion and skills to create the design-driven company they want to work for. Thank you to the entire LGE Design Build team of Albert Madrid, Bob Corry, Brent Guida, Brent Stayner, Bret Ryan, Carrie Garcia, Darrell Malin, Daryll Creviston, Dawn Sehl, Fabiola Sweis, Felipe Reyes, Frank Pettit, Fred Moll, Glenn Grover, Grant Blunt, Ivy Tuilefano, Jaime Marquez, Jason Jones, Jen Grysho, Jim Alonzo, Jim Kelly, Jim Pellegrino, John Mocarksi, Jon Mandigo, Julie Bergo, Kelly Gray, Kim Shobe, Larry Smith, Lili Leon, Lori Hunt, Mark Maxwell, Mark Traughber, Michael Flanders, Michele Compton, Mike Krause, Mike Scott, Danny Plapp, Paul Wojtczak, Robert Shepard, Sabra Gault, Shana Bennett, Soliaanna Tuilefano, Stefani Zuniga, Todd Green, Vance Chapman, Vince Dalke, David E. Sellers and . . . maybe you? We need even more in our ranks as LGE Design Build’s 2017 journey will be our best yet. Stop by and see how much we love our people.


MGC Contractors

Microchip Technology Inc.

Leadership: Randy L. Gates, president Website: What it does: A water industry construction leader. How it leads: MGC has been a water industry leader for

Leadership: Steve Sanghi, chairman and CEO; Eric Bjornholt, CFO Website: What it does: Leading provider of microcontroller, mixed-

more than 40 years. MGC has had no contracts terminated or construction related litigation brought against the corporation, principals or employees for more than 20 years. MGC has not had an OSHA safety violation in more than nine years and the company takes pride in having one of the best safety records in the industry, which lowers its workmen’s compensation insurance premiums and saves its clients money.

MRA Associates Leadership: Mark Feldman, CEO and managing partner; Maureen Rzeppa, managing partner and chief administrative officer Website: What it does: Boutique, registered investment advisor with large-firm experience. How it leads: Stewardship is a key value at MRA Associates. This applies to its stewardship of client wealth, as well as its stewardship of the local community. The firm’s team members serve on committees and boards, actively serving and leading the organizations that they are passionate about. MRA Associates also make significant financial contributions to local organizations on the corporate and individual partner level.


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signal, analog and Flash-IP solutions for thousands of diverse applications worldwide. How it leads: Microchip is the semiconductor industry’s greatest Cinderella Story, having come a long way since it was a failing spinoff of General Instrument in 1989. Since then, the company had the most successful IPO of 1993, achieved the No. 1 ranking in 8-bit microcontrollers in 2002 (and still No. 1 in 2015), and recorded its 103rd consecutive quarter of profitability in June 2016.

2017 FINALISTS Phoenix Country Day School Leadership: Andrew Rodin, head of school; Kathy Peters, CFO Website: What it does: The only independent, pre-k through 12th grade school located on a 40-acre campus in the heart of Phoenix. How it leads: PCDS stands among the top independent schools in the nation. The school is currently ahead of schedule in an ambitious capital campaign. The $22 million campaign, which has brought a state of the art competition pool, a second gymnasium to meet the demands of a popular athletic program and a cutting-edge academic building that will serve as a hub for art, science, and innovation.

Phoenix International Raceway

Pima Medical Institute

Leadership: Bryan Sperber, president; Marie Buck, senior

Leadership: Fred Freedman, CEO; Rich Almeroth, controller Website: What it does: Helps students become career ready, focusing

director of business operations Website: What it does: Premier motorsports venue in the Southwest, featuring two NASCAR race weekends each year, as well as IndyCar. How it leads: PIR has been an industry leader in its marketing efforts, particularly with Hispanic market outreach, having formed great working relationships with Hispanic media and organizations, including the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Arizona-Mexico Commission. Through its efforts, the track realized an increase from 3 percent to more than 15 percent in Hispanic guest attendance from 2013 to 2015.


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exclusively on health care professions, including medical, dental, veterinary and nursing fields. How it leads: For almost 45 years, PMI has been one of the leading providers of nursing and ancillary staff for Arizona hospitals and healthcare organizations. PMI takes pride in its unique programs, quality of training and professional environment and currently have more than 100,000 graduates (almost 40,000 in the state of Arizona), most of them working in the medical profession.


Primavera Online High School Leadership: Damian Creamer, founder and CEO; Ross Musil, CFO Website: What it does: Online, tuition-free, public school providing Arizona students an accredited, awardwinning curriculum and personalized attention from highly qualified educators. How it leads: Over the past 15 years, Primavera has helped tens of thousands of Arizona students who have struggled to fit in, who have fallen behind, or whose circumstances or responsibilities have made attending a traditional brick-and-mortar school difficult. Primavera has also enabled numerous students to graduate early or pursue their passion in a sport or the arts while earning an accredited high school diploma.

Scottsdale Arts


Leadership: Neale Perl, president and CEO;

Leadership: Ray Zuckerman, CEO Website: What it does: Designs, manufactures and distributes purpose

Mallard Owen, chief of operations and finance Website: What it does: Creates arts experiences and educational opportunities for the community. How it leads: Scottsdale Arts produces, presents & hosts over 1,800 events a year. Since its founding in 1987, Scottsdale Arts has grown into a regionally and nationally significant, multidisciplinary arts organization offering exceptional programs through three acclaimed operating divisions – Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) and Scottsdale Public Art. Together, they serve more than 375,000 participants annually from the region and throughout the United States and abroad.


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built lifting devices to manage rack mounted assets in data centers. How it leads: After analyzing the challenges in data centers of how to safely and efficiently handle heavy rack-mounted hardware, the engineering team of Raytech (the precursor of ServerLIFT) designed the optimal solution: The Data Center Lift. ServerLIFT was then formed with the goal of designing and producing the best product for physical handling of data center infrastructure hardware. Today, ServerLIFT devices are deployed in thousands of data centers in all 50 states and 52 countries worldwide.


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TFO Phoenix, Inc.

The Leona Group

Leadership: Chris Erblich, chairman; Scott Horn, president Website: What it does: Delivers a holistic array of wealth management

Leadership: Dr. William Coats, CEO; Patrick Lawrence, CFO Website: What it does: Provides all-­inclusive management services

services to families, including investment advice, income tax services, estate planning and other family office services. How it leads: The leaders of TFO created the firm to be more than just a traditional investment advisor or tax preparer. Rather, their mission is to help affluent families “connect wealth and purpose,” By asking each family, “What’s your wealth for?” and actively listening to their answers, the leaders of TFO gain an understanding of how each family sees its wealth contributing to its happiness.

to public tuition-­free charter schools in predominantly urban communities. How it leads: TLG is one of the nation’s first education management companies and a pioneer in the charter school industry. TLG has been operating tuition-­free nonprofit charter schools since 1996. TLG current operates about 60 school sites in Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. The organization strives to improve life changes for children, under the founding philosophy that they believe every child can and will learn regardless of ethnicity, economic or educational disadvantage.

The Phoenix Symphony Leadership: Jim Ward, president and CEO; Kelly Dwyer, director of finance Website: What it does: Its mission is to provide the joy of music as a catalyst in helping Arizona to become the best place in America. How it leads: The Phoenix Symphony’s Education and Community Outreach programs reach over 125,000 children and adults annually with priority given to Title 1 designation schools. No other performing arts organization in the state has the proven track record for providing cutting-edge music education and music wellness programs of such great breadth and depth.


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VIP Mortgage Inc. Leadership: Jay Barbour, president; Amber Stamsta, controller Website: What it does: Mortgage company funding in excess of $1.5 billion annually. How it leads: SPEAR is VIP’s customer relationship manager platform – the first of its kind in the mortgage industry — and is putting

Willmeng Construction Leadership: James Murphy, president and CEO Website: What it does: A shell and tenant improvement

general contractor. How it leads: A recent survey showed that Willmeng’s emphasis on putting relationships first while being accountable for decisions were


AB | January - February 2017

VIP on another level in terms of customer care and eliminates duplication across the process. The system helped VIP grow the company’s volume from $1 billion in 2014 to $1.5 billion in 2015 with less originators and operations’ employees touching the loans. VIP is on track to double that number in 2016.

primary factors in clients’ decisions to continue to do business with Willmeng year after year. In the 10 years Murphy has been president, the firm has continued to grow, expand its client base and market sectors. Experiencing a record year and remarkable employee retention, Murphy credits the team that understands and believes that altruistic service is a key ingredient to its corporate culture.

AB | January - February 2017 103


AB | January - February 2017


Extreme makeover

GPEC has record-breaking year as it capitalizes on Phoenix’s powerful new business image

SUPPORTING ECONOMIC GROWTH Fostering job creation helps drive a healthy economy. That’s why SRP joins forces with local businesses and community leaders. From attracting out-of-state companies to supporting nonprofits and connecting customers with our money- and energy-saving advice, we proudly support efforts that help our state grow and prosper. Find out more at SRP can help you grow your business too with rebates on energy-efficient upgrades. Visit for details.

Greater Phoenix Economic Council





AB | January - February 2017


or so long, Phoenix was touted as the low-cost alternative for companies looking for locations in which to relocate or expand. While Metro Phoenix still competes heavily on cost as an advantage, the Valley offers so much more value to companies – a skilled workforce, strong communities, public-private partnerships, the leading university for innovation for two years in a row and many other factors. So what does Phoenix bring to the table now when companies come to GPEC looking for a place to grow?

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ho better to offer perspective than someone who has been there from the start? “Greater Phoenix has morphed from its status of a third-tier economy in the 1980s into a highly desirable, high-value added business location in the 21st Century economy,” says Ioanna Morfessis, consultant with IO-INC. and founding president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC). Morfessis is the ideal person to summarize the big picture of an economically desirable Arizona in attracting new and growing business. Morfessis was the founding president and CEO of GPEC in 1989 and she helped develop one of the first privatepublic regional economic development organizations in the nation. In a single quote she has offered a 21st Century snapshot — or selfie since its 2017 — of Greater Phoenix, a once third-class passenger, making her way to the upper decks. Phoenix is no longer simply touted as the “low-cost alternative” to other markets. Over the last few decades Phoenix has continued to rise from a cost-effective location


in which to do business, to a competitive economic market composed of a skilled workforce, thriving publicprivate partnerships, solid educational institutions including the leading university for innovation (two years running) and much more. Rather than try to squeeze in one last analogy, let’s zoom out from the snapshot, back to the big economic picture.

Goodbye steerage – hello first-class education!

Strength of Phoenix “The No. 1 improvement I’ve seen is our region’s

keen focus to diversify our economy away from our historical dependency on residential growth. Today, our economic muscle includes a solid mix of industries, jobs and growth spread throughout the region. Under bold leadership, this region’s intellectual capital and bioscience/technology footprint continues to propel our diversified economy into the future. Phoenix is now the envy of many other markets and cities around the U.S.” Jack Barry, president and CEO of the Arizona Region for Enterprise Bank

“The Valley’s jurisdictions and universities have

Being “low cost” was Arizona’s former dangling carrot. Maybe businesses used to feel that even though they didn’t have the best accommodations on the ship, they could make the best of the ride in Arizona’s economic climate. No more. Now, with some of the nation’s most competitive, prestigious and innovative universities, it’s first class all the way. “Phoenix remains low cost, but of course low cost is only one of several key factors,” says Dr. Michael Crow, president of Arizona State University, which has topped U.S. News & World Report’s list of “most innovative

flexed their entrepreneurial and collaborative muscles to meet the changing objectives of business owners, corporations and the workforce. This has created unique communities as employment hubs for industries ranging from technology, advanced business services, R&D and manufacturing, which provide synergistic amenities such as neighborhood microbreweries, arts and increased shared transportation.”

Tammy Carr, principal of Mortenson, Phoenix Operating Group

“Metro Phoenix is quickly becoming a hub

for tech innovation, earning its ‘Silicon Desert’ moniker, with a focus on growing its talent pool, investing in employee training subsidies and grants and keeping operating costs affordable.” Neill Feather, president of SiteLock




Greater Phoenix experiences only 0.3 percent downtime in power with an outage time less than 30 minutes.

The corporate income tax rate decreases to 4.9 percent in 2017.

Software employment in Greater Phoenix is expected to grow 14 percent over the next five years.

AB | January - February 2017

IONNA MORFESSIS: As the founding president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council in 1989, Morfessis helped establish a new model for regional collaboration that has been emulated in other major regions in the United States. PROVIDED PHOTO

AB | January - February 2017 111


Chris Camacho

Michael M. Crow

David Funkhouse

James Lundy

Ioanna Morfessis

Gary Naquin

schools” for the past two years. “The people that we talk to from ASU who are interested in locating here are looking for educational infrastructure, workforce, amenities in the community, quality of life and places for their employees and their employees’ families to be successful.” And how do we know this? The proof is in the 73 percent of undergraduates and 53 percent of ASU graduate students who stay put after graduation. “There has been a natural shift for Arizona, as being a low-cost outpost, to having significant market value,” says Chris Camacho, president and CEO of GPEC. “We’ve seen an increase particularly in the last three to four years with the economy improving, but even more so in our capable workforce driven by ASU.” Joining this symbiotic relationship between education and a skilled workforce in perpetuating a healthy and resilient economy, are undoubtedly the University of Arizona, Northern Arizona University, the ever-growing Grand Canyon University and a host of community colleges. “Our three big state universities and the emergence of Grand Canyon offer very good programs that produce a great array of BA degrees – strong

Strength of Phoenix “In my career, I have been

personally involved with companies relocating to Arizona from California, Michigan, Las Vegas, Minnesota and more. The specifics that brought those companies here: weather, affordable housing, the proximity of Phoenix to other significant markets in the Western United States, the ability to acquire affordable land to build a newer and more modern facility, and relatively easy access to freeways. I think Metro Phoenix has strengthened itself by building on these elements – by offering incentives for companies to relocate, by developing attractive commercial submarkets such as Scottsdale Airpark and Deer Valley that provide attractive opportunities for development, and the continued improvement of local transportation options, such as the light rail.” Ben Danner, senior vice president and Arizona business banking manager for Washington Federal

“The most significant development in Metro Phoenix related to the practice of law has been the arrival of Arizona Summit Law School. Our legal assistants are now able to complete their law school education utilizing Summit’s part-time evening program, while continuing to work full-time for Goldberg & Osborne.” Mark Goldberg, founding partner of Goldberg & Osborne




Projected employment growth over the next decade in the Greater Phoenix area is 15.1 percent, compared with 9.4 percent nationally.

Projected employment growth in the healthcare and biomedical industries over the next decade is 31 percent, compared with 19 percent nationally.

Greater Phoenix boasts 32 percent more computer science and software engineering professionals than Austin, Texas.


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GPEC finance, basic engineering, communication and tech,” says ,” says James Lundy, founding CEO of Alliance Bank Arizona and member of GPEC’s board of directors.

Public and private partnerships offer smooth sailing While Arizona’s higher education system simultaneously attracts new blood and circulates professionals out into an ever-growing skilled workforce, there are other entities at work helping to perpetuate Arizona’s first-class economic image. “Private-public partnerships such as GPEC, that work together with private sector leaders, elected officials and community leaders have enabled prioritization of needs,” explains Gary Naquin, executive vice president and director of corporate banking for National Bank of Arizona. Despite what some experts would cite as negative political stigmas, such as legislative initiatives like SB1070, combined with an often overly conservative and staunch persona, Arizona’s base private-public relationships — politics aside — are strong, particularly


among city leaders. “Continuity of the leadership we’ve seen amongst the mayors has created proactive response rates in companies wanting to come into, or expand business in Arizona,” Camacho says. “I believe Phoenix has overcome several political missteps in the last 5 years,” Naquin adds, “by investing in workforce solutions, improving infrastructure, and attracting diversity of thought and culture.” In addition, public and private capital is increasingly distributed toward supporting entrepreneurial start-ups and emerging technologies. Speaking of technology As we lift the magnifying glass from Arizona’s economic algorithm, we can see how education and privatepartnerships have helped to cultivate a healthy and attractive environment for new and expanding businesses — not to mention what Quarles & Brady Partner David Funkhouser, III would dutifully remind us of being fortunate to possess: “we have the weather.” We’ve also touched upon having a solid and sensible

Strength of Phoenix “Phoenix has evolved into the real deal when

it comes to business. In addition to offering businesses competitive cost advantages, Phoenix has a burgeoning tech community, a deep pool of skilled workers and leading-edge research. For all these reasons, it’s no surprise that more and more businesses are choosing to call Phoenix home.” James Goodnow, shareholder with Fennemore Craig, P.C.

“Metropolitan Phoenix is a desirable place to do

business because of the availability of a trained workforce, focus on industry diversification, and commitment to entrepreneurship. Metro Phoenix provides access to high-quality post-secondary education and training at the Maricopa Community Colleges, one of the most innovative systems in the nation.” Dr. Maria Harper-Marinick, chancellor of Maricopa Community Colleges

“Phoenix is a great place for Alliance Residential’s national headquarters. The combination of a convenient in-fill airport hub and close proximity to major Southwest, Mountain and West Coast markets where we are active, coupled with a high quality of life, makes it a great place to live and work. A pro-business mentality with sensible regulations and reasonable costs makes it an ideal choice for us.” Jay Hiemenz, president and COO of Alliance Residential Company

“The talent pool in Phoenix is as robust as anywhere in the country, and the energy, excitement and collaborative spirit around the emerging tech scene in the Valley are absolutely contagious. It’s the perfect place for startups – a supportive, unpretentious community with no existing status-quo so you don’t get lost in the crowd and everyone plays a role in shaping it.” Brad Jannenga, co-founder of WebPT




A relatively young region, Greater Phoenix has a median age of 35.4 — two years younger than the average age nationwide.

The Greater Phoenix region offers operational costs of up to 40 percent less than California.

Shipping costs to California are up to 75 percent lower than other Mountain West markets.

AB | January - February 2017

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GPEC infrastructure, in addition to other logistical perks, which we will circle back to later. For now, let’s refocus by examining three of our top thriving skilled-workforce markets, the success of which continues to attract and retain out of state business. It’s been mentioned several times already: Arizona’s technology-related sector has become a head turner for attracting business. “I think the tech and start-ups are dominating our current market rise,” Funkhouser says. “You have new companies like Local Motors, Carvana and Infusionsoft that are growing by leaps and bounds.” Statistically speaking, 15,000 new tech jobs were added to the “Innovation Corridor” in Downtown Phoenix last year alone, according to a CBRE report. “Right now we’re seeing good and positive job growth across logistics, retail and technology,” says Crow, also a member of GPEC’s board. “We also are seeing significant entrepreneurial activity, which is a hallmark of growth in the Valley.” While technology advances, so does Greater Phoenix’s


attractiveness to out-of-state companies like Gainsight, a customer relationship management software company founded in San Francisco. Phoenix is now ranked second in the nation for tech-job growth. “What we’re not seeing yet is the critically important science and technology-based enterprise development and enterprise attraction,” Crow says. “The reason this is so important is that it lays the foundation for the economy two or three cycles down the path. This is very important relative to competitiveness going forward.” Also grabbing national attention is financial job growth in greater Phoenix. “We wouldn’t represent growth properly without mentioning the contributions of financial services like ADP, JP Morgan Chase and others,” Camacho says, “who have aided in dramatic growth through very significant operational services.” “State Farm brought in (thousands of) jobs,” Lundy adds, “and other high-end call centers have contributed to financial-job growth through companies — like Amex, Discover and USAA.”

The cost of living in Greater Phoenix is 77 percent less on average than leading California markets. 116

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Strength of Phoenix “The old story of Phoenix was that this was a

cheaper place to do business. The new Phoenix story is that we have more skilled workers, exciting urban areas, some of the best K-12 schools in the nation, universities driving innovation and the most pro-business policy in America. Bet on Phoenix achieving the nation’s highest job and population growth rates.” Paul Johnson, CEO of Redirect Health and a founding member of GPEC

“The leadership of Gov. Doug Ducey. the governor’s business acumen, ever-ready commitment to attracting new business and expanding footprints of existing local businesses and leadership from the trenches in partnership with business leaders such as Michael Bidwill, have completely revitalized the image of Phoenix as a vibrant, business friendly community.” Mike Kennedy, co-founding partner, shareholder and member of the board of directors of Gallagher & Kennedy

“I’ve practiced in Phoenix for the last 25 years. It has grown from an emerging regional player to a national hub. It has done so through mushrooming population growth and diversity, targeted attraction of diverse business practices, rapid advancement of educational infrastructure and competitive balance between compensation and cost of living – to name just a few. As the market slowly recovers from the economic plunge, Phoenix is poised to blast off and set new benchmarks.” Marc Lamber, director with Fennemore Craig, P.C.


Arizona State University is the No. 1 most innovative university in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report.


Arizona has the fourth-highest concentration of aerospace manufacturing jobs in the nation.

AZBusiness Mag.pdf



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Choose Goodyear Recently ranked as one of America’s best cities in which to live, Goodyear, Arizona is the place that businesses and their employees are proud to call home. Sub-Zero, Inc., Cancer Treatment Centers of America and REI, Inc. are just a few of the best-in-class companies who chose Goodyear for its high quality of life, low cost of doing business and skilled workforce. Learn why Goodyear is Geared for Growth.

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AB | January - February 2017 117

GPEC In the coming years, State Farm alone expects to have as many as 8,000 employees in the greater Phoenix area. The third top sector to attract new and growing business: healthcare. Set your sights on billion-dollar Banner Health facilities in Tucson and Phoenix. Not to mention Abrazo Community Health Network in the West Valley. The healthcare and bioscience sectors in Greater Phoenix are projected to grow 31.9 percent over the next 10 years, which outpaces the projected national average growth of 19.5 percent. “Arizona is outpacing the nation in biomedical and healthcare,” Camacho says. There is another sector worthy of mention – one that has firm roots in Arizona – that has also held steady throughout the decades, but now gains momentum in attracting out-of-state labor and business. According to Camacho, aerospace is among the topfive sector high-wage jobs. “Growth in the last 10 years has helped us diversify, while putting intellectual capital of aerospace and defense high on the list,” Lundy says. By growth, we can see the

aerospace and defense job employment literally skyrocket in the Greater Phoenix area with companies like Orbital ATK, Honeywell, KinetX, Boeing, Iridium and Qwaltec. On the defense side, we have Luke Air Force base. To add to the security and welfare of this growing market, are the competitive and noteworthy space programs offered through ASU and UA. Securing our upper-deck

economic future

Before we take a step back from the big picture and soak in all that makes Greater Phoenix a first-class contender for enticing new businesses, let’s think about a few more assets that sweeten up the Arizona deal. Remember a brief mention of infrastructure? We’d be remiss in not taking a moment to pay homage to the light rail. “I think housing is still affordable in the Central Corridor for those interested in living in the city,” Funkhouser says, “and with the light rail we are figuring out mass transportation.” And the housing! Yes. We can be reminded here again, as an echo of Crow’s earlier

Strength of Phoenix “The business environment in Metro Phoenix

has become an excellent place to do business. Local government is providing the support and infrastructure necessary to attract and retain startup and tech companies, ASU is providing an incredibly talented workforce and the Arizona climate and culture make it an easy choice for growing a business.” Shawn Linam, CEO of Qwaltec

“The robust supply chain and availability of talent

make Greater Phoenix an ideal place for aerospace and aviation options. And the state’s rich history in aerospace and defense make it a proven ecosystem where business thrives – including Honeywell, which has had its operations in the region for more than 60 years.” Mike Madsen, president of Aerospace, Defense & Space for Honeywell

“The quality of the people doing business in

Phoenix has always been the area’s strength, and the growth of our economy has been a direct result of the leaders and trailblazers that call the Valley home. They are committed not only to their success, but the success of the region as well.” Eric Miller, co-owner and principal of PADT

“Our region offers abundant and skilled human

capital; a highly energized, innovative and entrepreneurial business climate; businessfriendly state and local governments; great community colleges, ASU, and a tightly woven culture of regional cooperation, all contributing to an unbeatable asset base for business and economic growth.” Ioanna Morfessis, consultant with IO-INC. and founding president and CEO of GPEC




There are eight hospitals in the Greater Phoenix region in the Top 20 for excellence.

Luke Air Force Base is the preferred training site for the F-35 Lightning Fighter Jet.

There are more than 1,400 active clinical trials in Arizona.


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INTEL INSIDE, STRONGER COMMUNITIES OUTSIDE Intel is proud to support The Greater Phoenix Economic Council in driving economic development in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Intel has invested more than $20 billion to build high-tech manufacturing capacity in Arizona. From supporting science, technology, engineering and math education to working with neighbors in our communities, Intel is committed to applying technology and the talents of our employees to improve lives in our local community and inspire the next generation of innovators. Together we can continue to make Phoenix a great place to do business. To learn more about Intel’s impact in the Arizona community visit: Copyright © 2016 Intel Corporation. All rights reserved. Intel and the Intel logo are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the United States and other countries.

Perseverance-HalfPg-Bjerk-120215_Layout 1 property 12/2/15 1:16 PM Page 1 *Other names and brands may be claimed as the of others. GPEC ad_7.125.x4.75_Final.indd 1

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With a steady course of action and perseverance, a Bjerk Builders crew on your next endeavor will help to ensure your project will be completed on time, within budget, all while exceeding your expectations and goals.


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GPEC comment that low cost shouldn’t necessarily take on a negative connotation. Our housing availability, cost and positioning offers an attractive livability factor, according to Camacho, and that is of great advantage to our market value. Experts agree that in addition to housing, our retail and restaurateur reputation is expediently gaining attention and accolades. “The most desirable assets for Phoenix are quality of life, openness to new ideas and new people, tremendous flexibility in developing and advancing new ideas, the ability to attract almost anyone here to be a part of the team, and I think a very, very positive attitude,” Crow says. “Match that with sound and positive tax policy, tremendous talent in the labor pool, and Phoenix is a great place for businesses to relocate and to start up as well to expand.”

Attraction not promotion: Team Arizona? Our scrutiny of Arizona’s economic integrity has come to a close, but in doing so, shall we dare to ask one more question? Do we endeavor to inquire as to how we measure

up to other economic markets in the nation? Of course! We’re not afraid. We no longer wear the steerage T-shirt slogan: “Arizona: your cheap alternative.” “Places in Texas and Colorado will remain competitive,” Camacho says, “which is why we must ensure that we have a modern economic policy to support local and outside business. GPEC has heavily invested in analytical power and are much more consultative. We’re advising companies on how to access the market.” Bringing in new faces to a new place has the advantage of further diversification, and allows for a certain amount of flexibility. “Phoenix continues to evolve at an increasing rate without the legacy of hundreds of years of culture, thought and infrastructure,” Funkhouser says. “In short, relative to larger markets in locations such as Texas, Colorado, California, etc., Phoenicians are more nimble and can influence change at a more rapid pace than our peers in other communities.” The president of the most innovative university in the nation agrees.


Arizona has 24 million square feet of U.S. Department of Defense owned installations. 120

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Strength of Phoenix “First, the growth of ASU, UA and other

education choices has produced amazing intellectual talent. Secondly, we have affordable housing, excellent healthcare options, a vibrant cultural landscape and a thriving restaurant scene. Lastly, we offer an easy-to-use airport with many domestic and international flights. Did I mention our beautiful weather?” Jim Patterson, CEO of UMB Bank’s Arizona Region

“Real estate investors and developers have been

investing into our Greater Phoenix Area from a commercial and residential side for years, which has provided opportunities for companies to move their headquarters and operations to the Valley, while offering newer and nicer housing options to their employees. I feel that Metro Phoenix has learned from larger populated states Cities like LA, San Francisco, etc., which has made Metro Phoenix a destination city for living, business and entertainment.” Erich Reichenberger, vice president and area manager of Pioneer Title Agency

“We chose to expand our business here in 1995 because of the infinite possibility. As a thriving metropolitan hub, business and government leaders have shown an ability to adapt, innovate and take action to attract skilled workforces. We’re seeing this even more in recent years, as companies around the globe are choosing to make Greater Phoenix their home.” Charles Touché, CEO of Lovitt & Touché


Greater Phoenix has a population of 4.4 million and is expected to grow to 5.5 million in the next 10 years.


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GPEC “As the 6th largest market in the nation, the answer is ‘yes,’ we can definitely compete,” Crow adds. But his endorsement comes with a warning about issues that need to be addressed to take Greater Phoenix to the next level. “First, we are still lagging in educational attainment overall,” Crow says. “Second, we’re lagging in the knowledge and science and technology indexes that are essential to many businesses. And, I think also importantly, we don’t tend, at the moment, to have an economic development strategy across all sectors of the economy presently here.” Crow points that in some regions with which we compete – Denver, Salt Lake City, Austin, parts of California, Seattle – there is a deep commitment to high-levels of educational attainment, deep commitment to research and engineering in particular. “Each of our competing regions and cities have definitively advanced engineering training education

and research activities,” Crow says. “Each of these then are correlated with their competitiveness with us.” So do we have areas to continue to improve upon? Indeed. We need to be consistent and vigilant in our economic strategy, according to Crow, if we are to keep up with our competing markets. Bottom line: Arizona’s desirability for attracting new business, growing existing business and reinforcing an already burgeoning skilled workforce isn’t departing firstclass stature anytime soon. Perhaps we ought to close in a most apropos way, by allowing Morfessis to summarize. “Our region offers abundant and skilled human capital; a highly energized, innovative and entrepreneurial business climate; a businessfriendly state and local governments; great community colleges, ASU, and a tightly woven culture of regional cooperation, all contributing to an unbeatable asset base for business and economic growth.”

Strength of Phoenix “The rise of world-class co-working spaces in

Phoenix is helping entrepreneurs collaborate. The design of these spaces facilitates creative energy and new ideas. The perks also add up – from lounges to marketing resources. Being a part of a community and building relationships with like-minded people adds tremendous value.” Jason Valasek, co-founder of Cloud LGS

“With universities nearby, a climate and culture

people enjoy, Phoenix provides talent with techoriented and social media skills that have helped our company grow – from six to more than 170. Businesses and municipalities are also supportive of our innovation. Phoenix has an environment that makes growth possible for Millennials and their employers.” Alexi, Venneri, CEO and co-founder of Digital Air Strike

“Our housing market was one of the hardest hit in the country during the downturn and we have come out of it with a more balanced recovery than in many other places. Major Phoenix-based companies are gaining recognition in a variety of industries, which lends itself to top talent moving into the Valley and the growth of our overall economy.” Matt Widdows, founder and CEO of HomeSmart

MICHAEL CROW: “We need to find more energy to put into all of those businesses which are increasingly knowledge-driven and advanced,” says the president of Arizona State University and GPEC board member. “For instance, advanced manufacturing has taken off in various parts of the country and needs to become more important here in Metropolitan Phoenix.” PHOTO BY MIKE MERTES, AZ BIG MEDIA


AB | January - February 2017

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Packing an economic punch Greater Phoenix Economic Council delivers record-breaking year By AZ BUSINESS


he Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) ended Fiscal Year 2016 with another round of record breaking numbers for the region – including the highest number of assisted locates, projected jobs numbers and average high-wage, high-skilled salary. Working together with GPEC’s 23 cities and towns, GPEC assisted in the location of 43 companies during the fiscal year, an increase from 32 locates in 2015. The 43 companies who located or expanded their operations to the Greater Phoenix region will add a projected 7,703 new jobs to the market, with an average salary of $70,897 for nearly half of those jobs. The payroll generated from the new positions is anticipated to be nearly $400 million, in addition to a nearly $390 million capital investment to the region. “This was one of the most dynamic 12-month periods in the last decade, including headquarter expansions, increased international activity and more big-name tech companies entering the market,” said Chris Camacho, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council. “The truly collaborative efforts from our communities solidifies the region’s reputation for being a high-value place for businesses to thrive.” New companies from around the world entered the Greater Phoenix market this year from a variety of industries, including a leading international securities company, a fast-growing tech company, and a dynamic, innovative distribution company. Additional highlights from the year include the release of the latest Market Intelligence Report on the microelectronics cluster in Greater Phoenix and the selection of the Greater Phoenix market by the Brookings Institution to develop a regional foreign direct investment plan. GPEC was also named a leading economic development council by Global Trade magazine. Since 1989, GPEC has been responsible for assisting in the location of nearly 670 companies to the region, adding more than $12 billion in capital investment and more than 117,000 jobs. For more information on doing business in Greater Phoenix, visit


AB | January - February 2017

By the numbers 43: Number of companies GPEC

helped bring to Greater Phoenix in 2016

7,703: Number of new jobs that will be created by those 43 companies

$400 million: Amount in

payroll that will be generated by those 43 companies

$390 million: Amount in capital investment to the region coming from those 43 companies

670: Number of companies GPEC has helped bring to Greater Phoenix since 1989 117,000: Number of jobs GPEC has has helped bring to Greater Phoenix since 1989

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