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DEC. 2020

Facts and Misconceptions about the New Minimum Wage Increase

13 Top Valley Leaders on

2021 Where do we go from here?

The Price of

Toxic Leadership The ABCs of

Generation N This Month's Guest Editor

Michael Bidwill

Measures to Shut Out

Workplace Violence $7.95 INBUSINESSPHX.COM

THIS ISSUE Arizona Small Business Association

Stay Healthy. Return Smarter. Return Stronger. With public health top of mind, Arizona is moving forward safely and responsibly together.

Since the start, the state of Arizona has worked hard to keep Arizonans safe and healthy while slowing the spread of COVID-19. By continuing to follow the data and recommendations of public health officials, we can safely move forward with the next steps of Arizona’s economic recovery. And as our state’s businesses gradually reopen their operations, the Arizona Commerce Authority is here to continue offering tools and resources for families, workers and businesses to return stronger.

We’re Making Our Mark on Medicine OptumCare® believes that great health begins by providing forwardthinking leadership in the discipline of medicine. So we proudly serve Phoenix with advanced health care at 16 clinics with over 40 providers, all dedicated to putting the patient first. We’re here to stay—and to move care in our community in bold new directions. Find out more at

©2020 Optum, Inc. All rights reserved.



In Business Magazine shares perspectives on what’s ahead for business from men and women at the head of some of the Valley’s leading businesses in a variety of key sectors as they look ahead to 2021.



Wells Fargo Leverages Scale to Feed Communities Focusing this month on Wells Fargo, Tyler Butler’s series explores the myriad ways businesses give back and the positive ways their programs impact our community.


Courageous Feedback. Can You Deliver It? In her ongoing series on risk as a factor of leadership, Eileen Rogers discusses what it means to strive for a shared perspective.


Safety Is the Ultimate Priority in Changing Business Landscape In this first of a series on preventing workplace violence, nationally renowned federal crisis negotiation specialist Doc Elliot discusses the increasing concern around this phenomenon.



The What, When, Where and Why of App Clips

About ASBA

ASBA Economic Analysis Confirms: Small Businesses Are Making Big Contributions by Katie Prendergast, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs, Arizona Small Business Association

The Arizona Small Business

Association (ASBA) fosters and

At the Arizona Small Business Association, we’re

for many large businesses while employing 58%

proud to represent so many innovative and resilient

of Arizona’s private-sector workforce.

community by advocating for public

small businesses that continue to contribute so

The data in the report and resulting

policies that ensure a pro-business

much to the Arizona economy. To support the

recommendations as a result of the study will

policy and regulatory environment

small business recovery efforts underway, we have

provide new insight as policymakers and other

to help small businesses prosper. ASBA brings relevant and dynamic education and mentoring opportunities to business owners to improve their business knowledge, solve problems and, ultimately, become more successful. We accomplish this by offering our

partnered with leading economist Jim Rounds, president of Rounds Consulting Group, to provide

leaders make decisions to help small businesses the go-to resource for insight on small business challenges, data and policy impacts as we seek to

businesses in 2021. Rounds Consulting Group’s report illustrates the overall business ecosystem, and underscores how critical small businesses are in the context of large business attraction and expansion. While

success, and the convenience and efficiency of our products and

recover and flourish. ASBA will continue to be

perspective and recommendations for policies that will be beneficial in the recovery efforts for small

significant role small businesses play in the state’s

members valuable programs, unparalleled commitment to their

those large-company announcements are often the headline, small businesses are the story.

ensure future growth and prosperity for Arizona’s diverse and dynamic small business community.



Workforce and Childcare

With parents more concerned about childcare cost during pandemic, what is the cost situation?


The ABCs of Generation N

Local branding and marketing executive David Ralls examines the new consumer mindset that has arisen from the pandemic.



Guest Editor

Michael Bidwill, owner, chairman and president of the Arizona Cardinals, introduces the “Leadership” issue.



Sandra Bassett, Diane Day and Scott Roelofs respond to In Business Magazine’s burning business question of the month.



“Escape: Immersive Entertainment Heeds COVID-19 Safety,” “Global Pandemic on Food & Beverage Industry,” “Local Standouts Recognized for Achievements and Philanthropy,” “'Contactless’ Real Estate Transactions” and “Full-Service Marketing Agencies Are Poised for Growth”

By the Numbers

To learn more about the economic impact of

of experience advising both public- and privatesector entities on matters of economic and policy development. To learn more about RCG, please visit

now in the business community. From education and advocacy meaningful partnerships, we engage our members with relevant interactions at every touchpoint. By staying on top of current trends, we ensure the tools we offer, as well as the extensive breadth of insights delivered, are valuable to the businesses we represent while significantly boosting the organic growth of our membership base. Find ASBA on Facebook:

ASBA Equipping Small Business Owners with Tools to Thrive by Katie Prendergast, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs, Arizona Small Business Association

At the Arizona Small Business Association, we know that the pandemic has introduced unprecedented challenges for our members, and that many small businesses continue to feel its rippling economic effects. ASBA has partnered

Recently, ASBA launched these training

© 2020 ASBA. A publication of the Arizona Small Business Association. For more information or to join ASBA, please contact us at Section designed by the Arizona Small Business Association.

develop a beneficial relationship with a community bank, and how to initiate and expand relationships with other businesses in Arizona to grow revenue. This training initiative will ensure that our state’s relevant, actionable content available at their fingertips that specifically addresses their varied

training to help our members recover revenue, reposition and grow.

locales and challenges and helps identify new opportunities for growth. To learn more about this initiative aimed at helping accelerate small business recovery in Arizona, please visit

small business owner has an opportunity to engage with the content — as part of our initiative

Journeyage is a Phoenix-based company specializing

to equip small business owners with the tools

in creating modern, engaging training material for their

they need to be successful in a post-COVID

“App Aids Optometry Offices,” “Better Air, with a Delivery Schedule,” “Nutritional Packaged Meals … and Now, Upcycled Healthy Food for Pets” and “Pizza Oven on a Roll”



diverse small business community will have

with a local technology company, Journeyage, to develop and deploy personalized, action-based

modules — available anytime a busy, overworked, Central Arizona 11811 N. Tatum Blvd., Suite P-195 Phoenix, AZ 85028 p. 602.306.4000


small businesses, please visit

Small businesses truly are the backbone of the Arizona economy, and provide the supplier base

to resources, mentoring and


Rounds Consulting Group has more than 30 years

services. ASBA is on the cutting edge of what is happening right

clients. They believe one-size training does not fit all

world. Based on feedback from our members,

and empower their clients’ employees to accomplish

the trainings cover three critical areas for small

their purpose through personalized training at scale. To

business owners: how to build a robust social

learn more about Journeyage and their product, please

media presence to increase cash flow, how to



55 Arizona Small Business Association

“Q3 Phoenix Industrial Dominated by Warehouse and Distribution Space,” “Landsea Homes Innovates Virtual Home Design Program,” “Golf Villa Resort Adjacent to The Phoenician” and “COVID-Conscious Co-Workspace in Phoenix”


From the Top

Sarah Jennings joined her family’s business — and, as head of QuickPass, is keeping the family legacy alive.

DEC. 2020




Lee Brown discusses what every business should know about app clips before they launch their apps.

“Parental Leave Benefits Biased Against Fathers” and “Best Perks and Incentives for Employee Morale”

empowers a thriving small business


“Purification Innovates Use of UVC Lights for Safety” and “VaccineDelivery Innovation for the Needle-Phobic”


13 Top Valley Leaders on 2021! Where do we go from here?


“Accidental Screen Snooping Led to a Breakthrough Technology” and “Phoenix Startup Uses a Complex Algorithm to Simplify Advertising”


En Negocios

“¿Conoces el Judo Verbal?” (“Have You Heard of Verbal Judo?”), “Cómo negociar su contrato de arrendamiento comercial durante COVID-19” (“How Small-Business Owners Are Negotiating Their Lease with Commercial Landlords during COVID-19”)



New releases give fresh insights on business thinking.



Sparking a trend, local credit union acquires a bank — and what does that mean for the community?



Attorney discusses facts — and misconceptions — about the minimum wage increase that goes into effect on January 1.


Social Impact

Focusing this month on Wells Fargo, Tyler Butler’s series explores the myriad ways businesses give back and the positive ways their programs impact our community.



Discussing the value of storytelling in connecting with a target audience, Richard Tollefson looks at what nonprofits can learn from business.



2021 Chevrolet High Country Suburban Plus: A fashionable hand-sanitizer-dispensing wristband keeps today’s must-have safety product at hand.


Power Lunch

Kasai Japanese Steakhouse: The Food, the Fire, the Fun



Dr. Katrina Burrus delves into issues around toxic behavior by those in leadership positions and the steep price companies pay for it.

Recruiting and hiring are the most challenging issues for 2021, according to XpertHR’s new survey “HR Challenges for 2021,” which was released last month. The survey also found that roughly onehalf (48%) of responding employers expect to increase their workforce next year.

Dec. 2020

Hi Phoenix, Let’s spend smarter.

In Business Magazine is a collaboration of many business organizations and entities throughout the metropolitan Phoenix area and Arizona. Our mission is to inform and energize business in this community by communicating content that will build business and enrich the economic picture for all of us vested in commerce.

PARTNER ORGANIZATIONS Kristen Merrifield, CEO Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits (602) 279-2966 Jess Roman, Chief Executive Officer Arizona Small Business Association Central Office (602) 306-4000

Learn more at

Steven G. Zylstra, President & CEO Arizona Technology Council One Renaissance Square (602) 343-8324 Doug Bruhnke, Founder & President Global ChamberÂŽ (480) 595-5000 Jean Briese, President NAWBO Phoenix Metro Chapter (480) 289-5768 Anne Gill, President & CEO Tempe Chamber of Commerce (480) 967-7891 Our Partner Organizations are vested business organizations focused on building and improving business in the Valley or throughout Arizona. As Partners, each will receive three insert publications each year to showcase all that they are doing for business and businesspeople within our community. We encourage you to join these and other organizations to better your business opportunities. The members of these and other Associate Partner Organizations receive a subscription to In Business Magazine each month. For more information on becoming an Associate Partner, please contact our publisher at

ASSOCIATE PARTNERS Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce The Black Chamber of Arizona Chandler Chamber of Commerce Economic Club of Phoenix Glendale Chamber of Commerce Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce Greater Phoenix Equality Chamber of Commerce Mesa Chamber of Commerce North Phoenix Chamber of Commerce Peoria Chamber of Commerce Phoenix Metro Chamber of Commerce Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce WESTMARC


DEC. 2020


Dec. 2020

VOL. 11, NO. 12

Publisher Editor En Negocios Editor Graphic Design

Rick McCartney RaeAnne Marsh Edgar Rafael Olivo Benjamin Little

Contributing Writers

Lee Brown Dr. Katrina Burrus Tyler Butler Dexter Caffey Doc Elliot Rachel Eroh Mike Hunter Jamie Killin Scott E. McFarland Andy Parnall David Ralls Marc Ransford Roy Regalado Eileen Rogers Mike Russello Katie Scardello Dustin Smith Mike Thorell Richard Tollefson Ivy N. Voss

ADVERTISING Operations Louise Ferrari Business Development Louise Ferrari Cami Shore Events Amy Corben More: Visit your one-stop resource for everything business at For a full monthly calendar of business-related events, please visit our website. Inform Us: Send press releases and your editorial ideas to

President & CEO Editorial Director Financial Manager Office Manager Accounting Manager Corporate Office

Rick McCartney RaeAnne Marsh Tom Beyer Allie Schimmel Todd Juhl

InMedia Company 45 W. Jefferson Street Phoenix, AZ 85003 T: (480) 588-9505 Vol. 11, No. 12 In Business Magazine is published 12 times per year by InMedia Company. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to InMedia Company, 45 W. Jefferson Street, Phoenix, AZ 85003. To subscribe to In Business Magazine, please send check or money order for one-year subscription of $24.95 to InMedia Company, 45 W. Jefferson Street, Phoenix, AZ 85003 or visit We appreciate your editorial submissions, news and photos for review by our editorial staff. You may send to or mail to the address above. All letters sent to In Business Magazine will be treated as unconditionally assigned for publication, copyright purposes and use in any publication, website or brochure. InMedia accepts no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts, photographs or other artwork. Submissions will not be returned unless accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope. InMedia Company, LLC reserves the right to refuse certain advertising and is not liable for advertisers’ claims and/or errors. The opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the position of InMedia. InMedia Company considers its sources reliable and verifies as much data as possible, although reporting inaccuracies can occur; consequently, readers using this information do so at their own risk. Each business opportunity and/or investment inherently contains certain risks, and it is suggested that the prospective investors consult their attorney and/or financial professional. Š2020 InMedia Company, LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission by any means without written permission by the publisher.


DEC. 2020



Dealing with 2021

Each year, businesses look ahead to project, budget and plan the coming year. We always learn a lot from years prior to help gauge changes for the year to come. This year will be one for the books, as they say. Planning for 2021 will be a lesson for us all as business owners. But before looking ahead to 2021, it would be impossible to ignore the unprecedented nature of 2020. If adversity truly is the best teacher, the past year has provided every industry with enough lessons for a lifetime. And professional football is no different. The challenges of COVID have presented opportunities to re-think every aspect of our business. The goals are unchanged, most notably winning a championship and remaining active and engaged with our Michael Bidwill runs an Arizona Cardinals franchise that is the oldest in professional football and has been in his family since it was purchased in the early 1930s by his grandfather, Pro Football Hall of Famer Charles Bidwill. In addition to his prominent role with the Cardinals and within the National Football League, Bidwill has established himself as one of the most influential leaders in the Greater Phoenix community where he has been a passionate advocate for economic growth and development.

fans and the community. But the manner and method of achieving them required flexibility and innovation like never before. In many ways, it has led to improvements and efficiencies that will carry to the post-COVID environment that we all pray is on the near horizon. There is no one-size-fits-all blueprint for success. Styles, philosophy, circumstance and — of course — personality differ hugely. But one trait in common is the ability to look beyond the immediate “now” and try to anticipate — and plan for — the future. In this December edition, In


Business Magazine shares these very perspectives from men and women at the head of some of

Manténgase informado sobre temas empresariales en español a través de En Negocios, artículos para los lectores de habla hispana en el área metropolitana de Phoenix. Visite ennegocios para más información.

the Valley’s leading businesses in a variety of key sectors as they look ahead to 2021. Taking a close look at a technology that allows businesses to enhance the efficacy of their presence online, one feature article examines app clips — parts of a full native app that are exposed to users via almost any touchpoint that can distribute a URL and are meant to enable users to conduct discrete pieces of business when those bits of business are most relevant — which the writer describes as “one of the most important advancements to come to mobile from Apple in multiple technology generations.” If you’ve never heard of Generation N, the marketing feature is an eye-opener on a new population segment that businesses will need to consider in their marketing strategies. Similarly relevant and timely articles fill this December edition on healthcare, technology, commercial real estate, human resources and other areas important to business decision makers, as well as snapshots of new activity throughout the Valley. As one who has long been invested in helping to grow and strengthen our business community, I’m very pleased to be part of bringing you this December edition of In Business Magazine. Enjoy the read. Sincerely,

Stay informed on business topics in Spanish through En Negocios, articles for Spanish-speaking readers in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Visit ennegocios for more information.

Michael Bidwill Owner, Chairman and President Arizona Cardinals

Story Ideas/PR: editor@

Let’s Learn from this Past 2021 will be a year of reckoning for us all. There is so much that

to the community with which the

we have gotten through as business owners, that we can only go up

Arizona Cardinals serve. He and his

from here. Or can we? That is the question. We asked many business

team’s efforts to persevere and charge

leaders to help us understand what 2021 will look like and all came

ahead during this time, as he has said,

back to us with a message of hope and prosperity. Notwithstanding

have been some great lessons for him

the adversities of 2020, each acknowledges the great lessons

as well. Thank you to Michael and thank you to business owners

learned and the impact those lessons will have on future business.

throughout our community who are pivoting, banding together and

Who better than Michael Bidwill to lead this issue? A major organization hit hard by the pandemic, with a great responsibility


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working so hard to bring back Arizona business — and better than ever.

Business Events/ Connections: businessevents@ Marketing/Exposure: advertise@ Visit us online at

—Rick McCartney, Publisher

Let us know what you think of this issue of In Business Magazine. Email our publisher at


DEC. 2020



Given the events of this past year, what would you say are the most important leadership attributes (skills, experience, philosophy) for growing and strengthening your company?

FEEDBACK QUESTION: Let us know what you want to know from the Valley’s top business leaders.




President and CEO West Valley Arts Sector: Arts & Culture

Senior Vice President/Operations Manager Fidelity National Title Agency Sector: Financial

Owner RCG Valuation & Monetization Sector: Real Estate

When I became West Valley Arts president and CEO in April, COVID was just rearing its ugly head. Soon after, all of our planned events were canceled, causing significant revenue losses and severely impacting our ability serve the community. Responding to this unprecedented challenge required flexibility, strategic application of collective skills and experience, and being able to quickly pivot into a new paradigm. We cannot become complacent or rely on what has always been. We must be adaptable and find new ways to engage and grow. Most of all, we must not be afraid to fail. We must ask questions, share information, seek new partnerships and ask for support. It is OK to say, “I don’t know, but I will find out.” Being skilled in many areas does not always translate to success. How you work with others and bring them along in your organization does. True leadership is Increasing your team’s capabilities and skills to create tangible organizational growth. True leadership is letting your team know it’s OK to make mistakes because when mistakes happen, the greatest change can occur. West Valley Arts

For all past Feedbacks go online to and see what Valley executives think on various business topics.

DEC. 2020



Sandra Bassett has extensive experience in cultural program implementation, finance management and revenue growth. She holds an M.B.A. from Walden University and a bachelor’s in Business Management from Kentucky State University. Bassett served in executive and managerial positions for brands that include Dr. Pepper Snapple Group; Hostess Brand, Inc.; and Mars Inc. She is also an educator, trainer, motivational speaker and international vocalist.

In times like this, when our leadership choices are so impactful, people need to know that leaders know what they are doing. Clear, concise, compassionate and timely communication is a necessity. Upon the realization of the severity of the pandemic, our company immediately initiated on our Business Continuity Plan to safely and transparently communicate our strategy to enable our team to continue the course of our business model effectively. This was done by daily conference calls with our managers and teams, which eventually became weekly calls. We embraced and utilized technology such as Microsoft TEAMS and ZOOM to bring together our employees and customers virtually. The management of remote users has become a new learning process for us as leaders. As leaders, we have learned to pivot quickly to respond to changing times. This year, although challenging in many ways, has caused us all to become better. We will continue to inspire collaboration, common purpose and future possibilities in our company by leading by example, communicating and responding quickly. Our employees are the future success of our company, and our investment and time with them is our No. 1 priority. Fidelity National Title Agency Diane Day is SVP/operations manager for Fidelity National Title Agency. A veteran of 34 years, she manages with passion and enthusiasm. Her duties include overseeing production, sales, recruiting, financial management and customer engagement. Day earned a Bachelor of Arts in business from University of Arizona.

Sign up for the monthly In Business Magazine eNewsletter at Look for survey questions and other research on our business community.

Leadership was led by empathy in 2020. Anyone who managed a team or oversaw the livelihood of others in 2020 was met with incredible challenges. To start the year, most businesses were experiencing either record years or at least strong growth potential, but then COVID-19 hit. The speed that businesses had to come to grips with their new reality was mind-blowing. Leaders had to show that they understood the problem and could put themselves in the shoes of their employees. Many leaders were at risk of losing their clients, employees, health or all of the above. Employees also had a growing list of concerns on their minds and it became very difficult to keep them on track. If someone is worried about losing their house, their children or their lives, nothing else matters. Those concerns must be addressed before moving on to their new remote work responsibilities. Unfortunately, empathy in leadership sometimes includes laying people off. This may sound harsh, but when the survival of the business and livelihood of all other employees is at stake, tough decisions must be made. RCG Valuation & Monetization Scott Roelofs is the owner of RCG Valuation & Monetization. Based in Scottsdale, RCG Valuation & Monetization helps small to medium-sized businesses grow and monetize through advanced financial analysis and specialty tax planning, such as cost segregation, R&D tax credits and more.



Global Pandemic Impact on Food & Beverage Industry What’s happening to our “bites”? With its rich agricultural history, and as home to some of the most skilled farmers in the country, Maricopa County is one of the nation’s top food producers. While Maricopa’s agriculture industry is valued at $1.95 billion per year according to the City of Phoenix, the coronavirus has caused rapid surges and declines in demand, impacting various sectors of the food and beverage industry. Grocery stores have seen heightened demand, creating pressure to meet the growing needs of consumers confined to their homes. Food and beverage distributors have faced a different reality, with their customers — such as restaurants, hotels and cruise lines

Behind these doors lies the Nemesis Club's immersive experience of technology and animatronics.

— sharply reducing their demands for goods. Each shift

Escape: Immersive Entertainment Heeds COVID-19 Safety

has created its own challenges and opportunities.

Grocery Stores In addition to addressing concerns for the health and safety of employees and customers, grocery stores have adapted to a growing demand for online order fulfillment as more consumers opt to stay home and

Good entertainment can lift us above the struggles of life and transport us to a different place and time, while we laugh and make memories with family and friends. I’m not sure there’s ever been a time during my life when people needed that kind of escape and connectedness more than they do today! We’ve launched with staggered openings. Soda Jerk Co., opened in October, is a retro-inspired soda fountain serving up killer craft milkshakes and floats. It acts as a front to the Nemesis Club (opening this month), a next-level escape game venue into which we’re building animatronics, scoring custom soundtracks and inventing new tech. We searched for a year for the perfect location for this concept, and we are thrilled to be building at High Street. It’s such a beautiful development — simultaneously hip and serene. Now, every startup faces its share of hurdles. Those of us opening businesses in a COVID era may be getting a double or triple dose of challenges — from dealing with labor and material shortages to planning a “grand” opening when customers need to maintain social distancing guidelines. But we believe that entertainment is a resilient industry. Phoenix is a resilient community. We’re also lucky that escape games are a low-risk form of entertainment for people looking to begin venturing out again. At the Nemesis Club, guests will reserve a game for themselves and their close friends only. They won’t need to be in contact with any of our other guests during their visit, and check-in is completely contactless. We’re reserving time between groups so we can disinfect each room thoroughly. You might say entertainment is in my blood. Grandma ran away from home to join the circus, and she danced her way around the globe. Grandpa was a stage performer-turned-talent-agent who represented the likes of Abbott and Costello in New York City. So, it’s no wonder I was drawn to the entertainment industry while at UCLA, where I had the life-changing experience of studying themed entertainment design under legendary Disney Imagineers while obtaining my MBA. For the last 20 years, my wife and I have helped conceptualize and operate incredibly fun experiences all over the country. This new business is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream to bring our flavor of knock-your-socks-off immersive entertainment to Phoenix. We have deep roots here, and we love the people who make this city great. —Dustin Smith, founder and president of The Nemesis Club (

have food delivered. This has created new challenges, as some grocers have tried partnering with thirdparty delivery services who have been enmeshed in labor disputes and sometimes unable to make timely deliveries. Some grocers have explored hiring their own shoppers and deliverers, but these services add costs to already slim margins and create new business processes to be managed.

Distributors Distributors have had a different experience during the pandemic, undergoing a sharp decline in demand for goods as hotels, restaurants and other large-scale venues closed. Some distributors have evolved their business models to supply retail grocers, but doing so necessitates establishing new processes and changing product packaging to be suitable to individual consumers. Also, like restaurant owners, distributors have had to ride the wave of restaurants closing, then opening partially, then opening fully, then closing partially — a pattern that may continue indefinitely. Perhaps the most essential mindset for food and beverage businesses is to look to the future and aim for flexibility. —Katie Scardello, senior vice president of Global Commercial Banking for Bank of America ( [See “Considerations for the Food & Beverage Industry amidst a Global Pandemic” at for an expanded discussion.]

Maricopa County is one of the nation’s top food producers; the City of Phoenix places its industry value at $1.95 billion per year.


DEC. 2020




Local Standouts Recognized for Achievements and Philanthropy ACHIEVEMENTS

Fulton Homes’ Achievements in Indoor Air Quality Fulton Homes, Arizona’s largest family-owned and -operated homebuilder, was recently recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as the recipient of three top homebuilder awards: the 2020 Indoor airPLUS Leader of the Year – Builder; the 2020 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Award; and the 2020 WaterSense Builder Partner of the Year — the first homebuilder nationwide to achieve this trifecta.

Pedal Haus Brewery Beer Takes Gold Pedal Haus Brewery received gold standing in the Dark Lager category at this year’s San Diego International Beer Festival for its German Dark Lager. The festival is one of the largest and most competitive brewing contests held in California each year, hosting nearly 200 breweries from around the world and averaging more than 1,500 entries. The popular brewery has won

‘Contactless’ Real Estate Transactions A new technology adopted by Premier Title Agency provides an alternative to the commonly used Automated Clearing House for financial transactions. Emerging technology leader Bank Shot recently entered into a partnership with the title agency with its mobile app, for which it recently received a patent, that enables completing real estate transactions via smart phone, including earnest money deposits and more, all with a simple click of a button. “Bank Shot is faster, more secure, more convenient and safer. Also much more costefficient for our customers versus all other options,” says Jerry Calley, president of Premier Title Agency, comparing it to the agency’s previous practice of having earnest money deposits delivered to its office or picked up by a delivery service. Bank Shot is particularly good for multi-unit companies like Premier Title Agency. Explains Glenn Drake, Bank Shot CEO and founder, “Bank Shot was built and developed for title companies,

more than 33 medals and awards since opening its first location in downtown Tempe in 2015.


Homie Donates $100,000 to COVID Relief Real estate tech company Homie recently made good on its commitment to donate $100,000 to the Valley of the Sun United Way COVID-19 Response Fund through the Homie Helps initiative it launched last April. For every home bought or sold by Arizonans through Homie, $500 was contributed to this relief fund. Homie contributions went to help Arizonans stay in their homes through rent and mortgage assistance, for those struggling to make ends meet. •

WaFd Bank Arizona Donates $20,000 to Food Bank Last month, WaFd Bank Arizona donated $20,000 to Extended Hands Food Bank through its WaFd Foundation granting arm. The WaFd Foundation’s purpose is to facilitate direct giving to communitybased nonprofits serving low- and moderate-income individuals’ needs. Over the past 12 months alone, the local team has been able to give more than $160,000 in local grants through the Foundation, and a total of more than $2 million across its eight-state footprint.

DEC. 2020



larger banks and realtors due to its portal with Stop Light Technology to either deposit, hold or reject a check, and that check can also be deposited into multiple banking institutions — so it’s the flexibility that works well for larger multi-unit companies.” ACH, on the other hand, is automatically deposited and does not allow for check to be stopped or held in the event that funds need to be verified. Drake also notes that Bank Shot’s flexibility provides its users with additional market strength. “The ability to set up a company with their individual offices allowing the local office to process their own deposits or set up the company as one but have the ability on the back end to deposit the item into the appropriate account, is not available with any other product today. Bank Shot can adapt with a company as they change and grow. They are not locked into any set way for the app to work. They can change it or customize their set-up at any time as their needs and market changes.” —Mike Hunter Bank Shot

Full-Service Marketing Agencies Are Poised for Growth Marketing is one of many industries sorely impacted by the pandemic. But the president and chief executive of the American Association of Advertising Agencies, Marlo Kaplowitz, told The Drum in an interview this past summer, “The in-housing trend that was so prevalent pre-pandemic is slowly shifting the other way … It opened people’s eyes. They said, ‘Wow, we really do need that external perspective.’ This has been an excellent reminder of the value agencies bring.” Navigating consumer expectations amidst the pandemic and increased racial tensions are uncharted territories for many businesses. The severity of missteps has caused irreversible repercussions. In this environment, marketing agencies — being on the front line with multiple industries — can provide unparalleled insight and direction. In fact, we at LaneTerralever feel so strongly about this opportunity that we recently expanded our team to include an EVP of Business Development, Brad Gould.  Additionally, consumer behavior and media

consumption is changing daily. Agencies, with a direct line to consumer behavior studies, media buying options and digital consumption trends, are in a position to help businesses adapt and shift dollars quickly. Writing for marketing blog “Business 2 Community” this past September, Angela Housman, Ph.D., observed, “Firms think hiring employees saves money over an agency, which can certainly be the case for larger businesses. For most SMEs (small and mid-sized enterprises), the cost of employees (with the right skills and experience), necessary software and other essentials far exceeds the cost of hiring an agency.” On top of this, businesses are now having to factor in potential furloughs and layoff packages that come with hiring in-house employees during unpredictable times. With hiring in-house on hold for many businesses, outsourcing marketing support is enabling them to scale rapidly when an influx of work or specific project needs arise. Plus, it can be a money-saver. —Andy Parnell, president of LaneTerralever (

Although overall media owner ad revenue in the United States decreased by 7.2% during the first half of the year, digital ad sales grew by 5.7%, according to an article last September in Ad Exchanger that cited an updated forecast released by Magna.


Parental Leave Benefits Biased Against Fathers Nearly three quarters of Fortune 500 companies offer paid parental leave, but most provide more benefits to women than to their male counterparts by Marc Ransford

Parental leave policies among the of majority Fortune 500 companies are gender-biased, providing women with more parental leave than their male counterparts, and these policies likely impede gender equality in hiring and promotions, says a new study from Ball State University. The study is the first systematic examination of parental leave policies among major American corporations. “Gendered Parental Leave Policies among Fortune 500 Companies” finds that 72% of Fortune 500 companies have paid parental leave policies but fathers are often considered secondary caregivers. Half of all paid parental leave policies provide at least twice as much time to women than men.  “These policies are clearly gender biased, and some are likely legally noncompliant, and could put employers at risk of a discrimination lawsuit,” says Richard Petts, a Ball State sociology professor who co-authored the paper with Gayle Kaufman, a sociology professor at Davidson College. “Overall, we see that companies largely view fathers as secondary parents who need less time to care for their new children.”  The study also found that only 17% of companies offer equal time to mothers and fathers. One third of all companies offer at least twice as much leave to mothers than to fathers, 10% of all companies have policies that provide substantially more leave to mothers and are likely legally noncompliant with discrimination laws, and 8% of companies reinforce gender stereotypes implicitly.  Petts notes that parental leave policies do more than provide parents an opportunity to care for their children. “These regulations also create norms about good motherhood and good fatherhood,” he says. “Better leave policies have the potential to increase men’s time in domestic work and child care as well as promote gender equality at work and home.  

Parental Leave Policies Classification

Percent of Companies

“Policies clearly labeled for fathers may be most effective in encouraging men’s use of parental leave. Fathers who take longer leaves are more engaged in both caretaking and developmental activities and provide more relationship support to their partners and better co-parenting quality than those who do not take leave.” Petts — whose current research focuses on the patterns, predictors and consequences of paternity leave-taking in the U.S. and the potential benefits of paternity leave, and who has become one of the nation’s leading experts on parental leave with a focus on the role of fathers within families as well as the impact of parenthood on men’s lives — believes all employers should adopt gender equal parental leave policies.

Type of Parent Specified in Leave Policies Mothers only


Fathers only


Adoptive Parents only


Mothers and Fathers


Mothers and Adoptive Parents


Fathers and Adoptive Parents


Mothers, Fathers and Adoptive Parents


Note: The companies with policies that specified mothers, fathers and adoptive parents had different periods of leave for each. Adoptive parents are given longer leaves than fathers in all but one instance (average time off for adoptive parents in these companies is 6.21 weeks; average time off for fathers in these companies is 4.64 weeks).

Industry Sector Comparison

Gender Equal (equal periods of leave to mothers and fathers)


Parental le ave policies are most prevalent in:

Gender Modified High (equal leave of six or more weeks with an additional six to eight weeks for mothers)






Gender Unequal Low (mothers offered two or more times longer leave than fathers but the difference is eight weeks or less)




Gender Unequal High (mothers offered more than three times longer leave than fathers)


Gender-Neutral Gendering (policies that offer both primary and secondary caregiver leave)


No policy


METHODOLOGY The Fortune 500 list from 2018 is used for this study as this was the most recent list available when data collection began. The researchers were able to obtain information on policies from, or communicate with, 389 of the Fortune 500 companies (78%); 111 companies did not respond to phone calls and emails. However, 36 of the companies refused to provide any information about their parental leave policies. Thus, the final sample focuses on parental leave policies at 353 of the 2018 Fortune 500 companies (71%).


Parental leave policies are least prevalent in: Materials







Only 17% of Fortune 500 companies offer equal time to mothers and fathers.

Founded in 1918 and located in Muncie, Ball State University is one of Indiana’s premier universities and an economic driver for the state.


DEC. 2020



Best Perks and Incentives for Employee Morale What benefits does a company gain from its employee perks? by Mike Hunter

Employee perks and benefits can be some of the most compelling aspects of the hiring process. Great perks and incentives packages can help attract top-notch talent, maintain employee morale and improve overall engagement and satisfaction with the company. They can also boost a company’s image, as exemplified by notable tech companies that have become highly desirable places to work due to their perks packages. The COVID-19 pandemic has made the value of perks and benefits more important than ever, especially since some employees are now feeling more burnout and lower morale. The ability to work remotely, previously a desirable but relatively uncommon employee perk, is now a requirement for many workers. But what other types of perks have employers offered to workers to boost morale? Staples surveyed 1,549 Americans on their preferences for perks and incentives in the workplace. The survey “Which Perks and Incentives Are Best for Employee Morale” ran on July 17, 2020. Respondents weighed in on the effectiveness of various types of employee perks on their motivation, their preferences for more perks against a higher salary, and more.

Employee benefits and perks are not interchangeable terms. Typically, an employee benefit is considered to be a non-wage supplement to salaries, such as health insurance, stock options or 401(k) matches, and it tends to cover more basic needs. An employee perk tends to be offered by the employer to make the job more attractive or the working environment better, such as a company car, office snacks or flexible hours.

DEC. 2020



Attractive employee perks may not help retain employees when compensation isn’t factored into the equation. In fact, employees are split basically down the middle on which matters more when it comes to employee morale. When asked which is the better way to improve employee morale, 50.2% of employees prefer more perks, compared to 49.8% who prefer a higher salary. With such close percentages, what does this mean for employers? What’s best for employee morale may be subjective, but the majority of employees (62.3%) indicate that they would accept a lower salary in exchange for better workplace perks. However, this preference depends on the demographic of the respondents. Single people and people who don’t have children are the least likely to accept a lower salary in exchange for better workplace perks, whereas married people and people with children are more likely to. It’s clear that employees prefer a wider range of perks than a higher salary. But are either of these methods the best way to improve employee morale?



Adding more workplace perks is another popular way to improve employee morale (22.3%), and so is performance-based raises (21.5%). All other methods of boosting morale capture less than 10% of the vote, including recognition from supervisors, teambuilding initiatives, requesting employee feedback and giving spontaneous holidays.


Improving employee engagement and increasing morale isn’t simply about adding more perks or increasing salary. There are many ways an employer can engage and incentivize their employees, including performance-based raises, recognition from supervisors, team-building initiatives and more. Staples

The Most Motivating Types of EmployerSponsored Perks

Perks and Incentives Most Likely to Convince Exiting Employees to Stay

Perks and Incentives that Employees Deem ‘Nice to Have” but Not Essential

Workplace flexibility perks

Regular remote work


Employee discounts


Among single people: 47.4%


Employee discounts


Free coffee and snacks


Among women: 43.1%

Flexible hours


Streaming subscriptions


Among men: 33.8%

Paid insurance premiums


Gym membership reimbursement


Among married people: 32.3%

Streaming subscriptions


Onsite fitness classes


Finance assistance with professional certifications


Company car, laptop or phone


Continuing education perks


Lifestyle and entertainment perks


Health and fitness perks


Family-focused and childcare perks


Source: Staples survey “Which Perks and Incentives Are Best for Employee Morale?” (

Perks and Incentives that Employees Consider ‘Must Haves’ Flexible hours Paid Insurance premiums Paid family leave

40.2% 33.6% 29.2%

Regular remote work


Finance assistance with professional certifications


Perks are critical in attracting talent: More than 62% of employees would accept a lower salary in exchange for better workplace perks.

Perks and Incentives that Motivate Employees the Least Free e-readers and e-books


Time off to volunteer


Onsite daycare


Daycare reimbursement


Onsite fitness classes


Student loan paydowns




App Aids Optometry Offices Founded last year, Opti-Xpres provides a turnkey application and platform solution to optometrists and patients that links patient medical records with already existing office EHRs. The application allows doctors to customize an app for their office where patients can virtually schedule appointments, fill out paperwork, receive appointment reminders, integrate payment processes and more without having a face-to-face interaction. Larry Holle, O.D., built the system for his Total EyeCare Centers clinic. Then the COVID-19 pandemic gave additional attraction to the initial concept of streamlining processes in the optometry world. After Dr. Holle integrated the platform in his own office, he and his Opti-Xpres co-founder, Cornelius Miller, were able to fine-tune and enhance their concept. “We boost profitability for individual optometrists as well as improving the quality of care,” says CEO Miller, noting the platform includes a contactless virtual frame try-on feature that uses a 360-degree scan of the frames to accurately place them on a 128-point face scan, so patients can see exactly what glasses would look like on their face. “The try-on feature currently provides the highest accuracy on the market. It is easily accessible in the app and has allowed optometrists to reduce their on-hand frame inventory,” Miller says. Doctors or their office managers can simply drag and drop message schedules with an easy-to-use feature that allows them to schedule emails or text messages, or push notifications. Says Miller, “They can be sent out to specific patients on a preferred schedule. On-boarding contactless

‘paperwork’ can easily be filled out before visiting the doctor’s office. Opti-Xpress can integrate with any payment gateway and can conform to any already established payment process.” Opti-Xpres has seen a 70% increase in patients onboarding via its platform since March and is looking to rapidly expand into practices across the United States. The platform stores all sensitive information on a private secured dedicated server that is monitored 24/7. All web access is performed on a secure connection using the latest SSL encryption to ensure that all data remains private. It is HIPAA compliant and affiliated with all major credit card companies including Apple, Google and AliPay. Opti-Xpres

Photos courtesy of Opti-Xpres (top), Tru Filtered Air (bottom)

Better Air, with a Delivery Schedule Tru Filtered Air is a breathing company that sells air filters. “We produce custom, high-quality air filters, in any size, at one great price, delivered right to your front door precisely when it’s time to replace the old ones,” says David Zimmerman, who co-founded the company with Chris McConnell. One of Tru’s biggest differentiators is its unique subscription-based model that allows customers to pre-order their air filters online and have them automatically delivered when it is time for them to be replaced. The worst culprit in poor air filtration is not changing air filters frequently enough, and Tru solves that issue with its shipments serving as a seamless reminder that it is time to swap out the old air filters. In addition to convenience for the customer, the subscription model also provides the company with a recurring revenue stream. “I own a creative agency that builds various brands, and the models I saw with the most ‘financial’ success were definitely the residual ones,” Zimmerman says, then adds, “But I also believe in having a product that inspires, that’s a catalyst for change — so when Chris and I got to talking on a plane ride to L.A. and he pitched me on the idea, I loved it.” They started development in late 2017 and spent 2018 building the brand, creating the website and online shopping cart, designing packaging, figuring out inventory and logistics,


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and stocking the warehouse. In 2019, they did a soft launch for friends and family, and launched to the public this past fall. TRU offers all high quality MERV 13 rated air filters, which are the same efficiency rating trusted by hospitals to catch the smallest particles of virus, bacteria, dust, allergens and other toxins. “Breathing the cleanest air possible has never been more important than it is now. Arizona has always had a need for more advanced air filtration because of the excessive dust here and monsoon season, and COVID has significantly compounded that,” says Zimmerman.

MAKE EVERY BREATH COUNT Tru Filtered Air co-founder David Zimmerman says he and Chris McConnell were inspired by the words of Maya Angelou, “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” Says Zimmerman, “When you improve the quality of the air you breathe, you improve your life. [We believe] that you can turn to the rhythm of breathing to guide you through difficult times, that we’re more than just a company selling filters — we’re a company that wants the world to make every breath count.”

Tru Filtered Air

FINDING THE PERFECT FRAME The Opti-Xpres virtual try-on feature includes a 360-degree scan of the frames to accurately place them on a 128-point face scan that allows patients to see exactly what glasses would look like on their face.


DEC. 2020




Nutritional Packaged Meals … and Now Upcycled Healthy Food for Pets

Every Fuel to Fit order is delivered by team members, not third-party organizations. Fuel to Fit further sets itself apart by providing customers with delivery options twice a week, versus one, and a convenient storefront for walk-in customers.

Franchesca Gonzales left the banking industry four years ago to start Fuel To Fit, a health-driven meal prep company that is now one of the longest-standing and fastest-growing meal prep companies in the Valley. Each meal is prepared using high-quality ingredients with macros and nutritional content in mind, and guests can customize their orders to be dairy-free; beef-, fish- or shellfish-free; low carb; and more. About a year ago, Gonzales opened a comprehensive retail marketplace that offers healthy grocery staples and unique, hard-to-find artisan foods, which customers can add to their delivery order. “The inspiration for Fuel To Fit came from the crossroads I came upon while my banking career was coming to an end,” explains Gonzales. “I wanted to start a company that encompassed my desire to live a life dedicated to health — not only my own but others as well. So, I started doing research and creating recipes. The rest is history.” She financed the business initially with very little savings and used all profits to help it grow, marketing solely by word of mouth for the first two years. “I would make meals and flyers, then go to multi-story buildings around the Valley that I felt would be good clients. I would start at the bottom of the building and work my way up, handing out meals and flyers and telling my new business venture to anyone who would listen,”

she relates. “I still have some of these initial clients ordering from us to this day.” Fuel To Fit’s success spawned a newly launched endeavor: Tasty Pet. “I hated seeing hundreds of pounds of fresh meats and veggies being thrown in the trash every week. So again, I started doing my research and in just a couple months we were able to launch a human-grade, healthy pet food line.” Each Tasty Pet meal is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by AAFCO Dog Food nutrient profiles for all life stages. And Gonzales created a pet feeding calculator that customers can use to enter their pet’s weight and life stage to determine exactly how much they need to be purchasing and feeding. Fuel To Fit

Pizza Oven on a Roll


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DEC. 2020


Founded by Arin Finger earlier this year, in the very thick of COVID-19 closures, Dough Riders is a mobile wood-fired pizza company that “comes to you” to “deliver” fresh fired pizza, salads and desserts on demand. Using an 800-degree oven, Dough Riders provides a visual presentation with each order. Pizzas are served fresh in less than two minutes, and guests can enjoy watching their scratch-made pizza go from start to finish right before their eyes. Finger is a franchise owner of youth sports organization i9 Sports who has successfully run his league for more than seven years and had been expecting his biggest spring season yet when COVID-19 hit the nation hard in March, abruptly shutting down business and entire industries. “Dough Riders,” says Finger, “is a solution to a need that developed out of COVID-19 — providing families with wholesome food without leaving home — and we’re proud that we can do something during these times that reconnects neighborhoods and communities.” And he’s franchising his concept. While it was happenstance that led Finger to switch from sports gloves to oven mitts, the transition happened naturally, and he knew immediately this concept was the recipe for success during his unexpected downtime from i9 Sports. He approached Codey Stetler, his lead soccer instructor with i9 Sports who also happened to have culinary experience making

Arin Finger (right) with Dough Riders chef Cody Stetler

fresh dough from his own Italian family’s pizzeria background. Drawing on their mutual New York heritage, they built a menu featuring creative New York-style pizzas. Then, financing the endeavor with his own savings, Finger officially fired up Dough Riders Wood Fired Pizza Co., a mobile company specializing in made-to-order, fresh-out-of-the-oven pies for private, corporate and community events, outdoor concerts, farmers markets and any special occasion. Dough Riders’ first customers were the Sky Crossing neighborhood, but social media is how Finger originally launched along with word of mouth through his neighborhood (having a network of youth and families to appeal to didn’t hurt, either). Dough Riders

A special pet diet software enables Tasty Pet to analyze what is missing or needs to be modified in its individualized pet food line to meet the dietary and nutritional requirements for a pet of any size, breed or age.




Photo courtesy of Landsea Homes (far right)

Q3 Phoenix Industrial Dominated by Warehouse and Distribution Space The onset of COVID-19 is driving industrial demand in Phoenix, with warehouse and distribution space emerging as leaders in an industrial market that is rapidly growing in both popularity and sophistication, according to the new JLL Q3 Phoenix Industrial Insight Report. Phoenix recorded just over 1.6 million square feet of absorption during the third quarter — up 60 percent from the same time last year, the report says. On the construction front, projects catering to e-commerce, medical supplies and food and beverage dominate the local pipeline, representing nearly 7.2 million square feet of the approximate 8.2 million square feet of new Valley industrial product that is under construction now. “It’s always important, especially during periods of rapid expansion, to keep our eye on the occupier and demand drivers,” said JLL Managing Director Pat Harlan. “Currently, our strong fundamentals are the result of Phoenix’s steady population growth and a systemic shift in consumer behavior that is creating the need for more industrial space. Developers, in turn, are delivering highly functional speculative product to satisfy demand and keep our market in equilibrium.”

Year-to-date, metro Phoenix has delivered just over 8.5 million square feet of new industrial construction, nearly double that of the first three quarters of 2019. Of that space, warehouse and distribution users have absorbed nearly 6.2 million square feet, with 81 percent of activity occurring in the West Valley. However, both the West and East Valleys continue to thrive, with overall metro Phoenix industrial asking rents remaining stable at $0.58 per-square-foot quarter-over-quarter. The Southeast Valley enjoyed a $0.02 per-squarefoot rental rate jump during the third quarter, with Chandler leading the charge at an average asking rent of $0.79 per-square-foot. Demand is steadily driving down Phoenix’s industrial vacancy rate, now at an average 7.7%. JLL expects industrial to remain highly active and competitive for the remainder of 2020 and into 2021, particularly as ecommerce continues to grow in popularity and an expanding Phoenix population requires more food and beverage and medical support. —JLL

by Mike Hunter

Landsea Homes Innovates Virtual Home Design Landsea Homes — a homebuilder whose projects in Arizona include Alamar in Avondale, Harvest in Queen Creek and Verrado in Buckeye — has launched a new High Performance Homes interactive experience. The new program allows homebuyers to visualize and virtually experience every element and feature of the HPH program, from home automation to sustainability and energy savings. Supported by a partnership with leading technology company, Apple®, the homes utilize the Apple HomeKit™ environment to operate all home automation features from one mobile application. The smart home automation features, installed and compatible with Apple HomeKit™, include an Apple TV® media manager device, MeshNet wireless internet throughout the home, entry door locks, thermostat control, garage door opener control, light dimmer switches, doorbell camera pre-wire and high-touch customer service with an individualized white glove training session. Landsea Homes includes various features that contribute to healthy living, including appliances that reduce energy waste and tankless water heaters that generate hot water in a faster timeframe. The use of environmentally-conscious building materials and the implementation of waste-reduction programs help preserve and protect the beauty of the natural world and lessen the impact on the planet.


Projects catering to e-commerce, medical supplies and food and beverage dominate the local pipeline, representing nearly 7.2 million square feet of the approximate 8.2 million square feet of new Valley industrial product that is under construction now.


DEC. 2020




Golf Villa Resort Adjacent to The Phoenician Replay Destinations plans to develop Ascent at The Phoenician®, a private residential community that will sit at the foot of Camelback Mountain, overlooking the Phoenician® Golf Club. Replay has acquired the development parcels from affiliates of Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc., owner of The Phoenician®, a Luxury Collection Resort, which is consistently recognized as one of the world’s finest luxury resort destinations. Ascent at The Phoenician® will consist of approximately 195 properties, including condominiums at the base of Camelback Mountain and Ascent Golf Villas along the first fairway of the Phoenician Golf Club. A planned private pool and fitness amenity tucked up against Camelback Mountain will be an intimate gathering place for wellness, socializing and relaxation. With views overlooking the new Phoenician Golf Club and Camelback Mountain along with the city lights of Scottsdale, home designs will feature contemporary architecture integrating warm, natural materials, expansive windows and large outdoor living areas. Residents will also have a limited opportunity to join a Phoenician Amenity Access Program that provides Ascent real estate owners with access to resort amenities. Replay’s development team for Ascent at The Phoenician is based in Phoenix, and includes Nelsen Partners, an architecture & planning firm founded in 1990; Vallone

Design, a leading, full-service interior design firm specializing in exquisite residential and commercial projects; Floor Associates, a landscape architecture and planning firm; and bulthaup Scottsdale, a globally-recognized company producing premium kitchens custom-made in Germany. Nathan And Associates Inc. was hired by Host to represent them in the marketing of the development parcels and were also responsible for marketing 51 finished lots on behalf of Replay. Joe Bushong and Leslie Jenkins of Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty are the listing agents for Ascent at The Phoenician. Ascent at The Phoenician


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DEC. 2020



Faciliteq, a leading workplace solution provider in the Southwest, opened its newest adaptive reuse project last month. Developed with sister company BWIQ (Build With IQ), the Five55 Melrose building (555 W. Turney Ave., Phoenix) transforms a former neighborhood fitness center into a modern co-working environment designed with the postCOVID world in mind. Five55 Melrose was built in 1977 as a fitness center and racquetball club that served midtown Phoenix for 30 years. Faciliteq founder Quentin Abramo and BWIQ president John Shinners knew that respecting the history of the building was important for both the community and for bringing the space into in the future. Original features of the club still remain, from the courts that have become office and lounge areas to the center walkway that is now a gathering point for presentations and networking. Even before the novel coronavirus changed daily office life, Faciliteq has led the way in flexible workspace design that promotes safe environments. Features of Five55 Melrose showcase many of the solutions shared business spaces are now adapting to. Underfloor air distribution, instead of

The first release of luxury homes within the Ascent at The Phoenician community is a limited collection of 30 golf villa homes priced from $1,785,000.

overhead venting, delivers cleaner air and better indoor air quality with up to 60% reduction in exposures to occupantgenerated pollutants. Sixteen private office suites allow for personal privacy for each team while still maintaining an energetic, community atmosphere. And moveable walls with modular power and data allows workers to easily adapt as workspace needs or technology changes. Five55 Melrose was completed with partnership with architects William Erwin of Erwin Architecture and Don Andrews of Andrews Design Group as well as Sharp Construction. Interiors were completed by Faciliteq in partnership with Jennifer Goguen of Goguen Designs. Faciliteq

Photo courtesy of Ascent at The Phoenician (top) , Faciliteq (bottom)

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Sarah Jennings: Earning Her Family Legacy

EVOLVING TO LEADERSHIP • Sarah Jennings grew up wanting to be an actress, until her high school teacher encouraged her toward broadcast journalism because of her excellent writing and communication skills. Jennings used these skills to efficiently communicate with her employees throughout the transition to her taking over QuickPass, which helped everyone understand expectations as well as the reasoning behind changes that had to be made. • Having grown up an only child, Jennings was able to spend school breaks working for the family business, teaching her early the values of hard work, respect and integrity that would be crucial in running a successful company. • When Jennings took over from her father the leadership of QuickPass, one of the first steps she took to gain the respect of her employees was to call her father by his first name as opposed to “Dad,” to prove competency and move away from boss’s daughter to leader.

DEC. 2020



From commercial real estate to security tech COO by Rachel Eroh Sarah Jennings started her career in commercial real estate in 2007 specializing in retail leasing. Due to unfortunate timing and the ‘08 recession, Jennings spent one year of trial and error in the industry before she decided it was time to join the family business, a local security firm called Safeguard. She had always been intrigued by their product, QuickPass, which is designed for their manned gated communities, because it was different and innovative compared to security alarms. After a stint in the sales world, she was presented an opportunity to join that team as an account manager. When Jennings’ father informed her of his intent to sell Safeguard in 2014 but to keep QuickPass so she could run it for her own legacy, the offer seemed attractive and daunting. At 31, she figured how hard could running a company be? She often jokes that if she knew then what she knows now, the answer may have been different. QuickPass was designed as an efficient way for residents to get their guests through an entry gate. It is evolved from not only a visitor management software but also into transponder access for residents, a patrol application, license plate recognition on entry, as well as resident access and exit. However, QuickPass has never gotten away from the core of the visitor application, as expanding its functionality has been a huge part of Jennings’ focus while in the leadership role. The biggest challenges after taking over the business were not only establishing herself as the leader and not just her father’s daughter, but also putting a solid, loyal team in place. Jennings also had to build strong, respected relationships among partners within the industry. Working with HOAs in a typically male-dominated industry, Jennings had to work twice as hard to show that she was a valuable decision-maker and leader within her field. This really came with time and increased tribal knowledge — and gaining the ability to confidently speak about the subject matter. Building respect among her employees was just one aspect of the transition, which she accomplished by spending time

in the field, working in the gatehouse training officers, doing data entry, and offering constant support to her staff. Finding a loyal team was the next big step. Legacy teams are great for a period of transition, but rarely survive as there tends to be resentment toward the idea of “what could have been.” Today, there is one original employee left and she was part of the original three to join QuickPass. Most of the current staff that Jennings has hired have been with the company for five or more years. When building the leadership team, Jennings surrounded herself with other strong leaders who held opposing leadership styles. In regard to her two right-hand women, one leads with compassion while the other takes a matter-of-fact approach, with Jennings landing in the middle of the spectrum. Although it may sound counterintuitive to do this, Jennings and her team have been able to effectively balance each other out and efficiently create solutions together that propel QuickPass forward as a leader within the industry. When Jennings took over in 2014, it took her a while to realize there is a big difference between running a company and leading a company. Leaders are always thinking of what’s next and how to get there. As QuickPass is in the technology sector, innovation is always at the forefront of everything it does. In 2018, Jennings made the decision to outsource development, which was huge for both growth and productivity. Having more of an acumen for business than development, she felt it was important she let experts take the product to the next level while making sure internally the company could support it. This has allowed her to focus on expanding into gate services to make QuickPass an all-encompassing access control company rather than just software. Although Jennings never expected to be on the path that she is currently on today, her journey through the industry and becoming the COO of QuickPass has taught her the value of earning one’s place at the table through creating a solid team, establishing mutual respect and becoming a valuable decisionmaker among clients.

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Vaccine-Delivery Innovation for the Needle-Phobic

Purification Innovates Use of UVC Lights for Safety Sanitation has taken on a new meaning during the COVID-19 pandemic, with new companies forming to help address how to destroy harmful, virus-spreading pathogens to help keep community members safe and healthy. One of these is Purification, LLC — an innovative, Tempe-based company that’s harnessing the power of CDC-approved UVC lights to destroy harmful bacteria and viruses through environmental sterilization and HVAC air sterilization. The oneof-a-kind technology can be used on any surface to sanitize homes, schools or businesses in a way that’s fast, environmentally friendly, cost-effective and free of human error. Founder Nicholas Knudsen was working in the hospitality industry when the pandemic began, and when the restaurant he was operating closed, he utilized his engineering background to find a way to help the community in its battle against COVID-19. He began testing UVC lights and evaluating different ways to use them to destroy pathogens on the surface as well as in the air. UVC lights are the most effective lights for eliminating viruses and bacteria, as the light’s energy breaks down the bonds that hold together the DNA and RNA of viruses and bacteria so they are no longer able to spread. However, when effective, the lights are strong and carry risk of damaging the eyes and skin. The lights are also heat free, which makes identifying damaging levels difficult to identify. Through vigorous testing, Knudsen was able to create lights with the right amount of disinfecting power to be able to sanitize large spaces without causing permanent damage. Federal grants and tax write-offs have already been made available for the technology, which has received backing from the CDC for its safety and effectiveness in producing disinfected air, sanitizing exposed surfaces and significantly reducing the transmission of infections within a space.

It wasn’t long after my coughing and fever started that a nasal swab test from a Phoenix pharmacy confirmed what I’d suspected: Like 7.8 million other Americans (as of this writing), I’d become infected with COVID-19. Soon, my fever shot up to 101 degrees Fahrenheit, I lost my sense of taste, and I began experiencing night sweats and vivid, lucid, technicolor dreams. While my physician assured me all of this was “normal” for someone experiencing the novel coronavirus infection, the irony was not lost on me: As a healthcare executive and entrepreneur leading a company that is developing needle-free injection technology to deliver a COVID-19 vaccine to the often overlooked population of needle-phobic people, I’d fallen prey to the disease my company is hoping to fight. Now that my symptoms have begun to subside, I’ve taken the opportunity to reflect on my illness and how it’s affected my perspective going forward. As a result of my experience with COVID-19, I’m more convinced than ever that we must pursue every means available to ensure that a vaccine is as widely distributed and used as possible, sparing other Americans the pain and suffering I’ve endured. A big part of this national effort will be a widespread education campaign to promote the importance of vaccine compliance. A smaller but important part is ensuring that children and adults who are afraid of needles have an option that makes it easy for them to do their part to contribute to vaccine compliance, and that’s where needlefree drug injection technology enters the picture.


While many of us may fear needles as children, most typically get over this apprehension to develop some level of comfort with needle-based injections. Nonetheless, needle phobia is a much bigger issue than most people realize. Needle phobia is a “prevalent yet underrecognized and under-prioritized” issue in healthcare, according the journal Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. Citing a number of previous studies, researchers estimated that fear of needles affects between 33% and 63% of children and 14% to 38% of adults, contributing to “negative experiences” with needle procedures and healthcare for patients, caregivers and medical providers.

Needle phobia generally begins in childhood and in many cases contributes to negative health issues across the lifespans of those who experience it. Although some children and adults who suffer from needle phobia find ways to cope with their fear to successfully undergo needle procedures, many others face challenges in overcoming that anxiety, leading them to respond in ways that interfere with medical providers’ ability to properly perform these procedures, such as flailing of limbs and attempting to escape.


For the needle phobic, needle-free injection technology represents an alternative to traditional needles and syringes that holds the potential to improve vaccine adherence. Here’s how it works: A cartridge containing liquid medication is loaded into a metal, cylindrical-shaped delivery device. The device’s tip is then placed on a patient’s skin, creating an airtight seal. To use the device, a medical professional simply clicks a button on one end, and the liquid medication is dispersed through the patient’s pores, without a sharp object piercing the skin. Once the device is approved by regulators (it currently is pending FDA approval), we believe needle-phobic individuals will welcome a new option to help them obtain vaccinations with reduced stress and anxiety. As my own experience with coronavirus recedes further into the rearview mirror, I cannot stress enough the importance of following key guidelines around social distancing and mask-wearing to help minimize the virus’ impact on all of us. By helping boost adherence rates for needle-phobic patients, needle-free technology represents a similar option for reducing COVID-19’s spread. We’re proud to be a small Phoenix company trying to do our part. —Scott E. McFarland, J.D., an actively practicing intellectual property attorney since 1997 who has held top-level positions at multiple leading healthcare organizations, serves as CEO of IntegriMedical LLC (

—Jamie Killin

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Needle phobia is a “prevalent yet under-recognized and under-prioritized” issue in healthcare, according the journal Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. Citing a number of previous studies, researchers estimated that fear of needles affects between 33% and 63% of children and 14% to 38% of adults, contributing to “negative experiences” with needle procedures and healthcare for patients, caregivers and medical providers.

Photos courtesy of Purification, LLC (left), IntegriMedical LLC (right)


Let’s talk.


Accidental Screen Snooping Led to a Breakthrough Technology Identity theft is a very costly issue for businesses. Lower employee productivity and engagement are costly; and then there are the costs associated with what was stolen, be it IP, money or anything else. I was at a cybersecurity conference in Israel in 2017 and was sitting next to one of the cybersecurity experts. As we were talking, I realized I could see confidential documents on his laptop. I asked myself, “Why is it that I can see confidential documents on this guy’s laptop? It’s none of my business.” Here he was, a cybersecurity expert, and I was able to see his confidential information. When I got back from Israel, I couldn’t stop thinking about this issue, and when I looked into it further, I was shocked to learn there was no technology solution out there to ensure screen privacy. I was then introduced to a biometrics firm in Israel, and I gave them a project — what would it take to use biometrics to shut down a screen when an unauthorized person looked at it? Could it be done? After three months of research, they came up with a solution that became the genesis of Smart Eye Technology. Smart Eye Technology is a biometric-based identity authentication and secure file sharing platform. It keeps private documents private, protecting them from unauthorized viewing and restricting access to shared files. Multi-factor biometric authentication — which include fingerprint, facial and voice recognition — authorizes file access; whereas our continuous facial recognition keeps a document open, blocks screens from unauthorized viewing and provides a biometric-authenticated e-signature — the first of its kind. Smart Eye keeps files under the user’s control. Users can also set file access time limits; prevent downloading and further sharing; monitor file activity in real-time; and redact access any time, even after a file has been opened. —Dexter Caffey, founder and chief disruptor of Smart Eye Technology (, the world’s only all-in-

Wouldn’t it be nice to get the advice of a professional ad agency — without the cost of hiring one? In the age of algorithms, one has finally been created to jump-start a business’s doit-yourself marketing — and to get it right. The ADMANITY® Protocol is the algorithmic brainchild of entrepreneurs Brian Gregory, a former magazine publisher and advertising executive, and Roy Regalado, a former ad agency principal and small business consultant. From a quiz that takes about five minutes, ADMANITY’s proprietary algorithm can analyze the emotional characteristics of a business’s brand, instantly provide a briefing, then provide a 150-page brand analysis any ad agency would charge thousands for. Advertising — that irrational beast — has just been simplified. “We want to give small businesses the same advantage larger brands have without having to hire a professional ad agency,” says Gregory, ADMANITY’s CEO. And what makes all this possible? Identifying the emotions specific to a brand that will appeal to a prospective customer. The ADMANITY Protocol analyzes any brand based on the emotions a customer needs to feel to be persuaded to make a purchase. While buying decisions are influenced by the emotions identified by ADMANITY, most businesses mistakenly advertise based on non-emotional factors. ADMANITY created the first algorithm that isolates how businesses can use primal emotions to construct or support all brand communications. The 15 archetypes of ADMANITY are based on primal human emotions that cause an instinctive reaction once triggered — the 15 emotions that have sold every brand to the world. A brand can “trigger” these emotions using specific formulas provided by ADMANITY’s Brand Attraction Report. “Our goal is to focus the audience on the brand — not necessarily the business,” states Gregory. “For example, GEICO sells car insurance, but nobody really wants to buy car insurance. GEICO commercials make us laugh (the emotion of affinity) and connects the brand to that feeling. Thus, we buy the brand — not the insurance.” Clients of ADMANITY receive access to tactics, strategies, ad formulas, copywriting and agencylevel advice, a valuable roadmap for the hands-on entrepreneur or marketer. Once a client sees the answers in plain English, the ADMANITY Protocol

becomes a knowledge center for the Brand. “The test and Brand Brief provide exceptional insight,” states Gregory. “But the individual Brand Attraction Report is significant in that it’s like an owner’s manual for your brand. Every business should have one.” Technically speaking, the test is based on conditional logic, meaning the questions are based upon previous answers. With more than 1,600 data points considered within the algorithm, this creates the possibility of thousands of outcomes for the initial analysis found in the Brand Brief. The primary emotional archetype of each brand is identified in the Brief, leading to a specific Brand Attraction Report for that brand. A one-time fee provides the user immediate access to the test and, upon completion, presents the user’s Brand Brief. The user is then granted access to his Personal Portal, where he will find the business’s Brand Attraction Report. The report resides online in order for the business to provide updates and fresh content, specific to each archetype. Additionally, a virtual library of resources and future content created by ADMANITY is also accessible in the Personal Portal. “With the Brand Attraction Report and the multiple resources within each personal portal, users will have a virtual blueprint to develop their own advertising, social media and copywriting output,” states Gregory. “For the small business owner, it’s like having your own online ad agency at your fingertips.” —Roy Regalado, president of ADMANITY (, which developed the first online system to identify and describe the best emotional advertising methods for any business, combining innovation with the understanding of human emotion.

one screen privacy and secure file sharing platform

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A study this year from Aura Identity Guard and the Identity Theft Research Center, which looks to better understand the impact of identity theft on companies, found that identity theft can cost companies between $1.59m and $7.93m per year, largely a result of lower productivity and reduced engagement in work by impacted employees.

Photo courtesy of Smart Eye Technology (left)

Phoenix Startup Uses a Complex Algorithm to Simplify Advertising


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2021! Where do we go from here? by RaeAnne Marsh

With the new year just on the horizon and the economy still on quicksand waiting for the political dust to settle, businesses are preparing their budgets and plans for 2021. Although we are, in many ways, still in unprecedented times, experience remains the “crystal ball” that savvy business leaders rely on to adapt their strategies and guide their businesses. In Business Magazine reached out to women and men at the head of some of the Valley’s leading businesses in key economic sectors for their insights on what they see happening in their industry. And they share a look into how their own businesses are responding to the current challenges. Leadership, at its core, involves facing into challenges and leading out of them successfully. Taking leadership — be it of an organization or an even — requires an ability to create options and instill faith in others that the chosen actions will produce the bet result. The successes of the businesses leaders on these following pages helps provide a blueprint as we prepare for 2021.

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Banking & Finance

Banking Industry Positioned to Help Businesses Evolve to ‘New Normal’ "The [banking] industry’s goal is to help by Don Garner

In the year 2020, the banking industry has had to be more nimble, forward-looking and customer-serviceoriented than ever before. At Alliance Bank of Arizona, the cornerstone of our business has always been rooted in developing solid relationships with our customers. We make every effort to be in tune with their business needs and goals. When the uncertainty of COVID and its impact on our economy began to unfold this spring, we were fortunate in that we were standing ready to support our clients as they mobilized their responses from workforce safety through to ensuring accessibility to goods and services. In turn, we pivoted to video meetings and a host of 24/7 online tools that provided clients with increased access to banking services. In fact, a recent survey from PricewaterhouseCoopers revealed that many business leaders are encouraged by the support they have received from their banks; 82% favorably viewed their bank’s actions to alleviate the impact of coronavirus. We see the financial industry being critically important moving forward as businesses begin to navigate the months ahead. While there may be light at the end of the tunnel, the face of business has changed globally. The industry’s goal is to help clients emerge stronger as they evolve their businesses from technology and workforces to product and service development. The ability to be flexible, responsive and creatively find solutions that fit within customers’ evolving “normal” will be increasingly important as they stabilize their businesses and chart a path for the future. Alliance Bank’s strength rests in our people and their ability to make lasting and meaningful connections with our clients. This has single-handedly created the best opportunities to serve our clients while they have had to pivot and strategically evaluate their next steps. COVID-19 has created numerous complex and multi-layered challenges for every single sector of our economy. Being in the banking industry, the bright spot of the past year has been Alliance Bank’s ability to continue working closely with our valued clients, creating collaborative plans that go beyond mere corporate survival and focus on ways we can help our clients thrive. Perhaps the most telling insight has been the feedback


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clients emerge stronger as they evolve their businesses from technology and workforces to product and service development." we have received from our clients over the past several months who have expressed their appreciation for the strategic insights our bankers have provided and addedvalue opportunities. Having their banker checking in and letting them know they have a solid team at Alliance Bank behind them — one that’s backed by the national strength of Western Alliance Bank — has gone a long way to further cement our relationships. Whether we are helping them identify new opportunities, providing strategic counsel or opening gateways to new financial options, COVID-19 has shown us that together, we are capable of overcoming any challenge against which we come up. We believe 2021 will be a transitional year. While there are promising expectations around COVID vaccine approvals, in the short term we expect there will be similar demand for the same services and tools we offered to our clients throughout 2020. Overall, customers across the banking spectrum will continue to demand online and mobile banking solutions. Being a business bank, we see similar trends and are anticipating that the demand for 24/7 tools and more flexible points of access will continue into the future, well after the pandemic is officially over. That said, the same PricewaterhouseCoopers survey indicated that business leaders want more than just a lender relationship from their bank. This is where we believe Alliance Bank thrives. Being a business bank that offers a human touch and deep desire to understand our clients’ businesses, goals and pain points, we are able to respond more effectively and efficiently when unforeseen challenges arise. This, combined with advances in financial technology that are building increasingly efficient financial platforms and more tailored banking solutions, will create the next-generation banking experience for many business clients.

Don Garner is CEO of Phoenix-based Alliance Bank of Arizona, a division of Western Alliance Bank, member FDIC. A founding member of Alliance Bank’s original management team, he steers the strategic direction and administration of programs and products offered by Alliance Bank, while also managing its performance and operations. alliance-bank-of-arizona-home


CRE & Development

Phoenix CRE Positioned to Come Back Strong by Mike Ebert

Mike Ebert is the managing partner of Phoenix-based RED Development. As a founding partner, Ebert has shaped the company’s successful development arm in projects across the country since 1995. His keen insights and knowledge about the qualities that come together to create a compelling property are an essential part of RED’s continued evolution as a preferred partner for national retailers, real estate investors and property owners.

At the start of this year, the commercial real estate market was in a really strong position. Although we initially experienced a small decrease in retail and office-space leases in the first quarter, we have since returned to pre-pandemic occupancy as we continue to attract a range of new locally and nationally recognized tenants to our Arizona-based properties. I think the biggest opportunity the pandemic presented for developers was a pause in an overheated construction market. This allowed for stability of pricing and better service by architects, engineers and construction companies. In addition, the lower interest rates have given us the chance to acquire new properties at fair prices, which paints a bright path for future development. Although the pandemic greatly impacted Downtown Phoenix these last few months, we’ve never been as confident in the market as we are right now. Arizona continues to be one of the top commercial real estate

markets in the country, and, as a business community, we need to celebrate this success and be careful not to jump to conclusions about the long-term effects COVID-19 with have on the economy. Instead, we need to continue to navigate the ongoing implications and realign our strategies to better serve our communities and our developments as a whole. These last few months, we’ve seen a resurgence of higher-end and esteemed brands such as Fox Restaurant Concepts, LGO Hospitality and WeWork making investments, opening new locations and attracting all new clientele at Block 23 and CityScape. Our vision for these developments has always been to create a thriving destination where people can live, work, play and connect within the heart of Downtown Phoenix, and the pandemic has not changed that. With these new tenants paired with the major renovations happening at Talking Stick Resort Arena, we’re very optimistic about the Downtown Phoenix market going into 2021.

Economic Development

Arizona Is Building on Its Growth Momentum by Sandra Watson

Throughout the pandemic, the Arizona Commerce Authority has substantially increased our services and programs for small businesses, which make up 99% of all Arizona businesses. The resilience and recovery of small businesses is critical for the overall health of our statewide economy, and our team will maintain this high level of support indefinitely. In addition, we have not lost focus on our broader mission to grow Arizona’s economy through the creation of high-quality jobs for our residents. Despite economic headwinds, I’m pleased to say the level of interest in investing in Arizona has not declined. Not only does our momentum remain strong, the projects we’re currently


working represent more jobs than roughly the same number did a year ago — an indicator of the quality and size of companies looking to Arizona as a location for growth. For evidence of our state’s ability to land global, industry-leading companies and continue to grow them, look no further than Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp’s selection of Phoenix for a $12 billion U.S. factory, and Raytheon’s choice to locate the headquarters of its newly integrated Missiles & Defense business at its Tucson site. These announcements further elevated Arizona’s profile on the world stage, and I am confident we’ll be sharing more big news in the coming months.

Sandra Watson serves as the president and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority, a publicprivate partnership that leads statewide economic development. An economic development professional, she has 28 years of leadership experience. She and her teams have worked with more than 1,000 companies that have committed to creating more than 160,000 jobs and investing more than $15 billion in capital in Arizona.

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Watson also oversees the Workforce Arizona Council and Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity, a data-driven team focused on economic and labor market analysis. In addition to leading the ACA and serving on its board of directors, Watson serves on Arizona Governor Doug Ducey’s leadership team as his senior economic policy advisor.

Not only does our momentum remain strong, the projects we’re currently working represent more jobs than roughly the same number did a year ago — an indicator of the quality and size of companies looking to Arizona as a location for growth. Prior to the pandemic, Arizona led the nation in economic and population growth. Over the past year, our state has been consistently ranked among the top five for economic momentum by State Policy Reports, which takes into account measures of personal income, employment and population growth. This momentum, combined with a substantially diversified economy, fiscal stability and attractive value proposition, has helped Arizona weather the storm during the pandemic. In fact, with the pandemic exposing weaknesses in supply chains worldwide, we’re experiencing an incredibly high degree of activity and interested in Arizona from companies in the manufacturing sector who are re-evaluating their global footprint. Manufacturing projects currently make up nearly 58% of the ACA’s total pipeline. We expect that many industry

leaders will consider reshoring some operations and creating more regional supply chain hubs. Arizona is incredibly well-positioned to benefit from these shifts and lead the nation in advanced manufacturing growth. Arizona has always been a place shaped by forwardthinking leaders with a pioneering spirit and driven by fierce determination. The tenacity, dexterity and compassion shown by Arizonans throughout the pandemic has been truly incredible. Businesses and their employees have pivoted, innovated, served our communities and worked to keep each other safe when we needed it most. Looking ahead to 2021, while the public health crisis is not yet over, I am confident that, together, we’ll stay vigilant, keep moving forward, leverage our strengths and, ultimately, Arizona will once again lead the nation in innovation and economic growth.


Asset-Based Lending a Lifeline for Small Business by Robyn Barrett

FSW Funding is an asset-based lender, and we base our credit lending decisions on the credit worthiness of our client’s customers. Since banks base their credit decisions on the historical cash flow of a business, we have been a great solution for companies that are growing in the COVID economy. Thus, we have been very busy financing essential businesses such as PPE vendors and staffing companies. Asset-based lenders are well-positioned to lend to small and mid-sized businesses that are finding new opportunities. For example, we have had clients who imported goods from China and used these supply chains to secure much-needed masks and other PPE durable products. Since asset-based lenders base credit decisions on the credit worthiness of the


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company’s customer and not historical cash flow, they can quickly approve millions of dollars of credit for clients. This access to capital is critical as most banks are still dealing with the PPP loan program and managing their portfolios. FSW will continue to work with clients and prospects who are running essential businesses such as providing masks, PPE durable products, food and temporary staffing to healthcare and manufacturing. These are businesses that are growing fast and are overlooked by banks. We will continue to prioritize our efforts to reach out to small and mid-sized businesses that are in need of capital and can’t wait months for credit approval. America needs to get the economy moving and that starts with small business!

Robyn Barrett is the managing member of Phoenix-based FSW Funding, an independently owned and operated factoring firm that she founded in 2001. FSW Funding helps small to mid-sized companies secure funding that may not otherwise be available by giving them access to the capital needed to grow. Barrett’s background includes five years in corporate finance at FINOVA Capital Corporation, a publicly traded commercial lender. She holds a master’s degree in business administration from Grand Canyon University and is an active member of numerous industry organizations that include American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Arizona Society of Certified Public Accountants, Risk Management Association and American Factoring Association.



Expanding Value-based Care Is Transforming Industry by Lisa Stevens Anderson

It’s no secret that healthcare has been at the center of COVID-19 disruptions. The pandemic has pushed the limits of the healthcare system in ways we could have never imagined. Provider revenue streams and staffing were significantly impacted, and everyone had to shift as much of their business model as possible to a virtual care environment to survive. At the start of the pandemic, we were all asking ourselves the same question: How can we continue to support our provider partners to take care of their patients and staff and support their businesses? As Albert Einstein once said, “In the midst of every crisis lies great opportunity” — which has proven true for the healthcare industry throughout the pandemic. Telehealth: The bridge between disruption and opportunity in the industry has been telehealth. Medicare and state Medicaid agencies (including Arizona’s) relaxed the rules around telehealth to ensure patients have continued access to their healthcare providers. Many primary care providers had to rapidly implement or scale telehealth to meet the needs of their patient populations. This shift in care delivery was necessary to create greater patient access, and COVID-19 really accelerated this effort. Community collaboration: It’s been inspiring to see communities come together during this time. Equality Health Foundation partnered with multiple community organizations to bring COVID-19 testing, outreach and education to underserved areas. This public-private partnership has laid the groundwork for future efforts to serve the community, such as delivering vaccinations. Healthcare heroes: While healthcare providers have long been the backbone of our healthcare system, their sacrifices and commitment to patients have received newfound recognition in light of the pandemic. COVID-19 has shone a bright light on our healthcare heroes who are on the frontlines to support the greater population throughout this public health crisis.


Whole-person care: The pandemic has elevated the conversation on behavioral health, which is a crucial component of whole-person care. Patients have been facing a variety of new and exacerbated behavioral health issues, whether caused by isolation, financial concerns or COVID-19 itself. This greater awareness around the importance of behavioral health services plays a critical role in changing the way the industry thinks about whole-person care. This is the right time for the healthcare industry to embrace value-based care. As a strategic partner to health insurers and healthcare providers, Equality Health will continue to drive value-based care by lowering overall costs, improving quality and enhancing the patient experience. Despite the challenges presented by 2020, our future is bright. We have enjoyed success and growth in Arizona, which has opened the door to opportunities in new markets where we plan to build on this momentum in 2021. Further, we’ll explore new public and private partnerships and build on our existing ones to ensure greater healthcare access and transform equitable healthcare for the better. If we’ve learned anything from this pandemic, it’s that we are stronger together.

With more than 25 years of healthcare experience, Lisa Stevens Anderson leads the management services organization (Q Point Health) of Equality Health, where, as president, she works with healthcare providers and payers to deliver wholeperson, integrated care through population health management and value-based risk contracts.

As Albert Einstein once said, “In the midst of every crisis lies great opportunity” — which has proven true for the healthcare industry throughout the pandemic.

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Enabling Flexibility Is Part of Pandemic Response by Marc E. Schmittlein

CopperPoint operates within the Property and Casualty insurance market, offering workers’ compensation and small commercial insurance products. Our core lines of business, which include workers’ compensation and general liability, are dependent on employer payroll. Depending on the state mix (e.g., California) and/or classes of business (leisure, construction or retail), payroll exposures have been reduced during the pandemic. We experienced most of these reductions in the March to May period with furloughs and business closures. However, we are confident that postpandemic (mid to late 2021), there will be a resurgence of business and economic growth. Early in the pandemic, CopperPoint’s ability to offer flexible payment plans to alleviate the stress of companies downsizing their payroll, as well as deferred cancellation of policies for non-payment, became a critical adjustment that offered economic relief to policyholders. We also made a commitment to introduce a new product called “Pay As You Go.” The offering will allow for accurate accounting of payrolls as they

ebb and flow from month to month. An adjustment of premium and coverage will be made shortly after a payroll change is reported, versus having to wait until the policy’s annual renewal date. In addition to these operational changes, we shifted financial resources to support our community giving efforts, focusing on areas with the greatest need: foodbanks, seniors and frontline healthcare workers. Community giving is at the heart of the CopperPoint family, and during these extraordinary times we are proud to have contributed more than $1 million. Prior to COVID-19, we as a company had no telecommuting strategy in place. The pandemic has afforded us the ability to test a nearly 100% remote work environment for the past nine months. The performance has been exceptional, which is now leading us to adopt a more flexible policy. We believe over the long haul this will greatly benefit the quality of life for our employees, increase employee retention, and enhance our ability to recruit superior talent across our core 10-state western footprint.

Marc Schmittlein serves as president and CEO of Phoenixbased CopperPoint Insurance Companies. He joined the company in 2016, bringing more than 30 years of commercial insurance experience. Under his leadership, CopperPoint has transformed from a monoline Workers’ Compensation insurer into a western-based super regional commercial insurance company and a leading provider of Workers’ Compensation and commercial insurance solutions.


Legal Needs Evolve in Economic Downturn by Gary Jaburg I grew up and went to school on the East Coast. I moved to Phoenix and founded Jaburg Wilk, a Phoenixbased law firm, 36 years ago and have been the managing partner ever since. I am actively involved in Phoenix’s nonprofit community and served on a number of boards of directors, including Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center.


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Like many businesses, law has been affected by COVID. We were fortunate not to need to furlough or lay off employees, as many law firms did. There are some employees in the office, but most are working remotely. We learned that we could function and be productive with most employees working remotely. Within the legal business sector, there have been salary reductions and job reductions. Some law firms have closed offices or dissolved. Summer clerkship programs were suspended. The Courts remain primarily virtual, which has caused disruptions for both clients and their cases. Currently, juries are being selected only for criminal cases, not

civil. Although unrelated to the pandemic, effective January 1st, non-lawyers can be owners of law firms as well as qualified paraprofessionals can provide certain legal services without having a lawyer supervise them. The adoption rate of technology accelerated dramatically and was pivotal in allowing many people to work remotely both safely and successfully. There have been unexpected productivity gains. At the same time, meeting with clients either virtually or telephonically has limitations. As with any economic downturn, what clients need legal help with evolves. There is already an uptick in bankruptcy, workouts and divorces. Because


people are driving fewer miles, there are fewer auto accidents. This has a trickle-down impact on both insurance companies and law firms. The challenge for many businesses will be learning to adjust to the “new normal” and keeping their culture. This will be especially difficult for businesses that have traditionally expected their employees to work in the office but will have a hybrid workforce in 2021. Maintaining profitability,

innovation, connection, transparency, trust, and culture will be a priority. Successful businesses will place great importance on the mental health and well-being of their employees. For Arizona, people lost their jobs in sectors that are not going to quickly recover. Some will need reskilling and new opportunities. The business community can help by providing training and upskilling opportunities.


PPE and Beyond: The Time Is Now to Reshore the Fashion Apparel Industry by Angela Johnson and Sherri Barry

As environmental concerns demand disruption through transparency and accountability, the fashion industry, like many others, has recently had to adapt and adopt new sustainable models. Instead of over-producing overseas, many domestic, direct-to-consumer fashion brands are seeking local, on-time or small batch manufacturing resources. The logistic, speed, humanitarian and environmental advantages of reshoring manufacturing have recently increasingly outweighed the lure of the offshore fast fashion price point for many smaller niche brands. However, finding reliable domestic resources and navigating a tired, outdated domestic industry has proven to be challenging for most startups. FABRIC, a fashion incubator in Tempe Arizona, was created to provide those resources and, in a few years, has incubated hundreds of niche, direct-to-consumer apparel brands who make athleticwear and eveningwear and everything in between. No two brands at FABRIC are alike, and they make almost every type of sewn product imaginable to fill many different voids in the market. Most apparel brands are not considered essential businesses, so many of them unfortunately did not weather the initial shutdowns of the COVID-19 storm. However, while much of the U.S. workforce left their jobs to quarantine, many people used this time and their new-found love of digital shopping and video communication as an opportunity to explore their entrepreneurial dreams of starting a fashion brand. By April 2020, FABRIC started to see an uptick in inquiries from prospective apparel entrepreneurs, which has steadily grown with each passing month. Many new and established brands that survived pivoted to PPE, and mask manufacturing became “the new black” in fashion. Simultaneously, the team at FABRIC took the opportunity to adapt and pivot in the new COVID world as well. As soon as the PPE shortage


started to become evident, FABRIC chose to use its skills, staff and resources to manufacture safe and effective, Level 2 and 3 reusable isolation gowns to help solve the local emergency PPE shortage. With the help of its supportive community and its nonprofit, FABRIC quickly grew its capabilities from no-minimum, smallbatch manufacturing of many different sewn products to high-capacity, FDA-certified PPE manufacturing, making reusable isolation gowns. FABRIC grew its staff of 20 to 100 employees almost overnight and transformed its fashion show runway space into a leanproduction PPE factory capable of producing a gown every sixty seconds. In just a few months FABRIC was able to help mitigate the PPE shortage for Arizona to the tune of 400,000 medical gowns delivered to large and small healthcare facilities all over the state and beyond, including the Navajo Nation. Each gown can be washed 100 times, which replaces more than 40 million contaminated disposable gowns from ending up in the landfill. This sustainable solution resulted in a new brand called Reusa at FABRIC, which continues to provide PPE as COVID cases continue to surge in the U.S. Leaving traditional thinking behind and completely rethinking PPE with modern requirements enabled FABRIC to develop a better PPE solution through Reusa. The result is reusable, supply-chain stabilizing, reusable isolation gowns with a cost-per-use that is less expensive than disposable PPE. Disposable PPE was clearly a tired solution for a modern problem. What doctors, nurses,

Angela Johnson is an awardwinning, eco-friendly fashion designer, educator, consultant, humanitarian and champion for the Arizona fashion industry. She is best known as the creator of Arizona’s fashion business directory and roadmap, LabelHorde ( and co-founder of Arizona’s fashion incubator, FABRIC — a business accelerator, design studio, academy and manufacturer that is sustainably disrupting, redefining and reshoring the fashion industry for the modern apparel entrepreneur and has helped more than 500 entrepreneurs start and grow their brands.

Many new and established brands that survived pivoted to PPE, and mask manufacturing became “the new black” in fashion.

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Sherri Barry is a design entrepreneur, former vice president of operations at Brown Shoe Company and Tempe Chamber’s Business Woman of the Year 2019. She is best known as the creator of the apparel manufacturer AZ Fashion Source and the PPE brand Reusa ( and as co-founder of Arizona’s fashion incubator, FABRIC.

first responders and healthcare workers needed was not just more PPE, but better, modern PPE. The fashion industry’s pivot to PPE has emphasized and accelerated the importance of reshoring apparel manufacturing. At the start of the pandemic, it was immediately clear that there was a PPE shortage and that sourcing PPE from overseas was going to be impossible. This really illuminated and magnified the need for more domestic apparel manufacturing resources and validated FABRIC’s mission. As thousands of seamstresses and fashion designers started making masks for the public, many apparel factories pivoted to make PPE for the healthcare providers like FABRIC had done. The designers, brands, and apparel factories that pivoted to help the nation solve its PPE shortage became essential during the pandemic. As more

and more consumers demand transparency and sustainability, and U.S. companies gravitate toward conscious capitalism and sustainability, these domestic fashion businesses are poised to help usher in a new model and a domestic circular economy for this twotrillion-dollar global industry. To stay relevant in this new world, brands, designers and factories that flourish will be those that place human capital and environment higher on their priority list. They will need support from the public sector to build creative models to make this work. This is why FABRIC has always run as a publicsocial-cooperative-enterprise that is, essentially, a collaboration between nonprofit, for-profit, community and a city. For FABRIC, this means continuing what it has been doing and, we hope, inspiring other creative models that support domestic apparel entrepreneurs.

Restaurant & Hospitality

Hospitality Seizes the Moment to ‘Change and Adapt’ by Sam Fox

The entire restaurant industry had to adjust the business model almost overnight. “Change and adapt” became the north star and, during this public health crisis, we have redefined “hospitality.” That has meant serving our guests in new and innovative ways. We moved quickly to launch online ordering, curbside pick-up and contact-free delivery options across all our concepts. We also introduced weekly and daily Family Packs so that our guests could enjoy their Fox Restaurant Concept favorites from the comfort of their home. We worked together to change our business model overnight so that we could best serve our guests. While our restaurants are reopening for limited-capacity dine-in, we are continuing to focus on to-go and rolling out new technology that will provide a “lower contact” experience for all. Witnessing the restaurant industry, small and large, take care of employees during the initial worst effects of COVID made me very proud to be a part of this business. During the worst of this pandemic, we had to pivot and take care of our people. We started an employee fund to help our Fox Family in need. We set out to raise $500,000 but, through the combined efforts of myself, my family, our loyal guests and our amazing employees, we surpassed our goal and raised more than $1 million


DEC. 2020

My team and I see new opportunities to bring people, passion and big ideas together. Whether it’s over food or a new restaurant experience, nothing means more to me than real connections. to support our furloughed employees. These funds were raised to provide a little relief during a time of uncertainty. The circumstances were tough, but the kindness and generosity witnessed was something I’ll never forget. We are motivated and moving faster than ever. My team and I see new opportunities to bring people, passion and big ideas together. Whether it’s over food or a new restaurant experience, nothing means more to me than real connections. I am excited to look ahead as we have some exciting projects in the works that focus on the digital and to-go experience. One of those projects is Fly Bye, an entirely new concept that is takeout only and opening December 2020. We are turning something that was a negative into a positive by growing our Fox Family and inviting our guests to try some new food!

Raised on hospitality, Sam Fox has introduced dozens of ever-evolving Fox Restaurant Concepts brands, of which he is founder and CEO. He is an 11-time James Beard Award semifinalist for Restaurateur of the Year, a New York Times best-selling cookbook author, and was named one of the 50 most influential people in the restaurant industry by Nation’s Restaurant News for five consecutive years.



Past the Chaos and Uncertainty Is an Ocean of Opportunity by Ruzika Markovic

As a group of digital natives, our sector has only become more creative since the onset of the pandemic. From using Zoom to communicate with film producers on lock down in L.A. and using drones to get closer than manned cameras can get due to COVID-19, to helping CEOs set up in-home film studios and more, the industry has adapted, to say the least. In fact, the job of communicating across a community, company and, indeed, the world has never been more important and has resulted in a watershed moment for the production of video. If companies were 49% more likely to realize their revenue targets using video prior to COVID-19, they are that much more likely to survive and thrive using video during COVID-19. Many companies, like Pro One Media, have pivoted to virtual conferences. Driven by lockdowns, it’s expected that virtual events, meetings and tradeshows will drive revenue above $400 billion globally in the next decade. Addressing legal and technical hurdles, Pro One has been able to broadcast to India, Singapore, Dubai,

Russia, Korea, Japan, Latin America and China — all from our studio — in tandem with some of the most amazing companies worldwide. That said, the best part of this past year has been being able to donate our storytelling skills to support local nonprofits — from veterans to students and orphans in Africa. Our ability to celebrate the fact that we are thriving in the face of COVID-19 by paying it forward is the best part of our industry, community and, indeed, our country. I see 2021 as the year of unbridled imagination and fearless leadership — of looking past the chaos and uncertainty to see an ocean of opportunity. Companies that focus on solving real problems and delivering meaningful services (online and off) will reap the rewards. The world needs more teambuilding; less virtual rock, paper, scissors. More thinking, less sitting. More curiosity, less fear. It starts with the business community to lead by example and share the knowledge, as well as the journey.

A senior marketing executive with more than 25 years of experience, Ruzica Markovic acquired Pro One Media Productions, Inc. — a 35-year-old multimedia, video and marketing agency — nearly three years ago, doubling revenue year over year. As a global strategist, Markovic has worked with public, global companies in the highly regulated industries of education, financial services and healthcare. She has a Bachelor of Science from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.

Technology & Startups

COVID-19 Spurs Increased Reliance on Technology by Vincent Serpico Vincent Serpico has been involved in the Phoenix tech industry for more than 20 years. As founder and CEO of Scottsdale-based Founder’s Workshop and an active angel investor, he follows his passion in bringing dreams to life. In pursuit, he builds mobile and web apps from the ground up. He’s an influential player in the startup community.


The unprecedented disruptions caused by COVID-19 have taken minor shifts in our infrastructure. We’ve utilized the mobility of remote work in Latin America and nationwide. As dynamics change, we had the resources needed to move fully remote. We’ve continued to expand our team to scale channels in new regions. With a sensitivity to financial stability, we’ve seen the demand for development increase. We’ve optimized digital strategies to reach new customers needing support. The global impact of COVID-19 has increased technology usage, both business and personal. Companies have adapted to digital communication and services to provide customer support. With a remote

workforce, there’s implementation of new technologies and platforms. As the market evolves and behaviors change, we’ve seen a rise in startups. With increased leisure time and layoffs, entrepreneurs are maximizing this opportunity to launch. In 2021, we see an opportunity for growth. Our strategy will be to reach startups ready to take a step forward in mobile and app development — which is more important now than ever before. We plan to work with brick-and-mortar stores to add online services and features. As a business community, prioritizing the digital space is critical during this volatile time. Adapting customer support and services, marketing channels, and management framework are key.

DEC. 2020


13 Top

Valley Leaders on



New Protocols Necessary for Rebound in Travel Industry by Jesse Thompson

A dedicated and passionate sales and marketing leader with more than 25 years of experience specializing in hospitality, brand positioning, revenue generation and team development, Jesse Thompson is the area director of sales and marketing for Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale and Mountain Shadows Resort in Paradise Valley. He is skilled at creating omnichannel marketing strategies that execute online and offline tactics to engage consumers while providing unique and memorable experiences. Thompson has a proven track record of driving profitability utilizing creativity, digital and data-focused initiatives.


DEC. 2020

The hospitality sector, like most travel-related sectors, has been hugely impacted by COVID-related disruptions. There are no easy solutions and most involve the loss of jobs and a shift in how the products and services, as well as how the producing market segments, are approached. First, the business must scale quickly to avoid losses. To protect flow through, a reduction in revenues must be met with an equal reduction in expenses. This means reviewing all expenses, service agreements, advertising, operating systems, payroll and benefits, and so on. We cannot assume that existing agreements cannot be altered. Next, we need to pivot our focus on market segments that have the highest propensity to produce. If business travel and conventions are no longer providing revenues, we must turn to the local, and drive market transient audiences and social events that will continue to occur. We can use consumer interest in escaping their homes and typical surroundings by promoting length-of-stay options, outdoor activities, remote office options and sprawling space that our environment in vArizona provides. Then, we need to adjust our business model to best protect our clients and the team members that we continue employ. This involves designing a health and sanitation program that meets and exceeds government suggested standards so as to ensure we have the buy-in and training of all team members. Finally, we must rebuild. It is very similar to opening a brand-new hotel or resort, with the exception that there is a larger labor pool available — so those that can recover first have the opportunity to arm themselves with the most qualified associates available. Most people understand that it is easier to run a “busy” business than it is to run a business with peaks and valleys for business levels. Our strategy is to focus on layering in a consistent amount of business so that we can retain and add team members. We also ensure that all leaders in our organization know that they have the ability to scale to business levels. Strategies include adding utility players to work in different departments, changing responsibilities of the past to encompass new areas of focus, and making sure that we are hiring the right candidates for these evolving job descriptions. The best part of our industry, given the effects of COVID, has been the deeper understanding of how

and why people travel. Sure, there will be a permanent shift in how certain business is conducted, but society for the most part needs travel in their life agenda to be able to connect, discover and explore. And while many businesses are simply pausing their standard travel practices, there will soon be a realization that those businesses that begin traveling and investing in global sales growth strategies through travel will be the businesses that rebound the fastest. On the leisure side of travel, we have learned that the past travel trends of people taking eight to 10 trips a year that are three to four days in length will undoubtedly be replaced with three for four trips a year for a week or longer stays. This allows for hotels and resorts with more residential-style accommodations to gain traction and it gives those travelers the ability to appreciate their destination more and provide additional time to unplug and recharge. While there are other aspects I could expand upon, such as the advancement of technologies in the touchless realm or the pivoting of to-go meals or the great rebound of golf, the appreciation of travel is what I feel is going to resonate the most with any and all people who have been quarantined, asked to work from home, or simply want to go somewhere that is more vibrant and open than their current environment. In 2021, we will witness the slow and steady growth of the travel industry. I have to commend Arne Sorenson of Marriott Hotels with his prediction back in March of 2020 that it will take this industry until 2023 to be able to recover to the business levels of 2019, and that even then it will not be the same. I thought that was a pessimistic statement back then, but now I feel it was amazingly accurate. Recovery will be directly impacted by the amount of COVID cases and global travel restrictions in place. When a vaccination or a treatment can be brought to market, obviously the speed of the recovery will increase. Strategies in the hospitality industry will revolve around consumer sentiment, pricing controls and labor. Beginning with consumer sentiment, there is a new travel experience evolving from all of this — how rooms are cleaned, how services are executed, and how the majority of travelers are perceiving hotels and resorts adapting to and adopting these changes. These added initiatives all have new expenses tied to them,


so it is likely that travelers will see price increases across the board for accommodations and services at hotels and resorts. And to further accelerate those costs, labor costs are increasing faster than ever before. While some may point to the labor market having more opportunities due to the reduction of workforce in the travel sector, many of these people have already found other occupations or are not willing to return to an occupation that deals with the general public in fear of health issues.

To the business community, I would suggest prioritizing travel expenditures with businesses that can directly impact/improve your local community. If you are supporting a locally owned and operated business, your money is supporting local employees and owners, keeping those dollars in that community. Sure, it might take a little research to determine which establishments meet those criteria, but there are many tools to use, like Local First Arizona and others.

Trade & Commerce

COVID-19 Provided a Blank Page for Businesses to Engage Opportunity by Marco López Jr.

International business expansion and development slowed down in the early months of COVID19, but activity has recently picked up. At Mesa, Skybridge, for example, we are moving forward with the first two developments, including manufacturing space and state-of-the-art hangar. In mid-November, we are breaking ground on the first hotel and conference center within walking distance to the airport terminal on the SkyBridge Arizona footprint. Creative development and employment opportunities continue to grow as we fulfill our commitments to the Mesa and surrounding communities. Being creative to find new opportunities has been rewarding but challenging. For example, manufacturing and industrial development, similar to what we are executing at Skybridge Arizona, has seen new interest as more companies are looking to bring their abroad activities back to the United States. Due to Intermestic Partners’ global relationship network, we have been able to showcase Mesa and Arizona as an opportunity for their return to U.S. soil while taking advantage of our proximity to Mexico and the exclusive Customs clearance processing at Mesa Gateway airport. This is important because, with the new USMCA agreement passed by Congress, Arizona and Mexico are primed to capture the returning tech, auto, financial and renewable industries. Other border states have been exploiting this relationship for years, and now Arizona is becoming a player in this turf. This pivot would have developed slower were it not for the effects of COVID on business.


2021 will be an intense year of re-building and re-engaging with customers, clients, employees and associates. For businesses to get up and running fully, COVID-19 has to be managed and contained to a satisfactory degree that gives businesses confidence to invest, grow and expand. I think this will occur close to the beginning of Q4 2021. Until then, businesses will have to be creative in how they operate. For Intermestic, our 2021 plan is to focus on long-term developments and initiatives in the areas of logistics, cross-border commerce, manufacturing and U.S. investment management. I believe that the U.S. confidence in new leadership will increase after President-elect Biden and his team take office next month. The U.S. will again become a more attractive, stable place to invest in as the world begins to recover from the effects of the pandemic. This new stability will help business growth and job creation in the U.S. Arizona and other states will have to ramp up quickly to be positioned to capture the new investment interest by being creative and offering solutions that are out of the box and unique from other states. Each business has a blank page to define how they want to engage this new challenge and opportunity.

Marco A. López Jr. serves as the president and CEO of Intermestic Partners, an international business and investment advisory group based in Phoenix that invests in, develops and manages a wide portfolio of companies to maximize impact across borders. López also serves as a founding partner in Skybridge Arizona, the country’s first air cargo hub housing a joint United States-Mexico customs. López is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and is senior adviser to the chairman of Grupo Carso, a Mexican Global Conglomerate with a market cap of more than $12 billion, and The Carlos Slim Foundation ($5.5 billion endowment). López is a former chief of staff at the United States Department of Homeland Security Customs and Border Protection, and prior to that had served as director of the Arizona Department of Commerce and in numerous other capacities with the state government.

With the new USMCA agreement passed by Congress, Arizona and Mexico are primed to capture the returning tech, auto, financial and renewable industries.

DEC. 2020



The What, When, Where and Why of App Clips What every business should know before they launch by Lee Brown

App Clips is set to change how a business’s brand shows up digitally for its customers. App Clips will, in essence, allow users to have a native app experience available in critically contextual moments without requiring a download from the app store. So now I’ve got you thinking: “What could I do with this type of opportunity? What are the key activities that users do in our app that could be offered up in this manner?” Hold that thought. We’ll get back to that in a bit.

FIRST THINGS FIRST, WHAT ARE APP CLIPS? Lee Brown is senior experience architect with Bottle Rocket, a digital experience consultancy that provides businesses with strategy, product, design and technology services. Bottle Rocket provides end-to-end transformation services for many of the world’s most successful companies, including Coca Cola, Disney and Chick-fil-A.

DEC. 2020



App Clips are “clips,” or parts of a full native app, that are exposed to users via almost any touchpoint that can distribute a URL. They contain a specific flow and are meant to enable users to conduct discrete pieces of business when those bits of business are most relevant. They can be accessed via QR codes, map cards in Apple Maps, links in iChat, web links in the Safari browser, NFC touchpoints, and Apple’s new proprietary Clip Codes, which combine the utility of QR codes and NFC. As of this past September 16, iOS 14 became available to download. App Clips are one of the most important advancements to come to mobile from Apple in multiple technology generations. As more and more brands enable this solution, users will come to expect these functionalities throughout the physical environments where they eat, shop, vacation, get educated and relax. Adapting to their existence will be critical for brands to be on the forefront of mobile technology in the short term, but they will become table stakes very quickly.


A business may wish to consider developing and releasing an App Clip when it has a component in its app that has high context and utility or is very useful in a specific place. Experiences like ordering or purchasing outside the home, signing up for loyalty programs after transactions, ordering services at a table or other location, checking in to a place, or controlling a secondary device like a room lock or an internet connected device are all very likely candidates for exposure via an App Clip. If a business has seen fit to develop a function in its app and it is dependent upon context, it’s worth giving it a good long look with App Clips in mind. And let’s not forget positioning is critical. An App Clip is, essentially, a call to action one step removed from the device, so users need to know why they would want to interact with it. Businesses need to ask two critical questions: What functions do they want to expose, and where do they place access points? Determining function is a matter of understanding the value a brand provides its customers. What are the main value propositions of the business, and how is that value accessed through its app? The most critical and context-dependent elements of a business’s app are prime candidates for exposure.


When a business has decided what functions in its app it wants to expose, it should then consider the context where that function is most useful. Is that function most useful in

App Clips are “clips,” or parts of a full native app, that are exposed to users via almost any touchpoint that can distribute a URL. They contain a specific flow and are meant to enable users to conduct discrete pieces of business when those bits of business are most relevant.

STRATEGIES FOR WORKING REMOTELY transit to that business’s location? Placing a link in the business’s card in Apple Maps is probably the best way to go. Will users need to interact with a piece of hardware in the physical place of business, such as a kiosk, a lock, a locker or other device that wants some level of authentication or personalization? Then a Clip Code, QR Code or NFC touchpoint is the way forward. Perhaps a business wants to extend purchasing capabilities or enable loyalty interactions after purchase? Clip Codes located near the merchandise in question or NFC touchpoints at Point of Sale may be the ticket. If a business needs to leverage physical marketing in a specific place to enable interactions or purchasing, Clip Codes are the answer. In the hierarchy of personalization, an app installed on a user’s device is the gold standard for brands seeking to interact with their customers digitally. It’s a generally acknowledged fact of commerce that a known customer is more valuable to a company than an unknown one, but customers at a point of sale are typically disinclined to stop and fill out paperwork, and they don’t always enter into a transaction having already joined that brand’s loyalty program.

Business NOT as Usual Leading a business through crisis is a crisis in itself. The COVID-19 pandemic has been taking its toll on many, creating turmoil in the global economy. Business NOT As Usual is written not only as a blueprint for a successful recovery plan, but also as a success blueprint and a roadmap beyond the recovery phase. A powerhouse of practical and workable plans and a roadmap to success, the book contains frameworks, tools and many gems that can help owners and leaders of small to medium-sized businesses during and beyond difficult times. Anyone planning for a successful business recovery needs to read this book and keep it in their reference library. Thought leader and award-winning international speaker, Dr. Diyari Abdah holds a Master of Science and Master of Business Administration. Business NOT as Usual: Success Strategies for Building a Pandemic-Proof Business Dr. Diyari Abdah Morgan James Publishing


By leveraging an App Clip as a part of a mobile-pay or ordering flow at the point of sale or even the point of browse — a new moment enabled by digital extensions attached to products — businesses can transition easily into a loyalty signup experience that is enabled as long as the clip persists on the user’s device. Given that clips persist for at least eight hours, users can re-engage at their leisure, and businesses will even have access to a special class of notification to assist with reuptake. Brands also gain access to greater demographic and analytic data about the efficacy of their marketing and the associated utilitarian aspects of their app. QR codes are an early and, let’s be frank, unattractive means of extending the physical into the digital. In typical Apple form, Clip Codes are their answer to QR’s limitations. Clip Codes, at the very least, do no harm to a brand’s marketing materials and enable greater utility than the brochureware on a website typically attached to QR codes. This is only true if brands ensure their marketing materials are explicit in the value and utility they advertise, and they deliver on that promise. If the brand has cleared that hurdle, then attaching precision analytics to that well-formed marketing is the logical next step. Businesses need to ensure they track not only conversion rates of unknown to known users, but also pay attention to how often they enable even anonymous commerce. The right of users to engage in commerce anonymously is fast becoming something brands ignore at their extreme peril. The following is my personal philosophy, and reasonable and intelligent professionals can and do disagree: It is more important to enable utility and commerce than it is to harvest user data or convert an anonymous user to a member of a brand’s loyalty program. The frictional overhead introduced by demanding user information as a condition of access is anathema to the design principle underlying App Clips. Apple explicitly contraindicates login or signup as a condition of use, and the zeitgeist is generally opposed to personal and demographic information as the coin of the realm at this time.


All that is to say, provide utility and value first, and conversions will come. Users that have a good experience with a brand and feel like they got use out of its App Clips will retain the clip on their device longer with re-use and are more likely to convert to full users and permanent members of that brand’s user base over time.

208 pages Available 12/1/2020


Stronger Through Adversity COVID-19 has disrupted business and life in ways we never imagined. Within days of the outbreak, world-renowned business expert Joseph Michelli contacted more than 140 senior leaders at major companies about their specific challenges and how they were meeting them — getting raw yet thoughtful real-time insights into a crisis that will define an entire generation of leaders. The result is Stronger Through Adversity. In this business guide for our times, Michelli distills best leadership practices that can be used in any company, in any industry. Organized into four main themes — Set the Foundation, Build Connections, Move with Purpose, and Harness Change — Stronger Through Adversity provides a deep dive into the methods, tactics and approaches leaders have used to keep their company afloat and to position it for success long after the pandemic. Stronger Through Adversity: World-Class Leaders Share Pandemic-Tested Lessons on Thriving During the Toughest Challenges Joseph A. Michelli

288 pages

McGraw-Hill Education

Available 12/22/2020


Where is My Office? Where is My Office is a fascinating and accessible guide to the effective management of corporate real estate — an underestimated element of business management that can have a dramatic impact upon employee satisfaction and organizational efficiency. In the current age of remote working and flexible work hours, why have most office spaces remained relatively unchanged for decades? In Where is My Office? Chris Kane highlights the importance of workplace agility and innovative corporate real estate thinking in ensuring the productivity and efficiency of any organization, while at the same time offering insights into the future of our work environments and the implications for CRE investors. Where is My Office? Reimagining the Workplace for the 21st Century Chris Kane Bloomsbury Business

272 pages Available 12/22/2020

Clips persist for at least eight hours, so users can re-engage at their leisure, and businesses will even have access to a special class of notification to assist with reuptake. Brands also gain access to greater demographic and analytic data about the efficacy of their marketing and the associated utilitarian aspects of their app.



En Negocios


¿Conoces el Judo Verbal?

Una poderosa habilidad de comunicación para involucrar a las personas a través de la empatía y minimizar los conflictos par Edgar R. Olivo

Edgar Rafael Olivo es educador empresarial bilingüe, experto en economía y colaborador de varios medios de comunicación. Es director de varias organizaciones sin fines de lucro y le apasiona la educación. Está certificado en finanzas y análisis de datos y tiene un título en negocios de la Universidad Estatal de Arizona.

DEC. 2020



¿Alguna vez se ha sentido frustrado al intentar comunicar algo, pero no puede expresar claramente lo que quiere decir? Ya sea en el trabajo, con un ser querido o con otra persona, la comunicación a veces puede salir mal. Imagínese usar sus palabras para resolver situaciones, crear soluciones y hacer que los demás se sientan escuchados. Ahora, imagínese usar sus palabras para crear el efecto contrario. ¿Ve lo poderoso que es la comunicación en nuestra vida diaria? Judo verbal es un libro sobre un concepto de comunicación que le ayuda a evitar conflictos y aún así obtener lo que desea mediante el uso de sus palabras. Esta técnica es utilizada por muchos profesionales, líderes y agentes del orden que necesitan utilizar habilidades de comunicación para resolver disputas sin levantar la voz o entrar en una discusión. Recientemente hablé con el Sargento Dan Collins de la Patrulla de Carreteras del Estado de Arizona sobre su carrera de 17 años practicando conceptos de Judo Verbal en su línea de trabajo. Agrega: “La forma en que dices algo, lo que dices y la forma en que te presentas puede ser la clave para evitar intervenciones contundentes”. Recomienda que los profesionales se centren en desarrollar sus habilidades comunicativas como una forma fundamental de proyectar el profesionalismo a través de la empatía y desarrollar mejores relaciones con los demás. La idea del judo verbal fue creada por George J. Thompson a principios de los años noventa. Su experiencia en literatura inglesa y como oficial de policía lo ayudó a crear un concepto de comunicación que puede compararse con las artes marciales usando sus palabras. Él cree que uno debe responder en lugar de reaccionar cuando se comunica con los demás. El interés de Thompson en la desescalada sigue siendo relevante hoy debido a problemas que aún afectan a nuestras comunidades y lugares de trabajo. Aquí hay ocho grandes ideas destacadas del Judo Verbal para ayudarnos a mejorar la forma en que resolvemos, ayudamos y escuchamos a los demás. Idea principal n. ° 1: Comunicarse eficazmente en situaciones difíciles es una forma de arte que se puede estudiar y aprender. Como cualquier otra habilidad, la comunicación es un músculo que se puede fortalecer con el tiempo. La clave es aprender de las situaciones en las que se ha encontrado en las que siente que no se comunicó de manera efectiva. Pregúntese: “¿Qué pasó allí y cómo puedo aprender de ello?” Para que el judo verbal funcione, debe comenzar por buscar en su interior las oportunidades para crecer. Gran idea n. ° 2: Evite las órdenes directas y la condescendencia, y siempre explique las reglas que está aplicando. El judo verbal requiere que evitemos dar órdenes a las personas, así como explicar las reglas de enfrentamiento con los demás. La próxima vez que necesite que alguien haga algo por usted, intente explicar los beneficios

de lo que está solicitando a la otra persona, en lugar de usar la autoridad de facto, como “las reglas son las reglas”. Debe explicar activamente por qué se aplica una determinada regla y cómo le sirve a la otra persona. Otro ejemplo es que en lugar de pedirle a alguien que venga aquí, debe preguntarle si tiene un momento. Esto es más cortés y no hace que la otra persona se sienta amenazada. Gran idea n. ° 3: Una buena comunicación significa comprender de dónde viene la otra persona. La empatía es una gran herramienta que nos ayuda a tener una buena comunicación. La empatía es fundamental para el éxito de las relaciones. En resumen, la empatía es la capacidad de ver el mundo a través de los ojos de otra persona y adoptar su perspectiva. Sin él, no puede construir relaciones sólidas con nadie. Gran idea n. ° 4: Parafrasear es otra herramienta poderosa, pero requiere una interrupción. Hay momentos en los que es posible que deba interrumpir a alguien mientras habla, especialmente cuando se comparte mucha información. Parafrasear es una forma poderosa de asegurarse de que ha escuchado lo que dijo la otra persona y está tratando de entenderlo. Trate de ser discreto al abordar esta táctica, especialmente si está hablando con alguien que es emocionalmente sensible. La cortesía es clave para que esto funcione. Gran idea n. ° 5: Para llevar su comunicación al siguiente nivel, debe identificar sus defectos. Para ser un comunicador exitoso en situaciones de alta presión se requiere habilidad y práctica. Estas habilidades van más allá de los conceptos básicos de la comunicación y se aprenden a través de la experiencia y la formación. Se necesita compromiso para convertirse en un comunicador eficaz en situaciones estresantes. Esté abierto a explorar sus defectos y a desarrollar metas que lo ayuden a crecer. Gran idea n. ° 6: Lo que dice importa tanto como cómo lo dice. Habrá malentendidos. Para evitar esto, debe ser preciso con su lenguaje. Piense en lo que quiere decir antes de decirlo. Si le ayuda, intente escribir su mensaje antes de tener una conversación difícil. También debe ser consciente de su tono y lenguaje corporal. Puede demostrar mucho respeto por los demás adaptando su tono en consecuencia. Gran idea n. ° 7: La mediación puede aliviar situaciones estresantes y peligrosas. Esta técnica implica racionalizar y exponer los hechos y las opciones con alguien que está siendo difícil. Si tiene que resolver un conflicto, intente declarar lo que sabe de la situación y busque la manera de aceptar algunas opciones para resolver el asunto. Judo verbal recomienda tener el control del resultado utilizando sus palabras para aportar lógica en la mayoría de las situaciones. Si la situación es demasiado peligrosa, primero considere su seguridad y retírese hasta que el ambiente sea seguro para regresar.

El "judo verbal" es una táctica policial que les enseña a los policías a hablar antes de disparar. Esta técnica fue articulada por George Thompson en la década de 1990. Esta estrategia también ofrece orientación para reducir y resolver conflictos en el lugar de trabajo.

Gran idea n. ° 8: Las disputas domésticas son inevitables, pero pueden dirigirse hacia fines productivos. Una de las principales causas de conflicto es hacer suposiciones incorrectas sobre su(s) pareja(s). Las suposiciones pueden generar muchos problemas de comunicación con sus compañeros de trabajo o seres queridos. La mejor manera de reducir las suposiciones es haciendo preguntas y buscando aclaraciones cuando no comprenda lo que otra persona quiere decir. Si puede involucrarse en un conflicto de una manera amorosa, le dará a su pareja la oportunidad de

ver cuán comprometido está con una relación armoniosa. La clave aquí es convertir la situación en un diálogo en lugar de una discusión. Estos conceptos de judo verbal han ayudado a muchos ejecutivos a mejorar sus estilos de comunicación en muchas industrias y situaciones diferentes. Como enseña el libro, una buena comunicación requiere empatía. Como líderes, siempre debemos esforzarnos por aliviar las situaciones tensas y utilizar el diálogo para motivar o desalentar el cumplimiento voluntario para resolver los conflictos cotidianos.


Have You Heard of Verbal Judo?

A Powerful Communication Skill to Engage People through Empathy & Minimize Conflict by Edgar R. Olivo

Have you ever found yourself frustrated when trying to communicate something, but are unable to clearly state what you mean? Whether it is at work, with a loved one or someone else, communicating sometimes can go wrong. Imagine using your words to defuse situations, create solutions, and make others feel heard. Now, imagine using your words to create the opposite effect. Do you see how powerful communication is in our everyday life? Verbal Judo is a book about a communication concept that helps you avoid arguments and still get what you want by using soft skills. This technique is used by many professionals, leaders and law enforcement officers who need to utilize communication skills to resolve disputes without raising your voice or getting into an argument. I recently spoke with Sergeant Dan Collins of the Arizona State Highway Patrol about his 17-year career practicing Verbal Judo concepts in his line of work. He adds, “How you say something, what you say and the way you present yourself can be the key to avoid forceful interventions.” He recommends professionals should focus on building their communication skills as a fundamental way to project professionalism through empathy and develop better relationships with others. The idea of verbal judo was created by George J. Thompson in the early "90s. His background in English literature and as a police officer helped him create a communication concept that can be compared to martial arts for your words. He believes that you should respond instead of react when you are communicating with others. Thompson’s interest in de-escalation remains relevant today due to issues that still affect our communities and workplaces. Here are eight big ideas Verbal Judo highlights to help us improve the way we resolve, defuse and listen to others. Big Idea #1: Communicating effectively in difficult situations is an art form that can be studied and learned. Like any other soft skill, communication is a muscle that can be strengthened over time. The key is to learn from situations you have found yourself in where you feel like you did not communicate effectively. Ask yourself, “What happened there and how can I learn from it?” For verbal judo to work, you must start by looking within for opportunities to grow. Big Idea #2: Avoid direct orders and condescension, and always explain the rules you’re enforcing. Verbal Judo requires us to avoid ordering people as well as explaining the rules of engagement with others. The next time you need someone to do something for you, try explaining the benefits of what you are requesting from the other person, instead of using de facto authority, such as “the rules are the rules.” You should actively explain why a certain rule is in place and how it serves the other person. Another example is instead of asking someone to “come here,” you should ask them if they have a moment. This is more polite and does not make the

other person feel threatened. Big Idea #3: Good communication means understanding where the other person is coming from. Empathy is a great tool that helps us have good communication. Empathy is crucial for successful relationships. In short, empathy is the ability to see the world through another person’s eyes and adopt their perspective. Without it, you cannot build strong relationships with anyone. Big Idea #4: Paraphrasing is another powerful tool, but it requires an interruption. There are times when you may need to interrupt someone while they are speaking, especially when a lot of information is being shared. Paraphrasing is a powerful way to ensure that you have listened to what the other person said and are trying to understand them. Try to be tactful in the way you approach this tactic, especially if you are speaking with someone who is emotionally sensitive. Politeness is key for this to work. Big Idea #5: To bring your communication to the next level, you need to identify your flaws. To be a successful communicator in high-pressure situations requires skill and practice. These skills go beyond the basics of communication and are learned through experience and training. It takes commitment to become an effective communicator in stressful situations. Be open to exploring your flaws and develop goals to help you grow. Big Idea #6: What you say matters as much as how you say it. Misunderstandings will occur. In order to avoid this, you need to be precise with your language. Think about what you want to say before you say it. If it helps, try writing your message before having a difficult conversation. You should also be aware of your body language and tone. You can demonstrate a lot of respect to others by adapting your tone accordingly. Big Idea #7: Mediation can defuse stressful and dangerous situations. This technique involves rationalizing and laying out the facts and options with someone who is being difficult. If you find yourself having to resolve a conflict, try stating what you know of the situation and find a way to agree to some options for resolving the matter. Verbal Judo recommends being in control of the outcome by using your words to bring logic in most situations. If the situation is too dangerous, then consider your safety first and remove yourself until the environment is safe to return. Big Idea #8: Domestic disputes are inevitable, but they can be directed toward productive ends. One of the main causes for conflict is making incorrect assumptions about your partner(s). Assumptions can lead to many communication issues with your co-workers or loved ones. The best way to avoid making assumptions is to ask questions and seek clarification when you do not understand what someone else means. If you are able to

“Verbal judo” is a police tactic that teaches police officers to talk before they shoot. This deescalation technique was articulated by George Thompson in the 1990s. This strategy also offers guidance in reducing and resolving conflict in the workplace.


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En Negocios


engage in conflict in a loving manner, it will give your partner an opportunity to see how committed you are to a harmonious relationship. The key here is to turn the situation into a dialogue instead of an argument. These Verbal Judo concepts have helped many executives improve their

communication styles across many different industries and situations. As the book teaches, good communication requires empathy. As leaders, we should always strive to de-escalate tense situations and utilize dialogue to motivate, or discourage, voluntary compliance to resolve everyday conflicts.

Cómo negociar su contrato de arrendamiento comercial durante COVID-19 par Edgar R. Olivo La pandemia, las protestas, la falta de liderazgo, la economía en declive y la poca confianza en el mercado, han hecho la negociación de un arrendamiento comercial un problema financiero grande para los propietarios de pequeñas empresas. Como vemos todos los días en las noticias, las pequeñas empresas están a la vanguardia de los toques de queda y los cierres obligatorios. Además, muchos empresarios no pueden pagar sus rentas ni tampoco pueden esperar a que pasen estos obstáculos y pedir prestado más dinero para pagar la renta hará que volver a la normalidad sea mucho más difícil. Con menos ingresos obtenidos en el negocio, pagar el alquiler en un arrendamiento activo requerirá que los propietarios de pequeños negocios se preparen para las negociaciones, busquen ayuda legal y encuentren recursos financieros. Afortunadamente, con el número récord de Reclamos de Desempleo, impagos de préstamos y bancarrotas, los arrendadores están más abiertos a la negociación de arrendamiento porque también necesitan ingresos para pagar sus facturas hipotecarias. Los propietarios de pequeñas empresas querrán negociar mejores términos y tarifas, aplazamientos de pago, permiso para subarrendar o subdividir un espacio, eliminar los cargos por pagos atrasados o considerar la compra del contrato de arrendamiento. Es importante tener en cuenta que tener una buena relación con su arrendador y un historial sólido como inquilino con un buen historial de pagos lo colocará en la mejor posición para negociar. Asegúrese de comprender su posición financiera actual y comience la conversación con su arrendador lo antes posible. Deberá tener disponible cualquier documentación que refleje cómo COVID-19 también ha impactado su negocio. Desarrolle un plan antes de hablar con su arrendador. Comience comunicándose con su arrendador para programar una reunión sobre su contrato de arrendamiento y hágales saber cómo la pandemia ha impactado su negocio. Luego, encuentre un compromiso y sea sensible a las necesidades del arrendador también: será importante pensar en todos los escenarios de ganar-ganar. Es posible que tenga que renunciar a algo para obtener alivio de su arrendador, esto es parte del proceso de negociación. Finalmente, asegúrese de documentar la conversación y obtener copias de los acuerdos que realice con el contrato de arrendamiento ajustado. Los ajustes de arrendamiento más comúnes son la reducción de la renta a los niveles reducidos de operación durante un período determinado. Asegúrese de que este tipo de cambio se refleje en su nuevo contrato de arrendamiento. Aquí hay algunos consejos adicionales para ayudar a los propietarios de pequeñas empresas a negociar eficazmente con su arrendador actual:


Asegúrese de revisar el contrato de arrendamiento con un abogado antes de firmar. Algunos términos pueden ser confusos, pero podría ahorrarle mucho dinero tener un par de ojos adicionales que lo ayuden a tomar la mejor

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decisión antes de firmar un contrato. Asegúrese de comprender a fondo los siguientes términos: Alquiler, Monto del alquiler, Vencimiento del contrato de arrendamiento, Cláusula de incumplimiento, Garantías, Depósito de seguridad, Pactos operativos, Requisitos de seguro y cualquier otra cláusula especial como fuerza mayor. Tomarse el tiempo para revisar estos términos en su contrato lo colocará en una excelente posición para negociar con el propietario. Rocket Lawyer está proporcionando asesoramiento legal gratuito y documentos legales en su Centro de Recursos de Coronavirus.


Asegúrese de comprender qué estrategias de ayuda están disponibles para usted. En varios casos, es mucho más fácil diferir un mes de alquiler que seis meses. Las estrategias de alivio incluyen, reducción de alquiler por un período determinado, aplazamiento de alquiler por período establecido, reducción de alquiler o suspensión por un período establecido, pagos atrasados convertidos en un préstamo devuelto a lo largo del tiempo, períodos de gracia para detener las multas tardías, utilizando depósitos de seguridad como crédito hacia el alquiler, eliminando los cargos en otros artículos no específicos al alquiler, extendiendo el contrato de arrendamiento para cubrir un plazo más largo a una tasa más baja, o solicitando un arrendamiento temporal para cubrir el período durante COVID-19 mientras planea reabrir.


¡Busque ayuda profesional primero! Hay muchos recursos y programas disponibles para ayudarlo a aliviar las presiones de mantener su contrato de arrendamiento, como el Programa de protección de nómina o recursos financieros de su gobierno local y estado para ayudarlo en estos tiempos difíciles. Asegúrese de verificar su contrato de arrendamiento por cualquier consecuencia de terminación anticipada y hable con su arrendador antes de cancelar su contrato de arrendamiento. Hay muchos impactos negativos para usted y su negocio que un arrendador tendrá derecho a perseguir. Tener esta conversación temprano podría ayudarlo a suavizar cualquier posible resultado perjudicial.


¡Asegúrese de obtener ayuda legal! Un contrato de arrendamiento es un contrato, y con todos los contratos querrá asegurarse de estar preparado para defenderse como pueda. Para obtener más ayuda con su contrato de arrendamiento, visite Ayuda de la ley de AZ (AZ Legal Help) para encontrar abogados que ofrezcan asistencia gratuita para propietarios de pequeñas empresas.

Desde el comienzo de la pandemia, el Departamento de Servicios de Salud de Arizona ha apoyado a la industria de la hospitalidad y el turismo al brindar orientación de salud pública para limitar la propagación del COVID-19 y permitir operaciones de manera segura. Existen varios programas para ayudar con el alivio del alquiler.


How Small-Business Owners Are Negotiating Their Lease with Commercial Landlords during COVID-19 by Edgar R. Olivo The pandemic, protests, lack of leadership, declining economy and low confidence in the market have made negotiating a commercial lease a major financial problem for small-business owners. As we see every day in the news, small businesses are at the forefront of stay-at-home orders, curfews and mandated closures. Most cannot afford to wait for these major obstacles to pass, and borrowing more money to pay the rent will make returning to “normal” much harder. With less revenue earned in the business, paying the rent on an active lease will require small-business owners to prepare for negotiations, search for legal help and find financial resources. Fortunately, with the record number of unemployment claims, loan defaults and bankruptcies, landlords are more open to lease negotiation because they also need revenue to pay their mortgage bills. Small-business owners will want to negotiate for better terms and rates, payment deferments, permission to sublet or subdivide a space, waive late fees, or consider lease buyouts. It is important to note that having a good relationship with your landlord and a solid record as a tenant with good payment history will put you in the best position to negotiate. Make sure you understand your current financial position and start the conversation with your landlord early. You will want to have available any documentation that reflects how COVID-19 has impacted your business as well. Come up with a plan before speaking with your landlord. Start by contacting your landlord to schedule a meeting about your lease and let them know how the pandemic has impacted your business. Next, find a compromise and be sensitive to the landlord’s needs as well; it will be important to think of all win-win scenarios. You may have to give something up to gain relief from your landlord; this is part of the negotiation process. Finally, make sure to document the conversation and get copies of any agreements you make to the adjusted lease. The most common lease adjustment a landlord agrees to make is reducing the rent to the reduced levels of operation during a set period. Make sure to have this type of change reflected in your new lease agreement. Here are some additional tips to help small-business owners negotiate effectively with their current landlord:


Make sure to review the lease contract with a lawyer before signing.

Some terms can be confusing, but it could save you a lot of money to have an extra set of eyes help you make the best decision before entering a contract. Make sure you thoroughly understand the following terms: rent, rent amount, lease expiration, default clause, guarantees, security deposit, operating covenants, insurance requirements, and any other special clauses such as force majeure. Taking the time to review these terms in your contract will put you in a great position to negotiate with a landlord. Rocket Lawyer is providing free legal advice and legal documents on their Coronavirus Resource Center.


Make sure you understand what relief strategies are available to you. In many cases, it is a lot easier to defer one month of rent than six months. Relief strategies include rent reduction for a set period, rent deferral for set period, rent abatement or suspension for a set period, late payments converted to a loan paid back over time, grace periods to stop late penalties, using security deposits as a credit toward the rent, waiving late fees on other items not specific to rent, extending the lease to cover a longer term at a lower rate, or requesting temporary leasing to cover the period during COVID-19 while you plan to reopen.


Find professional help first! There are many resources and programs available to help you relieve the pressures of keeping your lease, such as the Paycheck Protection Program or local and state government loans and grants to help struggling small businesses. Make sure you check your lease for any early termination consequences and talk to your landlord before breaking your lease. There are many negative impacts to you and your business that a landlord will have a right to pursue, so having this conversation early could help you smooth over any possible hurtful outcomes.


Edgar Rafael Olivo is a bilingual business educator, economic advisor and contributor for several media outlets. He’s a nonprofit executive who is passionate about education. He is certified in finance and data analytics and holds a business degree from Arizona State University.

Make sure to get legal help! A lease is a contract, and with all contracts you will want to make sure you can be as prepared to defend yourself as you possibly can be. For more help with your lease, visit AZ Law Help to find lawyers offering pro-bono support for small-business owners.

Since the start of the pandemic, the Arizona Department of Health Services has supported the hospitality and tourism industry by providing public health guidance to limit the spread of COVID-19 and enable operations to continue safely. Various programs exist to help with rent relief.




Customer Benefits Come from Credit Union Acquiring Bank Enables expansion of services while keeping money in local community by Mike Thorell

Arizona Federal is the only Arizona-based credit union with SBA PLP status. We were able to obtain this designation through the acquisition of Pinnacle Bank just one year ago. Pinnacle was a community bank I was proud to stand up back in 2005. Arizona Federal had obtained the designation by exhibiting a successful track record of processing small business loans and by displaying a thorough understanding of the SBA’s lending policies and procedures. This was a proud moment for Arizona Federal, as the acquisition of a bank by a credit union was a first of its kind in Arizona and sparked a national trend, with numerous other credit unions (18) following suit in 2020. What is more impressive is all employees from both organizations were retained, a point of pride for me, but something that manifested in the most positive way in 2020. Arizona Federal, like so many other financial institutions, answered the call to process more than 500 SBA Paycheck Protection Program loans, a feat that could not have been completed at such high volume if we did not have the full resources of both financial institutions.


Mike Thorell began his banking career in Scottsdale, Arizona, in 1989. Over the past 31 years, he has worked for various financial institutions and has founded a community bank in the local market. He has specialized in residential, commercial and SBA lending throughout his career, while also serving as the president and CEO for various community banks. Currently, Thorell serves as the president of Commercial and Residential Lending at Arizona Federal Credit Union. business

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The significance of this for the credit union and its memberowners is it opened up more commercial lending and business banking services, like residential mortgage and construction lending. On the flip side, Pinnacle customers that migrated with us now have access to Arizona Federal’s consumer services, like car loans, insurance and credit cards. Overall, it was a match that allowed us to bring a full suite of services under one roof for our member-owners. Opening and running a small business is one of the most difficult and stress-inducing ventures a human being can take on. In Arizona alone, small businesses make up more than 99% of total businesses, which means there are a lot of brave souls out there willing to put it on the line with intent to create jobs, boost our local economy and make a better life for themselves. When it comes to launching a small business, one of the very first questions all entrepreneurs must answer is how they will fund their burgeoning venture. Some may be lucky enough to have seed money to get started; others may have a family member who can help. But for the majority, small-business loans are the only feasible route. Small business lending is not just for the new business owner, though, and, as we have seen in 2020, these loans can quite literally mean the difference between staying in business and closing. Many times, the window is very short, so expediency in securing that loan is of utmost importance. Recently, Arizona Federal Credit Union was designated by the

U.S. Small Business Administration as a Preferred Lending Partner, which allows us to streamline the application process and provide faster decisions to small-business owners. To break this down further, Arizona Federal has the authority to approve its SBA-guaranteed loans, which simplifies and speeds up the SBA loan approval process for borrowers. Nonpreferred lenders must submit loan applications to the SBA for approval, which can extend the loan decisioning process. Typically, a loan routed directly through the SBA could take several weeks, where we have seen loans processed as quickly as seven to 10 days. And, as COVID-19 has exposed, every week can make a world of difference. Through the SBA 7(a) loans, borrowers looking to start, acquire or expand their small businesses can obtain funding for a wide array of needs, from working capital for expansion to debt refinancing, with a max loan of $5 million. The SBA 504 loans provide financing to business owners needing assistance on real estate purchases, with a $5.4 million cap on multi-use properties and $1.8 million on single-use properties. As a not-for-profit, financial cooperative that is owned by our members, it is our mission to generate positive financial outcomes, whether for their personal finances or small businesses. When it comes to lending, small-business owners have numerous options. But from the standpoint of a credit union that operates solely in Greater Phoenix and Tucson and is an active supporter of Local First Arizona’s “Move Your Money” campaign, I cannot emphasize enough the importance or benefits of banking locally. When businesses entrust Arizona Federal or other locally based financial institutions with their hard-earned money, they provide us with the lending power to circulate money back into our community to the small businesses that need it most, with deep consideration of how that will positively affect our local economy.

Arizona Federal Credit Union acquired Pinnacle Bank the end of November, 2019. The acquisition of a bank by a credit union was a first of its kind in Arizona and sparked a national trend, with numerous other credit unions (18) following suit in 2020.


Arizona Minimum Wage Increase: Facts and Misconceptions New increase to go into effect January 1 by Ivy N. Voss

On January 1, 2021, the minimum wage for Arizona employees will increase to $12.15 per hour, up from $12.00 per hour in 2020. This increase is based on the passage in 2016 of the Fair Wages and Healthy Families Initiative, which provided for a gradual increase in the minimum wage each January, from $10.50 per hour on January 1, 2018, to $11.00 per hour on January 1, 2019, then to $12.00 per hour on January 1, 2020, and now to $12.15 in 2021. Going forward, on January 1 of each subsequent year after 2021, as described in A.R.S. 23-263, the state’s minimum wage will be adjusted by a formula based on the inflation index rounded up to the nearest multiple of $.05. Essentially, after 2021, depending on the economy and the rate of measurable inflation, there may be additional increases, or no increase in years when inflation is stagnant. There are exemptions for certain employees in the Arizona minimum wage law, based on the nature of the employer. State and federal government employees are not covered, nor are persons employed by a parent or sibling. Anyone performing childcare services on a casual basis in the employer’s home (i.e., a babysitter) is not covered, although domestic workers performing childcare as part of their regular duties are covered, and employers may pay tipped employees $3.00 per hour less than the state minimum wage, based on how tips are calculated and paid. Arizona’s minimum wage law is distinct in several ways from the federal minimum wage. An Arizona employer must pay at least the state’s minimum wage for every hour worked in a week, even if that would not be required by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. In Arizona, some employees who would not be covered under the FLSA, such as outside commissioned salespersons, must receive at least the state’s minimum wage anytime the weekly commission is less than minimum wage. Arizona statutes include provisions for an employee to file a complaint with the Arizona Industrial Commission, based on A.R.S. 23-263, to recoup lawfully earned wages that were not paid under this law, with the possibility of double the amount of unpaid wages. Claims for unpaid wages must be filed within two years of the date wages should have been paid, or within three years for willful violation of the law. Increasing the minimum wage is popular with employees but is not an unmixed blessing to the economy. Since the minimum wage applies to lower-wage workers, increasing it boosts the income of some employees, but often causes employers to reduce the size of that segment of the

workforce. Exactly how much incremental increases in the minimum wage will impact overall employment levels and jobless numbers is hard to calculate, but when looking at proposed changes in the federal minimum wage, the Congressional Budget Office calculated in 2019 that an increase to $15 per hour by 2025 would have the effect of lifting some 1.3 million people out poverty but, due to the increased jobless numbers caused by workforce reduction in the low-wage sector, it would have the unanticipated consequence of reducing real family income in this wage group overall by about .01 percent. In February 2019, the Economic Policy Institute published a study of the impact that increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour would have on certain sectors of the workforce. Contrary to a popular misconception, the primary beneficiaries are not youth, but established workers. The study concluded the average age of affected workers to be 35 years, and that more workers aged 55 and older would benefit (14.6%) than teens (9.3%). The same study also found more than half the recipients of the proposed change would be in their prime earning years, aged 25 to 54. Additionally, although men comprise a larger portion of the workforce, the majority of those affected by the proposed increase in the federal minimum wage would be women (57.9%). A corollary to an increase in federal or state minimum wage is the impact on the community as whole, and not just the affected workers. Regardless of the demographics and despite the acknowledged reduction in the lower-wage workforce, a pay increase in the lower-wage sector creates a positive ripple effect in the community. Since minimum age is paid to workers with the smallest discretionary incomes, a pay raise for these workers is not generally tucked away in stocks, bonds, and investments, but is typically spent in the local economy on goods and services.

The minimum wage in Arizona may be increasing to $12.15 per hour in 2021, but the state’s overall rank will drop from fifth to ninth with the change, as other states adopt higher increases. A number of states and even certain metropolitan areas will go to $15 per hour (including Flagstaff), while 21 states share the bottom tier as they use the federal minimum wage rate of $7.25 per hour.

Ivy N. Voss, Esq.., is a staff attorney in the Arizona regional office of Employers Council. A practicing attorney for 25 years, Voss has worked for public agencies and private companies advising about many areas of business law that include employment law, discrimination, benefit plans, commercial lending and real estate finance, entity formation, franchises, commercial leases, and business transactions. She served as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Arizona for seven years.


Social Impact

The current crisis has accelerated efforts to deploy resources to help address immediate and longer-term needs for shelter, rental assistance, housing, small-business support and financial stability. While Wells Fargo is providing additional flexibility in its grant-making to help nonprofits address operations, staffing costs and other urgent necessities, it continues to focus on supporting organizations that are strategically aligned with its funding priorities. For details about Wells Fargo Grant Application and on its giving efforts and programs, visit www. corporate-responsibility.

Tyler Butler (“Tyler Butler | Giving in Style”), founder and CEO of 11Eleven Consulting, is a corporate social responsibility practitioner and expert leader in the corporate citizenship space. She has served on numerous national and local boards and is often cited as a subject matter expert by Forbes, Entrepreneur, U.S. News & World Report and more.

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Wells Fargo Leverages Scale to Feed Communities Drive-up food bank is bringing food where its most needed by Tyler Butler

Wells Fargo has a long history of supporting local communities, especially during challenging times. Its leadership believes that when their communities thrive everyone can be successful, and they are deeply committed to supporting local communities where their employees and customers live and work. Wells Fargo concentrates its philanthropic investments on three pressing issues affecting underserved communities: housing affordability, financial health and small-business growth. The COVID pandemic has created unprecedented disruptions throughout the world, and Wells Fargo is responding to this dynamic and fluid situation by leveraging its considerable network. As part of a series of comprehensive actions that Wells Fargo is taking to help employees, customers and communities experiencing hardships related to COVID-19, Wells Fargo is donating $175 million to help address public health needs, small business, housing, and financial health for vulnerable populations. One critical program through that Wells Fargo is responding to this pandemic is the Wells Fargo Drive-Up Food Bank program, where the bank is using its philanthropic resources, expertise and scale to help solve complex societal problems. The size and distribution of Wells Fargo’s branch locations and corporate offices puts them in a unique position to use the bank’s scale as a strength to help those facing food insecurity. The Wells Fargo Drive-Up Food Bank program builds on the company’s decades-long involvement in fighting food insecurity and represents just one of the ways the bank is working to support customers and communities during these uncertain times. “Americans around the country are hurting right now as they try to make ends meet due to the deep economic impact of COVID-19,” says Bill Daley, vice chairman of Public Affairs at Wells Fargo. “One of the biggest challenges in the current environment is getting food to those who need it most. That’s why Wells Fargo is using the broad reach of our locations, including bank branches and corporate properties around the country, to help distribute food and increase accessibility for families facing hunger.” Working in partnership with Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization, and its network of member food banks, Wells Fargo has turned its bank branches and office buildings around the country into mobile food distribution centers in an effort to reach more people facing food insecurity. According to a recent Feeding America analysis, approximately one in six people may experience food insecurity in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, an increase of 46% compared to 2018. In response to the

increased need, the Feeding America network of food banks distributed 20% more food in March compared to average months and estimated an average of just under 30% of people being served are new to charitable food assistance. “Being able to offer food to people in need at different times and locations is critical,” notes Dave Richins, president and CEO of United Food Bank. “Our goal is always to be able to provide assistance where it’s needed. Most of the 300 households coming to the Wells Fargo distribution events each Wednesday are there because the timing and the location work best for them and their families. We’re so grateful to be able to offer them this opportunity to feed their families with nutritious foods.” Wells Fargo is continuing to grow these efforts as this pandemic continues to impact communities. It announced it will donate approximately $400 million in gross processing fees from the Paycheck Protection Program to nonprofits helping small businesses recover from the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Wells Fargo’s new Open for Business Fund aims to help small businesses reopen, stay open and rebuild. The effort will engage local nonprofit organizations serving diverse small businesses, with an emphasis on Black and African American, Hispanic, Asian American and Native American/Alaska Native businesses, among others. This major initiative will open a new avenue for nonprofits to deliver capital, training and long-term recovery efforts to entrepreneurs who see a long road ahead. Through these efforts Wells Fargo continues to showcase that philanthropy and community support is genuinely one of the core values that drives its business. Its long history of supporting local and national initiatives is especially apparent during these challenging times with these newly created pandemic focused campaigns. The bank has donated somewhere around $2.3 million to COVID-19 response efforts, funding that will help deliver critical relief and support to communities in need. The combination of this financial support and the leveraging of its existing footprint in communities throughout the country has enabled Wells Fargo to serve as a champion to those in need. Wells Fargo

According to a recent Feeding America analysis, approximately one in six people may experience food insecurity in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, an increase of 46% compared to 2018.

Photo courtesy of Wells Fargo





Courageous Feedback. Can You Deliver It? Strive for a shared perspective by Eileen Rogers

After 40 years as president of her print and marketing company, Eileen Rogers’ encore career is now as a leadership coach and business advisor through her company One Creative View. She is a seasoned and accomplished entrepreneur and recognized community leader who is fiercely passionate about supporting and growing more vulnerable and courageous leaders. She is a certified Dare to Lead™ facilitator, Integrative Enneagram practitioner and executive coach.

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“Leaders must either invest a reasonable amount of time attending to fears and feelings or squander an unreasonable amount of time trying to manage ineffective and unproductive behavior.” —Dr. Brené Brown Most leaders assume feedback is negative and angst over how to deliver it so that it creates accountability, without discomfort for themselves. The ultimate challenge is how to deliver feedback, still be liked, “feel nice,” and still create change or learning. Tough conversations require courage. In her book Dare to Lead, Brené Brown, Ph.D., LMSW, included a Leader’s Checklist for giving engaged feedback. “I’m ready to give feedback when …” 1. … I’m ready to sit next to you rather than across from you. With COVID meetings, this is a metaphor now. The attitude can be symbolic of a power differential or that we view the conversation as adversarial. 2. … I’m willing to put the problem in front of us, instead of between us or sliding it toward you. When this happens, both people can see it from the same perspective, shifting from “you are wrong here” to “there is something that needs to change.” Now the leader is on the employee’s side and helping him or her through the hurdle — rather than just pointing out the problem. 3. … I’m ready to listen, ask questions and accept that I may not fully understand the issue. Strong leaders facilitate conversations by fact-finding from a place of curiosity — not lecturing. They don’t shovel and pile on advice/ direction/lessons in a single session. Courageous leaders will dig in, take notes, ask lots of questions. “Here’s what I’m seeing; here’s what I’m making up about what I see. I have a lot of questions. Can you help me understand?” 4. … I’m ready to acknowledge what you do well instead of just picking apart your mistakes. This can be tricky if there is a crisis or a deliverable with a tight timeline not meeting expectations. 5. … I can recognize your strengths and how you can use them to address your challenges. Effective leaders adopt a strengths-based feedback style. They connect individual strengths the employee has not applied in the situation. “One of your greatest strengths is attention to detail. You do sweat the small stuff and it makes a big difference to

The ultimate challenge for leaders is how to deliver feedback, still be liked, “feel nice,” and still create change or learning.

the team. As I look at this, I don’t see you applying that skill here and we need it now.” 6. … I can hold you accountable without shaming or blaming. We grew up in families with shame and blame as the default methods of feedback. Giving productive and respectful feedback is a skill set we have not learned. 7. … I’m open to owning my part. If leaders can’t own anything, convinced that they did nothing to contribute to the issue, they are simply not ready to meet. Nothing is ever strictly one-sided. 8. … I can genuinely thank someone for their efforts rather than just criticizing them for their failings. Look for opportunities to call out the good. “I want to share some feedback with you about that call. I think you did a really good job defining the problem to be solved and listening to all the perspectives.” 9. … I can talk about how resolving these challenges will lead to growth and opportunity. Leaders are prepared to talk about what needs to change within the context of productive feedback and career tracking. Knowing how to tie what they are observing to what’s important for the person is key. 10. … I can model the vulnerability and openness that I expect to see from you. To grow feedback receptivity, show up open, curious, vulnerable and full of questions. A meeting that begins with a guarded defensive leader who is ready to prove they are right with some kickass hard feedback will be met in a matching defensive, guarded posture by the recipient. 11. … I am aware of power dynamics, implicit bias and stereotypes. The closer you are to privilege (white, male, straight, etc.) the harder you must work to acknowledge and see how bias could factor into the feedback conversation. Brave leaders will ask about it. Ken Blanchard, author of The One Minute Manager, shared that catching people doing things right is more powerful than always highlighting mistakes. Parents know messages will stick if delivered with reinforcing praise — much more than shaming, blaming or pointing out what’s wrong. The same is true with teams. Courageous feedback is about balancing the messages — with all of them being direct, clear and kind. Unclear is unkind.


Workforce and Childcare

Parents are more concerned about childcare cost during pandemic by Mike Hunter

It has been reported some parents here in the United States are using between 8% and 42% of their income to have their children cared for while they are at work. Recent studies collated by co-working specialists Instant Offices shows more than half of American parents are more concerned about childcare costs now than they were before the pandemic. While the cost of daycare varies depending on age group and location, the national average currently stands between $9,000 and $9,600 a year. One U.S. study revealed average childcare costs are higher than in-state college tuition fees across 30 states and the District of Columbia. Specifically, center-based daycare for infants averages $991 per month; for toddlers, $847 per month; and for preschool-age children, $771 per month. The latest data from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) shows that the U.S. has one of the highest childcare costs in the world. Of the five most expensive countries for childcare, most are paying way above the OECD average of 14.5%: United Kingdom: 45% of household income New Zealand: 33% of household income United States: 30% of household income Ireland: 29% of household income. Australia: 12% of household income On the other end of the scale, the households paying the least for childcare are located in South Korea (at 3%) and the Czech Republic (at 2.6%).


Naturally, the rising cost of childcare is feeding into the gender equality gap in the workplace, as lack of access to reliable and affordable childcare can hold working mothers back from continuing their careers. The majority of working parents have adjusted their jobs and schedules to accommodate the costs, and women are bearing the brunt of these changes.

Recent studies revealed these insights: • 63% of working parents have made career or workplace changes to afford childcare. • 74% of moms and 66% of dads say their workdays have been impacted by childcare arrangements falling through unexpectedly. • One in three mothers has lost a day’s pay due to childcare arrangements falling through. • More than 50% of women have scaled back their working hours to reduce childcare costs. • 25% have left the workforce entirely. • Lost productivity caused by childcare issues is costing employers $12.7 billion a year.

A RISE IN FEMALE ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND CO-WORKING SPACE FOR PARENTS As a result of the struggle to balance work and home life, many women are choosing to become their own bosses instead. There has been a significant rise in female entrepreneurship throughout the U.S. in the past few years; in fact, women started 1,821 new businesses every day in 2019. There are now 114% more female entrepreneurs in the U.S. than there were 20 years ago, and these woman-owned businesses are generating $1.8 trillion annually. “In response to this, we’re seeing a rise in the availability of child-friendly coworking space for mothers and fathers. Working parents can thrive in coworking environments like this, which include nursing facilities and onsite playgrounds, as well as wellness and kid-friendly refreshments and wellness and workout facilities for parents,” says John Williams, head of marketing at The Instant Group. “The number of family-friendly workspaces is rising in the U.S., the UK and Europe, helping more parents to balance work and family responsibilities. These coworking solutions typically work out to be more affordable than childcare costs.”

The average cost of daycare for working parents in the United States is 33% of their household income.

Founded in 1999, The Instant Group is a workspace innovation company that rethinks workspace on behalf of its clients, injecting flexibility, reducing cost and driving enterprise performance. Instant places more than 11,000 companies a year in flexible workspace such as serviced, managed or co-working offices, including Amazon, Barclays, Prudential, Sky, Network Rail, Capita, Serco, Teleperformance and Worldpay, making it the market leader in flexible workspace. Its listings’ platform hosts more than 14,000 flexible workspace centers across the world and is the only site of its kind to represent the global market, providing a service to FTSE 100, Fortune 500, and SME clients. The Instant Group employs 250 experts and has clients in more than 150 countries.



The ABCs of Generation N There’s a new consumer mind-set due to the pandemic by David Ralls

Just when you thought you knew all the generations — from the Silent Generation to Gen Z, and all of them in-between — a new one pops up. This one’s called Generation N, representing our new “novel economy” all thanks to the novel coronavirus. This concept was first coined just a few months ago, at the beginning of the global COVID-19 pandemic, by well-known digital futurist Brian Solis. Novel, in this sense, represents new and unusual — which we all know couldn’t be a more perfect description of our new reality. Unlike previous generations that represented individuals in specific age ranges, Generation N is an evolution — a continuation — of Generation C (or Generation Connected), which is a state of mind rather than a particular age group. If we take that attitude or mindset of Generation C and combine it with a global pandemic that has been disruptive to our everyday lives, we have the recipe for our “new and unusual” novel economy. For the past several months, marketers have been scrambling to understand these new habits and behaviors — and discovering new ways to reach their target audience. While there’s a lot to unpack about this cross-generational Generation N, there are some key takeaways — the ABCs, if you will — that marketers should consider.


David Ralls is the president of Commit Agency, a brand definition, consumer experience and influence agency that believes moments make brands. When brands deliver memorable experiences that truly connect with consumers, conversations take place that in turn amplify brands’ influence.

DEC. 2020



Think of all the ways our day-to-day has changed over the past nine months or so. From Zoom calls to ordering dinner to helping our kids navigate online learning, our habits have changed in ways we never anticipated. It shouldn’t be too much of a surprise, then, that our digital usage has skyrocketed as we adapted to new ways of doing just about everything. According to Comscore, mobile and desktop digital traffic in 10 key categories is about 30% higher today than before the pandemic hit. This explains the dramatic increase we’re seeing in e-commerce activity, which had been increasing steadily over the past 10 years but then skyrocketed to reach a staggering penetration rate in just three months’ time that had previously taken 10 years to achieve. And because we don’t know how long these new norms will stick around, marketers will need to continue being flexible with their marketing channel allocation and embracing different ways to reach their audience.


Remember those early days of the coronavirus, when all the toilet paper disappeared from store shelves almost overnight? You really couldn’t care less if you scored the last package of your favorite brand or not—just as long as you had some. You weren’t alone. As the coronavirus progressed and it became harder (or impossible) for people to stick to their favorite brands due to availability, cost or another issue entirely,

it became apparent that consumers weren’t as brand loyal as they used to be. And as consumers became more comfortable shopping online, they were presented with more options than what they could typically find at a brick-and-mortar store. Those behaviors from those early shelter-in-place days aren’t expected to change all that much, either. In fact, a study by McKinsey shows that of the 75% of consumers who have embraced other stores and brands because of COVID-19, 60% will continue to do so post-pandemic. It will be imperative for marketers to acknowledge this behavioral shift in their target audience and develop more meaningful messaging that resonates with their new way of life.


It’s more than just understanding their digital habits, though. It’s also about understanding their mindset and emotions as we all try to navigate these uncharted waters. Think about all the news headlines we see on a daily basis, about the rising coronavirus cases (and deaths) across the country, unemployment rates, business closures and a host of other societal issues. This layer of stress and anxiety has played a large role in our daily lives, according to a recent Accenture survey that shows 64% of respondents are concerned about their health, 82% are worried about others’ health, 64% worry about their job security and 88% fret over the economy. While digital natives could somewhat easily adapt to this new way of life during the pandemic, it has been more difficult for others who have had to quickly get up to speed on how to use digital and social platforms to do things they used to do physically — like ordering grocery delivery rather than going to the store or jumping on a Zoom call with co-workers in lieu of gathering around the conference table at work. It is inevitable that consumers’ anxiety and stress levels will continue to fluctuate throughout the pandemic as new information is shared — which will continue to impact their online behaviors. Marketers will need to build in that flexibility, too, to account for this unpredictability for the foreseeable future.

Generation N is a cross-generational group of consumers who are digital-first, care deeply about the four C’s — creation, curation, connection and community — and are learning how to “survive, stay alive and thrive” in our new novel economy.


Workplace Violence

Safety Is the Ultimate Priority in Changing Business Landscape

Preventing workplace violence is an increasing concern by Doc Elliot

The defining business trend of 2020 means employers are boosting protocols, from COVID-19 hygiene to workplace violence prevention, to keep employees and customers safe. It’s the dawn of a new era for business owners in a rapidly changing business climate that has been fraught with confusion and misunderstanding. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a windfall of new safety and health protocols requiring immediate implementation and ongoing consistency in order to maintain business operations. Typically, these protocols are implemented by front-line workers who, typically, are not prepared for the kind of blowback they receive from disgruntled customers who refuse to adhere to safety procedures such as mask requirements and social distancing recommendations. These type of interactions frequently turn hostile – or even violent — pitting employees against customers in situations that raise concerns for the safety of workers and customers as well as risk and liability to business owners. The pandemic isn’t the only thing that has created a perfect storm for tensions in the workplace. Increased social, political and racial tension has also driven the incidences of public violent outbursts. A sharp rise in domestic violence cases is also linked to the shocking trend toward public disturbances and assaults. Online, these incidents have become viral fodder, humorously coined as “Karen” incidents, but the real-life causes and potential effects of violence in public is much more severe. According to violence prevention experts, it’s an alarming trend that most business owners are not prepared for. Nearly 65% of business owners do not have protocols in place to address workplace violence. Now, more than ever, it’s become a priority for business owners to keep their employees and customers safe, whether its enhanced health, hygiene and safety protocols or violence prevention. We saw how quickly corporations of all sizes implemented COVID-19 safety and sanitation protection protocols, but what people don’t hear about is that the demand

for organizations to offer some sort of conflict resolution or violence prevention training has skyrocketed in every state as well, and oftentimes they don’t know where to find that type of training. We’ve experienced a 300% increase in demand for workplace violence prevention training in all industries, to help companies, employees and even their customers to stay safer during these escalated times. Healthcare facilities and law enforcement continue to drive the strongest demand for anti-violence training and the retail industry is now rapidly working to standardize violence prevention training for stores. It’s become an everyday occurrence within the healthcare field where the ER nurses and doctors will be at the receiving end of multiple physical assaults as the result of a combative patient and that is what we train hospital employees and to handle. But now we’re seeing the same behaviors and outcomes within other industries, such as retail, air travel and hospitality, and since they are not that accustomed to that dynamic, businesses don’t know what to do and people are getting hurt. It’s now become a responsibility for all businesses to provide some sort of violence prevention training to their employees so that they know how to prevent a situation from becoming escalated in the first place in order to avoid conflicts instead of having to deal with them physically. Some states require violence prevention training for certain industries. Safety training experts anticipate that more states will adopt violence prevention training requirements in the coming years. It’s clear that business owners are now having to address more aggression toward themselves and their employees and unfortunately their hands are tied in terms of responding physically, so the need for de-escalation training is more important than ever these days. At a time where keeping people safe is a priority, workplace violence prevention training is key to establishing a culture of safety across all industries.

According to violence prevention experts, there is an alarming trend toward public disturbances and assaults that most business owners are not prepared for. Nearly 65% of business owners do not have protocols in place to address workplace violence.

A nationally renowned Federal Crisis Negotiation Specialist, Doc Elliot is founder and president of Phoenix Training Group. Since 1976, Phoenix Training Group has been the nation’s leader in workplace violence prevention training, customizing effective anti-violence training programs for corporations across all industries. The training includes violence predictability recognition, verbal de-escalation and negotiation training, physical aggression protection, to active shooter education. Course participants develop invaluable skills that will give them the ability to respond in healthy and productive ways, learning to spot the warning signs and react safely to a host of situations ranging from customer hostility all the way to lifethreatening situations. Employers will be able to provide a workplace that encourages employee wellness and a supportive environment where everyone can feel safe and comfortable.


DEC. 2020



Tell Me a Story and Capture My Heart What nonprofits can learn from business by Richard Tollefson

STORYTELLING CHECKLIST 1. Storytelling is the best way to present a business or nonprofit. 2. Always place the audience in the center of the story. 3. Every for-profit and nonprofit is in the wish-fulfilling business. Know what the audience wishes for and wants, and then show how the entity is uniquely equipped to help fulfill that. 4. Spend time clarifying brand and the entity’s story will lead to success.

Richard Tollefson is founder and president at The Phoenix Philanthropy Group, an Arizona-based international consulting firm serving nonprofit organizations as well as institutional and individual philanthropists.

DEC. 2020



Who doesn’t love a great story? The complex characters, engaging plot, drama, tension and, finally, the memorable outcome. And like a page-turning novel or an Academy-awardwinning movie, storytelling in the business world can be powerful — influencing how consumers make decisions and persuade others. Storytelling is as old as business itself, and has been adopted and used with great success in recent history by iconic brands. Their stories help consumers understand their business, create brand loyalty and “stickiness,” and drive sales. Business Insider says Steve Jobs was a great marketer for Apple because he was great storyteller who used the structure of great movies to make his pitch. “The Mac story played itself out on stage just like a hit movie, complete with heroes, villains, props and surprises.” Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign brought us stories of everyday people — regardless of age, gender or physical fitness level — who did not give up. Today, “Just Do It” has its own Wikipedia page. Patagonia, a certified benefit corporation, shines — especially online with videos to underscore its efforts to protect the planet. It’s time for nonprofit entities to learn from the for-profits, particularly those with consumer products, and dive headlong into storytelling. Good nonprofit storytelling needs to speak to the head and the heart as it seeks to provide impact for the community. The head is that which provides numbers and details about the positive impact in the community. It is structured from an analytical viewpoint. Speaking to the heart are stories on lives touched and the humanizing or personalizing impact that emerge through real stories. How can nonprofit leaders be convinced to embrace storytelling? Park Howell, who is known as “The world’s most industrious storyteller,” doesn’t seek to convince clients but rather helps them realize the impact of storytelling and teaches them to story-tell. He is the author of a new book, Brand BeWitchery: How to Wield the Story Cycle System to Craft Spellbinding Stories for Your Brand. Phoenix-based Howell says storytelling is primal — homo sapiens are the only beings in the universe that think in stories. That’s why stories are so unbelievably powerful: They are

Storytelling is a tool to reinforce the brand, create customer loyalty and stickiness, and then get people to be loyal to the nonprofit, invest in the nonprofit and become advocates for it.

imbedded in us. But, Howell says, our logical and rational brain gets in the way. In business, we always lead with the data — and we shouldn’t. Data is part of the equation, but consumers buy with their hearts and justify the purchase with their heads. Learning from the for-profit sector, especially the consumer product sector, means nonprofits should be thinking strategically and competing with other brands and individuals to get their story out. One example is Airbnb, which Howell says has “completely bought into storytelling.” Its YouTube channel touts “New videos every week about sharing homes and sharing experiences all around the world.” As Howell puts it, nonprofits absolutely have to think like for-profits. If they’re not making money, they’re not helping anyone. There are too many good causes to go around; the nonprofit leader has to think like a strategic businessperson. One nonprofit leader who lives that strategy is Lisa Dancsok, chief brand and impact officer for the Arizona Community Foundation, who says she is a storyteller — every day. The architect behind the wonderfully creative and successful Pure Michigan advertising campaign to attract tourism and business, launched in 2008 and continuing today, Dancsok says she has used storytelling throughout her career. Conducting campaigns for both not-for-profit and for-profit organizations, and now at the Foundation (take a look at its annual report for great storytelling), she knows the skills that storytelling and branding bring to the table are the same across all entities. Having the discipline to do it and do it well is what brings success. Businesses that are successful are those that can connect with clients, customers or their community in a powerful way. Those are businesses that people support. Dancsok points to the example of TOMS shoes, a business and social movement built on the promise that for every pair sold, they would donate a pair of shoes to someone in need. “They can put a face to the people who are getting those shoes,” she says. “That’s successful storytelling.” Nonprofits must pay attention to building a strong brand identity — just as TOMS has. If a business can do it, a nonprofit can, too. When a nonprofit clearly articulates who they are through their brand and their stories, they can be successful both in fundraising and the programs they’re able to generate.



2021 Chevrolet High Country Suburban Improving on an SUV as iconic as Suburban is about so much more than looks. It’s about making the most versatile and advanced Suburban ever — with more passenger space, more comfortable ride and handling, and more ways to make sure the vehicle is tailored to the owner’s life. The standard engine for the High Country edition of the Suburban 6.2-liter ECOTEC3 V8 with Dynamic Fuel Management is also improved — and considered a powerful yet efficient engine. Powering this largest of SUVs is not easy, but the output garners 420 horsepower and 460 lb.-ft. of torque, allowing for speed and reliable performance when needed. This all-new Suburban offers best-in-class second-row leg room, a newly expanded third row and best-in-class cargo volume, so there’s plenty of room for anyone — or anything — that comes along for the ride. With an available built-in 4G LTE Wi-Fi®† connection and the new Rear-Seat Media System with dual 12.6-inch diagonal LCD touchscreens, all passengers will have everything they need to stay connected and entertained. And to make sure the driver has all that is needed, there’s the 10.2-inch diagonal Chevrolet Infotainment 3 Plus System.

Drivers can stay informed while keeping their eyes on the road with the car’s available class-leading 15-inch diagonal multi-color Head-Up Display that can project turn-by-turn directions, safety alerts if equipped, incoming calls and more onto the windshield. For the first time ever, the Suburban is equipped with Alexa Built-In, which is out of sight but so very available to assist. Occupants can stream their favorite music, add to their Amazon shopping list and even connect with their smart home devices while on the go.

2021 CHEVROLET HIGH COUNTRY SUBURBAN MSRP: $72,300 City: 15 mpg Hwy: 20 mpg Transmission: 10-speed automatic 0-60 MPH: 6.9 sec.


Hand Sanitizer in a Wristband Fashionable and refillable, these revolutionary

attorney and biotechnology entrepreneur. He

access hand sanitizer anywhere. Made of ultra-light

immediately identified the wristband as an

silicone in a wide variety of colors, the wristband

opportunity to help prevent the spreading of

has a built-in dispenser, making it easy to fill with

the virus, while enabling people to safely run

the user’s choice of sanitizer. The CDC recommends

essential errands, go to work or attend school.

consumers use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that

Photos courtesy ofChevrolet (top), FreeBand™ (bottom)

He is joined by Steve Gordon, a NYC-based

wristbands are effective at allowing people to safely

The patent-pending technology was

contains at least 60% alcohol. The FreeBand™, which

developed in collaboration with Dr. John Moss

is worn around the wrist, is easy to use: First, a quick

and Dr. Marc Baum, research scientists on the

thumb-squeeze of the top of the band to dispense

frontlines of COVID-19. Between them, they

the sanitizer, then a rub of the hands together

have an established track record of designing,

until they feel dry

testing, manufacturing and clinically evaluating

FreeBand was created in response to the coronavirus’ impact on the entertainment industry. Uri Singer, a veteran producer, invented and developed the band as a way to help keep cast and crew members safe, while on set during production.


Get a year of In Business Magazine. Subscribe now at

medical devices for prevention and treatment of infectious diseases. $19.99 FreeBand™

CAR-TO-HOME CAPABILITIES Alexa Built-In is a fully integrated experience that allows occupants to use voice commands to stream their favorite music, access their Amazon account and even connect with smart home devices while on the road. Car-to-home capability allows occupants to ask Alexa to open their garage door, turn on house lights or adjust the thermostat before they get home.



Salmon, tuna, crab, shrimp tempura, avocado and mango, wrapped in steamed rice and a beautiful pink soy paper then drizzled with a peach chili sauce $16

CRISPY BRUSSEL SPROUTS Fresh Brussels sprouts, halved then grilled in butter until perfectly crisp, with smoked bacon and fresh pomegranate seeds, topped with Toki Japanese Whiskey glaze $13

SEA BASS TEPPANYAKI DINNER Seven-course dinner includes soup, salad, shrimp appetizer, fried rice, seasonal vegetables, entrée, and Dole Whip frozen pineapple dessert $42

Mike Russello is the owner of Kasai Japanese Steakhouse. The local Scottsdale restaurant opened in late 2018. It is the first in Arizona to offer a hoodless teppan table dining experience.

DEC. 2020



Kasai presents ‘power’ dinnertainment by Mike Russello

The hospitality industry is all about bringing people together and creating lasting memories. If this pandemic has taught this industry anything, it’s how to creatively think outside the box when it comes to keeping everyone safe while not compromising on the experience. When COVID-19 caused us to have to shut down, we decided to begin the construction of some upgrades originally scheduled for mid to late summer. This included largely expanded seating, more room at the bar, and a multitude of upgrades in both the front and back of house. Having increased from 10 to 14 teppanyaki tables allowed us to easily seat more guests while keeping everyone socially distanced. We have a very open establishment with a large patio. These two things enable Kasai Japanese Steakhouse to meet all the CDC safety guidelines while not making people feel like they’re missing out on the full Kasai “dinnertainment” experience. The teppanyaki industry is all about great food, high energy and lasting memories. Our chefs all work hard with each table so guests can have a small break from the daily grind. Even guests not seated at one of the teppan tables can enjoy the fire show, which can be seen from any seat in the house. The heart of our menu is teppanyaki, with more than 50 dinners and combinations offered. Each teppanyaki experience is served with seven courses, and lots of fire and flare from the charismatic Kasai teppan chefs. Kasai has other great menu items, too. Our sushi chefs create beautiful works of art for each and every order. Two of the local favorites are the Kasai Roll and The Sugar Mamma Roll. We also have a wonderful selection of noodle and wok dishes, fresh salads and a wide variety of fantastic appetizers. The signature Dole Whip frozen pineapple dessert is a Valley favorite.

We are committed to continuing our unparalleled dining service and helping create those lasting memories whether it is a birthday, anniversary, or just a night out. We have our guests, both repeat and new, to thank for their continued loyalty throughout 2020. It is our honor to be part of this community and we look forward to serving you a grand experience. Kanpai! Kasai Japanese Steakhouse 14344 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale (480) 607-1114 Opens at 3:30 for Happy Hour

Kasai’s Community-Focused Offerings We recognize the need to thank those in our community, and look

families each week to come in and experience the “dinnertainment”

for ways throughout the year to do that.

of teppanyaki. The past two years we’ve had a holiday gift card

This season — beginning Black Friday through Christmas Eve

special and this year there is a twist: The deal of “Buy $100 and

— as part of our continuous effort to support Arizonans, Kasai

get a $20 bonus gift card back” will be in full effect and we are

Japanese Steakhouse is teaming up with local foster organization,

encouraging people to donate their $20 bonus gift card to our

Arizona Children’s Association (AzCa) to donate $1 for every teppan

charity of choice, AzCa, so that more families can join us for the

meal sold. For the month of December, we will also host two foster

teppanyaki experience.

Kasai Japanese Steakhouse is the first in Arizona to offer a hoodless teppan table dining experience.

Photos courtesy of Kasai/Facebook (food images by Anthony TerBush)


Kasai Japanese Steakhouse: The Food, the Fire, the Fun

About ASBA

ASBA Economic Analysis Confirms: Small Businesses Are Making Big Contributions by Katie Prendergast, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs, Arizona Small Business Association

The Arizona Small Business

Association (ASBA) fosters and

At the Arizona Small Business Association, we’re

for many large businesses while employing 58%

empowers a thriving small business

proud to represent so many innovative and resilient

of Arizona’s private-sector workforce.

community by advocating for public

small businesses that continue to contribute so

policies that ensure a pro-business

much to the Arizona economy. To support the

recommendations as a result of the study will

policy and regulatory environment

small business recovery efforts underway, we have

provide new insight as policymakers and other

to help small businesses prosper.

partnered with leading economist Jim Rounds,

leaders make decisions to help small businesses

ASBA brings relevant and

president of Rounds Consulting Group, to provide

recover and flourish. ASBA will continue to be

dynamic education and mentoring

perspective and recommendations for policies that

the go-to resource for insight on small business

opportunities to business owners to

will be beneficial in the recovery efforts for small

challenges, data and policy impacts as we seek to

improve their business knowledge,

businesses in 2021.

ensure future growth and prosperity for Arizona’s

solve problems and, ultimately,

Rounds Consulting Group’s report illustrates the

The data in the report and resulting

diverse and dynamic small business community. To learn more about the economic impact of

become more successful. We

significant role small businesses play in the state’s

accomplish this by offering our

overall business ecosystem, and underscores

members valuable programs,

how critical small businesses are in the context

unparalleled commitment to their

of large business attraction and expansion. While

Rounds Consulting Group has more than 30 years

success, and the convenience

those large-company announcements are often

of experience advising both public- and private-

and efficiency of our products and

the headline, small businesses are the story.

sector entities on matters of economic and policy

services. ASBA is on the cutting

Small businesses truly are the backbone of the

development. To learn more about RCG, please

edge of what is happening right

Arizona economy, and provide the supplier base


now in the business community. From education and advocacy to resources, mentoring and meaningful partnerships, we engage our members with relevant interactions at every touchpoint.

small businesses, please visit

ASBA Equipping Small Business Owners with Tools to Thrive by Katie Prendergast, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs, Arizona Small Business Association

By staying on top of current trends,

At the Arizona Small Business Association,

develop a beneficial relationship with a community

we ensure the tools we offer, as

we know that the pandemic has introduced

bank, and how to initiate and expand relationships

well as the extensive breadth of

unprecedented challenges for our members, and

with other businesses in Arizona to grow revenue.

insights delivered, are valuable to

that many small businesses continue to feel its

the businesses we represent while

rippling economic effects. ASBA has partnered

diverse small business community will have

significantly boosting the organic

with a local technology company, Journeyage, to

relevant, actionable content available at their

growth of our membership base.

develop and deploy personalized, action-based

fingertips that specifically addresses their varied

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training to help our members recover revenue,

locales and challenges and helps identify new

reposition and grow.

opportunities for growth. To learn more about this

Recently, ASBA launched these training modules — available anytime a busy, overworked, Central Arizona 11811 N. Tatum Blvd., Suite P-195 Phoenix, AZ 85028 p. 602.306.4000 © 2020 ASBA. A publication of the Arizona Small Business Association. For more information or to join ASBA, please contact us at Section designed by the Arizona Small Business Association.

This training initiative will ensure that our state’s

initiative aimed at helping accelerate small business recovery in Arizona, please visit

small business owner has an opportunity to engage with the content — as part of our initiative

Journeyage is a Phoenix-based company specializing

to equip small business owners with the tools

in creating modern, engaging training material for their

they need to be successful in a post-COVID

clients. They believe one-size training does not fit all

world. Based on feedback from our members,

and empower their clients’ employees to accomplish

the trainings cover three critical areas for small

their purpose through personalized training at scale. To

business owners: how to build a robust social

learn more about Journeyage and their product, please

media presence to increase cash flow, how to



The Southwest® Promise by Southwest Airlines

When you’re ready to fly again, Southwest Airlines is here to welcome you back onboard! As we continue to navigate our business through the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the safety and well-being of our customers and employees remain our top priority. Since March, we’ve made changes to our operations and procedures to better support the comfort of our employees and customers — and we’ll keep evaluating our policies and procedures as we learn more. We also continue to monitor the latest outcomes of scientific research and are using that to guide our actions and protocols. We’re encouraged that much of the latest research validates the effectiveness of utilizing a multi-layered approach to lower the virus transmission risk associated with flying, like the actions we take as part of our Southwest Promise. As part of the Southwest Promise, we’ve employed stringent cleaning and physical-distancing practices such as using electrostatic and anti-microbial spray treatments in the cabin, implemented physical-distancing measures, modified boarding procedures, and require customers and employees to wear face coverings. We are also leaning toward our customers by offering flexible policies that put the choice to travel into the hands of the customer. The Southwest Team is working each day to ensure that our multi-layered approach to cleaning and supporting your safety stays

onboard with actions that support your well-being and comfort. Learn

current with the latest research findings and public health guidance.

more about the Southwest Promise and what it means by visiting

When you’re ready to travel again, we’ll be ready to welcome you

The 2021 Workplace by Eric Knott, MBA, PHR, CLRL, FinePoint HR

Undoubtedly, the U.S. workplace in 2021 will be as complex, if not more so, as what employers are managing today. Three key areas to watch in the New Year:

The Ever-Changing COVID-19 Best Practices As treatments come to market (and even

The Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Discussion Will Grow … and Deepen

significant evolutions in the National Labor

execution of DEI initiatives to determine

Relations Board’s direction to the ongoing

the initiatives’ effectiveness and adjust

pursuit of increased sick leave and minimum

as needed. Employees, consumers and

wage benefits, the national and state

investors expect businesses to manage

election results will mean new workplace

DEI proactively and to make management

regulations (likely starting mid-2021).

decisions that reflect the best interests of a

CDC guidance on how long COVID-positive

diverse community.

employment front. Staying ahead of the

Election Implications Regardless of the outcome, 2021 is

businesses don’t waste money and time on agency enforcement actions, publicity missteps and plaintiff’s litigation.

having been exposed. Additionally, expect

going to be a year of significant legislative

updated guidance from OSHA (and ADOSH

adjustments to the workplace. From the

in Arizona) regarding the obligations of

potential tax changes (which may or

Eric Knott is a professor of business at

employers as it pertains to OSHA’s General

may not change the retirement savings

ASU’s W. P. Carey School of Business and

Duty clause and keeping workers safe from

calculus for employees) to ongoing

is the principal at management consulting



2021 will be a dizzying year on the expected changes is key to ensuring

employees should remain away from determining when an employee qualifies as

versus independent contractors, and from

Businesses are wise to review their

a likely vaccine or two), anticipate updated

the workplace and new benchmarks for

nationwide discussions about employees

firm FinePoint HR (

Leading through COVID-19 and Other Challenging Times by Lee Benson, CEO, ETW

I’ve spoken to a lot of CEOs recently, and the one question I hear over and over is, “What is the best way to lead my team through this tumultuous time?” Here are the main points I cover with them: • Be clear with your entire team that the direction has not changed, but we will have to navigate this crisis together. • Over-communicate the plan to get through this crisis. • The leadership team should disproportionately share in any financial sacrifices that need to be made (if any). • If your business is negatively impacted to the point your team members don’t have enough work to do, use this time to improve processes, systems, products, services and anything else that helps you hit the ground running when everyone gets back to business. One of the most valuable leadership traits is instilling confidence in others, especially in uncertain times. Our team members look to us for confidence in our plan and in their ability to execute. The more stress and uncertainty we show, the less focused our team will be on doing what needs to be done. A great way to instill confidence in your team is to ensure they are

Drivers that can be leveraged by the team to improve their Most

doing the right work at the right time and in the right order to create

Important Number. That may include areas like marketing, sales,

the most value for their team and the company. We have to help our

operations, employee development, supply chain, positioning to

team members identify and want to do the right kind of work, and

scale, quality, customer service, business processes and more.

they need to feel successful. There are two essential questions that can help set them up for this: 1) What is the Most Important Number for each team? We invest in for-profit businesses in order to make a good return on our investment. Businesses invest in people and teams in order to gain a good return on those investments, leading to creating more value as a company. And all employees and teams

As each area of focused work is identified, leaders should ask: How well are we leveraging each Driver to improve our Most Important Number? Which two or three Drivers should we focus on today to make the biggest improvement with our Most Important Number? Of course, challenge is not new to business. But a leader’s

need to create significantly more value than they are being paid

response matters and the work everyone does to overcome each

(including the resources they consume) for the business to sustain

challenge may very well require new ideas and approaches.

profitable growth.

Focusing teams on the right numbers and work matters now

• As this question is considered, leaders should help their teams

more than ever, and, using these two questions, teams have the


opportunity to stay focused.

• Why did the company invest in our team?

What are the Most Important Numbers for each of your teams and

• What is the one number above all others that demonstrates we

how well are they doing the work of improving them? How would you

are winning or losing as team?

rate yourself on instilling confidence?

• If you were going to invest your family’s entire life savings in your team, how would you know you are earning a good return on that

ETW helps teams work better together by improving what’s most


important. Our team has developed the Most Important Number Drivers (MIND) Methodology to help determine the most important

2) What work must each team focus on to improve their Most

number for your team to achieve and uncover the right work that

Important Number?

drives that number. We get results through simple, sustainable

Once the Most Important Number is identified, then the task becomes even more difficult. Teams must now identify the work and

changes to how your team meets, communicates, and approaches work. To learn more visit


Why Community Banking Matters by National Bank of Arizona

As a business banker at a community bank, I’m often reminded of the old saying, “A rising tide lifts all boats.” To me, it speaks to the interconnected nature of our communities; how we’re all in this together; and how what’s good for the community is good for the individual, and vice versa. Community banks understand this intimately, and that’s what separates them from the larger, nationwide banks. Because the truth is, community banks like National Bank of Arizona are — quite literally — invested in the cities and towns where they operate. The money you deposit into that bank stays in the community and is used to fund loans that benefit local businesses and individuals, from the young couple buying their first house to the mom-and-pop restaurant that’s looking to expand. This, in turn, makes the local economy stronger and helps small businesses and individuals become more prosperous. By contrast, deposits in a large bank may be used to invest in big corporations

supporting nonprofits or mentoring young entrepreneurs. It’s why

or assets that are located hundreds or thousands of miles away with

when you call your banker, you get someone who knows you and

little or no benefit to your community.

your business. Because when it’s all said and done, community

Because of this, community banks are much more active participants in their communities, whether it’s through volunteering,

banks understand that we’re all in this together, that what we do is personal, and that a rising tide lifts all boats.

The latest business news on and on twitter @inbusinessPHX

Follow us to build your small business /inbusinessphx 4


Is the Health of Your Payment Technology a New Year’s Resolution? by Aurora Payments

COVID has certainly challenged businesses of all types and sizes to rethink the way products and services are made available to their customers. Through these challenges, there have been numerous innovations and improvements that will outlast COVID. What will 2021 bring and is your business prepared?

Online Digital Payment Solutions We’re all in this together, apart … at home and online … shopping. As we start to think about the new normal, how will your business proactively prepare for how customers want to shop in 2021? Adobe Analytics reports U.S. online sales in September increased 43% by year-over-year. If you’re exploring the option of opening an online store or recently began processing payments online, then it’s a good time to look at the health of your payment solutions. • Technology, Compliance, & Chargebacks: Evaluate your current merchant services with a trusted provider. Validate you have the

in online sales may appear suspicious and lead to funds being

proper technology, such as a secure online gateway. Confirm you

held or delayed.

are meeting PCI compliance guidelines to protect you and your

In-Store Digital Payment Solutions

business from potential fraud and put in a place a strategy to avoid,

• Contactless and EMV: COVID has accelerated the adoption of

reduce and dispute chargebacks.

contactless payments. Visa reports contactless payments have

• Mitigating Risk, Reducing Fraud: Businesses across all industries

grown by 40% year-over-year. Contactless transactions offer the

have transitioned to online sales as a method of survival through

benefit of speed while following the same security as EMV chip

COVID. As a result, there have been higher rates of fraud and

cards. The extra advantage of contactless over EMV is that the

chargebacks. To mitigate risk, it’s best to include multi-layer fraud

card never leaves the possession of the consumer, leading to

detection, adhere to best practices, make cancellations easy and

a lower risk of leaving it in the terminal. Your business will save

promptly reply to customer inquiries.

time on every transaction and your customer experience and

If your business anticipates a higher volume through online

satisfaction will improve.

business, it’s recommended that you contact your payment

• Cash Discount Programs: The fees associated with card

processor to make them aware of this increase. A sudden surge

acceptance continue to chip away at business profits. Due to this, many businesses will consider cash discount or surcharge programs. Advancements in technology such as Aurora’s proprietary cash discount software, Rise Free, allows the merchant to continue accepting card payments while eliminating card processing costs. • Gift & Loyalty card solutions: Gift cards are a great way for businesses to receive revenue and transact quickly. Take advantage of gift cards by stocking them in an area near your point-of-sale and accessible to online shoppers. Aurora Payments is a leading digital payment services and solutions organization headquartered in Tempe, Arizona. Aurora offers a variety of best-in-class technology platforms and payment solutions supported by on-site technical support experts that make up an allin-one ecosystem to meet the needs of businesses of all sizes. For more information, visit


Fostering Convenience, Connection, and Community Engagement by Christina Calhoun, Marketing Director, Scottsdale Quarter

As a town center and community hub with more

ASBA STAFF LIST & TITLES Jess Roman Chief Executive Officer Debbie Hann, Chief Operating Officer Katie Prendergast Senior Vice President, Public Affairs Robin Duncan Senior Vice President, Business Development

than 80 retailers, restaurants and office tenants in Scottsdale, Scottsdale Quarter has had an upclose view of the impacts of COVID-19 on small

Emma Lenihan Senior Business Relations Manager

businesses in Arizona. While there is no doubt that companies continue to face unprecedented

Genesis Garcia Senior Marketing Manager

challenges, we’ve been continually inspired by the resilience of our retailers and our community. Local businesses have demonstrated a


remarkable adaptation to rapidly evolving consumer expectations. Over the past

experiences. In fact, responsibility to employees

few months, foot traffic from shoppers has

and shoppers has never been more important

rebounded significantly and retailers have begun

as consumers have elevated expectations of

leasing new space. As we look to 2021, we are

corporate responsibility. Recent research from

focused on aligning with the “next normal” as we

KPMG illustrates that integrity now plays a

embrace the need for convenience, connection

particularly strong role in driving both advocacy

and community engagement.

and loyalty, with 90% of customers willing to

One of the most important changes this year is

Salt River Project Eric Knott | Vice Chair Arizona State University, W. P. Carey School of Business; FinePoint HR David Bones | Treasurer The Kenrich Group Kerry Stratford | Secretary

the expansion and evolution of curbside pickup

responsibility is not a new theme, this is a time

and other contactless services. According to

when conscientious businesses can further their

Andrew Westle | Past Chair

a McKinsey study, these services “have seen

standing as community leaders.

Shellpoint Mortgage Servicing

increased adoption since April, with more than

Scottsdale Quarter and our parent company,

half of new and increased users reporting an

Washington Prime Group, have embraced

intent to continue post COVID-19.” Since the

The Caliber Group

Genia Kehayes | Board Development Experience Scottsdale

this ethos by providing assistance to those in

Mike Leeds | At-Large

introduction of our Retail To-Go program at

need through nearly 1,000 community service

Pro Sales Coaching, LLC

Scottsdale Quarter, dozens of restaurants and

projects across the country. At Scottsdale

retailers have implemented the service, giving

Quarter, we held blood drives and hosted

our guests the convenience to pick up their

fundraising events for our community partners,

purchases from marked spaces in our parking lot.

among other efforts, as part of our call to be a

We’re proud to offer this service, to ensure all our

Goodwill Ambassador in the community. WPG

guests have a shopping experience that fits their

also launched the Open for Small Business

comfort level. What started out as an amenity has

initiative earlier this year, which provides

become a necessity for retailers as the pandemic

important resources to small businesses.

has accelerated consumer desire for a seamless integration of online and in-person shopping. While maintaining an online presence is


pay more for ethical retailers. While corporate

Jennie King | Chair

The pandemic has brought forth a new business paradigm as consumers increasingly seek out companies that demonstrate integrity and purpose

critical, we know it cannot replace the connection

alongside safety, security and convenience. These

and experience that only in-person shopping can

are all now parts of a new value equation that

bring. First and foremost, businesses need an

local entrepreneurs should embrace to ensure

authentic commitment to the safety and well-

their success in our new reality. A mindset of

being of their customers. Businesses then need

continuous improvement and innovation will help

to show consumers how they fulfill their need

businesses navigate the changes ahead as well

for connection to products, services and unique

as position them for long-term success.

Frank L. Divers Business Development Specialists, Inc. Lisa Hunt BANNER / AETNA Rick Murray Arizona Chapter National Safety Council Otto Shill Jennings, Strouss & Salmon, PLC Daniel Schenck Clark Hill PLC Jason Trujillo Trujillo Private Wealth, LLC Patrick J. Van Zanen Sacks Tierney P.A. Janice Washington Arizona Small Business Development Center Network Valerie Wynia Arizona Public Service

Abdah, Diyari, Dr., 39

Drake, Glenn, 12

Knudsen, Nicholas, 22

Scardello, Katie, 11

Anderson, Lisa Stevens, 31

Ebert, Michael, 29

Lopez, Marco, 37

Schmittlein, Marc E., 32

Barrett, Robyn, 30

Elliot, Doc, 51

Markovic, Ruzika, 35

Serpico, Vincent, 35

Barry, Sherri, 33

Finger, Arin, 16

McConnell, Chris, 15

Smith, Dustin, 11

Bassett, Sandra, 10

Fox, Sam, 34

McFarland, Scott E., 22

Stetler, Codey, 16

Benson, Lee, 57

Garner, Don, 28

Michelli, Joseph A., 39

Thompson, Jesse, 36

Bidwill, Michael, 9

Gonzales, Franchesca, 16

Miller, Cornelius, 15

Thorell, Mike, 44

Brown, Lee, 38

Harlan, Pat, 17

Parnell, Andy, 12

Tollefson, Richard, 52

Burrus, Katrina, Dr., 62

Jaburg, Gary, 32

Ralls, David, 50

Voss, Ivy N., 45

Caffey, Dexter, 24

Jennings, Sarah, 20

Regalado, Roy, 24

Watson, Sandra, 29

Calley, Jerry, 12

Johnson, Angela, 33

Roelofs, Scott, 10

Zimmerman, David, 15

Daley, Bill, 46

Kane, Chris, 39

Rogers, Eileen, 48

Day, Diane, 10

Knott, Eric, 56

Russello, Mike, 54

11Eleven Consulting, 46

Dough Riders Wood Fired Pizza Co., 16

JLL, 17

RCG Valuation & Monetization, 10


Employers Council, 45

Kasai Japanese Steakhouse, 54

RED Development, 29

Alliance Bank, 28

Equality Health, 21

Kiterocket, 63

Replay Destinations, 18

Arizona Cardinals, 9

ETW, 57

Landsea Homes, 17

Scottsdale Quarter, 60

Arizona Commerce Authority, 2, 29, 64


LaneTerralever, 12

Smart Eye Technology, 24

Faciliteq, 18

MKB Conseil – Excellent Executive Coaching, 62

Snell & Wilmer, 19

Arizona Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, 25

Fidelity National Title Agency, 10

Southwest Airlines, 56

Arizona Community Foundation, 7

FinePoint HR, 56

Mountain Shadows Resort Scottsdale, 36

Arizona Federal Credit Union, 44

FirstBank, 8

National Bank of Arizona, 58

Tru Filtered Air, 15

Arizona Small Business Association, 55

Founders Workshop, 35

Nemesis Club, 11

UnitedHealthcare, 23

Arizona@Work, 2

Fox Restaurant Concepts, 34

One Creative View, 48

W. P. Carey School of Business, 56

Aurora Payments, 59

FreeBand, 53

Opti-Xpres, 15

WaFd Bank Arizona, 12

Ball State University, 12

FSW Funding, 25, 30

OptumCare, 3

Wells Fargo, 46

Bank of America, 11

Fuel To Fit, 16

Pedal Haus Brewery, 12

West Valley Arts, 10

Bank Shot, 12

Fulton Homes, 12

Phoenix Philanthropy Group, The, 52

Bottle Rocket, 38

Homie, 12

Phoenix Training Group, 51

Cake, 47

Hotel Valley Ho, 36

Premier Title Agency, 12

Chevrolet, 53

Instant Offices, 49

Pro One Media Productions, 35

Commit Agency, 50

IntegriMedical LLC, 22

Purification, LLC, 22


CopperPoint, 32

Intermestic Partners, 37

Q Point Health, 31

Jaburg Wilk, 32


Desert Financial Credit Union, 5

Quarles & Brady, 21

Divvy, 6

Jive, 8

QuickPass, 20

In each issue of In Business Magazine, we list both companies and indivuduals for quick reference. See the stories for links to more.

Bold listings are advertisers supporting this issue of In Business Magazine.

Staples, 14



DEC. 2020




Ripple Effect of a Toxic Boss Companies pay a steep price for leadership’s toxic behavior by Dr. Katrina Burrus

Katrina Burrus, Ph.D., M.C.C., is the lead coach of MKB Conseil — Excellent Executive Coaching and author of Managing Brilliant Jerks: How Organizations and Coaches Can Transform Difficult Leaders into Powerful Visionaries. As the founder of MKB Conseil & Coaching in Geneva, Switzerland, and Excellent Executive Coaching, LLC, in Las Vegas, Nevada, she has developed a network of international clients, experts and scholarpractitioners. Dr. Burrus has taught leadership and postgraduate courses at various universities and has served on the International Coach Federation (ICF) Credentialing Committee.

DEC. 2020



Working for a difficult or temperamental boss is common in the U.S. A survey last from by Cision for Robert Half showed roughly half of the employees quit their job due to what they termed a bad boss. But high turnover isn’t the only downside such bosses cause. Abrasive or toxic leadership creates many other costs for organizations and employees as well, from personal health to the company’s financial health. Toxic behavior in leadership at the workplace has a trickledown effect that spreads throughout the leader’s division. And if left unchecked, it can spread through and adversely affect the whole organization. Talented but toxic leaders are brilliant jerks whose volatile behavior causes the people around them to be much less productive and successful than they can be. These are bosses who intimidate, isolate, undermine and divide. And the longer a company lets the behavior go, the more the costs will mount. The following are some of the costs to an organization when toxic leaders cause a deteriorating work environment: Communication is compromised. When a boss is a difficult character with unpredictable moods, people fear telling them anything less than good news. As a result, problems that the leader could help solve go unsolved or are rerouted around them. These kinds of leaders also show favoritism, creating resentment, individual agendas and more dysfunction. Employees who once collaborated well now gossip behind each other’s backs and projects suffer. People lose motivation. Toxic leaders want most of the credit and are quick and to shoot down others’ ideas. This kills confidence in some team members as well as creativity and motivation. Talented and intelligent people aren’t being fully utilized. Why would someone offer a fabulous idea when they feel their boss will take that idea for themselves or humiliate them in front of the group?

Strategies don›t get fully implemented. Company strategies call for streamlining between leadership and staff to plan and implement. But often, the strategy never gets off the ground, or if it does, not smoothly. It’s tough for the team members to get aligned as they should when there is distrust or fear of the leader. It’s hard for people to follow consistently when the leader is pushing back or pushing too hard. Absenteeism and “presenteeism” add to the troubles. Presenteeism means a person is physically present at work, but not really there mentally. And absenteeism is a common effect of volatile leadership as workers don’t want to be there at all. If you’re present but don’t desire to be, then you are too upset by how the leader acts to feel comfortable or capable of doing your job at a high level. Absenteeism could involve legitimate health issues that are the result of the stress the leader creates. And that leads to major organizational costs. Leader and employee turnover both rise. A study by the Centre for Creative Leadership shows that about 40% of new executives fail within the first 18 months. Organizations want their leader to grow on the job and be a catalyst of growth. But that doesn’t happen when people are burning out quickly on them. And when there is relatively high employee turnover as a result of toxic leadership, the constant change disrupts company performance. We all know the financial costs of recruiting and replacing people, and then there’s the cost to the company reputation. The word gets out quickly and talented prospects will be leery of joining. It’s amazing how just one brilliant jerk can offer a company so much potential but ultimately set it back by doing so much harm. Companies that let the behavior fester do so at their own peril.

Toxic behavior in leadership at the workplace has a trickle-down effect that spreads throughout the leader’s division. And if left unchecked, it can spread through and adversely affect the whole organization.

Return Stronger Access training programs for new career opportunities.





Whether you’re looking to advance your career or find a new beginning, Arizona’s workforce network has come together to help you prepare for what’s next. ARIZONA@WORK is offering no-cost guidance in exploring local career pathways, accessing training programs and obtaining new certifications for your next job. No matter your background or skill level, you can connect with local experts to find the tools you need to return stronger. Arizona Commerce Authority

Arizona Department of Economic Security

Arizona Department

of Education

Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity

ARIZONA@WORK A proud partner of the

Supported, in part, by funds available through the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) under Title 1B of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).

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December 2020 Issue of In Business Magazine  

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