January 2022 Issue of In Business Magazine

Page 1

JAN. 2022

Could the U.S. Really Move to a Four-Day Workweek?

Employers, Employees and the

‘Great Resignation’ What is the workforce coming to?

Vision-Setting for

Inspired Leadership Cross-Cultural

Business Etiquette This Month’s Guest Editor

Kevin Pavlov


Create an Effortless

Customer Experience $7.95 INBUSINESSPHX.COM

THIS ISSUE Arizona Technology Council

SALUTING THOSE WHO ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE. Each year, SRP honors several commercial customers who have invested in solutions that help advance energy and water efficiency. In fact, last year alone these businesses, along with others, conserved 137,000 megawatt-hours of energy. Join us in recognizing the difference they are making both in their communities and Arizona.





By the Numbers

Spending patterns throughout the COVID pandemic underscore the resilience and agility of U.S. consumers.



Challenges for entrepreneurs are not just the startup phase but future-proofing the business.



50 Bruce Weber’s article Bruce Weber’s series examines developing and sustaining organizational capacity.


COP26 – Strategies for Decarbonization and Impact on the Built Environment In Gensler’s ongoing series on environments and workplaces, Johanna Collins explores the shifting of real estate value toward net zero carbon emissions.


STEM Sports® Audible Aids Education This month spotlighting STEM Sports®, Tyler Butler’s series explores the myriad ways businesses give back and the positive ways their programs impact our community.


Answering the question, “What is the workforce coming to?” In Business Magazine reached out to experts in HR, job development and business consulting.



Winter 2O22 • aztechcouncil.org

IN THIS ISSUE 2 Powerful Action Council stays in the middle of the clean energy conversation

3 Ties That Bind A virtual world helps strengthen, increase reach of SciTech Institute

4 Delivering a Diverse Workforce Partnership turns to tech to help bias that can occur in hiring

5 A Look to the Future

Council develops strategy to reach 2025 vision

WHO WE ARE The Arizona Technology Council is Arizona’s premier trade association for science and technology companies.

Phoenix Office 2800 N. Central Ave., Suite 1530 Phoenix, AZ 85004 Phone: 602-343-8324 • Fax: 602-343-8330 info@aztechcouncil.org

Tucson Office

1215 E. Pennsylvania St. Tucson, AZ 85714 Phone: 520-388-5760 tucson@aztechcouncil.org

MANAGEMENT AND STAFF Steven G. Zylstra Deborah Zack Karla Morales Bianca Buliga Darryle Emerson Laura DeGeorge Jamie Neilson Angelica Espinoza Don Rodriguez Ron Schott

President + CEO Vice President, Membership Services Vice President, Southern Arizona Regional Office Director, Marketing + Communications Director, Programs + Events Chief of Staff Director, Operations, Southern Arizona Regional Office Bookkeeper Editor Executive Emeritus, Phoenix


Steven G. Zylstra, President + CEO Jeremy Babendure, Ph.D., Executive Director Kelly Greene, Chief Operations Officer Kaci Fankhauser, STEM Ecosystem Coordinator Claire Conway, STEM Ecosystem Programs Manager Jake Lounsbury, Director of Global Partnerships Hope Parker, Curriculum & Training Specialist Michele Roy, Grants Manager Tammy Doerksen, CSO Advisor Training Destiny Madaje, Resource & Event Manager Fritz Smith, Arizona CSO - Rural Support Caillou Pena, Government Relations Specialist Amanda Rincon, Ecosystem Team Member Lisa Ristuccia, Festival Team Member

Arizona Technology Report

Arizona Technology Council: The Voice of the Technology Industry

President’s Message Where’s the talent? Whether you follow the news or just go out to get a bite to eat, you’ve likely heard various versions of that refrain lately. Employers have been looking for people to fill positions, whether it’s to build a house or pour a cup of coffee. For years, I’ve heard that same question but in a different context. Arizona has missed more than a few opportunities to draw technology companies because their leaders complained there was not enough trained talent to meet Steven G. Zylstra, President + CEO their needs. So, the jobs went elsewhere. Arizona Technology Council As we look to a new year, I’m excited to report the tide has turned. Admittedly, we still have our work cut out for us. The mad scramble for talent is going to continue to be a challenge. There are so many open positions in just about every industry. That’s especially true in tech because of the growth. It’s business creation, business expansion and business attraction going on at once. Thanks to the efforts of the Arizona Technology Council and its partners, however, the seeds have been planted for a talent bonanza. An example is our work with the Greater Phoenix Chamber that created the Cybersecurity Workforce Collaborative to develop a continuum of workplace experiences and share best practices to expand these opportunities. One of the resulting products is AZCyberTalent.com, a website that brings together students, employees, employers and educators in the state’s cybersecurity ecosystem. On another front, the Council in collaboration with Pipeline AZ and the Partnership for Economic Innovation has launched the Arizona IT/Cyber Career Network, a scalable, online platform that connects employers with technology talent in the state’s IT and cybersecurity sector. The IT/ Cyber Career Network platform went live in mid-2021 and can be found at ITCyberCareers.com. Arizona State University also has risen to the occasion. The Council is part of a collaborative funded by an $8-million ASU-led U.S. Department of Labor grant to establish the Arizona Workforce Training Accelerator Partnership for Next Generation Jobs (AZNext). The partnership’s goal is to enhance regional competitiveness, helping to address workforce shortages and train workers for high-paying, high-demand jobs in advanced manufacturing, cybersecurity and information technology. Separately, the National Science Foundation awarded nearly $10 million to increase Latinx representation in STEM degrees and careers. The grant was awarded to the Accelerate Latinx Representation in STEM Education (ALRISE) Alliance, a collaborative group of the Council and other institutions and organizations that are led by ASU’s Center for Broadening Participation in STEM to share resources, data, research and best practices. The Council also is fortunate to build its own talent pool with new members of the team. Joining us in 2021 were Karla Morales, vice president, Southern Arizona; Bianca Buliga, director, marketing and communications; and Darryle Emerson, director, programs and events. And, of course, I can’t forget our members and the talent they develop every day. Their economic prowess and ability to generate the high-quality, high-paying jobs necessary to propel our economy forward leave me anxious to see what lies ahead.








Could the U.S. Really Move to a Four-Day Workweek?

Arran Stewart discusses Iceland’s experiment with a four-day workweek and explores its potential for U.S. employers.


Three Hacks for Creating an Effortless Customer Experience

Jon Picoult addresses companies’ goal of being easy to do business with, starting with knowing where the pain points are.


The Best Leaders Know How to Set a Vision

Adam Bandelli examines the importance and implementation of this often-overlooked step in motivating and inspiring a company’s workforce.


Handling Difficult Conversations Remotely

Roberta Matuson reminds employers that the need to have difficult conversations with employees doesn’t go away when employees are remote.


Guest Editor

Kevin Pavlov, CEO of ElectraMeccanica, introduces the “Employment” issue.



Jodi Amendola, Vicki Etherton and Veronica Franco respond to In Business Magazine’s burning business question of the month.

Arizona Technology Council

JAN. 2022

An American Businessperson in a Global World

Susanne Evens discusses the importance and the varied implementations of rethinking business etiquette in crosscultural settings.


Employers, Employees and the ‘Great Resignation’



“Nomad Launches in Phoenix to Innovate the Long-Term Rental Market,” “Dailies Top Stories,” ““Local Standouts Recognized for Achievements and Philanthropy,” “Drybar Succeeds with Industry-Changing Benefits” and “Nextgen Television Service ‘Turns On’ in Phoenix”



“Predictions for the Phoenix Multifamily Market in 2022,” “Sustainable-Living, Opportunity-Zone Development in Tempe,” “Class A Multifamily for Avondale,” “Build-to-Rent in Avondale,” “New Boutique Hotel in Old Town Scottsdale” and “Flexibility Designed into Fully Spec Industrial in Gilbert”


From the Top

Founding Adobe Care & Wellness, Jayme Ambrose couples technology with a human touch to address disparities in healthcare.



“QC Kinetix: New Regenerative and Joint Pain Clinic” and “Collecting Vaccination Status Exposes Organizations to Significant Privacy Risk”



“Unifying the IP Governance Landscape” and “Harness the Power of Technology and Free Up the Power of People”



New releases give fresh insights on business thinking.


En Negocios

Feature articles in Spanish and English on Recursos Humanos y Gestion / HR &Management, Ventas / Sales, Economia / Economy and Liderazgo / Leadership



Paul Ford discusses what investors should know about oftenoverlooked investment opportunities with small, minorityowned businesses.



Jeremiah Foster examines pitfalls and benefits of merchant cash advances.



Looking at the future of philanthropy, next-gen leaders speak out on philanthropy, governance and social change.



2022 Mercedes-AMG E53 Plus: Illuminate sanitation with UV disinfecting lights.


Power Lunch

Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant - Food Worthy of the Wines



Herman Albamonte and Juan Ciscomani discuss the challenges and opportunity for Arizona businesses from our proximity to Mexico.

In a recent survey of HR leaders and hiring manager by freelance marketplace Fiverr International Ltd. and HR platform Hibob, more than half (61%) said it takes on average, up to six months to hire new full-time employees; 39% said more than six months. blog.fiverr.com/post/the-great-resignation

Together, we’ll find new possibilities The health and well-being of your employees matters. UnitedHealthcare is here to help you guide them toward brighter days ahead. From finding new ways of controlling costs to connecting them with medical care and mental health support, it’s good to have a health plan that’s on their side — and in your corner.

Learn more at uhc.com

Insurance coverage provided by or through UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company or its affiliates. Administrative services provided by United HealthCare Services, Inc. or their affiliates. Health Plan coverage provided by or through UnitedHealthcare of Arizona, Inc. B2B EI211205447.0 12/21 © 2021 United HealthCare Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 21-1202769-A

Jan. 2022 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 www.arizonanonprofits.org

Simplified banking in a complex world.

Jess Roman, Chief Executive Officer Arizona Small Business Association Central Office (602) 306-4000 www.asba.com Steven G. Zylstra, President & CEO Arizona Technology Council One Renaissance Square (602) 343-8324 www.aztechcouncil.org

Explore BusinessSmart™ accounts.

Doug Bruhnke, Founder & President Global Chamber® (480) 595-5000 www.globalchamber.org

Visit StearnsBank.com /Phoenix

Rosaria Cain, President NAWBO Phoenix Metro Chapter (480) 289-5768 www.nawbophx.org

Member FDIC | Equal Housing Lender

Anne Gill, President & CEO Tempe Chamber of Commerce (480) 967-7891 www.tempechamber.org 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 info@inbusinessphx.com.

ASSOCIATE PARTNERS Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce ahwatukeechamber.com Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry azchamber.com Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce azhcc.com The Black Chamber of Arizona phoenixblackchamber.com Chandler Chamber of Commerce chandlerchamber.com Economic Club of Phoenix econclubphx.org Glendale Chamber of Commerce glendaleazchamber.org Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce phoenixchamber.com Greater Phoenix Equality Chamber of Commerce gpglcc.org Mesa Chamber of Commerce mesachamber.org North Phoenix Chamber of Commerce northphoenixchamber.com Peoria Chamber of Commerce peoriachamber.com Phoenix Metro Chamber of Commerce phoenixmetrochamber.com Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce scottsdalechamber.com Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce surpriseregionalchamber.com WESTMARC westmarc.org


JAN. 2022



Jan. 2022


VOL. 13, NO. 1

RaeAnne Marsh Editor, In Business Magazine RaeAnne Marsh became editorial director of Phoenix-based InMedia Company in 2010 and helped launch Valley-wide business resource In Business Magazine. Her

Publisher Rick McCartney Editor RaeAnne Marsh

En Negocios Editor Edgar Rafael Olivo

years of teaching to transplant in Phoenix’s vibrant entrepreneurial environment,

Graphic Design Benjamin Little

and includes incorporating her own business, Grammar & Glitz, Inc., through which

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Todd Achilles Herman Albamonte Adam Bandelli Rachel Brockway Juan Ciscomani Dan Clarke Johanna Collins Ran Craycraft Susanne Evens Paul Ford Jeremiah Foster Mike Hunter Jamie Killin John Kobierowski Adam Lunceford Roberta Matuson Dave Murray Jon Picoult Arran Stewart Niamh Sutton Matt Thelan Mahesh Vinayagam Bruce Weber

journalism career began more than 20 years ago, when she left California and 12

she has taken writing and editing gigs with business and media clients nationwide. Holding the magazine to strong editorial standards, she says, “New businesses are founded, out-of-staters bring new strengths, established businesses evolve and expand — all of which contributes to the dynamic vitality that I see as the mission of In Business Magazine to be the voice of and vehicle to nurture, in each monthly edition. It is my challenge to ensure each edition is packed with relevant information on a broad spectrum of issues, aimed at a readership that runs the gamut from entrepreneurial startup to major corporation.”

Edgar R. Olivo Editor, En Negocios As editor of the Spanish section of In Business Magazine, Edgar R. Olivo shares weekly content for Spanish-preferred small-business owners in Phoenix. As a first-generation Latinx and native-Arizonan, Olivo’s upbringing was filled with similar challenges that Latino communities in Arizona face when they engage with the economy. An entrepreneur and nonprofit executive, he is leading the charge to help strengthen a diverse, inclusive and sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystem in Arizona. His work is nationally recognized for establishing programs that help advance equitable economic recovery, and increase generational wealth for Latinx/Hispanic small business owners in Arizona. “I believe today is a moment for leading big change. Business ownership is a critical means to build community and individual wealth. I hope my work will demonstrate to the Latino community that the entrepreneur ecosystem in Arizona has their back.”


Guest columns are feature articles presented as a special, limited series as well as regular, ongoing series in In Business Magazine.

Tyler Butler Guest Columnist – Social Impact As founder and principal of 11Eleven Consulting, Tyler Butler works to inspire companies that operate with a conscience, incorporating visionary principles, diverse perspectives and sustainable practices to create programs that benefit society and

Operations Louise Ferrari

Business Development Louise Ferrari Cami Shore

Events Amy Corben

More: Visit your one-stop resource for everything business at inbusinessphx.com. For a full monthly calendar of business-related events, please visit our website. Inform Us: Send press releases and your editorial ideas to editor@inbusinessphx.com

build positive sentiment for brands. Her focus is to enhance humanity while creating a brighter future for organizations to promote and steward rewardable reputations. She and her team aid companies to connect with likeminded communities and causes and elevate their employee engagement, company culture and external positive sentiment.

Johanna Collins Guest Columnist – Space As an architect with Gensler, Johanna Collins views her role as an architect as a privilege. She is committed to designing solutions that are as high-performing and economically feasible as they are creative and beautiful. She operates on the understanding that experiential design is about more than just a building — it is the intersection of light, materials and landscape that create memorable spaces. As an architect and a resilience leader at Gensler, Collins welcomes the responsibility in making a difference on every project for every client. She prioritizes lowering carbon emissions associated with her work as she understands the impact the real estate industry has on global warming.

Bruce Weber Guest Columnist – Capacity Bruce Weber sees In Business Magazine as a valuable forum for topics relevant to our business and nonprofit community. “I am deeply interested in organizational capacity and what makes organizations successful and impactful in the work they do. In my work in the community for more than 16 years, I have worked with all sizes of organizations and leaders in helping their businesses grow and expand their impact. My previous careers with Microsoft and Hewlett Packard involved working with business integration partners to design strategies to engage new markets. In today’s complex world, I enjoy exploring the possibilities and opportunities that change can bring.”


JAN. 2022

President & CEO Rick McCartney Editorial Director RaeAnne Marsh Financial Manager Tom Beyer Office Manager Allie Schimmel Accounting Manager Todd Juhl Corporate Office InMedia Company 45 W. Jefferson Street Phoenix, AZ 85003 T: (480) 588-9505 info@inmediacompany.com www.inmediacompany.com Vol. 13, No. 1 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 inbusinessphx.com. We appreciate your editorial submissions, news and photos for review by our editorial staff. You may send to editor@inbusinessmag.com 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. ©2022 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.



Hire and Higher

Kevin Pavlov brings more than two decades of automotive experience to ElectraMeccanica with an accomplished background and domain-specific expertise working with original equipment manufacturers and globally recognized Tier 1 suppliers. Prior to joining ElectraMeccanica, Pavlov most recently served as the COO of Karma Automotive. He has held various other senior leadership roles in his career, most notably at Magna International where he was, at different points in time, the COO of its E-Car Joint Venture, global president and general manager of Magna Electronics, and executive vice president of Magna’s Services, Ventures, and Innovation Group.

It seems only a few years ago, the big hurdle for employers was healthcare — how to offer an employee benefits package that would make the company attractive in recruiting and retaining talent. The current fight for top talent — or even average workforce to keep a company functioning — has bumped up to new levels. From healthcare to vibrant communities and a solid school system, it’s critical that a company attracting a global workforce such as we’re building can offer everything to its employees. Identifying a vibrant community was a major concern when deciding on a U.S. headquarters. And since arriving in the area in May, we’re finding that Phoenix is already providing such a deep pool of the kinds of talent we’re searching for. For their part, the ACA was an incredible resource for not just helping identify Maricopa County as our main U.S. foothold, but also by introducing business partners, community leaders and other resources throughout the region. It’s important that our U.S. base provides the kind of talent we need, from engineering and design specialists to well-educated and experienced industrial and assembly line crews. With dozens of top colleges and universities and an active community of veteran high-tech recruits, we’re very comfortable with the decision we made, and for the lifestyle and overall sense of community available to our workers. Speaking with experts in HR, job development and business consulting, In Business Magazine editor RaeAnne Marsh explores issues factoring in the so-called “Great Resignation” for this month’s cover story. Employee self-realization seems to be one of the results of the massive economic disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic with employees reevaluating their employment choices. This and other factors affecting the workforce from both the employee and employer perspective make a compelling read. Examining the huge impact cultural awareness has on the growth and long-term success of a company, Susanne Evens discusses the wide variance of business etiquette in disparage cultures, such as body language, punctuality or even tone of voice. Differences can be tricky to navigate, and her suggestions in “An American Businessperson in a Global World: Rethinking Cultural Business Etiquette” offer a starting point for business leaders in a global, geo-political world. One of the hottest topics today is sustainability, and Johanna Collins gives us an eye-opening view and case study of how the real estate industry is addressing the challenges in her guest column “COP26 – Strategies for Decarbonization and Impact on the Built Environment.” And with healthcare also at the top of people’s minds, Dan Clarke offers a valuable perspective on an aspect many companies may be overlooking, in the healthcare article “Collecting Vaccination Status Exposes Organizations to Significant Privacy Risk.” As these wide-ranging topics indicate, In Business Magazine strives to provide readers with relevant information over a broad spectrum of subject matter, to strengthen business in our community. From technology, healthcare and real estate to leadership, new concepts and even where to relax over a good lunch, In Business Magazine focuses on what matters to business. I’m pleased to be part of this community, and to help bring you this January edition of In Business Magazine.

EN NEGOCIOS 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 inbusinessphx.com/ ennegocios para más información. Stay informed on business topics in Spanish through En Negocios, articles for Spanish-speaking readers in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Visit inbusinessphx.com/ ennegocios for more information.



Kevin Pavlov Chief Executive Officer ElectraMeccanica

Story Ideas/PR: editor@ inbusinessphx.com

Headquartering Here This issue is about talent and what it takes to retain top talent in the

with our business community, and his

for business, we looked to Kevin Pavlov, CEO at ElectraMeccanica,

faith in our future is evident. As we talk

who just recently moved his corporate headquarters to our neck of

about what attracts people to come

the woods. A tough decision for any company to make, but a telling

here, we also see that the opportunities for businesses already

example of our growth and economic future.

here are great and truly work to empower our people — not just our

We want to thank Kevin for leading this issue. In making the move

Photo courtesy of

to Phoenix, he has become very familiar

workforce these days. As Greater Phoenix is becoming a global concern


Get a year of In Business Magazine Subscribe now at inbusinessphx.com


Business Events/ Connections: businessevents@ inbusinessphx.com Marketing/Exposure: advertise@ inbusinessphx.com Visit us online at www.inbusinessphx.com

—Rick McCartney, Publisher

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


JAN. 2022



In retaining your employees, what have you found they value most about your company? Is this the same or different for attracting new employees? Editor’s Note: This question generated response also from:

GUIDO DE KONING Senior Vice President Upgrade, Inc.

HENRI’ DAWES Senior Director Freedom Financial Network Please visit January’s Feedback entry on our website to learn these businesses’ strategies and experience.

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




CEO and Co-Founder Amendola Communications Sector: Media

President Landmark Title Assurance Agency Sector: Real Estate

Employees tell me they enjoy working with innovative, smart health tech visionaries who have MDs, MBAs, PhDs. They find it stimulating to constantly learn about new health tech products and services and be part of a fast-paced agency that is working with so many mission-driven companies making a difference in healthcare. Our clients represent the best of the best in all areas of healthcare, health tech and life sciences, from startups to Fortune 500 organizations, including locally based Equality Health, e-Visit and Tesis Biosciences. It’s a bit different for attracting new employees. Surprisingly, I have observed recruits really prefer working remotely. I, personally, would have predicted that most employees would want a hybrid option to experience the best of both worlds — allowing them to work from home three days a week and come into the office two days a week. We decided to accommodate our employees’ request and, after 18 years, we sold our Scottsdale office condo last month. This allows us to attract health tech PR and marketing talent from across the country.

At Landmark Title, we have been able to attract and retain a highly knowledgeable and dedicated staff. We are in hiring mode and recognize that, while salary, benefits and flexible work schedules are valued, it is intrinsic factors that help us attract and retain employees. I attribute it largely to creating a company culture that fosters and focuses on a team approach to work and having leaders who are accessible and responsive. In addition to supporting and serving clients, our top priority is supporting our departments and team members. We strive to cultivate an environment where everyone is considered a leader and their input is valued. Our managers take time to get to know our employees, recognize their goals, and try to empower them to succeed. As a title and escrow firm, we compete for employees in an industry where collaboration and a team approach are not the norm. It’s a big reason people come to work here and stay.

Assistant Vice President of Talent Management Desert Financial Credit Union Sector: Financial Services

Amendola Communications acmarketingpr.com

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

JAN. 2022



Jodi Amendola is a healthcare/health tech PR, marketing and communications strategist and thought leader. A 30-year industry veteran, Jodi is CEO and co-founder of Amendola Communications, a Phoenix-based, national, award-winning public relations, social media, content marketing and marketing communications agency serving healthcare, health tech and life sciences organizations.

Landmark Title Assurance Agency ltaz.com Vicki Etherton is an Arizona native and has more than 30 years of experience in the title and escrow industry. In 2013, Etherton was named president of Landmark Title. Under her direction, the company has grown from 14 to nearly 100 professionals with expertise in handling complex commercial and residential transactions.

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

Retaining employees, especially in today’s market, has been a challenge — one which we’ve made a top priority. We have found three things to be true when surveying our employees. Employees want to be respected, valued and recognized for their contributions. People, in general, want to be inspired by the work they do. Our culture at Desert Financial Credit Union starts with people helping people — it’s the core of the credit union movement. Our mission, vision and values are all about giving. We believe in giving back to our community, our members and our employees — and we provide opportunities for employees to give back in many ways. We’ve built programs such as Random Acts of Kindness where employees can give back to individuals in our community. We also provide paid time for employees to participate in charitable activities for causes they believe in. We trust that a company’s purpose, if aligned with a person’s values, will sustain employees through the ups and downs; and we find that sharing stories of triumph and success are especially important when attracting new talent into the organization. Desert Financial Credit Union desertfinanical.com Veronica Franco has more than 20 years of Human Resource experience and is the assistant vice president of Talent Management for Desert Financial Credit Union. Desert Financial is the state’s most trusted local credit union with more than $8 billion in assets, more than 380,000 members and 46 branches. Membership eligibility is open across most of Arizona with contactless solutions via eBranch.



‘In Business Dailies’ Most Views Last 30 Days Here are the stories with the most views over the past 30 days (prior to press time) that were features in our In Business Dailies. The In Business Dailies hit email inboxes twice each weekday — at 9:30 a.m. and updated at 4:30 p.m. Sign up today at www.inbusinessphx.com/dailies-signup Leadership & Management | Cover Story | December 2021

21 Top Leaders Who Are Making a Real Difference! by Mike Hunter Each year, we interview some of the Valley’s top leaders to give our readership some insight into what they see in the coming year for business. This year, we asked some hard-hitting questions of 21 top leaders who are truly entrenched in building our economy, developing policy, managing people and growing business through innovations that have demonstrated a real positive

Nomad Launches in Phoenix to Innovate the Long-Term Rental Market Nomad publicly launched the first-of-its-kind two-year Guaranteed Rent Offer in Denver in 2020, during the pandemic. While providing the certainty and ease of guaranteed rent to rental owners and helping guide residents through the depths of the pandemic, the company quickly gained hundreds of properties in less than 12 months. Capitalizing on the momentum, its leadership set their eyes on Phoenix for a few reasons: It is the birthplace of iBuyers like Opendoor, it has a tech-savvy community of customers and it has shown to be an innovative market in the rental space. Before Nomad, Phoenix-area landlords had to choose between doing it all themselves or hiring a third party to handle everything. Nomad provides a distinct new way to manage their long-term rentals, which was born from what the team always wanted as landlords: incentive alignment, flexibility, modern technology and reasonable prices. Working with Nomad is simple: Landlords visit the Nomad website, request a free offer and receive a guaranteed rent estimate within 24 hours. Once Nomad confirms key details about the property, a homeowner can sign a one- or two-year lease. Nomad lists, markets and

leases the property to a vetted resident using powerful technology. Nomad pays its landlords every month, whether it rents out the property or not. Additional characteristics that set Nomad apart from property management companies and DIY management: Nomad maximizes rental income. We are incentivized to earn our landlords as much as possible and use our unique expertise to get them market rent and less vacancy, even in a hot market. Nomad ensures great residents and property protection. Our resident network is well vetted. And, if a resident leaves behind damages over their security deposit, we’ll cover costs up to $10,000. Nomad offers flexible plans. Landlords can take care of repairs and maintenance however they want or they can choose to work with a Nomad partner. Nomad is unlocking economic opportunity for everyone in the long-term rental community: landlords, tenants, property managers and real estate agents alike — and Phoenix is the next frontier. —Matt Thelan, co-founder of Nomad (nomadlease.com)

Phoenix’s 96.3% occupancy rate is above the national average of 95%, according to RentCafe’s 2021 yearend report. rentcafe.com/blog/rental-market

effect on our business community. Growth & Enterprise | inbusinessphx.com | December 17 2021

Famed Tempe Restaurant Sells, Owners Announce Retirement Rick McCartney

Owners Bob and Robin Trick of the iconic House of Tricks restaurant in Tempe, Arizona, have announced their plans to retire in June 2022. The critically acclaimed restaurant has been a Valley favorite for more than 34 years, earning many awards and generating an enthusiastic following. Commercial Real Estate & Development | inbusinessphx.com | November 29 2021

Downtown Phoenix’s Newest and Most High-Profile Residential Building Opens inbusinessPHX.com This week downtown Phoenix will open of one of the

most high-profile buildings in its history — one that pays direct homage to the city’s past while showcasing its bright future. Commercial Real Estate & Development | inbusinessphx.com | December 13 2021

Mattamy Homes to Develop Bonita Ranch Community in Surprise, AZ Mattamy Homes Mattamy Homes, North America’s largest privately owned homebuilder, is pleased to announce that it has closed on another significant land purchase in Surprise, AZ. The 72-acre property, known as Bonita Ranch, was purchased for $10.95 million and is approved for 208 home sites. The deal closed on November 19, 2021.


JAN. 2022



Local Standouts Recognized for Achievements and Philanthropy ACHIEVEMENTS

Award for EV Pilot Program Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits of Arizona recently received a Sustainable Options/Corporate Sustainability award from Valley Metro as part of the agency’s annual Clean Air Campaign recognition program. The award recognizes efforts by Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits to reduce emissions in its delivery fleet by launching a pilot program to test two electric vehicles in the market. The results included a positive return on the environment, increased driver enthusiasm around sustainability, and the potential to realize 14% cost savings above the status quo. southernglazers.com

Recognitions Fill AvAir’s 2021 AvAir, an industry leading inventory solutions provider for the aviation aftermarket, continued to have impressive growth and reached new milestones in 2021. Early in the year, the company earned the No. 1 position on Airline Economics’ Aviation 100 “Parts Supplier of the Year” rankings. This ranking is judged on several criteria that include parts stocked, clients and number

Drybar Succeeds with Industry-Changing Benefits It’s been 10 years since Amy Ross opened her first sunny-looking yellow and white Drybar location in the Valley — the popular blow dryonly hair salon famous for offering glamorous, stress-free “blowouts” to women of all hair lengths and styles. Her sixth franchise location recently opened in Tempe at the Watermark. While Drybar has continued to grow in popularity over the years, the biggest challenge for Ross during the pandemic has been finding and hiring enough top-notch hair styling talent to keep up with the demand for business growth. In order to recruit the most talented and experienced hair stylists, Ross has recently had to go on a full-blown recruiting blitz. In addition to hiring a full-time recruiter for the six locations and call center, she has built relationships with local Phoenix-area beauty schools to share the benefits of working at Drybar and she also has an active and generous referral bonus structure in place for employees. Another tactic that has helped Ross in her effort to attract and retain employees is

highlighting the fact that she offers healthcare benefits to all full-time employees. Receiving healthcare benefits is not the norm in the hair styling industry and Ross decided it was time to highlight this benefit — and it is a game-changer. So now, the decision to work full-time for Drybar in Arizona has been made even more enticing. With her many locations offering both part-time and full-time employment, Ross created several stylish, sophisticated salons where hairdressers can enjoy focusing solely on shampoos and blowouts without having to worry about hair cutting or coloring. Ross’s business philosophy is really quite simple: Happy hair stylists create happy hair clients. And offering health benefits to her full-time employees has resulted in a great deal of employee happiness and retention. —Rachel Brockway Drybar drybarshops.com

of employees. Mike Bianco, CEO of AvAir also secured a place on the prestigious “CEO of the Year” rankings by Airline Economics’ Aviation 100 awards. avair.aero


Item 9 Labs Funds Cancer Support Item 9 Labs went pink by giving green for Breast Cancer Awareness Month! The award-winning cannabis product brand — whose CEO entered the industry after seeing how cannabis helped his mother through the pain during her breast cancer treatments — donated $5,000 to the American Cancer Foundation and Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk from sales of limited-edition pink boxes sold in local dispensaries throughout the month. item9labs.com

Western Wealth Contributes to Happier Holidays Western Wealth Communities and Western Wealth Capital (WWC) were humbled to again share the annual Rent-Free Christmas program and provided free rent in December for 58 deserving families – one in each community WWC serves – so they may use those funds to instead create a Christmas/Holiday memory with their family. As part of the program, 14 families in 2021 also received a full Christmas package, including food vouchers, and presents for the entire family, helping lift their financial and emotional burdens. westernwealthcapital.com

Nextgen Television Service ‘Turns On’ in Phoenix Evoca TV is a totally new paradigm for TV delivery that is less expensive, more efficient and offers a superior picture to legacy providers. Evoca’s patent-pending architecture combines the power of ATSC 3.0 — the technology behind next generation television — with an innovative, hybrid method of using both over-the-air and over-the-top connections for TV services. The Evoca service includes its Scout STB receiver, which decodes the company’s encrypted ATSC 3.0 content as well as existing ATSC 1.0 signals. This allows Evoca to provide hyper-local content to each community it serves. Evoca provides robust television signals that contain better audio and up to 4K video quality at an affordable price, giving consumers an alternative television choice beyond cable, streaming and satellite. Evoca Learn programming will include a channel called Path, which helps adults discover and try out skill training and job opportunities in conjunction with local community colleges, educational

providers and employers. This channel is made possible due to close collaboration with Unmudl to extend their marketplace to a new medium. Evoca’s plans for Path include curating specific content for Phoenix that connects employees with continuing education opportunities.


Evoca analyzed markets across the West and identified Phoenix as one that was in need of more TV competition. In parallel, local television broadcast companies used Phoenix as a test market for new NextGen TV services. Evoca saw an opportunity to bring content to the area, which was previously available only via costly cable, satellite or subscription packages. In October, Evoca turned on two additional Nextgen TV stations in Phoenix. Currently, Evoca is working to offer Bally Sports at an affordable rate for the 46% of Phoenix families who lack access to the regional sports network and their hometown teams. —Todd Achilles, CEO and co-founder of Evoca (evoca.tv)


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Along with the increased level of work-from-home since the start of the pandemic, there has been a 40% increase in online searches for tech ailments, according to analysis by Harmony Healthcare. In Arizona, eye irritation was the most disproportionately common ailment. harmonyhit.com/most-common-tech-ailments-in-each-state


Consumer Spending Trends during the Pandemic and Beyond Spending patterns throughout the COVID pandemic underscore the resilience and agility of U.S. consumers by Dave Murray

Dave Murray is executive vice president with the CMO Council and author of the “Gaining Lift from the Consumer Shift: Insights into Buying Behavior During Covid and Beyond” report. The CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) Council is dedicated to high-level knowledge exchange, thought leadership and personal relationship building among senior corporate marketing leaders and brand decision-makers across a wide-range of global industries. The CMO Council’s 16,000plus members control more than $1 trillion in aggregated annual marketing expenditures and run complex, distributed marketing and sales operations worldwide. cmocouncil.org

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U.S. consumers once again have proven themselves to be highly resilient and adaptive during the COVID-19 pandemic. Their buying behaviors have evolved quickly and dramatically to address new priorities and limitations, with consumer spending growing solidly in most categories, according to the “Gaining Lift from the Consumer Shift: Insights into Buying Behavior During Covid and Beyond” report recently published by the CMO Council. “Consumers are going be consumers. Spending shifts, but it doesn’t stop,” says Nick Mangiapane, CMO of Verisk Financial company Commerce Signals, which partnered with the CMO Council to develop the report. “Our analyses of card spending throughout the pandemic makes it clear that U.S. consumers were able to pivot quickly and reshape their buying behaviors to meet new preferences. For example, clothing and department store purchases declined during the epidemic since there were fewer reasons to dress up. On the other hand, streaming media and home furnishing both grew significantly to fit with a stay-at-home lifestyle.” The past 18 months have underscored the need for marketers to continuously monitor, predict, and respond to the fast-changing needs and behaviors of consumers. Going forward, marketing teams need to fine-tune their ability to track consumer purchasing patterns and pivot quickly when necessary. That includes the use of timely, granular and localized spending data for marketing planning, audience segmentation and personalization.

and other consumer-facing brands adapted to the new consumer mindset and behaviors. Retailers will need to focus on upgrading both their online and instore experiences in the future, making it easier for customers to understand and see available inventory and make purchases and also build on new hybrid models such as the buy-online/store-pickup models.

Growth: Online vs In-Store • Overall consumer card spending fully recovered to 2019 levels for the same period by June of 2020. • Home furnishing and hardware grew by 29% during the 12


One of the main ways the U.S. consumer adapted to the pandemic was to dramatically shift spending to online channels. Retail online sales skyrocketed in 2020, tripling its growth rate from the previous year. During the period from March 2020 to March 2021, online retail sales were up 56% compared to the previous 12 months. Nevertheless, in-store shopping has rebounded in recent months. In fact, Commerce Signals projects that during the coming holiday season, in-store sales will be a major driver of growth for retail spending, growing 15 percent compared to the same period of 2020. Online retail sales will grow only 3% from the year-ago period, as online sales growth slows from its huge surge of 2020. Retailers and other consumer products companies responded to the big uptake in ecommerce in 2020 by rapidly moving to improve online purchasing experiences. From ecommerce website upgrades and home delivery improvements, to buy-online/store-pickup models — retailers

months beginning in March of 2020 compared to the previous 12 months. Online purchasing in these two categories were up 69%. • Streaming video services, already a fast-growing sector, accelerated strongly during COVID. 2021 sales for Netflix and Hulu through mid-October 2021 were up 12% compared to the same period of 2020 and 36% over the same timeframe in 2019. • One of the main ways the U.S. consumer adapted to the pandemic was to dramatically shift spending to online channels. Retail online sales skyrocketed in 2020, tripling its growth rate of the previous year. For the entire year of 2020, online retail spending rose 50% compared to 2019, while in-store card sales grew just 1%, despite the shift away from using cash. • The shift to online purchasing is a phenomenon few expect will reverse itself. When comparing a 4-month period from late June to mid-October in 2021 versus 2019, online sales have risen 36% compared to 14% for in-store sales. Source: cmocouncil.org/thought-leadership/reports/gaining-lift-from-the-consumer-shift

Online spending experienced massive growth due to the pandemic, increasing 50% in 2020 versus 2019. Instore retail spending during that period grew only 1%.


Challenges for Future-Proofing a Startup Business


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JAN. 2022



Starting a business today feels very different from how it felt 10 years ago and is unrecognizable from 20 years ago. The main challenge for startups today is the choice of how day-to-day business gets done in either a physical or a virtual space. This was a much easier decision just a few years ago, as most startups felt the only logical choice would be to find a convenient physical office location and then zhuzh it up to inspire creativity, cozy team lunches and voluntary happy hours. “Culture” was a word at the center of every successful startup. Culture was what set them apart and also what held them together. But how do we develop culture among a virtual workforce? Startups today choosing to operate in a virtual space benefit from an infinite geographic pool of candidates, but face new challenges of ensuring quality internet bandwidth, managing household interruptions and getting out in front of the growing feelings of isolation that especially impact junior workers. Virtual teams that may not have formed a personal connection with their teammates may also be more susceptible to LinkedIn poaching, which seems to be at an alltime high as teammates get lured away with bigger paychecks and the illusion of job security. Physical offices for startups are far less common than in pre-pandemic days and those that exist are getting smaller. Long-term commercial tenants are renegotiating leases, transforming their spaces and finding adjacent companies to share facilities as well as the financial burden. Somewhere in between is the short-term, low-risk rental market formerly dominated by WeWork — startups reluctant to sign a lease on a physical space but that aren’t quite ready to be fully virtual. As Google publicly prepares its workforce for a hybrid return to work — that is, an occasional day in the office followed by several remote days — startups are considering following suit in an effort to find balance and maximize the benefits of each arrangement. Once employees do find themselves back in an office, will they shake hands? Will masks be required? Will the company

issue a vaccine mandate? All these new challenges are in play for startups doing business in 2022. Another major challenge for startups in the U.S. is navigating the changing state regulations around the classification of independent contractors and employees. Bootstrapped startups have a very difficult time building a strong, local team if their state requires employee status with benefits and payroll taxes. Instead, many startups, including my own, have no choice but to work with outof-state or out-of-country independent contractors in order to scale up and down as today’s business requires. However, as geographic boundaries expand for startups, so too do the legal jurisdictions that may one day be asked to enforce the law — creating a very challenging (and risky) situation for employers. While these new challenges compound, there are also several new advantages when starting a business that didn’t exist in the before time. It’s never been easier to manage finances and payroll than it is with today’s platforms like QuickBooks Online and Gusto. Recruiting may be challenging due to the increased competition, but the tools and filters available now allow employers to hyper-target candidates with very specific skillsets. The barrier to entry has never been easier for startups ready to explode onto the scene. Within a month, a business could be incorporated, have an online bank account, hire dozens of workers around the world, and be running targeted ad campaigns that secure their first customers. While many aspects of running a startup today are definitely more complicated than they were not long ago, the resources at our disposal are infinitely greater — building industries that didn’t exist with jobs that weren’t previously imagined using tools that, well, feel a lot like magic. —Ran Craycraft, managing partner at Wildebeest (wildebee.st), a hands-on, digital agency specializing in custom software development for innovative brands

In a recent survey of HR leaders and hiring manager by freelance marketplace Fiverr International Ltd. and HR platform Hibob, 54% said that many people who have left their companies are already working for themselves. blog.fiverr.com/post/the-great-resignation


Predictions for the Phoenix Multifamily Market in 2022

Phoenix real estate is on fire, and multifamily investments have enjoyed a year of unprecedented growth. The key drivers generating the tremendous sales volume of apartment buildings in the Valley last year are expected to continue into 2022, making the outlook for Phoenix multifamily incredibly positive. The No. 1 driver of the Phoenix multifamily real estate market is the skyrocketing demand for housing. According to a recently released report from Redfin, Phoenix is the No. 2 destination for U.S. homebuyers looking to move to a new city. People continue to move here for higher-paying jobs, quality of life and, in some cases, a more desirable environment for a work-fromhome scenario. This is not the case in many other major cities. In cities such as Chicago, New York and San Francisco, higher vacancies, net loss of residents and higher perceived risk factors are causing banks to markets to be much more conservative with their lending practices than they have been in the past. Phoenix is a more stable growth market because strong companies continue to move here, attracted by a number of factors that include a qualified labor pool, a business-friendly environment and an appetite for more development. For the first time in years, Phoenix is seeing a real maturation of the downtown and uptown neighborhoods, where it comes to supporting more housing. Multifamily developers who would have built further out are now building in the core urban areas where people want to be. This should continue at a strong pace into 2022, with Phoenix seeing more properties in the core areas of Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tempe. This is a very good thing for Phoenix, as we see an emergence of small to midsize apartment buildings in these urban cores. The real money will be going to the downtown core where there is a high-density zoning allowance. People are looking to locate in spots where they can live, work and play. Residents want more density and developers appreciate the fact that it is less expensive to develop these areas because infrastructure is already there. Instead of a 500-unit building in the suburbs, 2022 will see more projects in the 20- to 200-unit range being built on one tenth the amount of land. Phoenix should also start seeing more properties of less than 50 units on two-acre or smaller parcels. This is something we haven’t seen much of in Phoenix before now. The cost of capital is lower than ever, and this shouldn’t change much this year. Of all asset classes now, multifamily is by far the most resilient to the markets. Multifamily is a more attractive investment because people always need housing, and we’ve seen over the past year that people don’t always need so much office and retail space. There will be challenges — fuel costs and material costs are up, and the supply chain is still getting unkinked. These considerations make it more expensive to build in short term (before pro formas can be proved out in operations). but eventually things will catch up and these costs should be absorbed into the process over time. Locating land in the right place at the right price and finding labor will also be hurdles to overcome. However, there is a ton of opportunity for investors, developers and brokers to ride the wave of this incredible momentum. —John Kobierowski, CEO of ABI Multifamily (abimultifamily.com), the leading multifamily and advisory services firm in the Western U.S., focused exclusively on apartment investment transactions


by Mike Hunter

Sustainable-Living, OpportunityZone Development in Tempe Milhaus, a national award-winning developer, owner and operator of Class A multifamily properties, has closed on its second residential apartment development in Tempe, Arizona. The $56-million Qualified Opportunity Zone development located at 2119 E Apache Blvd. will offer 219 studio, one- and two-bedroom apartment units and five live-work spaces. The complex will be Milhaus’ first-ever partially solar-powered property with solar panels on carports to help reduce common area electricity usage. Along with top-tier amenities, the complex offers easy access to a new, car-free, mixed-use cultural district. milhaus.com

Class A Multifamily for Avondale Scottsdale-based Sterling Real Estate Partners recently acquired 9.6 acres of land with plans to develop Crystal Cove, a 238-unit, Class A apartment complex in the heart of Avondale’s rapidly expanding community. The land is located in a Qualified Opportunity Zone, which provides for significant tax benefits to investors and will deliver additional multifamily housing to the rapidly growing West Valley community. “In the Phoenix metro, pricing for existing assets has now exceeded replacement cost. Sterling has always been a value investor and now, the better value is to build,” says Sterling’s president, David Zeff. sterling-partners.com

Build-to-Rent in Avondale Scottsdale-based Empire Group of Companies, a leader in mixed-use high-rise and build-for-rent development, recently broke ground on a build-for-rent community in the West Valley. The Village at The BLVD will include 187 single-family homes for rent within the gated community located in Avondale, just west of Avondale Blvd. on the southwest corner of 111th Avenue and Roosevelt Street. Empire Group’s president of land development Shelby Duplessis says, “Demand for rentals is strong and people are looking for space and privacy,” and Mayor Weise believes this high demand “will attract complementary investment — such as more dining, entertainment and retail establishments.” builtbyempire.com

The No. 1 driver of the Phoenix multifamily real estate market is the skyrocketing demand for housing. According to a recently released report from Redfin, Phoenix is the No. 2 destination for U.S. homebuyers looking to move to a new city.


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New Boutique Hotel in Old Town Scottsdale On the site where once sports fans crowded the hallways or gazed from their tables to revel in the sports memorabilia mecca that was Don & Charlie’s steakhouse, Opwest Partners and Argosy Real Estate Partners last month opened the doors to Senna House. It is the first new hotel to open in the Scottsdale Entertainment District in 13 years. “Senna House has been in the making since before the pandemic and we were able to plan accordingly and pivot when needed,” says Tyler Kent, managing partner at Opwest Partners, a Phoenix-based investment and development firm. Acknowledging that they hit some of the same supply chain issues that many businesses faced during the pandemic, he notes their opening timeline was never pushed back and those issues were very few. With 169 rooms spanning six stories, Senna House was designed by architect Nelson Partners and built from the ground-up as a uniquely branded boutique hotel concept. The hotel’s authentic naming comes from the Senna flower of the Sonoran Desert and is representative of the property’s unique desert-modern design. Inside, guests will be greeted with lush living walls featuring sustainable succulents, luxe mixed media interiors, contrasting finishes and a

home-away-from-home desert vibe, as designed by interior design specialists Studio 11 and House of Form. Part of the Curio Collection by Hilton, Senna House was built to meet the rising demand for high-end hotel options in Scottsdale’s Entertainment District as tourism continues to thrive in the area. “Scottsdale was able to bounce back from the pandemic quicker than possibly

any other city in the U.S., and we are fortunate to be located in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale’s Entertainment District, where tourists and locals flock for robust F&B and entertainment options,” shares Kent. Argosy Real Estate Partners argosyrep.com Opwest Partners opwestpartners.com Senna House thesennahouse.com

Developers GID and SunCap Property Group recently broke ground on the next major stage of development at Gilbert Spectrum: three brand new, fully speculative, Class A industrial buildings. “The Phoenix industrial market has been on a growth streak since before the start of the pandemic,” says Rusty Martin, operations manager of the Southwest Division at Graycor Construction Company, the design-build general contractor. “That curve has become even steeper in the months that have followed, driven by record e-commerce demand. Our local market is expected to continue to outperform on just about every level, including new construction and leasing.” Citing Lee and Associates of Arizona, whose Ken McQueen and Chris McClurg are the project’s leasing brokers, Martin says that Q3 2021 absorption hit almost 16 million square feet, which is nearly double the 10-year average, with continued growth expected in the years ahead.

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At build-out, Gilbert Spectrum will include up to 850,000 square feet of office, flex industrial and technology-related space. The three new speculative industrial buildings will range in size from 66,446 to 142,200 square feet and will be able to support tenants needing as much as its full 309,547 square feet, or as little as 20,000 square feet with the possibility to expand as they grow. Gilbert Spectrum is a great infill development that offers a variety of functional attributes for traditional industrial users,” says McQueen. “With multiple points of ingress and egress, and centered between three freeways, the park offers an attractive corporate setting with proximity to skilled labor.” “Gilbert Spectrum’s combination of quality and scalability will keep it highly relevant in an industrial market that continues to rapidly expand and evolve,” says Mike Orr, senior vice president with SunCap Property Group. “These

new buildings continue our strategy to deliver smart, flexible space that can serve large-scale global users as easily as it serves modern, midsize tenants.” Noting that that Metro Phoenix industrial demand is running the gamut of size requirements, Martin says, “Projects designed with the flexibility to accommodate these different sizes are poised for the greatest success.” Graycor Construction Company graycorconstruction.com Lee & Associates of Arizona leearizona.com SunCap Property Group suncappg.com

Noting Phoenix’s emergence as a competitive life science hub, CBRE’s Phoenix-based first vice president David Barrett says, “Whereas in the past, Phoenix might have been considered for ‘incubator-size” expansion, the overall mindset has changed with those same companies considering significantly larger footprints that will translate into thousands of new, high-paying jobs in the Valley.” cbre.com/insights/figures/us-life-sciences-trends-2021

Photo courtesy of Senna House (top), Graycor Construction Company (bottom)

Flexibility Designed into Fully Spec Industrial in Gilbert


Jayme Ambrose: Changing the Face of Healthcare through Technology Adobe Care & Wellness founder couples technology with human touch to address disparities in healthcare by Niamh Sutton

STRIVING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE • Adobe Care & Wellness received its URAC Accreditation in December 2021, making it the only independent case management company in Arizona commended for its commitment to promoting quality health services. • Adobe Care & Wellness recently signed a joint venture with Desert Kidney Association, creating a new area of service: Adobe Kidney Care. • Adobe Care & Wellness provides more than 40,000 lives with healthcare solutions and services. • Ambrose is a member of the Case Management Society of America where she’s served as a board member and an active member of the Arizona Nursing Association.

JAN. 2022



Jayme Ambrose spent the first 15 years of her career as a psychiatric nurse. This experience had a profound influence on her approach to patient care and inspired her vision for a more effective healthcare model. She’s always asking, “How can we do it better?” Ambrose explains that working as a psych nurse taught her to look beyond a patient’s physical diagnosis. “It’s vital to also examine patients’ home situations and mental state, if we hope to improve their health.” Consider worst-cast scenarios — is there working heat and AC; access to food; functioning toilets; struggles with depression? She recalls her days managing home health services: “Because of regulations, we couldn’t address bigger issues impacting wellness. Our response was always reactive.” Ambrose holds a master’s in nursing and earned her doctorate in nursing administration. For her doctorate thesis, she developed a holistic healthcare model addressing social determinants impacting health and quality of life. Her model utilizes data coupled with in-person care to deliver proactive health solutions and resources for at-risk individuals. Ambrose believed an integrated model could decrease the need for medications, hospital stays and ER visits, which would reduce healthcare costs. At her professor’s urging, she took her project from paper to reality. In 2012, she joined The Beech Group as vice president of Clinical Services. While there, she had the opportunity to set up the pilot for her healthcare model. Ambrose implemented her program with a focus on reducing hospital readmission rates. Readmits dropped from 27% to 7%. With solid stats in hand, Ambrose was able to secure her first insurance company contract and others followed. In 2017, The Beech Group gave Ambrose the opportunity to purchase her division. She borrowed from her 401(k) to fund the first year of payroll and expenses and launched Adobe Care & Wellness. Ambrose was joined by 12 division employees, embracing her plan to expand the company’s integrated case management services. She knew they’d need software to drive programs. Ambrose directed IT to develop software for those providing services. She wanted an Electronic Medical Records system based on the flow of the at-home assessment process. Adobe needed to track tasks, measure outcomes and support the people delivering and receiving care. IT developed a risk stratification tool that analyzes multiple factors, including the living situation. “Our data shows it takes 6.7 visits to our members’ homes until they’re stable. The more times we can touch someone, the less likely they are to have an acute episode,” Ambrose states.

Ambrose and team created a Transition of Care Program as part of case management. IT works closely with care providers on process, but the team of nurses, social workers, care navigators and transition specialists makes it work. When data revealed 73% of post-op patients failed to go to followup appointments, Adobe reduced it to 20% by calling and assisting with appointment booking. As Adobe Care & Wellness embarks on its fifth year, Ambrose now leads a team of more than 200. “The model identifies what we need to do and who I need to hire to do it,” Ambrose explains. “A strong leader surrounds themselves with people who know more than they do. I need specialists in technology, finance, and clinical expertise.” She ensures her growing team continues to understand and promote her vision. Ambrose presents the company’s history and mission as a part of new-hire training. It’s important to her that company culture and core values be an integral part of strategic growth. While Ambrose remains responsible for the overall strategy decisions, she looks to her team for inspiration and direction and encourages autonomy and innovation — and says “yes” to any opportunity she feels will advance or produce a broader opportunity for the company. Adobe Care & Wellness is currently beta testing its MASLOW application, which identifies needs around social determinants and provides individuals access to resources. The idea for the app stems from Ambrose’s request to IT for a tool giving social workers easy access to community resource information. IT ran with her idea, creating something bigger. MASLOW identifies challenges, using data from a detailed questionnaire to geolocate and direct users to local foodbanks, shelters and other social services. Once the questionnaire is complete, it also triggers a 48-hour follow-up communication from a social worker. In addition to running her company, Ambrose is an adjunct professor for doctorate students at A.T. Stills and for RN to BSN, and master’s students at ASU. “There’s a major nursing shortage and a shortage of nursing instructors; teaching is something I can do to help,” she says. Adobe Care & Wellness adobecw.com

Adobe Care & Wellness received its URAC Accreditation in December 2021, making it the only independent case management company in Arizona commended for its commitment to promoting quality health services.

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Collecting Vaccination Status Exposes Organizations to Significant Privacy Risk


QC Kinetix: New Regenerative and Joint Pain Clinic According to the American Chronic Pain Association, chronic pain is the No. 1 cause of disability in the U.S. Those who suffer from chronic pain often feel many side effects from impact of their injury. This includes reduced mobility, increased chance of addiction to pain medication, and an extreme emotional and physical toll on the body. I speak from experience, having suffered a knee injury that caused chronic pain; I was told that surgery was the only option for treatment and I had to endure the long recovery process that did not fully heal the pain. This was before I learned of regenerative medicine. Arizona is home to many patients who suffer from chronic pain. We brought QC Kinetix to the Valley to offer patients natural biologic treatments as an alternative to surgery and addictive pain pills, with regenerative injections that work to repair or heal damaged tissues and joints. Trending data from the CDC shows the U.S. reported a record high of 100,000 overdose deaths in a 12-month period driven by opioids. As regenerative medicine is still making its way into the healthcare industry, QC Kinetix is working to help patients across the U.S. realize there are more treatments available than just surgery. QC Kinetix is dedicated to using pain management to helping patients suffering from knee, shoulder and elbow pain, as well as arthritis, sports or medicalrelated injuries. In May 2021, QC Kinetix announced a partnership with pro football legend Emmitt Smith, who knows firsthand the benefits that using QC Kinetix’s treatments and the impact that trusting the body’s own healing can have on an individual’s quality of life. With its expansion to the Valley, QC Kinetix is one of the first of its kind to help Arizonans treat chronic pain and enjoy a higher quality of life by improving their musculoskeletal pain and injuries with natural treatment options, thereby lessening or eliminating the need for surgical intervention. —Adam Lunceford is the Phoenix franchise owner of QC Kinetix (qckinetix.com), with four Valley locations in Phoenix, Peoria, Scottsdale and Chandler

JAN. 2022



While the status of an enforced vaccine mandate hangs in the balance, the number of employers now requiring employees to disclose their vaccination status or test on a regular basis has become widely prevalent –– and this has created a number of privacy-related risks that most organizations may not be aware of or prepared for. Collection of vaccination status and testing results are considered highly sensitive and confidential medical information, which is held to a privacy standard different from other types of employee-related information. Additionally, this also has the potential to step well beyond vaccination status, particularly where it comes to collecting exemption-related personal information that could disclose things like religious beliefs, disabilities, sexual orientation, etc. And this information can significantly increase exposure to breach notification risks.


Regardless of whether a mandate is enforced, legal consultants are urging organizations to start preparing now, particularly those that haven’t previously had to collect this type of information about their employees. “With the potential of some form of a mandate being enacted, whether it’s at the state or federal level, companies must start to prepare,” says Michael Hellbusch, partner at Rutan & Tucker, LLP. “As soon as systems move from voluntary to mandatory, it means mandatory use of some kind of vaccine credentialing system will be required, and that is something most organizations don’t have in place and maybe haven’t even thought about yet.” Employers, whether they’re required or choosing to implement a vaccination credential system, must understand the privacy implications and risks of verifying and storing that information. While collecting as little information as possible is always a good practice, there has yet to be a recognized standard put in place for verifying status; a photo of the vaccination record is the most common. As a result, many are either collecting and storing this information internally or outsourcing to a third-party digital platform or app. Internal collection has typically involved employees emailing credentials and other information to HR. There is a lot to consider from a privacy perspective with this approach:

Currently, in most states, there is no formal protection against using vaccination data provided to credentialing systems for the use of commercial marketing or other unauthorized purposes.

• I s all of the information collected necessary? • Do businesses have a data collection alternative to unsecured email? • If files are retained, who has access to those files? • If files are stored electronically, where are those servers located? • Is this documentation maintained separately from other personnel files?

Emailing and other manual forms of collection are not optimal approaches, but are what many companies have resorted to. But even for companies using third-party digital platforms and apps, there are some precautions to consider: • Who is reviewing this information? • Who within the company has access to the system? • How does that platform or app maintain privacy and security? With many of the vaccine credential systems out there, it’s not always clear how privacy is achieved.


Understanding who is on the other end viewing and handling that personal information is incredibly important. Currently, in most states, there is no formal protection against using vaccination data provided to credentialing systems for the use of commercial marketing or other unauthorized purposes. This raised a red flag for the World Privacy Forum, which, back in August, urged the CDC to extend the protections that apply to healthcare providers to these systems. In the meantime, however, it’s important for employers to do their due diligence: Understand how this information is being collected, what type of information is being collected, who has access to it and whether access can be restricted, and where will it be stored and for how long. Organizations must consider the entire journey of that sensitive information. Says Jeff Sizemore, chief governance officer at Egnyte, “This is extremely sensitive information and storing it is going to become a major challenge for most companies, especially since most are not equipped to collect and maintain the data.” —Dan Clarke, president of Truyo (truyo.com), an automated consent and data privacy rights management solution






by Mike Hunter

Unifying the IP Governance Landscape Each regional internet registry (RIR) has its own specific set of policies governing its pool of Internet Protocol (IP) resources. However, inconsistencies across registries’ regulatory rules make it difficult for them to meet the increasing expectations of businesses as well as match the industry’s fast-paced growth. According to Aistis Zenkevičius, director of R&D at IPXO, an IP management marketplace, a centralized commercial RIR would help unify the currently fragmented IP governance landscape, making rapid industry growth more sustainable and equipped for the modern day. Each RIR differs ever so slightly in providing the essential IP resource management functions. Firstly, it is well-known that some RIRs have not yet offered a programmatic way of accessing and controlling IP assets and their associated metadata. The ones that do provide an application programming interface (API) differ drastically enough to make the application useless, meaning the code that would work with RIPE would not be compatible with ARIN, and vice versa. Secondly, the databases that store the registered assignees, organizations, roles and the Internet resources themselves have conflicting or incompatible attributes. Although there has been an attempt to unite this data under the Registration Data Access Protocol, it fell short of being a success, and some information is still buried in prehistoric WHOIS databases. Lastly, the currently fragmented IP resource governance framework lacks the consistency and agility required to support further development of the industry, which adds to the transparency and management challenges. To address these issues, IPXO has set out to create the world’s first commercial RIR — a unified registry, allowing businesses to lease and reallocate Internet resources from all incumbent RIRs via a single platform. The solution would also provide APIs, enabling developer access to assets and database functions. The basis for the platform has already been launched. Recently, IPXO introduced the first fully automated IP leasing and monetization platform, which is fully compliant with each RIR’s regulatory policies. “The IP leasing platform is the cornerstone of what we aim to build,” Zenkevičius notes. Currently, IPXO’s platform allows lease and reallocation of ARIN and RIPE region internet resources. ipxo.com

JAN. 2022



Harness the Power of Technology and Free Up the Power of People We are living in a cultural moment of unparalleled technological adaptation and advancement. At the beginning of the pandemic, companies were required to adopt digital tools and technologies to stay ahead of the curve, and many saw great success in implementing these technologies into their everyday operations. But one area has seen burgeoning success in recent years — artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence, otherwise known as AI, simply describes a computer’s ability to do tasks. It is the simulation of human intelligence processes by machine or computer. This can include a variety of functions, but the predominant categories are learning, reasoning, problem-solving, perception and language understanding. The earliest success with AI goes back as far as the 1950s, but AI was first introduced to the marketplace on a broader scale in the late 1900s. As AI expanded and computers were able to store and process more information, the possibilities grew. But in tandem with this growth, many began to associate AI with a loss of jobs for human beings. So what is the incentive for businesses to begin adopting AI? Well, the list is long. It’s not about taking jobs from people but rather about freeing up time so workers can focus on the things only humans can accomplish. While people focus on relationship-building and high-touch customer service, innovations in AI have the possibility and potential to take on more rudimentary tasks and time-consuming responsibilities. AI presents significant possibilities for the workforce, and those who adopt this technology now will see significant dividends in the future, both in their time and their finances.


Businesses theoretically understand the importance of being a good corporate citizen, but few understand how this can apply to artificial intelligence. Problems arise when companies misunderstand the benefits of a product or service, or when they use that product or service to the detriment of their employees and customers. Corporate responsibility includes the fundamental pillars of community, environment, marketplace and workplace. If AI and emerging technologies can assist in any of these four key areas, their implementation is worth serious consideration. Closing this knowledge gap is a vital next step toward understanding how AI can impact day-today business.


One key way AI can help businesses of all sizes is through robotic process automation (RPA). RPA software eliminates repetitive, mundane tasks and lessens the likelihood of common mistakes. This software focuses on repetitive tasks that are more quickly accomplished through the power of AI. RPA is changing the way work is accomplished. These software robots are solely focused on what is normally considered “lower-value work,” like moving around files and folders, inserting data, sifting through forms, and completing analyses and reports. More advanced robotics systems can even interpret text and help companies interpret data with learnings applicable to their business. When RPA is utilized to complete more repetitive, high-volume tasks, it frees people to focus their brains on what matters. Harnessing the power of RPA makes businesses more competitive. By automating certain tasks, businesses are taking the grunt work off their employees as well as their leadership, so they have time to focus on the big picture. The possibilities that AI can bring businesses are essentially endless. There is no time to be afraid of the future — it’s already here. Everyone can harness the power of emerging technologies like AI to create a better business environment. —Mahesh Vinayagam, CEO of Phoenix-based qBotica (www.linkedin.com/company/qbotica), an innovative intelligent automation-as-a-service provider building an automation ecosystem for its customers via robotic process automation (RPA) and intelligent document processing (IDP)

qBotica recently secured $1 million of seed funding from Peacock Ventures and plans to use the funds to expand its technology in order to better assist B2B businesses with document processing and robotic process automation (RPA) requirements.

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s e e y o l p m E , Employers and the

t a e r G ‘ ’ n o i t a n g i s e R

? o t g n i m o c e c r o f k r o w e h t s i t a h W sh by RaeAnne Mar

“When you identify a statistical trend large enough to garner its own label like the ‘Great Resignation,’ it is likely that there is more than one contributing factor,” says Eric M. Bailey, president of Phoenix-based business consulting firm Bailey Strategic Innovation Group, pointing out that we are approximately two years into a global health crisis that has caused tremendous uncertainty, stress and anxiety — and disruption at all levels. “Over the last couple of years, we have produced some of the highest unemployment numbers in history while at the same unseating John D. Rockefeller as the richest American in history. This vastly different experience between front line essential workers and six, seven, eight, or even nine-figure executives has moved from the unspoken shadows to the forefront of conversations.”

Another factor is the seemingly arbitrary nature of working culture. Bailey shares the hardly unique experience of an IT professional who told Bailey he’d recently left that job to work with his wife in their small and growing business. “He said to me, ‘If I was getting more of my work done while working at home for the past year, why do I need to go back into the office? They were asking me to spend an extra three hours per day — getting ready, sitting in traffic both directions — only to go into the office to have more interruptions and get less work done.’ More people are questioning the premise of ubiquitous and ambiguous workplace norms, and when they do not get adequate answers, they’re reevaluating their working situations.” Arran Stewart, co-founder and CVO of blockchain-powered recruitment platform Job.com, suggests that being forced into remote working has contributed to employee burnout. “With that sudden change, these workers have lacked the structure of an office, which resulted in them overworking from home. Arguably this is the main contributor, however, it may not be the only factor. Another issue could be workers returning to their former jobs in industries that were the hardest hit by the pandemic; these workers may now be resigning from a temporary role and going back to their core job role and skill set as these industries start to recover and grow.” And there are numerous surveys we have reported in In Business Magazine and “In Business Dailies” that have found many workers would rather return to the office than work from home. However, given the infinite variety of people, experience and motivations, it should be no surprise that other legitimate surveys conclude the opposite, supporting Raj Subrameyer’s perspective that people have come to realize they can work from any remote location and still be productive in the comfort of their home or even vacation spot, since people have started to travel. “Remote working is the new flexible lifestyle, and employees want to work for a company that embraces this thinking,” says Raj Subrameyer, tech career strategist and author of Skyrocket Your Career. “It is not a perk anymore but a requirement for employees.” He believes one of the most significant things an employer can do to both attract and retain employees to introduce programs that support them where they are. “Do not force employees to come to work. Instead, give them options of what they would like to do.” He advises hearing out each team member, making note of their preferences and how they can reasonably be accommodated. In either case, there is more fueling the “Great Resignation” than workfrom-home issues. Subrameyer notes that, irrespective of the regional differences and the type of customers companies serve, every industry has been affected by the “Great Resignation.” He sees multiple reasons for this, and cites three: “The government is helping them by giving them incentives during COVID times so that they do not need to think about getting a job during these trying times and, in some cases, these incentives pay higher than the current job. Employees realized this is the perfect time to get jobs that are more relevant to their areas of interest. And some people felt now is the right time to leave toxic work environments and join another company with a better culture and higher pay.”


JAN. 2022

Bailey moves the discussion up the food chain. “One final factor that I’d like to address is one that we’ve known about since before I joined the field of Organizational Development: bad managers.” Continuing this discussion, he first points out that not every organization is seeing an overwhelming boom in resignations and that, in fact, there are many organizations that are adding thousands of employees while retaining the ones they have. “I know for many HR people reading this, that sounds like a fantasy world filled with unicorns and calorie-free cupcakes, but it’s true. Imagine if you didn’t have to spend all of your time recruiting and onboarding for uncountable vacant positions, and could get back to running your business. When employees have a great manager, they enjoy the work even when it’s challenging. As we’re all ‘doing more with less,’ the employees who are inspired and motivated by great managers will rally around their team and get through it together. Everyone else will find a different job with higher pay until they find yet another different job with even higher pay.”


“There is a confluence of interesting circumstances that all contribute in a major way to people jumping from job to job right now,” says Zanzibar Vermiglio, Phoenix-based executive business coach and managing partner at Zanzibar Enterprises. “First, we need to understand that collective consciousness moves slower and responds slower than direct and immediate cause and effect. As COVID protocols began to drastically change the workforce — such as work-from-home, people being laid off, people leaving to be paid to stay home, et cetera — the initial overriding impetus was to ‘rise to the occasion.’ In this way, employees were trying to bend over backwards to make the circumstances work because that’s what is a dutiful, good and responsible reaction to an emergency. Most of the workforce was asked to take on more or do more. “However,” he adds, “we then couple this with the fact that people are no longer in the office. One of the things that suffered greatly in the ensuing months was managers being connected to employees in a meaningful way. This seemed like a decent idea at first. Employees were going the extra mile to make things work. However, the lack of meaningful attention from management made people feel unappreciated and even isolated. After a while, that initial sentiment to “Rise to the occasion” turned into a feeling of being taken advantage of. Couple this with the growing realization that so many people are sitting at home and choosing not to work and the hard-working employee starts to realize their value and importance. The job market being starved for people, created a golden opportunity for people who were getting the job done to write their own ticket at another company. It’s easy to leave if one doesn’t feel appreciated where they are at and the opportunity for work is through the roof.” Wayne Goshkarian, director of communications for Scottsdale-based Association for Entrepreneurship USA, has observed that, since the


Coronavirus shook up the world, people are reevaluating at how they are earning a living and what their future looks like. “Keep in mind,” he says, “that back in March of 2020, all of us were sitting at home thinking, ‘Where is this going? How are we going to make a living? Is my employer going to call me back?’ Therefore, it’s really changed the attitudes of Americans and encouraged them to be more forward thinking. “With baby boomers leaving the workforce, it is driving them to the gig economy — providing that their job can easily be transitioned into selfemployment. For example, we are seeing an increase in people working from home in the technology and graphic design fields. They can get contract or freelance work due to the flexibility of their profession. And this applies to a ton of other jobs! Since many worked from home over the last year and a half, they have been given time to think about transiting to self-employment.” Even if not lured by self-employment, Subrameyer believes COVID forced people to retrospect their personal lives and careers. “It made them realize that they either need to retool their skillsets to stay relevant in the industry or change their jobs to focus on their true passion. When people started doing this they realized that they have become more marketable and thus the great exodus.” Travis Laird, regional director for global talent solutions firm Robert Half, notes that the number of U.S. workers quitting their jobs in September was the highest on record. More than 4.4 million workers quit their jobs and there were 10.4 million job openings in the country. That’s roughly 75 unemployed workers for every 100 job openings. In Arizona, the quits rate increased to 3.4% for the month of September, up from 2.9% in August. According to Robert Half’s recent Job Optimism survey, one of the top reasons workers are looking for a new job is to have greater opportunities for career advancement. “Workers want to ensure employers are supporting their professional growth especially knowing they have options with job openings at record highs.” Greater alignment with company values is also top of mind for today’s workers. “Our survey showed that 71% of professionals said they would leave a company whose values don’t align with their own. The corporate programs most important to them are employee well-being and diversity, equity and inclusion.”


Another reality of the “Great Resignation” is the concept of the boomerang employee, returning to a job after leaving it, which raises the question, “Can you really ever go home again?” Laird says Robert Half research shows most managers are willing to rehire former employees, which suggests that in a post-pandemic work era, they will be even more open to bringing former employees back on board — especially those who left on good terms. “Returning employees can be a good option to quickly address business needs,” he says, pointing out, “They have a shorter learning curve since they are already familiar with the company, and practices.” Stewart puts it a little stronger. “Companies should embrace boomerang employees,” he says, and explains, “We are living in unusual times and again, with the shortage of labor currently in the market, arguably there is nothing more empowering to a company than showing the labor pool that a previous employee left, only to return. It demonstrates that there must be something better about the company than what is out in the market.” Subrameyer points to another positive aspect of rehiring a former employee: “Embrace boomerang employees as they eventually contribute to the growth of the company in many different ways. For one, they learn new skills outside the company and bring them back to your company and, most of all, they have shown their passion to work for a company they love and that is why they came back in the first place.” From the employee’s standpoint, of course there’s no guarantee the old job will be available. And Vermiglio offers, “I’m not saying an employer should fire the new person who took their place; clearly not. However, if you have an opening that fits with someone you know works, do not make the mistake of getting too emotional over them leaving. You have a quality employee asking to work for you - take it. The answer here is, ‘It depends greatly on the employee and the circumstances that led to their initial exit.’ You would not want to bring back an employee who left when they were on a disciplinary action for performance.” Laird always advises employers to do their due diligence — contact former employees’ most recent employer to find out why the relationship ended, just as they would do with any other candidate. “Treat a boomerang employee like you would treat a new employee: Put them through new employee orientation, establish rapport and give them time to get up to speed.”

As we’re all ‘doing more with less,’ the employees who are inspired and motivated by great managers will rally around their team and get through it together. Everyone else will find a different job with higher pay until they find yet another different job with even higher pay.” —Eric M. Bailey, Bailey Strategic Innovation Group INBUSINESSPHX.COM

JAN. 2022



“Employers are looking for a flexible workforce now,” says Stewart, observing that employees are conscious that technology is rapidly evolving the macroeconomic market and that, in order for their talent to stay relevant, they need to be as dynamic and flexible as the market is. Says Bailey, “Every employer is different, but it is important to understand that, as the future marches onward, every employer is trying to improve their product or service and make their operation more efficient and effective. Oftentimes, this leads to a drive toward automation and multifunctional employees. So, instead of employers focusing more on degrees and educational attainment, they’re more focused on skills and previous experience.” He uses as example the role of dental hygienist, pointing out that over the last several years this has encompassed a new set of skills called the “expanded function dental assistant.” “This new role can do more functions that a dentist would have to do but — without dental school — these new ‘expanded function dental hygienists’ can do a lot more and are therefore more desirable for dental offices. It’s not so much that we need people to go get more schooling, but rather we’re looking for people who can provide additional skills.” And Vermiglio addresses the management level, observing, “The skill that has never been more sorely needed or more obvious in its lacking is management -- actually managing people well. From working with over a thousand people in management roles, whether only a team of three to five or a division of 1,000, almost nobody is good at managing people, which is to say almost nobody is good at governing or garnering performance from a group of human resources.” In his assessment, most employees in corporate America produce only two to two and a half hours of actual work on a daily basis, with the number a bit higher in smaller businesses and varying from industry to industry and company to company. “The point of having a manager is to garner an ever-increasing quality and quantity of work out of a group of human resources,” he says. “The current prevailing strategy is, ‘Delegate, and then hope.’ Managers delegate the responsibilities that need to be held and sometimes they delegate the work to be done, but many managers don’t even break that down; and then they hope it goes well or expect that it goes well. When it doesn’t, they lean on their own personality to intervene: They get angry, befriend, remind, help, philosophically discuss, belittle, etc. This tried and failed tactic for managing people continues to be the order of the day.” In an office environment, Vermiglio says this failed method at least “gets by” according to what he sees as the low standard of productivity in corporate America, but in the distributed workforce, it doesn’t even “get by” well enough for the low standard. “Never before has it been this gapingly obvious that we need managers to be trained how to manage people properly and garner an ever-increasing quality and quantity of performance in a group of people.”


JAN. 2022


“All the regular factors, such as people retiring, contribute to the ‘Great Resignation,’” says Stewart, but adds, “There’s a theory that more people near retirement age are choosing to retire early because of increased fears over health risks.” Bailey notes that baby boomers have been leaving the workforce at tremendously high rates for the last several years. “That will continue in something that was coined a couple of years ago called ‘the silver tsunami.’” He says this wave of resignations has been factored into the “Great Resignation” but that the reason we are paying attention to this phenomenon at all is the rate of resignation is significantly higher than expected. “So, while baby boomers are definitely factoring into the total count of people resigning from their position, if it were only baby boomers resigning, it wouldn’t be as noticeable.” Another factor Bailey points to as having been brewing for the past several decades is the unequal treatment of women and people of color. “Whether it be intentional or unintentional microaggressions or looking the other way after a complaint, there is an added stress for these categories of employees,” he says. The fact that a significantly larger percentage of people resigning their positions are female Bailey says could be due to a number of different reasons, including but not limited to the dearth of acceptable child care. “Many organizations have discovered that providing childcare onsite or a childcare partnership with an organization nearby has led to tremendous differences in resignation rates. But family obligations are not the only reason that women are leaving the traditional workforce at higher rates than men.” Says Stewart, “It’s anticipated that over two million women who were in the workforce pre-pandemic will not be returning due to both family commitments and families learning to live on single incomes.” “The gender aspects of this are fascinating, especially in our current times of questioning gender roles and even gender identity,” says Vermiglio. Some of the considerations he’s seen people struggle with: Are you less of a man for staying home? Are you actually more of a man for staying home? Are you doing your duty as a woman for staying home? Are you betraying your duty as a woman to allow yourself to be pigeon-holed like that? “Everyone must find their own answers for this. I have interviewed over 50 families on what decisions they made around who would do what around the children, and found it fostered many discussions that would not have otherwise been had without needing to face down the circumstances of the kiddos being home for a year.” What surprised him, he says, is how much of the time the family just did what was going to be easiest given who could work from home. “Workability dominated the decision-making and not traditional gender roles,” he says. “I was pleasantly shocked.”



“Hourly labor jobs, such as warehouse workers and other blue-collar roles, are currently the hardest to hire for,” Stewart says. While fears about health implications factor into this labor force’s disinclination, Steward notes that these jobs were taken from them and then offered straight back with almost zero loyalty or care for them, “which has understandably made this talent pool choosier about who they go and work for. “The most popular growth industry,” Stewart continues, “is hospitality and leisure, which is unsurprising since this industry was quite likely the one that was hit the hardest by the pandemic and, as a result, this market has now seen the highest resurgence of workers returning and opportunity being made available.” Vermiglio suggests that, right now, all positions in all companies seem easy to fill. “There’s plenty of people,” he says. “The issue for employers is how much people need to be making. Most employers haven’t caught on to the fact that inflation has driven workforce prices up. If someone can get $18 or even $20 an hour working at McDonald’s, then how can they expect to pay someone $16 an hour to come work in an office? Employers who have not adjusted to the new wages for employees are struggling to find help. “However, I will say that it has never been harder to hire for a C-level role. In most cases, we are having to see it in someone already in the company and promote them into being a C-level candidate rather than seeking one out. Also, financial positions such as CFO, accounting director or chief auditor are all positions that are difficult to get experienced help.” Providing a view from the inside, Bailey shares that in his work with organizations in many different sectors, “every single one feels like they are having the most difficult time finding employees. But what I found is that rather than a low employee count, the most difficult thing for employers is the constant churn of employees.” He notes this happens mostly with entry level or what we’re now calling “essential” employees. “When an employee starts a position and is making minimum wage, it is easy for them to see 10 other options to make the same wage. They may start with an employer and then realize quickly that they don’t like their manager or they don’t like the work they’re doing and they can leave and go find another job with the same pay. So, while organizations at this level find a steady stream of employees coming and starting their organization, the difficulty becomes keeping them longer than the first three months.” And, harking back to the discussion of remote work, Stewart observes, “The power of remote work has made it considerably easier for many companies with various roles to find the talent they’re looking for without geographic constraints. The true challenge is convincing these workers to come and work for you.”



There’s a lot that employers can do to keep employees and to attract new ones, but Bailey notes that the work necessary to attract employees is completely different from the work required to retain them. “Attracting employees is essentially a sales job. You need to present your organization in the clearest and most accurate light so that people who potentially can thrive at your organization have a chance to see your organization for what it is,” he says. “Once employees are in the door, it is the job of the organization to continually make sure the employees feel that their work matters.” Underscoring the importance of employers creating an environment where their employees are doing meaningful work rather than just busy work, he relates, “I worked with an organization over the last couple of years, and an employee shared with me that they had been producing the same report for the last three years and they started to question if anyone was reading it. So, to test their hypothesis, they started inserting random song lyrics into the report to see if anyone would notice. Lo and behold, nobody noticed. This is an example of meaningless work. It is hard to believe that the work you were doing is making a difference in the world when you spend two hours a week producing a report that nobody reads.” There’s a lot of conversation about providing employees with growth and training opportunities, says Bailey. And while those benefits are important to keep minds fresh and moving forward, he notes that training opportunities alone are not enough to keep employees happy. “Ironically, one of the best things you can do for employee retention is retain employees. That may sound like a joke, but if your organization can retain more workers, by creating a fantastic working environment, workloads on the entire team will remain reasonable,” Bailey says. “The more people who leave an organization, the more work that piles up and, ultimately, lands on the desks of peers, subordinates and supervisors.” In the case of an employee who has a mountain of work and is offered a two-part training workshop, the employee may realize that the pressure of uncompleted work outweighs the benefits of attending the training. “When I say, ‘fantastic working environment,’ I’m not talking about ping-pong tables and Jeans Day,” Bailey continues. “I’m talking about an environment where employees can be candid with one another about issues, and have a clear idea of how their work contributes to the organization as well as to other people — peers, customers, shareholders, etc. People need to know that their work makes a difference to someone. People need to know that they are appreciated for what they bring to the table as well as who they are as individuals. If you’re a manager and you haven’t taken the time to get to know the humans who work with you because you’re too busy, you’re likely going to find yourself even busier as you try to fill their empty seat.” Observing, “In the current tight labor market, competitive salaries are table stakes for employers,” Laird suggests companies regularly revisit pay ranges and discuss career paths with employees to align on expectations.

JAN. 2022


Tips for employers to manage a remote workforce include: Communicate more. During any time of transition, leadership should communicate as much as two to three times more than they would in person. It’s important leadership keeps remote staff up to speed on key takeaways from in-person meetings at the office that could impact their projects, or considers making all meetings virtual. Pay attention to behavior. It’s important that leadership remember that some remote workers may feel left out. Leadership should remain alert for signs that they aren’t performing at their best, such as missed deadlines, lack of communication or decreasing interest in assignments. Enhance technology capabilities. Business should stay up to date on data-sharing and collaboration apps. Leaders should not leave their team with an IT customer service number or website as their only way to solve problems. Bring in help. Reopening the office and learning new office procedures will likely add more stress to existing staff. Working with contract talent will help alleviate the burden on them. —Travis Laird, regional director at Robert Half


JAN. 2022

Referring to Robert Half’s salary guide as a resource for employers to stay competitive and for workers to know their market worth, he advises employers to “be prepared to negotiate and move quickly to make an offer.” But pay, says Bailey, doesn’t matter like most people believe it does. “If you’re a manager, you’ve likely earned at least a few pay increases over the course of your career. Can you remember what it felt like three pay periods after your last increase? Of course you can’t. Psychology research indicates that it takes about three pay periods for the human brain to normalize to an increase in salary. While people do brag about their salaries and some even define themselves by their salaries, in general the salary is a barrier of fairness. Organizational psychology professor Matt Grawitch of St. Louis University identified that people need to feel they are paid fairly for the work that they do. The rub is that ‘fairly’ is a fluid concept that is drastically influenced by social and personal context. But the idea that throwing more money at a job title is going to both attract and retain an employee is a false narrative that will drain resources and make existing staff members feel undervalued.” Subrameyer suggests employers hold town hall sessions and open meetings – and validate their employees’ concerns. “Listen to what your employees are telling you. Encourage them to ask questions openly without fear of being judged.” Counterintuitively, it may be reassuring to employees to know their leaders are also looking for answers. “As leaders, we have to let them know that you, yourself, are figuring out stuff as well but are here to support your employees and navigate this challenging phase together.” And Stewart points out that employers who are more conscious of the personal needs of their employees — such as work-life balance, flexible working hours, a hybrid of work from home and office, and managing the mental health of their teams — are also the companies that are most likely to successfully retain their staff. It’s no surprise that employee burnout is rising. Pointing out the slimmer teams and heavier workloads caused by the pandemic, Laird suggests managers bring in extra staffing support and resources when possible and give workers the time needed to unplug and recharge. But Vermiglio notes that burnout is much less important in cases of shepherding someone forward in their career and taking on a game worth playing. “I’m not saying to overwork people,” he says. “However, if someone is deeply engaged in what they are doing in a meaningful, if not inspired, way then the risk of burnout goes way down. If they’re just punching a timecard, uninterested in what they are doing and have no real future to live into at work, then burnout is assured almost no matter what you do.”


Creating an engaged workforce may look a little different now from pre-pandemic. Stewart notes the increased challenge of creating culture and engagement for a remote workforce, observing that the separation and potential isolation that remote work can present makes building relationships harder. “It requires better structure and incentives from the employer to bring that employee over the line in order to have true employee engagement.” Laird reports on a survey Robert Half conducted with employers throughout the country, asking where they would require their teams to work once COVID-19 restrictions lift, sharing the local results. “Seventy-three percent of Phoenix employers said they would require workers to work full time in an office, with only 26% saying they would allow workers to have remote or hybrid work schedules.” Phoenix employers noted their biggest challenges when it comes to managing fully remote or hybrid teams were trusting employees will get the job done (25%), gauging workloads and helping staff


avoid burnout (22%) and finding effective ways to recognize and reward employee accomplishments (22%). But many companies were dealing with a distributed workforce prior to the pandemic, and Vermiglio points out that engagement of the workforce is only trickier now if companies have distributed workforce where there didn’t used to be. “The culture of an organization can be very dependent on proximity. Here, we must get creative about how to bring the crew together, and I’m not a fan of it always being another Zoom call.” He points out that people are already tied to their computer, so oftentimes employees roll their eyes at being asked to socialize on the computer. Zoom events may still have their place, but he encourages companies to find other creative ways to connect. “Companies are doing masked, vaccinated or heightened-precaution in-office events as well as happy hours. They are also doing outdoor or distanced kinds of get-togethers. “Beyond this, you can also put people in little workgroups of three or four and have employees solve problems in the organization. These little ‘committees’ have proven very successful in having people feel buy-in to the organization while growing relationships with co-workers. I’ve even had some companies do this where we already had solutions simply because it makes more of a difference to come up with the solution this way, rather than the top down.” He’s optimistic that businesses will find “dozens of other ideas.” While acknowledging that the world has changed in some major ways over the past 20 months, however, Bailey says, “What is less obvious is how much it has stayed the same.” Most employees still hate getting up on Monday morning, for instance; in fact, he says, many folks start feeling the “Sunday Blues” on Saturday night! “The key to engaging people at work is honestly fairly simple, yet very few managers take the time to do it,” he says, adding, “Honestly, for many it’s because they’re overworked themselves.” Key, says Bailey, is people need to feel the work they are doing matters to someone. We discussed this point earlier as part of the cause of the “Great Resignation”; Bailey addresses it as a management technique. “Whether that is a manager saying, ‘Thank you for always producing these reports on time. When you do that, it makes my life better because it allows me not to have to worry about something that I’ve worried about for years’ or ‘The way you deal with customers is fantastic. I know that it’s over the phone and you can’t see their body language, but most of our customers call us when they are in some state of stress or frustration. You make their world better with the care you give them. I can just imagine their shoulders going down after talking with you. Keep it up!’” People also need to have a way to measure their success, Bailey points out. “If you think about your day, were you successful? Most people don’t have a definitive answer to this question because they don’t have a clear or accurate way of measuring their own success. Achievement and success causes the brain to release dopamine, the reward chemical, which can


lower anxiety and give folks an overall sense of well-being. A manager who can help an employee define success clearly is a manager who will have more productive and engaged employees.” Also critical for people to be engaged is for them to feel they are seen, says Bailey. “Not for the work they have done but rather for who they are. Some folks aren’t used to this kind of leadership, but when an employee feels that their manager has an interest in who they are beyond their job, it releases the brain chemical oxytocin. Oxytocin is responsible for forming bonds and reducing pain.” He cites a January 2020 survey by Ipsos Polling, which identified that the U.S. workforce was lonelier than it had ever been. “People feel that they are not understood, that they don’t have meaningful connections at work, and that they don’t have a reasonable balance between work and home life.”


Sharing, “We’re seeing more companies hiring contract professionals to help minimize disruptions, maximize productivity and prevent employee burnout, Laird cites a recent Robert Half survey that showed 74% of companies are hiring contract professionals and many are leveraging outside agencies to help recruit, onboard and manage contract workers. Goshkarian cites The Washington Post reporting that 36% of U.S. workers are part of the gig economy. “Therefore,” he says, “employers can take advantage of the growing gig economy, since there is a large workforce to pull from.” In fact, he notes this is already happening, “According to ‘Small Business Trends,’ four in five businesses are planning on hiring more gig workers post-pandemic, with 50% saying they have already done so.” Not only can these gig workers fill in the gaps in an employer’s staff, but having part-time gig workers is also cost-effective. “You do not have to provide full-time benefits to these employees, so you can utilize these funds elsewhere in your business while you get back up on your feet.” While contract, temporary or even gig work are potential solutions for employers, Stewart points out this comes with costs of its own. “There is an almost guaranteed staff turnover that’s experienced with temporary labor, which poses a major cost to companies.” Says Stewart, “The reality is the ‘Great Resignation’ and talent shortage are the result of ‘the great reflection’ that the pandemic forced all of us to do, and it will be some time until we see the labor market realign.” Association for Entrepreneurship USA afeusa.org Bailey Strategic Innovation Group baileyinnovationgroup.com Job.com job.com Robert Half roberthalf.com Zanzibar Enterprises zanzibarenterprises.com

JAN. 2022



An American Businessperson in a Global World Susanne Evens is the founder and CEO of the St. Louis-based AAA Translation (founded in 1994), the president of St. Louis-Stuttgart Sister Cities (since 2006), and a board member of the World Trade Center St. Louis. Evens is also a board member of the German American Heritage Society (since 2007), a member of the St. Louis Mosaic Project Immigrant Entrepreneurship Advisory Board and a member of Explore St. Louis Multicultural Committee. Evens’ advice regarding global business development and communications has been featured by national media outlets that include BusinessWeek, National Public Radio, BrandChannel.com and more. Under her leadership, AAA Translation has grown to serve business clients the world over, working in more than 300 languages, to provide translation, interpretation and cultural consulting services. aaatranslation.com

JAN. 2022



Rethinking Cultural Business Etiquette by Susanne Evens

In the American business world, there is a generally accepted, and often unspoken, etiquette that most businesspeople follow: Be on time, dress professionally, use a firm handshake, make eye contact, show initiative, be respectful of one’s superiors and so on. Look around the world, however, and there are widely diverse protocols that can quickly lead to cultural barriers, misunderstandings and, possibly, lost revenue. From punctuality to attire to physical contact and personal space, the code of behavior varies wildly across different cultures. When doing business in a global, geo-political world, these differences can be tricky to navigate, especially in virtual meetings. But the broad representation of different cultures goes a long way toward making businesses more competitive. Culturally inclusive and diverse companies are shown to see higher profits. Diverse teams are more innovative, better at making decisions, and are more likely to capture new markets. Cultural awareness can have a big impact on business growth. More importantly, though, it is a matter of showing respect and earning the trust of international partners and colleagues. It is about establishing common ground so that decisions, deals and relationships start from the same foundation. And building that foundation may require some adjustments in the way business is conducted. Here are eight changes to foster cross-cultural intelligence and improve the way international business is conducted: Research and be prepared. More than 80% of CEOs recognize empathy as a key to success. Before meeting with any international business associates, leaders should invest time in learning how they act, speak, dress and conduct business. Even if everyone speaks English, it is worth the time to make the effort to learn how to say “hello” and “thank you” in the other’s language. It’s also important to be aware of what titles, if any, should be used. Planning prior to a

A mere 7% of what we communicate is expressed with words. The remaining 93% is conveyed with body language.

meeting is often more important than actions taken during the actual meeting. In many cultures, meetings are not where the decisions are made; they are an opportunity for asking questions and exploring possibilities. Therefore, distributing all necessary information prior to the meeting gives everyone involved time to review so that they can comment on it intelligently. In an ideal world, the materials should also be translated into the other’s language to make things easier. Hire an interpreter. Even when all materials are translated, if the parties are not fluent in each other’s languages, the potential for miscommunication is high. To prevent any misunderstandings, it is a good idea to have an interpreter on hand. This gives everyone an equal opportunity to comprehend everything that is discussed. Even if the other party has an interpreter in the meeting, it’s a good idea that each company has access to one, as it’s never certain what the other side may discuss! Tone down the assertiveness. Americans are known for being direct, assertive and loud. Some countries, like Germany, share this quality when sharing ideas and doing business. In other countries, like Japan, however, people tend to speak softly and are not as forthcoming when making suggestions or sharing their ideas. Research will reveal whether being assertive is appropriate or is viewed as pushy and aggressive. When in doubt, it’s best to use a neutral tone and be considerate of everyone’s input, even if they communicate in a different way that may be unfamiliar. Beware of nonverbals. A mere 7% of what we communicate is expressed with words. The remaining 93% is conveyed with body language. Nonverbal communication can be complicated in any setting, but with so much business taking place virtually these days, it is more important than ever to be aware of body language. From intense eye contact

STRATEGIES FOR WORKING REMOTELY to large hand gestures to loosening a tie during a meeting, there is a minefield of ways to inadvertently insult an international colleague. Learning and practicing common nonverbal cues in an associate’s culture will be worth the effort to avoid coming across as rude and offensive. Watch what you say. It’s important to avoid using slang, local idioms or “Americanisms.” For example, sports metaphors like “that came out of left field” or “can you pinch-hit this one for me?” are not universally understood. An associate may not understand, and it is unlikely they will say so, which can make them feel isolated and unaccepted. It’s also important to be careful making jokes as well. While a good sense of humor is an asset in any potentially awkward cultural situation, jokes can lead to misunderstandings and possibly be offensive. Don’t try to multi-task. According to a survey from InterCall, the largest international conference call company, “65% of people do unrelated work during a meeting, 60% read or send emails, and 43% admit to checking social media.” While it may be easy to slyly multi-task in a virtual meeting, it will be perceived as rude if it is noticed. In addition, when meeting with an international client or colleague, whether virtually or in person, there’s a lot going on. From considering their cultural norms to understanding the interpreter in the background to making important business decisions, it’s important that participants not get distracted from main objectives. Paying attention to the task at hand can prevent a lot of trouble. Consider how other cultures view time. Many countries place a high level of importance on starting meetings on time and keeping to strict schedules. On the other hand, punctuality is treated casually in countries like France or Argentina. This fluctuation can affect how much time there is to share relevant information. Understanding a client’s culture can help to prepare and organize the meeting agenda accordingly. Time is also a consideration in the decision-making process. For example, the UK has a slower process than the U.S. Germany also takes its time, being very thorough in early stages, but once they have decided, things move quickly. Understanding and managing time expectations is critical. Recognize hierarchical structures. Hierarchical structure can impact the way business meetings are handled. In many East Asian, Latin and African cultures, decision-making authority varies according to age, gender, family background, etc., and team roles are allocated accordingly. Even the way the meeting is conducted in these countries is affected. For example, in China, it’s important to always allow the host to leave the meeting first. Virtual meetings may minimize these issues since there are no seating arrangements, but, because the rules and protocols can be complicated, it’s a good idea to explicitly outline the expected formalities ahead of time so everyone knows how to interact.

The Power of Fun Journalist and screen/life balance expert Catherine Price argues persuasively that our always-on, tech-addicted lifestyles have led us to obsess over intangible concepts such as happiness while obscuring the fact that real happiness lies in the everyday experience of fun. We claim to not have time for it, even as we find hours a day for what Price calls Fake Fun — bingeing on television, doom-scrolling the news or posting photos to social media. In this follow-up to her hit book How to Break Up with Your Phone, Price makes the case that True Fun — which she defines as the magical confluence of playfulness, connection and flow —will give us the fulfillment we so desperately seek. Using True Fun as a compass, we will be more productive, less resentful and less stressed. And best of all? We’ll enjoy the process. The Power of Fun: How to Feel Alive Again Catherine Price The Dial Press

A study done by McKinsey and Company showed that companies with more culturally and ethnically diverse executive teams were 33% more likely to see better-than-average profits.

On shelves and online

352 pages

Hero on a Mission There are four characters in every story: the victim, the villain, the hero and the guide. These four characters live inside us. If we play the victim, we’re doomed to fail. If we play the villain, we will not create genuine bonds. But if we play the hero or guide, our lives will flourish. The hard part is being self-aware enough to know which character we are playing. In this book, Donald Miller will use his own experiences to help readers recognize if the character they are currently surfacing is helping them experience a life of meaning. He breaks down the transformational, yet practical, plan that took him from slowly giving up to rapidly gaining a new perspective of his own life’s beauty and meaning, igniting his motivation, passion and productivity, so readers can do the same. Hero on a Mission: A Path to a Meaningful Life Donald Miller


HarperCollins Leadership

Available 1/11/2022

224 pages

Amp It Up Amp It Up delivers an authoritative look at what it takes to transform an organization for maximum growth and scale. Frank Slootman shows that most leaders have significant room to improve their organization’s performance without making expensive changes to their talent, structure or


Embracing cultural awareness and diversity is a crucial part of doing business in an ever-expanding world. Cross-cultural intelligence inspires creativity, encourages inventive thinking and fosters better problem solving. Local market insight makes a business more competitive and profitable. It allows companies to better adapt products and services to be more meaningful and valuable to all customers. A study done by McKinsey and Company showed that companies with more culturally and ethnically diverse executive teams were 33% more likely to see better-than-average profits. Making a genuine and concerted effort to understand cultural dimensions can build a greater understanding between the different cultures in an organization. This ultimately leads to understanding, trust respect — and competitive advantages — in a very complex world.


fundamental business model — and they don’t need to bring in an army of consultants to do it. What they do need is to align people around what matters and execute with urgency and intensity every day. Leading for unprecedented growth means declaring war on mediocrity, breaking the status quo and making conflicted choices daily, all with a relentless focus on the mission. Amp It Up provides the first principles to guide that change, and the tactical advice for organizing a company around them. Perfect for executives, entrepreneurs, founders, managers, and leaders of all kinds, Amp It Up: Leading for Hypergrowth by Raising Expectations, Increasing Urgency, and Elevating Intensity Frank Slootman Wiley

$28 Available 1/19/2022

208 pages


En Negocios



Las cinco certificaciones de diversidad más comunes para pequeñas empresas por Edgar R. Olivo

Edgar R. Olivo es un educador empresarial bilingüe, asesor económico y colaborador de varios medios de comunicación. Es apasionado por la educación y comunidad. Está certificado en finanzas y análisis de datos y posee un título en negocios de la Universidad Estatal de Arizona.

Edgar R. 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.

JAN. 2022



¿Quiere tener contratos grandes? Uno de los pasos más importantes para atraer la atención de las grandes empresas es obtener su certificación de diversidad e inscribirse en los programas de diversidad de proveedores que ofrece su cliente objetivo. Una empresa diversa certificada tiene mayores probabilidades de ser buscada y encontrada por esos programas, que pueden ni siquiera considerar su empresa a menos que esté oficialmente certificada. El proceso de adquisición es el método formal que siguen muchas grandes empresas y agencias gubernamentales para adquirir bienes y servicios. Una certificación diversa es un proceso de revisión formal para verificar que un 51 por ciento o más de una empresa sea propiedad, esté controlada y operada por un solicitante o solicitantes diversos. Un tercero autorizado o una agencia reguladora realiza la certificación diversa. Las empresas que están certificadas con éxito reciben documentación en forma de carta, logotipo o certificado. Como herramienta de marketing, una certificación diversa puede servir como una forma fundamental de diferenciarse de sus competidores. Además, una certificación diversa puede ayudar a organizaciones más grandes que están comprometidas con el avance de una cadena de suministro diversa comprando a empresas eligibles. Una certificación diversa brinda muchas oportunidades para hacer crecer su negocio, como la exposición a oportunidades de licitación, eventos de networking, avance educativo y mucho más. Hay una serie de certificaciones de diversidad de proveedores basadas en clasificaciones de elegibilidad, y una empresa puede solicitar más de una. Obtener la certificación lleva tiempo y tiene costos asociados, pero el tiempo que invierte en obtener una certificación diversa para su negocio está bien invertido. Es un paso más cerca de ganar su próximo gran contrato. Hay varias certificaciones reconocidas a nivel nacional para empresas de propiedad diversa y muchos programas locales disponibles. Depende de usted decidir cuál le queda mejor. Aquí están cinco de las certificaciones diversas más comunes disponibles para pequeñas empresas. 1. Empresa comercial minoritaria (MBE, por sus siglas en inglés): Esta certificación se aplica a una empresa que sea propiedad, operada y controlada por al menos un 51% de minorías. Un miembro de un grupo minoritario debe ser un ciudadano estadounidense que sea asiático, diáspora afro, hispano y nativo americano o una empresa de propiedad pública con al menos el 51%de las acciones propiedad de uno o más de los miembros del grupo minoritario. Puede obtener esta certificación por parte del Consejo Nacional de Desarrollo de Proveedores Minoritarios y afiliados regionales como el Consejo de Desarrollo de Proveedores de Minorías del Sudoeste del Pacífico que trabajan con empresas en Arizona.

2. Empresas de mujeres (WBE, por sus siglas en inglés): Esta certificación se aplica a una empresa que es al menos en un 51% propiedad de una mujer o mujeres que son ciudadanas de los EE. UU. y que también controlan y operan la empresa. Puede obtener esta certificación en el Consejo Nacional de Empresas Empresariales de Mujeres (WBENC) afiliado. 3. Pequeñas empresas (SBE, por sus siglas en inglés): Esta certificación se aplica a una empresa de propiedad y operación independiente y no es dominante en el campo en el que podría presentar ofertas para contratos gubernamentales. Debe calificar como una pequeña empresa bajo los criterios y estándares de tamaño en 13 CFR 21 (que es de 500 empleados o menos); esta certificación incluye Empresas históricamente infrautilizadas (o HUBZones) certificados por agencias locales, estatales o federales. 4. Empresa de veteranos (VBE, por sus siglas en inglés): Esta certificación se aplica a una empresa propiedad de un veterano y una empresa propiedad de un veterano discapacitado en el servicio que pertenece en un 51%, es operada y está controlada por ciudadanos estadounidenses o residentes permanentes legales que son veteranos militares de los EE. UU. La empresa propiedad de un veterano debe obtener la certificación del Consejo Nacional de Desarrollo Empresarial de Veteranos (NVBDC) o un consejo local de certificación de veteranos. 5. Empresa de lesbianas, homosexuales, bisexuales y transexuales (LGBTBE, por sus siglas en inglés): Esta certificación se aplica a una empresa que sea propiedad, operada, administrada y controlada al menos en un 51% por una persona LGBT y personas que sean ciudadanos

La diversidad de proveedores es una forma en que las empresas pueden promover la innovación, cultivar oportunidades de emparejamiento, impulsar la contratación y, quizás lo más importante de todo, una forma de cerrar la brecha de ingresos por equidad racial. Según un estudio reciente, las 30 principales empresas de Fortune 500 gastan al menos mil millones de dólares cada año con diversos proveedores.

estadounidenses o residentes permanentes legales. La empresa propiedad de LGBT debe obtener la certificación de la Cámara de Comercio Nacional LGBT (NGLCC). Cada certificación diversa requerirá documentos diferentes de usted, pero en general, debe tener listo como mínimo lo siguiente: • Su comprobante de ciudadanía estadounidense o documentos de residente permanente legalmente admitidos para todos los propietarios y funcionarios de su negocio. • Prueba de pertenencia étnica o minoritaria de todos los propietarios y funcionarios minoritarios de su empresa.

• C urrículos de experiencia laboral que incluyen lugares de empleo con las fechas correspondientes para todos los propietarios y funcionarios de su empresa. • Sus registros de impuestos comerciales y otros documentos requeridos. Consulte con cada agencia y asegúrese de enviar todos los documentos que necesitan. El proceso de certificación puede tardar hasta tres meses en completarse y, por lo general, se aplica una tarifa. La buena noticia es que no toma tanto tiempo renovar una vez que obtiene la certificación.



Five of the Most Common Diversity Certifications for Small Businesses by Edgar R. Olivo

Do you want to bid on big contracts? One of the most important steps to attract the attention of large companies is to obtain your diversity certification and enroll in the supplier diversity programs your target client offers. A certified diverse business has higher odds of being sought out and found by those programs, which may not even consider your business unless it is officially certified. The procurement process is the formal method many large companies and government agencies follow to purchase goods and services. A diverse certification is a formal review process to verify a business is 51% or more owned, controlled and operated by an eligible applicant or applicants. An authorized third-party or regulatory agency performs the diverse certification. Companies that are successfully certified are provided documentation in the form of a letter, logo or a certificate. As a marketing tool, a diverse certification can serve as a critical way to make yourself stand out from your competitors. In addition, a diverse certification can help larger organizations that are committed to advancing a diverse supply chain by purchasing from minority-owned business. A diverse certification provides many opportunities to grow your business, such as exposure to bid opportunities, networking events, educational advancement and much more. There are a number of supplier diversity certifications based on qualifying classifications, and a business can apply for more than one. Becoming certified takes time and has associated costs, but the time you spend in earning a diverse certification for your business is well-spent. It is a step closer to winning your next big contract. There are several nationally recognized certifications for diverse-owned businesses and many local programs available. It is up to you to decide which fits best. Here are five of the most common diverse certifications available for small businesses. 1. Minority Business Enterprise (MBE): This certification applies to a business that is at least 51% minority owned, operated and controlled. A minority group member must be a U.S. citizen who is Asian, Black, Hispanic or Native American, or a publicly owned business with at least 51% of stock owned by one or more of the minority group members. You can obtain this certification by the National Minority Supplier Development Council and regional affiliates like the Pacific Southwest Minority Supplier Development Council who work with businesses in Arizona.

2. Women Business Enterprise (WBE): This certification applies to a business that is at least 51% owned by a woman or women who are U.S. citizens and who also control and operate the business. You can obtain this certification from the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) affiliate. 3. Small Business Enterprise (SBE): This certification applies to a business independently owned and operated and is non-dominant in the field in which it might bid on government contracts. It must qualify as a small business under the criteria and size standards in 13 CFR 21 (which is 500 or fewer employees); this certification includes Historically Underutilized Businesses (or HUBZones) certified by local, state or federal agencies. 4. Veteran Business Enterprise (VBE): This certification applies to a Veteran-owned business and Service-Disabled Veteran owned-business that is 51% owned, operated and controlled by United States citizens or lawful permanent residents that are U.S. military veterans. The veteranowned business must obtain certification by the National Veteran Business Development Council (NVBDC) or a local veteran certification council. 5. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Business Enterprise (LGBTBE): This certification applies to a business that is at least 51% owned, operated, managed and controlled by an LGBT person or persons who are either U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents. The LGBTowned business must obtain certification by the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC). Each diverse certification will require different documents from you, but, in general, you should have ready at a minimum the following: • Your proof of U.S. citizenship or lawfully admitted permanent resident documents for all owners and officers of your business. • Proof of ethnicity or minority status for all minority owners and officers in your business. • Work experience résumés that include places of employment with corresponding dates for all owners and officers of your business. • Your business tax records, and other documents required. Check with each agency and make sure to submit all the documents they need. The certification process can take up to three months to complete and there is usually a fee involved. The good news is that it does not take that long to renew once you become certified.

Supplier diversity is a way for companies to promote innovation, cultivate matchmaking opportunities, boost hiring, and perhaps most important of all, a way to close the racial equity income gap. According to a recent study, the top 30 Fortune 500 companies spend at least $1 billion each year with diverse suppliers.


En Negocios

Edgar R. Olivo es un educador empresarial bilingüe, asesor económico y colaborador de varios medios de comunicación. Es apasionado por la educación y comunidad. Está certificado en finanzas y análisis de datos y posee un título en negocios de la Universidad Estatal de Arizona.

Edgar R. 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.

JAN. 2022





Entender los 3 tipos de solicitudes en el proceso de adquisiciones La redacción de propuestas es una habilidad clave que los propietarios de pequeñas empresas deben desarrollar para hacer negocios con organizaciones más grandes que cuentan con sistemas de adquisiciones para satisfacer sus necesidades de bienes y servicios. Hay algunas definiciones clave dentro del proceso de adquisición que una pequeña empresa debe conocer para tener éxito en la licitación de oportunidades que existen en el mercado. En primer lugar, el propietario de una pequeña empresa que puja por una oportunidad se considera un “proveedor” o un “vendedor”. La organización que busca los bienes y servicios se considera el “comprador”. Y una vez que el proveedor o vendedor obtiene un contrato, el propietario de la pequeña empresa se convierte en un “contratista”. Pero las definiciones clave no se detienen ahí. ¿Cómo sabe un proveedor o vendedor qué información presentar cuando aparece una oportunidad de oferta en su correo electrónico? Al entender cuáles son los diferentes tipos de solicitudes que realiza un comprador. Una solicitud es un documento de solicitud formal que incluye instrucciones para que un proveedor envíe información sobre sus bienes y servicios. Esta es la etapa de licitación. Hay tres tipos de solicitudes con las que todo propietario de una pequeña empresa debe familiarizarse, esos son: 1. Solicitud de información, 2. Solicitud de propuesta y 3. Solicitud de cotización. Los compradores pueden encontrar las tecnologías emergentes difíciles de entender o no saben qué mejores opciones están disponibles en el mercado. Es por eso por lo

que un equipo de compradores preparará una solicitud para solicitar información de su grupo de proveedores para ayudar a determinar qué proveedor puede satisfacer mejor sus necesidades. Por lo general, un equipo de compradores leerá muchos informes técnicos, folletos, hojas de datos; e invitar al proveedor a hacer una presentación o demostración cuando necesite información adicional. Incluso con toda esta investigación, es posible que un equipo de compradores aún no comprenda cómo se ajustará la solución a su proyecto. Aquí es donde un equipo de compradores da el siguiente paso y redacta públicamente cualquiera de las tres solicitudes para solicitar más información de un grupo de proveedores más grande. Cuando un proveedor recibe una solicitud en su correo electrónico, esto es lo que significan: 1. Solicitud de información o RFI. Este tipo de solicitud es una forma de que los compradores determinen qué está disponible de los proveedores que responden a sus requisitos. Es posible que el equipo de compradores aún no esté listo para realizar una compra, pero les ayuda a acercarse a la toma de una decisión de compra. Se anima a las pequeñas empresas a responder a las solicitudes de información porque es una excelente manera de presentar su empresa a un equipo de compradores, especialmente si proporciona una solución que es perfecta para el equipo de compradores. Lo compradores recordarán a los proveedores que se destacan en este proceso. La RFI es una gran oportunidad para enviar materiales de marketing como folletos, muestras y más. Esto también

Durante varios años consecutivos, el gobierno federal ha cumplido su objetivo legal de gastar el 23 por ciento de los contratos en pequeñas empresas. Sin embargo, durante la última década, la cantidad de pequeñas empresas que participan en el mercado de contrataciones federales se ha reducido en casi un 40 por ciento y la cantidad de nuevos proveedores se redujo en casi un 80 por ciento.



posiciona al proveedor para tener la mayor parte de la información preparada para una solicitud de compra formal. 2. Solicitud de propuesta o RFP. La RFP es una solicitud formal de propuestas del equipo del comprador que está interesado en realizar una compra de bienes y servicios. La RFP también se convierte en la base del contrato cuando se adjudica a un proveedor. A diferencia de la RFI, la RFP significa que el equipo del comprador está listo para decidir una solución que satisfaga las necesidades de su proyecto. Esta es una oportunidad significativa para que los proveedores vendan sus productos, sistemas o servicios, y una solicitud de propuesta es la solicitud más importante en el proceso de adquisición. Este paso permite a los proveedores interactuar con el equipo de compradores y aprender más sobre las necesidades de una organización. Una RFP bien redactada requerirá tiempo y recursos para garantizar que tenga el formato exacto que desea el comprador. En general, una RFP incluye secciones como requisitos técnicos, de gestión, de calificaciones y de precios. Estos son los aspectos básicos de este tipo de solicitud, ya que revela en detalle cómo el proveedor planea resolver con éxito el problema para el equipo comprador. 3. Solicitud de cotización o RFQ. Una solicitud de cotización contiene información que es más específica de una pieza o componente, sobre la que un equipo de compradores puede que ya tenga información. Este tipo de licitación se suele emitir para proyectos activos y claramente definidos. Estas son las solicitudes más específicas porque solicitarán precios unitarios, información de empaque, términos FOB, plazos de entrega, sustitutos de fabricación y programas de garantía de calidad como ISO, medioambientales y más. Todas estas solicitudes tienen una validez de tiempo, lo que significa que tienen una fecha límite para enviar. Trate de abordar siempre las expectativas y las instrucciones incluidas en las solicitudes y revise los términos antes de enviarlas. Responder a estas solicitudes y redactarlas bien es importante porque son la cara de su empresa en el proceso de adquisición y pueden hacer crecer exponencialmente su pequeña empresa de la noche a la mañana.

Understanding the 3 Types of Requests in the Procurement Process Writing proposals is a key skill small-business owners must develop to do business with larger organizations that have procurement systems in place to supply their need for goods and services. There are a few key definitions within the procurement process that a small business must know to be successful in bidding for opportunities that exist in the marketplace. First, a small-business owner who bids on an opportunity is considered a “supplier” or a “vendor.” The large organization seeking the goods and services is considered the “buyer.” And once the supplier or vendor is awarded a contract, the small-business owner then becomes a “contractor.” But key definitions do not stop there. How does a supplier or vendor know what information to present when a bid opportunity appears in their inbox? By understanding what the different types of requests a buyer makes. A request is a formal soliciting document that includes instructions for a supplier to submit information about their goods and services. This is the bidding stage. There are three types of requests every smallbusiness owner needs to become familiar with. They are: 1. Request for Information; 2. Request for Proposal; and 3. Request for Quote. Buyers can find emerging technologies hard to understand or do not know what better options are available in the market. This is why a buyer team will prepare a request to solicit information from their supplier pool to help determine which supplier can meet their needs the best. Typically, a buyer team will read through many white papers, brochures and data sheets, and invite the supplier to give a presentation or demonstration when they need additional information. Even with all this research, a buyer team may still not grasp how the solution will fit their project. This is where a buyer team then takes the next step and publicly releases any of the three requests to solicit more information from a larger supplier pool. When a supplier gets a request in their inbox, here is what they mean: 1. Request for Information or RFI: This type of request is a way for buyers to determine what is available from suppliers who respond to its requirements. The buyer team may not be ready to make a purchase yet, but it does help them get closer to making a purchasing decision. Small

businesses are encouraged to respond to RFIs because it is a great way to introduce their company to a buyer team, especially if they provide a solution that is perfect for the buyer team. They will remember suppliers who stand out in this process. An RFI is a great opportunity to submit marketing materials like brochures, samples and more. This also positions the supplier to have most of the information prepared for a formal purchasing request. 2. Request for Proposal or RFP. The RFP is a formal request for proposals from the buyer team who is interested in making a purchase of goods and services. The RFP also becomes the basis for the contract when it is awarded to a supplier. Unlike an RFI, an RFP means the buyer team is ready to decide on a solution that meets their project needs. This is a significant opportunity for suppliers to sell their products, systems or services, and an RFP is the more important request in the procurement process. This step allows suppliers a chance to interact with the buyer team and learn more about the needs of an organization. A well-written RFP will require time and resources to ensure it is formatted exactly how the buyer wants it. In general, an RFP includes sections like technical, management, qualifications and pricing requirements. These are the nuts and bolts of this kind of request, as it discloses in detail how the supplier plans to successfully solve the problem for the buyer team. 3. Request for Quote or RFQ. A request for quote contains information that is more specific to a part or component that a buyer team may already have information about. This type of solicitation is usually issued for clearly defined and active projects. These are the most specific of requests because they will ask for unit prices, packaging information, FOB terms, lead times, manufacturing substitutes and quality assurance programs like ISO, environmental and more. All these requests have a time validity, meaning they have a deadline to submit. Smallbusiness owners should try to always address the expectations and instructions within the requests and review the terms before submitting. Responding to these requests and composing them well is important because they are the face of your company in the procurement process and can exponentially grow your small business overnight.

For several years in a row, the federal government has met its statutory goal of spending 23 percent of procurement awards with small businesses. However, over the last decade, the number of small businesses participating in the federal procurement marketplace has fallen by nearly 40 percent and the number of new suppliers fell almost 80 percent.


En Negocios



5 formas en que la energía renovable transformará las pequeñas empresas

Edgar R. Olivo es un educador empresarial bilingüe, asesor económico y colaborador de varios medios de comunicación. Es apasionado por la educación y comunidad. Está certificado en finanzas y análisis de datos y posee un título en negocios de la Universidad Estatal de Arizona.

Edgar R. 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.

JAN. 2022



Se acercan tiempos emocionantes a medida que la energía renovable se convierte en un tema principal en muchos sectores dentro de la economía y las conversaciones cotidianas, todo gracias a la aprobación del nuevo proyecto de ley de infraestructura. A medida que las personas se familiaricen con la idea de aprovechar la energía de las turbinas eólicas y los paneles solares, las pequeñas empresas también se beneficiarán de la producción de energía renovable. Los empresarios de todo el país están aprovechando soluciones más ecológicas al encontrar y comercializar opciones renovables. Dado que usamos energía para casi todo, la creciente tendencia hacia prácticas más ecológicas y sostenibles está creando más oportunidades para las personas con mentalidad empresarial. Esto no parece una moda que vaya a desaparecer, y parece que las energías renovables llegaron para quedarse. A medida que la población mundial enfrenta las consecuencias de una sociedad en crecimiento, la realidad de los recursos finitos como el agua está comenzando a asimilar. Para prosperar en un futuro sostenible, ya no podemos depender de los combustibles fósiles para satisfacer nuestras necesidades energéticas. Estas preocupaciones, junto con los nuevos datos sobre los impactos negativos de la quema de combustibles fósiles, han creado una mentalidad ambiental y socialmente consciente entre diferentes conjuntos de actores económicos, incluidos consumidores, inversores, corporaciones y gobiernos. Las empresas y los inversores que buscan ganancias se han aprovechado del interés de los consumidores en las alternativas energéticas más limpias y las iniciativas de negocios ecológicos incentivadas por el gobierno. Con todos estos factores que impulsan el cambio hacia las energías renovables, aquí hay cinco formas en que las pequeñas empresas pueden visualizar beneficios más claros para un futuro más verde. 1. Más puestos de trabajo y una economía en crecimiento. En comparación con los trabajos de combustibles fósiles, que normalmente se centran en la maquinaria y son muy costosos, la industria de las energías renovables requiere más mano de obra. Esto significa que las soluciones renovables como los paneles solares necesitan humanos para instalarlos y los parques eólicos necesitan técnicos para el mantenimiento. Además, en promedio, se crean más puestos de trabajo por cada unidad de electricidad generada a partir de fuentes renovables que a partir de combustibles fósiles. Un beneficio importante para la creación de empleo dentro de la industria de las energías renovables es el aumento de olas económicas positivas. Por ejemplo, las industrias en la cadena de suministro de energía renovable se fortalecerán y las empresas locales se beneficiarán del aumento de los ingresos de los hogares y las empresas, así como de la creación de un flujo constante de ingresos para que los gobiernos locales aumenten los servicios comunitarios.

2. Precios de la energía estables. Muchas personas están preocupadas por el aumento de los costos del combustible y la energía, pero la energía renovable ya está proporcionando electricidad asequible en todo el país y puede ayudar a estabilizar los precios de la energía en el futuro. Las instalaciones renovables no son baratas; sin embargo, en última instancia operan a bajo costo, esencialmente haciendo que su ‘combustible’ sea gratis. Como resultado, los precios de la energía se pueden estabilizar con el tiempo. Esto puede ayudar a reducir nuestra dependencia del gas natural y ayudar a proteger al consumidor cuando los precios de los combustibles fósiles suben. 3. Mejora de la salud de nuestras comunidades. La contaminación del aire y el agua emitida por las plantas de carbón y gas natural está relacionada con problemas respiratorios, daño neurológico, ataques cardíacos, cáncer, muerte prematura y muchos otros problemas graves. Los sistemas eólicos, solares e hidroeléctricos pueden producir electricidad sin emisiones contaminantes asociadas al aire. Los sistemas geotérmicos y de biomasa emiten algunos contaminantes del aire, pero las emisiones totales al aire son generalmente mucho más bajas que las de las centrales eléctricas de carbón y gas natural. Una comunidad más saludable significa una vida más larga con menos visitas al médico. Cuando una comunidad está sana, puede disfrutar de los viajes, el ocio y tener más tiempo para hacer el trabajo que les apasiona. 4. Mejor confiabilidad y resiliencia. La energía eólica y solar son menos propensas a fallas a gran escala porque están distribuidas y son modulares. Incluso si algunos de los equipos del sistema están dañados, el resto normalmente puede seguir funcionando. La escasez de agua es otro riesgo para las plantas de energía no renovable, ya que dependen de tener suficiente agua para enfriar, lo que significa que las sequías severas y las olas de calor pueden poner en riesgo la generación de

La mayoría de las fuentes de energía renovables producen poca o ninguna emisión de calentamiento global. Aumentar el suministro de energía renovable nos permitiría reemplazar las fuentes de energía intensivas en carbono y reducir significativamente las emisiones del calentamiento global en los Estados Unidos.

electricidad. Los sistemas eólicos y solares fotovoltaicos no necesitan agua para generar electricidad y pueden funcionar de forma fiable. La necesidad de tecnologías limpias y resistentes aumentará a medida que cambien las condiciones climáticas. 5. Ahorro de costos. Una de las formas más obvias en que la energía renovable puede ahorrar dinero a las empresas es reduciendo sus facturas de energía. Las empresas pueden instalar paneles solares, turbinas eólicas y otras formas de energía renovable en sus propiedades y utilizarlas para impulsar sus operaciones. Dependiendo de la capacidad que instalen y de su uso de energía, estos recursos pueden cubrir una parte significativa o incluso la totalidad de sus necesidades energéticas.

La ciencia es clara, la energía renovable es el camino que seguir. Las pequeñas empresas deben vigilar de cerca las nuevas formas en que pueden operar, mantener y hacer crecer su negocio con tecnología ecológica que ya llegó para quedarse. Tómese un momento para explorar el Programa Going Green & Going Smart para aprender cómo puede transformar su pequeña empresa uniéndose al movimiento #GreenBizAZ. Esta iniciativa tiene como objetivo a educar a los propietarios de pequeñas empresas en prácticas comerciales sostenibles para un futuro más limpio y verde en Arizona.



5 Ways Renewable Energy Will Transform Small Businesses Exciting times are approaching ahead as renewable energy becomes a mainstream topic across many sectors within the economy and everyday conversations, all thanks to the passing of the new infrastructure bill. As people become familiar with the idea of harnessing energy from wind turbines and solar panels, small businesses also stand to benefit from renewable energy production. Entrepreneurs across the country are taking advantage of greener solutions by finding and marketing renewable options. Since we use energy for just about everything, the growing trend toward greener, more sustainable practices is creating more opportunities for entrepreneurialminded individuals. This does not seem like a fad that is going away, and it appears renewables are here to stay. As the global population faces the consequences of a growing society, the reality of finite resources like water is starting to sink in. To prosper in a sustainable future, we can no longer depend on fossil fuels to meet our energy needs. These concerns, along with the new data on the negative impacts of burning fossil fuels, have created an environmentally and socially conscious mindset amongst different sets of economic players, encompassing consumers, investors, corporations and governments. Companies and investors looking for profits have taken advantage of consumer interest in cleaner energy alternatives and government-incentivized green business initiatives. With all these factors driving the shift toward renewable energy, here are five ways small businesses can envision more clear-cut benefits to a greener future. 1. More jobs and a growing economy. Compared to fossil fuel jobs, which are typically focused on machinery and very expensive, the renewable energy industry is more labor intensive. This means that renewable solutions like solar panels need humans to install them and wind farms need technicians for maintenance. In addition, on average, more jobs are created for each unit of electricity generated from renewable sources than from fossil fuels. Another major benefit to the job creation within the renewable energy industry, growth in clean energy can create positive economic waves. For example, industries in the renewable energy supply chain will strengthen, and local businesses will benefit from increased household and business incomes as well as creating a steady flow of income for local governments to increase community services.

2. Stable energy prices. Many people are worried about rising fuel and energy costs, but renewable energy is providing affordable electricity across the country already, and it can help stabilize energy prices in the future. Renewable facilities are not cheap; however, they do ultimately operate at a low cost, essentially making their fuelfree. As a result, energy prices can be stabilized over time. This can help reduce our dependence on natural gas and help protect consumer when fossil fuel prices spike. 3. Improved health of our communities. The air and water pollution emitted by coal and natural gas facilities is linked with breathing problems, neurological damage, heart attacks, cancer, premature death and many other serious problems. Wind, solar and hydroelectric systems can produce electricity with no associated air pollution emissions. Geothermal and biomass systems emit some air pollutants, but total air emissions are generally much lower than those of coal- and natural gas-fired power plants. A healthier community means a longer life with fewer visits to the doctor. When a community is healthy, its members can enjoy travel and leisure and produce work they are passionate about. 4. Better reliability and resilience. Wind and solar are less prone to large-scale failure because they are distributed and modular. Even if some of the equipment in the system is damaged, the rest can typically continue to operate. Water scarcity is another risk for non-renewable power plants since they depend on having sufficient water for cooling, which means that severe droughts and heat waves can put electricity generation at risk. Wind and solar photovoltaic systems do not require water to generate electricity and can operate reliably. The need for resilient, clean technologies will increase as weather conditions change. 5. Cost savings. One of the most obvious ways that renewable energy can save businesses money is by reducing their energy bills. Companies can install solar panels, wind turbines and other forms of renewable energy on their properties and use them to power their operations. Depending on how much capacity they install and their energy usage, these resources can cover a significant portion or even all their energy needs. The science is clear: Renewable energy is the way to go. Small businesses must keep a close eye on new ways they can operate, sustain and grow their business with green technology that is already here to stay. Take a moment to explore the Going Green & Going Smart Program to learn how you can transform your small business by joining the #GreenBizAZ movement. This initiative aims to educate small-business owners in sustainable business practices for a cleaner, greener future in Arizona.

Most renewable energy sources produce little to no global warming emissions. Increasing the supply of renewable energy would allow us to replace carbonintensive energy sources and significantly reduce US global warming emissions.


JAN. 2022


En Negocios

Edgar R. Olivo es un educador empresarial bilingüe, asesor económico y colaborador de varios medios de comunicación. Es apasionado por la educación y comunidad. Está certificado en finanzas y análisis de datos y posee un título en negocios de la Universidad Estatal de Arizona.

Edgar R. 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.

JAN. 2022





Lecciones aprendidas: Cómo evitar 6 de los errores empresariales más comunes Aprender de los errores es la acción más valiosa que puede realizar el propietario de una pequeña empresa en su camino hacia el éxito empresarial. Piense en esto: todo negocio exitoso comenzó como una gran idea. Esta gran idea suele tener un propósito, una visión o ambas cosas. Desafortunadamente, no todos nacen como expertos en negocios cuando comienzan, por lo que, para mejorar, necesitan aprender de los errores que cometen en el camino. La falta de experiencia en cada una de las categorías de gestión empresarial significa que es probable que se produzcan errores. Y si no está preparado para lidiar con esos errores, puede hacer fracasar rápidamente su negocio. Hay muchos errores comunes que cometen los propietarios de pequeñas empresas. Puedes preguntarle a cualquier persona exitosa si ha cometido algunos y lo más probable es que le responda con un rotundo sí. Aquí hay seis errores empresariales comunes que debe evitar como propietario de una pequeña empresa que se esfuerza por alcanzar la excelencia. 1. No realizar un seguimiento y mantener registros. Desde el primer día, mientras construye su negocio, necesitará experimentar diferentes estrategias. Para mantenerse en el camino correcto, cree datos y procesos que lo ayuden a realizar un seguimiento de lo que aprende. Es muy importante realizar un seguimiento de todo. Incluso aquellas cosas que no considera vitales para que su negocio prospere. Mantener buenos registros y hacer un seguimiento de su progreso le permitirá tomar decisiones informadas. Es una

buena práctica empresarial para desarrollar. 2. Romper las regulaciones de cumplimiento de datos. Una cosa que debe tener desde el primer día es administrar el cumplimiento de sus datos. Puede que no sea lo más emocionante de hacer, pero en la economía del siglo XXI, donde casi todo se hace digitalmente, el cumplimiento de los datos es clave. Cuando no maneja los datos de los consumidores de manera correcta o legal, puede arriesgarse a meterse en problemas y enfrentar enormes repercusiones. No es solo un daño financiero lo que puede hacer aquí. Un escándalo de privacidad también puede empañar su reputación y obstaculizar el crecimiento de su negocio. 3. No realizar suficiente investigación antes de planificar. La investigación es clave y siempre lo será. Hacer una investigación es importante porque minimizará el margen de error y luego podrá justificar sus decisiones basándose en los datos de su investigación. 4. No enfocarse en construir su marca. Independientemente de su nicho comercial, producto o servicio, recuerde que está construyendo una marca. La mayoría de los clientes dicen que necesitan poder confiar en una marca para comprarles. Cada acción pública que realiza construye su reputación y su afinidad con la marca en línea; esto también significa que puede ponerlo en peligro. Asegúrese de concentrarse en construir una marca y un negocio con los que la gente pueda relacionarse, comprender y con los que desee participar. 5. No estar listo para el control remoto. Sobre la base de puntos anteriores, todas las empresas deben estar preparadas

El camino empresarial está lleno de traspiés, contratiempos y errores. No importa la experiencia que tenga como propietario de un negocio, es probable que se encuentre con problemas en algún momento. La clave del éxito es identificar rápidamente sus errores, aprender de ellos y evitar que vuelvan a ocurrir.



Lessons Learned: How to Avoid 6 of the Most Common Business Mistakes

y ser capaces de funcionar de forma remota. Había muchas empresas al comienzo de la pandemia que no estaban preparadas para la transición al trabajo remoto. ¿Cómo puede evitar cometer los mismos errores? Invirtiendo en herramientas y estrategias de comunicación para garantizar que la mayor parte de su comunicación se pueda realizar en línea. 6. Olvidar las finanzas. Evite cometer el mismo error de muchas empresas nuevas y deje las finanzas en un segundo plano. Necesita poder apoyar su misión en el camino, por lo que llevar un registro de sus finanzas es vital. Cuando se trata de sus inversiones comerciales o finanzas personales, asegúrese de que se cuiden sus finanzas. Podrá convertir los errores en oportunidades, construir equipos leales y ganarse el corazón de sus clientes simplemente manejando las situaciones con transparencia y autorreflexión. Estos seis errores empresariales pueden parecer abrumadores al principio, pero hay muchas cosas que puede hacer para evitarlos. El primer paso es la conciencia. No se preocupe, cometerá errores en su camino hacia el éxito, es la naturaleza del juego. Lo importante es aprender de los errores para convertirlo en un mejor propietario de negocio.

Learning from mistakes is the most valuable action a small business owner can do on the journey to business success. Think about this: Every successful business started as a great idea. This great idea is usually purpose-driven, vision-driven, or both. Unfortunately, not everyone is born as a business expert when they start, so, to get better, they need to learn from mistakes they make along the way. The lack of expertise in every single business management category means mistakes are bound to happen. And if you are not prepared to deal with those mistakes, it can quickly derail your business. There are many common mistakes smallbusiness owners make. You can ask any successful person if they have committed any and most likely they will respond with a resounding yes. Here are six common business mistakes to avoid as a small-business owner striving for excellence. 1. Failing to track and keep records. From day one, while building your business, you will need to experiment with different strategies. To stay on the right track, create data and processes to help you keep track of what you learn. It is so crucial to keep track of everything - even those things that you do not deem as vital for your business to flourish. Keeping good records and tracking your progress will allow you to make informed decisions. It is a good business practice to develop. 2. Breaking data compliance regulations. One thing that you need to have down from day one is managing your data compliance. It may not be the most exciting thing to do, but in the 21st century economy where just about everything is done digitally, data compliance is key. When you do not handle consumer data correctly or legally, you could risk getting in trouble and facing huge repercussions. It is not only financial damage you may incur here. A privacy scandal can also tarnish your reputation and stunt your business growth.

The entrepreneurial journey is filled with missteps, mishaps, and mistakes. No matter how experienced you are as a business owner, you are bound to run into problems at some point. The key to success is to quickly identify your mistakes, learn from them, and prevent the same mistakes from happening again.

3. Not conducting enough research before planning. Research is key and it always will be. Doing research is important because you will minimize room for error and can later justify your decisions based on your research data. 4. Not focusing on building your brand. No matter your business niche, product or service, remember that you are building a brand. The majority of customers say they need to be able to trust a brand to buy from it. Every public action you take builds your reputation and your online brand affinity; this also means it can jeopardize it. Ensure that you focus on building a brand and business that people can relate to, understand and look forward to engaging with. 5. Failing to be remote ready. Building on previous points, every business needs to be ready and able to function remotely. There were many businesses at the start of the pandemic that were not ready to transition to remote work. How can you avoid making the same mistakes? By investing in communication tools and strategies to ensure most of your communication can be done online. 6. Forgetting finances. Avoid making the same mistake many new businesses do of putting finances on the back burner. You need to be able to support your mission along the way, so keeping track of your finances is vital. When it comes to your business investments or personal finances, make sure you have your financials looked after. You will be able to turn mistakes into opportunities, build loyal teams and win the hearts of your customers by simply handling situations with transparency and self-reflection. These six business mistakes may seem daunting at first, but there is a lot you can do to avoid them. The first step is awareness. Do not worry about making mistakes on your road to success — it is the nature of the game. What is important is to learn from the mistakes to make you a better business owner.




What Investors Should Know about Small, Minority-Owned Businesses

How to stop leaving money on the table and overlooking investment opportunities by Paul Ford

Overlooking small and medium-sized businesses is costing corporate America millions of dollars in potential investments. That’s especially true for venture capital (VC) and private equity (PE) firms. The main reason these small and mediumsized businesses are being overlooked is they don’t want to be billion-dollar companies or investors don’t believe the business can become a billion-dollar company, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth the investment. Many of these so-called “too small to invest” companies are demographically a blind spot for many corporations and investors. Following the events of 2020 and the heightened awareness of economic and social disparities of minority (BIPOC) populations within the U.S., there has been a greater drive to invest in minority-owned businesses. However, large-scale investment firms are losing a golden opportunity to create goodwill through sweeping changes to corporate landscapes by driving directives and initiatives to diversify vendors’ supply chain, creating investment opportunities and offering representation at decision-making levels. Incidentally, these decision-making levels are typically devoid of such diversity in light of selling into or operating in such a diverse economy that is the U.S. This missed opportunity also means foregoing the chance to generate income and revenues from such sources of opportunity. The cycle needs to change. America’s economy needs underrepresented businesses, especially those owned by women and minorities, to unlock at scale the opportunity that underpins such a large segment of the economy by demographic statistics as well as cultural influence. Paul Ford is founder and managing principal of DS9 Capital, founder-friendly portfolio management holding company focused on building enduring and sustainable businesses in the insurance and healthcare technology space with capacity to scale. Ford and DS9 focus on frontier technology and service offerings largely leveraging cloudbased infrastructure and, more specifically, on applying their domain expertise to seed to nanocap-sized businesses to expand the value chain for all stakeholders. ds9capital.com

JAN. 2022




Reputation is a currency as valuable as cash, but large investment firms are leaving money on the table when they ignore small-market businesses. Yet, the attitude among large VC/PE firms is to ignore companies that won’t generate billions of dollars. That begs the question, are these SMBs not aiming to be billion-dollar companies because legacy groups refuse to invest in them? Or do investors need to have a billion-dollar company to meet their demands for investor returns, and the math is the math? If the math and the requisite ambition of having a billion-dollar-plus valuation trajectory are not in play for an opportunity, what is a startup or SMB to do? There has to be another way to get investment capital other than resorting to VC and PE companies. One thing investment firms need to understand is that SMBs want and need to keep control of their own business. They are open to assistive help, and in some instances it can be quite substantive, but delivered in a founder-friendly way so ideas have a chance to see light of day with wellresourced investors contributing value beyond money. Legacy

VC/PE firms can make money off the smaller firms through repayment of the capital, fee for services, profit-sharing or other agreements. There’s a disconnect in the investment world between investors and SMBs materially around size of the opportunity and where it could scale to leaving many good companies without strong investor partners that can help them realize their potential and beyond.


The bias problem is especially significant for minorityand female-run SMBs looking for investors. According to a published report by Fast Company, male entrepreneurs are at least 60% more likely to get funding, even when a woman pitches the same idea. In addition to that, funding for female business owners dropped from 2.7% in 2019 to 1.8% in 2020. That’s despite the fact that female entrepreneurship is growing. In its Annual Business Survey, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that there were 6,861 more woman-owned firms in 2018 than in 2017, up 0.6% to 1.1 million. The U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship reports that in the last 10 years, minority businesses accounted for more than 50% of the two million new businesses started in the United States. Despite there being more than four million minority-owned companies in the country with annual sales around $700 billion, many of these companies have a hard time accessing capital.


What if these SMBs had better access to capital and support to scale effectively? Every business starts out small, and some of the most profitable publicly traded businesses started as SMBs. Smaller companies have the ability to be disruptive and adapt more easily to changing technology, allowing them to new markets faster than large legacy companies. The solution is to find larger companies with a similar mindset as the smaller ones to help them with financing, expertise and experience. Matching company founders with forward-thinking investors is a win for everyone involved.

According to the 2019 Annual Business Survey of the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately 18.3% of all businesses in the U.S. were owned by minorities and 19.9% were owned by women.

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Merchant Cash Advance: Sound Fast Financing or Recipe for Disaster? It’s a solution that cedes a portion of future credit or debit card sales by Jeremiah Foster

The merchant cash advance (MCA) is a financing option that typically ends in a death spiral for most small businesses. In fact, more than 60% of the receiverships assigned to Scottdalebased business advisory firm Resolute Commercial Services involve at least one, if not more, merchant cash advances. That’s because once a business enters into an MCA agreement, it is nearly impossible to repay it without securing additional financing from other merchant cash advance providers.


Merchant cash advance companies provide small and medium-sized businesses with a lump sum cash advance in exchange for a portion of future credit or debit card sales. Retail and restaurant operations that have strong credit card sales are most likely to fall prey to this type of cashraising option. Typically, merchant cash advance companies will recoup their advance by making daily withdrawals, of either a fixed amount or a percentage of daily sales, directly from the customer’s bank account.


As president of Resolute Commercial Services, company founder Jeremiah (Jerry) Foster leads the firm’s team of industry experts in advising creditors, equity holders and enterprises as they navigate the many phases of a turnaround, restructure or crisis management plan. Foster has been appointed as a chief revenue officer, interim chief executive officer, trustee, receiver, special master, or liquidating trustee for more than 100 different enterprises. resolutecommercial.com

JAN. 2022



Currently, MCA companies are charging rates of up to 400% annualized interest. In many states, interest rates that exceed 20% are illegal under usury laws. However, merchant cash advance businesses have long maintained they are not providing loans but are merely purchasing a business’s future credit card sales or future accounts receivable. This is an important distinction, and it’s how most MCA companies are able to avoid complying with usury laws.


Merchant cash advance companies use an obscure legal strategy called a confession of judgment to ensure they will be able to collect. In order to receive an advance, the cash-strapped business owner is often required to sign these confessions and agrees that the business is liable for any future legal disputes, while waiving the right to action in court — before a dispute even occurs. Effectively, the signer admits to breaching the contract with the merchant cash advance company in advance, before a breach ever takes place. Many business owners who use MCAs are not aware that a confession of judgment is part of the application and sign unwittingly. With the confession of judgment signed, all it takes is one missed payment — or for the merchant cash

Merchant cash advance companies (MCAs) are able to charge borrowers up to 400% annualized interest by claiming they are not providing loans and are therefore not subject to usury laws.

advance company to allege a payment was missed — for funds to be seized from the business. Because the MCA provider already has direct access to the business owner’s bank accounts, the merchant cash advance company can start withdrawing funds from the account without warning. Court clerks and financial institutions have no option but to comply with the looting of the business owner’s accounts. In the wake of a breach, bank accounts are often swiftly drained of funds, and the business owners find themselves destitute. The business owner has no recourse in this situation, having already agreed to lose any legal dispute against the MCA company.


As a general rule, it is best to avoid merchant cash advances. However, an advance could provide an interim solution, only if guaranteed financing is on its way. Any business owner who pursues an MCA should never agree to sign a confession of judgment and should have an attorney review all contracts before signing.


If merchant cash advances are determined to be loans, then state usury laws prohibiting lenders from charging excessively high interest rates may apply to these transactions. A recent landmark decision by the District of Montana U.S. Bankruptcy Court did just that. The ruling could severely impact the ability of merchant cash advance companies across the country to continue practices with questionable ethics. The ruling, issued by Chief Judge Whitman L. Holt of the Eastern District of Washington in September, determined that New York-based merchant cash advance company CapCall, LLC provided a loan, rather than purchased future accounts receivable, to a struggling restaurant group known as Shoot the Moon. Resolute pursued the case as trustee of the Shoot the Moon Liquidating Trust. CapCall is now required to return more than $2.7 million in interest, preferential payments and attorneys’ fees to the Shoot the Moon Liquidating Trust for distribution to Shoot the Moon’s creditors. The ruling could set legal precedent for future bankruptcy proceedings involving merchant cash advance companies, resulting in larger recoveries for creditors during the bankruptcy process. However, winning court battles in individual states is not enough. Legislative regulation of this industry is needed to ensure fair business practices that no longer prey on struggling businesses.

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Could the U.S. Really Move to a Four-Day Workweek? Is it quality of life versus productivity? by Arran Stewart

Arran Stewart is cofounder and CVO of blockchain-powered recruitment platform Job.com. He has spent more than a decade working to disrupt the recruitment industry with innovative first-of-itskind technology. Stewart’s expertise on hiring, recruitment, technology and job market trends has been featured in Forbes, Inc., Reuters, Wired, Fortune and Nasdaq, among others.

JAN. 2022



The pandemic is responsible for opening our eyes to the importance of “quality of life.” We were all confined to our homes in the blink of an eye, and the requirement for a drastic increase in remote work saw 42% of people working from home in 2020, according to the American Time Use Survey from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. At the time, the labor force was able to reflect on their working conditions, health, family and future. This has caused the workforce to demand more quality of life, hence the recent struggles to hire labor even as the pandemic has begun to subside. Companies are looking at how to best entice talent back to their organizations — the most obvious is increasing wages and the sign-on bonuses that Amazon introduced to its warehouse staff. However, there are other dimensions of benefits that can facilitate the re-hiring of the currently unemployed, which, as of right now, appear to be choosing to remain unemployed. One of these potential benefits could be to introduce a four-day workweek; there is a vast amount of data to support this practice, which not only benefits workers but also actually increased productivity in some cases, according to Autonomy. This study sent shock waves around the planet, as Iceland dared to introduce a four-day workweek to approximately 2,500 people (more than 1% of the working population) from 2015 to 2019. The results were eye-opening: Employees were much happier and there was at least the same level of productivity as before. Workers were compensated the same amount as they had been for five days even though they were physically now working only four. One caveat of the study was a cushion built into it — the workweek would normally be 40 hours over five days, but this was shrunk to 35–36 hours over four days, which means that the actual time spent working during the week was reduced by only roughly half a day and workers committed to more hours over a shorter period of time. This, of course, helped soften the blow on the reduction in days and increased the chances of success of the study. Iceland found the program to be a major success, and today 86% of Icelanders are now either working shorter hours or gaining the right to do so. But could this really be rolled out across the U.S.?

At a micro level, it seems it would be very possible to offer this level of flexibility to workers and allow them to embrace a shorter workweek, especially for those with output-measured job roles, such as web developers or salespeople who have revenue generation targets. The U.S. is already globally regarded as a leader when it comes to flexible working, according to the World Economic Forum. Another extension of this could include offering the shorter working week as an incentive to employees who have the ability to be as productive or, in some cases, more productive within a fourday workweek. But, and this is a big one, at a macro level, can the U.S. really afford to lose a day of productivity on the competitive landscape? The data published in the World Economic Forum’s “2020 Global Competitiveness Report” shows that the U.S. simply could not afford to fall any further behind. When comparing the macroeconomic and government agenda of Iceland and the U.S., there couldn’t be two more opposite agendas. A 40-hour workweek is something that most “high performers” are easily capable of in an output-based role in the U.S., so arguably many would opt to work the hours required to remain competitive in the labor market (as well as to potentially earn the additional commissions for sales-based roles that compensate in such a manner). The U.S. holds a very different position, purpose and, in many respects, responsibility globally, which means it could risk this role if it stopped its strong competitive focus. It’s fair to say that we have all experienced the sacrifices that go with being competitive in anything in life and that winning typically does not happen by taking a relaxed approach. Also, the culture of the U.S., its government and its economic agenda simply wouldn’t support such a move, especially in the midst of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. All in all, the Icelandic study shows the world what is possible, if it’s possible for companies to embrace this working practice. But ask most manager-level workers in any company and see if they are actually working 40 hours a week in the U.S. That would be rare; many work north of 50 hours a week. The data supporting the four-day workweek simply does not translate to the U.S., as things are today.

The 2015–2019 Icelandic study on the four-day workweek found that this practice kept (or, in some cases, improved) productivity levels. Now, 86% of Icelanders are either working this way or gaining the right to do so.


Three Hacks for Creating an Effortless Customer Experience The hardest part of making it easy for customers? Knowing where the pain is. by Jon Picoult

Most every company strives to be “easy to do business with.” But as common as that mantra is, it remains a rarity to come across a business that is consistently effortless to patronize. One reason: Most organizations aren’t detecting the pain points that drive their customers away. Sure: the 30-minute call center wait or the poorly designed website — these are examples of pain points that are easy for businesses to discern (though that doesn’t mean they’ll actually tend to them). But unnecessary, avoidable, loyaltysapping customer effort can creep into a company’s customer experience in subtle and insidious ways. To deliver a truly effortless customer experience requires spotting those circumstances and addressing them. That requires looking at one’s business through the lens of customer effort, and using techniques like the three outlined below to reveal the pain points that customers aren’t telling the business about:


Jon Picoult is the founder of Watermark Consulting and author of “FROM IMPRESSED TO OBSESSED: 12 Principles for Turning Customers and Employees into Lifelong Fans” (McGrawHill, Nov. 2, 2021). A noted authority on customer and employee experience, Picoult is an acclaimed public speaker and advisor to top executives at some of the world’s foremost brands. watermarkconsult.net

JAN. 2022



Nobody wakes up and says, “I can’t wait to call my cable company today.” Or their health insurer. Or their appliance manufacturer. Customers typically don’t crave contact with their product and service providers. They prefer things to work as promised, to go as expected, obviating the need to contact anyone for assistance. For many businesses, outside of the initial product purchase, a customer contact means that something has gone wrong in some way, creating added effort for the purchaser. For this reason, it’s a good idea to track why customers contact the company, be it by phone, email, text or in person. (Note that this is different from how businesses typically track customer contacts — an exercise that’s normally focused on what the inquiry was about.) Once the firm identifies the most common reasons why customers seek assistance (e.g., to clarify a line item on a recent bill, to inquire about a product feature that’s not working right, etc.), it can then figure out what’s really triggering that inquiry, upstream in the business process. It could be a product design issue, or poor expectation-setting at point-of-sale, or a jargon-filled customer communication. By making improvements to those upstream touchpoints, the business can preclude some or all of those customer inquiries. That translates into a more effortless experience for the customer, as well as smarter demand management for the company’s service operation.


For customers, if there’s one thing worse than having to contact a company for assistance — it’s having to contact it twice. Or more. Businesses can watch for this by monitoring when the same customer contacts the organization more than once in a specified period (two weeks is a good rule of thumb, but the most appropriate time window really depends on the type of product the business sells). What’s great about this approach is that it not only catches situations where customers must follow-up on a single unresolved issue, it also catches situations where customers have a second but related inquiry that could have been preempted during the first contact. For example, a software-as-a-service customer who calls to get a new feature activated, and then calls back two weeks later with a question about how to use it. Businesses should look for the common themes that trigger these repeat contacts, as that will help them identify business improvements to eliminate the inquiries, saving customers time and frustration.


When a business declines a customer request, it usually creates more effort for the customer. After all, that customer still has to figure out some other way to address the needs that prompted the call — even if that means switching to a competing provider, which requires effort in and of itself. Therefore, it’s a worthwhile exercise for companies to track every instance where the business has to decline a customer request — and then mine that data for common themes. Some of those situations may be borne of limitations to the company’s products or services, highlighting an opportunity to enhance the offerings to address unmet customer needs. Others may be triggered by rigid policies that may be ripe for reevaluation. While it’s unrealistic to think that any business can make all those “noes” go away, it is feasible that some subset could be minimized through business improvements. And that’s a good thing, because the less often customers hear “no,” the more effortless their experience will be. People’s most valuable, finite resource is their time. Any company that seeks to strengthen customer engagement should treat customers’ time as sacred. Because if a business consistently gives customers the gift of time and convenience, then those customers will surely reward that business with their enduring loyalty.

Rave vs. Rage: According to the Watermark Consulting 2021 Customer Experience ROI Study, publicly traded companies that excel in customer experience earn shareholder returns that are, on average, 3.4 times greater than those of their less customer-centric competitors. watermarkconsult.net/blog/2021/10/18/customer-experience-roi-study



Capacity Impact through Sound Leadership Nurture others to be ‘doers,’ too by Bruce Weber

We are living in different times right now, and I suspect everyone knows that, but one thing remains consistent: Strong leadership and succession planning within an organization has a tremendous impact on its long-term success in building capacity. Today, we are faced with survival in a climate that is dominated by financial austerity, technological disruption and political uncertainty. Each of these can cause major headaches for a leader when trying to sustain and develop capacity within her or his organization. The task to maintain/increase capacity to deliver within an organization seems insurmountable but it is achievable with a carefully designed leadership strategy. To begin, leaders influence the culture and the long-term effectiveness of an organization. Strong core values form the framework that impacts the behavioral attitudes of both individuals and groups within an organization. What follows is a roadmap for consideration when embarking on leadership impact on organizational capacity Begin with articulating the “void.” Where is the organization now versus where it would like to be? Help individuals see the potential in the organization’s future and their future and what might be missing. Allow them to dream and envision the possibilities of what could be coming next. The next step on our journey is to empower people with the tools and the resources that they need to be effective in their role to create additional capacity inside the organization. Continue to support them but get out of their way and allow them to succeed. I once had a manger who was wellliked throughout my company. He was very approachable, personable and said all the right things. However, when it came to strategy sessions, his way was always the “correct” way. My team and I often left those meetings feeling less motivated and inspired to be creative. We as a team never recognized the big impact in sales we were looking for and were always behind where we could have been. Trust in people

and allow them the freedom to succeed or fail. Even in failures, we learn, build and move forward. Along with the points above, avoid being the doer and instead allow the team the freedom to move forward in a way that provides the greatest impact without enabling but providing the freedom to create. Leaders should be continually asking themselves, “As a leader, am I truly leading the organization or am I an obstacle to success?” When leaders create capacity, the organization and the people in the organization increase their capacity and things grow. Leaders model the way if they want to gain commitment and achieve the highest standards. The leader must be a model of the behavior she or he expects of others, as those behaviors must align with the organization’s values. Great leaders inspire a shared vision and enlist others in a that common vision, and the process. Lastly, have a plan! Investing in the development of leadership increases the capacity to perform at multiple levels. It inherently creates a competitive advantage, offering skills and talent that other organizations may not have. Leadership development fosters innovation in the organization, whether it be in product, services or support. Future leaders are often those who make that leapfrog contribution that takes an organization to the next level. Often, when capacity is discussed, it focuses on the business model with things like revenue source identification, customer base, product set and financing details. While all those are critical, organizations that build capacity within are the ones that develop the people within the organization and empower them to envision the future and think big. Steve Jobs, Apple’s cofounder once said, “innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” Let’s head out in 2022 to innovate and empower everyone in our organizations to do so as well!

“The single biggest way to impact an organization is to focus on leadership development. There is almost no limit to the potential of an organization that recruits good people, raises them up as leaders and continually develops them.” —John Maxwell

Bruce Weber is founder and president/CEO at Weber Group. Weber brings more than 20 years of experience to the for-profit and nonprofit community, working with startup, growth and mature organizations. His focus is in strengthening organizations through strategic planning, organizational development, leadership and board development. He is a BoardSource Certified Governance trainer and a founding partner of the Nonprofit Lifecycles Institute. webergroupaz.com


JAN. 2022



COP26 – Strategies for Decarbonization and Impact on the Built Environment Shifting the real estate value chain toward net zero carbon emissions by Johanna Collins

Collins is committed to designing solutions that are as high performing and economically feasible as they are creative and beautiful. She operates on the understanding that experiential design is about more than just a building — it is the intersection of light, materials and landscape that create memorable spaces. After moving to Phoenix in 2004, she fell in love with the beauty of the Sonoran Desert. She draws inspiration from it in her daily life and work. gensler.com

JAN. 2022




During a typical life span of a building, 72% of carbon emissions are associated with operational carbon and 28% are associated with embodied carbon. Embodied carbon is the carbon emitted during the sourcing and production of materials and ending with the completion of construction. To lower this number, we must select and specify materials by evaluating their life cycle and look at environmental product declarations (EPDs) for specific products or product categories, which document product global warming potential.


While knowing that re-using an existing structure is an important first step in lowering carbon emissions associated with our work, we wanted to quantify the amount of carbon diverted from the atmosphere by preserving an existing structure. To do so, our Phoenix team collaborated with our structural engineering partners MEYER BORGMAN JOHNSON in creating a case study project. The SMCC – LS/PS project consists of a partial renovation of the LS/PS building, a total of 15,665 square feet, and a new 18,164-square-foot addition. We are preserving the exterior insulation and finish system (EIFS) envelope, steel structure and slab as much as possible, to accommodate the new program, and adding a steel structure,

masonry walls, windows and storefront throughout, new roof throughout and slab as a new addition and expansion. We began our study by creating a baseline — a ground-up building using the same materials and area — as the existing LS/PS buildings and the new addition, as designed. The new construction of this building envelope and structure would result in a total of 740 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). To help illustrate this, we use the average carbon footprint for a person in the United States, 16 tons per person per year — one of the highest rates in the world; the global average is 4 tons per person per year. So, this would equate to annual carbon footprint of 46 Americans. We then analyzed the embodied carbon of the existing structure and envelope and learned that by renovating we are diverting 220 tons of CO2e from the atmosphere, a 30% reduction of carbon emissions in comparison to new construction. This equates to the annual carbon footprint of 14 Americans. Those numbers are significant, considering the amount and rate of construction in our Valley and globally. While we anticipated a high embodied carbon associated with steel and concrete, what was interesting is, the highest embodied carbon in the existing building was associated with the insulation of the EIFS enclosure. This discovery led us to a “deeper dive” of the environmental impact of this category, and, by using EC3 (Embodied Carbon in Construction Calculator), the team selected a material with the lowest embodied carbon. This case study is just one example of the impact design strategies can have on a project by collaborating with our partners, asking the right questions, being curious and using the tools already available to us.

Predictions state there will be 230 billion square meters of new construction and major renovations world-wide between now and 2060. This equates to building an entire New York City every month over 40 years.

Photo courtesy of Gensler

Johanna Collins is an architect and office resilience leader at Gensler. Gensler strives toward the elimination of all greenhouse gases associated with its work. Gensler’s announcement of its new green materials initiative at COP26 in 2021 marked an important next step for the company in meeting its goals.

It is a known fact that there is a direct relationship between carbon dioxide emissions and global warming, and the real estate industry makes up 49% of global carbon emissions when accounting for construction and building performance. It is of great importance, therefore, to get to zero. At COP26 – UN Climate Change Conference, Gensler announced its green materials initiative — a move that has the larger goal of shifting the real estate value chain toward net zero carbon emissions. This year marked the first time the annual conference had a showcase on buildings, and only the second year when an entire day was dedicated to discussions on the built environment and real estate development. Enlai Hooi, the Copenhagen-based head of innovation at Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects, said, “An architect who creates just three typical buildings over their career will be responsible for carbon emissions equivalent to the lifetime emission of 162 typical Americans.” This illustrates the critical role and responsibility we, as architects, engineers and anyone in the real estate and construction sector, carry in combating climate change.


The Best Leaders Know How to Set a Vision An often-overlooked step in motivating and inspiring their people by Adam Bandelli

Among the many challenges that leaders face is maximizing performance. How can they get the best out of their people? What can they do to grow the business? What innovative products and services can they bring to the market? Although these questions are critical to a company’s success, the first thing the senior leadership team must do is get clear on their vision. Setting the vision enables the organization to move forward. When leaders do not have a clear vision, challenges arise. Even with the best intentions, leaders who miss this step often have trouble motivating and inspiring their people. This lack of focus also causes them to try to do too many things at once without having a core purpose to rally their people behind. When a strong vision has been laid out, people have a reason to go above and beyond current expectations. They have a desired end state that is worth moving toward. They put in the hard work and effort needed because they believe something great will take place if they remain focused on the key goals and objectives. To build a strong, sustainable vision for an organization, there are three vital steps that need to occur: Build a playbook. Making one’s vision a reality takes time and effort. Building a playbook for how to get to the desired outcome is key. Leaders with a strong playbook have a game plan for their teams to follow. Without it, leaders may have an overarching goal they’re attempting to achieve, but won’t get there because of a lack of focus. The first critical component of the playbook is identifying three to five strategic objectives that one’s people can work toward to make the vision a reality. Secondly, one must ensure that the objectives are things that one’s people thoroughly understand. To do this, it is important to ensure the playbook objectives cover different areas of the business. Lastly, it is critical to make sure the key objectives are realistic and practical for others to follow. Leaders cannot move their organization forward unless people can take massive action toward their attainment. Bring others along for the journey. No leader can scale the mountain on their own. They need capable, skilled and reliable people around them who can help make the vision a reality. To bring others along, there are several things that are important to implement. The first is including everyone on the team in the early stages of vision setting. The more bright and strategic minds that can be brought into the planning and decision making, the better the outcome will be. Secondly, it is important to continue to include them as part of the planning as things evolve. No vision is perfect from its inception. Things evolve over time as many factors — including

external environment, demands of the business and customer trends — change. Lastly, it is important to allow the team to have constructive discussions and debate about the vision along the way. Leaders have to calibrate along the journey if their vision is to come to pass. The best leaders take time each quarter to bring their senior team together. If things need to change, they make sure they are willing to make the necessary adjustments. Celebrate the victories. Life moves quickly. For leaders, there is always the next milestone to achieve, the next mountain to climb. If leaders aren’t careful, they can lose sight of the present and miss out on opportunities to encourage and support their people. I’ve seen many leaders who constantly push and strive for the next accomplishment. This leads to burnout with their teams because there wasn’t time to slow down and celebrate. It’s important that leaders remember to tell their people how proud they are of the team’s and the team members’ successes. Leaders should reward and recognize great performance, praise people publicly, take time for mentoring and coaching, and help their people get better. The best leaders focus on the growth and development of their people as a top priority. Encouragement and support gives people confidence to strive forward. For great leaders, vision is everything. They know what matters most and are committed to their overarching goals and priorities. They enable their people to reach their desired outcomes. This has a cascading effect throughout their organizations. So, get the right vision in place for your people, teams and organization. Identify your primary objective, build your playbook around it, bring people along for the journey and celebrate the wins along the way. You’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish together.

Leaders with a strong playbook have a game plan for their teams to follow. Without it, leaders may have an overarching goal they’re attempting to achieve, but won’t get there because of a lack of focus.

Adam C. Bandelli, Ph.D., is the managing director of Bandelli & Associates, a boutique consulting firm focusing on leadership advisory services and organizational effectiveness. He is the author of the book, What Every Leader Needs: The Ten Universal and Indisputable Competencies of Leadership Effectiveness (whateveryleaderneeds.com). bandelliandassociates.com



Handling Difficult Conversations Remotely by Roberta Matuson

Roberta Matuson is the author of CAN WE TALK? Seven Principles for Managing Difficult Conversations at Work (Kogan Page, September 2021). She is a globally known thought leader who helps leaders achieve dramatic improvements in employee engagement, retention, productivity and profitability. She is the CEO and founder of Matuson Consulting, where she works with Fortune 500 companies and mid-sized, emerging companies to create teams that achieve extraordinary results. She is known as “The Talent Maximizer®.” She is a seasoned speaker; author of six books and blogs for Fast Company, Glassdoor, Forbes and Thrive Global; and frequently cited in national media. matusonconsulting.com

JAN. 2022



No one could have accurately predicted that one day just about the entire world would go remote. But that’s precisely what happened when the coronavirus hit and pretty much brought everyone to a standstill. Within days of the official announcement of a pandemic, employers shut down their offices and sent workers home, leaving no time to train leaders on how to best manage remote workers. As a result, managers were left to figure many things out on their own. This “experiment” went better for some managers than others. Suddenly, it was no longer possible to meet someone face-to-face. We became experts on the use of Zoom and Microsoft Teams overnight. Video conferencing equipment, such as computer video cameras and ring lights, immediately sold out and were on backorder for months. People made do with what they had, which in some cases made it next to impossible to see someone’s face when speaking to them. This was unfortunate, as you can tell a lot about how well a conversation is going based on visual cues. But what happens when you can no longer read a person’s face because the lighting in their home office room isn’t quite ready for prime time? Or a bad internet connection has them turning their video camera off and going into audio mode only? You learn quickly how to adapt. As experienced leaders of remote workers know, the need to have difficult conversations with employees doesn’t go away when employees are remote. The way you handle challenging remote interactions will ultimately reflect on you and the company. The last thing you want to do is be like Uber and make headlines for the wrong reasons. In May of 2020, Uber laid off over 3,000 employees in a three-minute Zoom call, which was recorded and shared globally by someone on the call. The backlash that occurred from this error in judgment was felt around the globe. I bring this up because learning what not to do in situations is just as important as learning best practices. Never lose sight of the fact that those you’re engaging in conversation with are people who deserve to be treated with respect and compassion. Avoid mass firings via Zoom or any other platform, and you’ll be one step closer to doing things right. In fact, eliminate the practice of mass firings and you’ll be that much further ahead than the competition in terms of being the kind of organization where people love to come to work and customers love to do business. Lots of leaders have been working remotely for years now, which means we can learn a thing or two from their experience. Here are some things to consider that may be different from those in-person meetings you’ve grown accustomed to.


During the pandemic, many people picked up and moved some to different time zones. Companies quickly learned that a meeting normally set to begin at 9:00 a.m. ET no longer worked for folks on the West Coast. Before setting a time for what may

As experienced leaders of remote workers know, the need to have difficult conversations with employees doesn’t go away when employees are remote.

be an awkward interaction, consider where the other person is located, and do your best to pick a time when they’ll be able to fully focus their attention on the matter at hand. Also, consider where the employee maybe when you’re having the conversation. With so many people working from home now, privacy is at a premium. An employee may be distracted if they’ve got a young child running around their house or a spouse working nearby and may not fully take in your message. Give them a heads up that what you’re about to discuss is best said in privacy, so they can move to a quiet place if need be.


Some people choose to leave their video cameras off, as they find looking at their own image to be distracting. However, there are certain situations where cameras on works best. When setting up a meeting, be sure to let the other person know that you’d like the video conferencing feature to be on. This will help to avoid what could be an embarrassing situation — being asked to turn your camera on when you’re not “camera ready.”


While it may be easier for you to get things off your mind with a quick email, that may not be what’s best for the person on the receiving end. While you’re feeling relieved that you’ve gotten something off your chest, the other person is left to figure out what exactly your email means. Email can be easily misinterpreted. Think of all the wasted hours and undue stress that one email can cause. Then take your finger off the send button and, instead, schedule a time to speak or simply give the other person a call. [Editor’s note: This article is adapted from CAN WE TALK? Seven Principles for Managing Difficult Conversations at Work (Kogan Page, September 28, 2021) by Roberta Chinsky Matuson.]


Career and Technical Education Scottsdale Community College provides 100+ degree, certificate and micro-certificate education programs designed to help you succeed in the workplace. SCC is proud to support the mission of the Scottsdale Coalition of Today and Tomorrow.





Make it happen at Scottsdale (480) 423-6700 | scottsdalecc.edu |


The Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) is an EEO/AA institution and an equal opportunity employer of protected veterans and individuals with disabilities. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, or national origin. A lack of English language skills will not be a barrier to admission and participation in the career and technical education programs of the District. The Maricopa County Community College District does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability or age in its programs or activities. For Title IX/504 concerns, call the following number to reach the appointed coordinator: (480) 731-8499. For additional information, as well as a listing of all coordinators within the Maricopa College system, visit www.maricopa.edu/non-discrimination.

Social Impact


STEM Sports® Audible Aids Education Teaching STEM literacy through the fun of sports and creative and strategic educational lessons

WHY STEM? • 15 of the fastestgrowing careers require a background in math or science. • 93 out of 100 STEM jobs pay above the national average. • 80% of all professions are expected to require STEM skills in the next decade. • There has been a 17% increase in STEM-related jobs as compared to 9.8% in other professions. stemsports.com

Tyler Butler is the chief social impact officer for the Weedmaps’ corporate portfolio where she leads programs that positively impact humanity. She is also the founder of 11.11CoLab and is often cited as a subject-matter expert by Forbes, SHRM, Entrepreneur, US News & World Report and more.

JAN. 2022



STEM Sports® is committed to the educational enrichment of youth. Its focus on analog technology has empowered this commitment. Through a double-play combination of physical activity and cognitive thinking, the organization provides a comprehensive approach. Preparing students for future careers, STEM Sports is providing a turnkey, standards-aligned, K-8 supplemental curricula to enhance students’ STEM skills. “My students had the opportunity to participate in the STEM Soccer program. I have spent two years with most of these students and this experience was the first time I have seen them truly invested and engaged in the learning process. My classroom became student-centered, where they were controlling the discussions, and inquiry that followed the modules, not me,” shared Haley Mercy, a teacher at Mesquite Junior High School. By combining the fun of sports and creative and strategic educational lessons, STEM Sports has devised an entirely new way to teach STEM literacy, retention and passion. Lessons use various sports as the real-life applications to teach science, technology, engineering and math in classrooms, after-school programs and camps around the globe. And with the shortage of skilled workers qualified to fill STEM jobs, this curriculum will help children explore the occupations available to them, through a sports lens. “STEM Sports uses sports for real-world application, strengthens 21st century skills and integrates the Engineering Design Process with its curriculum. This STEM.org Accredited™ Educational Experience accomplishment will serve as an inspiration to others who aspire to be the best and reaffirms your ability to captivate those who value STEM in their communities,” Andrew Raupp, shares founder and executive director of STEM.org. In March 2020, the pandemic forced STEM Sports to critically review how it was able to help educators. With students leaving the classroom, parents were put into action to help continue education efforts at home. Teachers, too, were at a disadvantage. After all, their curriculum was designed to be delivered with students at their desks and not at the dining room table at home. These unforeseen circumstances forced STEM Sports to call an audible. At which point, it pivoted and launched a nationwide public relations campaign offering lessons for free. STEM Sports recognized this would aid parents, the primary target for this campaign. However, the company’s leadership recognized its core customers were also in need. STEM Sports’ next objective was clear: Deliver content virtually for teachers. The traditional curriculum offered by STEM Sports was intended to be delivered in a hands-on approach, where most of the learning occurs on the field or court of play. While some

Eighty percent of all professions are expected to require STEM skills in the next decade.

digital assets such as videos and assessments have always been available, the cause relies on play and physical activity as key components to the learning process. With students at home and being taught on Zoom, Microsoft Teams and the like, STEM Sports had to meet them where they were. By developing and creating robust digital presentations for every single module, STEM Sports digitized its worksheets. This provided the option to share printed curriculum manuals to students, enabling a pass-through to share these valuable teachings. “Our focus is on ensuring elementary and middle school-aged students enjoy learning the science that is behind all sports,” said STEM Sports President and CEO Jeff Golner. “Our STEM curriculum creates an engagement with young students that will perpetuate their continued education and subsequent career potential in STEM fields.” Expansion of these efforts will focus on curriculum kits to Title 1 Schools and scholarships to students to empower them to further their educations. In our own Valley, STEM Sports has been hard at work aiding causes in need. It has donated materials to Special Olympics Arizona. This collaboration will explore how the STEM Sports curriculum can meet the needs of its athlete populations. It looks to next partner with Boys and Girls Clubs of Arizona and Valley of the Sun United Way to explore additional ways that its curriculum can benefit youth. STEM Sports has also served to usher in further innovation through its sponsorship of The Counting Bee™. The Counting Bee is an annual, fast-paced, exciting STEM competition that reveals the fastest human counters in different age categories around the world. Mathletes race to compute as many numeric answers as possible for each level within a 15-second window. Each level increases in difficulty and, once a cumulative total of all levels scores is assessed, state-by-state and countryby-country competitions will determine overall Counting Bee World Champions by age groups. Through these partnerships and others, STEM Sports will continue to support communities by aiding student learning with action and education.

Photo courtesy of STEM Sports®

by Tyler Butler



2022 Mercedes-AMG E53 The seamless power and natural balance of an inline-6 return with another Mercedes-AMG tradition — a technological leap forward. The lightweight, fully beltless engine is also electrified: An Integrated Starter-Generator can supply up to 21 horsepower at certain rpm, allow gas-free coasting and recapture energy during deceleration. With a twin-scroll turbo and electric auxiliary compressor, the gas engine outputs 429 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque on its own, for quick, efficient response. Aggressively athletic style defines the iconic E-Class from every angle. The expressive LED headlamps, vertical-bar AMG grille, and a deep front apron with aggressive air intakes add up to a commanding presence. The rear is dramatically sleek

as well, with horizontally oriented LED taillamps adding sporty distinction. Flared side sills, twin power domes in the hood and a rear apron with functional diffuser assert the extensive attention to aerodynamic and visual detail. For a cleaner, stealthier parting view, the AMG and model emblems can be deleted from the trunk lid at no charge upon request. The three-dimensional flow of the E-Class cockpit is more than a visual achievement. Every aspect of the cabin experience is equally fluid, from the natural feel of the controls to the clarity with which information and entertainment reach the driver and passengers. A single floating panel houses the digital instruments and multimedia touchscreen, seamlessly united to form a widescreen cockpit. Aluminum-ringed air vents and control elements punctuate the wave of elegant dash trim. It’s a haven of luxury and fine craftsmanship. Pneumatically adjustable lumbar, side and shoulder supports offer custom-tailored comfort. Active side bolsters can automatically increase lateral support in cornering maneuvers, or even in the event of a potential accident. Eight massage programs can soothe and rejuvenate back and shoulders, including two spa-like “hot stone” massages, plus an “active workout” program to help strengthen back and leg muscles. —Mike Hunter

2022 MERCEDESAMG E53 MSRP: $75,000 City: 22 mpg Hwy.: 29mpg Trans: 9-speed automatic 0-60: 4.4 sec

Mercedes-Benz mbusa.com

Shine a Light on Sanitation Purification, LLC is an innovative, Tempe-based company that’s harnessing the power of CDC-approved UV-C lights to disinfect air and surface contaminants, reduce spore activation and kill airborne pathogens through environmental sterilization and HVAC air sterilization. The one-of-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. Photos courtesy of Mercedes-Benz , Purification, LLC

UV-C 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. Purification founder Nicholas Knudsen was able to create lights with the right amount of disinfecting power to be able to sanitize large spaces without causing permanent damage. —Jamie Killin

Purification’s available products and services are: • U V-C HVAC installation, providing air sterilization through HVAC units • Portable purification devices that combine carbon filter and UV-C technology • Environmental sterilization for individual events or gatherings


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Mercedes Me Connect gives remote access to the car via a smartphone Mobile App. Features include remote start, door locking/unlocking, vehicle monitoring, stolen vehicle tracking and a parking locator. Owners can enjoy HERE™ Local Search and can send destinations to the available MB Navigation system. One year of services is included for no charge with a new Mercedes-Benz.



Peas, Shiitake mushrooms, roasted peppers, spinach, Stracciatella and pesto oil 20.99

RED WINE BRAISED SHORT RIBS Oven-roasted vegetables, Mary’s potatoes, grainy Dijon mustard butter, crispy onion strings 31.99


Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant – Food Worthy of the Wines Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant offers its modern, casual dining experience in an inviting upscale setting, with a unique blend of a full-service restaurant inside a winery. American-fusion dishes feature flavors from around the world. “At Cooper’s Hawk, we do not believe wine should be intimidating or complicated. Our focus is on creating greattasting wine and helping our guests discover the ones that suit their taste. We create the wine first, then the menu. Our chefs develop dishes that pair best with each wine,” says founder and CEO Tim McEnery, who recognized that few wineries had a restaurant to complement the wine experience, and realized the concept with his first Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant in 2005 in Illinois. Wine-pairing suggestions from the winemaker are included on the menu, labeled by bin number. Each Cooper’s Hawk location welcomes its guests by having them first enter through its Napa-style tasting room and retail store. Wine-tasting is walk-in only; reservations are recommended for dining. Guests may enjoy a wine tasting with experienced sommeliers guiding them through the experience. Guests are then escorted to the expansive dining area suitable for

Garlic green beans, grape tomatoes, ginger rice, Thai lemongrass sauce 26.99

both leisurely dining and business meetings, a full-service bar and a large open-air covered patio complete with misters to keep guests cool on warm days. There are also two private dining rooms that can be combined to host events up to 48 people. This private space is equipped with audio and visual capabilities fitting for any private party. Each menu, including one that is gluten free, features dishes that pair naturally with Cooper’s Hawk wines. Dishes are made from scratch and incorporate peak-ofseason ingredients. Among the appetizers is Over the Border Egg Rolls, made with Southwest chicken, corn, black beans, cilantro and cheese, served with the triple choices of tomatillo salsa, cilantro ranch and cashew dipping sauces. Entrées include a chimichurri-rubbed Prime Churrasco Grilled Steak and a Pistachio-crusted Grouper. There’s also a variety of salads, pasta and risotto dishes, as well as the di rigeuer hamburger. Finish with a decidedly upscale version of the campfire classic: S’More Budino – also, of course, paired with a wine. Since 2005, Cooper’s Hawk has received more than 500 wine awards from various local, national and international wine competitions. In 2021, it was named a Top 10 Best Winery Restaurant by USA Today. The wines are made and aged at the company’s main winery in Illinois and served at locations onsite. Cooper’s Hawk is a privately owned company with nearly 50 locations across the U.S. to date. While well-established throughout the Midwest, Cooper’s Hawk also has locations from Michigan to Florida, along the East Coast. The Scottsdale and Chandler locations it has opened over the past year (with one in Gilbert slated to follow) are the company’s furthest west locations. Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant 3325 W. Chandler Blvd., Chandler (480) 936-7711 7361 E. Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd., Scottsdale (623) 473-9463 chwinery.com

JAN. 2022



Since its founding in 2005, Cooper’s Hawk has received more than 500 wine awards from various local, national and international wine competitions.

Photos courtesy of Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant



Winter 2O22 • aztechcouncil.org

IN THIS ISSUE 2 Powerful Action Council stays in the middle of the clean energy conversation

3 Ties That Bind A virtual world helps strengthen, increase reach of SciTech Institute

4 Delivering a Diverse Workforce Partnership turns to tech to help bias that can occur in hiring

5 A Look to the Future

Council develops strategy to reach 2025 vision

WHO WE ARE The Arizona Technology Council is Arizona’s premier trade association for science and technology companies.

Phoenix Office 2800 N. Central Ave., Suite 1530 Phoenix, AZ 85004 Phone: 602-343-8324 • Fax: 602-343-8330 info@aztechcouncil.org

Tucson Office

1215 E. Pennsylvania St. Tucson, AZ 85714 Phone: 520-388-5760 tucson@aztechcouncil.org

MANAGEMENT AND STAFF Steven G. Zylstra Deborah Zack Karla Morales Bianca Buliga Darryle Emerson Laura DeGeorge Jamie Neilson Angelica Espinoza Don Rodriguez Ron Schott

President + CEO Vice President, Membership Services Vice President, Southern Arizona Regional Office Director, Marketing + Communications Director, Programs + Events Chief of Staff Director, Operations, Southern Arizona Regional Office Bookkeeper Editor Executive Emeritus, Phoenix


Steven G. Zylstra, President + CEO Jeremy Babendure, Ph.D., Executive Director Kelly Greene, Chief Operations Officer Kaci Fankhauser, STEM Ecosystem Coordinator Claire Conway, STEM Ecosystem Programs Manager Jake Lounsbury, Director of Global Partnerships Hope Parker, Curriculum & Training Specialist Michele Roy, Grants Manager Tammy Doerksen, CSO Advisor Training Destiny Madaje, Resource & Event Manager Fritz Smith, Arizona CSO - Rural Support Caillou Pena, Government Relations Specialist Amanda Rincon, Ecosystem Team Member Lisa Ristuccia, Festival Team Member


Arizona Technology Report

Arizona Technology Council: The Voice of the Technology Industry

President’s Message Where’s the talent? Whether you follow the news or just go out to get a bite to eat, you’ve likely heard various versions of that refrain lately. Employers have been looking for people to fill positions, whether it’s to build a house or pour a cup of coffee. For years, I’ve heard that same question but in a different context. Arizona has missed more than a few opportunities to draw technology companies because their leaders complained there was not enough trained talent to meet Steven G. Zylstra, President + CEO their needs. So, the jobs went elsewhere. Arizona Technology Council As we look to a new year, I’m excited to report the tide has turned. Admittedly, we still have our work cut out for us. The mad scramble for talent is going to continue to be a challenge. There are so many open positions in just about every industry. That’s especially true in tech because of the growth. It’s business creation, business expansion and business attraction going on at once. Thanks to the efforts of the Arizona Technology Council and its partners, however, the seeds have been planted for a talent bonanza. An example is our work with the Greater Phoenix Chamber that created the Cybersecurity Workforce Collaborative to develop a continuum of workplace experiences and share best practices to expand these opportunities. One of the resulting products is AZCyberTalent.com, a website that brings together students, employees, employers and educators in the state’s cybersecurity ecosystem. On another front, the Council in collaboration with Pipeline AZ and the Partnership for Economic Innovation has launched the Arizona IT/Cyber Career Network, a scalable, online platform that connects employers with technology talent in the state’s IT and cybersecurity sector. The IT/ Cyber Career Network platform went live in mid-2021 and can be found at ITCyberCareers.com. Arizona State University also has risen to the occasion. The Council is part of a collaborative funded by an $8-million ASU-led U.S. Department of Labor grant to establish the Arizona Workforce Training Accelerator Partnership for Next Generation Jobs (AZNext). The partnership’s goal is to enhance regional competitiveness, helping to address workforce shortages and train workers for high-paying, high-demand jobs in advanced manufacturing, cybersecurity and information technology. Separately, the National Science Foundation awarded nearly $10 million to increase Latinx representation in STEM degrees and careers. The grant was awarded to the Accelerate Latinx Representation in STEM Education (ALRISE) Alliance, a collaborative group of the Council and other institutions and organizations that are led by ASU’s Center for Broadening Participation in STEM to share resources, data, research and best practices. The Council also is fortunate to build its own talent pool with new members of the team. Joining us in 2021 were Karla Morales, vice president, Southern Arizona; Bianca Buliga, director, marketing and communications; and Darryle Emerson, director, programs and events. And, of course, I can’t forget our members and the talent they develop every day. Their economic prowess and ability to generate the high-quality, high-paying jobs necessary to propel our economy forward leave me anxious to see what lies ahead.



Powerful Action

Council stays in the middle of the clean energy conversation While the Arizona Technology Council is no stranger to the public policy arena, the list of topics has been wide ranging over the years. In 2021, however, one theme continued to surface — and the group had plenty of company when it came to taking a stand. From the Office of the Governor to Capitol Hill, clean energy was a focal point for the Council and others who shared their vision of a future when the nation moves past a reliance on fossil fuel and taps into alternative ways to help power the economy forward. Most recently, the Council partnered with Nikola, Gov. Doug Ducey and others to celebrate National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day, which marks the growth of the industry by raising awareness of the benefits fuel cell technologies and hydrogen energy provide in reducing emissions while driving economic growth. Nikola, a global transportation leader in zero-emissions and infrastructure solutions, is building a manufacturing facility in Coolidge. Besides being used in fuel cells that power Nikola trucks, hydrogen is already providing power to various sectors of the U.S. Steven G. Zylstra, the Council’s president and CEO, also was part of a group of clean vehicle advocates who called for modernizing the U.S. transportation sector by investing in advanced vehicles and transportation infrastructure, as well as expanding electric vehicle (EV) tax incentives. Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego was among those who urged Congress to pass a budget that makes ambitious investments in EVs, creating jobs and spurring economic opportunity for all Arizonans. “I strongly believe it’s critical to make climate change initiatives a priority at the state and national levels,” Zylstra says. That sentiment is one reason the Council urged Congress to pass the framework that President Joe Biden laid out to cut emissions by more than 50% by 2030. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill recently signed into law by Biden sets aside $7.5 billion for EV charging stations to help meet a target of a half-million public stations by 2030. The U.S. Department of Energy reported that more than 100,000 public EV charging ports were online as of the first quarter of this year. EVs also were prominent in the Build Back Better Act being ironed out at the time this article was being prepared. The measure included a tax credit of $7,500 granted to an EV buyer for five years while another



$4,500 in tax credits would be made available to a buyer purchasing an electric car assembled in the U.S. using union labor. The Council has been a major advocate of the act and its promise of expanding the clean energy economy and creating millions of new jobs. The key to these achievements is the Clean Electricity Performance Program, which would accelerate electric utilities’ clean energy transition and cut customer bills. With Arizona’s endless sunshine, the CEPP would supercharge the state’s solar and battery industries, spur clean technology innovation and create jobs. In addition, for every $1 spent on the program, $6 in investment would be generated. Closer to home, the Council has worked with lawmakers and the Arizona Corporation Commission to advance policies that prioritize clean and renewable energy use, invest in EV infrastructure development, encourage demand-side adoption of energy efficiency and support innovation in the energy industry. In addition, the Council has made clean energy investment and innovation a legislative priority for 2022 and beyond in its 2022 Public Policy Guide. “The Council has made clean energy and emissions reduction a top legislative priority because it not only benefits the health of our ecosystem, it also promotes economic growth,” Zylstra says. In the guide, the Council encourages lawmakers to support policies that provide the certainty needed to attract clean and renewable energy developers of all sizes, from rooftop to utility scale. Sustained economic investment requires that Arizona utility regulators and legislators create and maintain policies that enable capital intensive investment in clean and renewable energy technologies. Energy policy that encourages demand-side adoption of energy efficiency, prioritizes clean and renewable energy use, invests in EV infrastructure development, and supports innovation in the industry also should be prioritized. Additionally, the advancements in clean and renewable energy policies that have been made by the Commission need to be protected. More details on the Council’s positions can be found at https://www.aztechcouncil.org/public-policy/. In the new year, the Council remains committed to staying plugged into the advocacy of clean energy.

Ties That Bind

A virtual world helps strengthen, increase reach of SciTech Institute Even when communities are far apart, they still can come together for common goals. That mindset has kept the SciTech Institute not only operating but evolving while the world still struggles to reopen throughout spikes in COVID cases. New programs and growth continue to occur at the organization whose parent is the Arizona Technology Council. “To survive in this period of time, you have to adapt,” says Jeremy Babendure, the SciTech Institute’s executive director. “Our team has really done a great job at making things work in the digital space and innovate.” Babendure shared some of those accomplishments:

STEM Ecosystem Development Two Ecosystem Working Groups have been established to increase statewide science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs based on the interests of the collaborators and the community conversations. “How do we really start to build that critical mass?” Babendure says. “If we get people together in a local community, they’re going to be a lot more likely [to create] the channel opportunities that come because they’re already working together.” The Arizona Working Group on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in STEM was launched to provide and facilitate a platform where “STEMists” from myriad backgrounds, professions and stakeholder groups can come together to discuss, provide resources and take action for equity in STEM education and institutions. The Arizona Working Group on STEM in Libraries was formed to provide a platform where librarians and library partners can come together to discuss, provide resources and take action to improve access to STEM education, learning tools and out-of-class opportunities. “When you have these local regional groups, you’re going to be way more effective at connecting the dots and cross-pollinating,” Babendure says. That can lead to new opportunities. For example, when educators are developing curriculum for advanced manufacturing, there can be a focus on diversity, equity and inclusion while determining how to leverage assets like libraries and traditional school settings.


Arizona is “potentially losing opportunities because we don’t have the proof of the workforce [ready for] the type of opportunities in the pipeline,” he says. “We’re not going to be able to fill these jobs.”

STEM & Innovation Summit The Institute teamed with the Arizona Science Center to host — in person and virtually — the 2021 STEM & Innovation Summit at the Center in late September. The day was filled with workshops, panels, presentations and networking sessions for about 600 participants who were evenly split between online and at the center. Through it all, the tone touched on how to work as a statewide connected ecosystem. “It shows the interest continues despite the circumstances,” Babendure says. “People are just ready to start connecting together again.”

Chief Science Officers More groups coming together through digital means helped expand training for members of the Chief Science Officers (CSO), the program that promotes student voice and engagement in STEM and education conversations across multiple states and countries. Mexico has had a heavier amount of participation, thanks to technology enabling long-distance training.

For example, up to 400 students in Guanajuato alone have joined the CSO ranks, Babendure says. Add to that growth in places such as Jalisco and Chiapas. “The ability to train people online and have our staff attend has made expansion opportunities happen,” he says. Looking ahead, the Institute is getting ready for the 2022 version of the STEM celebration that started it all: the annual Arizona SciTech Festival. This year the festival will launch in late January and run through early April. While there will be at least a couple of dozen signature events, there also will be several hundred others at various locations. New this year is a relationship with the Barrett-Jackson auto auction. Babendure says the Institute will launch its roster of activities with a ribbon cutting that starts the event in Scottsdale. “It’s a great way to reach new audiences that wouldn’t normally get exposed to that sort of thing,” he says. Festival attendees may be growing accustomed to something new. Last year was the debut of events staged for online audiences from as far as Kenya while one event even originated from Easter Island. For 2022, “I think a lot of [the organizers] are really wanting to get back to some sort of normalcy,” Babendure says.



Arizona Technology Council’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Delivering a More Diverse Workforce

Partnership turns to tech to help remove bias that can occur in hiring In an effort to level the playing field when it comes to hiring practices in the technology industry, the Arizona Technology Council has partnered with FairHire to introduce InclusionAZ. InclusionAZ’s goal is to enhance the vibrancy of Arizona’s technology ecosystem by imploring employers to provide fair hiring opportunities that attract diverse talent from across Arizona and beyond. To help accomplish this, InclusionAZ will adopt inclusive hiring practices using the FairHire Blind Hiring Platform that leverages scientific hiring protocols developed by the University of Bocconi Research Center in Milan, Italy. Each job post that follows this protocol will receive a FairHire® Certification. The intent is to help technology employers hire qualified and diverse tech talent without bias, ensuring that Arizona’s tech ecosystem is shaped by the full breadth of residents who call Arizona home.

What Is Blind Hiring? Blind Hiring is a behavioral science tactic used to tackle unconscious bias in the initial stages of the recruitment process. It helps the screening to be bias-free to ensure that, during the interview stage, the best candidates are chosen based on skill and talent. A blind résumé conceals the personal identity of the candidate to reduce the prevalence of unconscious bias in the recruitment process. A typical blind résumé redacts name, gender, ethnicity, educational institution and any contents that can reveal the candidate identity.

At What Stage Is the Candidate’s Identity Revealed? Unconscious bias has been a barrier for organizations to create a diverse workforce. It prevails mostly in the early-stage résumé sifting. With this program, the anonymity seal is broken when the screening is finished.

Who Is Eligible to Participate? The program is open to all Arizona Technology Council member organizations of any size. Messages can be left for FairHire through its website, inclusionaz.fairhire.org, and a representative from FairHire will respond to explain the onboarding process. Those who are not already a member can contact the council through its website, aztechcouncil.org/membership.



Diversity, equity and inclusion is more than just joining a trending conversation about equal access. It is about listening, being action-oriented and addressing the deep divides and biases that workplaces simply cannot ignore. At the Arizona Technology Council, we are dedicated to creating a sense of belonging for all our employees and member organizations. We strive to create a physical environment, culture and dialogue of engagement where our community members feel included and valued. We know those who are recognized and appreciated for their uniqueness feel more motivated, are more productive and contribute significantly to critical community-building initiatives. We also are committed to building and nurturing a culture where inclusiveness is not an initiative but an undeniable instinct. Here, we instill a deep sense of pride, passion and belonging that transcends any job description, company department, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, age, disability, language or country of origin. We are unified in our commitment to make Arizona a more innovative, business-friendly and mighty economic powerhouse that sets a precedent regionally, nationally and globally. We know through experience that the Council is made stronger by a diversity of identities, ideas, perspectives and backgrounds. By prioritizing diversity, equity and inclusion, the Council has created a more robust and creative work environment that delivers superior results. This work is a journey, not a destination. But we remain committed to asking questions, actively listening, engaging in difficult conversations and advocating for our diverse community members. In addition, we respectfully acknowledge that Council offices are located on the land and territories of Indigenous peoples. Today, Arizona is home to 22 federally recognized tribes. We acknowledge these nations’ sovereignty and strive to build long-term sustainable relationships with Indigenous communities through ongoing education, partnerships and community service.

A Look to the Future Council develops strategy to reach 2025 vision As the Arizona Technology Council ramps up for 2022, its board of directors and staff members already are setting their sights on their strategy to help guide the organization through the next three years. At an early November workshop, board and staff reviewed, revised and committed to the Council’s 2025 vision, which reads: The AZTC is the largest technology council in North America. The AZTC is the first point of contact for all Arizona technology companies looking to solve problems out of house. We proactively identify and enhance capabilities and eliminate impediments that Arizona technology companies face. Together we are creating the destination for technology companies to be, to thrive and to stay.

Section A: Strategic Pathways Initiative #1 How to gather needs; interpret, measure, create and share value to our members? • How might we help members understand how AZTC can help? • How might we increase membership by 50% by sharing value — more clarity — quantifiable? • How to increase membership by 50% to increase collaborative value and impact? • How might we generate more value for members? • How to provide value to AZTC members in the future using multiple delivery modalities? • How to increase community awareness and recognition of AZTC? Initiative #2 How might we attract young professionals? • How to increase younger membership? • How might AZTC be more proactive on campus? Initiative #3 How to create value-added human connection? • How might we know and ensure members have “found their tribe”? • How might we create a channel for technology companies to discuss common challenges? • How might we choose topics and meeting groups to maximize interest across our members? • How to drive more collaboration between members and stakeholders? • How might we form more user groups — like the CEO group — for various members?

Then the real work began as the group generated 350 challenges that need to be solved in order to achieve the vision. Framed as questions, Section B: Challenges Being Addressed the challenges were narrowed down to 40 How to influence public policy in today’s rapidly changing political environment? considered the most critical. • How might we do better at getting legislators to understand the tech industry? The challenges were divided into three sections. • How to identify which regulations to influence? • Section A: The three top initiatives (i.e., • How to stay competitive as a state? priorities) comprising strategic pathways How might we better utilize technology within AZTC? • Section B: Challenges already being addressed • How to improve our technology skills to better help our members? • Section C: Stand-alone challenges The following are the highlights. While not all challenges are listed, due to space, many of those that appear here reflect common themes:

Section C: Stand-Alone Challenges • How might we help students understand the benefits of a technology career? • How to build a more diverse board of directors?

On the Front Line

Two new staff members focus on marketing, events The two newest members of the Arizona Technology Council staff bring qualifications expected to benefit the group and its members. Bianca Buliga has been named director of marketing and communications while Darryle Emerson is the new director of programs and events. A marketing professional with experience in both the nonprofit and for-profit sectors, Buliga joins the Council after serving as marketing communications lead at Proctorio. She previously worked as the senior marketing manager at SEED SPOT. Buliga also has engaged in consulting projects for IBM and the Peruvian government. In addition, she interned at the Arizona House of Representatives and U.S. Embassy in Bucharest, Romania. She was an awardee of the Mandela Washington

Reciprocal Exchange program and traveled to the African island of Mauritius to run entrepreneurship programming for 15 impact-driven ecopreneurs on behalf of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Emerson is a meeting planner with experience in events and association management. He most recently was director of events at the Arizona Lodging and Tourism Association. Emerson specializes in working with nonprofit associations and has executed successful gatherings that range from small meetings to culinary festivals and galas. His experience as a concierge at various five diamond resorts in the Valley of the Sun instilled a passion for excellence in customer service and hospitality that he brings to each event.

Bianca Buliga

Darryle Emerson







Eagle Mountain Golf Club Fountain Hills, Arizona


JANUARY 26 REGISTER TODAY! www.aztechcouncil.org/tech-events aztechcouncil.org



Achilles, Todd, 12

Craycraft, Ran, 16

Lunceford, Adam, 22

Ross, Amy, 12

Albamonte, Hernan, 66

Duplessis, Shelby, 17

Martin, Rusty, 18

Slootman, Frank, 35

Ambrose, Jayme, 20

Emerson, Darryle, 63

Matuson, Roberta, 54

Stewart, Arran, 26, 48

Amendola, Jodi, 10

Etherton, Vicki, 10

McEnery, Tim, 58

Subrameyer, Raj, 26

Babendure, Jeremy, 61

Evens, Susanne, 34

Mercy, Haley, 56

Thelan, Matt, 11

Bailey, Eric M., 26

Ford, Paul, 44

Miller, Donald, 35

Vermiglio, Zanzibar, 26

Bandelli, Adam C., 53

Foster, Jeremiah, 46

Murray, Dave, 14

Vinayagam, Mahesh, 24

Bulliga, Bianca, 63

Franco, Veronica, 10

Orr, Mike, 18

Weber, Bruce, 51

Butler, Tyler, 56

Golner, Jeff, 56

Pavlov, Kevin, 9

Zeff, David, 17

Ciscomani, Juan, 66

Kent, Tyler, 18

Picoult, Jon, 50

Zenkevičius, Aistis, 24

Clarke, Dan, 22

Kobierowski, John, 17

Price, Catherine, 35

Zylstra, Steve, 59

Collins, Johanna, 52

Laird, Travis, 26

Raupp, Andrew, 56

11.11ColLab, 56

ElectraMeccanica, 9

Quarles & Brady, 45

Truyo, 22

AAA Translation, 34

Empire Group of Companies, 17

Resolute Commercial Services, 46

ABI Multifamily, 17

Evoca TV, 12

Robert Half, 26

United to Safeguard America from Illegal Trade, 66

Adobe Care & Wellness, 20

Gensler, 52

Scottsdale Community College, 55

Amendola Communications, 10

Graycor Construction Company, 18

Snell & Wilmer, 47

WasteManagement Phoenix Open, 3

Arizona Community Foundation, 15

IPXO, 24

Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits of Arizona, 12

Watermark Consulting, 50

Arizona Manufacturing Extension Partnership, 68

Item 9 Labs, 12 Jive, 6

Arizona Technology Council, 59

JLL, 20

Arizona-Mexico Commission, 66

Job.com, 26, 48

Association for Entrepreneurship USA, 26

Junior Achievement of Arizona, 21 Kiterocket, 67

AvAir, 12

Bandelli & Associates, 53

BMO Harris Bank, 7

SunCap Property Group, 18

Western Wealth Capital, 12 Western Wealth Communities, 12 Wildebeest, 16 Zanzibar Enterprises, 26

Lee & Associates of Arizona, 18


Mercedes-Benz, 57

Nomad, 11

Chief Marketing Officer Council, 14

Optum Care, 25

Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant, 58

DS9 Capital, 44

Sterling Real Estate Partners, 17

Weedmaps, 56

Milhaus, 17

Chicanos Por La Causa, 13

Drybar, 12

STEM Sports, 56

Matuson Consulting, 54

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, 23

Desert Financial Wealth Management, 49

Stearns Bank, 6

Weber Group, 51

Landmark Title Assurance Agency, 10

Bailey Strategic Innovation Group, 26

Desert Financial Credit Union, 10

SRP, 2

UnitedHealthcare, 5

Philip Morris International, 66 Prologis, 45 Purification, LLC, 57 qBotica, 24 QC Kinetix, 22

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.





Together, We Can Protect Arizona Businesses from Illegal Trade Proximity to Mexico offers challenges – and opportunity by Hernan Albamonte and Juan Ciscomani

Juan Ciscomani (top) leads the Arizona-Mexico Commission and Hernan Albamonte (bottom) heads up International Affairs for Philip Morris International and is the leading advisor to the United to Safeguard America from Illegal Trade coalition. usait.org

JAN. 2022



In 2020, Arizona welcomed more than 32 million visitors to the state, and we were delighted to welcome them. Collectively, they spent $15 billion, representing a tremendous economic investment in Arizona. From the Grand Canyon to the Chiricahua Wilderness, Arizona boasts some of America’s most beautiful national treasures. There are endless opportunities to explore Arizona’s grandeur, and this excitement to visit the state generates more than 150,000 jobs. However, the natural beauty of Arizona presents some unique challenges to the state. The pristine grandeur is difficult for law enforcement to patrol. In particular, the 370mile border Arizona shares with Mexico is especially difficult to maintain and is a prime target for criminals to exploit. While our proximity to Mexico has the potential to benefit Arizona with regard to trade and economic prosperity, it also leaves our state vulnerable to dangerous criminal enterprises, especially those involved in illegal trade. Around the world, transnational crime facilitated by illegal trade drains $2.2 trillion out of the global economy. From smuggling tobacco — an illegal practice that costs Arizona taxpayers $175 million each year — to counterfeiting luxury items and trafficking in deadly drugs, the havoc wreaked by illegal trade on our communities and economy is tremendous. The peddling of these illicit goods produces revenue used to fund even more sinister activities, such as human trafficking and terrorism. This problem has plagued Arizona for far too long. From 2014 to 2019, the state ranked first in the nation for the nearly 18,000 incidents of prescription substances lost in transit. In 2017, federal law enforcement seized more than $13 million in smuggled currency, the third most among U.S. states. Sadly, Arizona has had more than 1,200 cases of human trafficking since 2007, a stat that places it at 14th-highest in the nation. And these are only the ones that have been reported. Arizona has strong ties to Mexico. Our economic, geographic and cultural links help to foster strong relationships and

contribute to our mutual prosperity. These alarming numbers highlight the urgent need for action in securing our border, which would protect both countries from bad actors. Combating illegal trade will crack down on the shadowy web of criminal and terror networks it funds and supports. It will also help to protect legitimate businesses, which are working hard to play by the rules, complying with health and safety regulations, and contributing their fair share to the tax base. Unfortunately, these problems are complex and there is no one solution. Now, more than ever, we need public and private partnerships that are connecting local officials, law enforcement and the private sector with the critical information and training needed to combat illegal trade. Business and community leaders must work together to educate and take action against the shocking prevalence of black-market profiteering, as well as the consequences it wreaks on their economy and the safety of their citizens. Adequate enforcement will not only protect consumers from unsafe and counterfeit goods, it will promote Arizona businesses and strengthen our economy. United to Safeguard America from Illegal Trade (USA-IT) is doing just that, and we are proudly working to make Arizona a safer place to live and do business. From sharing information with the public to raising awareness on illegal trade to working directly with local officials, municipalities and law enforcement, USA-IT is bridging the gap between all sectors to fight back against illegal trade and related crimes. As Arizona takes on the many challenges that lie ahead — including illegal trade — we need all stakeholders involved to ensure a safe and prosperous future for our state. Patronizing locally owned businesses and partnering with organizations like USA-IT are a few steps in the right direction and investments in the economic well-being and livelihood of all Arizonans. Illegal trade and related crimes, and the criminals they support, have no place in Arizona. Only together, with the help of initiatives like USA-IT, can we build a safer and more prosperous future for all who call the Grand Canyon State home.

USA-IT is a public education initiative to combat black market trade, supported by a coalition of national and state brand enforcement experts, law enforcement agencies and leading business organizations.

The future. Pioneered in Arizona.

The Arizona Commerce Authority is helping our state’s manufacturers grow and prosper through meaningful programs like the Arizona Manufacturing Extension Partnership (Arizona MEP). Using a proven approach that combines decades of leadership, manufacturing, operational and business expertise, Arizona MEP offers custom, hands-on solutions to help clients achieve their goals. Whether you’re looking for minor improvements or a major transformation, we provide the right knowledge, skill set and flexibility to support your team. Join the more than 375 manufacturers in Arizona who have chosen Arizona MEP to help enhance their business.

Learn more at azcommerce.com

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