Sam Fox Evolves His Home-Grown Hospitality Empire

by Jan Bracamonte

Sam Fox was raised in the hospitality industry. Much of his childhood was spent in his parent’s Tucson restaurant, treasure hunting for change under the seats at night and, later, waiting tables and helping out in the kitchen. At 20, he dropped out of the University of Arizona and used his tuition money to open his first restaurant. In 1998, he launched his first FRC restaurant … [More]

Chad Arruda and Dylan Vicha Realize New Vision for Private Security

by Jamie Killin

When United States Army combat veteran Chad Arruda had the idea to create a better kind of private security company, he envisioned a firm that empowered veterans and supported law enforcement.  “I wanted to get into public safety because I wanted to continue to serve my country and community,” says Arruda. “However, after my military service and experience in critical … [More]

Savanna and Perry Stephens: Autism No Barrier for Entrepreneurs

by David Eichler

Savanna and Perry Stephens launched their career as the owners of the Phoenix, Arizona, SpeedPro Desert Valley franchise in 2020 after relocating from their home in New Mexico. While starting a business venture in a new city presented its own unique set of challenges, the Stephens were focused on something much more significant — tearing down barriers for autistic individuals. … [More]

Mark Hangen: Scaling a Company to National Success 

by Kassidy McDonald

Starting a national service-driven company is no easy feat, but that’s what Easy Ice, LLC accomplished while becoming the largest full-service leasing ice machine company. Founded in 2009 by Mark Hangen, Easy Ice (now headquartered in Arizona) is a national ice machine subscription company with 25,000 ice makers deployed in various industries across 47 states.  Building a … [More]

Ibrahim Mesbah and Andreas Ronneseth: e-Commerce Revolutionaries

By Lauren Epler

Ibrahim Mesbah and Andreas Ronneseth graduated from Arizona State University and, together, are changing the way people are buying and selling auto parts. In 2014, the pair co-founded RevolutionParts after talking with a mutual friend who worked in the parts department of a local Phoenix new car dealership. Through this friend, they discovered the surprising challenges … [More]

Steve Maderazzo Builds Canyon State Electric on Perseverance and Technology

by Rachel Eroh

The electrical construction industry looked very different in the 1970s. Processes that are streamlined now were much more time-consuming 43 years ago without the help of the technology we have today. However, nothing could deter Steve Maderazzo, then in his mid-20s, from starting a company from scratch and in 1978 Canyon State Electric was founded. Despite having no … [More]

Bret Larsen & Miles Romney: Creating a Shared, Disruptive Vision

by Mardi Larson

Bret Larsen and Miles Romney are the co-founders of eVisit, a six-year-old, Mesa-based telehealth SaaS leader that is helping the largest hospitals and health systems in the U.S. innovate through remote, virtual patient care — a crucial offering, especially in today’s fast-paced pandemic world.  The company was founded on a shared initial vision to “disrupt the disruption in … [More]

Helen Davis: Affirming Mentorship as a Valuable Asset 

by Leslie Sonnenklar

Helen Davis is the managing partner and chair of the board at The Cavanagh Law Firm, one of the most prestigious firms in the Southwest. She credits her career and success to mentorship, both as a mentee and a mentor, passing on the valuable lessons she learned along the way. Davis began her professional career at age 19 working as a secretary for a nuclear engineering firm … [More]

Chris Johnson: from Carpenter to CEO

by Taylor Tiner

Not many people can say they’ve been working in their respective industries since the age of six. However, Chris Johnson, CEO and chairman of Tempe-based Johnson Carlier Construction, is one of the few who can. The Johnson family legacy dates back to 1892, when Chris’s grandfather, C.O. (Carl) Johnson was born in Sweden. In the following century, Carl emigrated to America and … [More]

OH Partners + Nomadic: Changing the Agency Model

by Sue Kern-Fleischer

A lot has changed in the world of advertising and marketing since Matt Owens and Scott Harkey launched OH Partners 12 years ago. Owens grew up working in his late father Bill Owens’ Phoenix advertising agency, Owens & Associates. Harkey, who always had an entrepreneurial spirit, started his career selling radio ads.  While second cousins, they really didn’t know each … [More]

Sarah Jennings: Earning Her Family Legacy

by Rachel Eroh

Sarah Jennings started her career in commercial real estate in 2007 specializing in retail leasing. Due to unfortunate timing and the ‘08 recession, Jennings spent one year of trial and error in the industry before she decided it was time to join the family business, a local security firm called Safeguard.  She had always been intrigued by their product, QuickPass, which is … [More]

Alta Southwest: Nurturing Valued Resources and New Talent 

by Kassidy McDonald 

Before Dan Vermeer and Dan Speck founded their consulting engineering firm, Alta Southwest, they were happily retired. The last thing on their minds was starting a business, until they both realized that their invaluable contacts in the industry and business management expertise could be the start of something great. Creating a name and reputation for Alta Southwest didn’t come … [More]

Wilbur You: From Humble Beginnings to Marketing Empire 

by Mike Hunter

With $600 and nothing to lose, then-22-year-old Wilbur You launched a marketing agency — and, in just seven years, built it into a $20-million-plus award-winning marketing agency. Now 29, You, CEO and founder of Youtech, sits on various advisory boards and is a published author, with his first book, Happy, Humble, Motivated, released this year. What began in 2012 as a team … [More]

Chris Koch: Leading Carlisle through Dynamic Change 

by Mike Hunter 

D. Christian “Chris” Koch, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Carlisle Companies Incorporated, is leading the diversified industrial company through one of the most challenging times in recent economic and geopolitical history: the global pandemic.  Carlisle factories and facilities manufacture highly engineered products and solutions for their target markets … [More]

Edgar Olivo: Advocating for the Hispanic Business Community

by RaeAnne Marsh

An award-winning bilingual business communication expert, Edgar Rafael Olivo founded Compass CBS in 2011 as a computer and business school to provide services on workforce initiatives. “This was at a time many people were trying to get back on their feet after the 2008 recession. We did great work supporting veterans find employment through our partnership with the City of … [More]

Spencer Tatum: Igniting a Fit in Fitness

by Kassidy McDonald

In the first grade, the future Ignite THP founder Spencer Tatum was diagnosed with dyslexia and dysgraphia. He decided at that early age he would not allow his disabilities and bullying from his peers to define him but rather turned to his advantage his ability to persevere and adapt to changes around him to grow his business. It was sports, in fact, that taught him how to … [More]

Lectric eBike Founders Pedal Their Way through Challenges

by Kassidy McDonald

Lectric eBikes founders Levi Conlow and Robby Deziel, both 24, met in in middle school playing video games. Fast forward 12 years: Their electric bike company is barely a year old and already has more than 12,000 purchases, earning’s Top Choice Award for Best Folding Electric Fat Tire Bike of 2020. The company is expected to hit more than $13 million … [More]

Alkaline Water’s Richard Wright Leads a Wave of Growth amidst Turbulent Times

by Karen Dybis

With its rapid-fire growth and national brand awareness, Richard A. Wright knew it was time his Alkaline Water Company make another bold move: The Arizona-based business that produces bottled alkaline water, flavored-infused waters and CBD-infused waters recently announced its investment in complete brand refresh. A less bullish brand leader might have postponed such an … [More]

Stan Sipes Builds Veyo’s Niche in Transportation Industry

by Matthew Classen

“As a critical component of the healthcare industry, Veyo is doing all we can during this [COVID-19] crisis to ensure access to care while continuously evaluating and implementing responsible policies that protect our constituents, our partners, our people and the public,” says Stan Sipes, whose leadership at Veyo has driven innovative advances for the company. Since … [More]

Mike Greenawalt: Powering Rosendin’s Charge

by Laura Slawny

As a young man, Mike Greenawalt was a self-proclaimed gearhead who loved working on cars and hanging out in the metal shop at Sunnyslope High School. He went on to college, but quickly discovered he missed working with his hands and dropped out to start an apprenticeship with the Phoenix Electrical JATC (Joint Apprenticeship & Training Committee) and IBEW Local 640. “My … [More]

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