Carol Nalevanko Put Heart into the Health Industry

Sustaining 40 years of success for DMB’s Village Health Clubs & Spas

by Dawson Fearnow

Longtime residents might remember the 1980s here in the Valley as a time of chaos and crashes. Now known as the Savings and Loan Crisis, banks and financial institutions across the state went belly-up and the Valley’s booming real estate market went into a free-fall. Of course, things stabilized and Greater Phoenix returned to its normal rocket ship-style growth by the early … [More]

Dillan Knudson: Amplifying Arizona’s Economy through Commercial Banking

Helping businesses with his team of experienced bankers and subject matter experts at Western Alliance Bank

by Danielle Grobmeier

It’s no secret the fast-paced world of banking is fraught with challenges. Whether it’s unwieldy interest rates today or a global health crisis tomorrow, each day brings a new obstacle to overcome — often with high stakes. But for Dillan Knudson, Western Alliance Bank’s new head of commercial banking in Arizona, these obstacles are opportunities. He sees each challenge as a … [More]

Steve Purves: Expanding Access to Healthcare throughout the Valley

And leading by empowering others

by Michael Murphy

When Steve Purves joined Valleywise Health in 2013 as president and CEO, the organization was in dire financial straits. It was the region’s only public teaching hospital and primary safety net system of care, so it was imperative that Purves got Valleywise Health back in the black. And fast. Over the ensuing years, Purves orchestrated a $170-million financial turnaround at … [More]

Levi Conlow: Leading the E-Bike Industry

Lectric eBikes’ success driven by founders’ customer-centric approach

by Tim DeClaire

The Lectric eBikes XP 3.0 is the most popular e-bike in America. Based in Phoenix, the company has sold more than 400,000 e-bikes in less than five years, and sells the most popular cargo e-bike and the most popular adult electric trike. Lectric eBikes CEO Levi Conlow co-founded the company with his childhood friend and mechanical engineer, Robby Deziel, in 2019. At the time, … [More]

Darin Roberge: Innovator in Collector Car Marketing

His love of cars culminates in Motorwerks Marketing

by Kwyn Johnson

From a young age, Darin Roberge has loved all cool things on wheels. Fueled by his passion for classic and exotic cars, Roberge began his career journey in 2014 at top collector automobile auction company Russo and Steele. During his tenure running the marketing and media departments there, he identified gaps within the car marketing landscape. During the Russo and Steele … [More]

Developer Brian Frakes Builds Brick-&-Mortar Community in an Evolving Retail World

And he leads Common Bond into an all-new field with The Global Ambassador

by Dawson Fearnow

Not long after graduating from University of Arizona, Brian Frakes landed a dream job for any aspiring commercial real estate developer. The year was 1999, and he’d accepted a position as a development manager for Westcor, then the state’s premier shopping mall developer and famed for building some of the biggest, most profitable shopping malls in the nation. Frakes was clearly … [More]

HealthspanMD Founder Dares to Fix a Fragmented System

How Robert Todd Hurst, M.D., is ushering in a new approach to patient-centered cardiology

by Andrea Aker

It’s no secret that gaps and bureaucracy in the healthcare system are impacting the quality of care. Yet the issues have become so big and complex, few people are willing tackle to them head on. Board-certified cardiologist Robert Todd Hurst, M.D., FACC, FASE, is among the innovative providers who are choosing to chart a new path, putting patients first, exhibiting the highest … [More]

Nancy Kleitsch: Making an ICONic Evolution with Automation

My family business overcame the barriers to automation with Robotics-as-a-Service

by Nancy Kleitsch

Since its founding in 2001, family-owned ICON Injection Molding has grown organically from a little stall in Happy Valley, Arizona, to three facilities spanning more than 55,000 square feet. Being a custom molder means each job we take is unique and, whether a customer orders 1,000 parts or 100,000, we must be ready to react. Like most U.S. manufacturers, we’ve also faced … [More]

Brian Raab: Striking a Chord with the Tequila Industry

And bringing Tequila Corrido back to life

by Natalie Bock

The ballad of Tequila Corrido began several years before local restaurateur Brian Raab took on a vital role in the company. Corridos, typically a traditional Mexican-style ballad that narrates an event, are all about storytelling.  “Our product is meant to be shared, offering people a way to experience life together,” says Brian Raab, president and partner of Tequila … [More]

Christo Demetriades Manifests Power of Entrepreneurial Perseverance

South African immigrant tilled fertile soil in Scottsdale 

by Kathy Heasley

Some people are born entrepreneurs. And if there ever was one who fits that description, it is Christo Demetriades. He has spent most of his life and certainly his career in business for himself. It’s been a life of risks and rewards, highs and lows, challenge and achievement. As Demetriades says, that’s par for the course.  But Demetriades’s entrepreneurial life is anything … [More]

Humble Bistro’s Chef and Co-Owner Stays Humble

Jorge Gomez focuses on the guest experience

by Alli Cripe  

Jorge Gomez’s love for food started in Sonora, Mexico. His mother, grandmother and extended family found joy in the kitchen preparing food, whether it was preparing tamales or making chocolate from scratch. Love existed in the kitchen and, when he was seven years old, he knew this was his calling. At 17, he started his culinary adventure by attending the Culinary Institute of … [More]

From Doer to Mentor: Elizabeth Hale’s Path to Empowering Teams and Achieving Success

Engagement is the common theme for eeCPA founder 

by Tim Gallen

Like many entrepreneurs, Elizabeth Hale is a doer. “I have a passion for solving problems and I’m good at explaining things,” says Hale, CEO and founder of Scottsdale-based accounting and consulting firm eeCPA. “I feel a huge sense of responsibility and commitment to my clients, and I want to do everything I can to take care of things for them.” And like the entrepreneur … [More]

Andy Fegley Steers Reinvention of Valley Real Estate Association

Evolving with the times, Phoenix REALTORS® becomes benchmark among industry associations

by Mary Little

Associations are often slow to embrace change, but it’s crucial for them to adapt and grow to thrive. In fact, many organizations may get stuck in a rut when they become complacent and fail to adapt to changing market conditions, resulting in stagnant growth and a lack of innovation. These are the truths that have guided Andy Fegley, chief executive officer of Phoenix … [More]

Ahmad Alatrash Has the Mesquite Touch

Expanding Mesquite Fresh Street Mex to a broader brand

by Kaylin Dunnett

Ahmad Alatrash’s entrepreneurial journey with his most trusted business partner, his brother Nas, began when he was 18 years old. Nas, who is five years older, was familiar with Old Town Scottsdale and its potential for an investment opportunity. He recognized a need for the area: quality food venues that were open late for partiers, students, shift workers and first … [More]

Todd Sanders: Embracing Change and Diversifying Fuels Growth

Strengthening the Phoenix Chamber and community businesses 

by Todd Sanders 

As a leader, I don’t fear change. Since assuming the role of president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Chamber in 2009, at the height of a recession, I have spent the last 13 years helping thousands of companies across Arizona anticipate, prepare for and, ultimately, thrive through change.  The recession in 2008 was a wakeup for me that the Chamber had to become more dynamic. … [More]

Michael May on Evolving a Family Business for the Future

Changing the focus from product to people

by Michael May

A family company often takes on the character of the family who owns it. Early startup struggles and difficulties become ingrained in its culture and fixed in its corporate identity. My father’s struggles in establishing our company set our culture at Wisdom Natural Brands, makers of SweetLeaf Stevia. When my father, James May, first introduced stevia to the U.S. market 40 … [More]

Chad Verdaglio: Soaring to New Heights

by Juliet Straker

During the summer before entering college, Chad Verdaglio took an intro paraglide ride and immediately knew he wanted more. After researching programs in the area, the Scottsdale resident discovered Sawyer School of Aviation, a highly respected flight academy that was founded in 1961 and operated out of Scottsdale Airpark. Verdaglio’s goal was to earn a private pilot’s license. … [More]

Dillan Micus’ FRESH View on Leadership Comes from the Bottom, Not the Top

by Alison Bailin Batz

Dillan Micus believes in systems. He also believes in breaking down antiquated systems to effect real change for the better as it relates to his own life, team and clients. This lesson, one he is putting into action today, is something he learned the hard way. Until recently, Micus served as executive vice president of Equitable Advisors — then AXA Advisors Southwest — since … [More]

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