Jennifer Reynolds, Building Success in the Design Industry

by Melissa Rein Lively

Since 2004, Ideation Design Group has partnered with the world’s largest brands to execute their vision into functional works of art that deliver innovation through design. At the helm is Jennifer Reynolds, a design industry dynamo responsible for building the powerhouse firm from the ground up.  Her illustrious career can be summed up in two words: passion and perseverance. … [More]

‘I Bend Spoons,’ Says 72SOLD Creator

by Greg Hague

There’s a popular scene from the 1999 blockbuster hit movie The Matrix in which Keanu Reeves (Neo) interacts with a child who appears to bend a spoon with his mind. As he hands the spoon to Reeves, the young boy says, “Do not try to bend the spoon. That’s impossible. Instead, only try to realize the truth … There is no spoon.” I see business that way. You can’t look at “the … [More]

Whitney Yates-Woods: Breaking Barriers in the Automotive Industry

by Holly Morgan

Today, Yates Buick GMC is one of the premier automotive dealerships in the country, serving the greater Phoenix metropolitan area in a way few can boast. But the legacy of the family-owned business started more than 37 years ago when Mike Yates, who had big dreams and very little money, purchased a used car lot. “My dad started out by founding a truck dealership in Avondale … [More]

The Flower Shop Promotes Integrity in the Cannabis Industry

by Greta Brandt

As a female attorney and executive of a multi-state license holder, I’ve overcome numerous hurdles and obstacles on my journey. When I first joined The Flower Shop, I was the only female in the C-suite and that, in conjunction with my age, required me to conquer a host of baseless stereotypes. Nonetheless, I worked hard to not only excel in a male-dominated industry but to … [More]

Jayme Ambrose: Changing the Face of Healthcare through Technology 

by Niamh Sutton

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 … [More]

Launch: Moving the Bar on Real Estate and Leadership 

by Sean Zimmerman

For nearly 30 years, I have had an obsession with leadership since the first glimpse of what it meant to me at 13. As a teen, I was active in Student Council, participated in Hugh Obrien Youth Leadership and sought out leadership within team sports. During this time, my relationship to leadership was as much about the attention I received as it was about the purpose.  After … [More]

Linda Matthews Leads BioCare to 1,500% Sales Growth

by Jeff Beck

When Linda Matthews joined BioCare, Inc., a leading national specialty distributor of life-saving therapies, in 2001, the Tempe-based company was a $17-million organization, struggling to grow. A determined leader, Matthews made it her mission to see BioCare succeed, and in her first year the company changed course and became profitable. Today, with Matthews as BioCare’s … [More]

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]

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