Feedback: December 2022

by Cathy Graham, Elizabeth Hart, Whitney Yates-Woods 

Q: What economic trends do you expect will impact your business in 2023?

Cathy Graham

Executive Vice President
Desert Financial Credit Union
Sector: Financial Services

At Desert Financial, we know that when the economy impacts our members and community, our business will be impacted as well. The economic trends we expect will impact our business in 2023 are lower inflation, rising interest rates and a cooling labor market. 

To prepare, we have been reviewing budgets carefully and taking a close look at spending, which are things we encourage our members to do, too. Building a budget that has an emergency fund is crucial when planning for the unknown. That leads to our next step in preparation: anticipate change. 

We are doing our best to plan for any situation, but the one thing that we always keep in mind is not to panic. Now is not the time to make huge financial changes. It’s always best to stay the course during an economic downturn. 

Finally, we believe financial literacy is incredibly important, but especially during economic uncertainty. In 2023, we will be ramping up efforts to provide financial literacy to the community. We believe that when our community, members and employees are financially strong, so is Desert Financial Credit Union.  

Cathy Graham brings a unique blend of creativity and strategy to marketing and brand loyalty. Her tenured expertise in the credit union movement grew from a passion for credit unions’ not-for-profit missions and community engagement. Graham earned a bachelor’s degree in advertising from Pennsylvania State University and studied at the CEO Institute at the Cornell, Wharton and Darden schools of business.


Elizabeth Hart

SVP of People Operations
Sector: Public Safety Technology

  Businesses are facing extreme cost cutting as demand and growth have not kept pace in a post-pandemic environment. While we are keeping a close watch on global recession forecasts, not all tech companies will be impacted identically. At Axon, we enjoy a highly recurring, stable business model that benefits our company, customers and communities. We continue to build upon a solid foundation of customer trust by delivering mission-critical product offerings to create the premier operating system for public safety. 

Leading People Operations, I am focused on impacts to our most valuable asset — our employees. Attracting, developing, motivating and retaining world-class talent are critical to delivering for the future. Our moonshot, to cut gun-related deaths between the police and the public by 50% in the next 10 years, can only be unlocked by having bright, inspiring individuals willing to deliver this goal. Our strategy includes an enhanced focus on retention and internally cultivating talent. We’re not hiring just for today; we’re hiring for five to 10 years from now.

Elizabeth Hart joined Axon in 2019 and is responsible for leading the company’s global people organization. Prior to joining Axon, Hart was the CAO for Trax Group, a Saas-based startup, and spent five years at Bloomberg LP. She currently sits on the board of Girls in Tech – Phoenix. Hart holds a BS in Business Administration from the University of Mary Washington.


Whitney Yates-Woods 

Dealer Principal
Yates Buick GMC
Sector: Automotive Industry

There are a couple of economic trends I expect will impact Yates Buick GMC in 2023. First, the rise of electric vehicles. Several major automakers are planning to launch new models of EVs, including Buick and GMC. My company has been preparing for this transition for more than a year by training EV specialists, purchasing new service equipment and installing superchargers. 

Next, interest rates may continue to rise, but the good news is rebates are back and manufacturers are offering 0% financing or subvented financing if a buyer qualifies. This, combined with an increase in inventory, means buyers can negotiate a good deal again, which should significantly impact the number of people looking to purchase a car or truck. 

After pushing through the chip shortage during COVID and experiencing a lull in inventory due to supply chain issues, 2023 is looking bright for the automotive industry.  

Whitney Yates-Woods is dealer principal of family-owned Yates Buick GMC in Goodyear. Yates Buick GMC has been serving the Phoenix metropolitan area for more than 37 years and treats every customer like a member of the family. The company takes pride in being a long-standing fixture in the community, with several repeat customers over the years. 

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