Patrick J. Armstrong, Canal Partners

from Patrick J. Armstrong

I have been fortunate to serve as the board chair for Social Venture Partners of Arizona for the past two years, and have been a partner with the organization for 10 years. My wife, Amy Armstrong, and I have witnessed firsthand how business leaders (and future leaders) are able to lend their time and talent to nonprofit organizations through serving on a board of directors, mentoring social entrepreneurs, participating on committees or strategy sessions, and through countless volunteer hours. Without our business community’s involvement, many of these nonprofit organizations would not be where they are today, and many surely would have closed their doors.

I have also been fortunate to work closely with the team at SEED SPOT and the incredible social entrepreneurs we work with, who are solving legitimate problems, creating jobs and positively impacting their communities and constituents’ lives through effective, professional business practices. The demand for SEED SPOT’s services (to educate, accelerate and invest in entrepreneurs who are building products, services and technologies that improve lives) comes from across the United States, and around the globe. Having a front seat in the business of “business for good” is one of the most exciting aspects of my career.

In Business Magazine reached out to local businesspeople to explore how they put the philosophical concept into practice to benefit our community. Their input, from individual professionals to leadership within major corporations, spotlights programs and events that express their belief in using business to accomplish a social good.

Speaking of concepts, one that has been around for a long time has to do with using fear to motivate employee performance. Kyle M.K. takes issue with that approach, and examines the negative way that plays out in a workforce in his article “Fear and Consequences.” 

Another “truism” that’s getting a second look these days is the belief that, in terms of innovating, the younger generations are the force and the older ones are dead weight. In “Age and Workforce: Valuing Experienced Workers,” Chris Farrell sets ageism against the contributions that come out of experience. On the other hand, there are situations where generational differences are worth taking into account — marketing, for instance. David Ralls goes into this in depth in his “Differentiating the Gen Y/Z Market.” 

Technology is making a difference in the way people shop for goods and services, and several articles in this issue look at how businesses are recognizing that and getting ahead of it in the way they serve their customers. Diverse other articles fill the pages dedicated to Legal, Healthcare, Startups and more.

Also in this issue, In Business Magazine presents its annual Giving Guide to support Arizona Gives Day (April 2), listing all participating organizations so businesses — and individuals — can better marshal their fundraising efforts to effect change in the Valley and beyond.

I’ve enjoyed this opportunity to work with In Business Magazine to help bring you this March issue, and hope you will enjoy reading it.


Patrick J. Armstrong
Partner, Canal Partners
Vice President, JDA Investments 

Patrick Armstrong is a partner of Canal Partners. In this role, he is responsible for developing relationships with referral sources, sourcing and evaluating potential investments, performing industry and financial analysis, due diligence, investment decision making, and providing additional support for internal operations and portfolio companies.

Armstrong is also vice president and co-founder of JDA Investments (US), Inc., which was formed in 2008 to manage his family’s single family office, and is a member of Arizona Technology Investors. His service on numerous boards of directors includes previous board chair with SEED SPOT and current board chair with Social Venture Partners of Arizona, which cultivates effective philanthropists, strengthens nonprofits and invests in collaborative solutions — building powerful relationships to tackle our desert community’s social challenges.

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