Wealth Management: How to Prosper in the New Economy

by Glenn Swain

After four years of government polices like the zero-down-payment initiative, the Single-Family Affordable Housing Tax Credit, the American Dream Downpayment Initiative and other questionable mortgage and financial innovations, the housing bubble burst. While debate continues on the causes of the Great Recession, the popping of the $8 trillion housing bubble was instrumental in … [More]

Top 10: Wealth Planning Mistakes to Avoid

by Glenn Swain

Trish Stark, senior vice president and director of client relations at First Western Trust in Scottsdale, notes that with the complicated nature of wealth planning, certain factors often get overlooked. She shares ten tips to help individuals avoid making common mistakes. 1. Not understanding the rules To avoid accidentally adding the wrong assets to a trust and … [More]

Deborah Bateman, National Bank of Arizona

from Deborah Bateman

Now, perhaps more than ever, business owners must manage their wealth in ways that help ensure security while positioning them to take advantage of opportunities in both the near or long term. Whether they are growing their businesses or simply preparing themselves and their employees for the future, the current environment requires that wealth management be as much a part of … [More]

Customers Can Be a Company’s Best Marketers

by Bill Lee

The old paradigm works like this: A company produces goods and services that help customers get a job done. In return, the customers pay the company money. The company takes that money and invests a good portion of it in traditional sales and marketing efforts — including product developers, creative people and salespeople, all of whom are paid to figure out what buyers want … [More]

The ‘Grow or Die’ Lie

by Edward D. Hess

All growth is good. Bigger is better. All businesses must either “grow or die.” These popular business axioms are routinely lauded on Wall Street, at business schools and by some of the most well-respected business consultants of the day. Few question their validity. But actually, these “truths” are anything but. At best, those beliefs are half-truths; at worst, they’re pure … [More]

Entertainment Districts: The Business Behind the Fun

by Don Rodriguez

It’s far from fun and games when it comes to developing entertainment districts in the Valley. Filled with movie theaters and arcades — part of a category called “amusements” by tax collectors — as well as restaurants and bars, the districts contributed a growing share of the nearly $551.7 million that the Arizona Department of Revenue collected from these categories in the … [More]

The New Luxury Home Market

by RaeAnne Marsh

With “luxury home” generally defined as a home valued at $500,000 or more, a high percentage of Valley homes would have fallen into that category only a few years ago. Today, however, with the average Valley single-family residence valued at $160,000, “luxury home” encompasses a more select market. Luxury properties span the Valley in gated and non-gated communities, and … [More]

Standardized People Won’t Win America’s Future

by Peter Weddle

Ever since the No Child Left Behind Act amped up standardized testing throughout the nation in 2002, critics say results have been negative. The bottom line is, there is no clear correlation between standardized testing and the knowledge and skills kids will need to prosper in the 21st-century world of work. It seems we’re more interested in creating a homogenized work force … [More]

Financial Statements: The Crucial Monthly Close

by Dennis Niven

How is your business doing lately? As an owner, you probably have a sense of how things are going, but is it right? While I have developed a great respect for an owner’s “gut feel” over my 40 years of consulting, there are many illusions and counter-intuitive aspects to business that can mislead owners. A common counter-intuitive illusion is that if sales are increasing, things … [More]

Joel E. Barthelemy: Turning Issues into Opportunities

by Gremlyn Bradley-Waddell

Even as a kid growing up in St. Cloud, Minn., Joel E. Barthelemy had an interest in solving problems. He was one of those types who takes apart a radio or a car and reassembles it — usually correctly — just to see how the pieces fit and work together. His can-do attitude, curiosity and talent for hearing others out has served the self-described “serial entrepreneur” and founder … [More]

Prospecting Behavior Trumps ‘Sales Personality’

by RaeAnne Marsh

Studies show that having a “sales personality” is only one piece of a complex puzzle. In fact, a recently conducted study found that focusing on personality to forecast sales success is putting the cart before the horse. “Before personality traits, sophisticated training or financial incentives can even come into play, salespeople must first have prospective buyers to sell … [More]

Bio Talent Pool Attracts Bridgestone to Mesa

by RaeAnne Marsh

Bridgestone Corporation, the world’s largest tire and rubber company, is bringing a multi-million-dollar capital investment to the Greater Phoenix area with the establishment of a research and development facility in southeast Mesa. The facility will be focused on the use and production a Guayule, a shrub native to the Southwest that produces natural rubber in its roots and … [More]

Marketing the ‘Shop Local’ Message Is a Local Priority

by RaeAnne Marsh

In the Town of Gilbert, the “shop local” message is getting a boost from local entities that recognize what’s at stake — its own municipal government and the local chamber of commerce. “The ‘Shop Gilbert’ campaign is vital to our community as it informs citizens about the importance of shopping local,” says Mayor John Lewis. “Tremendous benefits occur when we shop in our own … [More]

GPEC Initiative Comps California CEOs with Travel and an In-depth Asset Tour

by RaeAnne Marsh

Putting its money where its mouth is, the Greater Phoenix Economic Council is treating CEOs of qualified California-based companies — high-tech companies, emerging technology companies with compelling intellectual property, or those with corporate facilities with 200 or more employees — to airfare, transportation and hotel accommodations to bring them here for an insider’s look … [More]

Bytes: December 2012

by Mike Hunter

Tech Career Center  The Arizona Technology Council is a connection to post and search for tech jobs in Arizona. The portal, powered by Jobing.com, is a useful online employment tool. Desktop in the Cloud  Just launched is SkyDesktop, a free, Cloud-based desktop where all of one’s files and apps live; SkyAppMarket, a marketplace dedicated to the best of breed, … [More]

Election Lessons: No Mandate for Business?

by Mike Hunter

Results are in and, after an exhaustive campaign season, it seems that this year’s election has no mandate for business and we may be in for more of the same from our government. The President is as he was, the House and Senate are as they were (at least leadership-wise), and local elections and propositions seemed to say little in giving business owners any further … [More]

Wildhorse Grille at Talking Stick Golf Club

by Mike Hunter

A new hot spot for lunch is the country club-ambience Talking Stick Golf Club in Scottsdale near the Talking Stick Resort. A bit off of the beaten path, this Southwestern-styled dining room is a great place to do business and get a great midday meal. Chef Patrick Karvis is well known in the Valley, having worked with Eddie Matney and Michael DeMaria, among others. He has … [More]

Short and Sweet

by Mike Hunter

Here are some great spots for lunch that are minimal in name but maximize flavor, options and ambience. They may be short in letters, but what they serve is plentiful. Cibo — Phoenix Authentic Old Phoenix ambience in a 1913 home in downtown Phoenix, Cibo offers great artisan Italian flavors with pizzas, antipasto and other dishes that taste incredible. Try one of its … [More]

2013 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class SUV of the Year

by Mike Hunter

As carmakers struggle with the demand by car buyers of a fuel-efficient SUV, Mercedes is working hard to capture the market in America. The new 2013 GL-Class SUV offers three models that demonstrate Mercedes is meeting market concerns, which is why Motor Trend named it the SUV of the year for 2013. Quality, safety and luxury options aside, Mercedes has responded to the SUV … [More]

Our Health Can Be Our Biggest Asset

by Mike Hunter

As the year comes to a close, many will look inward and realize how important health is to performing well in business overall. A mentally and physically healthy individual is an asset we cannot afford to lose. Here are top fitness clubs to consider: Gold’s Gym Elite Off the lobby of the main office building at CityScape, this progressive and urban fitness club is the … [More]