Great Leaders Driving Our Business Community

by RaeAnne Marsh

In an increasingly volatile business climate – buffeted not least by the stresses from continuous and increasingly rapid technological changes and unpredictable political forces – it’s the leadership that counts in keeping a company strong and moving forward. In Business Magazine reached out to some of the Valley’s core businesses and asked the men and women at the helm to … [More]

Sandra Watson, President and CEO, Arizona Commerce Authority

from Sandra Watson

As Arizona’s statewide economic development agency, the economy is our business. I’m excited to say that over the past year, the momentum has continued to build and Arizona is receiving international attention for its accomplishments. Our unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been in a decade and more than 274,000 nonfarm jobs have been added since 2015. Arizona’s population has … [More]

Derrick Hall, President and CEO, Arizona Diamondbacks

from Derrick Hall

It is very clear that the economy is in strong recovery and companies are confident about spending again. They also seem to be investing in their employees, which was an indication that the somewhat stagnant nightly suite rentals would be back in high demand. That proved to be true as our sales force focused on local companies and hospitality opportunities, and those particular … [More]

Pam Kehaly, President and CEO, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona

from Pam Kehaly

What were two or three significant changes in the economy or your industry that your company needed to address this past year? The federal tax reforms instituted last year created an unexpected projected lift to our 2018 net income. We had a decision to make: drop the dollars to the bottom line or reinvest in the company and services for our members. The decision to reinvest … [More]

Chuck McLane, Senior Managing Director, CBIZ and MHM

from Charles A. McLane

 This year was all about tax reform. The tax law change was the biggest comprehensive change in many years and our team had to get up to speed very quickly on all the tax law changes. We had some difficulty because the interpretations and implementation guidance our clients were looking for had not been fully developed yet. We hosted webinars throughout the year to help people … [More]

Marc Schmittlein, President and CEO, CopperPoint Insurance Companies

from Marc Schmittlein

We are on a journey and I couldn’t be more excited about CopperPoint Companies’ progress and the momentum we have — to realize our vision to be a top-tier regional insurance company. In 2018, we took many steps forward toward our vision, and three strategic initiatives stand out for me as truly game changers for our future. In January, we acquired Pacific Compensation … [More]

Jeff Meshey, President and CEO Desert Financial Credit Union

from Jeff Meshey

Desert Financial takes pride in its mission to share success with its members, employees and the Valley community. In 2018, the credit union introduced cash-back bonuses for members; added new employee benefits such as paid parental leave; and supported our community through fundraisers, grants, scholarships and volunteer projects. The total of these efforts has exceeded $7 … [More]

Leonardo Loo, Phoenix-office Managing Partner, Quarles & Brady 

meet Leonardo Loo

It is often said that one’s past does not determine one’s future. However, Leonardo Loo, who on October 1, 2018 was named the Phoenix-office managing partner of Quarles & Brady LLP, takes great pride in honoring his past as he helps shape Arizona’s future.  “I was born in Venezuela, and my family roots are in China and Mexico,” says Loo, who is fluent in both Spanish and … [More]

Matthew P. Feeney, Chair, Snell & Wilmer

from Matthew P. Feeney

The speed of the legal industry and the practice of law continues to increase dramatically. In today’s world, everything moves more rapidly, and technology has made communication virtually instantaneous. This is not always ideal when it comes to law, as sound legal counsel often requires reflection. On the positive side, however, technology has helped make the practice of law … [More]

Dave Brown, Valley Leadership

from Dave Brown

Agile and innovative leadership in Arizona’s business community supports the continuing strength of our economy. Leadership can make all the difference in profitability, productivity and attracting talent (among other things) for business. As you’ll see in the portraits of leadership included in this issue, leadership takes time, requires decisiveness and patience, and, most … [More]

When Is a Strategy Not a Strategy?

by Rich Horwath

Make no mistake — bad strategy can literally kill a company. In a 25-year study of 750 bankruptcies, researchers found that the No. 1 cause of bankruptcy was bad strategy. And anyone who has worked for a manager who didn’t have sound strategies knows all too well the frustration of drifting aimlessly with no strategic direction. But the secret no one wants to talk about is, … [More]

For Best Results in Business, Think Like a Designer

by Michelle Eichner

Most business leaders don’t need to be professional designers to effectively think like one. Thinking like a designer, otherwise known as design thinking, is a process that should be leveraged by all business professionals due to its effectiveness for big-picture planning. Design thinking is a ubiquitous process that allows companies to put themselves in a frame of mind that’s … [More]

Five Ways to Cultivate Innovation and Problem Solving 

by Karin Hurt and David Dye 

Automation is a great way to drive costs out of operating a business and free up time for the humans to do what humans do best: think strategically and solve problems. But it’s not possible to just flip a switch and turn on the problem-solving gene in employees who’ve never been asked to think critically before or, worse, have been discouraged from speaking up.  Here are … [More]

Need to Amp Up Your Creativity, Efficiency and Productivity Fast? Outsource!

by Richard Tollefson and Michal Tyra

It takes a lot to keep a nonprofit organization at the top of its game. Just like for-profit companies, not-for-profits are concerned with the financial bottom line, operational efficiencies, human resource regulations — and more. Not-for-profits have an extra layer of scrutiny many for-profits don’t. They report to more than just their shareholders; their performance is … [More]

Are You Unintentionally Discriminating against Pregnant Employees?

by Sarah O’Keefe

Despite clear laws designed to protect the rights of pregnant working women, discrimination against pregnant employees remains pervasive. Federal mandates like the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, Family and Medical Leave Act, and Americans with Disabilities Act, along with the state-level Arizona Civil Rights Act, serve to insulate pregnant women from unfair treatment. However, … [More]

Even Mobile Shoppers Prefer Live Consumer Support 

by Anand Janefalkar 

Mobile shopping is booming in the U.S. as we prepare to enter 2019. According to the 2018 Internet Trends Report from Kleiner Perkins, mobile shopping app sessions grew 54 percent year-over-year — the fastest growth of any mobile activity. In addition to shaking up traditional monetization models for brands and retailers, this is driving how consumers expect to interact with … [More]

Serving the Female Market: The Venus Vault

by RaeAnne Marsh

The Venus Vault Show host Syndeelou Jones and cohost Craig MatthewThe Venus Vault LLC is a media company that has developed a media platform which produces engaging content through radio, podcast, print, services and products — intended to uniquely serve the female market. Founder Syndeelou Jones says her biggest challenge was taking something that felt so personal, so … [More]

Powering-Up Lobos Electric

by RaeAnne Marsh

Founded this past June by Migdol Lobos and Damacely Lobos, Lobos Electric serves home and business needs in electrical connections and smart solutions in electrical installations, maintenance, service upgrades, outlets, LED lights, trouble shooting, appliances, pool and patio power and more. CEO Migdol Lobos, who has a post-graduate degree in electrical engineering from the … [More]

Downtown Grows ‘Up’

by Frank Bejarano

Downtown Phoenix may not be the densest of metros, but a construction boom is making prime land for development scarce. When developers can no longer build out, they go up. More than a dozen mid- and high-rise buildings are slated for the gaps in the Downtown Phoenix skyline over the next few years.  A few mid- and high-rise projects under construction, breaking ground or in … [More]

Construction Hot on Arizona State University Property

by Mike Hunter

Novus Innovation Corridor is a 350-acre, multi-phased development in Tempe that, at completion, will encompass nearly 10 million square feet of urban mixed-use opportunities, including State Farm’s 2.1-million-square-foot Marina Heights regional hub. Strategically integrated with the ASU campus and downtown Tempe on Tempe Town Lake, the Novus Innovation Corridor is a … [More]

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