Phoenix Rising: Is Our Housing Market Heating Up?

by Amy R. Handler

Metro Phoenix appears to be slowly and steadily emerging from the ashes of the real estate collapse of five years ago, but is the city headed toward a re-bubbling of the market and repetition of all the sordid problems of that historical time? While some critics believe history is destined to repeat itself, key players in the metropolitan Phoenix real estate industry believe … [More]

Elliott D. Pollack, Elliott D. Pollack and Company

from Elliott D. Pollack

The Valley’s real estate market can be as hot as its summer temperatures, and has been an integral part of Metro Phoenix’s growth in the last 15 years to twelfth-largest metropolitan area in the country. When the real estate market slows, the region’s entire economy feels it, which is why a healthy real estate market is of such concern to those who study the economy. What is … [More]

Taking the Lead

by Don Rodriguez

Leadership. Vision. As president and CEO of National Bank of Arizona, Keith Maio knows strength in both areas is a desired combination for success in any business. But when it comes to making a state successful, those traits are critical. It’s about “developing that common vision almost like you would for a business and engaging leaders to move toward that vision.” He’s … [More]

The Business of Banking Is Banking on Small Business

by Eric Jay Toll

“In just four years, we’ve seen 15 banks exit the market,” says Paul Hickman, president and CEO of the Arizona Bankers Association. “Between the economy and Dodd-Frank [post-recession federal legislation regulating banks], many banks have reached a tipping point.” The business of banking is changing significantly. New federal laws and fewer banks — particularly mid-size … [More]

Real Estate and the FIRE-to-ICEE Trend

by RaeAnne Marsh

“The real growth is happening in the ICEE sector,” says Bob Mulhern, managing director of Colliers International in Greater Phoenix. He is referring, in terms of economic development nationally, to the growing importance of intellectual capital, education and energy (ICEE) companies compared to those in the areas of finance, insurance and real estate (FIRE). In Arizona, “we … [More]

Seeking Sales Tax Change that’s Good for Business, Good for Cities

by RaeAnne Marsh

Governor Brewer’s creation of the Transaction Privilege Tax Simplification Task Force last year addressed the long-simmering concern that Arizona’s sales tax system is complicated, with the individual municipalities having their own tax rates. In fact, “Arizona has the most complicated system in the nation,” says State Representative Debbie Lesko (R, Dist. 9), author of HB … [More]

Adventures in Contract Negotiations: Common Pitfalls to Avoid

by Matthew Engle

Congratulations. Your business is up and running. Your hard work is paying off and you now find yourself on the verge of signing your first big contract. That’s great news. But slow down and take a deep breath. Don’t let your excitement blind you to some important considerations, including some all-too-common contracting pitfalls. Let’s take a hypothetical businessman named … [More]

Ian Wist Battles the Big-box Stores

by Kristian Seemeyer

As Ian Wist describes what he calls his “uh-oh” moment, the tension in his voice mounts. “You live with that moment,” he explains. He’s speaking of a crossroads during a tough period in the family business, Wist Office Products. “Those were some tough, scary times. And tough on us as a family,” Wist says. “It was during the Reagan recessions. We had bad cash flow, reps were … [More]

Data Center in Tucson Offers Off-site Security for Valley Businesses

by RaeAnne Marsh

“As the data center market grows in Phoenix, it’s a great opportunity to have a second site two hours away,” says Bruce Lehrman, CEO of Involta, a full-service data center company that opened a 38,000-square-foot facility in Tucson last month. Just as Phoenix has become a popular location for off-site data centers because of the state’s lack of natural disasters, Valley … [More]

Investment Call Center Expands in Chandler

by RaeAnne Marsh

The Chandler call center of Bank of America’s Merrill Edge investment service will be expanding the number of its investment advisors by about 50 percent over the course of 2013. The office, open since 2010 to serve the “mass affluent” segment (who invest $50,000 – $250,000), currently employs 197 investment professionals. According to Mike Nannini, the division sales … [More]