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]

Forego ‘Gut Instinct’ to Build Biz in China

by Stanley Chao

Westerners don’t have as much in common with the Chinese as they do with their fellow Westerners. So don’t expect to see through them or make instinctive and accurate judgments about Chinese businesspeople or situations. You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know. Issues not even bothered with when doing business in the States are life-and-death issues for China because contracts … [More]

Healthcare Operation in Growth Mode Thanks to PPACA

by RaeAnne Marsh

Theirs is a field of healthcare whose present growth “directly relates to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” says Jennifer Rayl, who, with husband Steve, owns a BrightStar Care franchise in Scottsdale. The business provides home care in a full continuum from non-medical to skilled, and the BrightStar Care franchise developed its Clinical Pathways Program … [More]

Business Advice in All Industries

by Mike Hunter

A UK company has come up with a way to get business advice online for free. GuruOnline, a “video network” of clips on advice for every business situation from regions around the world. Members can access for fast and relevant answers to their business questions. … [More]

Counterfeit Software Hurts

by Mike Hunter

A survey by Microsoft and IDC looked at the effects of malware and counterfeit software that infect computers. The study finds that time and costs are significant. Visit the site to see the results and learn more as one in three consumer PCs will be infected by malware in 2013, and consumers will waste $22 billion and 1.5 billion hours dealing with security issues from … [More]

Get IT $avvy

by Mike Hunter

Baseline is a website that helps tech managers and business executives work together to understand and find the ROI in IT. provides valuable information on all areas of IT through articles, latest technologies and reports to help build business. With content organized for easy, intuitive search, this site is known for truly bringing an understanding of IT and … [More]

Evernote Does Everything

by Mike Hunter

An app, Evernote claims it can help you remember everything. In business, that is a real plus. With Evernote, all of a user’s notes, Web clips, files and images are made available on all of his or her computers and devices. Reference to all that one does, stores awnd schedules is right at one’s fingertips. … [More]

Distrito: Contemporary Mexican

by RaeAnne Marsh

Whether helping direct a corporation from the C-suites or doing it all as a small-business owner, every businessperson needs a respite from decision-making dawn to dusk (or longer). Well, Scottsdale is one of the premier tourist destinations in the country, and it can sometimes be refreshing and rejuvenating to get away from the responsibilities of business and enjoy a little … [More]

Off the Whine List

by RaeAnne Marsh

These wine bars give guests no reason to whine — vino selection is extensive and varied, and go-withs hit the mark whether ordered as a snack or a light lunch or a repast for later in the day. Salud! 5th and Wine The heart of downtown Scottsdale beats red – or white or rose, depending on what seems most palate-pleasing at the time. Plenty of by-the-glass choices make it … [More]

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