Educating Our Work Force

by Don Rodriguez

Enough already! It seems to be taking forever for Arizona’s unemployment rate to drop to levels seen before the Great Recession. Or is it the new reality that rates never will be near 5 percent again? It’s not for a lack of jobs, as a look at help wanted listings shows. It’s a lack of enough qualified Arizonans to do the jobs that require more than on-the-job … [More]

STEM: More than the Sum of Its Parts

by RaeAnne Marsh

“Every economic development business conversation gets back to education,” says Darcy Renfro, vice president and coordinator of Science Foundation Arizona’s STEM Initiatives, explaining SFAz’s focus on research and education that can help build a stronger economy in Arizona. That focus has zeroed in on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education, with … [More]

Donald V. Budinger, Rodel Foundations

from Donald V. Budinger

Not only has the economy changed due to the deep recession, it is increasingly apparent that the economy is also changing because of advances in technology; therefore, business is demanding new skill sets among the work force in areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, in particular. These skills are in demand and beginning to shape the economy in ways that … [More]

Are You Prepared for a Crisis?

by Denise D. Resnik

The fire alarm rings. Instantly, trained personnel leap into action. The dispatcher pinpoints the location and provides clear directions to the firemen and firewomen headed to the scene. Upon arrival, the first responders assess the situation and react with seamless teamwork and precision. Everyone has a role to play, everyone is prepared and the situation stays under … [More]

Restaurants: Setting the Table for Business

by Gremlyn Bradley-Waddell

To the casual observer, the restaurant business is exciting, even glamorous. Many chefs and restaurateurs enjoy household-name status and snag as many headlines as rock stars. Plus, being a foodie is hip, and the public fervor for flavorful fare makes restaurants more vital than ever. Add to that the fact that Arizona is seen as a growth market, and it’s no surprise that … [More]

Mediation: Results that Move Business Forward

by Amy Lieberman, Esq.

According to one source, 30 percent of a manager’s time is spent dealing with conflict. If workplace conflict escalates into a lawsuit, it can cost well in excess of $100,000 to defend a case. Litigation is costly and destructive; mediation is an alternative step a business can take to reduce conflict and save money. Mediation provides a safe place for employees to voice … [More]

Ask Straight Up — and Close the Deal

by John Baker

Most salespeople, when it comes down to it, are downright scared of being direct and to the point and telling people in no uncertain terms, “Here’s what I want!” Think about it. There’s a conspiracy that encourages people to bury their most important wants and desires. Marketing trainers use consultative selling to draw people out. Social media consultants say, “Selling … [More]

Is it Time to Change Standards for Banking’s Assessment of Risk?

by RaeAnne Marsh

Banks are the underpinning of commerce. One of their key roles — if not the key role — is to intermediate financial risk among individual businesses and broad sectors. Health of the banks, as recent events have underscored, is of vital concern to those outside the banking industry as well as those in it. The Dodd-Frank Act has been variously touted or maligned as an answer … [More]

Best Practices for Accounts Receivable Collection

by Dennis Niven

The cash-flow crisis resulting from inadequate accounts receivable collection practices in a growing business is generally the greatest threat the business will ever face. Even a profitable firm can be forced to close by the resulting cash crunch. Here are a few tips that, when taken as seriously as client service, will greatly help collection efforts: Invoice clients in … [More]

Doug Fulton: Importance of Marketing

by Glenn Swain

Sitting in a comfortable leather chair by the baggage claim area inside the terminal at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, in the lounge that recreates one of his company’s designs, homebuilder Doug Fulton is talking to a Canadian couple who has just arrived from Toronto. The CEO of Tempe-based Fulton Homes informs the couple the life-sized living room they are lounging in is part … [More]