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]

Construction Supply Company in Expansion Mode

by RaeAnne Marsh

Flooring retailer Lumber Liquidators, which opened a 6,239-square-foot store in Scottsdale this fall, finds the Metro Phoenix market is “one of the shining stars in performance” in its operations, according to Jim Davis, vice president of sales. The company has 280 stores, with locations in almost every state nationwide. Since opening its first store in Phoenix — its 19th … [More]

New Golf Enterprise Focuses on Business Women

by RaeAnne Marsh

Women represent a huge new potential market for the golf industry, and the PGA’s Connecting with Her initiative for the industry-wide Golf 2.0 growth strategy attests to that organization’s interest in tapping into it. Entrepreneur Shawn Jardine recognized the void out of personal experience; recently launched Diva Golf in Colorado Springs, Colo.; and has chosen Phoenix as the … [More]

Services Is Growth Focus of Business

by RaeAnne Marsh

Many companies look at services as a strategy for growth and profitability — even companies whose business is built around a product. The Center for Services Leadership, established in 1985 at ASU’s W. P. Carey School of Business, has involved many of Arizona’s biggest companies to study this growing trend. The Center’s recent creation of an executive committee of the board is … [More]

Sustainability Profits in Money and Morale

by RaeAnne Marsh

Mesa-based Crescent Crown Distributing, one of the nation’s largest distributors of alcoholic beverages, is reaping profits in morale as well as bottom line benefits due to the sustainability features it incorporated into its new 335,000-square-foot facility. James Moffett, president of Crescent Crown, says the company had been working toward the goal of being more energy … [More]

Bytes: November 2012

by Mike Hunter

e-Marketing Can Be Rewarding PinningRewards, a grass-roots marketing and product distribution system, has helped Wizard Industries and a fast-growing number of other brand owners get their products into new retail markets. As the system has proven increasingly successful for its founding company, PinningRewards provides an array of functionality for varied types of … [More]

Employers Anticipate Employee Pay Increase

by Mike Hunter

Employers in Arizona reported they anticipate pay increases in 2013, says a study completed by Mountain States Employers Council released in early October. Arizona employers project the highest increase of the three states surveyed, with an anticipated 2.8 percent pay increase in 2013. Survey findings were collected from 580 organizations in Arizona, Colorado and Wyoming and … [More]

A Japanese Tavern: Nobuo at Teeter House

by Mike Hunter

Asking guests to leave common expectations of Japanese cuisine at home, Nobuo Fukuda, the talent behind this award-winning restaurant, innovates and creates some amazing dishes for lunch at this historic Phoenix-home-turned-eatery. A James Beard Award winner and named “Best New Chef” by Food & Wine magazine a while back, Fukuda translates his Japanese heritage with … [More]

A Hot Choice: Gourmet Soups

by Mike Hunter

As temps come down, it seems like the soups come out. Enjoy gourmet meals in a bowl at some of the Valley’s best lunch spots. Options abound and flavors come together. AJ’s Fine Foods — Valley-wide Known for gourmet foods and products, AJ’s is also home to a bistro that offers no less than six soups each day. Homemade daily, soups range from Cheese Broccoli and Minestrone … [More]

Client Appreciation: Give the Gift

by Mike Hunter

A sign that times are changing is that client gifts are back and in a big way. Retailers are reporting increased activity, so get on it and show some appreciation. Here are some top gift ideas for this holiday season. Charity of Choice Give the gift of charity with JustGive.org. This e-card service can e-mail, print or direct mail a gift card to one’s client. Set the amount … [More]

Think Like a Futurist: Know What Changes, What Doesn’t, and What’s Next

by Mike Hunter

Discover how to short circuit the habits that blind us to future trends, how to break through the walls of resistance to change, and how to find the tools needed to face the future with confidence. This book brings a practical and disciplined approach to creativity and future thinking that can be immediately applied. Futurism isn’t just a profession for an elite few but a way … [More]