Thursday, October 3, 2013

Message from the CEO October 2013

Time to Stand Up for Scottsdale

Yes on the Bonds

On Thursday, October 10, 2013 the voters of Scottsdale will start to receive their early ballots for a November election that will, in several key ways, help determine Scottsdale’s future. It is vital that the business community voice be heard on several key issues.

First, the city of Scottsdale placed on the ballot four bond questions, all of which the Chamber supports strongly and all of which take a no-frills and measured approach to helping our city address some aging infrastructure challenges. People can’t reach your business if the streets are flooded. We have firehouses in trailers in parts of our city. Many of our traffic signals have thirty-year old switchboxes that require constant and expensive maintenance and challenge our pol8ice and fire personnel to divert their attention away from much-needed activities so that your customers can get through an intersection.

Upgrading our infrastructure protects the value of our city, just as fixing your home increases and protects its value. The Chamber supports this $212 million package of improvements to our city, culled from over $1 billion in defined needs and wants by a citizen task force, because our future depends on it. We, as business owners pay our taxes, expect quality services and value this great city as one of the finest places to live, work, learn and play. Scottsdale’s AAA Bond rating from all three bond rating agencies points to our fiscal management and prudence, and investing in our key infrastructure will keep our city among the finest in the nation.

Please vote YES on all Questions 1, 2, 3, & 4 on the ballot! For more information, please visit for more information.

Yes on the SUSD Override

In addition to the Bonds, there is another important ballot issues - an override request from the Scottsdale Unified School District (SUDS). With the exception of voter-approved overrides (which are severely limited) school districts may only access the same levels of funding as any school district in the state. The override is our only option for providing incremental funding for our A rated schools.

Scottsdale Unified is one of the finest school districts in the state, and they function on a level of funding that ranks near the bottom of school funding in the United States. You, the voter, can help them continue their excellent reputation and results by approving this important override.

What will the override do?
• Preserve free all-day Kindergarten
• Keep our music and arts programs
• Reduce class sizes through the hiring of more than 70 teachers
• Save the jobs of 129 of our current teachers

Nothing can be more important to the business community than the training of our workforce for their future lives. Our district has met with great success, despite massive cuts brought on by the recession and challenges at the state. For an average homeowner the cost is $7 per month, less than most of us spend on coffee a week, to improve Scottsdale’s schools, keep our teachers on the job, preserve the depth of our schools’ programs and prepare students for the workforce.

Please let your voice be heard. Give the city and SUSD the financial tools they need to keep Scottsdale the finest city in the southwest!

Welcome to our newest Partner Council members!

Alliance Bank of Arizona

Alliance Bank is Arizona's largest locally owned and headquartered bank and is uniquely positioned as a "super community" bank with a larger credit capacity than a traditional community bank.


CenturyLink is a provider of local and long distance telephone, high-speed internet, digital cable television & wireless solutions for business & residential customers.

Chicago Title

Chicago Title is a leader in title insurance and escrow services, with expertise, innovative tools and Fortune 500 credentials.

Johnson Bank

Johnson Bank is part of a comprehensive financial services company with a reputation for making a positive impact in the communities it serves and in the lives of its clients and associates.

First American Title Bank

First American Title serves home buyers and sellers, real estate professionals, loan originators and servicers, commercial property professionals, homebuilders and others involved in commercial property transactions with products and services specific to their needs. First American Title was our first new Partner Council member for the 2013-14 fiscal year. 


Thanks to our 2013-14 Partner Council Title Sponsor

We would like to thank Arizona Bank & Trust for its generous sponsorship of our Partner Council for 2013-14.  This generosity will help ensure we are able to provide high quality events for the benefit of all Partner Council members.  Please join us in saying thanks by expressing your appreciation when you see members of the Arizona Bank & Trust team. 

Upcoming Invitation-Only Partner Council Events:

Leaders Dialogue Series Lunch

Wednesday, October 23, 2013
11:30 am – 1:00 pm
ASU Skysong
Building 1, Room #301 - Ingenuity
1475 N. Scottsdale Road
Scottsdale, AZ  85257
Our next Leaders Dialogue Series Lunch will be held on Wednesday, October 23 and will feature our special guest Christine Jones, former General Counsel for Go Daddy and a member of the LA District Attorney’s team during the OJ Simpson trial.   Ms. Jones is now a GOP candidate for Arizona governor.

Limited to 50 Partner Council members, this intimate lunch will provide the opportunity for a candid dialogue with Christine regarding issues of importance to the business community and her aspirations to lead our state.
A light sandwich lunch will be provided.  RSVP to Terry Finch or call 480.355.2704.


Luncheon with President/CEO of the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee
November 21, 2013
11:30 am – 1:00 pm
The Venue Scottsdale
7117 E. 3rd Avenue
Scottsdale, AZ  85251

Join us on November 21st to hear Jay Parry, President/CEO of the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee, talk about the fundraising efforts to date, the economic impact on our community and the organization, goals and aspirations of the Super Bowl Host Committee. 

RSVP to Terry Finch or call 480.355.2704.

2013-14 Partner Council Title Sponsor:

Economic Development Update October 2013

The FIGS Have Spoken and the Board Approves

While many folks were basking in the cool air and waters outside Arizona this summer, many of our members were hard at work participating in the follow-up to the Chamber’s landmark Scottsdale Forward 2013 event, held in the spring of last year. One day symposia all too often result in a group attending, feeling charged up, and then heading out to conduct the rest of their lives largely unchanged by what they heard. Work and life get in the way unless there is planned activity to take the wonderful ideas and put them into actionable steps.
Such was the role of our Focus Initiative Groups, or FIGS, comprised of volunteers charged with the development of action steps building from the great energy of Scottsdale Forward. Four groups were formed, chaired by volunteers, and they met through the summer to set a new economic development agenda, rife with energy and a strong, positive sense of the future. They presented their ideas first to the Business Attraction Sub-Committee of EDAC who has coordinated the Scottsdale Forward program, then on to the Chamber’s Economic Development Advisory Council for their feedback, suggestions and prioritization and then on to the Chamber’s Board of Directors who formally adopted the results and approved the priorities recommended from EDAC.The results were impressive, including:

Supporting Local Business in Scottsdale
Chaired by Councilperson Suzanne Klapp, Owner of Fast Frame and Member of Scottsdale City Council
  • Recommendation 1: Identify and execute opportunities to partner with Local First Arizona
  • Recommendation 2: Work with the City’s Communication Department to enhance and develop programming regarding local business
  • Recommendation 3: Encourage Chamber members to support one another through increased business to business relationships; and ways to explore purchasing locally
Making Scottsdale a Center for Entrepreneurship
Chaired by Chris Cole, Realtor, Cole Team, Realty ONE Group
  • Recommendation 1: Encourage the City to expand and improve on existing web site for new businesses
  • Recommendation 2: Develop a new business welcome program in collaboration with City of Scottsdale Economic Development department
  • Recommendation 3: Work with Tourism consultant and tourism strategic plan task force to help brand Scottsdale as a social hub and entrepreneur destination
  • Recommendation 4: Allocate City and Chamber resources and funding for a Choose Scottsdale initiative aimed at entrepreneurs in print, radio and social media
Reinvesting in Scottsdale – Redevelopment Issues
Chaired by David Gulino, Land Development Services, LLC
  • Recommendation 1: Chamber to lead effort to review and update city policies related to the use of Special Taxing Districts (as approved by the Legislature) to enhance financing of infrastructure and to ensure continued economic growth
  • Recommendation 2: Revise City Zoning Ordinance Section 1.706-Legal Protest Requirements to facilitate advanced notification of legal protest filings for zoning amendments
  • Recommendation 3: Revise and update the Planned Unit Development (PUD) District – Section 5.500 of the zoning code to allow heights greater than 48 feet, remove restrictions on parcel size eligibility and provide incentives for mixed-use projects
  • Recommendation 4: Create a reference manual to make available to interested parties information on fiber optics infrastructure, location, cost and performance.
Improving Access to and within Scottsdale
Chaired by Matt Wright, Landmark Aviation
  • Recommendation 1: Move forward with the Tier 2, High Capacity Transit Study to follow up on the Tier 1 HCT work previously completed and recommended within the City’s Transportation Master Plan, approved by the City Council in 2008
  • Recommendation 2:  Re-purpose the existing and unoccupied new car dealerships at the intersection of McDowell Road and 64th Street (Galvin Parkway) to create a Scottsdale Rental Car Center, with dedicated high-end shuttle service from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport serving that center
 The Board of Directors, like EDAC before it, found all recommendations worthy of exploration and implementation. As a result, the Board voted to accept the EDAC recommendation that the following six recommendations receive the highest priority as directives for staff and continued committee work:
  • McDowell Road/Galvin Parkway Gateway Visitor and Rental Car Center
  • Update policies on Special Taxing Districts
  • Work to establish local business to business relationships
  • Work with City to advocate for completing Tier 2 HCT study
  • Work with City’s ED office to enhance Choose Scottsdale web site
  • Revise zoning ordinance regarding legal protests
Congratulations and many thanks to Pete Klute, Pam Kelly and the sub-committee who worked so hard to bring this process forward -- especially to our chairs and volunteers who showed that the power of great ideas often come as a result of caring people choosing to come together for the benefit of the business community.

Friday, September 27, 2013

2013 September Ribbon Cuttings

As a service to our members at the Classic level and above, the Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce is pleased to recognize new businesses with a ribbon cutting ceremony. In addition to helping promote your business, a team of Chamber Ambassadors will arrive to welcome you to the business community and help you officially cut the ribbon on your new enterprise. For more information about Scottsdale Area Chamber Ribbon Cutting opportunities, please contact Kelly Rich.  

Congratulations and welcome to our new Scottsdale businesses!

Buffalo Wild Wings
July 29, 2013

Jason's DeliJuly 16, 2013

Mail and Copy Center
September 17, 2013

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Partner Council

The Partner Council is pleased to recognize its newest member, First American Title, as well as our new Partner Council Title Sponsor, Arizona Bank & Trust. Plus, save the date for upcoming Partner Council events, including a Leaders Dialogue Series, Luncheon with Senator Jeff Flake and Partner Council Wine Reception.

Welcome to our newest Partner Council member

First American Title
First American Title serves home buyers and sellers, real estate professionals, loan originators and servicers, commercial property professionals, homebuilders and others involved in commercial property transactions with products and services specific to their needs.  First American Title is our first new Partner Council member for the 2013-14 fiscal year.  Please join us in welcoming them to the Chamber and the Partner Council.

Chairman’s Corner

The fiscal year 2012-2013 will be remembered as a significant year at the Chamber. It will be remembered as the year we got things under way quickly, and profitably, with a move to new “right sized” offices. It will be remembered as a year when the recession induced philosophy of “doing more with less” felt like the right answer. And it will be remembered as a year when the Chamber’s financial operations were on budget and in the black. So overall, fiscal year 2013 will go down in the Chamber’s recent history as an exceptionally good operational year that I sense is a measure of great ones soon to follow.

I believe the Chamber’s year can be perceived as a reflection of the current economic conditions in Scottsdale and the region; a bellwether of the economy if you will. We can be positive because the business community as a whole reports both picking up steam and an optimistic attitude. Member companies are largely in this camp.  While this recovery is still fragile no doubt, there is a growing confidence that builds as momentum mounts. Surviving challenging times allows us to emerge stronger.

The Chamber is working hard to retool in the midst of these challenges. With a small, dedicated team, our staff continues to create new innovative programs and events while providing exceptional “value add” for a diverse membership.  This Chamber continues to be recognized as a quality organization made up of exceptional companies.

Economic Development

The final Economic Development Advisory Council (EDAC) meeting of the fiscal year took place on June 11th at DMB Associates. Members of the EDAC or future members of the Council should be aware that the group goes “dark” in July and August, with the next meeting scheduled for Tuesday, September 10th, 7:30 am at DMB. Please contact Terry Finch for additional information. Before going dark, members of the EDAC committee met with the new Scottsdale Economic Development Director and a national expert on light rail and transit-oriented development and travel.