High-tech, health care, manufacturing, automotive business, pharmaceutical research and educational incentives led the list of Arizona Business Daily’s most-read stories this year.
The Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC), which oversees state functions in an executive, legislative and judicial capacity, stayed focused on its work despite recent controversies swirling about the public office.
The commission instituted online filing for LLC companies to streamline paperwork, took action on securities-fraud cases, conducted technology and solar-energy workshops, and continued work through its Pipeline Safety Division and Railway Safety Division.
“Even with the other issues hitting the news, the business of the commission continues as usual,” ACC Communications Manager Angie Holdsworth told Arizona Business Daily.
State Rep. Heather Carter (R-Dist. 15) champions a three-part holistic approach for Arizona: the importance of health care for Arizona’s economy, the need for a strong education system and the symbiotic relationship between those two sectors.
During a panel presented by the Arthritis Foundation, Carter referred to health care as “the economic engine” of Arizona’s future.
“We train students in Arizona in our state schools … built and paid for by our taxpayers, then we have to ship them to another state to get their training,” Carter said. “Then they rarely come back. It’s extremely cost-ineffective to not be able to train them where they’re educated… . We want to make this place a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.”
James Kane, president and CEO of Phoenix, Arizona-based Centuri Construction Group Inc. will retire from the Southwest Gas Corporation subsidiary effective Dec. 31.
"My time at Southwest Gas Corp. has been extremely rewarding, and I am especially proud of the accomplishments made in the construction-services business over the past three years," Kane said. Kane spent 43 years working in the utility and construction industries, and joined Southwest Gas Corp. in 1984.
Centuri Construction Group is a full-service natural gas piping contractor, providing trenching, installation, maintenance and industrial construction solutions.
Virtual shooting-lounge company Modern Round hired Bill Scheidhauer as its president and chief operating officer, and partnered with firearms training simulator provider VirTra to develop simulation programming.
With more than three decades' worth of experience in the restaurant industry, Scheidhauer will manage the roll-out and operation of Modern Round's future facilities.
Providing force and firearms training simulators to the military, as well as law enforcement agencies, VirTra also offers a wide range of simulator platforms, recoil kits and other products. The partnership between VirTra and Modern Round is projected to be a mutually beneficial venture, in which all Modern Round facilities will be outfitted with VirTra simulation technology.
The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Arizona Manufacturers Council (AMC) sent a letter in April asking U.S. Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) to support the proposed Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency Act (FACT) and calling for an end to asbestos-claim fraud.
“This simple, common-sense reform would require asbestos trust funds to disclose information on their claims, protecting the trust assets from double-dipping plaintiffs and allowing businesses an opportunity to fully and fairly defend themselves in court,” Chamber President and CEO Glenn Hamer and AMC Chairman Steve Macias said.
The federal bill would require U.S. asbestos trusts to report on a quarterly basis regarding payouts and data on victims of asbestos-related diseases, and to make that information public.
Market Freedom Alliance (MFA), a nonprofit Arizona advocacy organization, is ramping up its support and education efforts around informing the state’s citizens and small-business owners about the impact of public policy initiatives.
“The overview of what we are looking to achieve through Market Freedom Alliance is … to help educate the people of Arizona, both in the public and private sectors, on the different public policy initiatives that are happening across the state and how they are impacting them as individuals,” Jenna Bentley, the MFA’s new executive director, told Arizona Business Daily.
In upcoming months, Bentley said, her goal is to establish a solid statewide network for the Market Freedom Alliance.
To strengthen the health of Arizona’s youth, families and senior citizens, Tucson Electric Power awarded more than $100,000 in Grants That Make a Difference to 18 nonprofits in a ceremony at the utility’s Tucson headquarters.
"Grants That Make a Difference improve the quality of life in our communities by supporting nonprofit groups that provide crucial services to those who need help most," TEP President and CEO David Hutchens said. "These grants will help create enrichment activities for at-risk children, provide assistance to seniors and help families to escape poverty."
Recipients included the Salvation Army, Big Brothers/Sisters of Tucson and YWCA; a zoo outreach program; arts, music, educational and STEM initiatives; health care, therapeutic riding and other programs for at-risk children, as well as community outreach projects to help victims of crisis, poverty or abuse.
Mesa, Arizona’s Wilkes University has gained top national ranking for fiscal value by The Economist, a leading international periodical, placing not only 25th in the country, but higher than any other Arizona higher learning institution.
“Our students and their families know the value of a Wilkes education – in outstanding teaching, in the research and internship opportunities provided to undergraduates, and the mentoring by faculty that helps to guarantee student success,” University Provost Anne Skleder said.
The achievement was revealed in the periodical’s first-ever college rankings and reflects well on Wilkes for its investment value. Wilkes also measured favorably in areas such as diverse in-demand study fields — such as pharmacy, business and engineering — and resources for disadvantaged or first-generation college students.
Ronn Motor Group (RMG) is officially back at the forefront of the high-tech vehicle market, with CEO and founder Ronn Maxwell trumpeting the resurgence of his 2007-founded business from Scottsdale company headquarters.
RMG's newest project finds the company currently working on the next eco-exotic version 2.0 automobile — to include state-of-the-art technologies — with the goal of being brought to market in 2016. RMG's final objective is to expand its product line into a selection of automobiles, including more affordable models.
"I am excited about sharing our automobiles with the market to further fulfill my dream," Maxwell said. "Through the Regulation A+ offering, we are able to give the general public the opportunity to become partners with us, so I invite all to visit our website, and if so moved, reserve shares as part of our exciting journey."
HSRx Group, an Arizona-based biopharmaceutical company, is at work on a new generation of combination drugs to address public health challenges, hoping to dramatically improve treatment and prevention therapies for complex disease conditions.
"A new generation of treatment therapies to effectively engage the multiple human body mechanisms involved in these complex diseases is desperately needed," Executive Chairman Robert Gow said. “Engaging multiple mechanisms is proven to be more effective in treating complex diseases."
HSRx Group works to combat a broad group of chronic diseases -- influenza, Alzheimer's, rheumatoid arthritis, solid tumor cancer, MRSA, type 1 diabetes, vascular dementia and stroke.
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