Tempe Chamber Of Commerce

Your Success Is Our Business

Rethink Networking

Posted on | August 8, 2014 | No Comments

by Mary Ann Miller, President/CEO, Tempe Chamber of Commerce

Mary Ann Miller

Mary Ann Miller

Last week, I spent three days in Sedona at the Arizona Chamber Executives conference with about 50 of my cohorts.  We learned about new trends in organizations in engaging members, public/private/nonprofit partnerships, and increasing STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education.  We talked politics at the state and federal levels, discussed the upcoming election and drafted a statewide business agenda.  We had breakout sessions on non-dues revenue, dues schedules and professional certification.  In short, we had a productive, informative formal experience.

Equally important, if not more so, were the discussions that took place outside the sessions, during breaks and over breakfast and dinner.  The sharing of new programs and old challenges.  The transfer of information from folks who have been in the industry for awhile to those with much less experience.  The recognition of common challenges across all sizes of organizations, and the realization of the mutual support of peers.

Too often, we categorize networking as a way to drum up business.  It becomes an event to bring together buyers and suppliers, a passing of business cards, a transaction.

But networking is so much more than that.  It is a touchstone for your career, a sharing of ideas and challenges.  It’s a method of seeking and giving advice, a widening of options and a confirmation of your path.  It is a way to discover that while your idea may be a bit crazy, no one has come up with anything better.

This is the networking of shared experiences and supportive discussions.  It can be practiced in more formal setting like our Business Owners Forum, and it should also be considered during more informal mixers.  As you’re meeting new people and exchanging cards, think not just of how you can do business, but of how you can mentor to and learn from the people you meet.

Wishing you great success,

Mary Ann Miller

LED Lighting Solutions – Money Saving and Energy Effective

Posted on | July 25, 2014 | No Comments

By Casey Bourassa, Inspired LED

Lighting has become a key factor in the movement to reduce energy consumption, specifically the growing demand of low voltage lighting as we move into a more energy efficient future. Incandescent and florescent bulbs are quickly fading as light sources of the past, driven out of the market by a new hot commodity: LEDs. As a lower cost alternative that consumes less energy, LEDs are becoming the main light source in all lighting applications. Having several different physical forms, LEDs are a versatile option in applications ranging from commercial offices, to retail buildings and restaurants, even to everyday use within residential homes.

Benefits of LEDs

Much research has been put into the advantages of using LEDs, and researchers have compared the benefits of upgrading from analog to digital technology, with the upgraded use of this new “digital” light being both rewarding to the users, as well as our planet. LEDs have several benefits as listed below:

Long Life – LEDs are widely known for their exceptionally long operational life ranging from 80,000–100,000 hours (or to put it more realistically, a continuous operation of 11–12 years). In addition to a long operational life, LEDs do not burn out like standard lighting. Instead, LEDs tend to become less bright over time as their output levels slowly become less and less.

Durable - LEDs are much more rugged than traditional lighting. Because they do not use glass or filaments, they are more resistant to vibrations, shock, and severe temperature changes. This ability to stand up to dramatic temperatures fluctuations allows their versatility to be used in extreme outdoor weather conditions, as well as everyday use indoors.

Environmentally Friendly – Many traditional and florescent bulbs contain mercury–an extreme environmental threat–but LEDs are manufactured without the use of any toxic or environmentally threating materials. They also reduce your carbon footprint by being 100% recyclable and are considered earth-friendly.

Color Changing – LED light is offered in an array of colors, the foundation of which are red, green, and blue. There are also diodes (RGB) that contain all three colors that can be manipulated to nearly any color imaginable.

Efficiency – Energy efficiency is the leading benefit of LED lighting. LEDs are estimated to consume 90% less power than traditional lighting, meaning they operate at only a fraction of the energy an incandescent bulb uses.

In addition to the benefits listed above, LEDs emit low amounts of heat and generally have an extremely low profile. Couple this with easy installation, design flexibility, and zero UV emissions, and choosing LEDs as a light source is an eco-friendly no brainer. Read more

Tempe Chamber Leads Group Hosts City Council Candidates

Posted on | July 23, 2014 | No Comments


The Tempe Chamber of Commerce’s Coffee Connections leads group is having the candidates for Tempe City Council at its meeting on July 24, 2014. The event is open to the general public who wishes to learn more about the candidates for office.

When:  July 24, 2014  at 1:30 -2:30 p.m.

Where: Club E, 1011 S. McClintock Drive, Tempe

This is an incredible opportunity to spend some one on one time with the Tempe City Council candidates. Each will have the chance to share their positions on issues of importance to the community.

Please feel free to attend. Confirmed as of 10:30 a.m. on July 23 are Dick Foreman, Shana Ellis and Lauren Kuby.

Tempe Chamber of Commerce Releases Candidate Endorsements: City Council, District 18

Posted on | July 10, 2014 | No Comments

In the 2014 Tempe City Council race, the Tempe Chamber is endorsing Robin Arredondo-Savage, Shana Ellis and Dick Foreman for election. Council candidates can be elected outright in the August 26 Primary by receiving a majority of votes cast. The general election takes place on November 4th.

In the contested Republic primary race in Legislative District 18, which covers south Tempe, the Chamber has endorsed Jeff Dial for Senate, and Bob Robson and John King for House.  The winner of the Republic primary will move on to the November 4 General Election.

“We are fortunate to have a number of quality candidates willing to represent Tempe at the city and state levels,” said Mary Ann Miller, president/CEO of the Tempe Chamber.  “The endorsed candidates are most attuned to the needs of businesses in our community and will do the best job in representing business of all sizes.”

Candidates were evaluated on a wide range of issues, including economic development, taxation and education. Written questionnaires, in-person interviews and voting records were weighed by the Chamber board in order to choose candidates for the available seats.

“We are confident these individuals will be strong representatives of the business community,” Miller continued. “Their talents and abilities will be valuable assets in fulfilling the Chamber’s objective of promoting the best interests of business.”

Early voting in the primary begins July 31.  Independent voters and other voters not registered with a recognized political party must request a party ballot of their choice or a City-only ballot.  To request a ballot, call 602-506-1511 or visit www.recorder.maricopa.gov.

Dick Foreman

Dick Foreman

Robin Arredondo-Savage

Robin Arredondo-Savage

Shana Ellis
Shana Ellis

Welcome to Our New Chairman of the Board, Kristine Kassel

Posted on | June 27, 2014 | No Comments

Message from the Chairman of the Board
Kristine Kassel, Benefits by Design

Kristine Kassel

Kristine Kassel

A thank you for the opportunity to chair the Tempe Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors this year. I look forward to using my business and leadership knowledge to help all our members move forward through the excitement and challenges that lie ahead. I especially look forward to working with the Chamber staff. They have many years of experience at the Tempe Chamber, which is hard to find in today’s economy. Their professionalism and excellent customer service help support a great board of directors and a wonderful membership. I thank each of the staff members for all they do every day to make our jobs easier.

I would like to share with you a little bit about myself. My parents moved to Tempe from Michigan in the late ’60s, so I was born a Tempe resident. After staying in my own backyard for college (I attended Arizona State University), I decided to also raise my family in Tempe. I started my own health insurance agency 17 years ago, Benefits by Design, and our office is in Tempe. I never could have become an entrepreneur without a partner like the Tempe Chamber.  As you can see, I truly love everything about Tempe and especially all the opportunities that have been offered in the past and those available today. Read more

Tempe Chamber of Commerce Urges Congress to Reauthorize the Export-Import Bank

Posted on | June 26, 2014 | No Comments

Export-Import Bank

Export-Import Bank

The Tempe Chamber of Commerce has joined with organizations from across the country in sending a letter urging Congress to swiftly reauthorize the Export-Import Bank

(Ex-Im).  The bank, which provides loans and loan guarantees when other financing is not available, will see its charter lapse on September 30 unless Congress acts.

The letter, led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and National Association of Manufacturers, was signed by more than 800 chambers, companies and associations across the country, showing the overwhelming support for Ex-Im from American companies of every size, sector, and region.

The benefits that the Export-Import Bank provides for businesses in Arizona are vital for maintaining competitiveness and expanding opportunities for growth. For these companies, especially small businesses, to be able to compete globally, they need Ex-Im’s help to reach foreign markets and customers.

If Congress fails to reauthorize Ex-Im, American companies would be put at a disadvantage in global markets, resulting in lost sales and lost jobs. We are urging members of Congress to act quickly to support American jobs  and reauthorize Ex-Im.

Last year Ex-Im supported $37 billion in exports that in turn sustained more than 200,000 American jobs at 3,400 companies. The Bank’s support is especially important to small and medium-sized businesses, which account for nearly 90 percent of the Bank’s transactions.

More information on how Ex-Im benefits state and local economies is available here.

Tempe Chamber to Honor Milestone Members, Leadership at Annual Luncheon

Posted on | June 17, 2014 | No Comments

Time flies.

The Simpsons

The Simpsons

25 years ago
, the Simpsons was first aired on TV, and these members joined the Tempe Chamber.

Gracie’s Thrift Store
City of Tempe
State Farm Office of Judy Aguilar-Woertz
Tempe Adult Day Health Care Center
Waste Management

Apple Macintosh

Apple Macintosh


30 years ago, the first Apple Macintosh computer was sold, and these businesses joined the Tempe Chamber.

Arizona Grand Resort
International Minute Press
Sheraton Phoenix Airport Hotel Tempe
Tempe Mission Palms Hotel
Tempe Trophy


40 years ago, a gallon of gasoline cost 55 cents, and these companies joined the Tempe Chamber.

55 cents a gallon?!

55 cents a gallon?!

Banner Health Arizona East Region
Doubletree by Hilton

We’re privileged to honor their long time support as we present each of them with a well deserved award at the June 24th Annual Luncheon.

At the event, we will also announce Kristine Kassel as our new Chairman of the Board, introduce the incoming board of directors and committee chairs and honor individuals who have contributed to the growth of the city’s business environment.

Susan Brooks, founder of Cookies From Home, an Arizona institution and model of success since it opened its doors in Tempe in 1981, presents the keynote speech. Brooks is an award-winning entrepreneur, author, international speaker and creator of Life Solutions for Professional Women. Her story is inspirational, entertaining and motivating – a perfect combination of sentiments as the city’s chamber of commerce starts it new fiscal year.

Tickets and tables are available so you can show your support, or simply celebrate with us and enjoy lunch, a great speaker and some amazing companies.

For more information or to register, please visit here, email info@tempechamber.org or call 480-967-7891.


CHEF’STORE opens new location in Tempe

Posted on | June 13, 2014 | No Comments

By Melody Johnson, VP of Membership Development

CHEF'STORE opens its doors in Tempe

CHEF’STORE opens its doors in Tempe

Have you noticed that the once-vacant building just south of McClintock High School has regained its lost appeal? Surrounding businesses and residents are delighted to see the anchor slot filled with the vibrant colors of US Foods’ CHEF’STORE, once again bringing balance to the corner of McClintock and Southern.

US Foods (the nation’s second largest food distributor) is responsible for the project. Their National Service Center employing upwards of 600 people resides here in Tempe. CHEF’STORE is a concept which originated in Charlotte, N.C., in 2012. It has since expanded to locations in Columbia, S.C., and Oklahoma City, Okla., and its fourth location will open to the public in Tempe on June 19.

GM Michael Ayers

GM Michael Ayers

“We have been highly successful in the hiring process thus far,” explained Michael Ayers, general manager of the Tempe location. They have recently hired over 50 employees, seeking to fill a handful of remaining positions before opening.

Ayers has been with the company since November 2013 and has been in the wholesale club business for 20 years. He touts the clean, bright store, wide aisles and friendly staff. “To echo our tagline, we’re about ‘great food, wholesale prices’.”

What to expect from CHEF’STORE:
CHEF’STORE is a restaurant supply warehouse designed to service restaurants, caterers and food service owners/operators. However, the individual customer can take Read more

2014 Election Pledge

Posted on | June 5, 2014 | No Comments

By Mary Ann Miller, President/CEO, Tempe Chamber of Commerce

Mary Ann Miller

Mary Ann Miller

Signatures are in and we now know who will be on the ballot in the Aug. 26 Primary Election.  Many of the signs are up, mailers are being printed, and we’re just caller ID away from incessant robocalls. Over the long hot summer we’ll be inundated with opportunities to learn more about the candidates, and they’ll be knocking on doors, asking for our votes. Invite them in and offer them a glass of water. You may not agree with their politics, but take the opportunity to tell them of your concerns.

This year we’ll vote for offices ranging from Congress to school board. For the first time, Tempe City Council elections will coincide with statewide races. It is our individual responsibility to learn about the candidates and issues and vote for the people we feel will best represent us.

So it’s time for me to dust off my election pledge for candidates and voters. We need to rise above the finger-pointing and blame-throwing. I challenge you to think about this pledge as you speak and as you post to Facebook:

  • I pledge to believe that those who disagree with me are good people.
  • I pledge to understand that someone who disagrees with me is not out to get me.
  • I pledge not to judge sound bites, but to determine the full context of a statement.
  • I pledge to acknowledge that just because you don’t support one candidate (or congressman or president), it doesn’t mean you like his/her opponent/predecessor.
  • I pledge to show respect to the office and whoever holds it, even though I may be working the other side of an issue.
  • I pledge not to say anything about a candidate that I wouldn’t want said about my mother or child.
  • I pledge not to use “the other candidate started it” as an excuse for my own behavior.
  • I pledge not to do anything I berated another administration or candidate for doing.
  • I pledge to recognize the difference between flip-flopping and having a reasoned change of opinion based on information and experience.
  • I pledge to acknowledge that compromise does not mean having everyone agree with you and that voting with another party takes courage and is not caving.
  • I pledge to realize that legislation is often so complex that there are multiple understandable reasons to oppose it.
  • I pledge to prove wrong the people who say that going negative works.

Congratulations to all the candidates who have made the ballot. Thank you for caring enough to run.

Mary Ann Miller




Tempe Chamber Names Dr. Christine K. Wilkinson 2014 Business Woman of the Year

Posted on | May 22, 2014 | No Comments

The Tempe Chamber of Commerce has named Dr. Christine K. Wilkinson as its 2014 Business Woman of the Year. She was honored at the 19th Annual Women in Business Conference on May 21 at the PERA Club in Tempe.

From L to R: finalist Kate Hanley; Business Woman of the Year Christine Wilkinson; finalist Nancy Kinnard

From L to R: finalist Kate Hanley; Business Woman of the Year Christine Wilkinson; finalist Nancy Kinnard

Dr. Wilkinson is Senior Vice President and Secretary of the University and President, ASU Alumni Association, Arizona State University. Prior to these appointments, she served as Vice President for Student Affairs for 13 years. Among her other administrative assignments, Wilkinson has served as the university’s interim athletic director on three separate occasions. She is a tenured faculty member in the Division of Educational Leadership & Innovation, Mary Lou Fulton Teacher College.

The Business Woman of the Year award was established to recognize an outstanding business woman who has positively impacted the Tempe community. Wilkinson and the other two finalists have achieved excellence in their fields, displayed leadership in the community, served as positive role models and are active in programs within the community and the Tempe Chamber. They have received numerous awards and accolades for their professionalism and spirit of service.

“The Business Woman of the Year award recognizes the valuable contributions that the candidates have made to the business community and to the Tempe Chamber of Commerce. Their hard work and dedication have made an admirable and positive impact that we are proud to recognize,” said Mary Ann Miller, president and CEO of the Tempe Chamber. Read more

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