Tempe Chamber Of Commerce

Your Success Is Our Business

Tempe Chamber Names Jodi Polanski Business Woman of the Year

Posted on | May 22, 2015 | No Comments

Jodi Polanski, Business Woman of the Year

Jodi Polanski, Business Woman of the Year

The Tempe Chamber of Commerce has named Jodi Polanski as its 2015 Business Woman of the Year. She was honored at the 20th Annual Women in Business Conference on May 20 at the PERA Club in Tempe.

Polanski is the Founder & Executive Director for Lost Our Home, an animal rescue organization founded in 2008 as a grassroots response to the thousands of pets in need as a result of the economic downturn.

Her experience brings a business-oriented structure to the management of Lost Our Home while her lifelong love and dedication for animals keeps the compassionate side always in the forefront.

She received a scholarship from the Arizona State University Lodestar Nonprofit Management Institute and received her Professional Certificate in Nonprofit Management in May 2011.

“The Business Woman of the Year award recognizes the valuable contributions that Jodi has made to the business community and to the Tempe Chamber of Commerce. Her 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.

The two other finalists were Denise Hart, Vice President of Marketing at Vestar and the Tempe Marketplace and Dawn Hocking, Director of Development at TCH.

Take One Small Step Towards Minimalism

Posted on | May 21, 2015 | No Comments

by Margo Brown, Productivity Coach and Professional Organizer with Wave Productivity


Margo Brown

Joshua Becker is a renowned author that writes about minimalism as a lifestyle. His book Simplify hit #1 sales on Amazon in the first week of publishing, outselling many top authors.

Joshua is the Founder and Editor of Becoming Minimalist, a website dedicated to inspiring others to find more life by owning less. Joshua’s rational approach to minimalism is a rational one that focuses on passion and purpose. This has made him one of today’s most-influential simple living advocates.

How did this all get started for him?

In 2008, Joshua and his family decided to pursue a more minimalist lifestyle. They decided to remove their nonessential possessions. Eventually, over 70% of their belongings were sold, donated, or discarded. In exchange for owning less, they found a life of more freedom, more contentment, more generosity, and more opportunity to pursue the things that mattered most.

It was a pleasure to hear him speak at the NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers) AZ Chapter. I wanted to share with you some of the inspiring things he said. They are followed by questions from me, ones that can move you to creating a more purposeful life and an intentional work space.

“My possessions were distracting me from my purpose in life, the one thing that made me happy.”

  • What is your purpose in life?
  • What are the non-material things that make you happy?
  • What are some of the distractions that hold you back from your purpose?
  • What hold you back from being happy?

Read more

Tempe Chamber Works in Regional Coalition to Support Business Issues

Posted on | May 1, 2015 | No Comments

East Valley Chambers of Commerce Alliance

East Valley Chambers of Commerce Alliance

The 2015 Legislative session was completed in record time, with nearly 1,200 bills being introduced. Working through the East Valley Chambers of Commerce Alliance, the Tempe Chamber reviewed them all, focusing on those issues having the greatest impact on our business members. We weighed in in more than 50 issues, with a more than 60% success rate, and not one bill opposed by the Chamber was passed.

Here are a few of the issues we successfully supported that may impact your business:

  • The income dollar amounts for each individual income tax rate bracket will be adjusted by the average annual change in the consumer price index beginning in 2016.
  • Agency inspectors, auditors and regulators will be required to inform those interviewed of their legal rights.
  • The Governor’s Regulatory Review Council will have at least one member who is a small business owner.
  • The insurance premium tax rate will be incrementally reduced for the next ten years.
  • Businesses will be able to attract investors through crowdfunding.
  • The multi-county water district water storage levy is adjusted, allowing for the continuation of the Central Arizona Project.
  • Microbreweries will be able to grow without having to sell their retail locations.
  • The transaction privilege tax liability of prime contractors is further defined and simplified.
  • Arizona travelers will be able to request a federally approved identification card.

The East Valley Chambers of Commerce Alliance is a coalition of the Tempe, Gilbert, Mesa, Apache Junction, Chandler, Queen Creek, Scottsdale and Carefree Cave Creek chambers, working together on issues of regional significance. If you have any questions about the Chamber’s policy actions, contact Mary Ann Miller, President/CEO at maryann@tempechamber.org.

The Tempe Chamber is Looking out for Business

Posted on | May 1, 2015 | No Comments

Mary Ann Miller

Mary Ann Miller

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

Location. Location. Location. Just like buying a house, deciding where to have your business is a major consideration. You look for obvious factors like visibility and a good customer base, adequate transportation and a qualified work force. You personally want a good quality of life, with safe neighborhoods, excellent schools and cultural activities. And when you open your doors to your business, you want to concentrate on making it a success. You need someone to look out for their interests, and that’s where the Chamber comes in.

Key to our mission is representing businesses before government, creating the environment where you want to work and live.

Our Government Relations & Transportation Committee surveys businesses, brings in guest speakers, and researches issues of concern to the greater business community. We seek out solutions to ease business operations, and listen for attempts to lay burdens on business. We look at what’s working well, what needs to be fixed, and what needs to be communicated. Armed with this information, the Chamber develops our Local, State and Federal Agendas, the guidebooks for our advocacy efforts.

Armed with our policy agendas, Tempe Chamber staff can analyze proposals to see if they fall under its tenets and advocate accordingly. We partner with other organizations both to make our voice stronger and to forge workable compromises. And we spend a lot of time explaining to elected officials how well-meaning legislation can negatively impact businesses.

Each year, more than 1,000 bills, resolutions and memorials are taken up by the State Legislature. The City Council looks at dozens of issues each month. Congress folds a myriad of issues into a single bill. With new elected officials and budget challenges at all government levels, the decisions made will have a huge impact on the way you do business and your quality of life in the future.

The Tempe Chamber of Commerce urges government to strive to implement policies that allow business to flourish and provide maximum service with minimal costs to the taxpayer. We will work to foster a climate of growth, development and high wages. And we are committed to helping communicate policies and programs to businesses, so that you can make appropriate management decisions and take advantage of every opportunity available to you.

We watch out for your interests so that you can work on your business.

How to Succeed in Winning Procurement Bids

Posted on | April 30, 2015 | No Comments

procurementBy Sean Donovan, VP Media & Program Development, Tempe Chamber of Commerce

When your company does business with a large purchaser, you’ll likely be working with their procurement department. This department will source and evaluate goods and services, ultimately making a decision on which company to do business with. In order to give yourself the best chance at winning the contract you need a basic understanding of how the process operates.

  1. Know what the buyer is looking for.

The first step is to proactively keep yourself aware of the needs of the companies and organizations you’d like to do business with. Here are some resources to find the latest requests for proposals to get you started. You can also attend a procurement how-to workshop.

City of Tempe http://ww2.tempe.gov/bids/

Arizona State University https://www.asu.edu/purchasing/bids/

State of Arizona https://procure.az.gov/bso/external/publicBids.sdo

  1. Research the job and make your bid.

Once you know what the need is, and are sure that you can offer a solution, you will bid on the job. This means committing to a price and terms of service that the buyer will hold you accountable for. Making a bid is giving the word of your company.

It’s important to recognize that along with assessing the quality, speed of delivery and cost of your produce or service, procurement departments also take into account your reputation to mitigate risks and avoid unethical dealings.

  1. Prepare to succeed.

The company will receive a number of bids including yours. It will closely look at the process by which the goods or services will be ordered and delivered. It will study how invoicing takes place and how payment will be made. After researching these factors and evaluating the bids, they will select the company whose price and service model they believe will be the best option.

With the right bid, you will be selected. It is useful to have plans in place prior to hearing back from the buyer. Be prepared to promptly take action when you get the go-ahead.

On May 14, 2015 the Tempe Chamber of Commerce hosts a procurement workshop with buyers from the City of Tempe and Arizona State University. Learn how the bid and RFP processes work, how you can be included in them, who to talk to, best practices for securing contracts and more. Presentations will include Q&A and practical advice and procedures for getting more business for your company. Lunch is provided. RSVP here or by emailing info@tempechamber.org or to 480-967-7891.



Tempe Chamber of Commerce Names Business Woman of the Year Finalists

Posted on | April 17, 2015 | No Comments

The Tempe Chamber of Commerce has announced three finalists for the 2015 Business Woman of the Year award. The recipient will be honored at the 20th Annual Women in Business Conference May 20 at the PERA Club, 1 E. Continental Dr. in Tempe.

The award was established to recognize an outstanding business woman who has positively impacted the Tempe community. The 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.

The three finalists are Denise Hart, Vice President of Marketing with Vestar, Tempe Marketplace; Dawn Hocking, Director of Development at TCH; and Jodi Polanski, Founder & Executive Director of Lost Our Home.

Denise Hart

Denise Hart

Denise Hart is the Vice President of Marketing at Vestar, Tempe Marketplace and oversees the marketing staff, advertising, public relations, community relations, promotions and sponsorship activities for the company’s retail destinations. Prior to joining Vestar, Denise held positions with The Mills Corporation, Simon Property Group and Nike, Inc. She has more than 20 years of experience in retail, event marketing, tourism and sponsorships. Denise is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers and holds the prestigious designations of CRX and CMD. Denise is an active member and past chair of the Tempe Tourism Office Board of Directors.


Dawn Hocking

Dawn Hocking

Dawn Hocking is the Director of Development at TCH and is responsible for bringing needed resources to the agency to assist individuals with special needs to reach their full potential. Dawn is an Arizona native that grew up in Tempe. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Northern Arizona University. She has been changing the lives of people with disabilities at TCH for 24 years. Dawn has held many positions in her time at TCH. She is involved with community partners like the Tempe Chamber of Commerce, Arizona Assist and St. Luke’s Health Initiative. She is a graduate of Tempe Leadership Class XXVII. Dawn is also the Past Tempe Chamber Women in Business Council Chair and 2014 Volunteer of the Year.


 Jodi Polanski

Jodi Polanski

Jodi Polanski is the Founder & Executive Director for Lost Our Home, an animal rescue organization founded in 2008 as a grassroots response to the thousands of pets in need as a result of the economic downturn in general, and the Phoenix-area foreclosure crisis in particular. Prior to working full-time in the non-profit sector for Lost Our Home Pet Foundation, Jodi’s background was in sales and management, most recently in the mortgage industry as a Branch and Sales Manager, and prior to that as a Regional Sales Manager for a retail store. Her experience brings a business-oriented structure to the management of Lost Our Home while her lifelong love and dedication for animals keeps the compassionate side always in the forefront. Jodi also received a scholarship from the Arizona State University Lodestar Nonprofit Management Institute and received her Professional Certificate in Nonprofit Management in May 2011.

“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.

For more information and to request interviews and photos, please contact Meghan Dorn at meghandorn@tempechamber.org.

Attend the award ceremony or learn more about the Women in Business Conference.

Tempe Residents Say Business Development is Their Top Priority

Posted on | April 10, 2015 | No Comments

The newly released Tempe Resident Survey reveals that economic and business development is the #1 concern for residents.

The report says, “As the chart shows, there was a significant increase of more than 4% in the percentage of residents who felt economic and business development should be a top priority for the City in 2015.”

That is almost double the amount of people who felt it was a priority when the survey was last done in 2013.tempe-az

On page 18, it is shown in more context. 33% of residents surveyed reported that the category of what services should receive the most emphasis over the next year is “Economic / Business Development”. That is the top rated category and exceeds everything else including police, fire, transportation and street & building maintenance.

The Tempe Chamber of Commerce is proud of its achievements in fostering an environment conducive to business growth. It continues to work to ensure Tempe’s businesses have the tools they need to succeed.

Read or download the entire report here.

Portland Reed, Susan Ratliff and Trish McCarty will speak at the 20th Annual Women in Business Conference

Posted on | April 9, 2015 | No Comments

Four outstanding women will be speaking at the 20th Annual Women in Business Conference on May 20 at the PERA Club in Tempe.

Themed “Reach, Achieve, Celebrate!” they will deliver inspirational messages that educate and motivate each member of the audience to strive for fulfillment, happiness and success.

Portland Reed

Portland Reed

Portland Reed is the co-founder of Vita-Global, a firm dedicated to entrepreneurs who want to use business to solve a social problem. Her motivation originates from her belief that it’s not enough to touch lives, but to help to change lives. She champions causes that focus on children and education and is assisting with the implementation of a national financial literacy program.

Susan Ratliff

Susan Ratliff


Susan Ratliff is an award-winning business owner, entrepreneur and author with 35 years of experience in sales and marketing. A street-savvy business owner, her companies were self-funded, built from scratch models of success. She has won multiple awards and built a successful speaking, consulting and event production company.


Trish McCarty

Trish McCarty

Trish McCarty is a widely recognized and successful business woman. She has coached influential world leaders, authors, rock stars, sports figures and executives for more than 25 years. She has appeared on major national and international TV networks and has authored books and hundreds of articles. In 2002, she established StarShine Academy.

The event is emceed by Jo Ann Holland, CEO and Founder of East Valley Women, and President & CEO of Central Phoenix Women and Women of Scottsdale.

JoAnn Holland

JoAnn Holland

This conference brings together hundreds of business leaders in a setting that celebrates success, facilitates network development and offers incredible opportunities for personal and business growth. It combines a luncheon, trade show, training, keynote speakers and the Business Woman of the Year award ceremony into one action-packed day.

Learn more online or by calling 480-967-7891.

Los Tres Amigos Rocks Classic Party Rentals on May 7

Posted on | April 8, 2015 | No Comments

The Tempe, Greater Phoenix and Scottsdale Chambers of Commerce join forces for the annual Los Tres Amigos mixer on May 7 from 5:00-7:00 p.m. at Classic Party Rentals.

Don’t miss out on this amazing social networking party that happens just once a year.

During the evening celebration, you will be treated to live music from Jay Allan, Marah and Neon, a bar and complimentary appetizers from local caterers and food trucks.  It is the perfect opportunity to meet hundreds of your colleagues from your fellow chambers and the business community.

This is the only event that brings all three chambers together in a single location for an unparalleled exposure opportunity. The evening is offered free of charge courtesy of the Tempe, Greater Phoenix and Scottsdale chamber members. RSVP are requested through a host chamber or online here.

Jay Allan

Jay Allan



Put a little Spring in your Business

Posted on | March 24, 2015 | No Comments

By Kristine Kassel, Chairman of the Board

Kristine Kassel

Kristine Kassel

It’s that time of year where we have already put aside most of our New Year’s resolutions and goals. Unless of course you are a super motivated person and those goals are being met going into the 2nd Quarter! If that is the case please share your experiences with your fellow members.

Now that spring is here, we need to put a little spring into our businesses! The Tempe Chamber can help you do that with many great programs and motivational opportunities. So after you take in a few Spring Training baseball games, it’s time to do some spring cleaning in your business. Be sure to look at your New Year’s goals and reflect and adjust based on your industry activities and profitability. Also try something new to motivate yourself.

The Tempe Chamber will be offering their Women in Business Conference on May 20 which will provide several different speakers to encourage standees to Reach, Achieve and Celebrate, the theme of the conference. There will also be an opportunity to visit several of our member businesses at the trade show that coincides with the day’s activities.

And then you can get motivated by learning more about several different women in our community who are the finalists for the Tempe Chamber’s Business Woman of the Year Award! You can also reach out to these women for advice and mentorship as most of them love to help others in the community. Read more

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