Tempe Chamber Of Commerce

Your Success Is Our Business

East Valley Chambers of Commerce Alliance Releases 2015 Legislative Priorities

Posted on | December 18, 2014 | No Comments

The East Valley Chambers of Commerce Alliance (EVCCA) has released its 2015 Priorities.  Advocating for sound principles of economic competitiveness, the organization’s top goals for 2015 are:

Fair regulation that promotes free market competition

Well-balanced tax reform

Strategic study of long-term transportation funding

Simplified funding for school systems

Reforms to Arizona’s initiative processes

Read the agenda to learn what actions the Tempe Chamber, as part of the EVCCA, is taking to make sure your business remains strong and enjoys a supportive legislative atmosphere.

Tempe Chamber Member of the Week: Kiera Stroup of Sonoran Serenity Spa

Posted on | December 12, 2014 | No Comments

Welcome to a new feature from the Tempe Chamber of Commerce! Each week, the Chamber team will randomly select a different member to interview so that they can share their experiences and advice for other members. This week we learned a lot when speaking with Kiera Stroup of Sonoran Serenity Spa.

Kara Stroup, Sonoran Serenity Spa

Kara Stroup, Sonoran Serenity Spa

Tempe Chamber: Which groups or activities are you most involved in at the Tempe Chamber?

Kiera Stroup: I love attending Business Before Hours, Business After Hours, and the Ribbon Cuttings.

TC: What did you gain from that involvement?

KS: I have met a TON of great people who I wouldn’t have otherwise met if not for the Tempe Chamber. It’s such a fun group!

TC: Why have you chosen to be a member of the Tempe Chamber?

KS: I’m relatively new to Arizona and my business is new. Being a member of the Tempe Chamber is a great way to introduce myself to  other businesses and make new friends in the process.

TC: What do you like most about doing business in Tempe?

KS: After getting my education from Southwest Institute of Natural Aesthetics, I realized how fun and vibrant the community is and decided I didn’t want to go anywhere else. The vibe in Tempe is contagious…I’m having a blast!

TC: How do you support the community?

KS: Everyone is guilty of not putting themselves first far too often. When people come to see me, I help them deal the physical impacts of stress and if 60, 90, or even 20 minutes in my salon can help, I’ve done my job. It really makes me happy to make other people happy.

TC: What advice would you give to today’s newer members?

KS: Take the time to get to know other members. I personally find value in attending networking events because that works for me and my business. The more time I invest in learning about my Tempe Chamber colleagues, the better I feel about helping them with their businesses.

What Businesses Can Do to Help Schools

Posted on | December 12, 2014 | No Comments

The driving reason behind the State of the Schools Address is to learn how the business community can best assist our schools. At today’s event, our panel of eight top educators shared their suggestions and requests.

1. Be a mentor to a student.

2. Be a guest lecturer at a school.

3. Be an advocate for education.

4. Get involved in career guidance and talk to students about your career.

5. Offer internships and work-based learning.

6. Visit schools.

7. Serve on an advisory panel.

8. Vote for a governing board member that will do what’s right for kids, not politics.

9. Vote for those policy makers who will fund a free public education system.

State of the Schools

State of the Schools

We thank our panel for their time, ideas and support!

Tempe Union High School District is celebrating three major accomplishments

Posted on | December 10, 2014 | No Comments

by Dr. Kenneth R. Baca, Superintendent, Tempe Union High School District

Dr. Baca will be a panelist at the Dec. 12 State of the Schools Address.

Ken Baca

Ken Baca

As the year 2014 comes to a close, the Tempe Union High School District is celebrating three major accomplishments achieved this fall.

1)       TUHSD and all six of our comprehensive high schools earned “A” ratings – the Arizona Department of Education’s highest possible achievement grade.

2)      Forty-eight Tempe Union Students were named 2015 National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists – more than any other school district in Arizona. The pool of academically talented Semifinalists represent less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors.

3)       The ADE named McClintock High School a National Title I Distinguished School. The award recognizes McClintock for exceptional student performance. Only two schools in Arizona, 100 across the nation, receive this honor each year and McClintock is the first Arizona high school to receive this national recognition in more than five years.

We really do have much to be proud of in the Tempe Union High School District. As we welcome 2015, we are committed to growing and improving in our mission of “Excellence in Teaching and Learning.”

Dr. Kenneth R. Baca
Superintendent, Tempe Union High School District

Tempe Chamber Member of the Week: Frank Woertz, Judy Aguilar-Woertz, Agent – State Farm Insurance

Posted on | December 5, 2014 | No Comments

Welcome to a new feature from the Tempe Chamber of Commerce! Each week, the Chamber team will randomly select a different member to interview so that they can share their experiences and advice for other members. This week we were excited to speak with Frank Woertz of Judy Aguilar-Woertz, Agent – State Farm Insurance!

Frank Woertz

Frank Woertz

Tempe Chamber: Which groups or activities are you most involved in at the Tempe Chamber?

Frank Woertz: I have been involved with the Ambassador Committee for the last eight years and am the current chair. It’s a fun group! When the Ambassadors showed up for our ribbon cutting, they were having so much fun it was silly I hadn’t gotten involved sooner.

TC: What did you gain from that involvement?

FW: Getting to know more about the Chamber, Tempe, and the members. I’ve lived in this area for a long time and I’ve learned a lot of information that I can share with others.

TC: Why have you chosen to be a member of the Tempe Chamber?

FW: In the beginning it was so our customers knew we were members – that is so important! We have stayed members because of the connections to the community.

TC: What do you like most about doing business in Tempe?

FW:  Tempe has a small town feel even though it is a thriving metropolis. The people who run the city are very trustworthy and I take great pride in doing business in Tempe.

TC: How do you support the community?

FW: We support the community with our business because it is a vital resource for all. Whether we are helping individuals with their homes or the families, we are giving back.

TC: What advice would you give to today’s newer members?

FW: You have to be involved and be active. Otherwise you’ll never know what you are missing!

Click here to learn more about Judy Aguilar-Woertz, Agent – State Farm Insurance.

Meet the Panel! State of the Schools to Feature Top State Educators

Posted on | December 5, 2014 | No Comments

Christine Wilkinson

Christine Wilkinson

Shouan Pan

Shouan Pan

Rich Dubek

Rich Dubek

Ken Baca

Ken Baca

Jay Heiler

Jay Heiler

David Schauer

David Schauer

Chris Bustamante

Chris Bustamante

Chris Busch

Chris Busch

Bill Symonds

Bill Symonds

The Tempe Chamber of Commerce’s 2014 State of the Schools Address will take place Friday, Dec. 12, 2014 at the Doubletree by Hilton, 2100 S. Priest Drive in Tempe.

We are pleased to present our largest panel ever featuring the top names in Arizona education. They will discuss trends, challenges and their vision for our schools. Audience participation and Q+A will ensure all critical issues are addressed.

The event will be moderated by Rich Dubek, a two time Emmy winning television news reporter with more than twenty years in the news media including reporting positions at NBC and Fox in Phoenix. Rich is currently the CEO of Tempe based AZ Freelance TV, where he continues to work in the media on a national stage for his clients like NBC News and the Today Show His company specializes in award winning video production and media and messaging training for the private and government sectors. Rich lives in Tempe with his wife and are passionate Sun Devils. Their two boys are currently attending college in Arizona and New York.

Bill Symonds is director of the Global Pathways Institute based at ASU Sky Song, and Professor of Practice at Arizona State University. The Institute was created to help lead a national movement to find effective solutions to prepare young people to lead successful lives.
In Arizona, GPI is working to increase pathways to high school graduation, improve career guidance, and expand business involvement in education. Prior to coming to ASU, Symonds helped launch the Pathways to Prosperity Project at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2008, and served as its director for five years. While at Harvard, he was the primary author of the seminal report: Pathways to Prosperity: Meeting the Challenge of Preparing Young Americans for the 21st Century. Prior to that, he spent 25 years as a senior correspondent and bureau chief for Business Week Magazine. He is proud father of three children, each of whom is passionately pursuing a distinct career pathway.

Christine Busch has lived in Tempe since 1964 and has been in public education for 38 years. She received her Bachelors of Science degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology and Elementary Education from Western Michigan University, her Master’s degree in Special Education from Arizona State University and was a member of the ASU Delta IV doctoral cohort in Educational Leadership. She was a Speech and Language Pathologist and teacher in Kindergarten through 12th grades for 20 years in Michigan, Nevada and in Tempe Elementary. Prior to being appointed as the Superintendent in 2011, she also served TD3 in the capacity of Assistant Principal, Principal, Executive Director of Human Resources and Associate Superintendent. Currently in her 27th year in Tempe Elementary and fourth year as Superintendent, her mission is to inspire excellence in children and adults, and to collaborate with community partners to ensure that all children have the tools they need for lifelong learning and to be successful members of our global society.

Dr. Chris Bustamante is the President of Rio Salado College, the largest of the ten Maricopa Community Colleges located in metropolitan Phoenix. The College serves nearly 59,000 students annually with more than 30,000 students online. He is a well-known advocate for increasing access to higher education and degree completion, and for forging transformational partnerships with business, government, and other educational providers. Previously, he served in senior level government affairs positions for the Maricopa County Community College District, as the Assistant to the Superintendent for Community and Government Relations for the Phoenix Union High School District, and as a Legislative Aide in the Arizona House of Representatives. Dr. Bustamante serves on many national and state boards and is the president of the National Community College Hispanic Council and Chair of the American Council on Education’s Center on Education Attainment and Innovation, among many other educational activities.

Dr. David Schauer is the Superintendent of the Kyrene Elementary School District. He earned his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees from Illinois State University and a Doctorate degree in Education from National Louis University in Illinois. His school district serves over 17,000 students and has 2,000 employees. Under his leadership, the it has been successful in maintaining financial stability at a time of reduced school funding without compromising academic excellence. He has been a strong advocate for early childhood education and the creation of vibrant and innovative learning environments that will prepare students for the jobs and careers of the future. Dr. Schauer is committed to establishing and maintaining strong partnerships between the school district and the Tempe community. He has served on the Tempe Communities to Schools Advisory Board and the Tempe/Kyrene Business Advisory Council.

Jay Heiler is the founder and Chairman of the Great Hearts Academies and Vice-Chairman of the Arizona Board of Regents where he also chairs the Business and Finance Committee and is a member of the Health Affairs Committee and the Legislative Affairs Committee. A lawyer, journalist and political analyst, Heiler is a political and media consultant serving the leadership of a wide variety of private and public sector clients in public affairs, issue management, and crisis communications. He is the former chief of staff to Gov. Fife Symington and directed both policy and communications for the Symington Administration for five-and-a-half years. He also served as an assistant attorney general in the organized crime and racketeering division of the Arizona Attorney General’s Office from 1986 to 1989. Heiler graduated with honors in journalism from Arizona State University in 1983. He is founder of the Phoenix-based charter school management organization Great Hearts Academies. He is also president of the board for the Arizona Charter Schools Association.

Dr. Kenneth Baca has been Superintendent of the Tempe Union High School District since 2011. He was formerly the Assistant Superintendent for Business Services for the Phoenix Elementary School District and served Phoenix Elementary as Director of Assessment, Evaluation and Externally Funded Programs and as principal of the historic Kenilworth School. Prior to relocating to Arizona from New Mexico, Dr. Baca was the Region Assistant to the Assistant Superintendent with the Albuquerque Public School. He provided oversight for the implementation of the Higher Education Initiative Agreement between the Albuquerque Public Schools and the Office of Civil Rights to reduce the high school drop-out rate, increase the high school graduation rate and improve student academic achievement. Dr. Baca holds degrees from the University of New Mexico including a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, Master of Arts in Education, and Education Specialist Certificate in Educational Administration. He received is Doctor of Education degree in Educational Administration and Supervision from Arizona State University.

Dr. Shouan Pan is an experienced community college leader, with 20 plus years of administrative and teaching experience in higher education. He became President of Mesa Community College in 2007. Prior to that, he held various senior-level administrative positions at Broward College, Florida State College at Jacksonville, Community College of Philadelphia, Northern Arizona University, and Central Arizona College. Among other roles, he serves on the Commission for Postsecondary Education, the American Association of Community Colleges, and is Vice Chair, Campus Compact of the National Asian Pacific Islander Council. Dr. Pan has received the Paul Elsner International Leadership Award, Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction, Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, and Educator of the Year, Holocaust Documentation and Education Center, Inc.

Dr. Christine K. Wilkinson is the Senior Vice President and Secretary of Arizona State University. She is also President of the ASU Alumni Association. Prior to these appointments she served as the Vice President for Student Affairs for 13 years and was 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. She has received the University’s Award of Merit, the Alumni Achievement Award, the CASE Crystal Apple Award, named the Valley Leadership 2009 Woman of the Year, in 2012 was named one of Arizona’s 48 Most Intriguing Women for the Arizona Centennial Legacy Project. She is also the Tempe Chamber’s current Business Woman of the Year. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Education with distinction from ASU, a Master of Arts in Education, Counseling Psychology from the University of California at Berkeley, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Higher Education Administration from ASU.

LEARN MORE OR REGISTER TO ATTEND

A Season of Thanks

Posted on | December 4, 2014 | No Comments

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

Mary Ann Miller

Mary Ann Miller

In November, I celebrated 15 years as President/CEO of the Tempe Chamber, and January will mark 20 years since I was hired as Public Affairs Director. It’s only fitting that these anniversaries fall near days set aside to give thanks, to reflect on the past, and to plan for an even better year ahead.

I was hired by my predecessor, Steve Snyder, but I interviewed with the Board President and President-elect (as they were known at the time), Bobbie Cassano and Kevin Olson. The first meeting I staffed was the Transportation Committee where I met Vic Linoff, Gena Trimble, Don Cassano and Marc Soronson. I can’t tell you how grateful I am to still see these folks at Chamber events and to know I head an organization that can keep people involved for decades.

Tempe Chamber committee chairs Brad Taylor of Special Moments and Eric Adams of Alphagraphics at Kyrene and Elliot are second generation members. I’ve so enjoyed watching them grow into their roles as active business persons, I can only imagine how proud Al Taylor and Steve Adams must be.

Earlier this week I had a visit from Rudy Campbell, former mayor and the nicest man in the world. People like Harvey Gibson and Tanya Chavez keep me laughing, and a few others even keep me sane.

In an age when people switch jobs and careers every three years, I’ve been fortunate to work with incredibly talented team members. Among them, Alissa Pierson, Eric Emmert, Renee Lopata and Sean Donovan have all spent more than five years helping businesses thrive.

A new year will bring new programs and new opportunities for business growth. Our Business Bootcamp starts in February. The Beacon Awards will recognize business leadership, excellence in operations, achievement in the field, community involvement, outstanding performance and net value to the community. And the Tempe Chamber will continue to represent business interests and advocate on your behalf at the City, State and Federal levels.

Thank you so much for allowing me to be with you on this journey.

Wishing you the happiest of holiday seasons,

Mary Ann Miller
President/CEO

Tempe Chamber Member of the Week: Gwen Gustafson, Arizona Fun Services

Posted on | November 26, 2014 | No Comments

Welcome to a new feature from the Tempe Chamber of Commerce! Each week, the Chamber team will randomly select a different member to interview so that they can share their experiences and advice for other members. And what better way to kick-off this fun new segment than with Gwen Gustafson from Arizona Fun Services!

Member of the Week

Member of the Week

Tempe Chamber: Which groups or activities are you most involved in at the Tempe Chamber?

Gwen Gustafson: I’m involved in a lot of things! The Ambassadors Committee is a fun group and it’s great to meet new businesses to share what the chamber is all about…plus the ribbon cuttings! As a business owner, I really value the opportunity to get insight and expertise from my peers at the Business Owners Forum. Whether I am faced with a challenge or a celebration, I always walk away with nuggets to help my business. And of course the networking mixers! I go to both the Business Before Hours as well as the Business After Hours because the vibe and the crowd varies, even though I’m surrounded by friends.

TC: What did you gain from that involvement?

GG: Learning from other business owners, getting to know others on a deeper level, whether personal or professional. Members are so helpful to other members. The Chamber has become a second family to me.

TC: Why have you chosen to be a member of the Tempe Chamber?

GG: My business is in Tempe and the members who referred me were very genuine and honest when they said Tempe was the most fun…and they were right!

TC: What do you like most about doing business in Tempe?

GG: My family bought this business from another family who had already established it as a Tempe business. We have stayed in Tempe because we just can’t think of a good reason to relocate. Being in Tempe puts us in the middle of the Valley of the Sun!

TC: How do you support the community?

GG: Because of the Chamber, we are involved with some great non-profits, such as Relay for Life and the Police Memorial Foundation. But really it’s about connecting with the other members. I don’t necessarily have a need to do business with everyone I met, but I enjoy giving and receiving referrals with my Chamber family!

TC: What advice would you give to today’s newer members?

GG: Get involved and go to everything at least once!

Click here to learn more about Arizona Fun Services.

The Schapiro Group Proves Post-Recession Value of Chamber of Commerce Brand

Posted on | November 20, 2014 | No Comments

Content provided by the Schapiro Group

Between 2007 and 2012, many businesses’ investments experienced wild fluctuations in value. Research by The Schapiro Group (TSG) shows that the worth of one such investment – joining the local chamber of commerce – has held rock solid over that time span.

The American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) sponsored in-depth studies in both years to measure the impact of chamber membership on how the public perceives a business. Similar to the 2007 findings, last year’s survey confirmed that there are substantial – and sometimes even tangible – benefits when customers know that a business is a chamber of commerce member.

For a small business, the impact of that knowledge is striking – the likelihood that a consumer will make a purchase soars by 80%. The advantage extends to larger businesses, too. Consumer intent to patronize a national restaurant franchise rises by 68% with knowledge of chamber membership. Favorable perceptions about insurance companies increase 36%.

Powerful Findings

ACCE is a national service organization for professionals who manage local chambers of commerce. According to Chris Mead, ACCE’s Senior Vice President for Member and Sponsor Relations, the TSG findings are a powerful tool for local chambers to make a convincing case for joining or renewing membership. “For a small business with a limited surplus, this is validation that it matters to your customers if you belong to your chamber of commerce. It’s an investment that brings results,” he said. Read more

Membership Makes a Difference! A Message from the Chairman of the Board

Posted on | November 7, 2014 | No Comments

Kristine Kassel

Kristine Kassel

Things are definitely happening in Tempe this fall! Not only is the weather beautiful, but you can find many outside events going on such as 5Ks, Ironman, festivals and events every weekend. Then you add all the ASU events that are happening such as Homecoming, Parents Weekend and some BIG football games!

We also have so much growth and change going on in the business community. This includes changing the environment of some of Tempe’s most historical places to help the commercial growth demand in Tempe. It’s hard to see some of our favorites such as Monti’s and Minder Binders go, but also we are reassured that they will keep some of the historic parts that helped form Tempe. As hard as it is to recognize change, please support our community and continue to keep Tempe’s neighborhood feeling while welcoming the new businesses that are developing.

The past few months the Chamber has been working hard to make sure we are providing the value that our members need. We held our Board Retreat and strategic planning meeting in September and many new ideas were developed from it. Now we are working on putting those in place to help with the changing landscape of business and our members. We want to make sure that we are meeting your needs and are open to any ideas that you might have to help your specific business. Please feel free to reach out if you would like to provide any input on the value of membership.

One of the more exciting events that we have coming up is our Membership Drive on November 19th. We have not had a membership drive for the past few years, but thought this would be a good time to reach out to potential members and share with them how being an involved member of the Chamber can change their business and also improve personal growth. If you have any ideas of businesses to reach out to for membership please let us know. And if you want to volunteer a few hours we would really appreciate it.

I want to share with you my story of how membership and involvement makes a difference. I was recently named a finalist for the Athena Award in Arizona which is truly an honor that supports women who are involved and leaders in the community. None of this would’ve happened if I didn’t join my neighborhood Chamber when I moved my business here 8 years ago. To reconnect with people I joined the Chamber and also participated in Tempe Leadership Class 26! I was also still involved in several other business and mentoring groups around the valley, but having a strong foundation in my own community is extremely important. My business has grown and been recognized as a leader, I have met wonderful friends, and learned more about Tempe businesses and the community.   I love Tempe more every day and feel very connected!

So when you look at why to join we all will have different reasons. Some of those include getting business, or joining to say you are part of the chamber to attract other businesses. But don’t forget to include your own personal growth or staff growth that can also come with participation. Most importantly it is being part of a community and with all the changes going on with Tempe now, it is even more important! Thank you and please feel free to give us feedback on your personal story and help us recruit and retain members.

Again, thank you for the opportunity!

Kristine Kassel, Owner, Benefits by Design

Chairman, Tempe Chamber of Commerce

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