Tempe Chamber Of Commerce

Your Success Is Our Business

US Senator Jeff Flake Meets With Tempe Chamber of Commerce Leadership

Posted on | January 27, 2017 | No Comments

by Chris Samuels, Tempe Chamber of Commerce

In a roundtable on January 26 with the Tempe Chamber of Commerce staff and board of directors, U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) highlighted Arizona’s economic relationship with Mexico as well as upcoming congressional priorities in Washington.

Senator Jeff Flake Meets With Tempe Chamber of Commerce Leadership

Senator Jeff Flake Meets With Tempe Chamber of Commerce Leadership

Senator Flake expressed concern at President Trump’s approach to trade, calling attention to his call for a 20 percent tax on Mexican exports to the U.S. and a border wall built between the two nations.

Flake called on Arizona chambers of commerce and businesses to hold a “public relations campaign” to highlight the trade benefits and easy movement of goods and services that businesses have with their southern neighbors.

An end to NAFTA, the free trade agreement that allows goods and services to travel tax-free between Mexico, the United States and Canada, would be “devastating to Arizona,” according to Flake.

“Mexico has better free trade agreements than the United States does,” Flake said. “No way would Mexico be harmed by American tariffs.”

Elsewhere, the senator expressed optimism on the upcoming business that Congress will hold with a Republican majority, focusing on repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, although he stressed Republicans needed to be careful. Read more

Tempe Businesses Bending, Not Breaking, After 206 Enforcement

Posted on | January 27, 2017 | No Comments

by Chris Samuels, Tempe Chamber of Commerce

In a survey distributed to members of the Tempe Chamber of Commerce, local business owners reported facing difficulties in adjusting their business strategies following the implementation of Proposition 206 in 2017.

Hot Topics and Lunch forum, Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017.

Hot Topics and Lunch forum, Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017.

In the survey distributed two weeks ago, a majority of businesses said they are taking measures to offset the increase in payroll expenses. Of the business surveyed, over a third reported having to raise prices of goods or services for consumers – as much as 10 percent – to rebalance the costs of maintaining profits. Another third of businesses surveyed said they will need to reduce the working hours of their employees.

Sixteen percent of Tempe businesses surveyed have reported layoffs or will begin layoffs, an average of 4 employees per business and as much as ten employees.

Nearly half of businesses who responded have not taken or do not plan to make any adjustments after the passing of Prop 206.

The trend is a direct consequence of action taken on Election Day last November. Voters passed Proposition 206, which stipulates an increase of the minimum wage from $8.05 in 2016 to $12 by 2020. January 1st saw the most dramatic increase of the wage hike, increasing $1.95 to ten dollars per hour.

In a recent meeting with the Chamber Board of Directors and U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Sen. Flake described the measure as “awful” and noted it could have a negative effect on Arizona’s economy and the state’s small business owners. Read more

2017 Business Woman of the Year Nominations Being Accepted

Posted on | January 24, 2017 | No Comments

Denise Hart - 2016 Recipient

Denise Hart – 2016 Recipient

The Tempe Chamber of Commerce is now seeking nominations for the 2017 Business Woman of the Year Award. This award was established to recognize an outstanding business woman who has positively affected the Tempe community and the Tempe Chamber of Commerce.

There have been just 21 recipients over the past two decades. Last year’s recipient was Denise Hart of Vestar at Tempe Marketplace.

Nominees should have achieved excellence in their chosen field; have demonstrated leadership in the community; serve as a positive role model; and be active in programs and activities in the community and the Tempe Chamber.

Nominations are due by March 1 and the award will be presented at the Women in Business Conference in May. E-mail your nominee’s contact information to chris@tempechamber.org or complete the nomination form and return it to the Tempe Chamber using the easy instructions provided.

5 Crucial Steps to Successful, Profitable, Proactive Chronic Illness Prevention in the Workplace

Posted on | January 23, 2017 | No Comments

By Greg Justice, MA and Drew Saenz B.S. EXW – Team Up Health & Fitness

  1. CEO Support

It all starts with you.  Leading by example in the office doesn’t just pertain to work.

Any program your company introduces is only as effective as the endorsement, value, and action that top level management places in it.  It is even more imperative when we are talking about lifestyle changes.  That is the bottom line we are discussing.

Any program your company introduces is only as effective as the endorsement, value, and action that top level management places in it.  It is even more imperative when we are talking about lifestyle changes.  That is the bottom line we are discussing.

This step is so crucial that our staff at Team Up provides the CEO with the motivation and tools necessary to be active in supporting their corporate fitness and nutrition initiatives.  We maintain a working relationship with top management throughout the program with updated progress reports and evaluations.

Lifestyle changes can be difficult for many people to make.  There are different stages to change humans tend to go through.  We will work with you and your employees to achieve the changes necessary to facilitate the repair and prevention of their health problems and risks.

If you cannot or will not give your full blessing to this program, do not even activate one.  It can be damaging to a business to send a double message to its employees.  You must be consistent in your recognition of the need and your belief in the solution.  Whether it is your product or service specs, your marketing message, your sales plan, or your employee benefits, you must give your approval for effective action.

  1. Business/Employee Needs/Interest Assessment

You must know where things stand at the start.  What are the most important areas you need to address?  What results do you need to see?  Yes, we all want the moon, and we can get it.  One step at a time, the same way you built your business. We provide the needs/interest assessment.  Using your input, we add specific questions to our standard needs assessment form so that you get a complete picture of your business and employee needs, desires, and components on the path to healthy change. Read more

Even Stevens New Tempe Location Gives Back to the Community

Posted on | January 12, 2017 | No Comments

by Chris Samuels, Tempe Chamber of Commerce

Even Stevens ribbon cutting with the Tempe Chamber

Even Stevens ribbon cutting with the Tempe Chamber

For many restaurants and cafes, it can be hard to build the perfect sandwich. For many businesses, it can be a challenge to find the right balance of maintaining profits and giving back to the community.

But the newest member of the Chamber has found the answer to both.

Originally founded in Salt Lake City in 2014, Even Stevens was built on the idea of not only serving award-winning sandwiches and café food, but also giving back to the community in an impactful and meaningful way.

At the restaurant’s ribbon cutting with the Tempe Chamber of Commerce for their 10th store on Rural Rd. near Apache Blvd., and third in Arizona, founder Steve Down described the goal and mission of his chain.

“First and foremost, our goal is to provide the best sandwich in the state of Arizona,” Down said. “We’ve won the best sandwich in the state of Utah for three consecutive years now. But what makes us truly unique in the marketplace is that for every sandwich we serve, we provide a sandwich of equal nutritional value. So it’s a buy-one-get-one. We refer to it as, ‘eat to give’.” Read more

Setting Goals That Work

Posted on | January 9, 2017 | No Comments


Margo Brown

by Margo Brown, Wave Productivity

Many are breathing a sigh of relief after the hectic holiday season, while others are feeling melancholy that it all came and went so quickly. But in most cases, people are now buckling down and becoming re-inspired to set some new goals and create resolutions that they can keep. Here some tips for accomplishing your goals once and for all.

Identify your priorities

You can’t do everything and you can’t focus on what everyone else is doing. What are the most important things to you right now? Others may be jumping on the fitness train, and that may be important to you too, but is it most important? Many people have wonderful intentions to get things done, but then quickly fail due to lack of focus. Paring down a list and identifying three major things you’d like to change is a good way to get focused and actually accomplish something that is important to you. Once you have identified your priorities, set absolute goals and make a list of real action steps to make your way toward achieving those goals.

Plan to achieve

Set aside specific times to work on your goal in order to reach it. For example, if your goal is to reach out to your customers proactively, plan ways to do that quarterly.  Plan specific times to achieve your goals in your calendar, and keep those appointments with yourself as you would any appointment. Like ‘pay yourself first’—plan yourself first.

Read more

Tempe Chamber Names Chris Samuels to Communications Director Position

Posted on | January 6, 2017 | No Comments

Chris Samuels, Communications Director Position

Chris Samuels, Communications Director Position

Chris Samuels has been hired as the new Communications Director of the Tempe Chamber of Commerce.

Prior to starting at this position on Jan. 3, Samuels was a photojournalist for several newspapers in the state of Utah, including the Deseret News in Salt Lake City. Samuels graduated with BA degrees in communication and international studies from the University of Utah.

“We are so excited to bring Chris on to the team and have him share the stories of Tempe’s businesses,” said Anne Gill, the chamber’s President and CEO. “Chris wants to advocate and support the growth of business in Tempe through his skills in writing, social media and photography. He will be a valuable and effective member of the chamber and the community.”

Samuels will take over the duties previously held by Sean Donovan. Donovan is the current Vice President of Media and Program Development, and was the interim president and CEO before Gill began her tenure in Oct. 2016.

Joanne Stockdale Named Business Development Director of the Tempe Chamber of Commerce

Posted on | December 19, 2016 | No Comments

Joanne Stockdale. Business Development Director

Joanne Stockdale. Business Development Director

The Tempe Chamber of Commerce hired Joanne Stockdale as its new Business Development Director in December. She will be responsible for the organization’s membership sector, overseeing its business support services and developing corporate partnerships.

Stockdale is an experienced business development professional with excellent communication skills and a strategic approach to her work. She has managed and directed a variety of fundraising responsibilities including corporate sponsorships, individual giving, capital campaigns as well as volunteer management and recruitment of community and committee leaders.

“We are excited to welcome Joanne to our team,” said Anne Gill, President / CEO of the Tempe Chamber. “She has a great deal of experience and knowledge and will be a valuable asset as we grow our organization into a stronger advocate for the business community.”

Stockdale recently relocated to the East Valley from Michigan where she implemented successful strategies in her director positions at Recovery Allies of West Michigan, Haggai Institute, the American Heart Association and Biblica.

A Customer with Memory Loss Doesn’t Mean Losing a Customer

Posted on | December 15, 2016 | No Comments

Dementia informational programs in place include Memory Café, a weekly social gathering of people with memory loss and their caregivers.

Dementia informational programs in place include Memory Café, a weekly social gathering of people with memory loss and their caregivers.

How does a business assist a customer who may have dementia?  That’s one of the questions being addressed by Dementia Friendly Tempe, a community project to make Tempe a livable city for people living with memory loss and their caregivers.  Helping Tempe businesses to become dementia aware is one of the goals of the DFT project which was launched in spring 2016 with a community-wide meeting.  As one of the business representatives, the Tempe Chamber of Commerce is working with Mayor Mark Mitchell and the DFT action team of community leaders to develop training for businesses to help them recognize, assist and retain customers who show signs of dementia.

The action team has already engaged various sectors of the community, including business, finance and legal services, with a survey of dementia awareness. Businesses answered an on-line questionnaire about dementia friendly customer service and human resource strategies, and how to meet the needs of customers with dementia and their caregivers, as well as the needs of employees who are caring for someone with the disease.

With the survey information in hand, the action team is onto a new phase of its roadmap on how to become a dementia friendly city.  The team will engage leaders in Tempe to accurately assess the strengths and weakness of the dementia readiness in our community.  The Tempe Chamber of Commerce will keep its members updated on this continuing work and will also post more DFT information on business-related topics and project participation opportunities as it comes up. Read more

Proposition 206 Has Unintended Consequences for East Valley Care Providers

Posted on | December 6, 2016 | No Comments

Shana Ellis at TCH

Shana Ellis at TCH

by Shana Ellis, President and CEO, The Centers for Habilitation;
Executive Committee Member, Arizona Association of Providers for People with Disabilities

Caring for individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities requires education, ongoing training and passion – like any skilled profession, it’s not for everyone.  As a result, service providers, like The Centers for Habilitation (TCH), and our families value the care provided by direct care professionals entrusted to work with our members on a daily basis.

Since 2009, my organization, as part of our statewide association, has been advocating for the restoration of state funding that was previously cut.   These cuts have made it next to impossible for TCH, along with other care providers across the East Valley and state, to pay our direct care employees more for the essential care they provide – they deserve it.

Service providers are currently experiencing staff turnover rates as high as 80% and direct care workers’ pay is often below what big box stores or fast food chains can offer their employees. Prop. 206 will make it even more difficult for us and the entire provider network to retain existing staff and recruit replacements as staff can still choose to work at big box stores or fast food chains and make the same amount of money for arguably less stressful work.

Continuity of care for individuals with disabilities creates trust for the individual receiving care and peace of mind for the family. While increasing the minimum wage may have sounded like a simple solution to this problem, it will actually make the current state of affairs for this community worse. Read more

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