Tempe Chamber Of Commerce

Your Success Is Our Business

Flame Broiler Aims to Bring Healthy, Affordable Food to Tempe

Posted on | March 10, 2017 | No Comments

Kevin and Julie Manquen at their new Flame Broiler location, Wednesday, March 8, 2017.

Story and photos by Chris Samuels, Tempe Chamber of Commerce

Tempe, Ariz. — A couple from California looking to bring something innovative to Tempe and the Valley of the Sun: healthy food at a low cost.

On the eve of opening their first location in the Valley, Kevin and Julie Manquen sat down with the Tempe Chamber of Commerce to unveil the Flame Broiler, the newest members of the Chamber.

The Flame Broiler started in California in 1995, when the founder Young Lee opened a restaurant that served healthy fast food alternatives, according to the chain’s website. Lee started work as a travelling businessman and became tired of eating greasy fast food, the only food available on the road that was affordable.

“[Lee’s] goal was to have a healthy option for people to eat,” Julie Manquen said. “He really believes that this food is the perfect meal to have. It’s got all everything packed into one little bowl.”

Since then, the chain has expanded and exploded all over California, with over 175 locations in the state.

That saturation motivated the Manquens to move their business to Arizona. Having already owned one Flame Broiler franchise, they looked for a state that was more business friendly and wasn’t already exposed to the restaurant. They settled on Tempe and celebrated their grand opening Wednesday on Priest and Warner, while starting to build their second location on Broadway and 55th St.

The couple was excited to bring the business philosophy of Lee to Arizona as we toured their new location prior to the Chamber’s ribbon cutting.

“I think it’s always easier to find food that’s less healthy and cheaper,” Julie said. “I think there are options out there that are at are a little more expensive for healthy food and I think that’s nice about what we’ve found, really watching the quality but trying to keep our prices reasonable for our customers.”

The menu stays simple. Customers get a bowl or plate that starts with rice, then comes with a choice of beef, chicken, or tofu. Steamed vegetables then go on top. Customers can also choose between their “magic” sauce or three levels of hot sauce.

Kevin and Julie Manquen at their new Flame Broiler location, Wednesday, March 8, 2017.

The main challenge of the restaurant is providing the nutritional benefit at a low price. In the food industry, cheap fast food is generally not healthy and healthy food is generally not cheap.

To change the paradigm, Flame Broiler seeks to keep operating costs down by keeping a strict top-down supply chain that is bought in bulk for every restaurant. The same chicken or beef that is used in California is bought here to assure quality and consistency. Every part of the operation is specially designed by the founder, Young Lee, to keep his commitment to his customer’s health.

Even the custom-made grill. Seriously.

“Operationally, the grill that we use is specially made, manufactured and designed for Flame Broiler,” explains Kevin Manquen. “It’s a different type of grill so you can get a good char on the meat, it gives us the flavor that we’re looking for.”

The mission of Flame Broiler is bringing a healthy alternative to fast food, and it appears the Manquens are well on their way to introducing that to Tempe.

Julianne Davis Hired as Media and Program Development Director

Posted on | March 9, 2017 | No Comments

Juls portrait

TEMPE, Ariz. – The Tempe Chamber of Commerce is pleased to welcome Julianne Davis as its Media and Program Development Director. Davis brings over twenty years of marketing and public relations experience to the Chamber. In her new role at the Tempe Chamber, Davis will function as the Chamber’s events and programs developer, coordinating and supporting Chamber programs, as well as directing Chamber communications, publicity, and social media.

 

“Davis has a strong background in creative and technical leadership. I feel she will be a strong asset to the Tempe business community,” says Anne Gill, Tempe Chamber President/CEO. “We are excited to have Davis join our team and look forward to her bringing an innovative approach and new strategic ideas to the Chamber.”

 

Davis comes to the Tempe Chamber from the Maricopa Community College District, where she worked for nearly 6 years — most recently as their Web Marketing Coordinator for Scottsdale Community College. Previously, she was the Director of Public Relations for Mesa United Way.

 

Chamber members can reach Davis at (480) 736-4283 or julianne@tempechamber.org.

Tempe Chamber’s Military Committee Honors Airman

Posted on | February 24, 2017 | No Comments

Photos and story by Chris Samuels, Tempe Chamber of Commerce

Staff Sgt. Allen J. Long stands at attention during the playing of the national anthem at the presentation of the Graydon Williams Award at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017.

Staff Sgt. Allen J. Long stands at attention during the playing of the national anthem at the presentation of the Graydon Williams Award at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017.

 

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. – In a ceremony honoring the bravery and service of a former airman of the 944th Fighter Wing, the Tempe Chamber of Commerce bestowed the honor to another of the base’s best.

Staff Sgt. Allen J. Long, a low observable aircraft structural technician tasked with testing the Air Force’s newest hardware, the F-35 Lightning II, was awarded with the Graydon Williams Award Wednesday. The honor is bestowed annually by the Tempe Chamber of Commerce’s Military Affairs Committee.

The commanding officer of the 944th Fighter Wing, Col. Kurt Gallegos, praised Long for his expertise in stealth technology and the benefit he has made to the unit.

“[Staff Sgt. Long] has basically set the ground work for Lockheed-Martin, doing tests on our F-35 aircraft,” Gallegos said. “He’s training the Lockheed-Martin guys on how to do low observable, because he’s done that in a prior job with the F-22s. It’s nice to have him be a part of our team. He’s experienced, and his background is invaluable.”

Col. Kurt Gallegos speaks during the presentation of the Graydon Williams Award at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017.

Col. Kurt Gallegos speaks during the presentation of the Graydon Williams Award at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017.

Low observable aircraft refers to planes that the US military uses that have low-to-invisible radar signatures. A low observable aircraft structural technician installs and maintains the metals used to create the stealth feature of the aircraft, according to the US Air Force’s website.

Cliff Jones, the chairman of the Chamber’s Military Action Committee, praised Long and the mission that members of the military undertake.

“Staff Sgt. Long represents why we have the Military Affairs Committee,” Jones said. “The military has extensive challenges around the globe defending freedom and providing safety to the extend that we can recognize outstanding military personnel like Long. It’s our honor to do that.”

The Graydon Williams Award was named after Tech. Sgt. Williams, who was an Air Reserve technician for the fighter wing and served in the Air Force for over 20 years. He joined the 944th in 1987 until his death in 1995.

Staff Sgt. Allen J. Long, originally from Texas, enlisted in the Air Force in 2007 and began his service at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. He was transferred to Luke in February 2016 after being trained in low observable aircraft structural maintenance with the 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri.

Staff Sgt. Allen J. Long stands as he is mentioned at the presentation of the Graydon Williams Award at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017.

Staff Sgt. Allen J. Long stands as he is mentioned at the presentation of the Graydon Williams Award at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017.

Of the award, Long called it a “privilege” to be presented with the accolade. Long was particularly proud of the work that was being done at the base.

“I feel like we’re the stepping stones for the future Air Reserve technicians that are coming in,” he said. “We’re working out the kinks and setting them up for success.”

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-professional-organizer

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.

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