Tempe Chamber Of Commerce

Your Success Is Our Business

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

IT Infrastructure – What’s Coming? Your Common Questions Answered

Posted on | March 13, 2015 | No Comments

A recent article from IT World Canada reveals some coming IT trends to be aware of.

  • By 2016, 65% of global competitive strategies will require real-time 3rd Platform IT-as-a–Service (ITaaS).
  • By 2016, security will be a top 3 business priority for 70% of CEOs of global enterprises.
  • By 2016, 80% of CIOs will deliver a new architectural framework that enables innovation and improved business decision making.
  • By 2016, 80% of CIOs will accelerate 3rd Platform migration to counter premature obsolescence of current IT assets.
  • By 2018, 30% of CIOs of global organizations will have rolled out a pan-enterprise data and analytics strategy.
  • By 2017, 35% of vendor sourcing relationships around 3rd Platform technologies will fail, causing CIOs to roll out new sourcing processes.
  • By 2018, 50% of CIOs will relinquish IT’s traditional mode of technology control in favor of an open standards-based framework.
  • By 2020, 60% of CIOs in global organizations will be supplanted by the Chief Digital Officer (CDO) for the delivery of IT-enabled products and digital services.
IT Challenges

IT Challenges


That’s a lot to consider. We understand that owning and managing a business of any size is challenging.

Among other tasks, you’re faced with legal, finance, accounting, HR, operations and customer service decisions on a daily basis. It can be a strain to add even more responsibilities to the workload.

Unfortunately, as the business world becomes more dependent upon information and telecommunication technology, owners and managers are faced with unavoidable new challenges. Today, it is not possible to be in business without being able to communicate, process payments and store records electronically.

If not handled properly, the consequences could be devastating. We’re going to help.

Many business owners and managers don’t have the time to keep up with IT changes and learn about cloud technology, backup, security, redundancy, and a myriad of other issues.

This is why the Tempe Chamber is hosting a workshop that will take the mystery out of IT and discuss common solutions to problems that you face concerning storing, sharing, and protecting data in cyberspace.

It covers the basics that every business owner and manager needs to know. The 90 minute luncheon workshop takes place on Thursday, March 19 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Tempe Mission Palms. For more information or to register, visit here.

Thanks to Nigel Brooks of TechKnow Partners for providing content for this article.

7 Tips to Improve Your People Schmoozing Skills

Posted on | March 13, 2015 | No Comments

Dave Sherman presented “The Art of the Schmooze” training  at a workshop hosted by the Tempe Chamber of Commerce. The program provided an hour of valuable information about how to make every personal encounter and networking mixer work to your advantage.

Dave Sherman at the Lunchtime Learning Forum

Dave Sherman at the Lunchtime Learning Forum

Some of the top tips he shared are listed below. If you weren’t able to make the presentation, these will help you to maximize your networking skill set through the art of schmoozing.



  1. Be likeable. Listen more than you speak. Be genuine, vulnerable and real. Learn how to build on a conversation.
  1. Create commonality. Talk about things like your hometown, kids, hobbies and interests. Unless you’re an astronaut, your career is less interesting than you think and talking about it will not build commonality.
  1. Overcome your fear of rejection. Everyone at a networking event is there to meet people. No one is going to shun your greeting.
  1. Make the first contact. Waiting for people to approach you is less effective than introducing yourself to others.
  1. When people ask, “What do you do?” they are really asking, “What do you do that will benefit me?” Tell them.
  1. If you’re looking for something specific, say so. For example, “I’m looking for a contact at the Arizona Diamondbacks. Who do you know there?” Chances are you’ll find someone who can facilitate a connection through themselves or a third party.
  1. Follow up. Schmoozing without following up is fun but pointless for your business. Give a call to the people you met. More importantly, return phone calls and reply to emails.

This event was part of the Tempe Chamber of Commerce’s Lunchtime Learning Forum which takes place every month. By attending, guests increase their personal net worth and bring valuable skills back to their company. Visit www.tempechamber.org to see what the upcoming sessions will teach you. All content is offered based on requests and feedback from the business community, ensuring the programs are tailored to the specific needs of organizations like yours.

About Dave:

Dave Sherman is a professional business coach, corporate trainer and motivational speaker with 25 years of experience. Before becoming a speaker and trainer, Dave was an award winning retail business owner. He is the author of three best-selling books on the topic of networking and has worked with American Express, Southwest Airlines, Toyota, Raytheon, Northwestern Mutual, Wells Fargo and many more.

Tempe Chamber Leads Groups Growing Businesses, Profits

Posted on | March 12, 2015 | No Comments

Leads Groups Make Connections

Leads Groups Make Connections

The Tempe Chamber of Commerce has carefully developed three leads groups that have proven to be a formula for success. The group members advocate and promote other members while passing qualified business leads to one another.

The Coffee Connection leads groups are growing and ready to accept new members in a wide variety of categories. Participants will meet reliable companies, build a network of corporate connections, boost visibility, educate others about their services and, ultimately, increase sales.

To ensure maximum ROI, membership in the group is limited to one person or business per category. A prospective member may be placed on a waiting list if his/her business category is full. Membership is just $50 for a full year of structured monthly meetings and additional informal mixers.

Three groups exist to best serve a variety of time commitments.

  • Group 1 meets on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays from 7:30 – 8 a.m. at Arizona Bank & Trust, 980 E. Baseline Rd. in Tempe.
  • Group 2 meets on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays from 8 – 9 a.m. at Special Moments Catering, 7425 S. Harl Ave., Ste. 2 in Tempe.
  • Group 3 meets on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays from 1:30  to 2:30 p.m. at Club E, 1011 S. McClintock Dr. in Tempe.

See what groups are ready for new members in the Industry Checklist found here.

To join a group call 480-967-7891 or email info@tempechamber.org

Coffee Connection

Coffee Connection

Mike Jennings Receives Outstanding Community Leader Award

Posted on | March 10, 2015 | No Comments

Mike Jennings

Mike Jennings

Tempe Leadership presented its highest honor, the Outstanding Community Leader Award, to Mike Jennings at the Tempe Chamber of Commerce’s Beacon Awards on Feb. 26.

The award is an annual distinction awarded to Tempe Leadership graduates that have displayed outstanding leadership in the Tempe community.

Jennings is the owner of Campus Corner. He served for five years as a member of the Tempe Leadership board, actively participating in many committees, including Tempe Cares and Tempe Youth Leadership. He served for six years on the board of the Tempe Community Council. He has been a coach for the Tempe Rio Salado Little League and is a long-time member of the Kiwanis Club of Tempe, as well as a leader/mentor for Tempe High School’s Key Club and New Pathways for Youth

He serves on the Downtown Tempe Board of Directors, working to positively impact and drive the future of our city’s urban center. He recently joined the board of directors for Tempe Neighbors Helping Neighbors. Jennings is a graduate of Tempe Leadership Class XXIII and is a dedicated volunteer to the program.

Learn about Tempe Leadership

APS and Good Works Auto Repair Receive Business Excellence Awards

Posted on | March 6, 2015 | No Comments

The Tempe Chamber of Commerce presented two companies with its Business Excellence Award for 2015.

Good Works Auto Repair was named the Small Business of the Year.

APS was named the Large Business of the Year.

The companies have a proven record of success and growth, community involvement, dedication to employees, leadership, reliability and commitment to customer service.

Good Works Auto Repair

Good Works Auto Repair

Good Works Auto Repair:

  • The auto repair shop was opened in 2004 by husband and wife team Glen and RaeAnn Hayward and co-owner Nathan Merrill.
  • It is only one of two non-dealer locations in Arizona that works on hybrid vehicle battery systems.
  • Its mechanics donate hundreds of hours every year repairing vehicles for single mothers at no cost.
  • It recently expanded by adding an additional 4,000 square feet and four more vehicle lifts.






  • Arizona Public Service is the state’s largest and oldest electric company, serving 1.2 million people.
  • It was founded in 1886 by Japanese immigrant Hochiro Onuki on his way to start silver mining in Tombstone.
  • It has been a leader in the development of solar generation for more than 50 years.
  • It is the state’s largest taxpayer and has increased shareholder value by $3.7 billion in five years.

“The Business Excellence Awards recognize outstanding businesses in our community,” said Mary Ann Miller, President/CEO of the Tempe Chamber. “Good Works Auto Repair and APS are amazing companies dedicated to their customers, their staffs and the community. We are proud they’re part of the Tempe Chamber, and we celebrate their continued success.”

The awards were presented on Feb. 26 at the Beacon Awards held at the Embassy Suites in Tempe.

The other finalists for the Business Excellence Awards were: here on the corner, University Animal Hospital, JE Dunn Construction and TruWest Credit Union.

keep looking »
  • Tempe Chamber Website

  • About

    Our mission is to build an environment that enhances the economic vitality of our membership. We’ve always stayed true to this goal and to our commitment that “Your Success Is Our Business.”
  • Archives

  • Additional Resources


    • No Blogroll Links

    Social Media Project

    • No Blogroll Links