Awards and Accolades
1. The Sundt Foundation has added three to its board of directors. Tom Camden, Sacramento, is the president for the coming year. Randy Rusing, Tucson, and Andrew Apostolik, Phoenix, were elected to three-year terms on the board. Kathy Abernathy is the board’s administrator.
2. The Arizona Republic has published its 2013 Who’s Who in Business directory listing the ten largest firms in architecture, commercial construction and developers, and commercial services. The articles call out the highest ranking professional in the firms and the highest ranked woman in each. SmithGroupJJR topped the list for architects; McCarthy Building Cos. for commercial contractors; Vestar for CRE developers; and CBRE for CRE services.
3. Katie Watson-Cruz of Kinetic Systems, Inc., a trustee for the Arizona Chapter of the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association, has been appointed to the International Training Institute (ITI) Facilities Maintenance Task Force. The SMACNA national task force is charged with developing a comprehensive curriculum to correspond with the facilities maintenance industry.
4. AZBEX Senior Correspondent, Eric Jay Toll, penned the cover story, Start-ups & Entrepreneurs: Are These the ‘Big Bang’ of Big Business?, for July’s Greater Phoenix In Business magazine. The article looks at the reasons the Phoenix market is the national leader in new entrepreneurs. The feature is the second of two by Toll. A story on the end of the Valley’s technology drought appeared in the June edition.
5. Local attorneys John Berry, Wendy Riddell and Ryan Rosensteel formed Berry Riddell & Rosensteel, a boutique real-estate law firm in Scottsdale. Practicing a full array of real estate services, Berry and Riddell are focused on planning and zoning. Rosensteel’s specialties are in real estate, business and construction transactions. The partners are joined by attorneys Anthony Grafitti, Todd Hall and Ed Tybor, who are real estate transaction and construction specialists.
6. CPE Estimating LLC is now covering the entire Valley with the opening of a new office in Glendale. CPE’s new digs will provide estimating services in the West Valley. CPE’s main office remains in Scottsdale.
7. Peter Knudson is Dibble Engineering’s new senior project manager for their Airport Infrastructure Practice. Peter brings over 27 years of engineering design experience and management of public works projects including airports, roadway, bridge, drainage, water and wastewater.
8. Bart J. Page is Perkins Coie’s senior counsel in Real Estate & Land Use Practice. Page’s focus on real estate development and financing is his return to former associates at Brown & Bain—a firm that was merged into Perkins Coie. He is also a specialist in construction and engineering agreement.
9. Sharon Cinadr joined Plaza Companies as senior portfolio manager and will initially be managing eight properties consisting of approximately 365KSF of medical office and commercial office space. Cinadr comes to Plaza with more than 25 years of experience in all aspects of commercial real estate.
10. Jackie Keller is the new landscape architect/urban designer for the city of Avondale. With 20 years experience in the Southwest, Keller joins the city to work on enhancement projects, landscape and visual resource inventories and construction management.
11. The city of Maricopa has filled its assistant city manager position from within its ranks, only to lose its city manager to the same role in Glendale. July 2, the West Valley city council announced that it selected Brenda Fischer to assume the position there effective July 22. Fischer was the only candidate remaining from a national search that narrowed the field to eight potential managers. That group dropped to four for final interviews. The council was looking at Fischer and another candidate, when the latter dropped out. They newly elected council went with Fischer. A week earlier, Maricopa city finance director Tom Duesing was appointed to the permanent assistant city manager role by Fischer. Duesing took over on July 1.
12. Gilbert has narrowed its park and recreation director search to five candidates—including current directors in Scottsdale and Coconino County –and will be conducting final interviews and background checks over the next month to fill the position. The other three candidates are from Tracy, Calif.; Hamilton, Ohio; and Nashville, Tenn. The position has been vacant since the former director was fired in March 2012.
13. Mesa District 5 Councilwoman Dina Higgins, business development manager with Servern Trent Services, announced her resignation from Mesa’s city council, effective August 15. Councilwoman Higgins joined the Council in 2008 and was re-elected in 2010. She was a member of the “Class of 2008,” which brought major changes to Mesa moving it through financial crises and into a renaissance with light rail, a new ballpark for the Cubs, the relocation of the A’s, and major economic development wins. Higgins said that increased responsibility with her full time job was undermining her ability to effectively serve the city. The city will announce how her seat is to be refilled after its summer recess.