Working Together Locally: Farmer+Chef Connection

Farmer-Chef-sThe Local First Arizona Foundation and its partners will present the Arizona Farmer+Chef Connection Wednesday, September 16. The event brings together local food producers and wholesale food buyers at restaurants, hotels, etc. from across the state, and aims to build wholesale food networks at the local level.

The cornerstone of the event is the Suppliers’ Marketplace, an all-day vendor fair featuring the best local food products Arizona has to offer. Producers, distributors and value added processors line up with displays and samples of their products, and wholesale information. Meet Arizona producers to learn what is and will be in season, and set up future procurement relationships.

This year’s Breakout Sessions will occur in tandem with the Suppliers’ Marketplace, offering attendees a customizable experience. Sessions and panels will cover a diverse array of topics important to building up local food supply chains and establishing successful farm to table relationships. With a heavy focus on industry tools and skills, Farmer+Chef breakouts will equip attendees with a new toolkit, and prepare them for success in the Suppliers’ Marketplace.

Close out the day with a reception for attendees that features locally sourced appetizers and Arizona wine and beer. The end-of-day reception will run 5-7pm.

The 2015 Farmer + Chef Connection will be held beginning at 12pm, at the Tucson Convention Center, 260 South Church Avenue. For more information, visit www.localfirstazfoundation.org/azfarmerchef.

Boutique Air Begins Phoenix To Show Low Service

boutique-airBoutique Air announced that it will be initiating service between Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) and Show Low Regional Airport (SOW) beginning August 1. The airline was recently awarded the Essential Air Service contract to provide service between the two communities after receiving strong support from local leadership and the broader community.

“We are excited to bring Boutique Air service to Show Low and Phoenix,” says CEO Shawn Simpson. “Our focus on customer service and reliability has resulted in strong demand for our service in other markets, and we look forward to creating the same success story in the community of Show Low.”

Fares will start at $59 for the life of the contract. The initial schedule will feature 12 weekly roundtrip flights between Phoenix and Show Low during off-peak months (January – April), and 18 weekly roundtrip flights during peak months (May – December).

The schedule can be found online at www.boutiqueair.com.

Boutique Air operates a modern fleet of Swissmade Pilatus PC12 aircraft. With amenities designed to make the flying experience as comfortable as it gets, the PC12 features large leather seats in an executive configuration, power outlets, pressurized cabin, enclosed lavatory and a top speed of 270 mph.

Boutique Air is an FAA-certified air carrier providing both air charter and scheduled service. The airline currently services routes in New Mexico, Texas, Colorado and Nebraska, with scheduled service beginning in Arizona, California and Nevada. Reservations can be made online now by visiting www.boutiqueair.com or by phone at 855.268.8478.

BALLE 2015 Injects New Energy Into Localist Movement

– By Kathryn M. Miller

An enthusiastic crowd officially kicked off the BALLE 2015 Conference the evening of June 10 at the majestic Orpheum Theatre in Downtown Phoenix, led by the Valley’s own localist rock star, Kimber Lanning of Local First Arizona (www.localfirstaz.com).

Although the conference was well underway with local tours and an opening Vision Session, the Phoenix Sparks event at the Orpheum truly set the stage for the remainder of this week’s activities.

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton welcomed conference goers from Arizona and around the country saying, “What Local First Arizona does for Phoenix makes it a stronger city, what you do in your respective cities as passionate localists makes your community stronger and therefore, we are a stronger country because of the work that you do.”

The mayor continued, “Our economy is stronger when we are supporting the health and prosperity and happiness of our local businesses, community leaders and our local organizations.”

And the line-up of Phoenix Sparks speakers went on to underline the mayor’s point.

Speakers included Angela Hughey, ONE Community; Kade Twist, Postcommodity; Oye Waddell, Hustle PHX; Joe Larios, Center for Neighborhood Leadership; Silvana Salcido Esparza, Barrio Cafe; Miguel Jardine, The Local Soil Company; Ann Morton, Artist/Social Practitioner; Joe Johnston, Agritopia; Heidi Jannenga, Web PT; Maynard James Keenan, Caduceus Cellars & Merkin Vineyards. Each provided inspiration and the story of their own localist path and shared how their respective businesses and organizations are making an impact within local communities.

BALLE events picked up again this morning and continue into the afternoon with Conference Tracks on a variety of topics ranging from Community Capital and Local First to Soil & Nature and more, followed by and evening Party in the Park at Civic Space Park and after-hours at Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour – with more of the same tomorrow. The week of events wraps on Saturday with the final two tours of the 2015 BALLE Conference: Arcosanti Tour and Revitalizing Mainstreet in Rural Arizona Tour.

BALLE (Business Alliance for Local Living Economies) was founded in 2001 to nurture and curate the emergence of a new economy – one that will support the health, prosperity and happiness for all people and regenerate the vital ecosystems upon which our economy depends. Learn more at www.bealocalist.org.

Tech Company Boomtown! Expands To North Scottsdale

– By Taylor Bahrijczuk 

A tech company, BoomTown! out of San Francisco, California, has expanded its business to North Scottsdale.

“We’ve seen a constant increase in demand for our support services,” said Tyler Gerber, Head of Online Marketing and co-founder, in an email interview, as he was at a conference in Las Vegas. “We’re currently servicing hundreds of support calls a week and therefore hiring new support engineers to keep up with that demand.”

According to an April 1 BoomTown! press release, “BoomTown! fixes everyday merchant technology problems in real time, providing on-demand installation and support of in-store technology, resulting in reduced costs, increased revenue and the prevention of lost sales.”

BoomTown! aims to enhance the nature between businesses and successful technology on a national level.

The goal of the company is to “create a fast, easy and affordable way for businesses to put their technology concerns behind them,” according to the press release. “BoomTown! works with the best and most innovative merchant technology providers in the country. Developing close working relationships with partners allows BoomTown! to deliver an unparalleled support experience to its merchants.”

This company manages its tech support through the BoomTown! app.

Paul Wyer, BoomTown! Head of Operations and co-founder, commented on the reasoning for expanding business to Scottsdale in the press release.

“I’ve met some really talented people in the Valley that wish they had similar ‘bay start-up opportunities’ and they felt like they had to move to California to get access to those kinds of jobs,” Wyer said in a prepared statement. “I want to keep Arizona talent in Arizona, so we decided to build-out our BoomTown operations team here. It’s a ripe location for start-up growth and we get access to eager and technically talented candidates from Valley-based universities and companies,” he said.

Wyer is based out of Scottsdale, which has an extensive IT network and includes a great force of IT professionals, according to Gerber. However, this wasn’t the only reason BoomTown! decided to expand to Scottsdale.

“There’s been an influx of tech companies and innovative start-ups moving to the area because there is so much talent in the greater Scottsdale/Phoenix area,” Gerber said.

BoomTown! recognized the potential Scottsdale has as a city and all that it has to offer on a technological basis.

“I’m glad to learn that BoomTown! has chosen to expand its operations to Scottsdale,” Scottsdale Mayor W.J. “Jim” Lane said in the press release. “We believe our community is a natural fit for vibrant companies who value quality of life as much as the bottom-line.”

Gerber also commented on the proximity to Arizona State University.

“We feel there is a correlation between being close to a university or educational institution and an overall acceptance on new technology,” Gerber said. “Much of the innovative products and companies in the last decade were founded on or around college campuses.”

Gerber also added that although students don’t really benefit from the BoomTown! app directly, the company does employ students who are completing courses at technical schools and universities nationwide, according to Gerber. This would include those students at ASU who are interested in working with the company.

According to Gerber, the San Francisco location is home to the departments of engineering, development and growth, while the Scottsdale location will serve as home base for support teams.

“We do have over 400 contracted technicians across the top 200 statistical areas in the U.S. that have been trained and certified by BoomTown!” Gerber said. “These technicians (we call them the BoomTown Brigade) are very much like Uber drivers and go onsite to fix issues on location for our customers.”

BoomTown! has been hiring new a new support engineer almost every week and continues to do so throughout the summer months, according to Gerber.

“There is a ton of talent in the greater Scottsdale area so we are looking forward to capitalizing on that and growing our team there,” Gerber said.

Gerber said that new features might be expected come summer, but BoomTown! is simply hoping that business owners will think of BoomTown! support first when experiencing any type of technical dilemma.


 

Taylor Bahrijczuk is a student at the Arizona State University Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Reach the reporter at taylor.bahrijczuk@asu.edu.

What’s Working Locally – Small Business Resources

If starting and running a small business is your vision of “The American Dream,” then Arizona, and the Valley in particular, is a good place to be.

In honor of National Small Business Week, May 4-8, we’ve put together some local resources to assist with the start up and running of a small business.

Both the City of Phoenix and the City of Scottsdale offer resources for those wishing to start or who need help with a small business. Resources are available online at www.phoenix.gov/econdev/entrepreneur, www.phoenix.gov/econdev/small-business and www.scottsdaleaz.gov/business/startups. Beyond a wealth of books and digital information, Scottsdale Public Library offers classes and workspace (www.scottsdalelibrary.org), as does Hive at Burton Barr Central Library (www.phoenixpubliclibrary.org/hive). Hive @ Central was developed in partnership with ASU Entrepreneurship & Innovation Group, City of Phoenix Community & Economic Development Department and Phoenix Public Library.
The space is part of the Alexandria Network, bringing together inventors, problem-solvers, entrepreneurs and small businesses in collaboration spaces in community libraries across Arizona.

Additional assistance can be found through organizations such as the Arizona Small Business Development Centers (www.azsbdc.net), a partnership that includes eight of the state’s community college districts, and the U. S. Small Business Administration www.sba.gov; and SCORE (Service Corps for Retired Executives), which offers free advice and mentorship from business professionals for individuals at every stage of business – www.score.org.

Upcoming Events

The Arizona Small Business Association will host AZ Small BizCon 15 May 19-20 at the Renaissance Glendale Hotel & Spa. Join ASBA and Arizona’s small business community for two days of relevant educational sessions, valuable mentoring and effective business networking.. For details, visit www.asba.com.

The 13th annual BALLE (Business Alliance of Local Living Economies) Conference will be held in Phoenix June 10-12. The BALLE Conference is a three-day event that explores how locally rooted economic systems solve environmental, financial, and social problems. Hundreds of local business leaders, social entrepreneurs, community funders, policymakers and local economy leaders of all kinds from across North America and beyond are expected to attend this year’s BALLE Conference. For information, visit http://bealocalist.org/conference.

Find additional information at www.azcommerce.com/start-up.

Read our May cover story “What’s Working Locally – Innovative, independent entrepreneurship in the Valley” online now.

Scottsdale Lincoln Health Network Now HonorHealth

HonorHealth, both a name and a call to action, is the new name and brand for Scottsdale Lincoln Health Network.

“At HonorHealth, we’re all about making healthy personal with a focus on our patients – when they’re healthy and when they’re not,” says CEO Tom Sadvary. “We’re honored to put them at the center of everything we do. We’re also transforming healthcare by making it simpler and more accessible.”

HonorHealth was created with the affiliation and subsequent merger of John C. Lincoln Health Network and Scottsdale Healthcare. The new brand and name honor the legacy of those health systems. For more information, visit www.honorhealth.com.

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