Tempe Business Leader Mike Jennings honored as Outstanding Community Leader

Mike Jennings

Mike JenningsTempe Leadership, the non-profit leadership program through the Tempe Chamber of Commerce, is honoring Mike Jennings, local Tempe business leader and Tempe Leadership alumni, as the 2015 Outstanding Community Leader at the annual Tempe Chamber Beacon Awards at 7:30 a.m. February 26, at the Embassy Suites.

Mike, who owns and operates two Campus Corner retail stores in Tempe, has provided support and leadership to various organizations, equal to hundreds of volunteer hours in support of Tempe.  He was a part of Tempe Leadership Class 23, helping to achieve the Change for Change project that installed non-profit collection meters on Mill Avenue for donations to support homeless service agencies. Mike also served for six years as a member of the Tempe Leadership Board of Directors, where he actively participated in several committees, including Tempe Cares and Tempe Youth Leadership.  Mike continues to serve on the Tempe Youth Leadership committee and has been a huge resource for our young people.

In the community, Mike served six years on the Board of Tempe Community Council, part of that time as treasurer. As a Tempe business leader, he has participated on the Downtown Tempe Authority Board of Directors for several years and is currently serving as a member of the Board of Directors for Tempe Neighbors Helping Neighbors. He is a past president, and long-time member, of Kiwanis Club of Tempe as well as serving on their board for several years.  He is an active leader/mentor for Tempe High School’s Key Club, a program supported by the Kiwanis.  Mike has also been a mentor for New Pathways for Youth.

Born in North Carolina, Mike grew up in Chicago but moved to Arizona in 199 after graduating from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. He is the proud father of Tyler, a junior at McClintock High School.

Tempe Leadership is excited to honor Mike for his service to the community and to Tempe Leadership at The Beacon Awards, presented by APS. The Tempe Chamber of Commerce will host this inaugural event that celebrates excellence in commerce and the community on Thursday, February 26, 2015 at the Embassy Suites Tempe from 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. The ceremony will also present this year’s Business Excellence Awards, The Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year and The Spirit of Tempe.

To attend the Beacon Awards where Jennings will be honored, please call 480.967.7891 or visit www.tempechamber.org.

Pat Warren to be Honored with Spirit of Tempe Award

Pat Warren

pat_warrenPat Warren will be presented with the Tempe Chamber of Commerce’s “Spirit of Tempe” Award at the 1st Annual Beacon Awards on Feb. 26 at the Embassy Suites Tempe.

The award recognizes lifetime achievements of service, dedication and contribution to the community and honors hard work and strong commitment to improving the quality of life in Tempe.

Shortly after relocating to Tempe in mid-1990s, Warren began her career at the Twin Palms hotel and was quickly promoted to General Manager. During her tenure, the hotel was a two-time finalist for the Tempe Chamber Business Excellence Award and Warren was named Tempe Chamber Business Woman of the Year in 2003.

There is little in Tempe that Warren hasn’t been a part of. She currently serves on the boards of Tempe Leadership, Tempe Tourism & Sports Authority, and is a Life Member of the Fiesta Bowl Committee.

Warren has represented Tempe on the national scene over the years by appearing on the PBS News Hour with Jim Lehrer in support of electing Harry Mitchell to Congress and representing Arizona in the Ms. Senior America Pageant in Atlantic City.

“To say that Pat is involved in the community is an understatement. She throws herself into any project where she is need because she truly loves Tempe. And to top it off, she is an incredible businesswoman,” said Mary Ann Miller, President and CEO of the Tempe Chamber of Commerce.

To attend the Beacon Awards where Warren will be honored, please call 480-967-7891 or visit www.tempechamber.org.

A New Election Pledge

In just a few days, early voting for the primary elections will begin. While we can see a blessed end to the incessant politicking, right now it’s just gearing up to hit a crescendo in the fall. Come November, I will no longer come home to nine voicemail messages from robodials (do people actually listen to those things?), I won’t have to wonder how I got on an e-mail list for someone running in Sierra Vista, and my mailbox will once again be blissfully empty.

And I’m a political junkie.

Trust me, there are few people who enjoy a political and philosophical discussion more than I do. Pick a side, and I’ll take the opposite side, and through the discussion we’ll be able to flesh out our respective opinions and identify holes in arguments. But this constant attack mode is exhausting and drags everyone down in the mud. Is it any wonder that voter turnout is pitifully low?

And then there are my FaceBook “friends.” Good Lord, folks, do you teach your kids to talk that way? If you want to attach something that you support, good for you, but nothing hateful, please.

A lot has been made of the “pledge” to not raise taxes driven by Grover Norquist. I propose a new pledge for both voters and candidates:

• I pledge to believe that those who disagree with me are good people.
• I pledge to understand that someone who disagrees with me is not out to get me.
• I pledge not to judge soundbites, but to determine the full context of a statement.
• I pledge to acknowledge that just because you don’t support one candidate (or congressman or president) it doesn’t mean you like his/her opponent/predecessor.
• I pledge to show respect to the office and whoever holds it, even though I may be working the other side of an issue.
• I pledge not to say anything about a candidate that I wouldn’t want said about my mother or child.
• I pledge not to use “the other candidate started it” as an excuse for my own behavior.
• I pledge not to do anything I berated another administration or candidate for doing.
• I pledge to recognize the difference between flip-flopping and having a reasoned change of opinion based on information and experience.
• I pledge to acknowledge that compromise does not mean having everyone agree with you, and that voting with another party takes courage and is not caving.
• I pledge to realize that legislation is often so complex that there are multiple understandable reasons to oppose it.
• I pledge to prove wrong the people who say that going negative works.

I’ll be the first to sign.

Mary Ann Miller
President/CEO, Tempe Chamber of Commerce

Tempe Chamber Welcomes New Members to Board of Directors

The Tempe Chamber of Commerce is pleased to welcome the following five individuals to its 2012-13 Board of Directors. They will be honored at our July 13 Annual Luncheon. They are Joe Hughes, Kelly Lorenzen, Mary Palomino. Aqeel Shahid and Brian Wood. Please read more below to learn about these exciting new additions to our leadership.

Joe Hughes
Joe Hughes comes to US Airways with a strong background in lobbying at the federal, state and city levels of government and on a range of issues from construction to transportation. Before joining US Airways, Hughes held a number of positions in government affairs, the most recent being the State Director for GoRail, an organization created to support transportation solutions that include rail. His experience includes positions as Vice President of Public Affairs for the Associated General Contractors, Government Relations Coordinator for the Town of Gilbert and several years as a City Councilman and Vice-Mayor for the City of Safford. Hughes is a graduate of Northern Arizona University and holds a bachelor’s degree in political science.

Kelly Lorenzen
Kelly Lorenzen is the Director of Business Development and Managing Editor of Social Media at Morrison Vein Institute, a world renowned medical practice specializing in vein disorders. She is the proud wife of a Phoenix firefighter and the mother of two children. Since joining Morrison Vein Institute in 2009, Lorenzen has implemented a flourishing marketing strategy, helping grow the practice by 10% per year. She also promotes public awareness about vein health to local, national and international communities. Lorenzen received her bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University, and prior to joining Morrison Vein Institute, she owned and operated a successful real estate practice. She has been an active member of the Tempe Chamber of Commerce for over five years and has served as chair of the Women in Business Council and Small Business Council. She is currently serving as Chair of the Business Owners Forum.

Mary Palomino
Mary Palomino is a Senior Key Account Manager at SRP, working with high energy usage customers in the telecom and warehouse/distribution segments. She graduated from Arizona State University with degrees in liberal arts and secondary education. Palomino, who has lived in Tempe for the last 35 years, has seen Tempe evolve from a small agricultural and college town to a thriving, vibrant city. As part of Tempe Leadership Class XXIV, she is aware of the city’s functions and the many organizations that work together to meet its diverse needs. Palomino volunteers for many SRP community projects and as a loan executive for the United Way. She is also a member of SRP’s Booster Club, which solicits donations from SRP employees, which are distributed to human and health services agencies in the Valley. She is married and has five children and four grandchildren.

Aqeel Shahid
Aqeel Shahid has resided in Arizona for 18 years. He attended Arizona State University where he earned his undergraduate degree in marketing and his MBA in technology management. During his time at ASU, he was the president of an international student association and also was the Vice President of Marketing for the Business College Council. He is still an active member of the ASU Alumni Association and an avid supporter of the Sun Devils. As a student, he also worked as an intern for Sprint selling telecommunications services to businesses in Tempe. Following graduation, he was offered a full-time position as an account executive for Sprint and was later promoted to Data Sales Manager where he managed and supported their business-to-business sales teams. Shahid then moved to Eschelon Telecom/Integra Telecom where he spent over six years as a Senior Sales Manager. In February of 2008, he joined Telesphere and is currently General Manager of the Arizona market. He has won numerous awards in sales including being a part of the “Presidents Club” for several years in his career. During his career, he has been very involved in the business community and has worked closely with business owners and executives in recommending communications solutions that have been critical to the success of their organizations. He has volunteered at several local charities, including the Habitat for Humanity and the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.

Brian Wood
Brian Wood has been employed with Waste Management for nine years and is currently the director of operations for Arizona. Prior to joining Waste Management, Wood worked in various operational leadership positions with American Airlines for 14 years. He is a board member with The Partnership for a Drug Free America (Arizona affiliate), Mesa Arts Center Foundation and Valley Leadership. Additional community involvement includes working as a mentor with Phoenix At-Risk Youth. A graduate of William Paterson University, New Jersey, where he earned a bachelor’s in communications, he enjoys spending time with his wife Vivian and children Taylor and Isaiah.

Learn to Land Big Sales at Chamber Procurement Workshop

Everybody wants the big contract, but learning how to secure it can be a daunting task. The Tempe Chamber of Commerce, always looking for new ways to help our members grow and succeed, is offering the “Doing Business With” Series to teach attendees how to work with some of the largest institutions in the state.

During this event, attendees will learn how to provide services and products to the State of Arizona; the City of Tempe; Arizona State University; and Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

Learn how the bid and RFP processes work, how you can be included in them, who to talk to, best practices for securing contracts and more. The half-day workshop is broken into four 45-minute sessions, each featuring a representative from the purchasing or contracting departments of each institution. Presentations will include Q&A and practical advice and procedures for getting more business for your company.

The “Doing Business With” Series will take place April 18, 8 a.m. to noon, at the Four Points by Sheraton Tempe, 1333 S. Rural Rd., in the conference room adjacent to the Tempe Chamber of Commerce.

The cost of the program is $20 for members and $30 for the general public. Interested guests may learn more or RSVP at www.tempechamber.org or (480) 967-7891.

8:00 – Registration and Breakfast
8:10 – Welcome by Tempe Chamber and Four Points by Sheraton
8:15 – 9:00 – City of Tempe –  Michael Green, Procurement Administrator for the City of Tempe
9:15 – 10:00 – State of Arizona – Ms. Susan Bayer, Strategic Contract Manager for the State of Arizona
10:15 – 11:00 – Sky Harbor International Airport – Valerie Churchwell, Community Outreach Manager
11:15 – 12:00 – ASU – John Riley, Executive Director of Purchasing for ASU

Children’s Dental Village and Four Peaks Brewing Company Receive Tempe Chamber’s 2012 Business Excellence Awards


The Tempe Chamber of Commerce presented Children’s Dental Village and Four Peaks Brewing Company with the 2012 Business Excellence Awards at the 15th annual Breakfast for Chamber Champions held today at the Fiesta Resort Conference Center.

“The Business Excellence Awards recognize outstanding businesses in our community,” said Mary Ann Miller, President/CEO of the Tempe Chamber. “Both Children’s Dental Village and Four Peaks Brewing Company are amazing companies dedicated to their customers and their staffs. We are proud they’re part of the Tempe Chamber, and we celebrate their continued success.”

Recipients must demonstrate a record of business success and growth, community involvement, dedication to employees, leadership, reliability and commitment to customer service.

Children’s Dental Village has been providing dental and orthodontic services for children and teens since 1973. It started out with only two dental chairs, one office manager and one dental assistant when it was established by Dr. Alan Longfellow. By applying the best practices of successful corporations to the small entrepreneurial business of children’s dentistry and implementing new ideas, techniques and technology it has grown to more than quadruple its original office size and now employs 22 people.

Children’s Dental Village also is well known for its volunteer projects. The staff donates their services and supplies during Dentistry from the Heart Day, providing services to more than 40 children at no charge. In an ongoing relationship with the Tempe Elementary School District the team also provides dental treatment to children who have no avenues for quality care.

From the moment children walk through their very own kid-sized door and see the two-story playhouse they know that this is their place.

Four Peaks Brewing Company’s mission is to provide consistent, high quality beer, food and service in a community based atmosphere. Founded in 1996, this regional brewery and brewpub is among the largest and most recognized and respected breweries in Arizona. Enjoying double digit growth in sales and volume, today it brews over 72,000 kegs each year and owns and operates two restaurants in the Valley. Later this year, it will open a new brewery and tasting room in Tempe.

Local growth is the focus of Four Peaks, and all of its beer is distributed solely in Arizona. With bottled and canned beer, plus the standard and seasonal varieties on tap, it distributes to more than 2,200 accounts statewide. On the community level, the brewery is very active in many causes and its annual golf tournament raises $30,000 for local charities, including the Tempe Community Action Agency and the Arc of Tempe.

Driven to excel in customer service, the owners and staff strive to ensure that every patron’s experience is rewarding and refreshing.

The Tempe Chamber would also like to recognize the other five finalists: AlphaGraphics at Kyrene and Elliot, Assured Security Document Destruction/TCH, Friendship Village, Michael Pollack Real Estate Investments and The Santa Barbara Catering Company.

For photographs or contact information of the award recipients, please contact Sachiyo Ragsdale at sachiyo@tempechamber.org.

Tempe Chamber Endorses Monti for Mayor; Foreman, Granville, Woods for Council


A Message from Mary Ann Miller, President/CEO, Tempe Chamber of Commerce

Tempe is poised for change. Electing a new mayor and filling council seats this spring will shape Tempe’s ability to grow out of this economic downturn and remain a hub for jobs and education in the state. It will take elected officials with vision – who can look at the big picture, work with people with competing interests and make far-reaching decisions – to ensure Tempe’s place as an innovative, vibrant and enviable community.

We at the Tempe Chamber believe the best candidates to represent the business community are Michael Monti for Mayor, and Dick Foreman, Kolby Granville and Corey Woods for City Council.

Our endorsement process is not taken lightly. Candidates are directly interviewed on a variety of topics directly related to Chamber public policy. Campaign materials are studied, and incumbents’ past decisions are reviewed. Information is gathered from multiple trusted sources. Recommendations are discussed by three Chamber committees, with the final determination of endorsements being made by the Tempe Chamber Board of Directors.

It is our policy to endorse one candidate for every available seat. While other organizations may choose to endorse multiple people for a given position, you – the voters – do not have the luxury of voting for more than one person. Our endorsed candidates possess the qualities we believe are most necessary to further our economic prosperity.

Tempe’s primary election is Tuesday, March 13, and early voting begins Feb. 16. It’s never been easier to have a say in the future of our community, so be sure to take advantage of your right to vote.

And remember: Monti, Foreman, Granville and Woods. Sincerely, Mary Ann Miller President/CEO

Discover Cuba with the Tempe Chamber!


Embark on a once-in-a-lifetime journey to Cuba with a special offer through the Tempe Chamber of Commerce and Chamber Explorations. Chamber Explorations has been issued a license by the Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control, which authorizes registered guests of this program to visit Cuba legally. There are no applications to complete, and your travel with us is fully authorized.

This nine-day trip starts on August 23, 2012 and will take you from Miami to Havana, Cuba. Upon arrival at Jose Marti International Airport, we’ll meet our Cuban host, an experienced bilingual guide who will give us an orientation of Cuba’s capital city.

Some of the many sights you’ll see in Havana include the Cathedral de la Havana; the Museo Fine Arts; the beautiful Museo de la Revolucion that displays documents and artifacts telling the country’s history; La Marketa de Havana in Old Havana, a collective association of small craft workers where you will meet local merchants and artists; and much more.

During this trip, you will also enjoy Pinar Del Rio Vinales, Cienfuegos, Trinidad, Playa Giron/Bay of Pigs Museum, Hemingway’s Farm and so much more.

The trip includes roundtrip airfare from Phoenix; Cuban travel visa; eight nights of first class hotel accommodations; 19 meals; and more.

For complete details click here.

To register, contact Mary Ann Miller at (480) 967-7891 or maryann@tempechamber.org.

The Capitolio building in central Havana, built in 1929, was inspired by the United States Capitol building.

Speaker Series to Advance Personal, Professional Growth for Community


The Tempe Chamber and its Women in Business Council is pleased to present a powerful  speaker series that will guide participants on becoming leaders through positive transformation at work and at home.

Featuring four expert speakers on consecutive Fridays in late January and early February, the Charting Your Course – Your Compass to Personal and Professional Growth series aims to provide participants with the knowledge and skills to evolve into a  more valuable employee and a stronger, self-sufficient individual.

Complete course details for each session are below. The cost per session is $20 for members and $30 for the general public. Members can purchase a pass for the entire course for $60. Completing the entire course earns attendees personalized Charting Your Course certification.

See all the speakers here or read more below.


Jan. 20, 2012
“Living With Peace, Joy and Gratitude”
8 – 9:30 a.m.
Four Points by Sheraton Tempe
1333 S. Rural Rd.

Using humor, healing principles and examples from her new book, “Native Heart: The Seven Keys to Peace and Gratitude in Your Life,” Denise Alley will share insights, stories and powerful techniques to strengthen the mind, body and spirit, with gentle reminders to love yourself, let go of judgment and focus on the positive at the start of a new year!

Denise Alley (Cherokee, Shawnee, Oto, Delaware) from Oklahoma is a keynote speaker, workshop trainer, performer and author. She has more than 21 years of experience working with Native American tribes and has delighted audiences with her enthusiasm and genuine spirit. Alley provides workshops on customer service, team building, motivation, cultural awareness, spirituality and workplace wellness. She has been featured with Willie Nelson at Farm-Aid on television for PBS and cable networks and has been on “Native America Calling” radio.

Jan. 27, 2012
“Oceans of Possibility”
8 – 9:30 a.m.
Radisson Hotel Phoenix Airport
427 N. 44th St., Phoenix 

What happens when you cross the bay and see the ocean in front of you? The New Year is a little like that; filled with so much possibility, it can be overwhelming. In this session, you’ll explore and apply the ancient Celtic culture’s way to celebrate beauty, balance and the contradictions of the self. As you begin to chart your course for 2012, you’ll refresh your perspective and explore your style—your Personal JAZsm. This session is based upon Jan’s work as a presentation coach, author and motivator.   

Jan Whalen, MASL, is the founder and president of Personal JAZsm, a training and seminar company. She has created successful presentation and character building programs for young musicians, authors, executives and athletes. Whalen has a Master of Arts degree in servant leadership and a background in sales, public relations, education and community service. Her new book, “Rock Solid Confidence: Presenting Yourself with Assurance, Poise and Power,” takes readers from knowing what stands in their way of being confident through practical suggestions that prepare them for formal and informal presentations. Whalen has a unique talent for finding the “gold” in her clients, associates and friends.

Feb. 3, 2012
“Overcoming Adversity”
8 – 9:30 a.m.
Radisson Hotel Phoenix Airport
427 N. 44th St., Phoenix 

Having grown up in East Los Angeles, Calif., Dr. Erika Camacho understands many of the struggles that students must endure in striving to attain their academic and professional goals. Dr. Camacho will be sharing her life experiences and the challenges she had to overcome to help her achieve her personal and professional goals. She will share stories about the key individuals and decisions that contributed to her success and transformation. Camacho will also share her passion for social activism and continual drive to transform the world of academia and strengthen our communities.

Dr. Erika Camacho began mentoring students while attending Garfield High School, which was the subject of the movie “Stand and Deliver.” Camacho’s passion is to continue the work and legacy of her mentors, which include Jaime Escalante, to create opportunities for individuals from marginalized communities and make graduate education attainable to them through intensive research. She involves students in her own work, which is at the interface of mathematics and its applications to biology and sociology. Her leadership, scholarship and mentoring has won her national recognition from the Hispanic Women Corporation; Diverse: Issues in Higher Education; and the U.S. National Security Agency, with a citation for her work in mentoring and guiding undergraduates in research. Locally she has been recognized at Arizona State University as one of three recipients of the 2011 Faculty Women’s Association Outstanding Faculty Mentoring Award.

Feb. 10, 2012
“The Evolution of You”
8 – 9:30 a.m.
Radisson Hotel Phoenix Airport
427 N. 44th St., Phoenix 

Our life journey is so precious and swift, especially for working women that seem to have long “to do” lists and very little, if any, time for “celebrate you” lists! Join Dr. Jamise Liddell for a time of laughter and reflection as you contemplate the many changes, people and places in your life that continue to contribute to the fabulous creation that is “The Evolution of You.”

Dr. Jamise Grace Liddell, a dynamic networker, has served as an exceptional and committed career strategist for more than a decade and is currently employed as Business Liaison and Workforce Development Specialist with Phoenix Workforce, Community and Economic Development for the City of Phoenix. A passionate and nationally recognized orator, Dr. Liddell is also an administrator and educator for three major universities. Liddell has worked in several career fields, including serving on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., as a Congressional Fellow for a 17-term congresswoman, as a professor at Arizona State University, and as the Director of Career Services at Grand Canyon University. A strong believer in lifelong learning, she recently received a certificate from the New Media Academy at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

For more information and to register, please visit www.tempechamber.org or call (480) 967-7891.

Discover Cuba with the Tempe Chamber


Embark on a once-in-a-lifetime journey to Cuba with a special offer through the Tempe Chamber of Commerce and Chamber Explorations.

Chamber Explorations has been issued a license by the Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control, which authorizes registered guests of this program to visit Cuba legally. There are no applications to complete, and your travel with us is fully authorized.

This nine-day trip will take you from Miami to Havana, Cuba. Upon arrival at Jose Marti International Airport, we’ll meet our Cuban host, an experienced bilingual guide who will give us an orientation of Cuba’s capital city. Some of the many sights you’ll see in Havana include the Cathedral de la Havana; the Museo Fine Arts; the beautiful Museo de la Revolucion that displays documents and artifacts telling the country’s history; La Marketa de Havana in Old Havana, a collective association of small craft workers where you will meet local merchants and artists; and much more.

During this trip, you will also enjoy Pinar Del Rio Vinales, Cienfuegos, Trinidad, Suagr Mill Valley, Playa Giron/Bay of Pigs Museum, Hemingway’s Farm and so much more. Cost is $3,874 per person double with a $600 single supplement.

Price includes roundtrip airfare from Phoenix; Cuban travel visa; eight nights of first class hotel accommodations; 19 meals; and more.

For all trip details, visit www.tempechamber.org and click on the Events tab. To register, contact Mary Ann Miller at (480) 967-7891 or maryann@tempechamber.org.