Tucson Local Media: Business

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  • ADP to add 250 Jobs to its workforce in Tucson

    ADP is adding 250 positions to its Tucson workforce, bringing the number of ADP associates in Tucson to 400 and nearly 2,000 ADP associates working in Arizona. The 400 associates in Tucson will occupy 49,543 square feet on two floors of the company’s facility at 5451 East Williams Blvd.Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild and Sandra Watson, president and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority, joined company executives and associates during a ribbon-cutting celebration in Tucson on Tuesday, Jan. 24. “I’m delighted that ADP has chosen to increase its presence in Tucson, a city with a talented workforce that is focused on helping companies like ADP succeed in meeting the needs of their clients,” Rothschild said.Watson echoed those remarks, also citing the company’s announcement last November to create up to 1,500 new jobs at a new facility in Tempe.“ADP’s impressive growth in our state emphasizes Arizona’s competitiveness in meeting the needs of business and providing jobs for our citizens,” Watson said.  “Under Governor Ducey’s leadership, the Arizona Commerce Authority and our partners are proud to support ADP’s continued success in both Tucson and Tempe.”

  • El Conquistador announces western riding adventures

    Local equestrians, riding enthusiasts and nature-lovers, rejoice! The Hilton Tucson El Conquistador Golf and Tennis Resort has opened its stables to begin trail rides, riding lessons, desert adventures and more within the resort’s 500-acre-plus property and the surrounding area.“Our plan is to make this resort uniquely southwest,” said El Conquistador general manager Ghee Alexander. “In this day and age, our guests and travelers really want much more than just a generic resort or hotel experience. They want it to be customized to the surrounding area. That way, they could possibly experience the entirety of the region.”To better tap into the heritage of Tucson and the southwest, Alexander said that the resort looked to both Mexican and Spanish cultural tradition for inspiration and found one aspect which fit perfectly: the use of horses in everyday life. So it only made sense to offer a riding experience to guests.The resort will offer locals and visitors the opportunity to embark on a desert adventure on an eight-acre plot of land within the property, as well as the nearby Linda Vista Trail. The tours will be led Pot A Gold Adventures, a company which Alexander said came highly recommended not only because of the Mather Saddle Horses and Pack Station in Yosemite, California, but also the company’s locations in both Phoenix and Flagstaff.Alexander said guests will be able to choose among themed dates, family hayrides, carriage rides, cowboy breakfasts or an evening group cookouts.The new options come as the resort looks to finish the largest renovation in its 34-year history, according to Alexander.

  • Business calendar - Nov. 30, 2016

    Thursday, Dec. 1• The Rotary Club of Oro Valley meets. Details: 7 a.m.; Oro Valley Country Club, 300 W. Greenock Drive; www.orovalleyrotary.org.• The Rotary Club of SaddleBrooke meets. Details: 11:45 a.m.; SaddleBrooke Clubhouse, 64485 E. SaddleBrooke Blvd.; $15; agbw@msn.com.• The Rotary Club of Dove Mountain meets. Details: 5 p.m.; The Highlands Clubhouse; 4949 W. Heritage Club Blvd.; jthentges@aol.com.• The Kiwanis Club of the Desert meets. Details: 6 p.m.; Village Inn, 6251 N. Oracle Road; donaldrprince@comcast.net.• The Marana-Foothills Optimist Club meets. Details: 6:30 p.m.; Coco’s Restaurant, 7250 N. Oracle Road; 906-1908 or info@marana-foothillsoptimistclub.com.

  • Starting fresh at Begin Again

    Parting ways with personal belongings after decades of loving use and tender care can be a difficult process, a struggle Linda Vlamakis is well aware of. Whether taking in the trinkets of a down-sizing senior, the collection of a local art lover, hand-crafted furniture or a wide array of jewelry, Vlamakis sees it all, and sells it all at Begin Again, the “mindful resale shop.”Located at 7961 N. Oracle Road, Begin Again opened last Labor Day, and has since grown to encompass a collection of consignment of more than 1,500 individual items from nearly 300 members of the local community. Vlamakis looks to “upcycle” her products as she calls it, by facilitating from one loving home to another the movement of a variety of high-quality goods.“I just love the word ‘upcycling,’” she said. “I want things to be clean and relevant enough for people that are just getting out there setting up households—they can buy things that others are done with. So I always have to be mindful of what’s current.”Part interior decorator, part assessor and part curator, Vlamakis’ touch has turned Begin Again into a space more reminiscent of a hip gift shop than any second hand store.Crafting such an inviting space takes some experience, and Vlamakis isn’t a new face in the consignment industry. She said she has worked for years sorting and pricing items, and setting up monthly estate sales in the Tucson region. While there are several options for second-hand goods, Vlamakis said Begin Again stands apart from other similar businesses because of her ability to know what people want to buy and how much they are willing to spend.Vlamakis said she wants to help anyone downsizing their estate, and to provide a way to get rid of belongings in a more reputable way than internet dealers or online listings. New items are brought out daily, though everything is given plenty of time in the public eye. For the bits and pieces that don’t sell, Casa De Los Ninos receives as donations.

  • Music & Dance Academy celebrating 20 years with red carpet gala

    Twenty years ago, Nina Tishkevich was providing individual lessons to 75 musicians. But as an immigrant from the former Soviet Union, she wasn’t used to teaching privately, a practice uncommon in what is today known as Uzbekistan.And she wanted to return to teaching in a classroom full of students.During her time as a budding musician and as a teacher in the former Soviet Union, Tishkevich said she worked with large groups of other music professionals. In America, what she missed was chamber music, group classes and performances. And so she decided to create her own school. Today, it’s known as the Music & Dance Academy. With two locations in Tucson, the academy is celebrating its second decade of artistic inspiration and dedication.To Tishkevich, the academy is more than a music and dance school. It’s a stepping stone for continued success. 

  • Oro Valley Smashburger opening April 6

    Oro Valley will soon be home to the region’s newest Smashburger, the fourth since local franchisee Eric Wolf opened Tucson’s first location in November 2012.The new restaurant will be located in the Oracle Crossings Shopping Center, 7625 N. Oracle Road #145, and opens its doors for the first time at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, April 6.Based out of Denver, Colo., the fast-casual chain currently operates in more than 30 states in the U.S., as well as several locations abroad, with a total of more than 300 stores. Regardless of the location, the mission remains the same: 100 percent fresh ingredients on toasted artisan buns. “We are excited to be opening another restaurant in Tucson to introduce even more local residents to our delicious smashed-to-order burgers,” Wolf said in a recent press release. “With a broad menu of handcrafted burgers, chicken, salads, signature sides and handspun shakes, Smashburger has something for everyone and we couldn’t be more excited to continue expanding our presence in the area.”The Oro Valley location will be nearly 2,000 square feet, with room to seat 61 guests and patio seating for an additional 26. Hours will be 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. seven days a week.More than just burgers, the menu includes chicken sandwiches, salads, fries, flash-fried seasoned carrot sticks and green beans and more. The new location will also serve shakes, root-beer floats and local craft beer.

  • Local Brewers’ newest ingredient: Crowdfunding

    One Tucson-based company, Ten Fifty-Five Brewing, staked its claim to a unique piece of Arizona business history: being the first to seek out investors under the state’s relatively new equity crowdfunding law.Signed by Gov. Doug Ducey just last year, the new law allows for companies to seek out investors and sell shares to Arizona residents via online platforms, greatly increasing chances of raising much-needed capital. Under the legislation, companies are able to raise up to $1 million without having to undergo a financial audit, and up to $2.5 million if an audit has been completed within the previous fiscal year. In light of the rise in the crowdfunding trend started by organizations like Kickstarter, Indiegogo and GoFundMe, allowing business to search for capital via the internet is considered by many to be the next big innovation within the process of starting a business. Ten Fifty-Five Brewing co-founder and General Manager Chris Squires said that pursuing capital via equity crowdfunding “was just the right option for us. It had no limitations on the number of investors, and it allows non-accredited investors to be involved as well, which has been a large portion of our investors so far.”Squires and Ten Fifty-Five Brewing co-founder and head brewer John Paul “J.P.” Vyborny, were first turned onto the online process after speaking with attorneys specializing in brewery capital fundraising. Squires said they went over every different option, eventually landing on the equity crowdfunding.The process began for the partners two months ago, but their business has already netted over $200,000 in investment. Squires said a majority of those interested in becoming part of the business are non-accredited investors, which he said is just another benefit to equity crowdfunding—it’s open to anyone, as long as they live in the state.

  • Paying it forward to troubled teens

    The first few years of my life would be considered normal by most standards. I was born and raised in Phoenix by two caring and dedicated parents who met when they worked together as elementary school teachers. My mother had just finished earning her master’s degree in psychology when my younger sister was born. I was 6 years old, and from that point on, my life would never be the same.After my sister was born, my mother became schizophrenic, and over the better part of the next six years, the doctors would try unsuccessfully to treat her illness with different medications. This time in my life was filled with dysfunction. I was in and out of Child Protective Services due to the trouble at home, I almost died in a car accident and my older brother took his own life. As would be expected, experiencing all of these traumas changed me. I became very introverted; I fell into a deep depression and was suffering from severe insomnia. As a result, I missed several weeks of school and fell very far behind.Halfway through 8th grade, I learned about a local public school alternative, Ombudsman Charter Schools. At Ombudsman, the school day was much shorter than traditional high school, and I was able to start classes in the afternoon, which helped with my insomnia. The safe and positive environment at Ombudsman helped me open up, regain some confidence and begin to make friends again. Through one-on-one attention I received from teachers like Andrea Rodriguez, I developed and strengthened skills I did not even know I possessed. It is without question that Ms. Rodriquez’ guidance and encouragement helped shape me into the man I have become.I earned my high school diploma from Ombudsman and went on to college at Arizona State University, where I earned a bachelor’s degree in English. I found my calling in teaching near the end of college when my father fell ill. Both of my parents had been teachers; and before my mother’s illness took hold, she was also pursuing a career in psychology so she could help people. With everything I had been through in life, I knew there were kids out there who were experiencing much worse — I realized that because of my upbringing and personal experiences, I was uniquely positioned to help troubled teens.Today I am a teacher at Ombudsman, and Andrea Rodriguez, the teacher who helped me to believe in myself, is now a cherished colleague. As a troubled teen, I was fortunate to have the staff at Ombudsman in my life. As an adult, I take great pride in being able to offer mentorship and guidance to teens who are struggling and looking for help. 

  • HBL CPAs handles all aspects of tax industry

    Filing taxes was once a much more simple process for both individuals and businesses alike than it is today. The amount of information required and available has increased greatly in the past several decades. Since 1972, HBL CPAs, P.C. has continued to provide tax, accounting, auditing and consulting services in an ever-changing industry.Though the name has changed over the years, many of the CPAs and non partner employees have been working at the firm for years, even decades.“If you add up the number of years of experience in the partner group in our firm,” said John P. Lauer, CPA, the managing shareholder at HBL, “we probably have at least a couple hundred years of experience.”While it may be a slight hyperbole, HBL is staffed by a large team of over 20 CPAs, all of whom bring years and years of personal and team experience. Lauer said when he joined the company in 1987, there were 17 total employees. The firm now employs 47.HBL is able to offer every service expected of a tax firm, but the company also handles numerous accounting, businesses management and consulting services for its clients. Services include tax compliance and planning, audits of financial statements, accounting, bookkeeping and controllership. 

  • Local artist brings monsters to life

    Whether assembling and stapling new prints of his comics, inking panels of his book, painting a variety of monsters on canvas or making custom clay models, local artist Adam Yeater has been nothing if not prolific while honing his varied artistic impulses over his career.It is difficult to describe Yeater’s oeuvre as a singular vision, as his imagination tends to go off in many different directions at once, coalescing into a variety of unique styles. “I’m all over the place, I’m in my own bubble,” he said, laughing as he used a dip pen (also known as a nib pen) to ink in the lines of one of his current projects, titled “Gallimaufry,” a book filled with single pane images Yeater is compiling to represent the human experience, “the story of everything,” he said. Though telling the story of everything — and nothing — he said the life-long project will be both a macro and microcosmic look at humanity.Yeater didn’t start off with such grandiose ideas, however. He traces his roots back to his first love, comic books. Drawn to the idea of telling a story with pictures, Yeater said he became interested in comics like “Spy vs. Spy” of Mad Magazine as a trouble-making delinquent.Instead of traditional written story structures, Yeater prefers to let his images do the work. His comics are free of dialogue and the frames are often juxtaposed, creating an effect he likens to hieroglyphics and requiring some deciphering. His comic, titled “One Last Day,” originally started as single-page stories relating a man’s death, often in gory fashion. After several hundred pages, Yeater said he has moved more toward what he called a “proverbial death” of his character. No longer confined to single-page tales, “One Last Day” tackles more ethereal concepts like love, gender and the glorification of war.

  • Gem and Mineral Show a big boon to Tucson

    For the 62nd year in a row, the Tucson Metropolitan Area spent two weeks as one of the premier destinations for gem and mineral trading in the world. Not just a single show, the city-wide showcase hosted more than 40 individual sites, from giant ballrooms to roadside shows. Whether interested in finding a nice piece of jewelry, a breathtaking gem or even see paleontological and fossils showcases, the Tucson Gem and Mineral show had something for everyone.Though the event is two weeks long and spread across the city, it all comes to a culmination at the “Tucson Gem and Mineral Show,” the mainlining event hosted the final weekend at the Tucson Convention Center. All in all, the gem show brings in tens of thousands of visitors into the Tucson region, along with countless exhibitors and other businesses looking to take advantage of the mineral frenzy. “It’s hard to argue with the economic impact of the gem shows here,” said Dan Gibson, director of communications for Visit Tucson. “It fills hotel rooms, brings people into local restaurants and has visitors using our services. It’s such a tremendous opportunity for our city, no matter how you look at it.”Visit Tucson measures the economic impact of the gem and mineral show every several years, and the findings back Gibson’s view of what the show brings to Tucson. In 2014, the last time the study was conducted, the estimated economic impact of the showcases was just over $120 million. Most of those funds derived from lodging, food and beverage.At an average rate of $221 a night to stay in town, exhibition owners staying in Tucson were estimated to spend nearly $10,000 per group just on lodging during the showcase. Additionally, nearly two-thirds of exhibitors were estimated to stay in a hotel, resort or motel in Tucson.

  • Integrated States works to improve the mind through physical activity

    The sound of racquetballs being bounced in harmonious rhythm isn’t a foreign occurrence for anyone who has spent some time at Mesa Verde Elementary School. Whether practicing alone, on a balance board or in a large group, the school has embraced a program known as Bal-A-Vis-X (balance, auditory and vision exercises) as a key educational tool.The program was first brought to the school years ago by former educators Anne Wheaton and Terry Tinney, who both taught at Mesa Verde for some time. The duo first began working with students after school and would work with kids who seemed to be falling behind in their academic pursuits. Over time, popularity grew, and curiosity spread among the student body — Bal-A-Vis-X has become smashing success.The program, founded by Bill Hubert in 2003, is comprised of a series of well over 300 exercises, most of which are done with racquetballs or sand-filled bags. For more advanced practice, a balancing board is added to the mix.According to the Bal-A-Vis-X site, requiring thousands of mid-line crossings in three dimensions in the exercises creates a rhythmic activity that is as fun as it is challenging.“It’s not a sport and it’s not a P.E. program,” said Wheaton. “It’s a brain integration program. It’s for kids that are developing or have some developmental issues and all the way up through seniors that maybe need some neurological redevelopment.”The Bal-A-Vis-X program has been a huge hit at Mesa Verde. Tinney and Wheaton recently trained a group of teachers from the school to carry on the program now that they have retired from teaching.

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