FreeFall Aerospace joins forces with ED2 Corporation to form FreeFall 5G; Blue Yonder and Panasonic collaborate to accelerate autonomous supply chain; Avnet, Republic Services and Insight Enterprises make it onto the Fortune 500 list for 2020; Digital Air Strike launches a text messaging service that incorporates artificial intelligence; learn how ASU’s engineering growth attracted Zoom to Arizona; Republic Services announces new chief financial officer; Salt River Project donates $100,000 to support Arizonans in need; Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona contributes $25,000 to assist small businesses; Quarles & Brady partner is named chairman of 2021 Phoenix Open golf tournament; YellowBird helps businesses prepare workplaces for a safe return; Qwick aids hospitality and restaurants in recovery from COVID-19, and more.
FreeFall Aerospace joins forces with ED2 Corp to form FreeFall 5G
Two Arizona companies are combining into one with an aim to bring their collaborative technological innovation into the rapidly growing 5G market. FreeFall 5G brings together antenna systems maker FreeFall Aerospace with ED2 Corp., which builds telecommunications hardware and specializes in 5G. The combined company will continue developing that system— a 5G antenna that promises range and flexibility surpassing current market options but using less power and taking less space—with plans to unveil it this summer. Learn more about this merger.
Arizona companies make Fortune 500 list for 2020
Five Arizona companies made it onto the latest Fortune 500 list of America’s largest companies, and another 14 appeared among the top 1,000. Phoenix-based Avnet Inc., a global electronics component distributor and Arizona’s largest publicly traded company, ranked No. 169 to retain the highest spot among the state’s companies on the 2020 list. Recycling and waste services company Republic Services Inc. jumped nine spots to rank No. 305 and technology reseller Insight Enterprises Inc. (Nasdaq: NSIT) moved up 21 spots to rank at No. 409. Making the top 1,000 list was Carvana, which soared 349 spots to rank at No. 651 from No. 1,000 in 2019. Visit here to view the Arizona companies making Fortune’s top 1,000 list.
How ASU’s engineering growth attracted Zoom to Arizona
State University’s relationship with Zoom will go beyond having graduates work at the company. The university and the company will develop different ways to use the video technology, such as in virtual reality or mixed communication methods. The technology allows a subject matter specialist to give a guest lecture without having to travel all the way to the university. Zoom plans to hire 500 people total between two locations, one in the Phoenix area and one in Pittsburgh, near Carnegie Mellon University. Learn more here.
Blue Yonder and Panasonic extend partnership to accelerate the autonomous supply chain
Panasonic Corporation announced its equity investment in Blue Yonder, the leading end-to-end supply chain software provider. The expanded partnership between Panasonic and Blue Yonder will accelerate the promise of the Autonomous Supply Chain. Harnessing the edge via the Internet of Things (IoT), Blue Yonder’s platform utilizes machine learning to drive faster, more context-aware business decisions to deliver autonomous outcomes. The companies will combine resources and work closely with partners in Japan to fuel growth and enhance capabilities for supply and demand forecasting, inventory, labor optimization and streamlining business operations. Read more about this strategic partnership.
Republic Services announces new chief financial officer
Republic Services Inc. will have a new chief financial officer starting in June after the current CFO announced his retirement from the company next year. Brian DelGhiaccio, the current executive vice president and chief transformation officer, will take over the job being vacated by Charles Serianni, who announced his resignation after 23 years with the Phoenix-based recycling and waste management company. DelGhiacchio has been with the company since 1998. He previously has served as senior vice president, business transformation office; senior vice president, finance; and vice president, investor relations. Read more here.
Veyo announces transportation for COVID-19 tested positive members
Veyo, the nation’s first and only full-service, tech-enabled Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) broker, has announced the creation of a specialized fleet of drivers who will transport COVID-19 patients to and from life-sustaining medical appointments, with the aim of alleviating the extreme stress that has been placed on the non-emergency ambulance industry. Veyo’s special fleet has the capacity to transport hundreds of members per day, and trips will remain within the greater Phoenix metropolitan area upon launch with tentative plans to expand into other markets such as Tucson, Southern California and Connecticut. Learn more about Veyo’s specialized fleet.
Digital Air Strike launches text-messaging service that incorporates AI
As the Covid-19 pandemic has forced small businesses to shift their hours and focus on communication with clients, Scottsdale-based Digital Air Strike is rolling out a text messaging service that allows companies to communicate with their customers that incorporates artificial intelligence. The Power Text allows companies to send text message announcements to clients who provide their phone numbers to give updates, like changes of hours or specials the company is offering. Businesses can also choose to use the texting feature for internal communications, such as alerting employees of an upcoming meeting. Read more about Digital Air Strike’s new texting service.
Quarles & Brady LLP partner named chairman of Phoenix Open
The Thunderbirds, hosts of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, have named Valley attorney Scott Jenkins as tournament chairman for the 2021 edition of the event. Jenkins is a partner with the law firm Quarles & Brady, whose practice focuses on commercial disputes and complex litigation. Jenkins takes over as tournament chairman after serving last year as assistant tournament chairman. Jenkins will oversee and coordinate sponsorship generation and renewals, tournament security and safety, recruiting PGA Tour players to the event, as well as community relations and development of on-course venues. Learn more here.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona contributes $25,000 to Small Business Relief Fund
Healthcare provider Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona (BCBSAZ) has contributed $25,000 to Local First Arizona to assist with grant funding for its Small Business Relief Fund, which provides immediate assistance to small businesses across Arizona that have been significantly impacted by the economic conditions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. BCBSAZ’s contribution will expand Local First Arizona’s ability to provide grants of up to $2,500 to small, family-owned businesses that are struggling to stay afloat after a significant decrease in business due to the global health emergency. Read more about BCBSAZ’s efforts to help businesses overcome COVID-19’s economic impacts.
YellowBird helps businesses prepare workplaces for a safe return
YellowBird, the leader in on-demand environmental, health and safety professionals, is offering a Return-to-Work Program to help local companies prepare for the return of employees to the workplace. Program includes air-quality testing, COVID-19 surface testing and a detailed plan with recommendations to maintain a clean, healthy office. From return-to-work plans to on-site workplace assessments, YellowBird ensure a safe work environment for your employees. Learn more how YellowBird provides employees with the security of a clean, healthy working environment.
SRP donates $100,000 to support Arizonans in need
Salt River Project (SRP) has donated $100,000 to the AZ Coronavirus Relief Fund, supporting frontline workers and efforts to mitigate the medical and economic impact of COVID-19 in Arizona. To date, the fund has received more than $8.2 million in donations. Said SRP CEO and General Manager Mike Hummel, “SRP is grateful for the frontline medical workers and first responders who have acted selflessly to keep us safe and healthy during this unprecedented crisis. Through Arizona Together, we want to help ensure these brave men and women have the supplies they require to stay safe while continuing to provide critical services for all of us.” Learn more here.
Qwick aids hospitality and restaurants in recovery from COVID-19
As the hospitality industry starts to make its comeback and businesses begin to reopen, one of their biggest pain points will be regaining the staff needed to operate. Qwick CEO Jamie Baxter, aims to be a leader in the comeback of hospitality and believes the Business Recovery Rate is the first step in doing so. The goal is to help businesses save money to pay their rent and other expenses while having the staff they need to run their businesses as things return to normal. Learn more how Qwick is the “new normal” of hospitality staffing.
Airobotics approved to fly commercial drones above a major metropolis
Leading automated industrial drones startup, Airobotics, receives the world’s first approval to fly an automated commercial drone over a major metropolis and flies above Singapore. As a completely automatic unmanned aerial system, the first of its kind in the global market, Airobotics enables governments and industrial companies to leverage the power of drones without the need for a human operator. Airobotics’ platform provides professionals with the ability to run missions automatically, to monitor, inspect, survey and secure urban areas, as well as large industrial facilities. Read more here.