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Member News: September 2020

ASU ranked No. 1 in innovation for 6th year by US News and World Report
Long before it was a buzzword, innovation was a concept that Arizona State University embraced in the name of reimagining the role of an institution of higher education. Over the past several years, that credo has manifested in a host of breakthroughs, advancements and transformations. In recognition of the university’s culture of discovery, U.S. News & World Report has announced that it has named ASU the most innovative university in the nation for the sixth year in a row, as well as one of the top 50 public schools in the country. Read more >>



Telehealth Provider MeMD launches virtual primary-care solution for businesses
The rapid adoption of telehealth along with the need for new solutions that tackle the rising costs of healthcare make a virtual primary care solution essential for today’s and tomorrow’s world.” To address skyrocketing demand and fill a large gap in the healthcare continuum, national telehealth provider MeMD has launched Virtual Primary Care for employer groups nationwide. Designed with the demands of modern businesses in mind, MeMD’s Virtual Primary Care helps employees save money on routine healthcare costs while supporting the employer’s recruitment and retention strategies and easing administration. Members can connect with board-certified, NCQA-credentialed providers for a host of services. Learn more >>


KEO Marketing CEO Sheila Kloefkorn recognized as a Top Dynamic CEO of 2020
A business and marketing expert with more than 25 years of experience, Sheila Kloefkorn leads a talented team of marketers creating and executing award-winning, results-driven campaigns around the world. Kloefkorn founded the full-service, B2B marketing agency KEO Marketing in 2000, and today the agency grows Fortune 1000 companies as well as medium-sized businesses. Helping companies to increase revenue by hundreds of millions of dollars, it’s easy to see why The CEO Publication honors her as a dynamic CEO. Read more >>


NAU microbiome researcher receives $3.75 million grant
Greg Caporaso, director of the Center for Applied Microbiome Science, part of the Pathogen and Microbiome Institute at Northern Arizona University, has been awarded a $3.75 million grant by the National Cancer Institute to build software capable of analyzing and archiving data focused on the interplay between the human microbiome (the trillions of microorganisms living in and on the human body) and diverse types of cancer. The NCI-funded project will enable Caporaso and his team to enhance QIIME 2, the bioinformatics software platform that they first released in late 2016, to improve access to cancer microbiome bioinformatics methods and data. Read more >>


Pima Community College awarded $2.5M to support Center of Excellence
The Thomas R. Brown Family Foundation has awarded $2.5 million to Pima Community College Foundation to advance its growing presence as the center of economic recovery and growth in the region. The Automotive Technology and Innovation Center is the first building in the Center of Excellence in Applied Technology being developed on the campus. Ground breaking on a state-of-the-art Advanced Manufacturing Center on the campus is scheduled for later in 2021. To support employer demand for high-skilled technicians, Pima also is expanding the Aviation Technology Center at the Tucson International Airport, thanks to $15 million in state funding. Read more >> generates impact for the healthcare community during COVID-19 CEO and co-founder Rebecca Clyde was recently an alumna spotlight featured on Arizona State University W.P Carey news. COVID-19 took everyone by storm, but when businesses asked how to handle it, Rebecca Clyde had the solution. As CEO and co-founder of, she knew that conversational artificial intelligence (AI) could solve some of COVID-19’s most significant stressors. is an AI chat platform that enables intelligent, helpful discussions between businesses and customers. From day one, she knew getting answers to basic questions shouldn’t take hours — and four years later after launching, her company was problem-solving for a global crisis. Read more >>


Phoenix Business Journal appoints new managing editor
The Phoenix Business Journal has appointed Erin Edgemon as managing editor. Edgemon, who joined the publication on Sept. 14 after relocating to the Phoenix area, is a veteran journalist who was most recently the real estate reporter with the Austin Business Journal, covering commercial and residential development. Edgemon is responsible for the day-to-day online news operation as well as directing coverage for the Phoenix Business Journal’s weekly print and digital edition. She will work closely with the reporters and Jeff Gifford, the publication’s digital editor, to plan longer-range coverage and specialty publications. Read more >>


Axon secures land for new headquarters
Axon Enterprise, Inc., was the successful bidder during a public auction of State Trust land at the southeast corner of Hayden Road and Loop 101 in Scottsdale. Developing innovative products for law enforcement and the communities they serve while also becoming a worldwide leader in public safety technologies, Axon has been headquartered in Scottsdale since 1993. The new land acquisition sets the stage for them to build a new, state-of-the-art facility where the company can continue to produce dynamic products that are helping to shape the future of law enforcement. A critical part of Axon’s success over the years has been working with partners in government who recognize the importance of manufacturing, innovation and technology. The company looks forward to continuing to expand, innovate and bring quality new jobs to Scottsdale while supporting its public-safety customers. Read more >>


Creating the workforce of tomorrow
Maricopa Community Colleges announced its collaboration with Intel Corporation and the Arizona Commerce Authority to create Arizona’s first artificial intelligence certificate and degree program enabling students to land careers in healthcare, automotive, industrial and aerospace fields. The Maricopa Community Colleges will be the first in the U.S. to train workers for the region’s driving demands in Artificial Intelligence technology, allowing access for more students to master skills valuable across many occupations and industry sectors and ultimately improving the nation’s workforce, economy, and community. Read more >>

Congratulations to the Arizona finalists in EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year Awards
Ernst & Young LLP has unveiled the finalists for its EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2020 Mountain Desert Region Award, and six fast-growing Arizona businesses are in the running: Footprint, Qwick, Freestar, OpenWorks srl, Trainual and WebPT. The annual awards recognize the leaders of high-growth companies that excel in areas like innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their businesses and communities. Finalists were selected by a panel of independent judges. Winners in the Mountain Desert Region, which encompasses Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico, will be eligible for consideration in EY’s Entrepreneur Of The Year National Awards. Now in its 33rd year, the program has expanded to recognize business leaders in more than 145 cities and more than 60 countries throughout the world. Read more >>

Encora appoints new general counsel
Scottsdale-based Encora, a leader in outsourced product development (OPD) services that specializes in innovation acceleration for leading-edge technology companies, announced that Asaf Kharal has been appointed Executive Vice President and General Counsel effective Sept. 1, 2020. Kharal is a highly accomplished legal professional with extensive experience in working with high-growth companies, including Google, Tesla, Arista, Zscaler and Nutanix. In this critical role, Kharal is a strategic advisor to the organization and Encora’s board of directors. He will provide wide-ranging business and legal counsel on areas of business development, customer contracts, commercial arrangements, employment and labor relations, financial transactions, corporate governance and compliance. Read more >>


Phoenix College unveils plans to open its Maricopa IT Institute
Phoenix College, part of the Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD), is unveiling its plans to open a Maricopa IT Institute in the heart of downtown Phoenix at 640 North 1st Avenue. The IT Institute is a new hub designed to optimize students’ needs and is an example of the high-quality programs that Phoenix College offers in education. The Maricopa IT Institute at Phoenix College will serve as a collaborative space for all students in Computer Information Systems (CIS) classes, Microsoft Server Technologies (MST), and Information Technology Security (ITS) classes. The IT Institute will help prepare students for Arizona’s jobs of the future by utilizing cutting-edge tools that will help students familiarize themselves with vital technology before they enter the job market. Read more >>


WebPT selected as platform partner for new Therapy Alliance network
WebPT, the nation’s leading rehab therapy software platform, will join forces with Southern California-based Physical Rehabilitation Network (PRN) to support physical rehabilitation clinics in ways that will empower them to achieve their maximum potential. As Therapy Alliance’s platform partner, WebPT will provide select software—including its EMR, home exercise program (HEP), outcomes tracking, and MIPS (if applicable) reporting solutions—to in-network practices, helping providers streamline back-end tasks and focus more intently on business growth and patient care. Eligible practices can also leverage RevEquip, WebPT’s hybrid RCM service model that leverages both its top-notch billing software as well as its team of RCM experts to help practices improve collections and staff productivity. Learn more >>


APS sets course for 100% clean-energy future for Arizona
The Arizona utility company has set a bold goal to provide 100% clean, carbon-free electricity to customers by 2050. The goal includes a nearer-term 2030 target of achieving a resource mix that is 65% clean energy, with 45% of its generation portfolio coming from renewable energy. In addition, APS will end all coal-fired generation by 2031, seven years sooner than previously projected. The company’s clean-energy plan will be guided by sound science and focused on achieving environmental and economic gains—all while maintaining affordable, reliable service for its customers. Read more >>


ASU launches 25-point plan to support black faculty, staff, students
Arizona State University has launched a 25-point plan to build the success of the black community on campus, promising to hire more black faculty, develop graduate and doctoral fellowships from underserved communities and build a multicultural space — a plan met with measured praise on Thursday. ASU president Michael Crow emailed a list of actions to support black students, faculty and staff late on the night of Sept. 2 to ASU employees and students, acknowledging police violence in Kenosha, Wisconsin and the shooting of Jacob Blake. Crow stated the initiatives were to “acknowledge the university’s institutional responsibility to do more than we ever have before in the fight for equality and social justice.” Read more >>

Carvana stock soars on Q3 expectations, analyst upgrades
Tempe-based Carvana got a big jolt from Wall Street on Tuesday after the vehicle sales platform predicted a strong third-quarter finish and a Goldman Sachs analyst raised his ratings on the company. The company’s share price leapt by $53.16—or more than 30%—to close at $226.83, after coming close to its 52-week high of $235. The gains came after Carvana reported in a recent regulatory filing that it expects to hit performance records in several metrics during the third quarter. That announcement was followed by Goldman Sachs analyst Daniel Powell’s move to raise his ratings on Carvana and its rival Vroom from neutral to buy. Read more >>





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