Biz Ins – November/December 2018

Oregon Jewish Life one of
 Top 10 online Jewish magazines

Arizona Jewish Life’s sister publication, Oregon Jewish Life, has been selected as one of the Top 10 Best Jewish Magazines on the web by The Top 10 list was chosen from thousands of Jewish magazines on the web using search and social metrics. Oregon Jewish Life was the first non-national magazine on the list, coming in at number 7. These magazines are ranked based on following criteria: Google reputation and Google search ranking; influence and popularity on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites; quality and consistency of posts; and Feedspot’s editorial team and expert review. Feedspot is a content reader for reading all your favorite websites in one place. Feedspot encourages readers to “subscribe to these websites because they are actively working to educate, inspire and empower their readers with frequent updates and high- quality information.” |


First Place-Phoenix opens

First Place-Phoenix, a nonprofit, charitable organization focused on ensuring that housing options for adults with autism and other neuro-diversities opened in September. The $15.4 million, 81,000-square-foot property with 55 units is located at 3001 N. Third St.

For more than 20 years, Founder and CEO, Denise Resnik dreamed of a place her son Matt and others with autism could live as adults.

Besides the residential apartments, First Place-Phoenix also offers a Transition Academy and First Place Global Leadership Institute.

Operated by Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center, the two-year, tuition-based Transition Academy is for residents who are transitioning to a more independent lifestyle, and will move off-site after one year of living at First Place.

First Place Global Leadership Institute provides continuing education and training of support specialists, professionals and physicians, and serves as a robust site for research and public-policy advancements.


David Ivers is leaving ATC for SCR

Arizona Theatre Company Artistic Director David Ivers is returning to his native Southern California roots after being named Artistic Director at the 55-year old Tony Award-winning South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa, CA. The appointment by South Coast Repertory’s Board of Trustees followed an extensive national search.

“I am profoundly grateful and deeply humbled to be SCR’s next artistic director,” says David. “Returning home to California, to the organization that helped inspire my early desire to pursue a life in the theatre, is both a rare opportunity and a dream come true.’”

David will continue his ATC co-executive leadership responsibilities with Managing Director Billy Russo until assuming the new position fulltime next March. He will direct ATC’s upcoming production of “The Music Man.”

“My time here, although brief, has been hugely powerful and I’ve learned so very much about leadership, vision and collaboration,” says David. “I know ATC is in good hands with Billy Russo and very much feel it is poised to capitalize on our proven growth.”

Susan Segal, chair of the ATC Board of Trustees, said that “we are sorry to see David leave, but this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for him, both professionally and personally, and we wish him great success in his new role. The leadership team of David and Billy has made great contributions to Arizona Theatre Company, creating an exciting foundation to build upon.”

She added that the board would meet soon to “determine the most efficient process for David’s successor to pick up the mantle of community engagement and artistry with Billy.”


Airobotics lands in Scottsdale

Israeli drone company Airobotics opened its North American headquarters in Scottsdale this September. Airobotics, which has 250 global employees now, intends to hire up to 80 more in Arizona by the end of 2019. The company has offices in Australia, and operations in Chile and New Caledonia. Eventually, the Arizona site will become its global headquarters.

The team at Airobotics fuses expertise in aerospace hardware design, robust electronic systems, leading software engineering, and years of experience in commercial drone operations. This varied experience has allowed them to design a solution suited to address the needs of the world’s most complex industrial environments.

Airobotics was the first company to be granted authorization to fly fully automated pilotless drones and is certified by the Civil Aviation Authority of Israel. It has raised $71 million to date. The company’s industrial quadcopter aircraft have robotic arms, geo-fencing, and emergency recovery parachutes.


Stuart Wachs new CEO of WachsField Technologies

Stuart Wachs and Robert (Max) Maxfield founded WachsField Technologies to blend their unique skill sets and experience with a shared focus on integrity, quality service and bringing the latest and best-suited technologies to play.

Stuart has a long and successful background as a CEO who has used values and clear purpose to turn around and grow a number of organizations. As WachsField Technologies CEO and co-founder, he brings his experience with organizational leadership, business development, project management, partnerships along with an understanding of the tech field and how the right technology can bring positive impacts to businesses and organizations.

As CTO and co-founder, Max brings a long and successful track record in SCADA Engineering in multiple fields including water/wastewater, manufacturing, natural gas and natural gas reclamation, power generation, mining and more.

Stuart and Max have formed WachsField to provide exceptional service and value to industrial, utility, manufacturing and municipal clients through in-house expertise as well as creating partnerships where they can be a value and expand their scope of service.


New Board chair for MAZON

Liz Kanter Groskind was recently installed as the board chair of MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger, a national advocacy organization, for a three-year term.

Liz has a background in management, executive coaching, marketing, human resources and charitable planning. She has run her own consulting business for 20 years.

A native of Detroit before moving to Tucson, Liz served as board chair of JVS, a nonprofit human service agency and is a past president of the Young Adult division of the Jewish Federations of Metropolitan Detroit. She is a past President of Volunteer Impact, and sat on the boards of The Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit, The United Jewish Foundation and CITY YEAR Detroit.

In Tucson, she is President of Strauss Manor, low-income senior housing; she has been on the boards of the JCRC, Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona, Social Venture Partners and The Gregory School.

Liz is a graduate of Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts.


Tempe Chamber hires Erika Acorn

The Tempe Chamber of Commerce has hired Erika Acorn to serve as the Business Development Specialist. Erika will develop and implement programs to increase membership and sponsorships.

Acorn has worked for a nonprofit membership-based company where she was able to connect members with new opportunities and create programs that aligned with their needs. She brings experience in community engagement, brand development and fundraising to the Chamber.

“Erika has an exceptional business background with strong communication and marketing skills,” said Anne Gill, Tempe Chamber President/CEO. “She will be a great asset to the team and a valued resource for our members.”

As a nine-year resident of the Valley and a graduate of Arizona State University, Erika is passionate about creating a dynamic community and economy for the present and future residents of Tempe. She is eager to build and maintain relationships with business in order to promote a diverse, sustainable membership.


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