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Community Transformation in Guadalupe

August 11, 2015 No Comments 2

A year or so ago we published an interview with Jeff Bisgrove of Arizona Neighborhood Transformation, focused on community development work underway in Guadalupe. We thought it would be a good time to check in again and see what’s happened in the meantime. Our editor Tim Hoiland sat down down with Marina Gonzales, a local leader in Guadalupe who runs the Guadalupe Learning Lab at El Mercado de Guadalupe. The learning lab's fall program begins this week. Flourish Phoenix: How do you see the work of the Guadalupe Learning Lab becoming more and more community owned? Marina Gonzales: When we started, parents would just drop off their kids. Sometimes, not even that. If they saw my car in the parking lot they knew I was here so they’d just drop them off outside and the kids would run in. Now, the parents walk their kids in here. They stop and talk for a little bit. We recently had an end-of-the-summer party and all the parents were here, cooking food, bringing snacks. They want to be here to see what their kids have been doing. Some of the parents are also helping to transport the kids when we have field trips, and they’re paying for them to go. And they’re willing to do it. When they come with us to places like Skateland or the museum, they don’t just drop us off – they stay the whole time. All of this means they’re interacting a lot more with our program. guadalupelab1 FP: What do you think is the biggest way this work is benefiting Guadalupe? MG: The biggest thing is helping our kids get through school, getting them the education they need. When they get older they’ll need that education. Without it, they’re going to have a hard life. Less than half...

A year or so ago we published an interview with Jeff Bisgrove of Arizona Neighborhood Transformation, focused on community development work underway in Guadalupe. We thought it would be a good time to check in again and see what’s happened in the meantime. Our editor Tim Hoiland sat down down with Marina Gonzales, a local leader in Guadalupe who runs the Guadalupe Learning Lab at El Mercado de Guadalupe. The learning lab's fall program begins this week. Flourish Phoenix: How do you see the work of the Guadalupe Learning Lab becoming more and more community owned? Marina Gonzales: When we started, parents would just drop off their kids. Sometimes, not even that. If they saw my car in the parking lot they knew I was here so they’d just drop them off outside and the kids would run in. Now, the parents walk their kids in here. They stop and talk for a little bit. We recently had an end-of-the-summer party and all the parents were here, cooking food, bringing snacks. They want to be here to see what their kids have been doing. Some of the parents are also helping to transport the kids when we have field trips, and they’re paying for...

A year or so ago we published an interview with Jeff Bisgrove of Arizona Neighborhood Transformation, focused on community development work underway in Guadalupe. We thought it would be a good time to check in again and see what’s happened in the meantime. Our editor Tim Hoiland sat down down with Marina Gonzales, a local leader in Guadalupe who runs the Guadalupe Learning Lab at El Mercado de Guadalupe. The learning lab's fall program begins this week. Flourish Phoenix: How do you see the work of the Guadalupe Learning Lab becoming more and more community owned? Marina Gonzales: When we started, parents would...

A year or so ago we published an interview with Jeff Bisgrove of Arizona Neighborhood Transformation, focused on community development work underway in Guadalupe. We thought it would be a good time to check in again and see what’s happened in the meantime. Our editor Tim Hoiland sat down down with...

A year or so ago we published an interview with Jeff Bisgrove of Arizona Neighborhood Transformation, focused on community development work underway in Guadalupe. We...

A year or so ago we published an interview with Jeff Bisgrove of Arizona Neighborhood Transformation, focused on community development work underway in Guadalupe. We thought it would be a good time to check in again and see what’s happened in the meantime. Our editor Tim Hoiland sat down down with Marina Gonzales, a local leader in Guadalupe who runs the Guadalupe Learning Lab at El Mercado de Guadalupe. The learning lab's fall program begins this week. Flourish Phoenix: How do you see the work of the Guadalupe Learning Lab becoming more and more community owned? Marina Gonzales: When we started, parents would...

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Discovering Treasures 4 Teachers

July 20, 2015 No Comments 3

My discovery started with a friend’s Facebook post. She was offering her empty coffee canister to anyone who wanted it. Laden with my own collection of containers, I read through responses interested to find a solution for my own unable-to-recycle infant formula cans. One response caught my attention: Treasures 4 Teachers. Curious, I sought out more information about the organization. The more I learned, the more I wanted to get involved. I wanted to talk with the founder, see the store, and tell others about it. Treasures 4 Teachers was founded by Barbara Blalock, an energetic and tenacious woman. It had been her dream to start an organization similar to the Resource Area for Teaching when she moved to Arizona and found the educational system without much-needed supplies. She started collecting items in her garage to distribute to classrooms she worked with but after a six-month battle with valley fever she found herself without a job. After much contemplation, Barbara decided to take the advice of her husband and finally make her dream a reality. In 2005, she started Treasures 4 Teachers. Treasures(13of27) Treasures 4 Teachers is a store that provides school supplies to teachers at little or no cost. The store overflows with donations from various businesses and individuals throughout metro Phoenix. At first glance, the store seems to be a collection of unwanted goods – bags full of plastic beans, stacks of dull containers, bins full of scrap canvases, and an additional 12,000 square feet of similar trinkets. It is obvious what the organization wants to do, but how does all this stuff work in the classroom? With Barbara’s insight, the items magically transform from plastic beans to a rain stick, from dull containers to cubby boxes, from scrap canvases to painted murals. “Many...

My discovery started with a friend’s Facebook post. She was offering her empty coffee canister to anyone who wanted it. Laden with my own collection of containers, I read through responses interested to find a solution for my own unable-to-recycle infant formula cans. One response caught my attention: Treasures 4 Teachers. Curious, I sought out more information about the organization. The more I learned, the more I wanted to get involved. I wanted to talk with the founder, see the store, and tell others about it. Treasures 4 Teachers was founded by Barbara Blalock, an energetic and tenacious woman. It had been her dream to start an organization similar to the Resource Area for Teaching when she moved to Arizona and found the educational system without much-needed supplies. She started collecting items in her garage to distribute to classrooms she worked with but after a six-month battle with valley fever she found herself without a job. After much contemplation, Barbara decided to take the advice of her husband and finally make her dream a reality. In 2005, she started Treasures 4 Teachers. Treasures(13of27) Treasures 4 Teachers is a store that provides school supplies to teachers...

My discovery started with a friend’s Facebook post. She was offering her empty coffee canister to anyone who wanted it. Laden with my own collection of containers, I read through responses interested to find a solution for my own unable-to-recycle infant formula cans. One response caught my attention: Treasures 4 Teachers. Curious, I sought out more information about the organization. The more I learned, the more I wanted to get involved. I wanted to talk with the founder, see the store, and tell others about it. Treasures 4 Teachers was founded by Barbara Blalock, an energetic and tenacious woman. It had...

My discovery started with a friend’s Facebook post. She was offering her empty coffee canister to anyone who wanted it. Laden with my own collection of containers, I read through responses interested to find a solution for my own unable-to-recycle infant formula cans. One response caught my attention: Treasures 4...

My discovery started with a friend’s Facebook post. She was offering her empty coffee canister to anyone who wanted it. Laden with my own collection...

My discovery started with a friend’s Facebook post. She was offering her empty coffee canister to anyone who wanted it. Laden with my own collection of containers, I read through responses interested to find a solution for my own unable-to-recycle infant formula cans. One response caught my attention: Treasures 4 Teachers. Curious, I sought out more information about the organization. The more I learned, the more I wanted to get involved. I wanted to talk with the founder, see the store, and tell others about it. Treasures 4 Teachers was founded by Barbara Blalock, an energetic and tenacious woman. It had...

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A Strange June

June 25, 2015 No Comments 3

Complaints of the cruel summer to come have certainly come. And come hard. We’re now more than ankle deep in those triple digit temperatures we've come to know and love. But I remember an easier time. A time when the mornings and evenings were still bearable. A time when the Earth loved us a little more. A time... like, two weeks ago. Way back when I was considering which movies would keep me cool during the summer months, whether they be new documentaries at FilmBar or old classics to check out from the library. Ohh, those were the days. But it has been a strange June. Hasn't it? Below normal temperatures during the first part of the month and above normal temperatures during the latter. Well, that all just balances everything out so very comfortably, doesn’t it? Ha! So I will hearken back to the first part of the month... A time when the lack of natural light made it seem more like Seattle than the Sonoran Desert, leaving a few glorious, scattered sun-drenched rainstorms. A record rainfall on June 5! OK, the ONLY rainfall recorded on that day. Ever. So what if it wasn’t even two-tenths of an inch. But still, hey, maybe that would be a sign of unseasonably cool temps to come! Maybe it will be a mild one! Maybe this summer won't be so bad! Ha! haldiman-3 So by a week into June, I knew I'd better hedge my bets and enjoy our fine city it while I could, before the major league temps started setting in. Bring on the bike riding! Me and my mind on two wheels along canals and sidewalks, middle class and under middle class, strip clubs and strip malls. Ohh say, 12th Street between Camelback and Osborn roads. haldiman-2 Now, that's one area...

Complaints of the cruel summer to come have certainly come. And come hard. We’re now more than ankle deep in those triple digit temperatures we've come to know and love. But I remember an easier time. A time when the mornings and evenings were still bearable. A time when the Earth loved us a little more. A time... like, two weeks ago. Way back when I was considering which movies would keep me cool during the summer months, whether they be new documentaries at FilmBar or old classics to check out from the library. Ohh, those were the days. But it has been a strange June. Hasn't it? Below normal temperatures during the first part of the month and above normal temperatures during the latter. Well, that all just balances everything out so very comfortably, doesn’t it? Ha! So I will hearken back to the first part of the month... A time when the lack of natural light made it seem more like Seattle than the Sonoran Desert, leaving a few glorious, scattered sun-drenched rainstorms. A record rainfall on June 5! OK, the ONLY rainfall recorded on that day. Ever. So what if it wasn’t even two-tenths of an inch. But still, hey, maybe that would be a sign of...

Complaints of the cruel summer to come have certainly come. And come hard. We’re now more than ankle deep in those triple digit temperatures we've come to know and love. But I remember an easier time. A time when the mornings and evenings were still bearable. A time when the Earth loved us a little more. A time... like, two weeks ago. Way back when I was considering which movies would keep me cool during the summer months, whether they be new documentaries at FilmBar or old classics to check out from the library. Ohh, those were the days. But it has been a strange June....

Complaints of the cruel summer to come have certainly come. And come hard. We’re now more than ankle deep in those triple digit temperatures we've come to know and love. But I remember an easier time. A time when the mornings and evenings were still bearable. A time when the Earth loved us a...

Complaints of the cruel summer to come have certainly come. And come hard. We’re now more than ankle deep in those triple digit temperatures we've come to...

Complaints of the cruel summer to come have certainly come. And come hard. We’re now more than ankle deep in those triple digit temperatures we've come to know and love. But I remember an easier time. A time when the mornings and evenings were still bearable. A time when the Earth loved us a little more. A time... like, two weeks ago. Way back when I was considering which movies would keep me cool during the summer months, whether they be new documentaries at FilmBar or old classics to check out from the library. Ohh, those were the days. But it has been a strange June....

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Loving Phoenix

June 10, 2015 No Comments 6

When I first arrived in Phoenix a decade ago this summer to interview for a job at the Arizona Republic, I ate lunch at the Hooters in Arizona Center. It’s one thing to want to eat at Hooters. It’s another thing to have to eat at Hooters because there are so few dining options. While I was slightly annoyed by downtown Phoenix’s then sparse options, I was very excited about the job for which I was being considered – and what I thought it meant for my long-term journalism career. I have long been passionate about higher education and its potential to expose enrolled students to ideas, individuals, and worlds beyond anything they had ever considered. So when Republic editors let me know that they wanted to interview me to be the Arizona State University reporter, I jumped at the opportunity. Arizona was the second fastest growing state in the country. And Arizona State University was on its way to being the country’s largest residential university. By the time I arrived, President Michael Crow had been on the ground for three years following a stint as provost of the Ivy League Columbia University. And he was – for better or worse – hell-bent on transforming ASU from a school mainly known for partying to a highly respected academic institution comparable to some of the country’s best public universities. And I wanted to tell the story – but only for two years. As grateful as I was to have a high profile beat at the Republic – the largest daily paper owned by Gannett, the largest newspaper publisher in the country – at 24, I was full of East Coast arrogance. I was raised in Washington, D.C. and studied journalism at a “public ivy” and was hoping to be at the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times or...

When I first arrived in Phoenix a decade ago this summer to interview for a job at the Arizona Republic, I ate lunch at the Hooters in Arizona Center. It’s one thing to want to eat at Hooters. It’s another thing to have to eat at Hooters because there are so few dining options. While I was slightly annoyed by downtown Phoenix’s then sparse options, I was very excited about the job for which I was being considered – and what I thought it meant for my long-term journalism career. I have long been passionate about higher education and its potential to expose enrolled students to ideas, individuals, and worlds beyond anything they had ever considered. So when Republic editors let me know that they wanted to interview me to be the Arizona State University reporter, I jumped at the opportunity. Arizona was the second fastest growing state in the country. And Arizona State University was on its way to being the country’s largest residential university. By the time I arrived, President Michael Crow had been on the ground for three years following a stint as provost of the Ivy League Columbia University. And he was – for better or worse – hell-bent on transforming...

When I first arrived in Phoenix a decade ago this summer to interview for a job at the Arizona Republic, I ate lunch at the Hooters in Arizona Center. It’s one thing to want to eat at Hooters. It’s another thing to have to eat at Hooters because there are so few dining options. While I was slightly annoyed by downtown Phoenix’s then sparse options, I was very excited about the job for which I was being considered – and what I thought it meant for my long-term journalism career. I have long been passionate about higher education and its potential to expose...

When I first arrived in Phoenix a decade ago this summer to interview for a job at the Arizona Republic, I ate lunch at the Hooters in Arizona Center. It’s one thing to want to eat at Hooters. It’s another thing to have to eat at Hooters because there are so...

When I first arrived in Phoenix a decade ago this summer to interview for a job at the Arizona Republic, I ate lunch at the...

When I first arrived in Phoenix a decade ago this summer to interview for a job at the Arizona Republic, I ate lunch at the Hooters in Arizona Center. It’s one thing to want to eat at Hooters. It’s another thing to have to eat at Hooters because there are so few dining options. While I was slightly annoyed by downtown Phoenix’s then sparse options, I was very excited about the job for which I was being considered – and what I thought it meant for my long-term journalism career. I have long been passionate about higher education and its potential to expose...

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Praying for Reconciliation and Peace

May 6, 2015 No Comments 3

It is no secret that for many years there has been, to varying degrees, suspicion and even antagonism between law enforcement officials and minority communities in our country. Over the past year we’ve seen these tensions reach tipping points in Ferguson, in New York, and most recently, in Baltimore. In response, members of the clergy here in metro Phoenix have organized prayer rallies calling for racial justice and reconciliation through Faith & Justice PHX. At Flourish Phoenix, we’ve published multiple pieces by thoughtful leaders who are grappling with the implications of racial injustices, and we're committed to publishing additional perspectives on the issue (we’re waiting to hear from you!). In the meantime, we want you to know about the first annual Law Enforcement Prayer Breakfast coming up on May 20. Pastor José González, who leads a local network of Latino pastors, is organizing this event, with proceeds going to the 100 Club of Arizona. Gov. Doug Ducey is scheduled to speak, along with Attorney General Mark Brnovich and Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. We spoke with Pastor González about his hopes for the event and his views on the need for reconciliation in our community. FP: In addition to your work as a hospice chaplain, you lead Arizona Christian Link. Could you briefly tell us what that is? JG: Arizona Christian Link is an organization that is helping to connect Latino churches with Anglo churches and African American churches, but also with government agencies and other institutions in our community. FP: In light of the recent tensions between police officers and minority communities, how do you see this event as a step towards reconciliation in our own city? JG: I believe there is a tendency to show the bad side of law enforcement officers. When we see one bad cop, it makes us believe that all cops are the same....

It is no secret that for many years there has been, to varying degrees, suspicion and even antagonism between law enforcement officials and minority communities in our country. Over the past year we’ve seen these tensions reach tipping points in Ferguson, in New York, and most recently, in Baltimore. In response, members of the clergy here in metro Phoenix have organized prayer rallies calling for racial justice and reconciliation through Faith & Justice PHX. At Flourish Phoenix, we’ve published multiple pieces by thoughtful leaders who are grappling with the implications of racial injustices, and we're committed to publishing additional perspectives on the issue (we’re waiting to hear from you!). In the meantime, we want you to know about the first annual Law Enforcement Prayer Breakfast coming up on May 20. Pastor José González, who leads a local network of Latino pastors, is organizing this event, with proceeds going to the 100 Club of Arizona. Gov. Doug Ducey is scheduled to speak, along with Attorney General Mark Brnovich and Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. We spoke with Pastor González about his hopes for the event and his views on the need for reconciliation in our community. FP: In addition to your work as a hospice chaplain, you lead...

It is no secret that for many years there has been, to varying degrees, suspicion and even antagonism between law enforcement officials and minority communities in our country. Over the past year we’ve seen these tensions reach tipping points in Ferguson, in New York, and most recently, in Baltimore. In response, members of the clergy here in metro Phoenix have organized prayer rallies calling for racial justice and reconciliation through Faith & Justice PHX. At Flourish Phoenix, we’ve published multiple pieces by thoughtful leaders who are grappling with the implications of racial injustices, and we're committed to publishing additional perspectives on the...

It is no secret that for many years there has been, to varying degrees, suspicion and even antagonism between law enforcement officials and minority communities in our country. Over the past year we’ve seen these tensions reach tipping points in Ferguson, in New York, and most recently, in Baltimore. In response,...

It is no secret that for many years there has been, to varying degrees, suspicion and even antagonism between law enforcement officials and minority communities...

It is no secret that for many years there has been, to varying degrees, suspicion and even antagonism between law enforcement officials and minority communities in our country. Over the past year we’ve seen these tensions reach tipping points in Ferguson, in New York, and most recently, in Baltimore. In response, members of the clergy here in metro Phoenix have organized prayer rallies calling for racial justice and reconciliation through Faith & Justice PHX. At Flourish Phoenix, we’ve published multiple pieces by thoughtful leaders who are grappling with the implications of racial injustices, and we're committed to publishing additional perspectives on the...

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Both/And

April 22, 2015 No Comments 10

All of the excitement surrounding the explosion of development in and around the downtown Phoenix corridor has brought with it what seems to be a never ending battle: entrepreneurial vs. corporate; local vs. chain; “the little guy” vs. “the man.” And the debate rages on. Yet, perhaps the debate is unnecessary. Is it possible to be both corporate and entrepreneurial – or even more of a leap, chain restaurant and local establishment? And, is it conceivable that “the man” has much in common with “the little guy”? In January 2010, along with my wife and three kids I moved to the Willo Historic District to start a new church in the city’s center. We had no idea what a gem we had “discovered” because we were largely ignorant to the beauty and community that urban Phoenix offered. Like many east valley residents, we didn’t even know an urban Phoenix existed. But when we decided to start a new church we knew we didn’t want to start it in the suburbs – the land of the chain restaurant! We had always felt called to the city, where people from all walks of life meet in a beautiful collision. Where $500 a month apartments share an alley with million dollar homes. When we moved downtown, we were not disappointed. We found many people like ourselves and many people very different. We met many who were seeking a more walkable, bikeable, almost “small town” experience in the midst of urban development. Others were seeking a place to live for the evening or just to grab something to eat. Soon after we arrived in the city, we began to see the covert signs of what has now become obvious. Urban Phoenix was not going to be an oxymoron for long. New cafes, restaurants, bike paths, parks, and galleries...

All of the excitement surrounding the explosion of development in and around the downtown Phoenix corridor has brought with it what seems to be a never ending battle: entrepreneurial vs. corporate; local vs. chain; “the little guy” vs. “the man.” And the debate rages on. Yet, perhaps the debate is unnecessary. Is it possible to be both corporate and entrepreneurial – or even more of a leap, chain restaurant and local establishment? And, is it conceivable that “the man” has much in common with “the little guy”? In January 2010, along with my wife and three kids I moved to the Willo Historic District to start a new church in the city’s center. We had no idea what a gem we had “discovered” because we were largely ignorant to the beauty and community that urban Phoenix offered. Like many east valley residents, we didn’t even know an urban Phoenix existed. But when we decided to start a new church we knew we didn’t want to start it in the suburbs – the land of the chain restaurant! We had always felt called to the city, where people from all walks of life meet in a beautiful collision. Where $500 a month apartments...

All of the excitement surrounding the explosion of development in and around the downtown Phoenix corridor has brought with it what seems to be a never ending battle: entrepreneurial vs. corporate; local vs. chain; “the little guy” vs. “the man.” And the debate rages on. Yet, perhaps the debate is unnecessary. Is it possible to be both corporate and entrepreneurial – or even more of a leap, chain restaurant and local establishment? And, is it conceivable that “the man” has much in common with “the little guy”? In January 2010, along with my wife and three kids I moved to the Willo...

All of the excitement surrounding the explosion of development in and around the downtown Phoenix corridor has brought with it what seems to be a never ending battle: entrepreneurial vs. corporate; local vs. chain; “the little guy” vs. “the man.” And the debate rages on. Yet, perhaps the debate is unnecessary....

All of the excitement surrounding the explosion of development in and around the downtown Phoenix corridor has brought with it what seems to be a...

All of the excitement surrounding the explosion of development in and around the downtown Phoenix corridor has brought with it what seems to be a never ending battle: entrepreneurial vs. corporate; local vs. chain; “the little guy” vs. “the man.” And the debate rages on. Yet, perhaps the debate is unnecessary. Is it possible to be both corporate and entrepreneurial – or even more of a leap, chain restaurant and local establishment? And, is it conceivable that “the man” has much in common with “the little guy”? In January 2010, along with my wife and three kids I moved to the Willo...

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The Pinewood Classic

April 18, 2015 No Comments 4

The Pinewood Classic returns to downtown Phoenix for the second time on Saturday, April 25. Though slots for racers sold out a while ago, spectators are in for a real treat with food, drink, and people-watching galore. We asked Doug Penick to tell us about the event. (Full disclosure: Doug is the mastermind behind the Flourish Phoenix logo. He does great work.) FP: Where in the world did the idea for this event come from? DP: A few years back I took a trip back to my hometown of Virginia Beach. Around the same time, my dad was building a pinewood derby car with my younger brother. We had done the same thing years before when I was a boy scout, but this time it was a lot different. Dad proceeded to show me the precision machined wheels he’d purchased off the “cub scout black market,” and right down to the millimeter where to place his aftermarket tungsten weights. He had a laundry list of NASA-certified methods, guaranteed to win the pinewood derby. And he did. He and my brother went to state finals several years running. When I was younger, the full extent was, “I want mine to look like a steam engine!” And that was that. No bells, no whistles. It made me want to build a pinewood derby car more than ever. I just needed a reason. pinewood4 I had been part of planning Pedal Craft’s second and third events here in Phoenix, and knew just enough about throwing this type of party to be dangerous. During the last Pedal Craft event at Monorchid, I blurted out my idea to Brad Moore of Short Leash Hot Dogs. Before I had finished my sentence he offered to host it at their restaurant. Brad and Kat have really championed The Pinewood...

The Pinewood Classic returns to downtown Phoenix for the second time on Saturday, April 25. Though slots for racers sold out a while ago, spectators are in for a real treat with food, drink, and people-watching galore. We asked Doug Penick to tell us about the event. (Full disclosure: Doug is the mastermind behind the Flourish Phoenix logo. He does great work.) FP: Where in the world did the idea for this event come from? DP: A few years back I took a trip back to my hometown of Virginia Beach. Around the same time, my dad was building a pinewood derby car with my younger brother. We had done the same thing years before when I was a boy scout, but this time it was a lot different. Dad proceeded to show me the precision machined wheels he’d purchased off the “cub scout black market,” and right down to the millimeter where to place his aftermarket tungsten weights. He had a laundry list of NASA-certified methods, guaranteed to win the pinewood derby. And he did. He and my brother went to state finals several years running. When I was younger, the full extent was, “I want mine to look like a steam engine!” And that was...

The Pinewood Classic returns to downtown Phoenix for the second time on Saturday, April 25. Though slots for racers sold out a while ago, spectators are in for a real treat with food, drink, and people-watching galore. We asked Doug Penick to tell us about the event. (Full disclosure: Doug is the mastermind behind the Flourish Phoenix logo. He does great work.) FP: Where in the world did the idea for this event come from? DP: A few years back I took a trip back to my hometown of Virginia Beach. Around the same time, my dad was building a pinewood derby car with my younger brother....

The Pinewood Classic returns to downtown Phoenix for the second time on Saturday, April 25. Though slots for racers sold out a while ago, spectators are in for a real treat with food, drink, and people-watching galore. We asked Doug Penick to tell us about the event. (Full disclosure: Doug is the mastermind behind the...

The Pinewood Classic returns to downtown Phoenix for the second time on Saturday, April 25. Though slots for racers sold out a while ago, spectators are...

The Pinewood Classic returns to downtown Phoenix for the second time on Saturday, April 25. Though slots for racers sold out a while ago, spectators are in for a real treat with food, drink, and people-watching galore. We asked Doug Penick to tell us about the event. (Full disclosure: Doug is the mastermind behind the Flourish Phoenix logo. He does great work.) FP: Where in the world did the idea for this event come from? DP: A few years back I took a trip back to my hometown of Virginia Beach. Around the same time, my dad was building a pinewood derby car with my younger brother....

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HopeFest Returns for the Fourth Year

April 9, 2015 No Comments 7

HopeFest is returning to Chase Field on April 18. The annual event, which is coordinated by CityServe Arizona, connects our city’s “uninsured, underinsured and underserved” residents with a variety of resources and services they need. I spoke with Terrilyn Miller, the director of CityServe, about the upcoming event. FP: This will be the fourth time CityServe has sponsored HopeFest in Phoenix. Tell us how this annual event got started. TM: Billy Thrall, our founder, tells the story how he heard about HopeFest Tucson and wondered why we didn’t have anything like it in Phoenix. Soon after launching CityServe Arizona in April 2011, Lisa Chastain, the Founder and Executive Director of Hope Network (which puts on a HopeFest in Tucson each October), coached us through the initial stages of starting a HopeFest Phoenix. Several of us toured the Tucson event in October 2011 to see what it was like. We then took the idea and made adjustments to fit the needs here locally. For instance, Tucson had a homeless population focus and we wanted to focus on families that had been hit hard by the economic downturn and had no idea where to go for help. It was a leap of faith, but we held our first annual event in April 2012 – and it far exceeded our wildest dreams. FP: For the past few years, the Arizona Diamondbacks have hosted HopeFest at Chase Field, and it's a real bridge-building event, bringing together a diverse range of partner organizations. Talk about the links CityServe AZ has been able to develop between nonprofits, businesses, and government through this event over the years. TM: I cannot even begin to list all the partnerships! There are students and faculty from middle school to graduate school who participate in HopeFest. ASU has student groups such as the Council of Religious...

HopeFest is returning to Chase Field on April 18. The annual event, which is coordinated by CityServe Arizona, connects our city’s “uninsured, underinsured and underserved” residents with a variety of resources and services they need. I spoke with Terrilyn Miller, the director of CityServe, about the upcoming event. FP: This will be the fourth time CityServe has sponsored HopeFest in Phoenix. Tell us how this annual event got started. TM: Billy Thrall, our founder, tells the story how he heard about HopeFest Tucson and wondered why we didn’t have anything like it in Phoenix. Soon after launching CityServe Arizona in April 2011, Lisa Chastain, the Founder and Executive Director of Hope Network (which puts on a HopeFest in Tucson each October), coached us through the initial stages of starting a HopeFest Phoenix. Several of us toured the Tucson event in October 2011 to see what it was like. We then took the idea and made adjustments to fit the needs here locally. For instance, Tucson had a homeless population focus and we wanted to focus on families that had been hit hard by the economic downturn and had no idea where to go for help. It was a leap of faith, but we...

HopeFest is returning to Chase Field on April 18. The annual event, which is coordinated by CityServe Arizona, connects our city’s “uninsured, underinsured and underserved” residents with a variety of resources and services they need. I spoke with Terrilyn Miller, the director of CityServe, about the upcoming event. FP: This will be the fourth time CityServe has sponsored HopeFest in Phoenix. Tell us how this annual event got started. TM: Billy Thrall, our founder, tells the story how he heard about HopeFest Tucson and wondered why we didn’t have anything like it in Phoenix. Soon after launching CityServe Arizona in April 2011,...

HopeFest is returning to Chase Field on April 18. The annual event, which is coordinated by CityServe Arizona, connects our city’s “uninsured, underinsured and underserved” residents with a variety of resources and services they need. I spoke with Terrilyn Miller, the director of CityServe, about the upcoming event. FP: This will...

HopeFest is returning to Chase Field on April 18. The annual event, which is coordinated by CityServe Arizona, connects our city’s “uninsured, underinsured and underserved”...

HopeFest is returning to Chase Field on April 18. The annual event, which is coordinated by CityServe Arizona, connects our city’s “uninsured, underinsured and underserved” residents with a variety of resources and services they need. I spoke with Terrilyn Miller, the director of CityServe, about the upcoming event. FP: This will be the fourth time CityServe has sponsored HopeFest in Phoenix. Tell us how this annual event got started. TM: Billy Thrall, our founder, tells the story how he heard about HopeFest Tucson and wondered why we didn’t have anything like it in Phoenix. Soon after launching CityServe Arizona in April 2011,...

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What Phoenix Needs From You

April 7, 2015 No Comments 25

If you browse through a typical online newspaper or variety website, you will likely encounter a “top ten list” regarding the best cities to live in. Depending on the source, that list might have a particular focus – best city for finding a new job, locations with affordable housing, best cities for outdoor fun. On the surface, I can appreciate the content provided in these infotainment articles. For those making decisions about job relocation or retirement – or for those simply dreaming of a better place – this information can provide a quick overview about the highlights of a given city. The problem with these lists is the underlining “one-way” mindset – we are looking at a city or community with only one question in mind: “What does this city have to offer me and my family?” We want nice roads, reliable public transportation, robust employment options, good schools, safe streets, vibrant cultural and entertainment events, and short lines at the motor vehicle office. And don’t get me wrong, wanting and desiring those characteristics in your home community is not a bad thing. But rarely are people thinking about these two questions: “What type of people are necessary to cultivate a city with these attributes?” and “Am I willing to invest in and care for the community where I live?” Cities are not merely composed of trendy restaurants, high-rise buildings, parks, apartments, freeways, sport stadiums, and office complexes. They are made up of individuals and families. So I would like to flip the script a bit and propose a different type of list: the characteristics that metro Phoenix is looking for in its people. Here are four: 1. Determination. Cities are majestic, but they are not easy to create and sustain. Cities do not leisurely coast along, but need passionate people to continually build, nurture, and...

If you browse through a typical online newspaper or variety website, you will likely encounter a “top ten list” regarding the best cities to live in. Depending on the source, that list might have a particular focus – best city for finding a new job, locations with affordable housing, best cities for outdoor fun. On the surface, I can appreciate the content provided in these infotainment articles. For those making decisions about job relocation or retirement – or for those simply dreaming of a better place – this information can provide a quick overview about the highlights of a given city. The problem with these lists is the underlining “one-way” mindset – we are looking at a city or community with only one question in mind: “What does this city have to offer me and my family?” We want nice roads, reliable public transportation, robust employment options, good schools, safe streets, vibrant cultural and entertainment events, and short lines at the motor vehicle office. And don’t get me wrong, wanting and desiring those characteristics in your home community is not a bad thing. But rarely are people thinking about these two questions: “What type of people are necessary to cultivate a city with these...

If you browse through a typical online newspaper or variety website, you will likely encounter a “top ten list” regarding the best cities to live in. Depending on the source, that list might have a particular focus – best city for finding a new job, locations with affordable housing, best cities for outdoor fun. On the surface, I can appreciate the content provided in these infotainment articles. For those making decisions about job relocation or retirement – or for those simply dreaming of a better place – this information can provide a quick overview about the highlights of a given city. The...

If you browse through a typical online newspaper or variety website, you will likely encounter a “top ten list” regarding the best cities to live in. Depending on the source, that list might have a particular focus – best city for finding a new job, locations with affordable housing, best...

If you browse through a typical online newspaper or variety website, you will likely encounter a “top ten list” regarding the best cities to live...

If you browse through a typical online newspaper or variety website, you will likely encounter a “top ten list” regarding the best cities to live in. Depending on the source, that list might have a particular focus – best city for finding a new job, locations with affordable housing, best cities for outdoor fun. On the surface, I can appreciate the content provided in these infotainment articles. For those making decisions about job relocation or retirement – or for those simply dreaming of a better place – this information can provide a quick overview about the highlights of a given city. The...

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Unleashing the Entrepreneurial Spirit

March 24, 2015 No Comments 5

If you stop by Arizona Center (400 E Van Buren St) this Saturday, March 28, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., right away you’ll notice that something unusual is happening. You’ll find 50 booths with over 100 entrepreneurs – none older than 14 years old – plying their wares. I interviewed event organizer Scott Donnell about the Arizona Children’s Business Fair and what it means for the future of our city. FP: Why should kids care about entrepreneurship? And why should we care that kids care about it? SD: Entrepreneurship is the lifeblood of the marketplace, and it can be the most freeing job in the world. Why? Because it allows people to use their best gifts and talents to the fullest, and the last person to fire you is you. I believe that kids are really pretty brilliant creators if we just give them the space to do it. Business is easy – make something with your hands that others want, and sell it to them safely for more than it cost you to make it. Kids get that pretty quickly. It is amazing to see them sell something for the first time that they made themselves – that is the spark we are trying to get to. That unleashes a kid – no more fear of getting a job, no more chores, no more boring. Every kid is on a hero's journey, and their calling is to find where their skills, passions, and needs of the world meet. That's why we should care that kids get these chances to be creators. My first business was in second grade, making bead-gecko keychains for $2, and I hired all my friends to make them for me. We sold hundreds of them until the teacher took away our beads because no one was doing work....

If you stop by Arizona Center (400 E Van Buren St) this Saturday, March 28, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., right away you’ll notice that something unusual is happening. You’ll find 50 booths with over 100 entrepreneurs – none older than 14 years old – plying their wares. I interviewed event organizer Scott Donnell about the Arizona Children’s Business Fair and what it means for the future of our city. FP: Why should kids care about entrepreneurship? And why should we care that kids care about it? SD: Entrepreneurship is the lifeblood of the marketplace, and it can be the most freeing job in the world. Why? Because it allows people to use their best gifts and talents to the fullest, and the last person to fire you is you. I believe that kids are really pretty brilliant creators if we just give them the space to do it. Business is easy – make something with your hands that others want, and sell it to them safely for more than it cost you to make it. Kids get that pretty quickly. It is amazing to see them sell something for the first time that they made themselves – that is the spark...

If you stop by Arizona Center (400 E Van Buren St) this Saturday, March 28, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., right away you’ll notice that something unusual is happening. You’ll find 50 booths with over 100 entrepreneurs – none older than 14 years old – plying their wares. I interviewed event organizer Scott Donnell about the Arizona Children’s Business Fair and what it means for the future of our city. FP: Why should kids care about entrepreneurship? And why should we care that kids care about it? SD: Entrepreneurship is the lifeblood of the marketplace, and it can be the most freeing...

If you stop by Arizona Center (400 E Van Buren St) this Saturday, March 28, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., right away you’ll notice that something unusual is happening. You’ll find 50 booths with over 100 entrepreneurs – none older than 14 years old – plying their wares. I interviewed...

If you stop by Arizona Center (400 E Van Buren St) this Saturday, March 28, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., right away you’ll notice...

If you stop by Arizona Center (400 E Van Buren St) this Saturday, March 28, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., right away you’ll notice that something unusual is happening. You’ll find 50 booths with over 100 entrepreneurs – none older than 14 years old – plying their wares. I interviewed event organizer Scott Donnell about the Arizona Children’s Business Fair and what it means for the future of our city. FP: Why should kids care about entrepreneurship? And why should we care that kids care about it? SD: Entrepreneurship is the lifeblood of the marketplace, and it can be the most freeing...

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