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Let’s Talk Business Phoenix

Season 2

New podcast episodes will be added to our website, Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, and Spotify on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month. Each episode addresses important issues and subjects affecting businesses, our community, and Arizona today. Through relevant, timely topics, this podcast serves as the business community’s voice with the mission of championing business growth, identifying problems that restrict economic development, and convening community leaders to move Phoenix forward.

Steve Purves
Valleywise Health

In Episode 26 of Let’s Talk Business Phoenix, Steve Purves, President & CEO, Valleywise Health, joins us to discuss the evolution of what was formerly known as the “county hospital” in Maricopa County. Hear how Valleywise Health, our community’s public teaching hospital and safety net system of care and a leading provider of inpatient behavioral health services in the region, is effectively addressing the complexities of mental health, alongside the importance of the organization’s community engagement and business partnerships in achieving their objectives.

Steve Wyett
BOK Financial

In Episode 25 of Let’s Talk Business Phoenix, Steve Wyett, Chief Investment Strategist, BOK Financial, discusses recent changes in the U.S. economy, including shifts in interest rates and government policies and the effects on consumer confidence and spending behavior. What strategies should businesses consider to remain agile and resilient in the current economic landscape marked by volatility and uncertainty? How can companies effectively pivot their operations to adapt to changing market conditions? Hear those answers and more in this informative episode!

Don Opatrny
Phoenix Art Museum

In Episode 24 of Let’s Talk Business Phoenix, Don Opatrny, Phoenix Art Museum’s Board Chairman, joins us to discuss business and the arts in Phoenix. Learn about the role of the Phoenix Art Museum within the local community and broader art world, alongside recent initiatives, and projects the museum has undertaken under his leadership. What challenges and opportunities does he see for the Phoenix Art Museum in the current cultural and economic landscape? What role do partnerships and collaborations play in the museum’s programming and outreach efforts? Find out those answers and more!

Greg Stanton

In this episode of Let’s Talk Business Phoenix, hear from Congressman Greg Stanton, former Phoenix Mayor from 2012-2018. He discusses his interesting political career journey and the changes he’s seen in the Valley over the years. How does he approach bipartisan cooperation and finding common ground on important issues? How is the congressman working to find adequate resources and thoughtful policy solutions to secure our border? Listen to get these answers and more!

Derrick Hall, President & CEO
Arizona Diamondbacks

In Episode 22 of Let’s Talk Business Phoenix, Derrick Hall, President & CEO of the Arizona Diamondbacks, joins us as we wrap up Spring Training and head into the regular season after making it to the MLB World Series last year. Hear how the Diamondbacks World Series appearance influenced the Valley’s economy and how the organization as a whole contributes to the economic development and growth of the local business community. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to hear from one of Arizona’s top sports leaders!

Jay Parry, President and CEO
2024 Men’s Final Four Host Committee

Tune in for a special episode of Let’s Talk Business Phoenix, featuring Jay Parry, President and CEO, 2024 Men’s Final Four Host Committee. What measures have been taken to assess the economic impact of the tournament on the Greater Phoenix region? What projections or estimates are available regarding the boost to local businesses and tourism during the tournament period? How can the business community collaborate and take advantage of the national spotlight the tournament brings to the region? Listen to hear those answers and more as we head into an exciting weekend with Arizona in the national spotlight!

Rear Admiral Maria Aguayo, U.S. Navy

In Episode 20 of Let’s Talk Business Phoenix, we celebrate Women’s History Month by featuring Rear Admiral Maria Aguayo with the U.S. Navy, who discusses being a female trailblazer and how she sees the role of women in the Navy evolving in the coming years. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to hear about the Navy’s contributions to national security and defense efforts, how the Navy’s presence resonates with residents in Arizona, and how it impacts the state’s economy following Navy Week, recently hosted in Phoenix.

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Shawn Walsh & Major Bethany Blackburn

Tune in for this exciting episode of Let’s Talk Business Phoenix to hear from U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Shawn Walsh, Luke Air Force Base Program Integration Office, and Major Bethany Blackburn ahead of Luke Days, the annual world-class airshow taking place Saturday, March 23rd – Sunday, March 24th. This dynamic episode gives listeners an inside look at the mission and work happening at Luke Airforce Base alongside the capabilities and skills of the pilots and aircraft stationed there. Listen to also hear how Luke Airforce Base contributes to the local economy and collaborates with regional businesses. Don’t miss this interesting episode which highlights one of Arizona’s key military bases!

Sal Bracale
Moon Valley Nurseries

In Episode 18 of Let’s Talk Business Phoenix, Sal Bracale, Vice President, and Director of Operations of Moon Valley Nurseries, joins us to discuss this local company’s origins and long history in the Valley and what sets them apart from the competition. Hear about Moon Valley Nurseries community engagement, initiatives, and partnerships to give back to the Phoenix community it serves.

Jill Buschbacher and De Anne Russell
Connect to Work AZ

Tune in for the next episode of Let’s Talk Business Phoenix to hear from Jill Buschbacher, Director of Workforce Innovation for the Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation, and De Anne Russell, System Vice President of Talent Acquisition at Common Spirit Health. In this episode, you will learn more about the Foundation’s newest initiative, Connect to Work AZ, its goals, and its influence on the state’s workforce development. You will also hear about some of Dignity Health’s most pressing challenges today in finding and keeping talent, and how their partnership with Connect to Work AZ aligns with the company’s talent acquisition goals.

Fran Mallace
Make a Wish

In this episode of Let’s Talk Business Phoenix, hear from Fran Mallace, President & CEO of Make-A-Wish Arizona, ahead of the 2024 IMPACT Awards nomination deadline on Friday, February 2nd. Make-A-Wish Arizona was the recipient of the 2023 Small Business IMPACTful Nonprofit Award, and Fran shares their experience and the influence it has had on their organization. Additionally, tune in to hear more about Make-A-Wish Arizona’s mission to create life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses in the state. You won’t want to miss this heartwarming episode!

Kris Mayes
Attorney General

Kicking off the first Let’s Talk Business Phoenix Podcast episode in the new year, is Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes. In this episode, the Attorney General discusses her top priorities for her office and protecting businesses. Hear the latest on immigration and border security, addressing the fentanyl crisis, the latest scams affecting the community, and organized retail theft. As we kick off a major election year, the Attorney General goes on to discuss voting rights, election integrity, and her office’s formal opinion on prevailing wage. Stay updated with this informative, dynamic episode!

Tony Finn
VP of ElevateEdAZ

For the final Let’s Talk Business Phoenix Podcast episodes of 2023, we highlight our ElevateEdAZ program with Tony Finn, Vice President of ElevateEdAZ. Hear about the main focuses for ElevateEdAZ, improving education with partner schools, and the program’s growth throughout the Valley. As you consider your end-of-year giving contributions, please don’t forget about the impactful work the Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation is doing for education and the workforce in Arizona. Donate today!

Dr. Thea Andrade
PXU Superintendent

For the final Let’s Talk Business Phoenix Podcast episodes of 2023, we highlight our ElevateEdAZ program with Thea Andrade, Superintendent of the Phoenix Union High School District (PXU). Hear about the partnership between ElevateEdAZ and PXU, and efforts toward ensuring students have equitable opportunities to prepare for their future in college or career. As you consider your end-of-year giving contributions, please don’t forget about the impactful work the Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation is doing for education and the workforce in Arizona. Donate today!

Peter Fine
Banner Health

Tune in to the Let’s Talk Business Phoenix Podcast to hear from Peter Fine, CEO of Banner Health in Phoenix. Peter discusses a range of topics, including the evolution of Banner Health during his many years of leadership. Additionally, hear about healthcare workforce shortages, the healthcare affordability crisis, telemedicine, and his vision for the future of Banner Health in the Greater Phoenix region.

Paul Luna
Helios Foundation

In this episode of Let’s Talk Business Phoenix, hear from Paul Luna, President and CEO of Helios Education Foundation, as he discusses dual enrollment in Arizona and their partnership with ElevateEdAZ ahead of Giving Tuesday. Paul discusses the state of education in Arizona, how we are succeeding, and where we can improve.

Throughout the season of giving, consider donating to the Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation and support our work in the community. All gifts made to the Foundation (midnight to midnight) will be MATCHED dollar for dollar, up to $5,000 by generous donors!

Tanya Wheeless
USSArizona Legacy Foundation

Tune in to listen to this week’s episode of Let’s Talk Business Phoenix with our latest guest, Tanya Wheeless, President and CEO of the USS Arizona Legacy Foundation. The December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, and sinking of the USS Arizona battleship, marked the beginning of World War II. The USS Arizona Memorial Gardens at Salt River in Scottsdale opened in 2020 to honor the brave U.S. forces who were attacked aboard the battleship that day. Learn what inspired the creation of the Foundation and the role it plays in preserving the memory of the battleship and celebrating the forthcoming USS Arizona SSN-803 Virginia Class fast-attack submarine.

Carrie Masters
St. Joseph the Worker

In the latest episode of Let’s Talk Business Phoenix, hear from Carrie Masters, CEO of St. Joseph the Worker, a Phoenix organization connecting the Valley’s disadvantaged, homeless, and transitioning individuals to quality jobs. Alongside telling her own personal story of experiencing homelessness, Carrie breaks down common challenges job seekers, especially those facing barriers, typically encounter and how St. Joseph the Worker is addressing these challenges.

Jessica Mefford-Miller
Valley Metro

In this episode of the Let’s Talk Business Phoenix Podcast, hear from Jessica Mefford-Miller, CEO of Phoenix’s Valley Metro. Jessica discusses the challenges Valley Metro is facing today and the strategies they are implementing to address them. Listen to get the latest updates on increasing transportation demand, funding from Prop 400, and the measures taken to ensure all members of the community can benefit from their services.

Stella O-Rourke
Arizona Coyotes

In the latest Let’s Talk Business Phoenix Podcast episode, meet Stella O-Rourke, Director of Philanthropy and Special Events for the Arizona Coyotes and Chair of the Valley Young Professionals. Why would you recommend a young professional in the Valley join VYP? What sets VYP apart from other young professional groups? What opportunities do you see in the future for young professionals in the Valley? Listen to hear the answers and more!

Councilwoman Kesha Hodge Washington

In this episode of the Let’s Talk Business Phoenix Podcast, hear from Phoenix City Councilwoman Kesha Hodge Washington. Kesha discusses the City of Phoenix’s Go Bond Program campaign, supported by the Greater Phoenix Chamber, which will be on the ballot this November. Listen to other key challenges, initiatives, and policies impacting Phoenix today and its economic development and growth.

Jaime Molera
Molera Alvarez

In the latest episode of the Let’s Talk Business Phoenix Podcast, we hear from Jaime Molera, partner at Molera Alvarez and former Public Affairs Chair at the Chamber. After serving two years as the Arizona State Board of Education President, Jaime describes the importance of dual enrollment in our school system and his work alongside the Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation to support SB1717 this past legislative session. Furthermore, Jaime discusses the main political challenges impacting the business community today and possible solutions moving forward.

Chief Justice Ann Timmer

In this episode, hear from Vice Chief Justice Ann A. Scott Timmer, as she shares her background, experience, and journey to becoming an Arizona Supreme Court Justice. Justice Timmer breaks down challenges currently facing Arizona’s Judicial System and solutions to addressing them. Furthermore, hear what the business community can do to support our justice system.

Stacy Derstine

In this episode, hear from Stacy Derstine, Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation’s Chairwoman and Vice President of External Affairs at APS. Stacy discusses the Foundation’s impactful achievements in FY23 and goals for the new fiscal year. Hear how her leadership is helping the Foundation maximize workforce development and key issues Phoenix is facing today.

Scott Smith

In this episode, hear from Scott Smith, Greater Phoenix Chamber Chairman and Managing Partner of TowerHunter. Scott discusses goals for the Chamber’s fiscal year 2024, and how he plans to lead the organization in maximizing business memberships. As a long-time leader in human resources and executive recruitment, Scott addresses key issues he believes Phoenix is facing today and shares his thoughts on how the Chamber is helping to address these challenges.

Sheriff Paul Penzone

In the kick-off to Season 2, hear the latest from Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone with updates on public safety, school safety, border control issues, homelessness, and more. The Sheriff also discusses his journey to lead the nation’s fourth-largest county law enforcement agency and how he suggests businesses support his office.


Season 1

Mike Hummel
Former SRP General Manager and CEO

In this episode, hear from recently retired Mike Hummel, former General Manager and CEO at SRP, as he reflects on his time and leadership. Mike discusses his thoughts on the future of water conservation and utility usage in the Valley alongside advice for other business leaders impacting the region’s economic prosperity

Chad Makovsky
Sky Harbor

In this episode, hear from Chad Makovsky, City of Phoenix Director of Aviation Services, as he shares his leadership style and vision for the future of aviation services in the City of Phoenix. Find out how he is addressing the increasing demand for air travel while managing issues such as congestion, capacity limitation, and infrastructure constraints at regional airports.

Daniel Cervantes
Skills for America's Future

In Episode 25, hear from Daniel Cervantes, Senior Vice President, National Expansion & Strategic Initiatives, Skills for America’s Future, as he discusses the Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation’s new initiative, Connect to Work AZ. The jobs-first program will help unemployed and underemployed individuals from underserved communities connect with careers in healthcare and financial services.

Kevin Danzeisen
Danzeisen Dairy

Ahead of the 2023 IMPACT Awards, hear from Kevin Danzeisen, Owner of Danzeisen Dairy, the 2016 IMPACT Awards Small to Medium Community Champion Business of the Year. Hear how Danzeisen Dairy has become an Arizona staple for 60 years and is attributing and benefiting from being a part of the “5 Cs of Arizona”, specifically cattle, as a driving force behind the state’s economy and overall economic security.

Erik Osland

In this episode, the Chamber honors Mental Health Awareness Month by featuring Erik Osland, Co-Founder of evolvedMD. According to Mental Health America, Arizona ranks 49th in the nation for higher prevalence of mental illness and lower rates of access to care. Hear how evolvedMD is tackling this harrowing statistic head-on by being a radically different “disruptor” in the behavioral health industry. Osland makes the business case for prioritizing mental health and explains how business leaders can build a culture based on psychological safety for their employees.

Dr. José Luis Cruz Rivera

In this episode, hear from Northern Arizona University’s President José Luis Cruz Rivera. After two years as the 17th President of NAU, Dr. Cruz describes the University’s vision as the “leading engine of opportunity, the vehicle of upward mobility, and driver of social impact” and the steps taken to fulfill it. In addition, hear about NAU’s focus on allied healthcare education to face Arizona’s nursing shortage and the first state University to launch a Spanish-language website.

Leslie Meyers
SRP Water Update

In this episode, hear from Leslie Meyers, Chief Water Executive and Associate General Manager of Water Resources, at Salt River Project. The US Bureau of Reclamation recently declared a Tier 2a shortage for the Colorado River, with changes taking place in January of 2023. How will this directly impact Phoenix businesses? What can businesses do to support water conservation efforts? Listen to hear these answers and more regarding Arizona’s water future.

Matt Clyde
Ideas Collide

In this episode, hear from Matt Clyde, Founder, President & Chief Strategist of Ideas Collide. During this time of economic fluctuation, high inflation, and a possible recession, we know no matter what happens in the year ahead, there will be some challenges. How do you consult and counsel brands, marketers, and companies to prepare for the many unknowns? How do you continue to invest and evolve your brand? How does culture tie into internal and external work and branding practices for clients? Hear those answers and more in this episode!

Governor Katie Hobbs
Arizona Update

In this special bonus episode, hear from Governor Katie Hobbs as we kick off National Small Business Week and hear her priorities for Arizona following her first 100 days in office. How do we get past political polarization? What does “building an Arizona for everyone” mean to the Governor? Why is extending the Prop 400 transportation tax and investing in essential infrastructure crucial for our region and state? Tune in to hear those answers and more!

Christina Noble
Sonora Quest Laboratories

In this episode, hear from Christina Noble, Chief Growth Officer and Immediate Past Chair of the Greater Phoenix Chamber. More than ever, employers are investing in their employee benefits beyond standard insurance plans.  Christina discusses the challenges businesses face in the healthcare industry and how workplace wellness is key to attracting and keeping talent healthy and at work. Learn how businesses can be a part of the solution when seeking better, more affordable employee care access and Sonora Quest’s goals for healthcare in the Valley.

Dr. Steven Gonzales
Maricopa County Community College

In this episode, hear from Dr. Steven Gonzales, Chancellor of the Maricopa County Community College. Dr. Gonzales was appointed Chancellor in September 2022. Maricopa County Community College partnered with the Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation’s ElevateEdAZ program to strengthen Career and Technical Education (CTE) pathways for students, ultimately leading to high-wage, high-demand careers.

Dr. Michael Crow

Alongside the Chamber’s Valley Voices: The State of Higher Education on February 22nd, hear from Arizona State University President Dr. Michael Crow. In this episode, hear about ASU’s adoption of the three-pillar structure and what academic enterprise, knowledge enterprise, and learning enterprise have to offer the business community. You’ll also receive an update on ASU’s contributions to the New Economy Initiative and the CHIPS and Science Act.

David Rousseau
Super Bowl

Ahead of Super Bowl LVII hear from Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee Chairman David Rousseau. Hear about the 4 pillars of focus the committee has designated for the big game: Education, DEI & Social Justice, Environment& Sustainability, and Health & Wellness. How will the game influence economic growth and prosperity for Phoenix? How can local businesses capitalize on this monumental occasion? Hear the answers and more in this episode!

Susan Anable

Hear from Susan Anable, Vice President of Public Affairs South West Region at Cox Communications and Public Affairs Chairwoman for the Greater Phoenix Chamber ahead of the First Regular Session of Arizona’s 56th Legislature. What key legislation is the Chamber’s Public Affair Committees discussing and working on this upcoming session? What are the main legislative challenges in 2023, and what are the solutions? How are the recent election results affecting the Phoenix business community? Tune in to hear the answer to these questions and more!

Ray Schey
Phoenix Business Journal

In this episode, hear from Ray Schey, Market President & Publisher at Phoenix Business Journal on economic development efforts in the Valley. With the ever-changing local and national economy, how is the Phoenix Business Journal responding to the needs of the Valley’s business community? Economy-wise, compared to the rest of the United States, how is Phoenix positioned differently? Ray answers those questions in more!

Frank Reid
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Hear from Frank Reid, Greater Phoenix Chamber’s former Board Member, and DEI Committee Chair, on implementing DEI practices in the workplace. As one of the founders of the Chamber’s DEI Program & Toolkit, Frank breaks down the program’s evolution and goals for the future. What are some of the most common misconceptions regarding implementing more DEI practices in the workplace? How can businesses combat resistance to, or even just a misunderstanding of this work? Listen now to learn more and maximize your business’s DEI efforts!

Erin Mettille

For the first episode of 2023, hear from Erin Mettille, Public & Social Impact Leader at Slalom, and Greater Phoenix Chamber’s Chairwoman. Erin discusses leadership, goals, and maximizing Chamber memberships in the new year.

Jim Rounds
Rounds Consulting Group

In the final episode of 2022, hear from Jim Rounds, President at Rounds Consulting Group, Inc., on economic predictions heading into the new year. In Metro Phoenix, inflation rates are among the highest in the nation, particularly for gas, rent, and home prices. Why are these areas hit hardest? When will we see these rates fall? According to our Arizona Business Index, due to inflation, consumer confidence decreased in the first half of 2022. How does this decrease impact our economy? What will it take to see an increase? Jim answers these questions and more!

T.J. Mitchell
Quarles & Brady

In this episode, hear from T.J. Mitchell, Chair of the Valley Young Professionals (VYP)  and Land Use & Zoning Attorney at Quarles & Brady LLP. Get an update on goals and upcoming VYP events, along with a discussion on key topics affecting young professionals in Arizona today.

Dr. Andria Fourlis
Mesa Public Schools

In Episode 8, Dr. Andria Fourlis, Superintendent of Mesa Public Schools,  discusses the district’s partnership and impact of ElevateEdAZ, which has expanded into three high schools this year. Mesa Public Schools is working with ElevateEdAZ to strengthen Career and Technical Education (CTE) pathways toward high-wage, high-demand careers for students.

Jennifer Mellor
Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation

In Episode 7, hear a year in review of the Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation from Jennifer Mellor, Chief Innovative Officer, ahead of Giving Tuesday. The Foundation convenes and catalyzes business, education, and community to enhance college and career readiness, develop a stronger workforce, and build healthier communities throughout Arizona. The Foundation is proud of the work ElevateEdAZ, Build Your Future Arizona, and six employer-led workforce collaboratives have accomplished this year.

Brittany Holmes

In Episode 6, hear from Brittany Holmes, Vice President of ElevateEdAZ, on this year’s growth of ElevateEdAZ and how the program is improving education and talent development in Phoenix.

Jessica Pierce
Career Connectors

In Episode 5, Jessica Pierce, CEO & Founder of Career Connectors, discusses partnering with the Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation to create AZ Careers Now. Hear how AZ Careers Now supports businesses and job seekers in Maricopa County with various hiring events.

Mike Huckins
Greater Phoenix Chamber

In this episode, hear the latest from the Chamber’s Vice President of Public Affairs, Mike Huckins, ahead of the 2022 General Election. What are the key Federal, State, and City races you should keep an eye on? What does the Greater Phoenix Chamber’s PAC look for when endorsing candidates, and how does the process work? How is the overall political environment currently in Arizona? Find out more from Mike in this week’s episode!

Dan Puente
D.P. Electric

This episode features Dan Puente, BYFAZ Steering Committee Chair, and President at D.P. Electric, Inc., ahead of the 2022 Build Your Future Arizona Investor Update Event on October 18th. Hear the latest on the high demand for the housing industry, industry talent recruitment, the latest labor projections, and how BYFAZ is creating positive industry solutions.

Molly Stockley
Cancer Treatment Centers of America

In this episode, we feature Molly Stockley, 2021 ATHENA Awards recipient, and Regional Vice President of Marketing at Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA), ahead of our 2022 ATHENA Awards Luncheon on October 13th. Hear what it takes to be an ATHENA, alongside professional advice for businesswomen in the Valley!

Mayor Kate Gallego
City of Phoenix

In this episode, hear the latest from Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego with updates on Super Bowl 2023, GO Bond, police funding, Rio Reimagined, and TSMC progress.

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