AZCREW examines the technology behind office, workplace strategy at its April lunch

AZCREW examines the technology behind office, workplace strategy at its April lunch

       PHOENIX, ARIZ. (April 8, 2019) – We live in a data-driven world. Despite the significant number of quick decisions, we make based on of data on a daily basis, step into most offices today and you’ll discover that decision-making and change are a lengthy process.

Companies are changing the way they are designing their office space as people are working differently. Technology is playing a role in that space utilization.

AZCREW, the leading organization for senior-level executive women in the Metro Phoenix commercial real estate field, will examine workplace strategy at its April luncheon. The event is April 16 at the Phoenix Country Club, 2901 N. 7th St.

April’s speakers:

>> Rae Laser, Smart+Connected consultant for Steelcase. Laser specializes in the space measurement solutions, IOT (Internet of Things), scheduling tools, and collaboration technologies for Steelcase. Rae has been with Steelcase since December 2017 and has 5 years industry experience.

>> Anne Garbayo is leading a Workplace of the Future at APS, designed to transform how the company defines and uses space. Garbayo has a rich and varied career at APS, which includes work on several key initiatives such as helping to establish a customer experience team.

>> Devon Martin is a strategic account manager with Steelcase, where she has worked for more than 11 years. She develops, coordinates and executes an effective workplace strategy to help her clients energize their workplace.

AZCREW’s April lunch begins with networking at 11:30 a.m. The program starts at noon. Member registration is $45; non-member pre-registration is $65. Lunch is included. Registration ends April 11. Register here.


NAI Horizon negotiates $2M lease as Zipps Sports Grill joins retail lineup at Park Central

NAI Horizon negotiates $2M lease as Zipps Sports Grill joins retail lineup at Park Central

     PHOENIX, ARIZONA (April 3, 2019) – NAI Horizon’s retail team negotiated a long-term lease totaling $2 million on behalf of the tenant as Zipps Sports Grill joins the lineup of new businesses at iconic Park Central, which is undergoing major redevelopment in Midtown Phoenix.

The NAI Horizon Retail Properties team of Senior Vice Presidents Chris Gerow, Shelby Tworek, Gabe Ortega and Associate Patrick Anthon represented Zipps Park Central LLC of Scottsdale, Arizona.

Zipps, a popular restaurant and sports viewing venue across the Valley, will occupy 6,506 SF at Park Central, which totals 450,000 SF. It will join other eateries including Starbucks, First Watch, Jamba Juice, Fired Pie, Jimmy Johns, Pita Bistro, Kobalt Bar and Thai Basil at Park Central, 3110 N. Central Ave.

“The opportunity at Park Central represented a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Zipps to enter the downtown market,” Gerow said. “With a new student population from Creighton University and new residents filling the proposed apartments, it will serve as their local place to grab a bite to eat, watch a game or two and enjoy a beverage. It will be an ideal eatery to serve a new client base in Midtown Phoenix.”

One of the Valley’s original shopping destinations, Park Central Mall opened in 1957 and became the center of activity along Central Avenue. It has undergone a substantial facelift with nearly $60 million invested. All its original buildings still stand, and most have only cosmetic changes.

They are being repurposed into modern office and retail space. The mid-century-modern style of the past is evident in buildings that were constructed with some extraordinary architectural touches. All of these features will be at the center of the revitalized property.

The former low-rise mall is about to sprout a tower to house Creighton University’s $150 million medical school, a nine-story apartment building, new parking structure, an arts center to house 400, and outdoor shaded meeting spaces.

Plans also call for a 278-unit apartment complex that had been a parking lot. The owners of Park Central are also working with a potential developer to build a 200-room hotel on the premises. The phase will also include redevelopment of a 193,000 SF former department store into office and retail space.

To replace the parking lot, a community facilities district has been established to build a parking garage, which is scheduled to be completed in the third quarter of 2020.

Brent Mallonee of Cushman & Wakefield represented the landlord, HPPC, LLC of Peoria, Arizona.


Industry influencer Sharon Harper of The Plaza Companies honored with Award of Excellence at 2018 Best of NAIOP Arizona

Industry influencer Sharon Harper of The Plaza Companies honored with Award of Excellence at 2018 Best of NAIOP Arizona

      PHOENIX (April 1, 2019) – Commercial real estate’s leading annual awards celebration, the Best of NAIOP, took place on March 28 at the Arizona Biltmore. Nearly 1,000 industry professionals gathered to celebrate the many successes that helped make Metro Phoenix one of the most exciting markets in the country.

The Arizona Chapter of NAIOP gave out awards in 29 categories. Sharon Harper, whose development expertise and leadership have influenced the Valley’s commercial real estate and business communities, was honored with the Award of Excellence.

Harper, President, CEO, and co-founder of The Plaza Companies, is the first woman to win NAIOP Arizona’s Award of Excellence. Park Central, a Plaza Companies project under development in Midtown Phoenix, was selected as Transaction of the Year and named Talk of the Town.

NAIOP Arizona’s Award of Excellence is awarded by the Arizona Chapter Board of Directors on an annual basis at the Best of NAIOP event. The criteria for the recipient are an individual who has made a significant, positive impact on the office and industrial commercial real estate market in Arizona over a period of no less than 15 years, as well as their direct volunteer contribution to the chapter.

Butler Design Group kept its win streak alive, bringing home its seventh straight Architect of the Year award. Other company winners were CBRE, Brokerage Firm of the Year; Ryan Companies US, Inc., Firm of the Year;

Willmeng Construction, Inc.: General Contractor of the Year; Phoenix Design One, Inc., Interior Architect of the Year; and Lincoln Property Company, Owner/Developer of the Year.

In the brokerage awards, CBRE captured six of the nine honors, including Developing Leader, Healthcare, Investment, Office, Rookie, and Tenant Rep brokers of the year.

2018 Best of NAIOP winners:

Sharon Harper, Plaza Companies: Award of Excellence

Butler Design Group: Architect of the Year

CBRE: Brokerage Firm of the Year

Ryan Companies US, Inc.:
Firm of the Year

Willmeng Construction, Inc.: General Contractor of the Year

Phoenix Design One, Inc.:
Interior Architect of the Year

Lincoln Property Company
: Owner/Developer of the Year

Willmeng Construction, Inc.: Tenant Improvement Contractor of the Year

Cooper Fratt, CBRE: Developing Leader of the Year

Phil Haenel, Cushman & Wakefield: Emerging Broker of the Year

Vince Femiano and Kate Morris, CBRE: Healthcare Broker of the Year

Mike Haenel, Andy Markham, Will Strong, Cushman & Wakefield:
Industrial Broker of the Year

Barry Gabel, CBRE: Investment Broker of the Year

Kevin Calihan and Bryan Taute, CBRE: Office Broker of the Year

Dave Cheatham and Darren Pitts, Velocity Retail Group, LLC:
Retail Broker of the Year

Luke Krison, CBRE: Rookie Broker of the Year

Chuck Nixon, CBRE: Tenant Representative Broker of the Year

Ball Goodyear Plant: Industrial Build-to-Suit Project of the Year

Goodyear Crossing One-Blue Buffalo: Industrial TI of the Year

Estrella Medical Plaza II: Medical Office Project of the Year

Chandler Viridian: Mixed-Use Project of the Year

McKesson – Building I & II: Office Build-to-Suit of the Year

JDA Software Customer Experience Center: Office Tenant Improvement of the Year (Less than 50,000 SF)

Quicken Loans: Office Tenant Improvement of the Year (50,000 SF or more)

Consumer Cellular at Deer Valley:
Redevelopment Project of the Year

The Crossing at Sahuarita:
Retail Project of the Year

Goodyear Crossing One-Blue Buffalo:
Spec Industrial Project of the Year

The Offices at Chandler Viridian: Spec Office Project of the Year

Liberty Center at Rio Salado IV: Sustainable Project of the Year

Park Central:
Transaction of the Year

Trademark Visual, Inc.: Official Sign Sponsor of the Year

Park Central: Talk of the Town

Trio of office sales totaling $2.4M highlight recent deals by NAI Horizon professionals

Trio of office sales totaling $2.4M highlight recent deals by NAI Horizon professionals

     PHOENIX, ARIZONA (March 27, 2019) – Three office sales in the Valley totaling approximately $2.4 million – two in Phoenix and one in Surprise – highlight recent deals closed by NAI Horizon professionals.

Sale Transactions:

Troy Giammarco, Tyler Smith and Joe Pequeno negotiated the sale of an office property, representing the seller, Pisa Properties Sixteenth, LLC, for $1.475 million. The property is located at 5829 N. 7th St., Phoenix, AZ. Ortega Ault with Colliers International represented the buyer, Avalon Bethany, LLC.

Tyler Smith, Joe Pequeno and Troy Giammarco negotiated the sale of an office property, representing the buyer, Kevin O’Coner, for $505,115. The property is located at 4737 E. Cholla St., Phoenix, AZ. Michael Waxman with Levrose Commercial Real Estate represented the seller, Cholla Estates, LLC.

Tyler Smith negotiated the sale of an office property, representing the seller, WAM Surprise Limited Partnership, for $411,432. The property is located at 12647 W. Smokey Drive, Surprise, AZ. Rich Andrus with the Menlo Group represented the buyer, RBPSMILE Enterprises, LLC.

Troy Giammarco and Mark Wilcke negotiated the sale of a property, representing the seller, Peoria Commercial Holdings, LLC, for $360,000. The property is located at 10708 N. 96th Ave., Peoria, AZ. The buyer, Serving God by Serving Others, represented itself. 

Michael Gaida negotiated the sale of a 110-year-old specialty machining business, representing the seller, Valley Machine Works. The business is located at 701 W. Jackson St., Phoenix, AZ. Ian Turner with Sperry Commercial Global Affiliates represented the buyer, Tyler and Tricia Williams.

Matt Harper, CCIM, negotiated the sale of a land parcel, representing the seller, Mohammed Ali, for $240,000. The property is located at the SWC of 67th Avenue and Montebello Avenue. The buyer, SWC 67th Avenue & Montebello, represented itself.

Lease Transactions:

 Chris Gerow, Shelby Tworek, Gabe Ortega and Patrick Anthon represented the tenant, Peddlers Mall, LLC, in a 63-month retail lease for 14,000 SF at 185 W. Apache Trail, Apache Junction, AZ. Brian Gausden with Western Retail Advisors represented the landlord, SimonCRE Lodgepole, LLC.

Matt Harper, CCIM, represented the landlord, GGR Holdings, Inc., in a 126-month retail lease for 2,841 SF at 4024 E. Guadalupe Road, Gilbert, AZ. Mark Haslip with the Menlo Group represented the tenant, Cattron’s DMD, PLLC.

Jeff Adams represented the tenant, Big City Insulation, Inc., in a 36-month industrial lease for 19,846 SF at 2316-2328 W. Huntington Drive, Tempe, AZ. Matt McDougall & Chris McClurg with Lee & Associates represented the landlord, Highland Associates, LLC.

Laurel Lewis represented the tenant, Adopt Technologies, in a 38-month office lease for 4,605 SF at 7500 N. Dreamy Draw Drive, Phoenix, AZ. Greg McMillian with Cushman & Wakefield represented the landlord, BH Squaw Peak, LLC.

Chris Gerow, Shelby Tworek, Gabe Ortega and Patrick Anthon represented the tenant, Philly’s on Elliot, LLC, in a 63-month retail lease for 3,300 SF at 1805 E. Elliot Road, Tempe, AZ. The landlord, Pollack Royal Palm Plaza, LLC, represented itself.

Tom Bean, CCIM, and Jay Mininberg, J.D. represented the landlord, Tempe CC, LLC, in a 48-month office lease for 3,333 SF at 4515 S. McClintock Drive, Tempe, AZ. Dominic Perry with Avison Young represented the tenant,, LLC.

Matt Harper, CCIM, represented the landlord, The Shops at Phoenix, LLC, in a 64-month retail lease for 1,490 SF at 6170 S. 51st Ave., Laveen, AZ. Bryan Mortenson with LRA represented the tenant, Arizona Foot and Ankle Medical Center, LLC.

Matt Harper, CCIM, represented the landlord, the Chahoud Family Trust, in a 60-month retail lease for 1,436 SF at 2829 E. University Drive, Mesa, AZ. The tenant, Misty Virgil, represented itself.

Barbara Lloyd and Tom Bean, CCIM, represented the landlord, Tempe CC, LLC, in a 36-month office lease for 1,142 SF at 4515 S. McClintock Drive, Tempe, AZ. The tenant, AmeriLife of Arizona, LLC, represented itself.

Matt Harper, CCIM, represented the landlord, Robert & Arlene Thatcher, in a 39-month retail lease for 1,550 SF at 4740 W. Glendale Ave., Glendale, AZ. Erin Schrauth with Strategic Retail Group represented the tenant, Boost Mobile.

Matt Harper, CCIM, represented the landlord, Kayrich Associates, LLC, in a 60-month retail lease for 1,040 SF at 6445 N. 51st Ave., Glendale, AZ. The tenant, Regal Laundries & Management, LLC, represented itself.

Dylan Whitwer and Logan Crum represented the tenant, Wall Agency, Farmers Insurance, in a 36-month office lease for 833 SF at 12600 N. 113th Ave., Youngtown, AZ. Scot Hall with Wolf Realty, Inc. represented the landlord, GEM Capital Management, LLC.

Matt Harper, CCIM, represented the landlord, Hillcrest Plaza, LLC, in a 12-month retail lease for 1,000 SF at 1241 E. Broadway Road, Mesa, AZ. The tenant, Escuela de Musica Jireh, LLC, represented itself.


Hunter Contracting Co. promotes former VP, industry veteran Chuck English to President   

Hunter Contracting Co. promotes former VP, industry veteran Chuck English to President  

     GILBERT, ARIZONA (March 26, 2019) – Hunter Contracting Co. (Hunter) is proud to announce that Chuck English, who has been with the heavy site/civil construction company for more than 33 years, has been promoted to President.

English will oversee Hunter’s day-to-day operations focusing on planning for success, aligning Hunter’s resources with project requirements, and developing future business opportunities.

“I selected Chuck for his understanding of three things: familiarity of clients and market conditions in Phoenix and Tucson, deep understanding of contract requirements, and innate planning capabilities,” said Hunter’s CEO Max Taddei.

      English has overseen construction operations for Hunter in both Tucson and Gilbert offices. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from Arizona State University. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Arizona Chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America.

He is also a Past President of the Arizona Transportation Builders Association (formerly TUCA) in Tucson.

English gives back to the community, supporting the Boys & Girls Clubs. When not working he enjoys traveling with his family, playing golf, and scuba diving.

About Hunter Contracting Co.

In 1947, William R. Hunter began constructing concrete lined ditches for farmers across the East Valley and he formed Hunter Ditch Lining (HDL) a year later. Armando Taddei joined HDL and after a few years of working for the company, Mr. Taddei purchased HDL in 1961. The same year, Mr. Taddei founded Hunter Contracting Co. (Hunter). The company is currently led by Max Taddei, Chairman of the Board, and Amy Ostwinkle, Corporate Secretary, as the third generation of the Taddei family to lead Hunter.

Hunter is a heavy site/civil construction company specializing in preconstruction and construction services in transportation, water and wastewater, parks and recreation, underground utilities and rehabilitation, site development, and irrigation and flood control. Hunter has offices in both Gilbert and Tucson to provide an outstanding project experience to public and private clients and industry peers throughout Arizona. Hunter continues to diversify through acquisition of a revolutionary product known as Con-Arch™. Con-Arch has made it possible for Hunter to construct concrete arches, substituting for box culverts, at reduced cost while offering improved aesthetics and increased structural integrity. For more information, visit



Aeroseal America launches new line of HVAC system service for light commercial properties

Aeroseal America launches new line of HVAC system service for light commercial properties

     PHOENIX, Ariz. (March 26, 2019) – Aeroseal America, which has provided a patented technology to seal ductwork for the residential housing industry for 3 years, has launched a commercial component to service a new line of clientele.

Aeroseal America’s new service line will provide testing and sealing of ductwork for HVAC systems in light commercial properties. Aeroseal America’s technology involves sealing ductwork from the inside.

Leading the company is Pat Farrell, whose experience includes owning and operating an energy assessment company, Power Down America. He founded it in 2009 after making improvements to his own home and realizing the immediate impact in comfort and savings.

“I quickly realized that duct leakage is a major problem in the Arizona housing market,” Farrell said. “The conventional way to seal duct systems is to have someone crawl through the attic, which can run 150-plus degrees during the summer, and seal all of the joints and connections with a paste called mastic.

“Because of space restrictions, ducts running through soffits, and flat roofs with no attic access, reaching all of those joints and connections can be impossible. Aeroseal solves that problem,” Farrell said.

Farrell said he was offering Aeroseal to his customers and using other contractors for the work. He was not pleased with the quality of work or the level of customer service so he made the decision to invest the time and money to acquire the training and equipment necessary to provide Aeroseal to his residential clients. He is eager to begin offering this service line to commercial clients.

“After seeing the need and immediate impact Aeroseal has on the comfort, indoor air quality and energy savings in your home, it just makes sense to offer the same great product and service to your schools, churches, or doctor’s office.”

For more information, visit

Stellar Residential Hosts ‘Glass-Raising’ Event  at Iconic One Camelback in Uptown Phoenix

Stellar Residential Hosts ‘Glass-Raising’ Event at Iconic One Camelback in Uptown Phoenix

     PHOENIX, Ariz. (March 21, 2019) – Stellar Residential hosted more than 50 industry partners and guests at a “glass-raising” ceremony yesterday to honor the commencement of construction for the highly-anticipated renovation and repurposing of One Camelback into an upscale apartment building.

The iconic 11-story, 215,245-SF structure has been part of the Uptown Phoenix landscape at Camelback Road and Central Avenue for three decades. Because the framework already exists, Stellar Residential chose to transform the traditional groundbreaking ceremony and raise champagne glasses to signify and celebrate the many changes to come.

With UEB at the helm of construction and the designs of Erwin Architecture & Development, One Camelback Uptown Apartments will be introduced to the highly sought after and changing Uptown Phoenix neighborhood in early 2020.

The event was part of Stellar Residential’s unveiling as a new management company, which has given property management a refreshing overhaul on how business is traditionally conducted. Its innovative platform is similar to the “ride-share” renaissance that took hold of San Francisco in 2009 when a company named Uber emerged.

Stellar Residential’s goal is to influence apartments owners’ assets personally without the diluting effects of backend office management.

“We have seen such an explosion of expertise-based companies launch in recent years, all surrounding the specific and unique facets of multifamily management,” said Jay Dassele, Vice President and Co-Founder of Stellar Residential.  “Whether it’s accounting, HR, training or marketing, their wheels are already in motion and we hitch an economical ride.”

One Camelback will feature several high-end amenities including a rooftop swimming pool, yoga lawn deck, lounge-style clubhouse, and electric car-charging stations. It will comprise 163 units and offer 16 floor plans. It will feature studio, 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom apartments. Demolition has begun on the upper floors of the former office building.

Stellar Residential’s platform is asset focused rather than its own management company brand. “This alone has resulted in substantial expense savings in the communities we have transitioned,” said Dassele, referring to management company related expenses.

Stellar Residential is eager to implement its platform at One Camelback. Its executives have conducted the lease-up of more than 60 new multifamily developments throughout Arizona. It strives to bring a fresh approach to each property it manages.

The repurposing of One Camelback from office to residential is undoubtedly the most aggressive design and construction undertaking ever performed in Phoenix.

“We are excited to be such an integral part of the process,” said Dale Phillips, President and Founder of Stellar Residential. “That’s why Stellar ‘moved into’ the building during the early stages of the demolition process. I feel a deep sense of responsibility on behalf of ownership to this iconic building and location. Immersing ourselves into the process allowed us to influence our vison for use of space, floorplan layouts, unit mix, amenities and services.”

Stellar Residential was founded by Phillips, Dassele and Tanner Bickelhaupt, who together possess more than 60 years of operational experience influencing more than 30,000 units under their leadership and delivering more than 15,000 new units to the market.

Stellar Residential operates in Phoenix, Scottsdale and Flagstaff and is poised to carve a national presence with a business model built for a new generation of multifamily management.

A view of Downtown Phoenix from the upper floors of One Camelback, an office building repurposed into a highrise apartment building.

About Stellar Residential

Stellar Residential is a provider of property management services for multifamily owners that encompasses all palates of ownership including institutionally owned, privately-held organizations and sole proprietorships of any assets more than 90 units.  The company is focused primarily on Class A and Class B assets, both stabilized and new developments in lease-up, and value-add acquisitions. With keen attention to ethics, innovation, quality and service, Stellar Residential successfully recruits and retains the best and the brightest talent in the business. The combination of process and people have resulted in dramatic company success. In addition, Stellar prides itself in investing in people and technology – both designed to make the life of the residents more satisfying. For more information on Stellar Residential, visit

Earthworks Environmental expands compliance footprint across U.S. with opening of 2 new offices; promotes 2 in Arizona office

Earthworks Environmental expands compliance footprint across U.S. with opening of 2 new offices; promotes 2 in Arizona office


     GILBERT, ARIZ.  (March 18, 2019) – The tremendous growth experienced by Earthworks Environmental LLC last year has carried over to 2019 as the woman- and minority-owned environmental compliance firm opened offices in two more states and hired two employees and promoted two specialists in its Arizona office.

The Gilbert-based company now operates in Arizona, Florida, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, and Texas, where it signed its first contract in Houston last week.

Services provided include stormwater pollution prevention, Phase I and II Environmental Site Assessments, dust control, and construction safety compliances. The firm primarily serves land developers, vertical developers, commercial construction, and land-holding companies.


Cherie Koester

Earthworks Environmental Principal Cherie Koester said the firm is consulting on nearly 600 permits nationally. She hired two additional employees in the Arizona office.

“I’m eager to see what 2019 and beyond bring Earthworks,” Koester said. “Customer service is a dying skill and I intend to continually revive it. The culture we have created here strives for excellence. I’m prepared to go the distance with this team of elite. I have no plans of slowing down.”

Founded in 2014, Earthworks Environmental expanded its operations to Florida and added two employees at its Arizona office in late 2016. The office has since grown to 30 employees.

Within the Arizona office, Koester promoted Travis Fern to Executive Director and promoted Richard Howe to National Operations Manager.

“Travis has excelled in every role I have given him since Day One,” Koester said. “He started as a Compliance Manager, moved into Lead Compliance Manager, then Director of Compliance and now Executive Director.

“He is my right-hand man and is always cool, calm and collected. There isn’t a person I have met that doesn’t enjoy his company,” Koester said.

A proprietary program that Earthworks Environmental employs – ERX – has also played a key role in the expansion, Koester said. ERX is an environmental reporting software program that puts all aspects of environmental compliance into one program. This includes any permits and inspections. Koester said nearly 75 percent of the violations in her industry occur in the paperwork process.

A client can hire Earthworks Environmental to handle the entire process including ERX. A client may also decide to opt out of the consulting and use ERX themselves. In that case, Earthworks Environmental will apply a nominal fee for use.

 To learn more about Earthworks Environmental visit

NAI Horizon negotiates acquisition of century-old custom fabrication and welding business

NAI Horizon negotiates acquisition of century-old custom fabrication and welding business

       PHOENIX, ARIZONA (MARCH, 18, 2019) – A custom fabrication and welding  business founded in 1909 in a historic downtown Phoenix building has been sold to RM Garrison, a precision fabrication shop.

NAI Horizon Associate Michael Gaida represented the seller, Valley Machine Works, Inc., of Phoenix. The business was purchased by Tyler and Tricia Williams of Goodyear, Arizona.

Michael Gaida

“An established operator saw the value in the 110 years of machine experience, job shop manufacturing, custom fabrication, and welding that Valley Machine Works provides to its customers,” Gaida said. “They saw the acquisition as an opportunity to increase services to the specialty manufacturing clients of Valley Machine Works while continuing to maintain the same professional level of service known by their local customers.”

Shane Williams and his son Tyler plan to combine and operate RM Garrison, All American Billet, Accutronix Motorcycle Products, and Valley Machine Works at a new location, a 24,000-SF building at 1138 W. Watkins St., in Phoenix.

The business was sold separately of the building and the assets will be moved into its new headquarters within the next 90 days.

“It was a pleasure working with Michael Gaida,” Shane Williams said. “He was very timely with our due diligence request and made for an easy acquisition. We were not looking to purchase another company, but when we researched the history of Valley Machine Works, we realized the value of it being a 110-year-old company, the value of its loyal customer base, and the value of its long-term employees.”

“We plan to continue the same family values that have made Valley Machine Works successful for so many years,” Shane Williams said.

The building, at 701 W. Jackson St., was originally a speak-easy bar. It has a rare basement under the offices and large, built-in overhead beam hoists. The exposed brick adds to the visual appeal. Phoenix Theatre Company purchased the property and will use the space for storage.

Valley Machine Works was founded in 1909 by C.F. Johnsen and was one of the first machining shops in Phoenix. Until the sale in February, it has been the longest operating machine shop in Arizona owned and operated by the Johnsen family.

They started with one 5-horsepower motor operating pulleys that turned belts that ran the early lathes and mills. Johnsen formed a friendship with a man named John C. Lincoln, who was perfecting never-before-seen welding techniques. He used the Valley Machine Works shop in the very early stages of developing the welding techniques that are used worldwide today.

Lincoln went on to form Lincoln Electric, one the largest manufacturers of specialized welding equipment sold worldwide. While Valley Machine Works was sold by the grandson of the founder, there is a fourth generation employee that continues the legacy working as a shop foreman and machinist.

Tom ‘Mando’ Kapita rejoins engineering consulting firm Terracon as Manager of Regional Services – GeoDesign

Tom ‘Mando’ Kapita rejoins engineering consulting firm Terracon as Manager of Regional Services – GeoDesign

     TEMPE, ARIZ.  (March 14, 2019) – A familiar face is rejoining engineering consulting firm Terracon. Tom “Mando” Kapita has been named Manager of Regional Services – GeoDesign.

Kapita worked at Terracon previously from February 2001 to April 2013 and last served as Geotechnical Department Manager. In his new role Kapita will be responsible for strengthening and expanding GeoDesign services within the Rocky Mountain Division.

He will collaborate with other key team members to identify capabilities throughout the company and develop marketing strategy as needed.

“We are very excited to have Mando back at Terracon,” said Brent M. Borchers, P.E., Regional Manager for Terracon and Tempe office Senior Principal. “Mando brings back a familiar face and will help us expand our GeoDesign Services to other regions in the Division.”

Kapita has performed geotechnical engineering services on a variety of projects including civil, mining, power plants, transportation, residential and commercial retail in the U.S., Mexico, Canada, Turkey and Armenia. His expertise includes mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) retaining wall, soil nail and other cantilevered and anchored wall designs. He has performed forensic evaluations and provided remedial solutions on numerous reinforced soil structures.

He joins Terracon after serving as Principal Engineer and Office Manager at SAECO from May 2017 to February 2019. He also served as Senior Engineer at Golder Associates for 4 years.

A native of Zambia, Africa, Kapita earned a Bachelor of Science in mining engineering from the University of Arizona. He is involved with industry groups ASCE, SME, and APWA.

Kapita and his wife, Natalie Vlahakis, have two sons ages 13 and 12. He is an avid cyclist and plans to ride in the 2019 El Tour de Tucson. He and his family give back to the community volunteering with Feed My Starving Children in Mesa.