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JanA look back at our top stories of 2013!


AXA Advisors Southwest is honored with its fifth AXA President’s Trophy in seven years. The award is given annually by AXA’s national office to select branches nationwide and is based on the firm’s rank and management performance indexes for noteworthy improvement in production growth, associate development, career advancement and expense control. The AXA Advisors Southwest’s almost-consecutive annual honors are an accomplishment unmatched throughout the AXA system and speak to the level of excellence attained by the firm. Also in January, AXA Advisors Southwest executive vice president helps to launch a Retirement Income Distribution Strategy platform on a local and national level.




The Hopi Tribe publicly voices opposition to the Grand Canyon Escalade, a proposed 420-acre tourism attraction on the Navajo Nation Reservation at the confluence of the Colorado River and the Little Colorado River. The proposed project includes a gondola tramway from the rim of the Grand Canyon to an elevated river walk on the canyon floor. It also includes a walkway and food pavilion at the bottom of the canyon, and hotels, restaurants (including fast food) and an R.V. park on the canyon rim. The Grand Canyon is the ancestral homeland of several Hopi clans and the entire region of the Grand Canyon and Colorado Rivers is of paramount importance to the Hopi religious traditions.


The Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits and Arizona Grantmakers Forum announce that the first-ever Arizona Gives Day, a 24-hour online initiative encouraging residents to recognize and financially support the efforts of various nonprofits, raises $928,541 for the more than 800 registered organizations statewide. In total, 8584 unique donors took the time to make 11,074 total donations in support of this inaugural initiative.

The Arizona Commission for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing (ACDHH) celebrates 35 years of service in Arizona by honoring two individuals and two organizations that have advocated on behalf of Arizonans who are deaf, hard of hearing and deaf-blind, at a dessert reception. To commemorate the significant accomplishments and milestones of the 35-year history of ACDHH, a visually appealing keepsake book was created that shared photos and history of the Commission. The piece was shared with the more than 200 people that attended the Commission’s celebration event as well as elected officials and members of the media.


The Hopi Tribe fights unsuccessfully to block the auction of Hopi sacred objects at a French auction.  The tribe is requesting that the sacred objects, claimed to be stolen from the tribe, be returned to the Hopi Tribe immediately in order to protect the cultural beliefs that tribal members have used for centuries and still continue to use today.


In an effort to enhance the radiation oncology services offered to the community, Scottsdale Healthcare announces a long-term relationship with Arizona Center for Cancer Care (AZCCC), a multispecialty group of Arizona’s most recognizable names in cancer treatment and technology.  Through this, AZCCC opens facilities at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare, and now provides radiation oncology services at both its Shea Medical Center and Osborn Medical Center locations.
Biltmore Bank of Arizona celebrates its 10th anniversary.

JuneLive Nation announces a partnership agreement with the Ak-Chin Indian Community that includes the naming rights for Desert Sky Pavilion in PhoenixThe building is now be called Ak-Chin Pavilion. Desert Sky Pavilion, which is operated by Live Nation.  It first opened in November of 1990 with a concert by Billy Joel. The 20,000-seat amphitheatre is used mainly for concerts but is also available for other functions and has hosted events such as graduations, seminars, speaking engagements and company outings. It also recently served as additional parking for the NASCAR race fans. The Pavilion is also the only Phoenix Point of Pride in Maryvale.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale receives three national awards at the Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s 107th National Conference in Orlando, Fla. The organization received $8,000 in awards from MetLife Foundation, sponsor of the annual recognition program, which honors local Clubs for innovative, effective programming leading youth to great futures. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale was awarded the following:

  • 2013 Honor Award, Generations Program at the Virginia G. Piper Branch, Character & Leadership Development category.
  • 2013 Gold Award, Tax Credit Fundraising Campaign created and implemented by the Marketing Department, Initiatives & Special Events category.
  • 2013 Merit Award, Primal Education Program at the Rose Lane Branch, Fitness & Recreation category.


For the second consecutive year, a sandwich artist representing Subway Restaurants of Arizona – celebrating its 30th anniversary throughout 2013 – takes home top honors as the “Subjammer of the Year.” Each year, Subway hosts an international competition – nicknamed Subjammers – to find the fastest, most accurate sandwich artists on the globe. Arizona winner Nitassa Truss beat out more than 140 competitors from around the world with a time of 47.64 seconds.


With more than 50 offices in 36 Arizona cities, Pioneer Title Agency celebrates its 20th anniversary in Coconino County with a series of community giving activities. Under its “Pioneer Title Agency in Action” community relations umbrella, from sponsoring local sports teams to organizing fundraising walks to simply donating to causes important to the team, Pioneer’s management empowers and supports each of its team members across Arizona to be active members of the communities where they work and live. Pioneer Title Agency in Coconino County has remained a wholly family-owned business since day one – growing to seven offices throughout Flagstaff, Page, Sedona, Williams and Winslow and outlasting all of the big-box chains in the area through the recession.


In honor of Ovarian Cancer awareness month, the Anne Rita Monahan (ARM) Foundation honors Janice Coggins as the 2013 recipient of the ARM Foundation Crusader Award. The award was presented during ARM’s 5th annual Tea for Teal, an annual fundraising event supporting ovarian cancer research at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen). The ARM Foundation also awarded three scholarships to Arizona university science students. Pilar Ramos, Paul Akhenblit and Diana Paola Alarcon Esteba, all specializing in cancer research were honored.

The Phoenix office of Quarles & Brady LLP partners with its sister offices across the country in its first-ever nationwide “Quarles Cares” initiative, which focused on anti-bullying. Local partner and “First Lady of Phoenix” Nicole Stanton led the charge at both a local and national level on activities ranging from firm-wide video messages, workshops and even fundraising activities. The cause was selected by the firm’s new chairperson, Kimberly Leach Johnson, to represent a part of her leadership legacy.

The national Partnership at DrugFree.org announces that DrugFreeAz.org and three other affiliates have been awarded with an Alliance Achievement Award. Dating back more than two decades, the Alliance Achievement Award highlights the national organization’s local Alliance Partners who have implemented innovative ways to help increase media support and raise awareness about substance abuse within their communities. DrugFreeAz.org was recognized due to its various community outreach programs. Additionally, recognition was given for DrugFreeAz.org’s public relations efforts, including news media and social media story placements and public service announcement placements throughout the state of Arizona.


Sapporo, the Pacific Rim-inspired Teppanyaki and sushi restaurant in Scottsdale, opens its doors on Thanksgiving for the first time in its history, offering a custom menu that marries traditional holiday flavors with its signature fare.  Sapporo’s Thanksgiving-exclusive menu developed by Executive Chef Stephen Stromberg.


As a result of its investigation of the Yarnell Hill Fire, the Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health (ADOSH)  issues three citations to the Arizona State Forestry Division (ASFD) resulting from violations of its duty under A.R.S. § 23-403(A) to provide to its employees a safe workplace free from recognized hazards.  The citations against ASFD allege that it mismanaged the fire when it failed to prioritize the safety of firefighters over the protection of non-defensible structures and property, failed to develop the necessary action plans and fire analysis, and failed to provide necessary and key incident command personnel.

Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino opens the first and only Dunkin Donuts in Maricopa. The Donut Dunkin was attended by Robert Livingston, vice president and general manager at Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino, Ak-Chin Tribal Chairman Louis J. Manuel, Jr. and other members of the Tribal Council, City of Maricopa Mayor Christian Price, and members of the city council as well as Maricopa Chamber of Commerce. To celebrate the grand opening day, Harrah’s donated 10 cents for each donut sold on Dec. 19, to F.O.R. Maricopa.

Scott Hanson
Scott Hanson
President Scott is president of HMA Public Relations and a founding member of the Public Relations Global Network. He’s a Phoenix native, husband, father of two and a fan of all sports and a participant in some. Check out Scott's full bio

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