by Glendale Chamber of Commerce on May 9th, 2017

​By the Glendale Star

​“The first to say thank you for your service in the United States Armed Forces.”

That was the theme of the evening and it was repeated over and over again as high school graduates from area schools stood, bowed their heads, listened intently to the “Star Spangled Banner,” and walked across the stage to receive a special certificate of appreciation and a challenge coin from Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers.

The 2017 Inaugural Induction Ceremony, presented by Weiers and Glendale Chamber of Commerce, was a solemn evening of thank you to local high school seniors who now are members of the United States military.

​Weiers acknowledged Chris Kelly, a member of the Glendale Chamber of Commerce Veteran and Military Affairs Committee. It was Kelly who planted the seed for the night of celebrating graduating high school seniors for their decision to enlist in the military.

Weiers told the graduates, “Whatever you wind up doing, wherever you end up going, Glendale has your back.”

He thanked the military veterans who attended, and the U.S. Marine Corps Old Breed Detachment from Glendale for volunteering their time to help at the celebration.

​A video presentation featured retired Gen. Colin Powell, who was talking about what makes determines leadership. It was one word: trust.

“Create that spark that gets the mission done,” Powell said.

The senior military official for the evening was U.S. Army Lt. Col. David Clukey, commanding officer, U.S, Army Phoenix Recruiting Battalion.

​Clukey told the recruits, “You should be proud. More than 70 percent of our youth do not meet the standards; 30 percent because of obesity. Less than 1 percent serves; less than 7 percent have served.”

Of significant concern to Clukey and other members of the military is that most people between 17 and 35 are unaware of the military.

“In this room, I see extraordinary opportunities to grow as a leader,” Clukey said.

​He then joined emcee Jeff Turney, chairman of Glendale Chamber of Commerce Military and Veterans Affairs Committee, and Weiers, as they congratulated all of the Army recruits, then gave them their certificates and challenge coins.

U.S. Marines Corps  Maj. Barret Bradstreet and U.S. Navy  Commander Matthew Beare recruiting commanders for the Phoenix region, followed the same procedure, as well as Command Chief Randall Kwaitkowski of the 56th Fighter Wing, Luke Air Force Base, and Petty Officer First Class Martin Wygan, U.S. Coast Guard Recruiting Office.

There were more than 160 recruits in attendance that night, and all were sworn into their respective military service organizations at the same time by ranking military officer in attendance, Lt. Col. David S. Clukey.

​During the evening, the Sounds of the Southwest Singers Community Choir sang “America the Beautiful,” “Salute to the U.S. Armed Services,” and “God Bless America.”

by Glendale Chamber of Commerce on May 4th, 2017

By YourWestValley.Com 

​Cecilia Chan
Independent Newsmedia

Glendale wants to improve its climate to keep and grow the business community in the city.
City Council last week in study session agreed to move forward with the creation of a temporary subcommittee and to solicit feedback from the business community. Mayor Jerry Weiers was absent. The item is expected to come before Council at its next voting meeting.

“This sends a positive message to all business large and small in Glendalethat we are interested in them and what they do,” said Councilwoman Joyce Clark, who came up with the idea. “It sends a positive message to businesses thinking about moving here that we are serious about improving the business climate. I’m not saying it’s bad but it can be made better.”

​The one-year subcommittee will be made up of three council members and representatives from the business community who will review the city’s codes and make recommendations to the Council.

Ms. Clark said during her time on the Council off and on since 1992, there has never been a review of the city’s policies, regulations or laws pertaining to businesses in Glendale.
The subcommittee will remove outdated, ineffective and redundant business regulations on the city’s books, she added.

The committee will look at everything the city does relating to business and see where it can become more business-friendly and enhance its reputation as the premier business community in the Valley, Ms. Clark said.

Development Services Director Sam McAllen said the subcommittee would take an average of two to three hours a week of staff time. For the duration of the committee, it is estimated to take 1,040 hours to 1,560 hours of staff time, he added.

Councilman Ray Malnar suggested increasing the seven- member committee to include a contractor or builder because that profession, which creates job opportunities in Glendale, is affected by city fees and policies.

Councilman Jamie Aldama suggested adding two representatives, one from the minority business community and one from a woman-owned business.
Councilman Bart Turner said the idea of a subcommittee is a worthy endeavor, however, it is a step too soon.

He cited the large use of staff hours, a city resource.

Instead, he suggested the city find out what the issues and/or frustrations are for businesses in Glendale by getting it from the members of the Glendale Chamber of Commerce, soliciting input at city hall’s second-floor service counter and establishing a hotline for merchants.
Try that for a year and then see if the committee is still needed, Councilman Turner said.
Councilman Aldama asked what the staff hours equated to in money.

Mr. Allen said staff only went as far as to identify which departments would be involved in the committee. Departments involved include Building Safety, Fire Marshal, Planning, Economic Development and City Attorney.

Councilman Aldama noted despite the cost of creating the committee, its recommendations would generate more revenue for Glendale.

Councilwoman Lauren Tolmachoff suggested the council move forward on both proposals.
“I have no problem doing both at the same time,” she said.

The council also agreed to expand the subcommittee to 11 to 13 members, taking in Councilmen Aldama’s and Maynar’s suggestions.

Staff estimated the new sub committee could be up and running within three to four months upon approval.

by Glendale Chamber of Commerce on May 4th, 2017

By The Glendale Star

​Luis Rodriguez is the 2017 recipient of the Glendale West Rotary Club Ethics in Action award. Rodriguez was selected from a list of 12 West Valley honorees recognized during the local service club’s third annual award dinner April 27 at the Pendergast Learning Center.

Nominated by Pendergast Elementary School District Superintendent and 2017 Ethics in Action honoree Dr. Lily Matos DeBlieux, Rodriguez is the owner and operator of L&R Roofing and a member of the Pendergast Elementary Education Foundation.

“I have had the wonderful opportunity to get to know Luis both personally and professionally through his work with schools in the Pendergast district in Avondale, Glendale and Phoenix as owner of his company, L&R Roofing Solutions,” stated DeBlieux in her nomination. “Luis is one of the most ethical business owners I know and has provided outstanding work for the district.”

“His team knows how important giving back is and in addition to being an active member of the Pendergast Education Foundation, Luis is always raising money and awareness to help our students, staff, families and communities. He truly puts service above self in everything he does,” DeBlieux detailed.  “Luis is a role model for others in the way he treats people with respect, his ethical business practices and moral turpitude.”

While Glendale West Rotary Club is just eight years old, it is part of Rotary International which has been positively impacting lives for 110 years. The club adheres to the organization’s Four Way Test as a measure of ethical behavior: Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build good will and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

In the club’s introduction, Rodriguez was said to exemplify a sense of fairness, integrity, good will towards others, a desire to ensure the world is made a better place through one smile, one act of kindness and one personal contact at a time. He does so with immense humility and with only a desire to make a difference in the lives of those around us.

“I don’t belong here,” said Rodriguez upon acceptance of the award. “I am humbled by these honorees and thank you for believing in what you do. We need more people like you.”

The 2017 honorees included Councilmember Wally Campbell, City of Goodyear; Charlie Ellis, founder, Operation Enduring Gratitude; Robert Heidt, President and CEO, Glendale Chamber of Commerce; Adrian Ortega, Branch Retail Executive/Vice President, BBVA Compass Bank; Venus Ramirez, Customer Assistance Program Manager, APS; David Schwake, Food Service Coordinator, Litchfield Elementary School District; Jerry Weiers, Mayor, City of Glendale; and Cindy Wiste, Response to Intervention Coordinator for Math, Pendergast Elementary School District.

In addition to its individual honorees, the club also acknowledged its first group honorees. Joining DeBlieux was Gina Godbehere, Bureau Chief, Northwest Valley, Maricopa County Attorney’s Office and Jennifer Rogers, Business Development, GCON Inc.

Rodriguez joins previous Ethics in Action award winners Betty Lynch and Natalie Stahl. For more information about Glendale West Rotary and its ethics awards program, visit

by Glendale Chamber of Commerce on April 26th, 2017

The Glendale Star

It was March 23, when the Glendale Chamber of Commerce created a political action committee. Last Friday, the committee officially filed with the Glendale City Clerk. With the filing, the PAC now can not only endorse candidates, but also donate to political campaigns.

In the 2016 elections, the chamber endorsed candidates for the first time. Two weeks ago, Heidt said the PAC has been well received with no negative comments.

He said, “This ensures the Glendale chamber is actively engaged in supporting candidates who are mindful of what’s good for Glendale and this community.
“What we do is vital to all business. We’re an organization that makes a difference. I hope this (PAC) makes candidates reach out to us. This is very pivotal for us. This is a huge step. It puts us on the map in a whole other paradigm.”

by Glendale Chamber of Commerce on April 17th, 2017

By Your West Valley

​Glendale Chamber of Commerce holds its next monthly Business After Hours event, 5-7 p.m., April 20 at Spotlight Youth Theatre, Suite 12, 10620 N. 43rd Ave. 

The event is free for Chamber members and $60 for future members.Space is limited and registration is required at

These events provide an opportunity for Chamber Members and their guests to come together in a relaxed atmosphere while sharing ideas, products and services offered.

Throughout 2016,  on average more than 100 people attended each of these events. Attendees are encouraged to bring flyers or brochures on their company for the member display table.

*The first 105 registered attendees will receive a complimentary ticket to the School of Rock musical, the evening of the event – Limit one ticket per registered attendee.  
For more information on this event,  contact the Chamber at 623-937-475

by Glendale Chamber of Commerce on April 17th, 2017

​Special to The Glendale Star

​Sometimes, all it takes is a small mention of a need, and the community responds in a big way.

As a local non-profit, Hope for Hunger Food Bank has provided critically important emergency food assistance to those in need throughout Glendale, as well as Peoria and Phoenix, since 2011. This incredible community resource is frequently utilized by the Glendale Police Department as they encounter individuals or families in desperate need of nourishment.

Most recently, Mayor Jerry Weiers was informed of a critical need from Hope for Hunger and issued a challenge to Glendale Chamber of Commerce Board Chair Jean Higginbotham, as well as the GCOC team, to engage in their pursuit to getting a new air system before summer is here.

 “As we enter the sweltering months of summer, Hope for Hunger is currently without functional air conditioning, a circumstance that will greatly inhibit their ability to deliver a life sustaining service,” Higginbotham said.

Weiers, Sgt. Jeff Turney of the Glendale Police Department, Higginbotham of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, along with many GCOC members and members of the chamber board of directors have come together to combat this potentially disastrous reality.

Chamber President and CEO Robert Heidt put a call to action out to chamber members and board members, asking for donation assistance.

“We have two HVAC chamber members that immediately recognized the significant importance of this need and stepped up to the cause,” Higginbotham said. “Both Brad Woods with Honorable AC & Heating and John McCombs with AZ Perfect Comfort will be graciously providing the services of installing a new A/C unit at no cost for labor; also, working together to secure many of the materials needed for this installation, including a donation of the unit and crane.  However, there is still a cost of additional materials required.

“Jim Peyton has the full list of donors for this project. I’m especially grateful to the Kiwanis Club and to Maria Brunner with OneAZ Credit Union, who provided sizeable donations which allowed us to finalize our fundraising goals in a matter of weeks.

“I’m so happy to see the community pulling together to help support such a great organization that provides such critical assistance to the community who now, in turn, needs assistance for themselves. To see this project come to life and to experience the power of the chamber firsthand is humbling and I am so grateful and proud to see the chamber members of our community responding with giving hearts.”

Apple Daisy Company is providing a custom sign which will list the names of all donors.

Higginbotham said, “The sign will be displayed at Hope for Hunger as a testament to our incredible community and the work we can accomplish together.”

by Glendale Chamber of Commerce on April 17th, 2017

​By ED AND BETTE SHARPE, Glendale Daily Planet, Special to The Glendale Star | 

​Free fishing licenses went to the first 1,000 youth ages 10 to 17 at the Third Annual Hook a Kid on Fishing April 8 at Bonsall Park, 59th Avenue and Bethany Home Road.

Experienced anglers were on hand to help with baiting the hook and casting a line.

“We’re excited to have an opportunity to give kids a window into the world of fishing,” Arizona Game and Fish Department Community Fishing Program Manager Scott Gurtin said. “This will be a great community event and the fishing should be excellent.”

During the first hour, 144 had registered. Sponsors for the event were the City of Glendale, Glendale Fire and Police Departments, Glendale Chamber of Commerce, Cabela’s and Arizona Game and Fish Department.

Snacks were provided by Councilmember Jamie Aldama and the Glendale Police Department.

There was more; during the first hour, Cabela’s gave away 15 fishing rods and tackle boxes.

by Glendale Chamber of Commerce on April 6th, 2017

By: Carolyn Dryer, The Glendale Star

Glendale Chamber of Commerce became active on the political scene during the last election, when it endorsed candidates for the first time. March 23, it formed a political action committee, which gives it the authorization to contribute financially to candidates who support the business community.

Robert Heidt, chamber president and CEO, is the administrator of the PAC. He gave some background about how the PAC was created.

​Heidt said, “When I came on board in October 2013, Dave Mitchell was chairman of the board, and he expressed interest in a government affairs committee being formed. In 2014, that occurred.

“In 2015, we discussed what our views were on political development, discrimination, and on our website (a link to any viewpoints).

“In 2014-15, we went through identifying the process, researched what other chambers were doing to create our process on how we interview and endorse candidates.”

Last year was the first time the chamber endorsed candidates.

As part of the candidate endorsement conversation, which led into 2015 and 2016, the next step was to create a PAC.

“It was a natural progression,” Heidt said, because the chamber had a seasoned government affairs committee.

“We took another year, researching PACs, what works, what doesn’t work,” Heidt said. “In every instance, from government affairs committee to endorsements (by the chamber board), it’s been a unanimous vote.”

The exceptions were the three non-voting, ex-officio members, Mayor Jerry Weiers, City Manager Kevin Phelps, and Police Officer Mike Turney. 

The chamber identified small business owners for the PAC.

Dave Mitchell was chosen to be the first chair of the PAC. Then, for PAC treasurer, former vice mayor, former chair of the board, someone who has been through the process, Yvonne Knaack, a business owner invested in the community, was chosen to fill the position.

One other addition, the chamber created a secretarial role. It is filled by Judy Connell, who is in the business of working on PACs, to make sure when the chamber does its filings, “we do not miss dotting an I or crossing a T,” Heidt said.

“Being a chamber of commerce, we want to make absolutely sure we bring about what we’re doing and why,” Heidt said. “In our conversations with members at large, all were very favorable comments, as we got into the business of endorsements, the Convention and Visitors’ Bureau downtown area. They said they feel they’ve got someone watching what’s going on, has got their back.”

The PAC has been well received, no negative comments, Heidt said.

“Our whole goal is making sure the right people are elected to office, ultimately making Glendale better and being mindful of the business community,” Heidt said. “This ensures the Glendale chamber is actively engaged in supporting candidates who are mindful of what’s good for Glendale and this community.

“We are the first chamber in the West Valley to do this. This speaks volumes for the business community. This chamber is focused on business interests and how things impact the bottom lines of members. It’s no longer just an organization cutting ribbons and having a happy hour.
“What we do is vital to all business. We’re an organization that makes a difference. I hope this (PAC) makes candidates reach out to us. This is very pivotal for us. This is a huge step. It puts us on the map in a whole other paradigm.”

As chair of the chamber board of directors, Jean Higginbotham said, “We’re very excited the board moved forward with the PAC. I know we are the lead chamber with being the first to establish a PAC. We’re excited about this movement as we continue to monitor the halls of government, continue to advocate for small businesses, and work to ensure that appropriate candidate review is taking place.”

“We’re looking for candidates who have a friendly attitude toward the business community and have the business community at heart,” Mitchell said. “We have put some thought into some criteria for different areas. We certainly want to take a look at those who touch on all the different aspects of business.

“We’re coming to a progression as a chamber. When I was the board chair in 2014, we hired Robert in 2013 toward the end there. Part of what I had envisioned for the chamber is we become more relevant as an advocate for the community, be able to voice views to the city.”

When Robert came aboard, Mitchell said one of the first things the chamber wanted was to get to the point where it endorsed candidates.

“A few people were quite surprised by this, but in 2014 we had our first open forum and heard from candidates on what they thought,” Mitchell said.

“We have become a strong voice, an advocate for candidates.

“As we go forward with the PAC, (we will) provide funding for those who are favorable toward the business community and the chamber. So, we are looking to those who are business friendly, looking for ways those candidates can actually help our business community become stronger.

“That’s the path we’ve been headed and the board has come along with us; financial support for those who favor the chamber’s thinking as well. The board has been better directed under Robert’s leadership. It’s entered into a new dimension, a progressive type situation. It’s not the same chamber of commerce, rah rah rah. It is now important to the city. (We may) not always agree with the city, but when we do, there’s a diversity of opinions, we take collectively a conceptual view, do surveys, take a pulse for what the chamber members want to do, at least go along with the way the business community is actually feeling.

“Endorsements and PAC money – let our voice be heard.”

Knaack spoke about the need for the PAC.

She said, “When I ran for office, the chamber would have liked to have helped me, but there was no mechanism to do so. Since that time, they have realized they need to be more active in support of candidates, referendums or propositions that are business friendly."

“I was asked to be involved because I have been a candidate and elected official, and I’m a business owner, and a past board chair, and I serve on the chamber government affairs committee."

“I agreed to do it in hopes that we will be able to help the business community by supporting those candidates that we feel will support business initiatives. I’m hoping in the next election, the track records of the candidates who have served will speak for themselves.”

by Glendale Chamber of Commerce on March 30th, 2017

By Your West Valley

​Buy tickets at Glendale Chamber of Commerce for the 36th annual Luke Shoot-Out Golf Tournament, 6:30 a.m.-1 p.m., April 7 at Falcon Dunes Golf Course, 15100 W. Northern Ave., Waddell.

Tournament includes four-person scramble, four Hole in One Prizes, four Closest to the Pin Contests and putting contest.

Registration fee includes green fees, golf car, goodie bag and after-tournament lunch.
Fees: Single golfer for $115 (non-military); sponsor a veteran or single golfer military for $65; hole sponsor for $175; foursome plus hole sponsor for $585; foursome for $460 and additional luncheon guest for $35.

Schedule: •6:30 a.m – check-in, networking/golfworking and practice putts and 7:30 a.m. for shotgun start

To register, go to

by Glendale Chamber of Commerce on March 21st, 2017

By Arizona Business Daily

​Jean Higginbotham, who officially took over as 2017 chairman of the board of the Glendale Chamber of Commerce, talked about her eagerness and vision for continued economic growth for the city at the 66th annual State of the City address and dinner March 2 at the Renaissance Glendale Hotel and Spa.

“With the support of the board and the undying enthusiasm of the entire chamber, I am looking forward to connecting with all members, new and long-standing, while supporting the upward trend that’s having a direct impact on Glendale and surrounding neighborhoods, all of which make our community a better place for everyone to live, work and play,” Higginbotham said in a speech at the event, which was posted on the chamber's website.

Higginbotham discussed the “energetic momentum” of the chamber and its growth to nearly 1,200 members as well as her intention to continue the aim for a 1,500-member organization that can balance the needs of individual affiliates with the priorities of the business community as a whole, the posting said.

Higginbotham also spoke of the chamber’s continued involvement in local government and its role in fostering an environment conducive to the success and growth of businesses. The chamber also intends to initiate a political action committee to support local candidates and matters that are important to the business community.

“By staying true to our mission, the chamber will continue to offer our members programs and services designed to help their businesses, all focused on the goal of improving the economic environment, while maintaining the financial stability to the chamber.” Higginbotham said, according to the posting.