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SCORE mentor assists Tucson's DiepCFoundation

Posted By Adrienne Barker, American Cancer Society, Sunday, October 15, 2017

While she was in recovery from breast reconstruction surgery following a double mastectomy, Terri Coutee began a blog that would later lead to a nonprofit. Coutee had been lucky – she was among the 23 percent of mastectomy patients who have the full range of options for breast reconstruction surgery presented to them. Through her extensive research, she was able to find the best possible surgeon and the type of breast reconstruction that was right for her.

Coutee elected to have a type of surgery called DIEP flap, in which a microsurgeon uses tissue and blood vessels from the belly to reconstruct the breasts. She calls the results of the surgery “nothing short of amazing.”

In her effort to ensure that other cancer survivors have the same information she did, Coutee began connecting with medical professionals on social media. Her blog became increasingly popular as breast cancer patients sought advice and guidance there. In July 2016, she turned her educational efforts into a the DiepCFoundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. 

My Successes: 

Coutee’s foundation supports breast cancer survivors by providing them with guidance, evidence-based research, and education about all the options available to them post-mastectomy. The foundation has an entry in Guidestar, and Coutee has raised money through Amazon Smiles, as well as fund-raising events hosted in collaboration with artists and musicians.

How SCORE Helped: 

Coutee meets with her mentor, Nancy Hessney about once a month. Hessney introduced her to Guidestar, a service that reports on U.S. nonprofits. That gave the foundation national credibility and allowed Coutee to solicit donations through Amazon Smile.

Coutee says “My SCORE mentor has been instrumental in giving me resources for funding, assessing what else can be done to give the Foundation visibility, and continually reinforces the efforts that I am making on behalf of the Foundation.”


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Tags:  diepcfoundation score  mentors 

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Metro Phoenix Bank Successfully Raises $10.0 Million in Capital

Posted By Eve Tzinas, Metro Phoenix Bank, Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Metro Phoenix Bank Successfully Raises $10.0 Million in Capital
A Great City Deserves a Great Bank

PHOENIX, Arizona, May 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Metro Phoenix Bank ("Bank") announced today that it completed a private placement of $10.0 million of its common stock, positioning the Company to grow its Arizona franchise. In the offering, the Bank issued 1,333,334 shares of its common stock at a purchase price of $7.50 per share. The proceeds from the offering will allow the Bank to increase its banking activities in the greater Phoenix, AZ market as the economy continues to strengthen. 

"This additional capital provides Metro Phoenix Bank the opportunity to build on a successful franchise that has consistently serviced the local business community for the past decade.  We remain highly motivated to exceed the service expectations of our small- to medium-sized business and real estate professional clients and we fully expect to continue to be the go-to independent community bank in Phoenix for new clients.  The infusion of new growth capital at a time that our local economy has returned to full health is exciting for all stakeholders of Metro Phoenix Bank. We are committed to being an integral part in helping the local business community achieve greater prosperity,” said President and CEO Stephen P. Haggard.

MJC Partners, LLC and FIG Partners, LLC acted as Placement Agents for the offering.

This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities of the Bank.


About Metro Phoenix Bank

A community bank established in 2007, Metro Phoenix Bank, headquartered in Phoenix, AZ, is locally owned and managed and offers a wide range of financial products for small- to mid-sized businesses, professionals, the real estate industry and individuals.  The Bank also provides specialty platforms for SBA lending and the HOA industry.  The Bank's solution-driven, relationship-based approach to banking provides access to decision makers and enhances value through strong partnerships with their clients. The Bank currently operates one office in Phoenix, AZ.

For more information:
Call:  (602) 346-1800

Tags:  capital  finance  press release 

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Arizona Town Hall Seeks to Strengthen Arizona-Mexico Regional Cooperation

Posted By Dawn Anderson, Jennings, Strouss & Salmon, PLC, Friday, May 19, 2017

PHOENIX, Ariz. (May 18, 2017) – Jennings, Strouss & Salmon, P.L.C., in partnership with Arizona Town Hall, is pleased to host the inaugural Community Town Hall on May 25-26, 2017 at the Hotel Lucerna in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico.

The Community Town Hall event in Hermosillo was one of the recommendations issued from the 108th Arizona Town Hall. Jennings, Strouss & Salmon, a long-time supporter of Arizona Town Hall, is the premier sponsor of the event.

“The objective of the event is to bring diverse perspectives from both sides of the border to constructively discuss how to strengthen economic partnerships and cooperation between Arizona and Sonora for the betterment of the region as a whole,” states Patrick F Welch, an attorney at Jennings, Strouss & Salmon who, through his relationships and contacts in Hermosillo, has been instrumental in arranging the Community Town Hall.

The event will also include remarks from key leaders helping to shape state and national policy impacting this important relationship, including:

  • Rafael Fernandez de Castro, Department Head of International Studies at the Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico
  • Karen Ogle, Consul General of the United States of America, Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico
  • Flor Ayala, Local Deputy, Congress of the State of Sonora
  • Ruben Gallego, Representative, Arizona District 7, U.S. House of Representatives.

According to the Office of the United States Trade Representative, American goods and services trade with Mexico totaled an estimated $579.7 billion in 2016.  Mexico is currently the United States’ third largest goods trading partner with $525.1 billion in (two way) goods trade during 2016. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has been one of the main drivers for this economic growth as demonstrated by this substantial growth as compared to pre-NAFTA statistics. Arizona, because it borders Mexico, has been identified as one of the states that has benefitted the most from NAFTA.

According to the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona, Mexico is Arizona’s number one trade partner, accounting for about 30% of all Arizona’s exports to foreign markets and 37% of all Arizona’s imports from foreign markets. Arizona exports to Mexico in 2016 totaled $8.32 billion, and primarily include manufacturing products and agricultural goods.

“As an attorney representing United States and Mexican-based companies and individuals involved in cross-border trade and investment between Arizona and Mexico, I have seen an uptick in inquiries for legal services relating cross-border activities,” states Welch. “The take away from these statistics and my personal experience is that economic trade and investment between Arizona and Mexico is of critical importance to Arizona’s economy and the Arizona-Sonora region as a whole.”  

The upcoming Community Town Hall in Hermosillo will provide an excellent opportunity for stakeholders involved in cross-border trade and investment between Arizona and Mexico to come together to explore how Arizona and Sonora can expand their vibrant economic partnership. It will also address opportunities and challenges raised by globalization. For example, what are the prospects for development of the Arizona-Sonora region as an important regional hub for international commerce? Participants may choose to discuss infrastructure needs, tax reforms, and other policies needed to make the most of the region’s competitiveness in the global marketplace. 

“Participants will discuss commercial trends that could influence the region, the impact of immigration and border security, and how Sonora and Arizona can serve as a template for a productive relationship between Mexico and the United States. These are just some of the important topics that participants will discuss at the Community Town Hall event in Hermosillo later this month,” states Tara Jackson, President of Arizona Town Hall. “Participants at this event will undoubtedly leave with a better understanding of the role we all play in supporting the important relationship between Arizona and Sonora, and how to help improve our regional and global competitiveness.”

About Arizona Town Hall

Arizona Town Hall educates, engages, connects and empowers people to resolve important issues through consensus, not division, using a process based on respectful dialogue that values diverse perspectives, builds relationships and fosters leadership development. For more information, visit

About Jennings, Strouss & Salmon, P.L.C.

Jennings, Strouss & Salmon, P.L.C., has been providing legal counsel for 75 years through its offices in Phoenix and Peoria, Arizona; and Washington, D.C. The firm's primary areas of practice include agribusiness; automobile dealership law; bankruptcy, reorganization and creditors’ rights; construction; corporate and securities; employee benefits and pensions; energy; family law and domestic relations; health care; intellectual property; international law; labor and employment; legal ethics; litigation; professional liability defense; real estate; surety and fidelity; tax; and trust and estates. For additional information please visit and follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

The firm’s affiliate, B3 Strategies, assists clients with lobbying and public policy strategy at the local, state, and federal levels. For more information please visit


Contact:  Dawn O. Anderson || 602.495.2806


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Tags:  Arizona  Economic Development  entrepreneur  Foreign Trade  Mexico  Press Release  Small Busines  Town HallSmall Business 

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Posted By Susan F. Moody, Starshine Associates, Friday, May 5, 2017

(PHOENIX, AZ) With only a week away from launching the West Valley’s 1st Co-Op and Co-Working Space for women, StarshineAZ co-founders Susan F. Moody and Leeanne Gardner are adding the final touches to their innovative concept.

“Response from women business owners has been amazing!” says Leeanne. “They are looking forward to being able to be their authentic self and receiving the support that they need to be successful.”

Starshine is a combination community center, learning exchange, business center and resource library for female CEOs all rolled into one. “Basically we combined all the services we would like in one location. Having started over 14 businesses,” stated Susan, “we know exactly what it takes to inspire and empower women to build a business that makes a difference and makes money while living a life that matters.”

Offerings include themed community activities every day of the week: Motivational Monday, Teaching Tuesday, Wine Down Wednesday, Take Care Thursday and Friendly Friday. According to Moody and Gardner,”When you create a business you need speaking opportunities, networking events and accountability partnerships. When you are creating a life, you need motivation, nurturing and fun! We offer support and resources for every part of your life.”

Located at the Glendale Municipal Airport and preparing for lift off, Starshine has special charter membership pricing available through the Month of May. For more information on The West Valley’s 1st Co-Op and Co-Working Space for Women, check out their website at

Tags:  female entrepreneur  startup  women owned small business 

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How two women are helping entrepreneurs kick their businesses into top gear

Posted By Kim England, Fast Inc. Network, Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Devishobha Chandramouli, ContributorFounder and Editor @

How two women are helping entrepreneurs kick their businesses into top gear

04/11/2017 11:31 pm ET | Updated 5 hours ago

Lisha Crytzer(left) and Kim England(right)


Very few people can boast about running a successful business. To do it twice in a row is nothing short of superhuman ability, but that’s exactly what Kim England and Lisha Crytzer have done. And now, they have made it their mission to show other entrepreneurs how to do it.

Kim and Lisha are self-made entrepreneurs who thrive on identifying opportunities and building successful business models. Their unique business model for their first venture, CE Health Careers earned the company the 2003 Innovator of the Year Award by the Journal Record. CE health careers is a niche service that provides a relationship-based recruitment experiences for both the candidate and employer. For the past 16 years, CE Health Careers has been recognized as one of the premier firms by Canadian healthcare professionals interested in pursuing a career in the United States.

Their most recent entrepreneurial sights are set on Fast Inc. Network, a company designed to exclusively serve entrepreneurs and small business owners looking to scale their business and take it to the next level. Their mission is to empower entrepreneurs with resources by committing to curating connections and giving unique access to industry experts to help accelerate growth and mastery within their business.

Kim and Lisha both forayed into a raging partnership after each of them served successful stints in the healthcare industry. It was there that Kim and Lisha met and developed a strong camaraderie and started brainstorming business endeavors and ended up building one of the most successful service portals for healthcare professionals.

Last week, I grabbed an opportunity to interview the two amazing women and tap into their wisdom for scores of other aspiring entrepreneurs.

Here is an excerpt:

What, according to you, made your very first venture tick?

Kim: We understand that, at its very core, recruitment is about relationships. CE Health Careers is designed by recruiters for recruiters. Year after year, healthcare candidates across the US and Canada discover their ideal career placements through CE Health Careers through the meetings we organize between quality healthcare talent and hospitals. We provide a superior process in which the candidate can connect with the local community and the hospital.

You have run two ventures now. Have you found the experiences different? In what way?

Lisha: I would say they were different and similar as well.

They are similar in that they were both ignited out of frustration. The first venture began because we were frustrated with the out of touch recruitment industry. Our second venture, Fast Inc. Network came as a result of frustration with mediocre business conferences.

I would square up the differences to the way we are experiencing our work. Once you’ve done it - it’s so much easier to do again! The risk is no longer intimidating, and you know your strengths.

Tell us about Fast Inc. Network and what fueled your growth at such a rapid pace?

Kim: Well, Fast Inc. Network is new - we just launched. The accelerated growth came from the healthcare firm after connecting with the right business resources and finding a community. Fast Inc. Network is rooted in the lessons learned when the business stagnated and it stood at the verge of bankruptcy. Years of passion and hard work balanced on the line of giving up and throwing in the towel. However, we took a leap of faith, found a business coach, got access to specialists and connected ourself in a supportive entrepreneurial community. Within 2 years, we multiplied the business revenue ten-fold.

Can you give us an example of something that you learned from the expert meetup and applied in your business that you couldn’t have done otherwise?

Lisha: Identifying the value we were creating for our clients, putting it on paper and then learning how to present their detailed ROI. Also, learning how to use video to tell a story was a game changer for us. Our events are perceived as too good too be true. When they can see it for themselves gives them a sense that it is for REAL.

What is the profile of a typical company that needs Fast Inc. Network?

Kim: Based strictly on demographics, a company with revenues of 1/2 a million to 5 million that has up to 25 employees. The owners wear a lot of different hats. They do not have their own marketing team, social media team or PR team.

Outside of demographics, ideally, they are looking for or enjoy being part of a driven entrepreneurial community. They are interested in learning about best practices and new technologies and they like to take action.

You have an upcoming Fast Inc. Business Accelerator™ conference. What makes this conference unique? 


Kim: The Fast Inc. Business Accelerator™ conference will be hosted between June 7-9 in Phoenix at the Phoenix Biltmore Waldorf Astoria.

Here are some of our unique offerings:

1.   Three hour small group master classes with the experts! We were so tired of hearing pitches from the stage or being teased with just enough information! They get to attend 4 master classes = 12 hours of learning and content valued at over $25,000.

2.   Fake News is bad, but Fake Experts can damage a business! After being burned by phonies, we new we had to offer other SBO a trusted source / vetted if you will - so they can confidently do business with the experts if they desire. We have personally worked with 80% of the experts teaching at our accelerator. The few that we have not worked with, have come highly recommended and have stellar industry reputations.

3.   Culture of inclusion and collaboration. Isolation is a fast-track to nowhere and getting out and going to events can be hard for many introverted entrepreneurs. At our conference, we make sure everyone feels like they belong and connect!

For more details on the conference, you can visit:

Do you have anything specific for women entrepreneurs?

Lisha: Now is a great time for women business owners. At our event, we are hosting a press party where 5-8 contributors from various media companies will be listening to 2-minute showcase presentations. This will be a great platform for women to introduce their business and hopefully find an interested contributor or two.

Given that you are both moms, how do you do it all?

Kim: I try to stick with a routine since I am a single mom. I have to ask for help. When I travel, my mom stays with my kids.

Lisha: I have one kid in college and one at home. She is 12 so she is pretty busy with her school and activities. It is much easier now. When they were younger, it was a balancing act. It is important to not be so hard on yourself - we are our biggest critics. You are already perfect in their eyes!

How do you split your responsibilities at work?

Kim: We rely heavily on our unique abilities. We make sure to touch base daily and communicate tasks that need to be accomplished.

What are some of your best productivity hacks?

Lisha: At the end of the day, identify ONE rock you must move the next day (put it on a post it note on your computer screen). It should be the very first thing you tackle every morning, even before you answer emails, or take calls. By the end of the week - you have moved FIVE rocks!

What’s your message for other women?

Kim: See the invisible so you can do the Impossible! Life is going to happen it’s up to YOU to decide if you want to create a legacy for your kids!

Lisha - Don’t wait for someone to empower you. YOU bestow the power of your confidence. With confidence comes self-empowerment. When things don’t go your way, have faith but never surrender your self worth.

About The Author:

Bottom of Form

Devishobha Chandramouli is the founder of Kidskintha, dedicated to jumpstarting conversations around millennial parenting, encouraging parents to bring their attention to words, thoughts, resources and actions that will enable them to raise a brave generation. Hop on here to grab a free ebook on “100 Ideas To Create Happy Childhoods That Will Never Get Outdated,” She also writes about entrepreneurship, business- especially women entrepreneurs. She is always looking out for interesting products that will help millennial parents.


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