by Glendale Chamber of Commerce on November 15th, 2017

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

City of Glendale and Glendale Chamber of Commerce’s Military Veterans Affairs Committee hosted the annual Veterans Day ceremony Nov. 11 in the auditorium and outside by the veterans memorial sculpture, “For Every Drop of Blood – For Every Life Devoted Veterans Memorial.” at Glendale Main Library, 5959 W. Brown St.
Chief MSgt. Randy Kwiatkowski, 56th Fighter Wing at Luke Air Force Base, delivered the keynote address.

by Glendale Chamber of Commerce on November 13th, 2017

​The Glendale Star 

Glendale continues its economic growth and addition of jobs with groundbreaking of the new Topgolf entertainment facility at 6101 N. 99th Ave. The venue is expected to open at the end of 2018.
Numerous city officials, including Mayor Jerry Weiers and Yucca District Councilmember Joyce Clark, welcomed Topgolf to the city.

“Glendale’s positive momentum continues and I couldn’t be happier to welcome Topgolf and the 450,000 visitors it will attract annually,” Weiers said. “I am very excited to welcome Topgolf to Glendale and our sports and entertainment district, which is the key component for Glendale to continue to build our brand as a worldwide destination.”

Speakers pointed to Topgolf’s economic impact in Glendale that includes creating 500 full and part-time jobs, while serving as an anchor tenant that tends to attract other popular franchises to the area.

“Topgolf now operates 33 venues worldwide and employs over 14,000 associates while serving over 10 million guests per year,” Clark said. “Our city becomes the fourth in Arizona, following Scottsdale, Gilbert and Tucson, and will attract other sports and entertainment venues to this area.”

Weiers pointed to the expected economic impact of $264.5 million over a 10-year-period, according to a third-party audit.

“This is a great thing for, not only Glendale, but for the West Valley as well,” Weiers said. “Visitors already come to the city for football, hockey, baseball and concerts, and now, with Topgolf, we have another exciting attraction to stay in the city longer for entertainment.”  

Topgolf is a high-tech driving range and entertainment company that has set out to prove that the sport is thriving. It thinks millennials might well be the key to reviving interest in the sport. The company has tapped into the social potential for golf, creating a space best described as “where a lounge meets a tee box.”

“The experience is built on four things everyone loves: play, food and drinks, music and community. It is truly everyone’s game and we provide a social experience that brings the whole community together,” said Topgolf Senior Communication Specialist Morgan Wallace.

“Topgolf is open year-round, 363 days a year (closed Thanksgiving and Christmas), and providing climate-controlled hitting bays for guests of all ages and skill levels. Guests can enjoy point-scoring golf games using micro-chipped balls that instantly score themselves, showing players the accuracy and distance of their shots on a TV screen in their hitting bay.”

Topgolf is like a grown up version of Skee-Ball, with modern technology that lets you track your performance, shot by shot - and compete with your friends, and they are aiming for an August or September 2018 opening.

“We will offer a new entertainment for Glendale, as more than half of our visitors are not golfers,” said Topgolf Chief Development Officer Chris Callaway. “Even if you don’t swing a club, you can come enjoy the top notch food and beverage, backed by executive chefs, as well as shuffleboard tables, kids’ camps and much more.”

Callaway also said Topgolf will offer numerous discounts to local groups and schools.
“We are committed to being a great neighbor and we want to be part of your chamber of commerce meetings and visit local high schools,” Callaway said. “We offer military and emergency medical service member discounts and will visit local high school golf teams and invite them to practice their shots for free at Topgolf.”

Clark added the golf may actually be second when it comes to the new location in Glendale.
“When you think about Topgolf, you think more about families and with their kids zone areas and number of family events each year, I know this will be a success,” he said.

by Glendale Chamber of Commerce on November 13th, 2017

The Glendale Star 

Pe​dego Electric Bikes at 5940 W. Union Hills Drive, Suite B-140, in Glendale had a big grand opening this past October in partnership with the Glendale Chamber of Commerce. Mayor Weiers didn’t cut the ribbon; instead, he rode through it on one of their bikes.

This is the kind of fun you can expect when you visit Pedego Electric Bikes. The Glendale location is adjacent to some of the city’s beautiful bike trails and clients can rent the bikes for any occasion. Owners Steve and Sherry Roueche also sell every available model of Pedego bikes in the market and can service them on sight.

by Glendale Chamber of Commerce on November 13th, 2017

The Glendale Star

Katy Engels, director of downtown Development for Glendale Chamber of Commerce, will host the first meeting for all downtown businesses and interested stakeholders Nov. 28 in the Diamond A ballroom of the Glendale Civic Center Annex, 5752 W. Glenn Drive.  


​The meeting will be 8 to 9:30 a.m. with gathering and refreshments starting 7:30 a.m.  

Since festival season will have begun by this time, it will just be a morning meeting that day. Bring your business cards because there will be a door prize drawing and an opportunity to network with the other attendees. At this meeting, you will receive a survey, asking the best time to have meetings going forward; what Engels’ role is and how she advocates for the businesses; and discussions will start on what the group, as a whole, wants to see happen to improve downtown.

Individuals who plan to attend the meeting are asked to RSVP Engels by 4 p.m. Nov. 17, indicating how many from your business will attend, or if you will not be able to attend.
Engels said the downtown is looking better. She thanked the merchants who notified her of issues, including lights out in parking lots; unsightly trash in business driveways; and overgrown weeds, just to name a few, because she has worked with city departments to help correct those issues. Engels said she was excited about the visible progress over the last three months.

Engels said the City of Glendale is looking to form a temporary (one-year) Business Council Committee to act as an advisory body to the mayor and city council by making recommendations on ways to make Glendale even more business-friendly. Interested persons from local Glendale businesses are asked to complete an online application: 
glendaleaz.com/boardsandcommissions/CityCouncilandBusinessLeaders.
    
The Glendale Civic Center has a new website and calendar of events:
 www.glendaleciviccenter.com.

by Glendale Chamber of Commerce on November 6th, 2017

The City of Glendale and Glendale Chamber of Commerce Military and Veterans Affairs Committee invite the public to attend the 15th annual Veterans Day ceremony 9 a.m. Nov. 11 at Glendale Main Library Auditorium, 5959 W. Brown St.

The ceremony will begin inside the library auditorium and feature special keynote speaker, Chief MSgt. Randy Kwiatkowski, Command Chief of the 56th Fighter Wing, Luke Air Force Base.
Glendale dignitaries, including Glendale Mayor Jerry P. Weiers, active military members and local veteran organizations, are invited to attend. The presentation of colors will be provided by The Marine Corps League’s Old Breed Detachment No. 767 Color Guard.

Following the keynote speaker, the ceremony will continue outside on the lawn of the library, adjacent to the Glendale Veterans Memorial, and include a flag-raising, with an American flag, an Arizona State flag and a POW/MIA flag. Military vehicles provided by the U.S. Army will be on display near the monument for public viewing.

The Veterans Day ceremony will be highlighted with a 10:30 a.m. flyover of jets from Luke Air Force Base.

Members of the Disabled American Veterans Auxiliary will offer balloons for attendees to release at the conclusion of the event following the flyover, with a special note attached in honor of Arizona’s service men and women.

Commissioned by the Glendale Public Art Program, with major funding through the city’s 1 Percent for Art Fund, artist Joe Tyler’s memorial is officially titled “For Every Drop of Blood—For Every Life Devoted.” For details about the Veterans Memorial, visit https://www.glendaleaz.com/arts/InteractiveArtTour_10.cfm.  ​
The event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be provided. Note that the Glendale Main Library itself will be closed for the holiday, although the auditorium wing will be open for this event. For more information, call the Glendale Public Art Program at 623-930-3557.

Following the Veterans Day Ceremony, everyone is welcome to attend a flag retirement ceremony, hosted by the Disabled American Veterans Auxiliary, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the DAV, 8447 N. 61st Ave. That ceremony will be supported by Civil Air Patrol 388th Composite Squadron, Arizona Wing.

The public is invited to bring worn flags to the ceremony for this protocol retirement.

Additional event information is available online at www.glendaleaz.com/veterans.cfm.

by Glendale Chamber of Commerce on November 6th, 2017

The Glendale Star
​By CAROLYN DRYER, Editor 

It’s been a challenging, but fun ride. And, it has been extended.

Robert Heidt celebrated his fourth anniversary Oct. 14 as president and CEO of Glendale Chamber of Commerce. He got a nice gift; the chamber board of directors gave him an offer he could not refuse: a new 10-year extension on his contract. Terms were not disclosed.

But from the smile on Heidt’s face, it appears he is satisfied and content where he is. Besides, he is not finished with the work he set out to do when he landed here.

In October 2013, he came through the door, and brought in his box to start work.

“The phone didn’t ring and nobody came in the door,” he said. “I thought, ‘What have I done?’”
He came to the conclusion after a short time, “We’re existing, doing things, but not moving the needle, not cultivating innovative ways of doing things.”

He and staff reviewed everything they were doing.

Dec. 31, 2013 arrived.

“Then, we buckled down, talking and working with the business community,” Heidt said.
Starting out with 475 members in 2013, every year since, they have welcomed more than 200 new members a year. The chamber is now 1,200 members strong, which makes it one of the largest in the state.

“We need the business community now more than ever. We make an impact, and we have influence,” Heidt said. “We’ve become that voice for what the pulse of the business community is. Organizations call us daily to weigh in. We’re shaping the future, having an impact on what the future has for us.”

Internally, Heidt said as the chamber team grows, they soon learn it is a member-first approach. When a member calls or walks through the door, the team pauses and asks, ‘How do we help that member?”

They now do the member testimonials that answer the question, “Why I am a Glendale Chamber of Commerce member.”

“Over and over, we have heard what impact we have,” Heidt said.

Size? No problem.

“Several people in a crowd of 100-plus, we go up to them, know their name and business,” Heidt said. “That lets me know we’re embedded in the community, have heart.”
Attitude is great, but what about the financial stability?

“Our financial house is in order,” Heidt said. “We run the chamber like any other small business. We balance the budget, net neutral budgeting. That’s important for businesses to know. We’re a sound organization and committed to making this investment and putting into the community as a whole.”

There was a time when the chamber did not have the best relationship with city leaders, Heidt said.

That has changed and is now strong, he added.

“We agree to disagree, but figure out the best solution for our business community,” Heidt said. “What happens is, you continue to get recognized for your achievements.”
Heidt serves on a number of boards statewide, regionally and at the national level. In the chamber industry, there are a lot of openings, and Heidt has been approached by other chambers. But Glendale is where he wants to be.

“It’s about personal fit,” Heidt said. “I feel just as passionate now about Glendale as I did four years ago. There’s so much more to do – to leave the chamber in a better state.”
Heidt was on a five-year contract, and the chamber’s executive board sat down with him and told him what they wanted to do. They wanted the community to know they had the right person.

“And it lets me know they want me,” Heidt said, “and it shows the community how committed I am to them. Hopefully, what that does is allow our strategic plan to go forward, we think more broadly and strategically and take our investment to what is best for the organization, hitting on all cylinders. We have four years of sold performance leadership – and a decade more.

“This is not just a job for me. This is my career. We’re an organization that gets things done. We’re like a clock; we just keep on going. We’re making a difference, that’s what we’re doing. For me, it’s an honor.

“Ten more years; we’re in it to win it.”
Chamber Board Chair Jean Higginbotham said, “Ever since inception, his commitment has been extraordinary. Last year, we hit a milestone of 1,000 members. We’re on our way to 1,300.
“His knowledge; he’s a legend in chamber management.”

Higginbotham said Heidt’s “profound leadership” has him highly sought after. She said neighboring cities in and out of the state have expressed interest in acquiring Heidt.
“He’s so well-known,” Higginbotham said.

She said she and the chamber board created a thorough process to assess Heidt and she had an eye-opening experience. She noted his commitment to the city and chamber members, and the record numbers attending chamber events.

“Robert is all in with Glendale,” Higginbotham said. “We felt we should reward and honor Robert to make sure he’s in a posititon to stay. He just works tirelessly at success of chambers.”

Heidt and Higginbotham are excited about the next 10 years, and they are gearing up for the Nov. 3 annual auction and fundraiser at the Glendale Renaissance. Last week, Heidt and his staff were busy organizing more than 400 items that will either be part of the silent auction or the live auction presented by E.J.’s Auction and Consignment. The auction items are valued at more than $230,000. To learn more, call the chamber at 623-937-4754, or go online to glendaleazchamber.org.

by Glendale Chamber of Commerce on November 1st, 2017

City of Glendale 

​Glendale, Ariz. –– The city of Glendale and the Glendale Chamber of Commerce Military & Veterans Affairs Committee invite the public to attend the 15th annual Veterans Day Ceremony on Sat., Nov. 11, at 9 a.m. at the Glendale Main Library Auditorium, 5959 W. Brown St.

The ceremony will begin inside the library auditorium and feature special keynote speaker, Chief Master Sergeant Randy Kwiatkowski, Command Chief of the 56th Fighter Wing, Luke Air Force Base.

Glendale dignitaries including Glendale Mayor Jerry P. Weiers, active military members and local veteran organizations are invited to attend. The Presentation of Colors will be provided by The Marine Corps League’s Old Breed Detachment No. 767 Color Guard.

Following the keynote speaker, the ceremony will continue outside on the lawn of the library, adjacent to the Glendale Veterans Memorial, and include a flag raising, with an American flag, an Arizona State flag and a POW/MIA flag. Military vehicles provided by the U.S. Army will be on display near the monument for public viewing.

The Veterans Day Ceremony will be highlighted with a flyover of jets from Luke Air Force Base at 10:30 a.m.

Members of the Disabled American Veterans Auxiliary will offer balloons for attendees to release at the conclusion of the event following the flyover, with a special note attached in honor of Arizona’s service men and women.

Commissioned by the Glendale Public Art Program with major funding through the city's 1 percent for Art Fund, artist Joe Tyler’s memorial is officially titled “For Every Drop of Blood—For Every Life Devoted.” For details about the Veterans Memorial, visit https://www.glendaleaz.com/arts/InteractiveArtTour_10.cfm.

This event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be provided. Please note that the Glendale Main Library itself will be closed for the holiday, although the auditorium wing will be open for this event.

For more information, call the Glendale Public Art Program at 623-930-3557. Following the Veterans Day Ceremony, everyone is welcome to attend a Flag Retirement Ceremony hosted by the Disabled American Veterans Auxiliary from 11a.m. to 2 p.m. at the DAV, 8447 N. 61st Ave. That ceremony will be supported by The Civil Air Patrol 388th Composite Squadron, Arizona Wing.

The public is invited to bring worn flags to the ceremony for this protocol retirement. Additional event information is available online at
www.glendaleaz.com/veterans.cfm. 

by Glendale Chamber of Commerce on November 1st, 2017

City of Glendale 

​GLENDALE, Ariz. -- City of Glendale offices will be closed on Friday, Nov. 10 in observance of Veterans Day and also on Thursday, Nov. 23 and Friday, Nov. 24 in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday.
 
Residential garbage and recycling collections will take place as usual on regularly scheduled pickup days on Friday, Nov. 10.  Pickups regularly scheduled for Thursday (11/23) will be shifted one day to Friday (11/24) and regular Friday collections (11/24) will be shifted to Saturday (11/25). The Glendale Municipal Landfill will be closed on the observed Veterans Day (11/10) and on Thanksgiving Day, (11/23), but will be open on Friday, Nov. 24. For more information about the city’s Solid Waste Management services, call 623-930-2660.
 
Valley Metro buses will run on a Sunday schedule on all of these holidays. Gus Bus 1 will also operate on a Sunday schedule Nov. 10 and 23-24, running from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Gus 2 and 3 will not be running these three days. For Dial-A-Ride service for the observed Veterans Day (11/10), reservations must be made in advance by noon on Thursday, Nov. 9. Dial-A-Ride service for Thanksgiving weekend (Nov. 23-26) must also be made ahead of time – by noon on Wednesday, Nov. 22. Reservations can be made by calling Glendale’s Transit Services at 623-930-3500. There will be no Dial-a-Ride same-day service on Nov. 10 or Nov. 23-24.  ADA service will be available on all three of these holidays, based on a Sunday fixed-route schedule.
 
While the Glendale Municipal Airport will remain open during these holidays, the airport’s administrative offices will be closed. In addition, Glendale’s three public libraries will be closed, as well as the “Visit Glendale” offices.
 
Glendale’s Foothills Recreation and Aquatics Center will be open on the observed Veterans Day (11/10) from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The center will be closed Thursday, Nov. 23 and Friday, Nov. 24 in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday.  The center will be open 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 25 and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.  on Sunday, Nov. 26.  For more information about the Foothills Recreation and Aquatics Center, call 623-930-4600. The Glendale Adult Center will be closed Nov. 10 and Nov. 23-24 for the holidays. For more information about Parks and Recreation services and programs, call 623-930-2820. For information about other city of Glendale programs and services, visit glendaleaz.com.
 

by Glendale Chamber of Commerce on October 30th, 2017

D​ear Mayor and Councilmembers:

Please keep the discussion going on the future of light rail in Glendale. We need more definitive projections of cost before a final decision is made. I would hope that you would consider the advancement of light rail to at least a transition point of say 52nd Avenue, so that the mile stretch from 43rd to 51st avenues can have the potential of development that is needed to revitalize that area of town. I believe there are developers who are just waiting to see if we will have light rail before they commit to bringing investment dollars to Glendale.
I have concerns, like many of you, about the cost and the negatives of light rail, but know that a lot of those concerns can be mitigated. Light rail is infrastructure and more and more people will be using public transportation in the future. The connectivity of our regional transportation system is critical.

Glendale has paid in millions of dollars and we don’t want to lose that money. We can’t use it for anything else so let’s find a way to get light rail done. The residents of Glendale voted for the light rail and have paid the taxes to bring it to Glendale. Please don’t give our future transportation to Phoenix and the East Valley.

As of Oct. 17, Glendale City Council has given direction (4-3 vote) to end pursuing light rail. As a member of the West Phoenix/Central Glendale Transit Corridor Working Group, I am very disappointed that the recommendations the Working Group made (35-4) to continue looking at options have been ignored and that the discussion of the future of light rail transportation is closed. This workgroup was made up of business owners, property owners and residents from the area that light rail would affect.

My suggestion would have been to send it back to the Citizens Transportation Oversight Committee for further study.

I am also a member of the Government Affairs Council for the Glendale Chamber of Commerce. We support the economic development of Glendale and encourage public policy that supports it. This council has made a decision that does not support our position on light rail and the economic development it would bring.

I’m frustrated with the lack of vision for the future. We don’t get anywhere looking in the rear-view mirror and trying to keep Glendale the bedroom community it no longer is. Unless Glendale promotes a regional transportation system like light rail, good luck to the rest of the West Valley.

Yvonne Knaack

Former Glendale

Vice Mayor

by Glendale Chamber of Commerce on October 23rd, 2017

The Glendale Star​

What does the Glendale Chamber of Commerce do?
What a chamber of commerce does is a question we are frequently asked.
Simply put, we champion a prosperous community – it is our sole reason for being.
So what exactly does a chamber of commerce do, for both a member business and the community?
A chamber is an organization that helps to further growth in a community. How it serves that mission through benefits, services and products is where chambers differ. Each chamber is unique to the community it serves, but the commonality between all chambers is they strive to be the underlying support network and unified voice of the businesses they serve. A chamber accomplishes this through a group of members invested in strengthening the community, bettering the business climate, and creating opportunities for their respective region to advance in a global economy.

Here is how chambers of commerce generally break down accomplishing these goals:
A chamber of commerce – depending upon its size and composition – formidably champions pro-economy policies and people. Historically, chambers of commerce have provided guidance on policy issues and topics which impact the local business community, on everything from transportation to economic development and workforce issues. Chambers of commerce usually liaise on a local level, and as they get larger and gain a critical mass of members, will also weigh in on state and sometimes federal issues as they pertain to the business community and potential impacts upon it.

Many businesses do not have the resources to dedicate in-house personnel to regulatory and government affairs. To be constantly vigilant of legislation and regulatory matters that could potentially derail businesses from hiring and growing, as well as advance issues that bolster business development, takes an immense store of energy, time and resources. Chambers of commerce serve smaller businesses by acting as their in-house lobbyist and government affairs representative, speaking for the business community on a myriad of issues. Chambers also work in tandem with members representing larger businesses to create synergies and opportunities for collaboration regarding government affairs matters.

What your chamber does: With a dedication to representing the business community in the halls of government, guided by a Government Affairs Council, as well as a local and statewide effort on behalf of chambers of commerce throughout Arizona, the Glendale Chamber advocates at all levels of government for its members and the West Valley business community on a broad range of issues. Since the inception of chambers of commerce, membership has often conveyed a business’s trustworthiness and community-minded culture. In this regard, a chamber helps give credibility to a business and demonstrates the intention to operate in a trustworthy manner. In fact, in a recent survey from The Schapiro Group Inc., when consumers know that a business is a member of their local chamber, they are 44 percent more likely to think favorably of the business and 63 percent more likely to purchase goods or services from that company. And, identifying a business as a chamber member is much easier in the digital age. Customizable profile pages, social media, plaques, and window clings can help distinguish a business as a chamber member and help send the message that the business is community-minded and reputable.

What your chamber does: You can place your window cling and proud member logo at your place of business, on your website, emails, collateral, etc. Your profile page on www.glendaleazchamber.org can be personalized with your company’s logo, photos, social media, and even video, to help potential customers get familiar with your business and how it can serve them. A chamber is a chief negotiator for cost-savings programs and benefits. It can often negotiate group pricing for office supplies, insurance, shipping, software, and other products and services, so its smaller members can take advantage of pricing structures to which they normally wouldn’t have access (or pricing mostly reserved for large corporations with significant buying power, and therefore, better negotiating power).

What your chamber does: There are many discount and savings programs for every member of the Glendale Chamber, including Office Depot/Office Max, Constant Contact, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Vision Care, and more. Members can harness the buying power of the entire chamber membership and have access to competitive pricing on everyday business expenditures.
Chambers of commerce convene the business community by providing programs and opportunities to educate business owners and operators on relevant topics, as well as provide venues for meeting one another, growing business relationships, and increasing referrals. Chambers will also bring in local business and community leaders for Q&A opportunities and keynote addresses to inform and educate members on an issue. These types of programs aim to increase business activity and promote a united business community.

In addition, to help increase the leadership capacity of a region and educate local leaders about relevant community issues, some chambers even foster leadership development classes, either as a long-term track or as “one and done” education sessions.
What your chamber does: The Glendale Chamber hosts more than 100 events each year, dividing programming between morning, afternoon, and after business hours to cater to different schedules. In addition, the Glendale Chamber produces a number of events targeted to directly benefit our members.

Chambers of commerce, since their inception in the United States more than two centuries ago, have helped shape some of the most powerful policies that have defined pivotal moments in our nation’s history. Almost from the beginning in 1892, The Glendale Chamber has been instrumental in creating a pro-business climate and prosperous local economy.  
Communities rally around strong leaders, and chambers of commerce have led the charge in improving and protecting the business communities they serve. Now, perhaps more than ever, the need for belonging and the cause of advancing a strong, supported, and unified business community is imperative for our future success – as a city, as a region and as a country.
Chamber of commerce myth busters

Chambers are part of the local government: While many chambers enjoy productive working relationships with their local and state municipalities, those relationships are voluntary. Chambers of commerce are completely separate from and do not operate as “chapters” or “divisions” of any jurisdiction.

Chambers are only for big business: Many chambers’ memberships are comprised primarily of small business members. The Glendale Chamber, a broad-based business organization, maintains more than 80 percent of its membership as businesses with fewer than 25 employees.

The chamber will do it with or without me, so it doesn’t matter if I join: While a chamber’s mission is to advance business in a given community, or geographical area, it cannot function without the support of members. Aside from the monetary resources of membership dues, a strong and invested chamber membership sends a powerful message of a united business community dedicated to advancing the local economy. This messaging resonates with audiences as large as federal elected officials, who will ask a chamber about overall business impact of a piece of legislation, to large business service organizations designing group discount programs. But it takes numbers to have that kind of impact on a community. If not you, then, who? How can more than 1,200 business leaders making up the Glendale Chamber be wrong?