Business Briefs (3/26) - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Bulletinboard

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Posted: Thursday, March 25, 2010 11:00 pm

Valley Leadership seeks applicants for premier leadership development program

Valley Leadership, the Valley’s largest and most established leadership development organization, is accepting applications for its Leadership Institute Class 32.

Leadership Institute, launched 31 years ago, is a program designed to enhance the skills of individuals who have demonstrated a capacity for leadership and an interest in community service. Each year, 50 individuals from throughout the Valley are selected through a competitive process to participate in the nine-month program, beginning in September and ending in June.

Applications may be downloaded from, by calling (602) 952-6760 or e-mailing The application deadline is April 23.

Those interested in learning more about the program are invited to attend a Leadership Institute Candidate Workshop from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. March 30 or a Leadership Institute Candidate Reception from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. April 8. Both events will take place at the Valley Leadership Office, 4020 N. 20th St., Suite 202. Reserve your space by contacting Beth at (602) 952-6760 ext. 4 or


Financial planning breakfast April 8

Cynthia Fick of Financial Life Planners will host a breakfast club meeting from 8 to 9 a.m. Thursday, April 8, at the Ahwatukee Foothills Mimi’s restaurant on Ray Road, near 48th Street. The topic: “ROTH IRA’s: The Big New Opportunities in 2010! To convert or not to convert?” RSVP at (480) 346-4073.


Liberty Tax offers free tax preparation for volunteers

Liberty Tax Service will reward volunteers who work with non-profit groups and charities by offering them free tax preparation the week of March 29 to April 4. All individuals who work with scouting and youth organizations, health non-profits, food banks and other charities are eligible for tax fee cuts at participating Liberty offices if they are first-time customers. 

For more information or locations, call (866) 871-1040 or visit


Chamber’s Women in Business event coming up

The next Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce Women in Business event will take place 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 1, at Aji Spa at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort, 5594 W. Wild Horse Blvd., Chandler. The cost is $35.

For more information or to sign up, visit or call (480) 753-7676.


Hand and Stone Massage and Facial Spa has new owners

Hand and Stone Massage and Facial Spa, 4940 E. Ray Road, is under new ownership. Craig Schumacher and Steve Currier, local residents and businessmen in the Southeast Valley, plan to expand the current massage offerings to include facials by April 1.

Hand and Stone’s packages cater to health-minded active people, as well as those that cannot be physically active due to schedules, ailments, etc. Another target of Hand and Stone’s focus is directed to bridal parties, anniversary and birthday celebrations along with holiday gift cards.

The spa is open seven days a week, and appointments are available to walk-ins by calling (480) 961-0027.


IRS Free File program offers online tax services

With April 15 quickly approaching, the Free File Alliance, a coalition of tax software companies partnered with the Internal Revenue Service, urges every taxpayer with a 2009 Adjusted Gross Income of $57,000 or less to take advantage of the IRS Free File program. Through this partnership between the Free File Alliance and the IRS, more than 98 million Americans may visit for access to the industry’s top tax software and step-by-step help preparing and e-filing their federal tax returns.

By clicking on the “Free File” icon, users will find a list of Free File Alliance member companies and choose the one that fits their needs. Taxpayers are then transferred to the company’s Web site to prepare, complete and electronically file their federal income tax returns, just as they would on paper. Three of the 19 participating software companies now offer services in Spanish.


Chamber offers new programs to build businesses

A new business leads group, Wednesday Business Leaders, meets from 8 to 9 a.m. Wednesday mornings at the Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce offices, 10235 S. 51st St., Suite 185. Attendees must RSVP with their business category to

A new round table discussion and springboard called Social Media Toolkit will gather from noon to 1 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesdays at the chamber offices. The event will encompass social media ideas, what works, what doesn’t and a chance to hear from professionals who use it every day.

For more information, call (480) 753-7676. 


Famous Dave’s celebrates new restaurant with rib tasting

In celebration of the upcoming new Famous Dave’s BBQ restaurant opening at SanTan Village, 2206 E. Williams Field Road, Gilbert, everyone is invited to indulge in its award-winning St. Louis Style Ribs at the traditional pre-opening rib-tasting to support the “Save the Family Foundation of Arizona” from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 3.

Additionally, each customer who participates will receive a $10 gift card redeemable only at Famous Dave’s SanTan Village from opening day, April 12, through May 31.

For information, visit For details on the Save the Family organization, visit


Interested in hosting an event?

Hosting an event for the Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce is a great way to get your business noticed.

Tuesday morning mixers are from 8 to 9 a.m. on the second Tuesday of each month at a local business. Dates needing hosts are July 13, Aug. 10, Sept. 14, Oct. 12, Nov. 9 and Dec. 14. Wednesday evening mixers are from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on the third Wednesday of each month, also at local businesses. Open dates are June 16, July 21, Aug. 18, Oct. 20 and Nov. 17.

For detailed hosting information, contact Christine at (480) 753-7676.


Wilkinson obtains CPA designation

The Phoenix office of Grant Thornton LLP, the U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International, has announced that Ahwatukee Foothills resident Kyle Wilkinson has earned his CPA designation.

Wilkinson has been with the firm since 2007 and obtained his bachelor’s degree in accounting and his master’s degree in taxation from Arizona State University.


$20K office renovation up for grabs in contest for nonprofit leaders

Donations to nonprofits may be down, but local office furniture dealer Goodmans Interior Structures remains committed to the community and is again giving away a $20,000 office renovation to a nonprofit leader in Maricopa County and another in Pima County.

Nominations for the fifth annual Goodmans Eye for the Good Guy contest will be accepted through April 16 at

To be eligible, nominees must be the executive director, president, CEO or other top executive of a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in Maricopa or Pima counties. Finalists will be selected based on the nominee’s application of good business principles, demonstration of excellence in leadership, organizational influence on the community and populations served and need for a more efficient workspace.

Ten finalists will be announced in May, and the public will have the opportunity to vote online for the 2010 “Good Guys” in each market. The winners, to be announced in June, will be selected through a combination of online public voting and an assessment by a panel of local judges.

Winners will receive a renovated workspace that supports individual work style, improves productivity and communicates the organization’s mission. The community is encouraged to submit multiple nominations for the same candidate. 

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