Tempe’s First Crush Charity Gala

I remember my first Crush. She was fun, elegant, had great taste in food and always looked to give back to others. Thankfully, that has never changed. If you’ve never been to the First Crush Charity Gala in Tempe, you really are missing out.

There is a NEW venue for First Crush this year! The 2015 First Crush Charity Gala will be held at the Four Peaks Tasting Room located at 2401 S Wilson Street Tempe, AZ 85282. ( NO, not the 8th St location ) The event will feature Four Peaks brews, local wines, and tasty food from local Tempe restaurants, including Four Peaks Brewing Company and Snooze. For music, they will have the one and only Walt Richardson! Yes, really!

The raffle and silent auction items are going to be awesome! How about:
Dinner with ASU Athletics Director Ray Anderson! Maybe you would like city councilman Corey Woods to make dinner for you and 5 of your friends. How about a 4 course chef prepared dinner for 10 at Pedal House Brewery? Maybe you would like to get a private tour of the Sam Adams Brewery!!! Yes, in Boston. This trip has a $3000 value, you need this trip! We’ll have dozens and dozens of other awesome items. This really is a can’t miss event!

For more information, please visit www.tempeaction.org or contact them at 480-858-6525. Tickets for First Crush are $100.00 per person.

Surround yourself with hundreds of great people, enjoy great food and drink, a super-fun charity auction and awesome entertainment while helping some of the least fortunate people in our communities. This is truly a wonderful event that Lori and I look forward to attending each year.

First Crush Tempe AZ

Great Food and a Great Cause: Give Back by attending the First Crush Charity Gala!

What: 11th annual First Crush Charity Gala & Silent Auction

When: Friday, October 23, 2015 from 6:00-10:00PM

Where: Four Peaks Tasting Room – 2401 S Wilson Street Tempe, AZ 85282

Dress for the event is casual. But nice.

The First Crush Charity Gala supports the mission of Tempe Community Action Agency, a nonprofit leader in providing human services to East Valley residents since 1966.  The event is presented by Four Peaks Brewing Company this year! Yes, everyone LOVES four Peaks! First Crushfeatures one of the best silent auctions around a delicious array of menu items, Wine and there will be a LOT of Four Peaks beer along with some great musical entertainment . Did I mention the pie bar? Yeah, there’s a pie bar! Proceeds support the programs and services of TCAA, a nonprofit leader in providing human services to East Valley residents since 1966.

Tempe Community Action Agency (TCAA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that serves low-income families, children, seniors and the homeless for more than 40 years in the East Valley. The mission is to improve the quality of life for the under served in our community.
Check out the TCAA on Facebook.

I look forward to seeing all of you there!

A very special thanks also goes out to all of our friends at the TCAA for all of the work they put in to this great event.


First Crush




Tempe Happy To Welcome Zenefits – Many Others

It seems like the jobs just keep coming to Arizona and that is certainly welcomed news in Tempe. Companies like GoDaddy, Northern Trust, DriveTime Automotive, Reputation.com, Shutterfly and, of course, State Farm are some of the companies hiring and expanding in Tempe.

Zenefits Expanding in Tempe:

Zenefits at Hayden Ferry Tempe

Zenefits – Hayden Ferry

This past week, it was announced that Zenefits is expanding their operations in Tempe at the super-cool 3rd and final Hayden Ferry tower that is currently under construction. They signed a lease for 5 floors of the Class A tower and will occupy 135,000 square feet of space. Zenefits plans to hire 700 people by the end of the year, which will bring their number of employees to 1300 after adding to the 600 employees they already have at their Old Town Scottsdale location.

Zenefits will be joined by a lot more new faces along Rio Salado Parkway in the very near future. The new Hayden Ferry Tower is already 92% leased before being completed, and Marina Heights is not far behind with their addition of thousands of jobs. Yes, thousands. Depending on where you get your information, we’ve heard 6000, 8000, 10,000 and 12,000 jobs being added at the massive Marina Heights development. I am not sure exactly how many they are bringing, but I am sure that the area will be forever changed by the tremendous amount of development we are currently seeing.

Zenefits will benefit by this awesome location, the large talent pool of employees and the proximity to the airport, Mill Avenue and all that the super-cool 85281 zip code has to offer.

We’ve found a great talent pool in the greater Phoenix area. We’ve been able to hire a lot of ambitious, smart people and we want to keep tapping into that market. This Tempe location is great, too.” – Mark Woolway, Zenefits VP of corporate development and business operations

The City of Tempe seems pretty pleased with the amount of new jobs coming to the area. From the Tempe city council to the Chamber of Commerce, there has been a lot of talk about the expansion that is occurring. Of course, we’d be happy to help Mr. Woolway and his crew find new homes for Zenefits employees in the area. We can think of some pretty cool lakeside communities near their offices. Of course, another nice thing about the area is the fact that MANY choices are available within a short commute from their new offices. Scottsdale, Phoenix, Mesa, Chandler, Tempe all have a ton of options for people wanting to be close to their shiny new building on Mill and Rio Salado.

Mill Avenue Becoming More as Downtown Tempe

Mill Avenue: It is known far and wide by people of all walks of life. The iconic street has seen ups and downs, good times, more good times and even some bad times. It has history and it has a bright future.

Here in Tempe, there’s always a ton of talk about what is happening “on Mill.” There’s no explanation needed, there are no directions to be given if you say you are going to a bar, restaurant, shop or event on Mill. EVERYONE knows exactly what you are talking about.

While some might not be huge fans of Mill Avenue and people in south Tempe whine about north Tempe getting all of the attention, resources and favor of our leaders, the reality is, the economic engine that is ( or was ) the Mill Avenue District paves the way for more growth in the city and in the region.

Last night, we heard city leaders talk about plans and the vision to re-brand the Mill Avenue District. A new logo, new marketing blitz and a fancy new web site have been put in place to tell people about Downtown Tempe. No longer will they market the Mill Avenue District. The future is all about the larger area of Downtown Tempe. They have been using the #TempeRising tag on all of the major social sites for you to follow along.

Recently, we’ve seen some activity east of Mill Avenue where the House of Trick’s has been rocking it before anyone else really could. Some of this development may be in anticipation of the massive plans that ASU has for the area. For years there has also been talk of stretching the Mill Avenue District west over to the Farmer Arts District, but that has been SLOW coming. Sam Fox and a few others hope to change that as they open the super-cool Culinary Dropout at the Yard in Tempe. Fox restaurants is making an $11 million investment in getting people to come to the “other side of the tracks” west of Mill Avenue. The new venue opens next month joining The Madison and Over Easy. The Madison is a spin and yoga studio that is already open, and Over Easy is another great breakfast addition to the area that opens later this year. The venue will also have The Coop and The Showcase Room as places to hold special events.

Change is coming:

Like it or not, there’s a ton of change coming to the Downtown Tempe area. Thousands of new jobs are being added, BILLIONS of dollars are being invested in and around the area, and we’ll soon see a ton of new residents looking to enjoy the valley’s most urban lifestyle. The new Marina Heights and USA Place will certainly have an impact on Downtown Tempe, but they aren’t alone. We’ve seen a lot of other investment large and small. Soon our past will make way for other future projects. I shot this photo recently of a crane flying in the air near Monti’s La Casa Vieja. I thought it was a bit ironic since the famed restaurant has recently been sold, and cranes will soon be circling the air at 100 S Mill Avenue, where this historic building has stood for a VERY long time. Yes, part of the building is being preserved, but the future site will have some big shiny new additions.

Crane at Monti's

So, Mill Avenue is the new Downtown Tempe. 40 is the new 30 and life goes on. Call it what you want, change is constant and we’ll be watching. What do you think about re-branding of the new Downtown Tempe?