Weathering the Storm: Avery Lane sees growth despite pandemic, hopeful for future

By Connor Dziawura The COVID-19 pandemic came at an unfortunate time for Avery Lane, a consignment store that specializes in items on the high end, from furniture, antiques and fine art to other home accessories. After seeing steady growth and expansion over the first several years in the Scottsdale Airpark, owner Darlene Richert signed for yet another expansion in December 2019, pushing the showroom past 3 ...

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Servicing the Community: Prestige Cleaners puts its neighbors and staff first

By Bridgette M. Redman Prestige Cleaners has been committed to doing the right thing by its customers, employees and community since 1964. It wasn’t about to let a thing like the pandemic change that. President and CEO Denise Testori says she’ll never forget when the news of the pandemic and the lockdowns hit. “It was St. Patty’s Day and there were a lot of rumors swirling around of what was going on,” Test ...

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Rediscovering Herself: Kaylavon Middleton emerges as a top insurance broker

By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski Kaylavon Middleton is a proud, card-carrying Medicare member and, as a licensed Certified Medicare Insurance Planner, she enjoys helping others navigate the system.  “I’m there as a bridge when people get ready to retire,” Middleton says. She’s a retiree herself, well, sort of. She left BlueCross BlueShield after 16 years and knew how to tread the Medicare waters herself. Five ...

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‘You Can have it All’: Scottsdale mother empowers women as leading expert in innovative dentistry

By Jordan Houston When it comes to leadership, Dr. Sara Vizcarra sets the tone, not only as a professional but as a woman, Latina and mother as well. Dr. Vizcarra, an esteemed dentist at North Scottsdale’s Pinnacle Peak Family Dentistry, has built a reputation for herself as a knowledgeable, personable and compassionate doctor in a variety of services, including cosmetic dentistry, pediatric dentistry, orth ...

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Gem Floral and Rentals: Mariam Chekmeyan’s dream is blossoming

By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski Mariam Chekmeyan was working full time for a construction company and made a great salary.  But the desk job stifled the North Phoenix woman’s creativity. “I’m a very creative person,” the Sandra Day O’Connor High School graduate says. “I couldn’t be myself doing things with construction and office work. I told my boyfriend, ‘I am quitting my job.’ “He says, ‘Not until you figu ...

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A Touch of Class: The Langham Huntington is Pasadena’s ‘jewel’

By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski Nestled at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains, the Langham Huntington, Pasadena, is an oasis among lush landscaping. Kindness and beauty exude from the Spanish Mission Revival-style resort. Attendants readily share facts about the resort, which is peppered with Pasadena’s trademark roses. Wedding parties rush around the Langham Huntington, as brides and grooms are photograph ...

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Around the Pen: Nonprofit sanctuary recruiting volunteers to help pigs and piglets

By Annika Tomlin Danielle Betterman was gifted her first pig, Beezers, 12 years ago. She researched the ins and outs of raising a pig in the Valley. Wanting to impart her knowledge and her love of pigs, she opened Better Piggies Rescue in 2017. “I started doing research and quickly started volunteering with other organizations around the Valley, like Ironwood Pig Sanctuary and Circle L Ranch (Animal Rescue ...

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HR Pro to Health Care Leader: Deborah Hillman Toll vows to help vulnerable people

By Alison Bailin Batz After graduating from Eastern Illinois University in 1999, Deborah Hillman Toll moved to the Valley to begin what would become a legacy of leadership and giving back. Initially, she worked with executives to build and execute human resources strategies. A significant project with a local chief executive officer early in her career proved to be a pivotal moment on Toll’s professional pa ...

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Pour the Paso, Please! Exploring the best bottles from the emerging wine region

By Alison Bailin Batz Paso Robles is a winemaking region on the rise. Located along California’s Coast, Paso Robles winemaking dates back to the 1980s, but it was the well-received Saxum brand in 2010 followed by Wine Enthusiast naming it the Wine Region of the Year in 2013 that really brought acclaim to the area. Today, there are more than 200 wineries and 40,000 vineyard acres producing at least 60 types ...

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The Amazing Gunshot Physician

By Marshall Trimble Dr. George Goodfellow of Tombstone is best remembered as the “Gunshot Physician.” He patched up outlaws like Curly Bill Brocius and doctored the wounded Virgil and Morgan Earp after the Gunfight at O.K. Corral. When the mortally wounded Billy Clanton asked to have his boots removed so he could “die with his boots off,” Doc Goodfellow obliged. Afterward, Ike Clanton, whose big mouth start ...

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Something for Everybody Keeler’s is a comfortable neighborhood steakhouse

By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski Paul Keeler wanted a restaurant that is welcoming, affordable and comfortable for guests. On New Year’s Eve 2018, he opened Keeler’s Neighborhood Steakhouse in Carefree — and hasn’t looked back. “I wanted a neighborhood steakhouse,” Keeler says. “A neighborhood steakhouse, to me, is much more than a special-occasion, steak-on-a-plate concept. There are many of those around the ...

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Extraordinary Rides The 2021 Mercedes GLA45- AMG is worth the money

By C.A. Haire With its compact size and a tiny, 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine, this Mercedes GLA might not impress at first look. But the quad exhaust tips sticking out of the body suggest there is more than meets the eye. If not, the price tag of $59,560 is convincing. The starting fee of a base GLA is $36,000, and that includes a 2.0-liter, 221-horsepower engine. Next up is the GLA35 with 302 horsepower ...

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Spreading “Joy” Joye DeGoede adds flair to Scottsdale

By Sara Edwards JoyEful Gallery is growing with the expansion of its latest gallery space in El Pedregal at the Boulders Resort in Scottsdale. Owner Joye DeGoede says the bigger room will allow her to sponsor and host more artists she’s passionate about. “This gallery space was the Sonoran Arts League gallery for six years, and I was the resident artist,” she says. “I knew in December that it was going to c ...

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Wellness journey Camila Frederico takes the reins at Civana

By Alison Bailin Batz On her second go-around in Arizona, Camila Frederico is taking it all in. “As the new general manager of Civana Wellness Resort & Spa, doing so has been easy,” Frederico says. “It has certainly lived up to the hype from Travel + Leisure, Conde Nast Traveler and USA Today — and then some — so far.” Frederico oversees the resort’s 22 acres, 144 rooms and suites, and 20,000-square-foo ...

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Sips of the Summer

By Alison Bailin Batz Wines that perfectly pair with patios, pools and parties With vaccines readily available, many are looking to enjoy the company of friends and family this summer. This could mean hanging by the pool, living one’s best life on a boat in the Midwest or heading to SoCal for the beach. No matter what your summer plans are, we have a wine pairing for that. By the pool Ecco Domani Pinot Grig ...

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