Giving People Hope: Dr. Laura Brockel amplifies her patients’ lives

By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski As a child, Laura Brockel often visited her great aunt, who fell deaf after a case of the measles. She watched her struggle with amplification devices and doctors. “She found it difficult to find someone who was reputable and had the qualifications to handle someone with the profound hearing loss she had,” the North Scottsdale resident says. “She had had cords running up her dr ...

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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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Michelle Moore says all women can be empowered to help

By Annika Tomlin Michelle Moore hasn’t let the hardships of being a mother and cancer survivor get in the way. Founder and president of the Phoenix-based nonprofit organization Mother’s Grace, Moore recently published her first book, “A Mother’s Grace: Healing the World, One Woman at a Time.” With around $2,000, Moore founded Mother’s Grace in 2009 as a nonprofit that provides financial assistance for housi ...

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Food for the Social Distancer

By Annika Tomlin The world has been hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing the government to close public dining rooms. Thankfully, there are still quite a few businesses open for carryout, takeout or delivery orders. Here are a list of restaurants or drive-thru spots that are following CDC guidelines and are still open for business. La Bocca, 5415 E. High Street, Phoenix, 480-840-1799, north.laboccapizzeria ...

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Highly Qualified Cast

By Jordan Houston A self-taught artist with an eye for statement pieces, Jamie Almaraz says she knew her hobby couldn’t support her family. So, she got creative. Now, with more than 20 years as a hairstylist under her belt, Almaraz has married her love of design to her blossoming career in one of her finest masterpieces to date—Cast Salon & Spa. “My background is in art; I have always loved it,” the Nor ...

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Guiding Clients Through Tough Times

By Jimmy Magahern With all the unprecedented volatility in the markets right now, it’s perhaps not surprising that many investors have become as fearful of checking the Dow as the rest of us have become reading the breaking coronavirus alerts on our smartphones each morning. “I’ve had clients—including some who’ve actually made money through this process—who have told me they’re afraid to look at their stat ...

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Going Crazy

By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski Pop-rockers Promise to Myself have a hard time keeping a secret. Before the North Phoenix-based band released its sophomore EP, “I Might Be Crazy,” the quartet was told to stay mum about the new music. Sometimes it was a little harder than the group thought. “Our manager and our label, 80/20, said we couldn’t tell anyone,” rhythm guitarist Zack Bruge says. “I would tell all of ...

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In Treatment

By Alison Bailin Batz W hile self-care is critical to one’s health, physically and mentally, we all could use an extra hand when it comes to properly taking care of ourselves from time to time.  Thankfully, the North Valley features some of the top spas in the nation, each of which is always innovating, updating and reimagining its treatments and spaces to relax, rejuvenate and reinvigorate guests’ minds, b ...

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Surf’s Up!

By Christopher Boan Ayears-long prophecy came to fruition in mid-January, as Dana Mulé’s Hula’s Modern Tiki opened its High Street location. The restaurant is a stone’s throw from the Loop 101 at 5450 N. High Street. The company’s newest restaurant features a garage door opening up to a spacious patio, to go with floral patterned booths, tiki features on walls and other Hawaiian mainstays. It joins location ...

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Surveying the Mexican border

Surveying the Mexican border The storied Army Corps of Topographical Engineers was a hand-picked group of West Point graduates. In its short lifespan of only 23 years as a separate corps, it probably did more, in proportion to its small numbers, than any other group. The corps was a combination of science and romance, the prototypes of the original seven astronauts of the 1960s. When the Mexican War ended i ...

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Finding a New Home

By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski Vernon Aviation business manager James Pera says when people hear the words “private jet,” they automatically assume it’s not within reach financially. They’re wrong, he says. “Once educated, our clients are pleasantly surprised to find out that there are various price points, aircraft and options for all budgets,” Pera says. “The business owners are pleased when they find out ...

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Bella Mode!

By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski Just because Valley natives Nikki and Brie Bella are pregnant, it doesn’t mean they can’t throw a party. The former WWE Divas will kick off Cabanas After Dark, the Hotel Valley Ho’s poolside parties under the stars, at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 6. The party and a VIP rooftop meet-and-greet also introduce their new Bonita Bonita rosé, and signed bottles will be available. “We’re s ...

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