Beth Duckett: ‘The Arizona Republic’/azcentral.com Reporter

Beth Duckett, reporter for 'The Arizona Republic' and azcentral.com, photographed at Civic Center Mall in Scottsdale, by Nicki Escudero

Beth Duckett, reporter for ‘The Arizona Republic’ and azcentral.com, photographed at Civic Center Mall in Scottsdale, by Nicki Escudero

Beth Duckett
twitter.com/Beth_Duckett

Curious about something going on in Scottsdale? Beth Duckett probably knows all about it. The Scottsdale Community Watchdog Reporter for The Arizona Republic has covered a variety of topics, ranging from city politics to community events. Whether she’s keeping an eye on what’s going on in town or working on deadline to deliver accurate news to readers, she says she gets a rush out of reporting on breaking news that matters to her peers. Read on for her stand-out moments as a reporter, as well as to hear five reasons why she loves living in the Valley.

What brought you to Arizona?

I basically grew up in Maryland in a suburb of Washington, D.C., where I graduated from high school. After that, my family moved to Arizona for a job, and I tagged along partly out of curiosity but mostly for the new opportunity, plus I had heard about the top-notch journalism schools here. After a brief stint at University of Arizona, I transferred to Arizona State and graduated in 2006. Continue reading

Jeff Freundlich: Wild Whirled Music and Fervor Records Co-Owner, Musician

Jeff Freundlich, owner of Wild Whirled Music and Fervor Records, photographed at Wild Whirled Music in Phoenix, by Nicki Escudero

Jeff Freundlich, owner of Wild Whirled Music and Fervor Records, photographed at Wild Whirled Music in Phoenix, by Nicki Escudero

Jeff Freundlich
twitter.com/Wild_Whirled

Chances are good you’ve heard music touched by Jeff Freundlich, even if you’ve never heard of him. The New York City native, 36, is co-owner of Wild Whirled Music and Fervor Records, whose music is played on film and television 7 days a week. Music from the licensing catalog and record label has been featured on everything from major network comedies to hockey games, and when he’s not helping build up the perfect soundtracks for film and TV, he’s also making music on his own. Next Tuesday, January 1, Freundlich will release a new album, Floodgates, under his project’s name The Blue Flood, which features a diverse range of sounds including hip-hop and electronic. Read on for how he thinks his business affects the music industry and for what inspires him as a musician, as well as to hear five reasons why he loves living in the Valley.

What brought you to Arizona?

While I was in college, I knew I wanted to be in the music industry, and I was a college marketing representative for EMI Records, for 3 years. My senior year, the label folded. I got really panicky about the volatility of the music industry, so I worked for this huge consulting firm and then this Internet startup, chasing money. My wife was a book publisher, and both of us were making gobs of money but were totally miserable, because I wanted to be writing music, and my wife wanted to paint. She had grown up out here. I was writing my sister’s graduation card in 2000, and I realized I wasn’t following any of the advice I was giving her. We realized we needed to get out of New York to pursue our dreams. We literally hopped on a plane to Phoenix, looked at 30 houses in a week, found one we liked, made an offer, got it, flew back, and told our jobs that we were quitting to go pursue our dreams rather than chasing dollar bills. We had built up so much goodwill with our jobs, and they were so blown away with what we were doing, they let us telecommute, in 56k modem world, from Phoenix until we got things figured out. We’ve been here ever since. Continue reading

CJ Cornell: Founder of Propel Arizona, Entrepreneur

CJ Cornell, founder of Propel Arizona, photographed at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, by Nicki Escudero

CJ Cornell, founder of Propel Arizona, photographed at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, by Nicki Escudero

CJ Cornell
twitter.com/CJCornell

The Valley is lucky to have CJ Cornell. The New York-born entrepreneur made his way from Silicon Valley to Phoenix to help build up Arizona State University‘s entrepreneurship program by helping to establish the Knight Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship. After mentoring hundreds of young entrepreneurs-in-training, he founded Propel Arizona, a local crowdfunding site for new local businesses, which helps solicit donations from locals for new ventures. Read on for what stimulates Cornell’s entrepreneurial passion, and scroll down to hear five reasons why he loves living in the Valley.

What brought you to Arizona?

ASU. They were starting an extensive entrepreneur program, and I had already had a career as a serial entrepreneur and then started teaching in the Silicon Valley area. They brought me down here to help start their now number one entrepreneurship program in the country. Continue reading

Ryan Winslett: Reporter at ‘The Fountain Hills Times,’ Writer for BitCreature.com, GamingBlend.com

Ryan Winslett, reporter at 'The Fountain Hills Times' and writer for Bitcreature.com and Gamingblend.com, photographed at Fountain Park in Fountain Hills, by Nicki Escudero

Ryan Winslett, reporter at ‘The Fountain Hills Times’ and writer for Bitcreature.com and Gamingblend.com, photographed at Fountain Park in Fountain Hills, by Nicki Escudero

Ryan Winslett
twitter.com/RyanWinslett

It’s sort of weird for Fountain Hills resident Ryan Winslett, 30, to be interviewed. Since he was a little kid, Winslett has always had a passion for telling stories, which has translated into a journalism career that’s made him schools and sports reporter for The Fountain Hills Times. Winslett is also a dedicated video game player and has worked that fervor for gaming into writing gigs for www.bitcreature.com and www.gamingblend.com. Read on for what it’s like living in Fountain Hills and how his life as a reporter has shaped him, as well as hear five reasons why he loves living in the Valley.

What brought you to Arizona?

I was born in Athens, Georgia. My mom was looking for a new job when I was in the 5th grade and she found it in Globe, Arizona. Continue reading

Anamieke Quinn: Owner of Sidepony Music and Treasurefruit Singer

Anamieke Quinn, owner of Sidepony Music and director of artist and media relations at Fervor Records, photographed at her home in Scottsdale, by Nicki Escudero

Anamieke Quinn, owner of Sidepony Music and singer for Treasurefruit, photographed at her home in Scottsdale, by Nicki Escudero

Anamieke Quinn
twitter.com/SideponyMusic

Anamieke Quinn is a Valley renaissance woman when it comes to the music world. By day, the 32-year-old Scottsdale resident represents a wide variety of music and artists on local record label Fervor Records, and at night, she morphs into musician mode. She plays in not one, not two, but three bands — she plays upright bass for the Sara McAllister Band, plays electric bass and does backup vocals for Ruca and is the frontwoman for Treasurefruit, which plays all her original soulful music. And when she finally gets a breather, she supports other local acts and organizes music festivals, such as her recent Sidepony Express Music Festival in Bisbee. And, oh, yeah — she founded Sidepony Music, her own artist management company that represents Valley acts such as Doctor Bones. Learn more about her here, and read on for why she considers Arizona her frontier and to hear five reasons why she loves living in the Valley.

What brought you to Arizona?

I was born in Thousand Oaks, California but grew up in the Arcadia area and went back to California for college at University of Southern California to study music industry. I was realizing that in order to pursue my goals as far as starting my own record label and building up myself as an artist while helping other people artistically, it was foolish to stay in a place with such high overhead as Los Angeles. If I wanted to spend all my money sending CD’s to radio stations and with postage and packaging, I didn’t really have the luxury of staying in an expensive place to live like Los Angeles was, so I decided it was more important to me to get stuff done than live in an awesome place and hope I’d meet the right person to advance my career. I moved back (to Phoenix) a little after college. Continue reading