David Tyda: Founder of Arizona Barbecue Festival, Arizona Taco Festival and EATERAZ.com

David Tyda, founder of Arizona Barbecue Festival, Arizona Taco Festival and EATERAZ.com, photographed at Dick's Hideaway in Phoenix, by Nicki Escudero

David Tyda, founder of Arizona Barbecue Festival, Arizona Taco Festival and EATERAZ.com, photographed at Dick’s Hideaway in Phoenix, by Nicki Escudero

David Tyda
twitter.com/EATERAZ

While most who know him would call David Tyda a Valley foodie, the man who’s involved in just about everything in the local restaurant scene insists he’s simply a guy who knows what he likes and isn’t afraid to share his honest opinion about it. Tyda is at the helm of local food blog, www.EATERAZ.com, along with his business partner, Rick Phillips. He and Phillips also own Affordable Food Festivals, which puts on the annual Arizona Barbecue Festival and Arizona Taco Festival. You can say hi to the 36-year-old Phoenix resident at the 4th Annual Arizona Barbecue Festival Saturday, April 20 at Salt River Fields, and keep reading for Tyda’s thoughts on the culinary landscape of the Valley, along with five reasons why he loves living here.

What brought you to Arizona?

School, originally. I’m from Chicago and went to ASU for a degree in humanities with a minor in art theory. I started working on the Ritz-Carlton‘s magazine a week after graduation and did that for 4 years. Continue reading

Jeff Lewis: Captain of the Arizona Ghostbusters

Jeff Lewis of the Arizona Ghostbusters, photographed at Samurai Comics in Phoenix, by Nicki Escudero

Jeff Lewis of the Arizona Ghostbusters, photographed at Samurai Comics in Phoenix, by Nicki Escudero

Jeff Lewis
twitter.com/AZ_Ghostbusters

Nope, the Arizona Ghostbusters aren’t just a bunch of super-fans of the classic movies — the group with 20 members, with its very own Ecto-1 recreated car, dresses up in costumes from the movies and donates time and money at local events throughout the year — so far, they’ve donated more than 800 hours of their time. Catch the group at the 2013 Phoenix Heart Walk this Saturday, March 23. Captain and Phoenix resident Jeff Lewis, 29, who works in real estate documentation at Wells Fargo, talked to Phoenix People about why he loves his time as an Arizona Ghostbuster and gave five reasons why he loves living in the Valley, too.

What brought you to Arizona?

I had some family here, and I’m from Mooresville, Indiana, whose only claim to fame is that it’s the hometown of John Dillinger. The economy was starting to turn back home, where you basically work in a farm or factory, because there’s not much else. I saw a lot more opportunity here and came out here a few times and fell in love with it. I moved out here in December 2003. Continue reading

Chad Horstman: CEO of Yandy.com

Chad Horstman, CEO of Yandy.com, photographed at Yandy.com in Phoenix, by Nicki Escudero

Chad Horstman, CEO of Yandy.com, photographed at Yandy.com in Phoenix, by Nicki Escudero

Chad Horstman
twitter.com/Yandy

You may not know it yet, but Phoenix is home to one of the coolest lingerie and Halloween costume businesses in the world — Yandy.com, an exclusively online reseller of more than 50 brands of sexy skivvies and costumes. The company started back in 2005, when brothers Chad and Evan Horstman started selling lingerie out of their garage and has now doubled in business every year, taking up residence currently in a 35,000-square foot warehouse. Though Horstman initially started Yandy.com because he saw potential because of web searches for lingerie, he now designs most of the brand’s original costumes, which range from everything from sexy watermelons to furry foxes. Read on for how he got in this titillating business, as well as to hear five reasons why the 34-year-old Northport, N.Y. native loves living in the Valley.

What brought you to Arizona?

My parents. My mom decided to go back to school to become a doctor, and we moved around a little bit and moved here sophomore year of high school. I went to Saguaro High School and spent a year in St. Lucia while my mom was in medical school. I have a Computer Information Systems degree from Arizona State University. Continue reading

Stephen “Psyko Steve” Chilton: Owner of Psyko Steve Presents

Stephen "Psyko Steve" Chilton, owner of Psyko Steve Presents, photographed at Modified Arts in Phoenix, by Nicki Escudero

Stephen “Psyko Steve” Chilton, owner of Psyko Steve Presents, photographed at Modified Arts in Phoenix, by Nicki Escudero

Stephen “Psyko Steve” Chilton
twitter.com/psykosteve

If you’ve seen local music shows in the Valley in the past dozen years, chances are good Stephen “Psyko Steve” Chilton had a part of one of them. The veteran music promoter and Phoenix resident, 30, has been helping bring acts to local stages since he was 17, starting out by helping produce sets at Modified Arts and since booking concerts at everything from the Nile Theater and Crescent Ballroom to Hard Rock Cafe and Pub Rock Live. Chilton, who has a philosophy degree from Arizona State University, talked about his views of the Phoenix music scene and how he hopes to continue to build it up with his music promotion company, Psyko Steve Presents. Keep reading to hear five reasons why he loves living in the Valley, too.

What brought you to Arizona?

I’m a native, a sixth-generation Arizonan on my dad’s side, born in Mesa. I lived in Mesa and Tempe, attended Mountain View High School and ASU, and have lived in downtown Phoenix for the past 4 years. Continue reading