Brad Jaffe: Owner of Dogological Dog Teaching Program

Brad Jaffe, owner of Dogological Dog Teaching Program, photographed at his Dogological headquarters in Phoenix, by Nicki Escudero

Brad Jaffe, owner of Dogological Dog Teaching Program, with Gabriel’s Angels therapy dog Micah, photographed at his Dogological headquarters in Phoenix, by Nicki Escudero

Brad Jaffe
twitter.com/Dogological

Brad Jaffe believes dogs should have an active part in their own training, which is why his Dogological method is all about working with the dogs as opposed to bribing or punishing them. Since 1999, the 46-year-old Phoenix resident has trained more than 6,000 dogs in private lessons and group classes. He also works with a greyhound rescue program with inmates at the Eloy Detention Center.

Now, Jaffe is getting ready to launch his first series of dog training DVDs and is currently promoting a crowdfunding campaign to help with post-production, a portion of which will go towards Gabriel’s Angels, a local nonprofit that brings therapy animals together with at-risk youth. You can donate to the campaign through March 14. Get to know Jaffe, who also wrote a dog communication-themed book called Conversations with Courtney, below. He also names his five favorite reasons for living in the Valley — keep scrolling for the video.

What brought you to Arizona?

I came out here in 1984 and went to high school for a year at Chaparral High School because my aunt and uncle lived here, and I wanted to experience it. I loved it for the weather but moved away for awhile before coming back in ’94. I was born in Detroit. Continue reading

Rachel Meier: Owner of RPM Spin Drop-Saddle Spin Studio

Rachel Meier, owner of RPM Spin in Scottsdale, photographed in her studio, by Nicki Escudero

Rachel Meier, owner of RPM Spin in Scottsdale, photographed in her studio, by Nicki Escudero

Rachel Meier
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For three years, Rachel Meier taught one of the most well-attended cycling classes at LA Fitness, with students packing the room to catch her high-energy, super-challenging work-outs. This past January, the 31-year-old Scottsdale resident broke out on her own, opening one of the only drop-saddle spin studios in the North Valley, RPM Spin. Her boutique studio is filled with Revmaster Pro bikes from LeMond, complete with computers that sync with Polar heart rate monitors, so you can take your workout home and sync it with the app. There are also LED lighting effects, with lights changing colors throughout the ride that cause garments to glow in the dark.

Meier, who also is an instructor at her studio, talked about what it was like to make the leap to business owner, as well as what people can expect from a drop-saddle class. Scroll down to hear her talk about her five favorite reasons for loving living in the Valley, too.

What brought you to Arizona?

The weather. I moved here in August of 2006, and am originally from Cortland, New York. I went to the University at Buffalo, and graduated with a double major in English and Communication. Continue reading

Eric Lin: Pianist and MusicaNova Orchestra Performer

Eric Lin, 16-year-old pianist and performer with MusicaNova Orchestra, photographed at his home in Tempe, by Nicki Escudero.

Eric Lin, 16-year-old pianist and performer with MusicaNova Orchestra, photographed at his home in Tempe, by Nicki Escudero

Eric Lin
twitter.com/MusicaNovaAZ

Eric Lin is only 16, but he’s already performing with an adult classical orchestra as he takes the stage with MusicaNova Orchestra this Sunday, February 16 for the Recapturing Youth concert at 4 p.m. at the Central United Methodist Church. The talented piano player won the opportunity to become a soloist with the orchestra after he was crowned champion of last year’s Steinway Avanti 2013 Future Stars Piano Competition, and he’s won a slew of other contests because of his deftness. You can hear him play Dmitri Kabalevsky’s Piano Concerto No. 3, Op. 50 “Youth” at the show, which you can learn about here.

The Corona del Sol High School junior and Tempe resident is also talented at cello and serves as vice-president of his school’s Music for Cure club, which performs for places such as nursing homes. Lin talked about what motivates him to sharpen his musical skills and about his future goals. He also names his five favorite reasons for loving living in the Valley in the video below.


What brought you to Arizona?

I was born in St. Louis, Missouri. We moved to Iowa City, Iowa for a year, but my dad got a job offer out here. We ended up moving here when I was 4 years old. Continue reading

Brandon Mullan: Author of ‘Laborliss Magazine: The Complete Collection’

Brandon Mullan
twitter.com/brandonmullan

What started as trying to cope with adjusting to life in a new big city has turned into a 505-page book for local author Brandon Mullan. Mullan, a 30-year-old Scottsdale resident from Mechanicsville, Iowa, started writing the story of Laborliss, a fictional town full of larger-than-life (and not always nice) characters when he moved to Phoenix in 2005. He used himself as inspiration for Gus, the town’s superhero who always helps out the residents, despite being underappreciated.

A story and a flyer used to promote the online tale turned into 36 issues of a companion illustrated fictional magazine, peaking with a distribution of 10,000 around Tempe for a single issue. Last fall, Mullan compiled all the magazines into a book, Laborliss Magazine: The Complete Collection. Now he’s selling figurines of the characters, as well as planning an animated series. The realtor-by-day is also working on a novel set for a fall release, Here We Go, Kent.

Mullan credits the creation of Laborlilss with helping him find a new identity here in town. Read on for what inspired the stories, as well as to hear him name his five favorite reasons for loving life in the Valley.

What brought you to Arizona?

I’m from Mechanicsville, Iowa, a very small town, and came here in 2005. I always knew I wanted to move out West because I thought the West would be a good place for fresh ideas. I kind of had the idea Phoenix was a happening town, too. Continue reading