Kerrilynn Gallagher: Stand-Up Comedian

Kerrilynn Gallagher, stand-up comedian in the Phoenix area, photographed at Luci's Healthy Marketplace in Phoenix, by Nicki Escudero

Kerrilynn Gallagher, stand-up comedian in the Phoenix area, photographed at Luci’s Healthy Marketplace in Phoenix, by Nicki Escudero

Kerrilynn Gallagher
twitter.com/kergal14

Kerrilynn Gallagher brings uber-relatable comedy to Valley stages, tackling serious real world topics like entering your 30s and dealing with 401ks and giving them comedic spins that keep audiences laughing. The 30-year-old Paradise Valley resident just started sharing her stand-up with audiences this year, but she’s already established herself in the scene, performing in Flagstaff and at places such as Monkey Pants and Dos Gringos in Tempe and Chop and Wok in Scottsdale.

The comic, who works at a healthcare IT firm during the day, is competing in Stand Up Scottsdale‘s comedy showcase this Wednesday, November 11, at 7:30 p.m. Gallagher shared what inspires her sets and how she hopes to impact audiences, and you can hear her name her five favorite reasons for loving living in the Valley in a video.

What brought you to Arizona?

Like any girl, a guy I met brought me to Arizona. I went to ASU, played lacrosse and double-majored in psychology and marketing. While I was out here finishing my degree, I met an incredible guy who kept me out here.

I was born in West Chester, Pennsylvania — the greatest place on earth. Continue reading

Fred Tieken: Painter

Fred Tieken, painter, photographed with his paintings in his Paradise Valley home gallery, by Nicki Escudero

Fred Tieken, painter, photographed with his paintings in his Paradise Valley home gallery, by Nicki Escudero

Fred Tieken
www.facebook.com/ArtistFredTieken

Fred Tieken‘s history as a professional musician, record label owner, music producer and design firm owner gives him plenty of stories to tell, but these days, he’s using paint and canvases to spread deep messages through his colorful, illustrative works. The 79-year-old Paradise Valley resident has only been painting since 2010 after retiring from the design world, but he’s already been a part of more than 40 art shows and has a second home and art studio in Venice, California.

Tieken and his wife and manager, Gail, are currently building a home gallery for his and guest exhibitions, as well as special events such as concerts and poetry readings, which they hope to have open by fall. You can check out his work now at Willo North Gallery in Phoenix through Saturday, March 28, in his solo show For the Birds, and he’ll be present for a reception there this Friday, March 20 from 6-9 p.m. He’s also gearing up for a solo show May 19 through June 9 at Agora Gallery in New York.

Learn more about the artist, who has played in more than 3,500 musical performances as a vocalist and saxophonist, as well as owned IT Records, ATA Studios and Phoenix design firm Tieken Design & Creative Services, better here. You can also watch a video of Tieken naming his five favorite reasons for loving living in the Valley.

What brought you to Arizona?

My wife Gail and I got tired of scraping ice off the windshield in Chicago, where we had lived for 10 years. We had visited Phoenix and came back one more time and bought a place. We were among the first people to live downtown in a new development, Renaissance Park. We liked it a lot but kept expanding.

When we first moved here, I brought my business here and worked out of my condo for awhile before going to the New Times building in Phoenix after outgrowing it. After we outgrew that, we moved on to Central Avenue in Phoenix two different times and kept growing and needing more room. The graphic design business was really good to us, and we had some Fortune 500 companies we did a lot of work for.

I was born in Meyer, Illinois. Continue reading

Eddie Johnson: Phoenix Suns Announcer for Fox Sports Arizona

Eddie Johnson
twitter.com/Jumpshot8

Eddie Johnson brings a unique insider’s view to his role as a Phoenix Suns announcer for Fox Sports Arizona — from 1987-1990, he played with the Suns, and has been calling their games for the past 14 years. The 54-year-old Paradise Valley resident and 17-year NBA veteran is also a motivational speaker, basketball journalist for HoopsHype.com, and author of the book, You Big Dummy: An Athlete’s “SIMPLE” Guide to a Successful Career!, which he says offers words of wisdom and inspiration for readers to follow their dreams.

He offered up his insight on the Suns’ season, as well as why he loves living in the Valley in a video, below.

What brought you to Arizona?

I was almost forced to come here because I was traded from (the) Sacramento (Kings) to Phoenix, but I wasn’t forced to make it my home. I decided to make it my home after being traded here and playing for the Suns. I came to the Suns in 1987 and got traded from Phoenix to (the) Seattle (Supersonics) in ’90. (My wife and I) still had a house here in Phoenix, and we upgraded and bought another house here while I was in Seattle. Continue reading

Craig DeMarco: Founding Partner of Upward Projects, Postino

Craig DeMarco, founding partner of Upward Projects including Postino, Windsor and Federal Pizza, photographed at the new Joyride Taco House in Central Phoenix, by Nicki Escudero

Craig DeMarco, founding partner of Upward Projects including Postino, Windsor and Federal Pizza, photographed at the new Joyride Taco House in Central Phoenix, by Nicki Escudero

Craig DeMarco
twitter.com/UpwardProjects

Craig DeMarco is responsible for some of the Valley’s best restaurants, including Postino, Windsor and Federal Pizza. As founding partner of Upward Projects, he, along with founding members Kris DeMarco (Craig’s wife) and Wyatt and Lauren Bailey, have brought a dozen restaurant projects to the Valley. He’s also a founding partner of Chelsea’s Kitchen and Le Grande Orange, focusing on re-purposing classic Valley buildings and invigorating neighborhoods, such as North Central Phoenix, Arcadia and downtown Gilbert. This December, Upward Projects opens its Central Phoenix location of Joyride Taco House. Keep reading for the philosophy behind Upward Project’s eateries, as well as to watch a video of DeMarco talking about his favorite reasons for living in the Valley.

What brought you to Arizona?

I was born in Connecticut and lived there until I was 6 years old, then moved to the Bay area until I was 12. In 1982, my dad was in the software business and moved his whole company to Tempe because it was less expensive. I went to Marcos de Niza, then ASU and got my business degree. That’s where I met my wife Kris and Lauren. She and her husband Wyatt are both ASU alumni, so we all four care deeply about ASU. Continue reading

Sebastien Millon: Artist and T-Shirt, Print and Card Designer

Sebastien Millon, local T-shirt, print, card and plushie designer, photographed at Pita Jungle in Phoenix, by Nicki Escudero

Sebastien Millon, local T-shirt, print, card and plushie designer, photographed at Pita Jungle in Phoenix, by Nicki Escudero

Sebastien Millon
twitter.com/sebreg

Judging by some of Sebastien Millon‘s artwork, you might think the local artist and T-shirt designer has a very twisted mind. There are murderous cats, drunk bears and psychotic bunnies who pepper his digital artwork. But the 31-year-old Paradise Valley resident is quite kind in real life, an artist who wants to help out his peers in the scene as much as he wants to share his sinfully funny, yet still super-sweet, art around the world. After starting to produce his digital art full-time four years ago, his T-shirt line earned a headlining spot in Phoenix Fashion Week, and he’s traveled to comic and art conventions around the country, selling his shirts, prints, greeting cards, and plushies. Millon plans on launching a Kickstarter campaign for a book of his illustrations, and check out a show of his at Hava Java in Phoenix in October. Millon talked about what kind of work goes into becoming an artist full-time, and you can hear him say five of his favorite reasons for living in the Valley below.

What brought you to Arizona?

I moved here with my parents when I as about 12, when my dad’s job in pharmaceutical management at Eli Lilly brought him out here. I was born in Belgium. My family is originally French, and we moved around a lot. We moved to Germany, then Puerto Rico, then Indianapolis, then to Japan, then here. I went to college in Chicago to study econ and art. Continue reading

Derrick Hall: Arizona Diamondbacks CEO and President

Derrick Hall, CEO and President of the Arizona Diamondbacks, photographed at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale, by Nicki Escudero

Derrick Hall, CEO and President of the Arizona Diamondbacks, photographed at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale, by Nicki Escudero

Derrick Hall
twitter.com/DHallDbacks

Derrick Hall is known around Major League Baseball for being one of the most affable, hard-working and efficient club heads around the league. The 44-year-old Paradise Valley resident and Los Angeles native took over as the Arizona Diamondbacks president in 2006, after working for 12 years with the Los Angeles Dodgers, and was named CEO in 2009. Since then, he’s seen the D-Backs win the 2011 National League West Division Championship and says this year’s team is a definite stand-out when it comes to winning a World Series. The Diamondbacks have also continued to strengthen their reputation for being one of the most charitable sports organizations, including winning the 2010 inaugural United Nations NGO Positive Peace Award, for being the most positive team in the world. Not only does Hall play a key role in team management, he also serves on nearly 30 Arizona community boards. Check out the Diamondbacks tonight at Chase Field for Opening Day against the St. Louis Cardinals at 7:10 p.m. Read on for Hall’s take on this year’s team, as well as to hear five reasons why he loves living in the Valley.

What brought you to Arizona?

I’m an L.A. native. I went to school at Arizona State University, and my wife is from Tucson. It’s like home to us. Continue reading