German Osio: Owner of Sumo Maya, Central Bistro

German Osio, owner of Local Bistro, Central Bistro and Sumo Maya, photographed at his office in Scottsdale, by Nicki Escudero

German Osio, owner of Local Bistro, Central Bistro and Sumo Maya, photographed at his office in Scottsdale, by Nicki Escudero

German Osio
twitter.com/CentralBistroAZ

German Osio is already responsible for some popular names in the Valley dining scene, Local Bistro and Central Bistro. Early next year, the 32-year-old Scottsdale resident will bring a very innovative concept, an Asian/Mexican fusion spot, to the Valley: Scottsdale’s Sumo Maya. The trained chef collaborated on his restaurants’ menus with his partners and executive chefs, Andrea Volpi of Local Bistro and Central Bistro, and Herb Wilson of Sumo Maya.

When he’s not running his Valley restaurants, Osio owns a commercial real estate company in his native Mexico City. Read on for how this restaurant mogul got his start, and for what diners can expect from Sumo Maya.

What brought you to Arizona?

Weather, family and business opportunities. I was born in Mexico City and moved to Connecticut when I was 6 years old, then went to Les Roches university in Switzerland and majored in hotel business administration and got a culinary degree. I pursued that for about five and a half years before moving to Texas and lived in Dallas, Houston and San Antonio for about six years and opened four restaurants.

My business partner ended up selling the restaurants, so I decided to move to Phoenix. I was always attracted to Arizona because of the quality of life, the kindness of the people, the cleanliness of the city, and the weather. It was also a market I knew indirectly because my family always had a winter home here. I moved here in 2010.

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Taryn Liberman: Fashion Designer, Owner of Moderndrift Clotherie

Taryn Liberman, fashion designer and owner of Moderndrift Clotherie, photographed at The House in Scottsdale, by Nicki Escudero

Taryn Liberman, fashion designer and owner of Moderndrift Clotherie, photographed at The House in Scottsdale, by Nicki Escudero

Taryn Liberman
moderndriftclotherie.com

Taryn Liberman had no fashion design experience, but after an inspiring trip to Hawaii and within only about six months, she designed and produced her own line of resort and beachwear. The brand, Moderndrift Clotherie, is characterized by light and flowy fabrics and bold prints and includes tops, a dress and shorts. The 28-year-old Scottsdale resident launched the line in June and plans on an official launch party this December, besides bringing it to farmers markets and boutiques in addition to having her current e-commerce and Etsy business. She talked about where her drive comes from and how she started her line, as well as why she’s happy she lives in Arizona, below.

What brought you to Arizona?

My current company, Republic Services, brought me here from Los Angeles. I’m a Sales Supervisor. I was born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, went to college at the University of Central Florida and got a degree in marketing, then moved to Orange County and Santa Monica with my company. I came to Tucson, then came to Phoenix and have been here for a year. Continue reading

Todd Walsh: Fox Sports Arizona Reporter

Todd Walsh, Arizona Diamondbacks and Phoenix Coyotes reporter for Fox Sports Arizona, photographed at the Ice Den in Scottsdale, by Nicki Escudero

Todd Walsh, Arizona Diamondbacks and Phoenix Coyotes reporter for Fox Sports Arizona, photographed at the Ice Den in Scottsdale, by Nicki Escudero

Todd Walsh
twitter.com/ToddWalsh

Todd Walsh cares more about the stories than the stats in sports. The Arizona Diamondbacks and Phoenix Coyotes reporter for Fox Sports Arizona has covered Arizona sports for more than 20 years and has won seven Emmy Awards for his efforts. The 49-year-old Scottsdale resident has reported on virtually every Arizona sport you can think of, from men’s and women’s tennis, to the PGA. He also covered music journalism and has talked to everyone from Bono to Eddie Vedder. He talked about what keeps him going in his grinding schedule, and keep scrolling to watch a video of him talking about his five favorite things about Arizona.

What brought you to Arizona?

My older sister left Rochester, New York, with her husband when they got married, since he was a grad student at the U of A. I’ve always had this child-like fascination with Arizona. I visited them, and I was hooked, and that was all that I talked about. It was a dream of mine to attend the U of A since junior high school. I was accepted my freshman year, but chickened out. I went one year to St. John Fisher College in Rochester before I transferred for my sophomore year. Continue reading

Jenn Maggiore: Owner of Red Balloon

Jenn Maggiore, owner of Red Balloon, photographed at her office in Scottsdale, by Nicki Escudero

Jenn Maggiore, owner of Red Balloon, photographed at her office in Scottsdale, by Nicki Escudero

Jenn Maggiore
twitter.com/jenn_ex

If you’re an entrepreneur looking for some inspiration, Jenn Maggiore is the perfect person to help. The 35-year-old Scottsdale resident is the owner of Red Balloon, a business consultant company with a strong focus on digital marketing. Maggiore does everything from coaching business owners to marketing for non-profits, as well as lending her public speaking skills to conferences and local news outlets. Maggiore is putting on the Always This Good Live conference Saturday, September 21, where she’ll be hosting a bevy of inspirational speakers who will be sharing their business expertise with local entrepreneurs. Keep reading for what got her interested in consulting and marketing, and scroll down to hear Maggiore say five reasons why she loves living in the Valley.

What brought you to Arizona?

My high school sweetheart, Joe. He graduated the year before me, and we didn’t talk for five years. I found him on a high school reunion site, he sent me a plane ticket, and we had a great week together. He asked if I’d ever consider moving away from Florida, so I went home and told my parents I was dropping out of college, breaking the lease on my apartment, and moving 2,000 miles away. My mom always loved Joe, but my dad wasn’t so thrilled. It all has a happy ending, though. Joe and I got married, and most of my family followed me out here to Arizona. When can I say, I’m a trendsetter. Continue reading

Greg Kerr: Owner of Miles to Go Clothing and Belts

Greg Kerr, owner of Miles to Go, photographed at RnR in Scottsdale, by Nicki Escudero

Greg Kerr, owner of Miles to Go, photographed at RnR in Scottsdale, by Nicki Escudero

Greg Kerr
twitter.com/mtgclothing

Greg Kerr’s position as owner and art director for Miles to Go may be his full-time job, but Kerr insists his T-shirt line remains his passion project, just like how it started. The 33-year-old Scottsdale resident sells his literature-inspired shirts all over the world, with designs commissioned by artists to transform inspiration from books and poems into eye-grabbing apparel. You can find his merchandise everywhere from bookstores in Oregon and San Francisco, to the local Changing Hands Bookstore. Kerr keeps his operation local, printing shirts at Acme Prints in Scottsdale. He also manufactures belt buckles through Miles to Go Belts and has made them for everyone from Fall Out Boy to Johnny Cupcakes. When he’s not busy running his business, Kerr sings and plays guitar for local rock band City of Thieves. Read on for where his passion for fashion came from, as well as to hear Kerr talk about his five favorite reasons for living in the Valley.

What brought you to Arizona?

I came out to Arizona when I was done with college. I visited in October with a friend whose mom lived here, when it was beautiful. Everyone was outside, being active and it wasn’t gray all of the time. I came home and had two months left on my lease and decided to move to Phoenix seven years ago from Philadelphia. I needed a catalyst and knew if I didn’t leave Philly then, I never would. It was time for a change. Continue reading

Cody Ross: Arizona Diamondbacks Outfielder

Cody Ross, Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder, photographed at Chase Field, by Nicki Escudero

Cody Ross, Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder, photographed at Chase Field, by Nicki Escudero

Cody Ross
twitter.com/IAmCodyRoss

Cody Ross isn’t just one of the nicest guys in Major League Baseball. The Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder is also a Miley Cyrus fan. So much so, he walked out to her song “We Can’t Stop,” due to a recommendation by his good buddy, Atlanta Braves second baseman Dan Uggla. The song must have worked, because Ross goes into the All-Star break with hot hands, both in terms of hits and fielding. The 10-year veteran, who came to the Diamondbacks this year after being a free agent from the Boston Red Sox, won a World Series with the San Francisco Giants in 2010 and has become a Diamondbacks leader. He’s hit 25 RBIs, making him one of the most consistent players on the team — a characteristic he thinks is key for the Diamondbacks to a win a World Series this year. Keep reading for the 32-year-old Scottsdale resident’s outlook on the team, as well as to hear five reasons why he’s loved living in the Valley since buying a home in Arizona in 2005.

What brought you to Arizona?

I moved here at the end of 2005. The weather in the off-season brought me here to work out and train. I fell in love with it and moved here. Continue reading

Nicole Zangara: Author of ‘Surviving Female Friendships: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly’

Nicole Zangara
twitter.com/ZangaraNicole

Nicole Zangara was feeling uneasy about some of her friendships. She went through what many women in their 20’s and 30’s experience — sudden drop-offs in friendships, with little explanation. Inspired to figure out just what makes female friendships so complex, she started writing down her thoughts. Within a few months, she had the beginnings of a book that was published last year by Chandler-based Brighton Publishing, called “Surviving Female Friendships: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.” The book is a collection of Zangara’s own experiences related to female friendships, as well as vignettes the 29-year-old Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Scottsdale resident gathered from about 25 women of all ages. Read on for how writing the book affects Zangara’s views of friendships today, and keep scrolling to watch a video of her sharing her five favorite things about living in the Valley.

What brought you to Arizona?

I have lived in a lot of places. I grew up in Massachusetts, went to college in D.C., went to graduate school in St. Louis, and then moved to Houston for a post-graduate fellowship at an inpatient psychiatric hospital. Even though I had a great group of friends in Houston, one day I had this aha moment of, “What am I doing here?” I didn’t live near my family, which is very important to me. One of my brothers lives out here, and over the years, my family would come in November for Thanksgiving. I made the decision to move here and came in 2012. Continue reading

Wes Johnson: Phoenix Suns Forward

Wes Johnson
twitter.com/Suns

The first half of the Phoenix Suns season, fans didn’t see much of forward Wes Johnson, who came over to the team this year after being traded from the Minnesota Timberwolves as a first-round draft pick back in 2010. Since coach Lindsey Hunter took over though, the 25-year-old Scottsdale resident has moved into a pivotal starting position where he’s known just as much for his smile as he is his stellar 3-point shot. No matter what the score is, Johnson always seems to be having fun on the court, motivating his teammates with his energy and making big shots — including a buzzer shot in San Antonio in February that forced overtime that resulted in a Suns win. While he’s definitely a hustler while he’s playing, fans may be surprised to find out Johnson has a weakness for Krispy Kreme doughnuts and fashion by Alexander McQueen. Get to know Johnson better here, and keep reading to hear five reasons why he’s happy to call the Valley his home.

What brought you to Arizona?

I got traded here. I was very ecstatic I was coming. I knew it was beautiful weather and a great opportunity for me to come here and play. It’s been fun since I’ve been here. 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

Ryan Gaumont: Bully Mammoth Sketch Comedian

Ryan Gaumont, Bully Mammoth comedian, photographed at the Tempe Center for the Arts, by Nicki Escudero

Ryan Gaumont, Bully Mammoth comedian, photographed at the Tempe Center for the Arts, by Nicki Escudero

Ryan Gaumont
http://twitter.com/RyanGaumont

Since 2007, Ryan Gaumont has been seen on Valley stages making people laugh as one of the founding members of Bully Mammoth, a local sketch comedy troupe that has performed more than 40 shows since its inception. The 25-year-old Scottsdale resident and video editor at Sequence Media Group always loved watching sketch shows growing up, and now he and the six-member troupe craft new scenes regularly for the Arizona masses. Gaumont, along with the rest of his troupe members, can also be seen doing stand-up comedy at various venues. Catch him with Bully Mammoth at Tempe Center for the Arts Friday, April 19 and at Brigett’s Last Laugh on Tuesday, February 19 doing stand-up, and scroll down to hear what got him interested in comedy and why he loves living in the Valley.

What brought you to Arizona?

My mother’s vagina — just kidding, but yes! I’m a native. I was born in Mesa and went to Dobson High School and Scottsdale Community College. I got my bachelor’s degree in theater from ASU and an associate’s degree in screenwriting. Continue reading