We only had room for 10, but Phoenix is home to many more big-name brands. The illustrious local influencers on our advisory board share their full lists of the Valley’s best brands.

Brand PHX Panel Picks

Written by Craig Outhier Category: Web Extras Issue: July 2017
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Brand PHX Advisory Board Picks
You've read the Brand PHX feature – now see the Valley-area companies, charities and sports teams that our high-profile advisory panel put on their personal Top 5 lists.

Lauren Bailey, Founder and CEO, Upward Projects
• Phoenix Children’s Hospital: Fundamentally, I think it’s amazing. [Her son, who is deaf, was treated there.] It’s cutting edge for children’s health care, they get high marks nationally for employee satisfaction, patient care and research at the hospital.
• Fender: It’s just freaking cool! Not that many creative, cool brands coming out of Phoenix, so it deserves a spot. It’s the household name in guitars. Plus, they put the Valley front and center with local outreach.
• Go Daddy: Bob Parsons is one of the most charitable people in the Valley… he never flinches to raise his hand when a worthy cause comes looking for support. (GoDaddy) is also a national player in tech, and we need those.
• Bianco: One of the most amazing human beings on the planet period… in addition, makes amazing pizza that draws people from all over… and put PHX on the culinary map across the country. Just a great human being in every way shape in form. 
• ASU: Well, it’s my alma mater… but number two, the work Michael Crow has done furthering the school is remarkable… Their resources are remarkable. They don’t have to go through the typical grant procedures and jump through the typical hoops to launch programs and initiatives… 

Ty Largo, CEO, Awe Collective
• Peter Piper Pizza – Now across the US and apparently in Mexico
Does anyone really grow up and stop wanting to chug pitchers of root beer, toss trick throws on the skee ball machine and cash in strips of tickets for all of the bouncy balls? Not me, at least. 
• Fairytale Brownies – Ships international
Don't tell mom, but Fairytale has her brownies beat by a long shot. What soulless human doesn't love a great brownie? I'll take mine crumbled over a malt, please. 
• State Bicycle Co. – Ships international
WuTang Clan, The Simpsons, The Hundreds — State Bicycle Co.'s Arizona-born bikes are dope on their own, but their collaborations with big-name brands make me proud to be a Tempean. Ride high!
• Four Peaks Brewing Co. – Duh
If I moved out of state, I would've felt the gnawing separation anxiety from living without their famed Peach Ale. But now, Four Peaks is satisfying beer lovers across the nation. From Tempe, you're welcome, America.
• GoDaddy
I'm squatting on a 100-plus domain names, thanks to GoDaddy. It's a problem. Please help. 

Buzz Gosnell, Developer
• ASU: When you think about the Valley, ASU is always top of mind. As ASU continues to expand throughout metropolitan Phoenix it has a significant positive impact on the surrounding areas.
• Harkins: Growing up a few blocks from the original Cine Capri, it is hard not to recognize the lasting impact of the Harkin’s brand. 
• Discount
• Arizona Biltmore: I think the definition of a brand is one that others claim as their own. It is hard to say where the boundaries are of the Arizona Biltmore. There are neighborhoods miles away that include the Biltmore name in their marketing efforts.

Skip Rimsza, former Mayor of Phoenix
• ASU: In terms of something that really changed the face of the Valley and the state, it’s ASU. Dr. Crow and his team have really transformed that school into an academic attraction …  and added to our local talent pool.
• Avnet: Also important and game-changing, but on a quieter scale. When [the company] moved here, it put us on the radar with companies for future growth and expansion.
• Taser/Axon: Taser is a total winner for us. They’re innovative and they’re growing and they’re great for the Valley.
• GoDaddy: GoDaddy makes a big difference in how [the Valley is] seen nationally, and they have a strong local presence.
• Mayo Clinic: People all over the world people come to AZ to be treated at Mayo. Especially with the aging of America and the changes in medicine, and technological changes, it’s a pretty impressive brand. Plus, they opened a medical school, which is important because med school graduate rates have not kept up with population growth [in Arizona].  

Kimber Lanning, CEO, Local First Arizona
• Taser/Axon: Taser for sure, because of the founder's story: two of his [friends] were shot by police. He wanted something better. He believed people shouldn't lose their lives over parking lot brawls.
• AZ Cardinals: What Michael Bidwill has done for hometown pride is unmatched. It's impressive.
• Shamrock: I went on a field trip in third grade there – had ice cream on a wooden spoon. It makes me think of my childhood. And their impact on Arizona's economy is remarkable.
• Infusionsoft: In terms of global reach in a relatively short amount of time? No one beats this. We use their database management systems and love 'em.
• Desert Schools: To come from a teacher's credit union to the powerhouse they are today is astounding – and they are fueling small business in Arizona, which is so greatly needed!

Pamela Hughes, KTAR talk show host
• ASU: Without ASU, I wouldn’t be living in the Valley … went there to study journalism… They were always known as a big state school with some good programs, but now they also have a reputation as one of the most innovation universities in the country. In academics, you gotta evolve or perish and they’ve evolved.
• Pizzeria Bianco: I love Bianco. California has the ocean, we have Bianco. I’ll wait hours and hours to eat there. It’s that good. People geek out when the meet actors and athletes. I was a giddy school girl when I met Bianco.
• AZ Wilderness Brewery: I love AZ Wilderness because AZ Wilderness loves Arizona. Use locally sourced ingredients around the state and received global recognition. Still relatively new expanding across the Valley and always well received when friends come into town. 
• PHX Children’s Hospital: You know, as a parent, knowing there’s such a world class institution in our own back yard gives me peace of mind. I hope I never have to walk though the doors with my daughter, but if I had to, I’d be grateful it was PCH. Done a lot of fundraising there and met a lot of the doctors, and walked the halls, and the thing is: It’s not about sick kids, it’s about hope.
• Arizona Cardinals: In a city that seems so transient, it’s nice to see the AZ Cardinals come into their own. They were a punching bag for a few years, but now have a strong and loyal fan base… not just people buying jerseys, but buying into the tradition.