February 22, 2017


The Southwest Veterans Foundation (SWVF) is the charitable arm of the Southwest Veterans Chamber of Commerce. The SWVF will award its next round of college scholarships to eligible Veterans (or eligible Veteran spouse/child) during May 2017. This scholarship may be used for tuition, books, classroom supplies, room and board, and other direct fees levied by the educational institution coincident to college enrollment and attendance. The scholarship will be paid to the college for deposit in the student’s account

Scholarship application. Application attached. Completed applications with all required documentation must be submitted in a single package by Apr 24, 2017 to:

Southwest Veterans Foundation
Attn: College Scholarship Selection Committee
3820 W. Happy Valley Rd.
# 141-455
Glendale, AZ 85310
SWVF Point of Contact. Tom Sheets,, 623.238.2914

Click to Download the Scholarship Application

Click to Download the Scholarship Announcement


Holiday Blues and Depression

As we stepped into the month of November we were well on our way into the flurry of activities that surround the months of November, December and January.
These months represent the intended immersion with family, friends, and co-workers into a spiral that starts with feelings of thanks, blessings and ends with the New Year of expectations.
However, not everyone is on board with these elated feelings of anticipation, excitement, joyfulness and the possibility of new beginnings.

Holiday Blues and Depression can be akin to each other but they can also be very independent of each other.

Holiday Blues can stem from lack of funds, perceived expectations, demand on an already full time schedule and possibly the realization of being alone in a time of couples, families and group encounters.

Depression can best be described in this quote: “Depression is living in a body that is fighting to survive with a mind that tries to die”.

This type of depression is one that is being fought on a daily basis but is magnified during this “holiday season”. All thoughts of what you lack, how defeated you feel, the anger you hold, the disappointment that you can’t move past and the desire to change this feeling seem to scream as you stand in your own silence.

So today I offer you five little steps to nourish who you are, because you see, self love is calling out to you. Step back from all the hustle and bustle, reel yourself back in, take a few deep breaths and take a stand to protect yourself from all that overwhelms you.

1. Don’t go where you are uncomfortable…….but challenge yourself to say “yes” to one activity in this season that you previously would have said “no” to.

2. Remember that this years holiday is like no other……just like yesterday is not like today. Don’t drag the past into the now.

3. If there is a family member or someone else that you find judgmental towards you……..steer clear of them. Take power in choosing not to attend the event. Your comfort level should be important to you!

4. Find low cost activities to do. Window shopping on a Sunday afternoon or taking an evening ride to view the lights outside of your neighborhood. Play music you find up lifting, rent a season of a TV show you want to revisit, grab a bowl of popcorn, cozy clothes, and enjoy!

5. Rest……Sleep……Cry…….Journal……Scream……..and …….Pray.

Rest because we all need it to rejuvenate our bodies.

Sleep because sometimes we need the silence of slumber to close our minds and heal our thoughts.

Cry because a tear will flush out things deep within the soul. And as that tear runs down your face, it looses it’s grip on your mind.

Journal if you can, one word, five, or pages. Sometimes we need to release what binds. After you have written what you want, roll it up and burn it. Release it into the abyss.

Scream…….yes I said scream. When the pain inside is contained for to long the grumblings become louder and louder. Release them. In a whimper, in a scream or in the roar of a lion! Your choice….your magnitude.

Pray……to whomever it is that holds your power force. Pray loud so that YOU hear what it is that you need. Sometimes our prayers seem to go unanswered but in reality they have yet to be spoken. It is not only important for your power force to hear your prayer, it is also important for YOU to hear your prayer. Say what you mean…..mean what you say. Ask for help….Pray for guidance…..Pray to conquer the mind that wants to die.

I will pray for you also. I don’t want you to die. I don’t need to know you to love you, or to want to help you move past your pain. I will stand and chant for you, scream for you but you need to stand with me, along side of me. And as we stand there, others will join and together we will become strong, viable, and nurtured.

***Melinda Salem is an Holistic Wellness Practitioner. You can visit her website at

Melinda Salem
Holistic Wellness Practitioner
Round House Holistic Healings

Making New Traditions – The Ripple Effect

Making New Traditions

The loss of my son Joel Alan McNeil was devastating to me. It left a hole in my family that could never be filled.
I have chosen to add a new holiday tradition to my life. This new tradition is a remembrance service where I give a picture of my wonderful son Joel and words of love in honor of his life.
I join with other families and honor them as well. I still am sad, yet I am also joyful as I celebrate his life.

Jason Barlow President and CEO of Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona (HFHCAZ)

9133 NW Grand Ave., Suite 1 | Peoria, AZ 85345 | W: (623) 583-2417, C: (623) 298-9233 |
jason-barlow-bioJason Barlow is currently President and CEO of Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona (HFHCAZ). He
assumed this position in November 2015 after working as a non-profit consultant. HFHCAZ is the
country’s most productive and successful Habitat affiliate of 1600 organizations nation-wide. Its
Christian mission of eliminating poverty housing is widely embraced by community organizations,
corporations and valley residents. We partner with over 300 families and 10,000 volunteers each year to
provide decent, affordable housing.
Prior to moving to Arizona, in Sep 2013, Jason was an executive with St Francis Hospital and Health
Centers (SFHHC) in Poughkeepsie, NY for nine years. SFHHC was a non-profit Catholic community
hospital operated by the Sisters of St Francis of Assisi. St Francis had an operating budget of
approximately$120M with a staff of over 1200. While primarily serving as a VP of offsite Clinical and
Support Services, Jason’s final role at SFHHC was as their President and CEO.
Jason is a retired Lieutenant Colonel from the USAF. He served on elite military staffs at the Pentagon
was a squadron commander and piloted the U-2 Reconnaissance aircraft. Jasonalso held leadership
positions in a for-profit telecommunications company and in the federal government working for The
Department of Homeland Security, shortly after its formation. He has two master’s degrees, one in public
administration and the other in military history and strategy. He was a volunteer member of the YMCA
and a 42-year member of the Boy Scouts of America where he served as both a Council and Area
President. He was recognized as a National Outstanding Eagle Scout in 2012. He has served on many
boards for volunteer, professional and advocacy organizations and is currently on the development
committee for the Desert Botanical Gardens, the Board of the Desert Highlands Homeowners Association
and is President of the Elkhaven Property Owners Association. He is the immediate past CEO Liaison for
the Arizona Healthcare Executives Board and was a member of the Dutchess County Economic
Development Board.

Jason and his wife, Dr. Jane Barlow,live in Scottsdale and enjoy golf, biking, hiking, kayaking, cooking
and travel.

PBJ Veterans Business Summit

PBJ Veterans Business Summit

Mark your calendars to join the Phoenix Business Journal for an incredible morning of information, education, and networking for veteran business owners and transitioning service members.

SkySong Innovation Center

Skysong 3  130 Synergy 1 1365 North Scottsdale Road Scottsdale AZ 85257

November 10 7am – 10am

VeteransSummit Handout.indd

Guest speaker this month will be Edward Maznio Thursday September 8th

The East Valley Southwest Veterans Chamber of Commerce meeting will be held on THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 8TH from 11:30 – 1:00 at Social Box (1371 N Alma School Rd, Chandler 85224) due to Labor Day weekend. 
Our guest speaker this month will be Edward Maznio
Edward Maznio is a proud U.S. Army Veteran and served in Operation Desert Storm/Shield. Maznio has been a “serial entrepreneur” for 25 years. His experience includes work at two law firms specializing in commercial business and litigation, followed by service and retail related business ventures, and eight years as an Arizona real estate broker. Just prior to founding OfficeGuardian, Edward launched, developed and sold a chain of hearing aid stores.
Edward has enjoyed over 25 years of success in his multiple business ventures. In recent years, he has found the process to be quicker, and more efficient by utilizing Social Media. He has built 2 separate businesses using Social Media as his primary marketing tool, with both of them taking very little time and money to flourish. Edward will be able to provide you tools and knowledge from an ENTREPRENEURIAL perspective, rather than just a social media perspective. 
Our spotlight business of the month will be Art O’hagan from Real People’s Ratings.
-Bring a guest to the meeting, and your lunch is free! The more members we have, the better equipped we are to provide leads and facilitate strategic relationships between members. Bring a guest!
As always, it is our mission that you leave this meeting with more knowledge, and more avenues to create profit. 
I look forward to seeing you at 11:30A.M. Thursday, September 8th at Social Box on 1371 N Alma School Rd, Chandler 85224!
Best Wishes,
Shane Levinson

Governor signs HB 2324 as a boost to Arizona military families

May 25, 2016
PHOENIX — A bill to allow spouses of active duty military personnel stationed in Arizona to qualify for Arizona resident hunting and fishing licenses has been signed into law. Governor Doug Ducey signed House Bill 2324: G&F; military spouses; resident licenses, sponsored by Representative Frank Pratt (LD-8, Casa Grande).

The Arizona Game and Fish Commission voted unanimously at their January 2016 meeting to support this expression of gratitude for the families whose service and sacrifice protect our liberties. Under current law, an active duty member of the armed forces of the United States stationed in Arizona either permanently or temporarily may purchase a resident license permitting the taking of wildlife. HB2324 now extends that privilege to their spouses as well.

“In partnership with Rep. Pratt, the Arizona Game and Fish Department and Commission are proud to honor our active duty military and their spouses. We thank them, and all our veterans, for their sacrifice and service to this country.” said Commission Chairman Kurt Davis.

A valid license is required for taking wildlife, including fish, in Arizona. A resident of Arizona can enjoy the benefits of a combination Hunting and Fishing license, valid for 365 days from the date of purchase, for only $57.

In general, an Arizona resident is a person who is domiciled (claims the state of Arizona as their permanent home and principal residence) in this state for six months immediately preceding the date of application for a license, permit, tag, or stamp and does not claim residency for any purpose in another state or jurisdiction.

Through the years, the department has consistently implemented programs that provide hunting tags and opportunities for veterans, wounded warriors, and military personnel to hunt on military installations throughout AZ.

The Department also has partnered with non-profit organizations serving veterans so that unused hunting permits or tags may be donated to veterans with service-connected disabilities.

Dear Members, Community Partners, and Friends,

Governor Ducey signed HB 2374 to benefit Arizona Military Families. Please see information below.

Ricardo Carlo
Ricardo Carlo, President
Associated Minority Contractors of America
2630 S. 20th Place
Phoenix, Az. 85034
Office: (602) 495-0026 Fax: (602) 252-3749
Cell: (623) 521-8195
3941 E. 29th Street, Suite 605
Tucson, Az. 85711
Toll Free: (877) 619-0026 Cell: (623) 521-8195
E-mail: Web: