Some of Paradise Valley’s most influential businessmen gather at Mountain Shadows Resort to share their stories of success—and favorite drinks
President, Arizona Paint Supply
Drink of Choice: Vodka Tonic with Lime
David Rippy’s passion for paint began in a most unlikely place: while he was working as an audit partner with a large, regional CPA firm. There, he closely interacted with many construction and real estate-related clients, including a Benjamin Moore Paint retail dealer. Rippy was immediately taken by the amount of science that went into making the high-quality paint, and the wheels began to turn from there. Six years ago, after Rippy’s firm merged with another one, he decided it was time to strike out on his own and start a business with his son. That’s when he remembered his time working for the Benjamin Moore Paint dealer, and, after extensive research, found there was a need for the brand here in Arizona. Last spring, Rippy contacted Benjamin Moore and was awarded the dealership, with success being only a few swift brushstrokes away.
What’s your recipe for picking the perfect paint?
“Inside, outside, wood, metal, concrete, kitchen, bath and so on. Our paints are designed for specific purposes to allow for the highest performance. If we can get our customers the right paint, even if it is a little more expensive, it saves them money by not having to repaint as often.”
Founder and Principal, Candelaria Design
Drink of Choice: Old-Fashioned
Although a seasoned veteran in the architecture and design business, Mark Candelaria never had a set master plan for his success. After growing up in Colorado, Candelaria headed to Arizona in 1979 to attend Arizona State University. Although he didn’t study architecture while there, he started working as a draftsman for one of his professors, who was also a noted local architect. The two formed a close friendship as Candelaria delved more into the world of design. In 1987, he became a partner in his professor’s firm, CCBG, and upon his retirement, Candelaria decided to open up his own firm. He named the firm Candelaria Design, intending it to be “a boutique firm focused on residential architecture and creating experiences for clients in both the process of design and after the home is completed.” While the firm has grown well beyond Candelaria’s expectations, he and his team still hold true to that same founding philosophy today.
What’s your recipe for creating a forever custom home?
“I love creating a home from a list of wants from a unique client on a unique site. It is these three ingredients that make the home, hence every home is different. I love the reward of happy clients and seeing a home I designed 35 years ago still enjoyed today.”
Franchise Owner, Dutch Bros. Coffee
Drink of Choice: IPA
While a hot cup of coffee on a chilly Oregon morning always held a certain appeal for Jim Thompson, the former auto dealer would have never dreamed of making a career out of the drink. However, after selling his auto firm, Thompson went on to seek fulfillment in a new career path. And he found it right at home in Grants Pass, Oregon, where a love of coffee runs deep in the town’s veins. It is the place where brothers Travis and Dane Boersma started the first Dutch Bros. Coffee 25 years ago, and where the company’s headquarters are located today. Finding passion, excitement and enjoyment in the Dutch Bros. Coffee business, Thompson, along with his wife, Dr. Janice McCarthy, moved to Arizona to start their own set of franchises. Success has been swift for Thompson, who now operates 16 stores throughout the Valley, with five more to come within the next two years.
What’s your recipe for finding passion and fulfillment in your work?
“I love this company and strive to make every human contact I have a good one. With so much love from over 600 employees and the giveback to local charities each month, love abounds!”
Vice President, HYPOXI USA
Drink of Choice: Tito’s Vodka, Soda and Lime
An avid sports enthusiast and competitive team player from an early age, it seemed natural that Vice President of healthy lifestyle brand HYPOXI USA, Jeff Stokes, would fall into the fitness industry. After graduating from Salisbury University with a B.S. in Business Management, Stokes went on to pursue what eventually became a successful 25-year career owning, operating and consulting health clubs, including some of the country’s most well-known brands. An expert in all things health and fitness, Stokes made quite a name for himself over the years, and company’s started taking notice. One such company was Fitness and Lifestyle Group headquartered in Sydney, Australia who offered Stokes the opportunity to launch HYPOXI in the U.S. and Canada. The rest was history, with the first location opening right here in Scottsdale, and soon after followed by a Phoenix Biltmore location.
What’s your recipe for maintaining a healthy work/life balance?
“As the leader of a healthy lifestyle brand, it’s important to practice what I preach. I stay active by exercising five-six days a week, coach my kid’s sports teams, attend school functions, schedule “date nights” with my wife, and take regular vacations with my family. I believe we are more productive and effective when we find balance.”
Founder, RedRover Living
Drink of Choice: Classic Vodka Martini
The story of how design firm RedRover Living came to be is one of passion, dedication and friendship. It all began in the small town of Ajo, Arizona, where, at the age of 5, Robert Shields met Barbara Hallum while playing a game of red rover in the schoolyard. What ensued was a lifetime friendship and business partnership. However, the path leading to the pair’s successful collaboration wasn’t always clear. Finding love in music, Shields started out as a classic pianist, attending the University of Arizona in Tucson before moving back east to finish his studies. While in Tucson, Shields formed a valuable friendship that would change the course of his career path forever. After making the switch to interior design, Shields launched a successful 25-year career both in the U.S. and abroad before returning to his Arizona roots. In Arizona, a little more than 50 years after their first meeting, Shields finally struck up a partnership with Hallum and together they launched RedRover Living.
What’s your recipe for starting a new business model?
“I witnessed a major shift in the interior design industry over the past decade. I listened carefully to the kind of things that I was regularly hearing from my clients and decided to create a design platform aligned with client demands for discounts on furnishings and affordable rates without complicated contracts and retainer fees.”
Area Director of Sales and Marketing, Hotel Valley Ho & Mountain Shadows Resort
Drink of Choice: Hundred Acre Cabernet
Arizona native Jesse Thompson got his first taste of the hospitality industry while working as a night turndown associate at The Boulders Resort as a junior in high school, and he has never looked back since. Twenty-five years later, Thompson is still at it, having held successful positions at three Pointe Hilton Resorts, Embassy Suites and The Merv Griffin group. In time, however, Thompson felt he needed a change from the corporate hospitality industry. That’s when he heard of a small company named Westroc, headed up by William J. Nassikas. Enamored by the appeal of a boutique hotel company, Thompson accepted a position as director of group sales at what would eventually become the Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa. Finding a home with Westroc, he went on to open Hotel Valley Ho, leading its sales and marketing efforts, and the company’s newest property, Mountain Shadows Resort in Paradise Valley.
What’s your recipe for staying on the cutting edge of your industry?
“Stay open to change. The hospitality industry evolves rapidly through technology and travel trends. Staying open to learning about these opportunities and constantly reinventing yourself is the key to being effective.”
Franchise Owner, Amazing Lash Studio
Drink of Choice: Margarita
After working for 17 years as a senior mechanic at UPS, Roger Cole decided to embark on a new career path. Always driven toward the technology industry, Cole completed his associate’s degree in information technology and soon become director of IT for a health and wellness-related franchise at the corporate level. While the health and wellness industry had its appeals, Cole found his true calling on the beauty side of the salon industry. Having had success with the corporate part of the franchising industry, Cole wanted to try his hand at the other side of the industry as a franchisee. That’s when he came upon Amazing Lash Studio, a new franchise concept he felt had the same potential for success and growth he had experienced in the past, and the rest was history.
What’s your recipe for creating a lasting community business?
“My wife and I chose Amazing Lash Studio as a retirement venture because of the potential success as a concept, and we looked at it as a long-term investment in the community. This is in part as to why we chose the Paradise Valley area since many of the residents encompass the same ideas and wants we strive for.”