Best of Our Valley Issue 2018: Companies & Professionals

By Samantha Stull  

Best Top-Producing Realtor and Favorite Realtor: Jason Mitchell

The local real estate powerhouse Jason Mitchell founded The Jason Mitchell Group at My Home Group in 2006. Together, his team has achieved more than $1 billion in sales, with Mitchell’s personal production passing $124 million in 2017. Mitchell’s talents go beyond just real estate sales; this year, he plans to release a book, Planting the Seeds: Mastering the Psychology of Sales. He also serves as a national real estate speaker throughout the United States and as a consultant for several top corporations, including Quicken Loans. In addition to The Jason Mitchell Group at My Home Group, Mitchell opened his own investment firm, Desert Bridge Capital, LLC, in 2010. Since then, Mitchell and his team of investors successfully sold more than $150 million in flipped residential properties and new construction properties. Also a 2017 Winner!   

Best Advertising Agency: Boutique and Best Graphic Design: Avintiv Media

With a strong luxury client roster that includes Ferrari, Maserati and Modus Apparel, Avintiv Media offers a variety of digital marketing and Web design services. The team prides itself on providing custom tailored services, which is why they see such high success rates with every single client.

Best Advertising Agency: Large: Colling Media

As a strategy, media buying and digital advertising agency, Colling Media helps brands identify their message, determine their audience, and then uses various forms of media to hit their target customers.

Best Auctioneer: Jim Grant

When “Storage Wars” meets Ebay, you get Self Storage Auction. Jim Grant is the CEO and president of the company, which is the largest online self-storage auction company in the U.S., Canada and Australia. The corporate offices are based in Phoenix, with others in Toronto and Sydney. Using its Web site, bidders can buy storage units from the comfort of their own home, then pick up the unit’s contents upon winning an auction. Self Storage Auction is currently performing more than 25,000 auctions a year.

Best Car Wash: Jacksons Car Wash

Jacksons Car Wash is keeping Valley vehicles spotless and sparkling at its 11 locations in the Metro Phoenix area. The company goes beyond the wash and offers not only detailed washes, but a variety of other services: oil-and-lube services, engine and transmission preventative maintenance services, and windshield repair and replacement.

Best CEO: Bill Rogers

With more than 19 years in the national mortgage industry under his belt, Bill Rogers is the founder and CEO of Homeowners Financial Group USA, LLC. Under his leadership, the company now has 40 branches in 14 states (and is licensed to do business in 26 states). The company funded $1.51 billion of residential mortgages—a 36 percent increase in volume from 2015.

AFM Fave! Best Florist: White House Design Studio

When a group of floral and interior designers collaborated, White House Design Studio was born in 1995. Owners Dennis Thompson and Brian Trahan quickly made a name for themselves in the Valley as a premier custom design studio, serving a wide variety of clients including charities, executives, sports figures, Hollywood names and politicians. To this day, White House Design Studio is raising the bar in the floral design industry and their passion for the craft is apparent to all who do business with them.

Best Real Estate Group: Amy Jones Group

The Amy Jones Group is a Chandler-based real estate team with eight full-time realtors and counting. With more than 2,300 homes sold for more than $700 million in total team sales, they pride themselves on being friendly and knowledgeable experts in one of the country’s hottest real estate markets. Amy Jones founded the company in 2002 with authenticity as the key to her team’s success. Following Jones’ retirement, her daughter Mindy Jones Nevarez now heads the company with the same passion and commitment to honest relationships with clients.

Best Family Law: The Aurit Center for Divorce

Mediation Divorce can be hard enough on families as it is, without the addition of fighting in court or following the orders of judges. The Aurit Center for Divorce Mediation was founded by Michael and Karen Aurit to help spouses have a healthy divorce. They provide a simple, affordable and confidential divorce process by helping spouses personalize their own divorce terms and reach their best possible agreements on all divorce issues. This reduces stress for all involved and protects children from the harm of litigation. Also a 2017 Winner!

Best Florist: Enchanted Florist

Serving the Valley since 1992, the Scottsdale based Enchanted Florist has built loyal customers by treating them like family. Floral designer and owner, Lana Ground, knows how important impeccable service is because the customers are who receive and appreciate their spectacular floral arrangements, gift baskets and bouquets.

Best HVAC Company: Goettl Air Conditioning

Serving the Valley since 1939, Goettl Air Conditioning is one of the most trusted names in air conditioning and heating services, installation and repair. Their technicians are honest, detail-oriented perfectionists and go through consistent training to ensure they are providing the best possible service. They even submit seven photos of every single installation to ensure that they are “picture perfect.” goettl.comAlso a 2017 Winner!  

Best Bankruptcy Law Firm, Best Criminal Defense Law Firm or Lawyer, Most Philanthropic Company and Best Personal Injury Law Firm: Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys/Lerner and Rowe Law Group

Founded in 2005 as Lerner & Rowe Injury Attorneys, the firm is comprised of more than 150 attorneys and staff members who are devoted to helping others in their time of need. In the past year, the personal injury firm resolved more than 100 million in settlements or verdicts on behalf of those injured as a result of another’s negligence. In spring 2012, the firm opened a separate law firm, Lerner & Rowe Law Group, which expanded its legal services to include representing criminal defense and bankruptcy cases. The firm’s nonprofit foundation, Lerner & Rowe Gives Back, serves the community by providing benefits and support to those in need, or by assisting other local philanthropic organizations. In the past year alone, the foundation donated more than $300,000.,, lernerandrowegivesback.comAlso a 2017 Winner!  

AFM Fave! Best Security Company: Black Hat Security

Offering the latest and greatest security technology to keep you and your family safe, Black Hat Security is the Valley leader in superior home security. Since customer service is key, the locally owned and operated company hires only full-time, background-checked craftsmen and when you call, you talk to a person—not an operator or machine. Plus, that person is willing to stay on the line with you as long as needed to answer all of your questions. The Mesa-based company boasts a five-star rating on Yelp and Facebook, where Black Hat Security is repeatedly praised for its patience, thoroughness, incredible customer service, quality of equipment, friendliness and helpfulness. While many companies increase rates after just one year, Black Hat Security grandfathers your monthly rate as long as you are a customer and will almost always beat competitor’s rates. And because your family is their priority, the Black Hat team even includes a free smart bonus feature with every new package purchase.

Best Modeling Agency: FORD/Robert Black Agency

FORD/Robert Black Agency is a Scottsdale-based full-service model and talent agency. The fi rm has been the leader in the fashion and entertainment industry for the last 30 years. Their talent works in every major market, nationally and internationally, gracing the covers of magazines and starring in films and television programs.

Best Moving Company: Muscular Moving Men

Specializing in moving, storage and packing both locally and long-distance, the Muscular Moving Men was founded by local Valley residents Justin Hodge and Josh Jurhill in 2008. All of the movers pass a Certified Packer & Loader test and training program to ensure top-quality performance. Muscular Moving Men is also the Official Mover of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Best National Valley-Based Company: HomeSmart International

HomeSmart International was founded in just 2000 by entrepreneur Matt Widdows and has quickly become the fastest-growing real estate brokerage fi rm in Arizona. They have an international franchising headquarters based in Scottsdale and offer the systems and technology beneficial to success in today’s ever-changing real estate industry. Today, HomeSmart International has 127 offices in 17 states and more than 14,500 agents

Best Photographer: Le Boudoir Studio

Le Boudoir Studio Creating stronger, happier and more confident women is their mission. Jodi Lynn and Traci are the co-owners and women behind the lens of Le Boudoir Studio. The photographer duo is working to change the industry with its mission of inspiring self love while empowering and inspiring confidence through their boudoir photography. They shy away from focusing on a sex-appeal-based approach; they focus more on the “why” behind their photography and moving women to take these photos not for someone else—but for themselves. Also a 2017 Winner!

Best Investment Firm: America’s Annuity 

Integrity, top-notch customer service and innovative retirement-planning concepts for a highly successful outcome are some of the traits that set America’s Annuity (formerly Eaglin Financial Services) apart, according to founder, Ryan J. Eaglin. Early in his career after working at two different planning firms in the industry, Eaglin knew the passion for serving both clients and the community were key principals missing in far too many retirement-planning fi rms. He wanted to change this, so in 2005, Eaglin Financial Services was born. Under Eaglin’s leadership, the team designed exclusive methods to ensure financial success for their clients. Also a 2017 Winner! 

Best Catering: Emily’s Events

Emily’s Events is powered by husband-and-wife team Rick and Emily Garner. The couple has been making events memorable for 10-plus years. Everything they do is completely customized and tailored to the client, from the event details to the menu, place settings and drinks. Emily’s Events has built its reputation in the Valley on phenomenal food paired with exceptional service. Their experienced staff is committed to ensuring that each event is a success from start to finish, so that the only thing you have to worry about is what you’ll be wearing to the party. Also a 2017 Winner! 

Best Event Design & Production: Dapper Event Design and Production

When it comes to corporate gatherings, weddings, galas, you name it, Phoenix’s Dapper Event Design and Production has you covered. This dynamic and innovative event management company caters each project to the client’s needs and personality.

Best Fashion and Beauty Photographer: Christos Sewell

Scottsdale-based Christos Sewell of Photo by Christos has 20 years of professional photography under his belt. He began his career in a big way in Hollywood shooting celebrities for various magazines, but he now mainly specializes in capturing trending swimwear and high-end lingerie, stylized fashion editorials and black-and-white images. Check out the photo pro’s latest works on his eye-popping Instagram account, @photography_by_christos. Also a 2017 Winner!

Best Events Photographer: James Larcher

The longtime photographer, James Larcher, has been perfecting his craft for more than 30 years. What sets him apart in the Valley is that he recently became certified using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles to provide stunning aerial photos and videos to clients. Also a 2017 Winner!

Best Private Banking: Homeowners Financial Group

Serving the Valley since 2004, Homeowners Financial Group is committed to its borrowers while remaining family-focused. The passionate team strives to always provide exceptional service, and put their customers’ dream homes within reach.

Best Boutique Public Relations or Marketing Firm: Pitch PR

The boutique Phoenix-based firm, Pitch PR, was founded in 2009 by a former TV news anchor Ann Noder. Specializing in national media, the company has a distinguished reputation for helping both startups and major brands land significant media coverage within print, broadcast and online mediums. pitchpublicrelations.comAlso a 2017 Winner!

Best Commercial Photographer, Best Family Portraits Photographer and Best Real Estate & Interiors Photographer: Dan Raustadt

Dan Raustadt of Bigger Picture Images says not specializing in any one area of photography gives him freedom and allows him to keep his approach fresh. Raustadt has decades of photo experience and his work has appeared in endless magazines (including the December 2017 cover of Arizona Foothills Magazine) and Web sites throughout the world. Also a 2017 Winner!

Best Large Public Relations or Marketing Firm: Serendipit Consulting

Serendipit Consulting is a full-service marketing and public relations firm based in Phoenix. Founded by Alexis Krissay and Melissa DiGianfilippo in 2008, Serendipit Consulting is focused on getting impactful results. The firm offers public relations, marketing, design, branding, Web site development, digital marketing and event management services. The majority of Serendipit’s clients are in the real estate, franchise, hospitality and health/wellness industries, and the firm has a reputation of creative enthusiasm and exceeding clients’ expectations.

Best Social Networking and Online Media Firm and Best Web Design, Programming or Management Firm: My Biz Niche

As a results-driven agency, My Biz Niche prides itself on learning the ins and outs of your business, identifying potential problems, creating strategy and putting in the work. The Phoenix-based company offers a full-range of Web design and development and marketing strategy services. As a team, they determine their success by creating measurable, factual results for your business—not by just hours put into campaigns. Also a 2017 Winner!  

AFM Fave! Best Trial Lawyer: Dennis Wilenchik 

With experience in both civil and commercial litigation, Dennis Wilenchik has more than 40 years of experience in the industry. He formed Phoenix-based Wilenchik & Bartness in 1991, and is an impressive member of both the Valley’s and the nation’s legal community. He served as chairman of the State Bar Trial Practice Section and has been a nationally certified civil trial advocate for more than 25 years with the National Board of Trial Advocacy. He was recently selected as one of the top 100 lawyers in the state, as featured in Arizona Business Magazine, as well as a highest-rated AV Preeminent lawyer by MartindaleHubbell. He was also named a top lawyer by American Law Society, selected as a member of Distinguished Lawyers of America and as a member of Arizona’s Finest Lawyers. Wilenchik has recently been counsel in many high-profile cases, both civil and criminal, representing the former Sheriff of Maricopa County, the Secretary of State, the former and current Attorney General, former County Attorney, and a US Senator’s son, as well as a sitting Superior Court judge, and a champion high school football coach, among others. He also represented the Arizona Treasurer before the Arizona Supreme Court. Also a 2017 Winner!

Fast Favorites

Best Data Centers: Phoenix Nap,

Best Divorce Attorney: Jay Hall, Hall Underwood,

Best Estate Planning & Trust Administration Law Firm: Radix Law,

Best Private Jet Company: Pinnacle Aviation,

Best Alterations/Dry Cleaning/Laundry: OrganiCare Garment Care, Also a 2017 Winner!

Best Alternative Personal Driver Service : Lyft, Also a 2017 Winner!

Best Intellectual Property Law Firm and Best Real Estate Law Firm: Jennings, Strouss & Salmon Law Firm, Also a 2017 Winner! 

Best Plumbing Company: The Sunny Plumbers,

Best Valet: American Valet, Also a 2017 Winner! 

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