By Jim Poulin – Photo Editor, Phoenix Business Journal Aug 20, 2020, 5:53pm EDT
A collaborative of private-sector Arizona companies has joined forces to form The Consortium, a collective effort to work to slow and stop the spread of Covid-19. On Thursday the group held its first showcase event to demonstrate their combined donations of expertise, products and services while going out of their way to strictly follow federal, state and local health guidelines.
Consortium partners include AMSAFE, HeroZona Foundation, Noral Clean Technologies, YellowBird, Pantheon Enterprises, Tintoria Piana U.S., Squire Patton Boggs and US POWER AZ PPE. Location partner participants include the Travis L. Williams American Legion Post 65, Lo-Lo’s Chicken and Waffles' and Power Hotel Group.
The group, which said it aims to make Arizona the global center of personal-protection-equipment biodefense technology, toured the American Legion Post 65 in Phoenix before moving to Lo-Lo’s Chicken and Waffles' and concluding at the Mesa Sheraton at Wrigleyville.
“Our goal for today is, through the consortium, to showcase the sites that we were able to contribute our collective interventions. The businesses that came to the consortium did not start because of Covid-19, but had some level of contributions to be able to create safer environments," said Anna Maria Maldonado, business development officer at US POWER AZ PPE. "Where we could give confidence to employees and to patients ensuring that the environments are as clean as they possibly could be, education on how do you do that, as well as industrial hygienists specialty on measuring what that looks like. So today we're just showcasing how we've been able to collaborate, come together, bundle our interventions and our expertise and the goal of the consortium is to ensure that we continue to build this momentum so that in Arizona we can build a powerhouse, a think-tank of what does this prevention look like, not only now in this pandemic, but forward thinking and how can we draw in more brain power to be able to continue to contribute."
“Lo-Lo’s Chicken and Waffles’ was kind enough to allow us to come into their space and intervene and add and then educate staff and bring in other experts to the environment to really measure how safe and how healthy the environment is and so we're sharing that showcase today,” Maldonado added.
Erica Romain, manager of Lo-Lo's, said making people feel safe is the key ingredient to helping businesses keep going despite the pandemic. “We're utilizing all the products given, because we want to make it a safer workplace for our employees as well as our customers. So we want everyone to feel safe coming in and enjoying themselves, so that we can get back to our everyday life sooner than later,” Romain said.
Michael Zalle, CEO and founder of YellowBird, a company that connect experts in environmental health and safety with business and government entities on demand, said his business has been busy during the pandemic.
“It’s kind of like an Uber for safety professionals. So we help with training. We help with industrial hygiene specialization like chemicals or management. Our biggest focus right now beyond Covid-19, which has been a tailwind for us, is we've helped a lot of organizations and universities. But a tailwind for us has also been construction. So you have these various construction sites and you need to have various construction experts in safety but you don't need them full time. You need them on the project or checking on various projects, so rather than hiring full-time you use YellowBird to come out and help source, those stuff,” Zalle said.