About Lori

I have a passion for small business, as I am a small business owner myself. As a resident of Downtown Tempe, I am a true urbanite. Consider me your feet on the street – building relationships is what I do, and I’m dedicated to making Downtown Tempe the most urban, attractive, and energetic place to be!

I’ve made my rounds in the Southwest region, as an alumna of Texas Tech University and the University of Arizona, where I became a Master of Education. From retail to teaching, and many jaunts in between, I’ve had my hands in in all types of cookie jars. When I’m not expanding my professional network, you can catch me running up A Mountain, biking along Tempe Town Lake, and enjoying all of the tasty eateries in Downtown Tempe.

Speaking of...do you wish you knew more about your favorite Downtown Tempe store, restaurant or bar? Me too! There's nothing I like better about my job than getting to know the people behind the façade - the owners, their families, employees... and the scoop on how they've created a business that, more often than not, is a passionate work of art. I've gotten to know many of the business owners and have come to love the urban community they have created. They are characters for sure, but more importantly...they are people I think you would love to know. Who would have thought one of our largest local businesses’ name was inspired by the owner’s love of spy movies?  And what delicious breakfast establishment’s owner can’t stand eggs...who knew?! You will. Keep reading and get to know the people who make up your Downtown Tempe business community...cheers!

Tags: Business

New Business: A Market Off Mill

Posted 09.07.17 by Lori

Shanel Smith has been intrigued by live/work spaces since she first saw them as a child in New York City. When she saw the live/work spaces at the Residences on Farmer (on Farmer Avenue, just north of University Drive), she knew she had found her Tempe home – a home to live in and one in which to start her new work chapter.

Tags: Restaurants & Dining

New Biz Alert: The Baked Bear

Posted 11.09.16 by Lori

Have you guys tried the new ice cream sandwich shop in Downtown Tempe yet? We swung through Baked Bear to get the low down on their 4-step dessert building process! 

Tags: Arts & Culture

Arizona Fashion Has a New Home: Downtown Tempe

Posted 10.31.16 by Lori

Labelhorde/AZ Fashion Source may be the only animal of its kind in the United States and that animal has just landed in Downtown Tempe in the old Tempe Performing Arts Center at the corner of 6th Street and Forest. If you are in the fashion industry, you already know about Labelhorde/AZ Fashion Source and that this is a BIG deal. If you’re not in the industry, you’re about to learn that this is a really BIG deal.

A Chance to Build Something Great: Tempe Young Professionals

Posted 10.10.16 by Lori

It is rare for a downtown area not to have a networking organization for its young professional workers. Almost every urban center of a decent size has one or two and the absence of one in Downtown Tempe was unusual.

So why not start one?

Tags: Shopping & Leisure

Are You Sirius?

Posted 08.22.16 by Lori

Are you SIRIUS? That’s the question I’ve been asking myself when I see people on motorized bicycles. But not Sirius, as in the brightest star in the sky, but serious as in acting or speaking sincerely. Turns out, I should have been using the brightest star version.