An independent bookstore. A firm that creates cloud-based social media platforms. A mattress company.

What do they all have in common? Besides being founded by up-and-coming entrepreneurs, all three are companies whose roots are firmly planted in Arizona soil. Their stories will be discussed at the February lunch sponsored by the Arizona chapter of CoreNet Global.

Tuft  Needle

“The Homegrown Connection” will be moderated by Kimber Lanning, one of the state’s biggest advocates for local businesses. She is the Director of Local First Arizona. Panelists include Cindy Dach, co-owner of Changing Hands Bookstore; Andy Lombard, CEO of SocialWhirled; and Daehee Park, co-founder of Tuft & Needle.

Dach, who operates two locations of Changing Hands, is also the owner of Made Art Boutique and co-founder of Eye Lounge. Both are locally-grown businesses on Roosevelt Row near downtown Phoenix. Park and co-founder John-Thomas Marino left jobs in California’s tech industry to pursue their idea of creating a better mattress-shopping experience. Tuft & Needle is located within the Levine Machine Building in the Phoenix Warehouse District.

The event is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 19, at Phoenix Country Club. Registration begins at 11:30 a.m. followed by the presentation. Price is $35 for CoreNet Global Arizona members and $70 for non-members and includes the program, lunch, and networking.

To register go to and click on the Events tab.

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