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ACC Awards 2015 Winners

Effective corporate counsel has never been more important than it is in today’s new economy. And on Thursday at the Camelback Inn, Az Business magazine partnered with the Arizona Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel and the State Bar of Arizona to present the 2015 Arizona Corporate Counsel Awards (ACC Awards).

2015 ACC Awards Winners

  • David Bixby, Banner Health – General Counsel of the Year winner
  • Franc Del Fosse, Insys – IP Attorney winner
  • JDA Software legal department – Legal Department winner
  • Carmen Neuberger, Phoenix Children’s Hospital – Non Profit winner
  • Mary Beth Orson, Apollo Education Group – Public Company winner
  • Michael Reagan, Kahala Corporation – Private Company winner
  • Jason Steiner, Insight Enterprises – Up & Comer winner

2015 Arizona Corporate Counsel Awards

 

As the featured speaker, high-profile Valley attorney Grant Woods had the crowd of more than 300 rolling with his roast of the current political scene.

“Sheriff Joe (Arpaio) became sheriff when I was attorney general,” Woods said, “and I thought he was amusing. But that joke is just really tired now.”

Presenting sponsors of the ACC Awards were Squire Patton Boggs and CBRE.

The following attorneys earned 2015 ACC Awards:

• David Bixby, senior vice president, general counsel and secretary at Banner Health,  was named General Counsel of the Year. Bixby joined Banner (then Samaritan Health System) in 1998 as senior vice president, general counsel and secretary. From 1981 to 1998, he was with Lewis and Roca LLP, in Phoenix, as an associate and partner, he specialized in corporate mergers and acquisitions, finance and health care law. Bixby received his bachelor of arts degree in history and literature from Harvard University, a bachelor of arts (honors) in history from the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and his law degree from Yale Law School. He is a member of the Arizona Bar, the American Health Lawyers Association, and the American Corporate Counsel Association.

JDA Software‘s legal department earned Legal Department of the Year. Led by Chief Legal Officer Martin Felli, JDA’s legal team has grown from approximately 10 to 24 associates in the last six months to better support the company’s strategic initiatives.  The legal department has focused its efforts on building the team from Arizona-based legal talent. The team’s proactive, high-engagement business model aligns to the company’s guiding principles and leaves a lasting impression that JDA is a company people want to do business with. With a focus on improved communications, employee engagement, streamlined corporate governance processes and proactive client-centered  internal training and awareness initiatives on a wide range of compliance matters, the team embraces the company’s mission to “plan to deliver” in all aspects of its work.

• Franc Del Fosse, general counsel and secretary at Insys, was named IP Attorney of the Year.  After joining Insys, Del Fosse worked with President and CEO Michael L. Babich in establishing the legal and compliance departments of Insys.   Immediately prior to joining Insys, Del Fosse was a partner at the law firm of Snell & Wilmer. Del Fosse began his legal career as an associate at the law firm of Shearman & Sterling and holds a degree from Columbia University School of Law and an undergraduate degree from Arizona State University.  In 2013, Insys had its initial public offering and had the top performing IPO nationally that year. In 2014, Inys was named Arizona Bioscience Company of the Year by the Arizona Bioindustry Association.

• Carmen L. Neuberger, senior vice president, legal affairs and general counsel for Phoenix Children’s Hospital earned Nonprofit Attorney of the Year. Neuberger is responsible for managing the legal environment at Phoenix Children’s. This includes providing legal guidance, developing hospital-wide policies and procedures, counseling the hospital on business transactions, and managing complex contractual relationships. She also is involved in the legal aspects of medical staff privileging and credentialing, risk management, patient-related matters, regulatory compliance and privacy, clinical research and employment law. She is also credited with developing and implementing a code of ethics, and improving the relationship between the legal and human resources departments. Neuberger came to Phoenix Children’s in 2007 with more than 20 years of experience in healthcare law.

• Mary Beth Orson, vice president, legal and deputy general counsel for Apollo Education Group was named Public Company Attorney of the Year. At the time Orson joined Apollo, there were a number of significant pending legal matters, including a Section 10(b)(5) class action lawsuit. In response to these matters and other challenges, the Apollo general counsel’s office, under Orson’s direction, updated and adapted the company’s disclosure controls and procedures to reflect the far more complex business organization that Apollo had become in the years prior to her arrival. These policies and procedures led to enhanced public disclosure practices that we believe have been emulated by other leading proprietary education companies. Orson is credited with effectively creating order out of disorder.

• Michael Reagan, executive vice president and general counsel for Kahala Corporation, was named Private Company Attorney of the Year. During his 15-year tenure with Kahala, Reagan has overseen all legal and real estate affairs for the company and its 14 restaurant brands — which include Cold Stone Creamery, America’s Taco Shop, Blimpie, Taco Time, Great Steak & Potato and Samurai Sam’s. He is part of an executive team that, during the past eight years has grown Kahala from 80 outlets to more than 3,000; raised nearly $200 million in private transactions; identified, negotiated and completed nearly $200 million in acquisitions. Reagan personally handled all due diligence and other legal aspects of each transaction and helped integrate the acquired companies into Kahala and its uniform franchising and operating platform.

• Jason Steiner, corporate counsel, Insight Enterprises, was named Up-and-Comer of the Year. In less than two years, Steiner has proved himself to be a valuable contributor to the Legal Department at Insight, working on contracts, supporting internal investigations throughout North America, litigating smaller claims himself, supporting litigation involving restrictive covenants with former employees, becoming proficient in the field of eDiscovery and developing the necessary labor and employment knowledge to be a front-line resource for the HR department.  Steiner has a “can do” attitude, a willingness to learn new areas and the drive and tenacity to see tasks through to completion. Steiner graduated from ASU with a B.S. in finance (2009) and a J.D. (2012) from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law.

lawyers

Az Business announces finalists for ACC Awards

Az Business magazine, in conjunction with the State Bar of Arizona, have announced the finalists for the 2015 Arizona Corporate Counsel (ACC) Awards.

The finalists and winners will be honored at an awards dinner and reception on Jan. 15, 2015 at the JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa in Scottsdale. Click here for more information about the event.

Here are the finalists:

Arizona State University legal department
David Bixby, Banner Health
Kelleen Brennan, Universal Technical Institute
Franc Del Fosse, Insys
Brad Gazaway, The Dial Corporation
Illya Iussa, Arizona Summit Law School
JDA Software legal department
John T. Jozwick, Rider Levett Bucknall
Alan Kelly, Scottsdale Lincoln Health Network
David Mulvihill, Make-A-Wish Foundation
Wendy Neal, Arcadia Biosciences
Carmen Neuberger, Phoenix Children’s Hospital
Mary Beth Orson, Apollo Education Group
Michael Reagan, Kahala Corporation
Michael Rissman, Republic Services
Brian Roberts, Grand Canyon University
Scottsdale Lincoln Health Network legal department
Karen Stein, IO
Jason Steiner, Insight Enterprises
Jenny Holsman Tetreault, Rural/Metro
Tiffanie Woodie, Petsmart

ACC Awards 2012

ACC Awards 2012 Finalists: N-T

Effective corporate counsel has never been more important than it is now. Arizona Business Magazine is recognizing the important and vital role that in-house counsel plays in the success of a business with the Arizona Corporate Counsel Awards, ACC Awards 2012. The 27 finalists and winners were honored Thursday, January 12 during a ceremony and dinner at the Ritz Carlton Phoenix. Here are the finalists in alphabetical order, N through T.


ACC Awards 2012 Finalists, N through T:

Dennis Naughton
General counsel
Danny’s Family Companies

ACC Awards 2012Naughton accepted the position of general counsel with Danny’s Family Companies just as the nation was beginning to understand the extent of the economic destruction resulting from the great recession. It soon became apparent that the company would need to restructure if it was to survive. Naughton masterfully navigated the company through the perilous and complex legal waters of a Chapter 11 corporate restructuring. The company’s continued success and emergence from Chapter 11 is due in part to Naughton’s insight and legal leadership. He is a native of Arizona and graduate of Brophy College Preparatory in Phoenix.


ON Semiconductor
In-house legal department

ACC Awards 2012On Jan. 1, 2011, the acquisition of SANYO Semiconductor increased the ON law department from 29 to 47 legal professional. Still, the law department remains the smallest department in the company and consistently benchmarks favorably for cost expenditures for similarly situated in-house law departments. In recognition of the law department’s significant role in closing the SANYO deal, the M&A Advisor awarded the deal with the Major Transaction of the Year award for mergers and acquisitions from $500 million to $1 billion. On a personal note, department members participate in a wide variety of community service projects — from youth programs to animal rescue.


Karen Paul
General counsel
MD Helicopters

ACC Awards 2012According to David Kash, a partner at Ryley Carlock & Applewhite in Phoenix, Paul did a “great job for a company in an economy under very trying times.” Paul’s great work paid off in 2011 as MD Helicopters was awarded a $186 million contract by the Army to build rotorcraft for training exercises in Afghanistan. Among her duties:
* Contract negotiation and drafting — national, international, sales, distribution, procurement, U.S. government, complex commercial and intellectual property licensing, ownership, transfers and development.
* Regulatory compliance.
* Intellectual property and contracts portfolio and systems development and management.


Jessica M. Pena
General counsel
Tekco Management Group, LLC

ACC Awards 2012In three years at Tekco, Pena has fundamentally reinvented the company’s approach to enforcing its intellectual property rights. Pena’s innovative use of unfair competition claims in conjunction with copyright enforcement is just one example of her ability to find new ways to tackle old, entrenched problems. Additionally, Pena’s innovative approach to intellectual property rights enforcement ignited a renewed effort against online copyright infringement in the adult entertainment industry. Due to her innovative and successful approach to stopping online copyright infringement in her industry, Pena was invited to organize and moderate a panel at the 23rd North American Entertainment, Sports & Intellectual Property Law Conference.


Amy Rasor
Deputy general counsel
American Traffic Solutions

ACC Awards 2012Colleagues say Rasor has what it takes to create and maintain a well-oiled legal team as an in-house counsel. Some of her accomplishments include:
* Leading the legal aspects of two company acquisitions and countless lawsuits.
* After joining the legal team at ATS as the first associate general counsel, she was promoted to deputy general counsel the following year. She works with two other attorneys and two paralegals.
* Colleagues say Rasor is unequalled in her ability to foresee potential legal issues and head the off before they become a real problem for the company.


Michael Reagan
Executive vice president and general counsel
Kahala Corp

ACC Awards 2012Reagan has been Kahala’s general counsel since January 2000. From 1993 to 1995, he served as a senior accountant with Deloitte & Touche in Phoenix in its audit division. He is currently a licensed attorney, as well as a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA), in the state of Arizona. Reagan holds a B.S. in accounting from the University of Arizona and a J.D. from Arizona State University. In Reagan’s 12 years at Kahala, the company has grown from a handful of employees to more than 250, from one brand to 14 brands, and the legal department has grown from one lawyer to six lawyers and 10 paralegals.


Mark Rodgers
Associate general counsel
Insight Enterprises, Inc.

ACC Awards 2012Rogers’ responsibilities include corporate governance work, SEC reporting, mergers and acquisitions, financing, design and implementation of compliance programs, internal investigations, negotiation of contracts and litigation and labor and employment management. He sits on Insight’s Disclosure Committee and currently chairs the Investment Committees for the company’s 401(k) and Non-Qualified Deferred Compensation plans. Rogers was named a “Super Lawyer” in the 2007 Southwest Edition of Law & Politics Magazine and was the only in-house counsel named as a Super Lawyer in the edition. He is admired by colleagues for his great judgment, a key asset to outside counsel when analyzing facts and the law to develop strategies.


Cindy Sehr
Senior counsel
Catholic Healthcare West (Chandler Regional Medical Center)

ACC Awards 2012Sehr has 25 years of experience as an attorney and 20 of those years have been devoted to healthcare law. Working in the healthcare field, there are many components that a legal department has to take into consideration to abide by regulations set by the state and federal governments. Sehr has made those regulations easier for everyone on the CHW staff to understand. Through Sehr’s leadership and expertise, the medical centers have been able to navigate and overcome hurdles with a strong sense of support, guidance and leadership toward the correct and proactive steps that need to be made.


Thomas F. Tollison
Senior assistant general counsel — marketing group
U-Haul International, Inc.

ACC Awards 2012Colleagues say Tollison is an inspiration to those around him. “He inspires us to work hard and improve our craft,” said Isaac P. Hernandez, an associate at Ballard Spahr. “He inspires us to be leaders and to be involved with our communities. He reminds us to take a moment to smell the roses and enjoy life.” Among Tollison’s professional accomplishments is the negotiation of a multi-million-dollar asset/stock purchase of a telecommunications company, as well as providing lead counsel to the largest division on U-Haul — its marketing group.


Arizona Business Magazine January/February 2012