Tag Archives: Ruth Franklin

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Honoring excellence in corporate counsel

Effective corporate counsel has never been more important than it is in today’s new economy.
Az 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). The 30 finalists and winners were honored Thursday, January 16 during a ceremony and dinner at the Ritz Carlton Phoenix. Here are the finalists, in alphabetical order:

Melissa M. Buhrig
Vice president, assistant general counsel and assistant secretary
Western Refining
Since 2005, Buhrig has served as a founding member of the Western Refining legal department. Her responsibilities include corporate governance, compliance, and securities matters for the company. Prior to joining Western Refining, Buhrig was a shareholder in Barfield Law, a Miami, Florida-based boutique firm representing commercial insurers and business leaders in corporate and litigation matters. Before that, she was a founding member of the satellite litigation department in the Naples, Florida office of Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Cirsi, a national law firm.

Carolann Bullock
Human resources legal attorney
Intel Corporation
Bullock joined Intel in Chandlers as an HR legal attorney in 2010 following an extremely successful career in private practice. Bullock joined Ryley, Carlock & Applewhite in 1995 and was elected a shareholder in the firm just four years later. When she departed for Intel and the new challenge of an in-house legal role, she was chair of the firm’s well-respected Labor & Employment Practice Group. While in private practice, Bullock’s practice was devoted to counseling and defending employers faced with claims of sexual harassment, disability, gender, age, race, wrongful discharge and employment-related tort and contract claims.

Lawrence Cuculic
Vice president and general counsel
Best Western International, Inc.
Cuculic manages the legal department for Best Western, the largest hotel chain in the world, in a manner that is efficient, effective, and respectful. Cuculic is also actively involved in managing strategic direction, providing guidance on corporate legal issues, board and board committee matters and managing relationships with external counsel. Since his arrival at Best Western, Cuculic has been thrust into various complex litigation, including IP and antitrust class action matters. Through his guidance, Cuculic spearheaded legal victories for Best Western that resulted in a complete mitigation of damages.

Bob Desmond
Chief intellectual property counsel
Honeywell International, Inc. – Aerospace
Desmond is the chief IP counsel for Honeywell Aerospace, a $12 billion business unit of Honeywell International Inc. which has more than 7,000 employees in Arizona. Honeywell Aerospace’s Vice President of Engineering and Chief Technology Officer, summarized Desmond’s contributions to Honeywell Aerospace as follows: “Bob has developed a world-class intellectual property process within Honeywell Aerospace. He has not only refined and improved our intellectual property portfolio, but also created a sustainable process for refreshing its contents and ensuring the true business value of the IP is being properly realized. He has set the standard for Honeywell and the broader aerospace industry.”

Ruth Franklin
Corporate contracts counsel
ON Semiconductor
Franklin leads an international team of six member,s including both lawyers and contract professionals who are charged with negotiating semiconductor manufacturing sales agreements with customers throughout the world. These negotiations can span many months and typically involve describing every aspect of the manufacturing and supply processes within ON Semiconductor. Franklin is fond of saying that this is a job she is passionate about because it uses all the various areas of expertise that she has built up over her career: detailed lawyering, strategic planning and tactical negotiations.

GoDaddy in-house legal department
GoDaddy
GoDaddy’s legal team is led by General Counsel and Corporate Secretary Nima Kelly. GoDaddy’s 13-lawyer legal team counsels this rapidly-growing Internet company as it accomplishes its mission of empowering its customers to easily start, confidently grow and successfully run their own ventures. GoDaddy currently serves more than 12 million paying customers worldwide with 4,300 employees working in 21 states and eight countries. Under Ms. Kelly’s leadership, GoDaddy’s legal department has been re-engineered to efficiently deliver high-quality legal advice at the pace needed to keep up with its business partners. Divided into Intellectual Property, M&A/International, Litigation/Employment, Agreements and Internet Policy functions, its lawyers work as a cohesive team and are encouraged to “roll up their sleeves,” become intimately involved with their clients’ day-to-day activities and help them accomplish their business goals. Issues range from the serious (patent litigation and international expansion) to the sublime (the Super Bowl ads and talent agreements with Kid Rock, Snoop Dogg and Ke$ha for the annual blowout Holiday Parties). The team also works to develop effective and responsible Internet policy for GoDaddy and the global online community.

Jill Harrison
In-house counsel
W.L. Gore & Associates Inc.
Harrison has served as one of the corporate counsel at Gore for nearly nine years. She leads the medical device manufacturer’s product liability litigation and counseling practice globally. For much of her tenure at Gore, Harrison also led strategic counseling and litigation in the area of non-competes and trade for Gore’s Medical Products Division and provided extensive employment law counseling and litigation management for sales associates in the division. Harrison also assumed a significant leadership role in developing and implementing an innovative integration program for new legal team members to effectively facilitate their participation in the company’s global legal team.

John T. Jozwick
Senior vice president and general counsel
Rider Levett Bucknall
Rider Levett Bucknall hired Jozwick by contract in 2002 for a temporary assignment analyzing claims made by subcontractors in a major wastewater treatment plant project. As word spread with clients about his expertise in analyzing construction disputes, forensic claims, and construction defects, Jozwick was offered a full-time role. Under his direction, the company’s claims department grew from one temporary contractor to five full-time employees. Jozwick also played a major role in developing advisory services into a significantly profitable service. Today, the advisory service line offers clients risk analysis, claims analysis, dispute resolution, expert witness and dispute avoidance services.

Alan Kelly, Scottsdale Lincoln Healthcare Network’s legal team
Senior vice president and general counsel
Scottsdale Lincoln Healthcare Network
Kelly has been an in-house lawyer at Scottsdale Lincoln Healthcare Network for the past nine years. By creating an efficient and modern legal department, Kelly has been able to provide advice to everyone from executives to operational employees. His continued innovation led him to improve the SLHN Risk Management Department so that it can effectively manage all of the complex risk that a $1 billion company is faced with. Kelly’s strong leadership is as highly valued as his skills as an innovator. Johnathan Wallach, one of Kelly’s employees, said, “Alan has been a true mentor who actively promotes initiative in all people who work for him.”

Margaret Koppen
Deputy general counsel
Standard Microsystems Corporation
Koppen is Standard Microsystems’ main transactional attorney. Kim Van Amburg, senior vice president and general counsel at Casino Del Sol Resort, said that during her 10 years at the company, Koppen has been able to hone a “specific expertise in negotiating terms of sale agreements with her employer’s customers,” some of which are the world’s largest semiconductor companies. Koppen has been instrumental in “increasing efficiency, production, and accountability without increasing the size of the legal department.” Her contributions to the company have helped double the company’s revenue. She teaches the University of Arizona College of Law’s first-ever contract drafting course, which she developed.

David Koval
Vice president and general counsel
Kitchell
Koval went to Kitchell in 2004 as an employee for one of the company’s subsidiaries, Kitchell Contractors. In this role, he brought credibility to the company through refining legal processes, streamlining and creating uniformity in subcontractor relationships and evaluating the company’s risk. His results earned the respect of everyone at Kitchell and he was eventually tapped by CEI Jim Swanson to oversee all legal activities for the 60-year-old company. Kitchell’s interests include real estate development, commercial construction, program and construction management and air conditioning wholesale supplies.

Erin Lewin
Senior vice president and general counsel
Avnet, Inc.
Lewin leads Avnet’s 98-member global legal department and provides advice and guidance to the company’s business leaders. “Erin has demonstrated her ability to effectively guide a global team that deals with a complex, multinational legal environment while serving as a leader who fosters collaboration and employee engagement for her team,” said Avnet CEO Rick Hamada. In 2013, Lewin’s team oversaw the legal aspects of 12 acquisitions with a combined deal value of $367 million and combined revenue value of $1.2 billion, as well as the divestiture of two subsidiaries.

Kelly LoCascio
Chief compliance office and executive vice president
Angel MedFlight
LoCascio has been with Angel MedFlight, a worldwide air ambulance company, since 2008. In 2008, LoCascio was named one of the top 50 pro bono attorneys in Arizona and stays involved in the community by volunteering for the American Cancer Society, FreshStart and HomeBase Youth Services. She is a member of the American Bar Association, the Association of Corporate Counsel, and the Executive Women’s Golf Association. In addition to practicing law and volunteering, LoCascio was crowned Ms. Arizona Woman in 2007. This competition is part of the Arizona United States Pageants. She also ecompetes in triathlons.

Michael Mason
Senior counsel, labor and employment
Pinnacle West Capital Corp.
Mason is a strategic partner helping his internal clients solve legal problems in a changing industry. Mason transitioned two years ago as a shareholder at a large national firm, Greenberg Traurig, to a role with Pinnacle West. Mason often works to build consensus with various teams to reduce the threat of litigation. He challenges external counsel to be creative but cognizant of the costs of litigation. Mason served as the young lawyer representative to the State Bar Board of Governors for several years and currently sits on the Executive Council for the Labor and Employment Section for the Arizona State Bar.

L. Richards McMillan
Senior vice president and general counsel
Freeport McMoRan
McMillan has been senior vice president and general counsel of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. since October 31, 2007. McMillan served as senior corporate and securities law attorney of FCX since 1995. The Tulane University Law School graduate joined FCX after a 30-year career with the law firm of Jones, Walker, Waechter, Poitevent, Carrère & Denègre, L.L.P., where he served as partner. McMillan served as head of Jones Walker’s corporate and securities section and also served as a member and chairman of the Jones Walker’s Executive Committee.

David Mulvihill
Vice president and general counsel
Make-A-Wish Foundation of America
Mulvihill is general counsel of the Make-A-Wish, a national nonprofit organization with 74 chapters that grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. A substantial portion of Mulvihill’s time is spent protecting the Make-A-Wish name and trademarks from infringement by sound-alike organizations and others. In connection with these efforts, he has worked closely with various state charity officials, as well as with the U.S. Senate Finance Committee and the Federal Trade Commission. Prior to joining Make-A-Wish, Mulvihill was a partner in a firm in Pittsburgh, where his practice focused on commercial litigation.

Carmen L. Neuberger
Senior vice president and general counsel
Phoenix Children’s Hospital
A hospital that is a part of the ever evolving health care environment “requires a knowledgeable talented and dedicated general counsel,” said Debra Stevens, director of marketing and communications for Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Neurberger not only possesses the knowledge and talent Stevens speaks of, but she essentially developed the hospital’s entire legal department. During this process, Neurberger was able to create a program which allows the hospital to manage and control its own risk. She is also credited with developing and implementing a code of ethics, and improving the relationship between the legal and human resources departments.

Daniel Oseran
Privacy counsel
eBay
Oseran has worked in the information technology and legal fields for more than a decade, ensuring legal compliance, designing network infrastrcuture and managing large project teams. He also enforced information technology laws on behalf of the 5th largest District Attorney’s office in the country, and prosecuted the first state level case of Internet anti-piracy in the United States. Oseran advises business units on developing privacy-protective products, campaigns, websites and other programs. He also manage internal tools to report compliance and communicate policies. Before moving to eBay, Oseran led Paypal’s innovation and continuous improvement of the IT control framework, including the integration of multiple compliance requirements.

John M. Pons
Executive vice president and general counsel
Cole Real Estate Investments, Inc.
Pons has been instrumental in guiding the legal department at Cole in supporting the company’s overall mission in the acquisition, management and disposition of real property. The company has seen tremendous growth, listed on the NYSE and has lined itself up for a merger/acquisition that is poised to make it one of the 15 largest REITs in the United States. Pons’ demeanor and guidance has helped make Cole’s legal department high-functioning, highly collaborative and highly-engaged. Before attending law school, Pons was a captain in the United States Air Force where he served from 1988 until 1992.

Deanna Pickering
General counsel
Lumension Security, Inc.
As the sole in-house lawyer, Pickering manages legal issues across the globe and is often called upon to do the day-to-day legal work, such as customer contract review, that helps the organization save money on outside lawyers. But as the general counsel for a software company with operations in North America and Europe and a sales force throughout the world, Pickering has to help the organization move forward with strategic initiative and work with other executives to manage risk, solve legal issues, and support and direct outside lawyers in a competitive and rapidly changing business environment.

Daniel J. Quigley
General counsel
Tohono O’odham Gaming Enterprise
Quigley began his representation of the Tohono O’odham Nation with respect to its gaming operations in 1995. However, it was in 2003 that the Tohono O’odham Gaming Enterprise created its own in-house legal department and hired Quigley as its first general counsel. Quigley has faithfully represented the Nation’s gaming interests through a time when it has experienced exponential growth. Among his more noteworthy triumphs are the successful campaign for the 2002 Indian Gaming Initiative (passed by Arizona voters in 2002) and subsequent Gaming Compact negotiations with the State of Arizona.

Darrell Sherman
Vice president, general counsel, secretary
Taylor Morrison
Sherman joined Taylor Morrison as vice president and general counsel in June 2009 and helped the home builder launch a successful IPO in 2013. He is responsible for the company’s legal affairs including transactions, governance, litigation and regulatory matters. Prior to joining Taylor Morrison, Sherman was general counsel at Centex for four years in the Southwest and Mountain States Regions and associate general counsel at Del Webb/Pulte for five years. Prior to joining the homebuilding industry, he was a finance and real estate attorney at the law firm of Snell & Wilmer in its Phoenix office.

James Silhasek
Executive vice president and general counsel
Discount Tire
Silhasek manages the legal and real estate departments and is specifically involved in all real estate acquisitions, matters of taxation and complex business litigation. Silhasek began his association with Discount Tire in 1980, while in private practice, and joined the company in 1988. During his association with Discount Tire, it has grown to become the world’s largest tire and wheel retailer with more than 870 locations in 28 states. Silhasek received his Juris Doctor from Creighton University Law School and a Master’s of Law in taxation from Georgetown University Law Center.

Sprouts Farmers Market, Inc.
Legal department
The natural and organic grocery chain hired its first in-house counsel, Brandon Lombardi, in January 2012 and he set about assembling an in-house legal department that could provide the needed legal services with the quality, acumen, and responsiveness that he and his fast-paced client demanded. Sprouts’ recent success, including the IPO which was shepherded from commencement to completion by Lombardi and his team, serves as a model for how to aggressively yet responsibly build a business. That success could not have been achieved without Sprouts’ legal department. That this 10-person team did not exist two years ago makes their accomplishments even more impressive.

Karen Stein, IO’s legal department
General counsel
IO
Stein oversees all legal and risk management functions of the company. She holds a Juris Doctor, with honors, from Emory University, an MBA from Loyola University with a concentration in finance, and a Bachelor of Science degree in business from the University of Maryland, where she graduated magna cum laude. She has practiced law since 1994, focusing on business transactions, licensing, and intellectual property. Before joining IO, Stein practiced at the Troutman Sanders law firm in Atlanta and served as the Assistant general counsel for the PGA Tour for 10 years.

Matthew Stockslage
Vice president and associate general counsel
Dignity Health
Stockslage is the senior legal leader for Dignity Health’s Arizona and Nevada service areas, which includes six hospitals — including the world-renowned Barrow Neurological Institute — and more than 40 affiliated outpatient sites. As one of three regional legal leaders reporting to Dignity’s general counsel, Stockslage supervises a staff of 11 and is the lead attorney for joint venture transactions and relationships across the Dignity system. He has helped implement a restructuring of the Dignity legal department, its work flows, reporting relationships and client accountabilities to facilitate Dignity’s implementation of healthcare reforms and to accommodate its growth strategy to become a national healthcare provider.

Randall S. Theisen
Executive vice president, general counsel, assistant secretary
Western Alliance Bancorporation
Theisen has served as general counsel of Western Alliance Bancorporation and its three bank affiliates includes Alliance Bank of Arizona, BankWest of Nevada and Torrey Pines Bank since February 2006. Theisen joined WAL from Squire Sanders & Dempsey and has more than 20 years of legal experience representing financial institutions in banking, corporate and financial services law. He was named a “Leading Lawyer 2006” and “Best of the Bar 2005.” He serves on the Business Law Committee and Consumer Financial Services Committee for the American Bar Association. He is also a member of the Arizona Bankers Association.

Michael Walker
Senior associate counsel, labor and employment/litigation
Insight Enterprises, Inc
Walker is the sole litigator and labor and employment lawyer for Insight in the United States and Canada. Insight is a Fortune 500 company that provides hardware, software and related services to business and government agencies. Walker is “stunningly successful” at preventing, resolving, and promptly defending claims that go through litigation in labor and employment, commercial matters and in actions brought by government agencies according to Mark Rogers, association general counsel for Insight. Walker has also been able to reduce spending on several categories of work. “Above all, (he) is a practical problem solver and has excellent business judgment,” Rogers said.

Stuart Zigun
Assistant general counsel
Emerson Network Power
Colleagues say Zigun in the kind of attorney every business wishes it had. Zigun has an exceptional depth of understanding of his clients’ business and products and is intimately familiar with the company’s strategy and direction. In more than 30 years as an in-house counsel, Zigun has never had an agreement he worked on be litigated. This is a testament to his ability to successfully resolve disputes. Zigun, who earned an undergraduate degree in industrial engineering from Cornell and his law degree from Boston University, has represented large public companies that include Raytheon, Motorola and Emerson.