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 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.