Dillan Knudson named head of commercial banking for Arizona

Western Alliance Bank today announced that Dillan Knudson has been appointed as the organization’s Head of Commercial Banking for Arizona. 

“Dillan brings outstanding depth and breadth of experience in the region to this role,” said Ken Vecchione, president and chief executive officer of Western Alliance Bank. “With his proven commitment to serving clients, as well as his expertise in executing strategic growth initiatives, he will help the organization expand the services and solutions we deliver to Arizona’s growing Commercial and Industrial market.”

With over 16 years of banking experience, Knudson most recently served as Regional President and Head of Commercial Banking at PNC Bank in Austin. In that role, he executed the Bank’s local strategic growth initiatives after PNC’s acquisition of BBVA USA in 2021. Knudson returns to Phoenix after holding several leadership positions at BBVA USA throughout the Southwest, including Market CEO for Houston, which housed BBVA USA’s domestic headquarters. He earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks and completed an Executive Education Program at the University of Texas at Austin. 

“I’m thrilled to be back in Phoenix and energized to support Western Alliance Commercial Banking initiatives here in Arizona,” said Knudson. “I’m excited to join Arizona’s largest locally headquartered bank as we look to our next chapter. I look forward to expanding our teams across the state, helping local Arizona companies excel, engaging with community partners, and ultimately supporting economic growth across the region.” 

OrthoArizona adds new medical professionals

OrthoArizona announced the addition of Dr. Mario A. Taylor, M.D. to the Spine service line. Dr. Taylor will serve patients out of OrthoArizona’s South Gilbert, Chandler Village and Queen Creek locations.

Mario A. Taylor, MD
Robert Burnham Jr., MD

Identified as an up-and-coming orthopedic doctor by several organizations, Dr. Taylor earned a spot in the American Orthopaedic Association’s Emerging Leaders Program. As a part of the program, he was able to network with some of the top orthopedic surgeons in the U.S. and Canada, complete exclusive leadership courses and serve in leadership positions within the AOA.

Dr. Taylor already has several published research articles, including work on floating cervical spine injuries and has lectured across the nation to healthcare providers on various topics involving orthopedics, including on fracture patterns in multiligamentous knee injuries, thumb CMC arthroplasty and more.

He has also won several awards, including being elected to the Alpha Omega Honor Medical Society and registration to the 2023 AOA C. McCollister Evarts Resident Leadership Forum given to the outstanding residents from accredited institutions who have garnered recognition as up-and-coming orthopaedic leaders within their program.

OrthoArizona also announced the addition of Dr. Robert Burnham Jr., M.D. to the Total Joint service line. Dr. Burnham will serve patients out of OrthoArizona’s Peoria, Avondale and Litchfield Park locations.

Dr. Burnham already has already contributed several peer-reviewed research articles, including work on the surgical fixation of bimalleolar equivalent ankle fracturesbioresorbable polymer anchorsknee range of motion after total knee arthroplasty and more.

He has also won several grants, including the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America (POSNA) Research Start Up Grant to conduct his research on The Effect of Knee Height Asymmetry on Gait Biomechanics. Dr. Burnham also won the Schwartz Travelling Fellowship Award given to one graduating chief resident at Loyola to pursue a 4-6 week experience to enhance learning regarding individual practice plan or humanitarian value

HBS Arizona adds experienced lobbyist Cole Libera

The Husch Blackwell Strategies office in Phoenix is expanding its state advocacy team with public policy professional Cole Libera joining HBS Arizona as a Principal. Cole is an experienced lobbyist in local and statewide government affairs with a successful track record working on issues from water policy to planning and zoning, and economic development.

HBS Chairman Andy Blunt said at today’s announcement “We continue to enhance our capabilities across the country through talented professionals like Cole who provide our clients a distinct advantage in our work to protect their interests. We are pleased to have him on board.”

Cole was most recently Vice President of Government Relations for Dorn Policy Group in Phoenix where he represented the firm’s clients at the Arizona capitol for seven years. Prior to that, he served as the Manager of the Business Services Section for The Arizona Department of Economic Security and earlier was as an AmeriCorps VISTA for City of Phoenix Vice Mayor Kate Gallego.

Elizabeth Goodman, HBS Arizona Managing Principal, said, “I am thrilled to have Cole on our team and know our clients will quickly find his experience and legislative know-how to be invaluable in achieving their goals.”

AzHHA announces new slate for 2024 Board of Directors

The Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association (AzHHA) Board of Directors announced today that it approved new healthcare executives to serve on its board and confirmed its roster for 2024.

In association with its 15-member board, AzHHA brings together health leaders from across the state to tackle key issues and challenges they face every day. As a resourceful, influential and diverse hospital association, AzHHA works tirelessly to advance healthcare public policy to implement programs that promote better health and healthcare throughout Arizona.

The following Arizona healthcare executives were approved to join the AzHHA Board of Directors Thursday:

  • Philip Fitzgerald, RN, CEO, Havasu Regional Medical Center
  • Jackie Lundblad, CEO, Wickenburg Community Hospital

The board also approved Jennifer Gutowski, FACHE, director, Southern Arizona VA Health Care System, as a board observer to participate in board dialogue and to bring the perspective of the Southern Arizona VA into our healthcare ecosystem.

The new board members will serve a three-year term on the AzHHA Board of Directors with terms expiring in October 2026. Their tenure will begin at the next board meeting in December 2023.

“We are thrilled with this slate of new board members as they represent a great depth of healthcare leadership from across the state and with a diversity of experiences across the healthcare continuum,” said Ann-Marie Alameddin, president and CEO of AzHHA. “The AzHHA Board of Directors continues to bring together diverse voices to advance health and healthcare in Arizona.”

AzHHA’s Board of Directors includes hospital and healthcare leaders representing various communities throughout Arizona – from large health systems to rural hospitals. The fundamental responsibilities of the Board Officers, and its Board of Directors, are to set policy and broad strategic direction toward the fulfillment of AzHHA’s mission.

“As we welcome new members to our board, we say goodbye with gratitude to those who will be completing their terms this year,” said Board Chair Neal Jensen. “The last few years have been a challenging time in healthcare, and we appreciate their leadership and service.”

Outgoing members who will conclude their term in December 2023 include:

  • Rona Curphy, CEO and CNO, The CORE Institute Specialty Hospital
  • Julia Strange, vice president, external affairs and brand, TMC Health
  • Catherine Todero, PhD, RN, FAAN, dean and professor, College of Nursing, vice provost of health science campuses, Creighton University

A full list of the current 2023 AzHHA Board of Directors is available on AzHHA’s website.

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