On the move at Aker Ink, Sagewood, Plexus, Jaburg Wilk

Business News | 19 Feb |

Aker Ink bolsters team

Having embraced marketing and digital strategies over the last decade while cementing a reputation for excellence in serving B2B clients, boutique agency Aker PR & Marketing has expanded by hiring Valliere Jones as director of public relations and Tim Gallen as account executive.

“Aker Ink serves clients in highly technical or specialized industries—finding professionals who can turn difficult concepts into easily understood, relatable materials is a challenge,” said Aker Ink President Andrea Aker. “These seasoned practitioners are adept at telling our clients’ stories in a compelling way to position them—and Aker Ink—for growth.”

Jones, a public relations agency veteran with more than 25 years of experience at global, regional and local firms, will plan and execute public relations campaigns that integrate with company’s marketing capabilities while supervising and mentoring the agency’s account executives and coordinator.

“We knew Valliere’s proven track record in executive communications and thought leadership, as well as her strategic planning and media relations abilities, would be a tremendous asset—so we created a position to leverage her strengths,” Aker said. “With a wealth of expertise in a wide variety of writing styles—everything from short social media posts to case studies and bylined articles—Valliere is perfectly suited to coach our junior staff and help them hone their writing skills.”

Gallen, who previously served as digital editor for the Phoenix Business Journal, is an award-winning journalist who crafted news articles and other content on a wide range of topics spanning restaurants, retail, small business, technology, real estate and the economy, diving into business operations, innovations and the latest industry trends. 

“As a former journalist with deep digital expertise, Tim is a natural fit for Aker Ink,” said Aker. “He knows what makes a great story, how to tell a great story and how to get that story noticed. He also thinks creatively and is willing to experiment—two fundamental traits of any successful PR pro.” 

Jones is a former National President of the Public Relations Student Society of America and graduate of Brigham Young University’s renowned public relations program. Gallen has a degree in communications with an emphasis in journalism from Pacific Lutheran University. 

Sagewood names director of business development

Sagewood, a Life Plan Community featuring resort-like amenities focused on independence and well-being, has named Jennifer LaForest director of business development at Sagewood’s Acacia Health Center. 

She brings more than 20 years of experience in the skilled nursing and retirement community industry to Acacia Health Center. LaForest previously served as the campus director of admissions and marketing at Springsdale Village in Mesa, Ariz. and prior was the director of admissions and marketing at Avalon Shadow Mountain in Scottsdale, Ariz. 

“LaForest’s background in skilled nursing and senior care is impressive,” said Natalie Miko, administrator of Acacia Health Center. “She truly understands what goes into working with admissions and helping residents get what they need and will be a great asset at Acacia Health Center.” 

For more information on Sagewood, visit SagewoodLCS.com and ‘Like’ the community’s Facebook page at Facebook.com/SagewoodLCS.

Plexus hires NASA doctor

Plexus Worldwide, a leading direct-selling health and wellness company focused on health and happiness, is pleased to welcome Dr. Jim Logan to its Medical Advisory Board. Dr. Logan has decades of experience caring for America’s astronauts and is dedicated to helping all people achieve and maintain optimal health.

As a Medical Advisory Board member, Dr. Logan will help guide product development using his experience as a medical doctor and his passion for sharing preventative practices.

“Plexus is thrilled to welcome Jim to our team because he is committed to helping people achieve a healthy lifestyle through the art of combining science-backed products with motivational strategies,” said Tarl Robinson, CEO and Founder of Plexus. “His insight and passion in helping people live happier, healthier lives is already inspiring our team.”

Dr. Logan is Board Certified by the American Board of Preventive Medicine and spent 22-years at NASA Space Center serving as Chief of Flight Medicine and Chief of Medical Operations. Among his top priorities was to care for American astronauts and their families for 25-Space Shuttle missions by optimizing their health and preventing medical issues.

“I am excited to work with the team at Plexus to help people around the world work towards whole body wellness using a team approach that leverages the power of science to reach maximum health potential,” said Dr. Logan. “My personal philosophy of medical care is that prevention is vastly superior – medically, financially and emotionally – to aggressive, long-term, and invasive treatments that result from significant medical issues.”

Jaburg Wilk attorney named to board

Alden A. Thomas has been named to the Board of Directors of Audrey’s Angels

Thomas, an employment law and insurance coverage attorney at Jaburg Wilk, said “Audrey’s Angels is a great organization.  The difference that music can make in the life qualify of elderly people is amazing.  I’m proud of the number of homes that Audrey’s Angels is currently assisting and look forward to helping them to deliver even more programming.”

Audrey’s Angels provides music and art by bringing live music and craft programs to enrich the lives of elderly who are living in small residential care homes in Maricopa County.   Founded in 2001, they have grown to support more than 100 homes and adult day care centers with assistance from 75 music and craft angels.   

Thomas received her J.D. from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University and her undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Austin.  Prior to starting private practice, Alden clerked for Judge Patricia Orozco of the Arizona Court of Appeals. 

About AZ Business Leaders

AZ Business Leaders is an annual business-to-business publication that combines the who’s who of Arizona business community with their valuable leadership advice and knowledge. The magazine is published by AZ Big Media. To learn more about Az Business Leaders, contact Sheri Brown, director of sales.

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