Dentons lands nine-lawyer powerhouse litigation and white collar team

Dentons, the world’s largest law firm, today named four partners, two counsel and three associates to its Phoenix office as members of its Litigation and White Collar practices.  Karl Tilleman, Paul Charlton, Erin Bradham and Quintin Cushner join Dentons as partners. Doug Janicik and Jason Sanders join the Litigation practice as a counsel. Three associates also join the Firm.

Tilleman and Bradham, who join Dentons Litigation practice, focus their work on high-stakes litigation for corporations, insurance carriers and financial institutions, with an emphasis on aviation, healthcare, antitrust, RICO, intellectual property, and class actions. Charlton and Cushner, who join the White Collar and Investigations practice, represent Fortune 500 companies and executives in high-profile litigation, internal investigations and white-collar criminal defense.

“We are very pleased to welcome these extremely accomplished litigators and strategists to our leading disputes and investigations practices,” said US CEO Mike McNamara. “Over the past 18 months, we have added the litigation bench strength of more than 40 litigators nationally, from the East Coast to Hawai`i, which only further deepens the trust we enjoy in representing clients in some of the most high-profile and front page cases and investigations in the US.” 

Tilleman is a veteran first-chair trial lawyer with nearly three decades of experience who handles high-stakes litigation for many of the nation’s largest corporations, insurance carriers and financial institutions. Among his high profile representations are his current work on behalf MD Helicopters, Inc., and the successful defense of the Harlem Globetrotters, major universities, Cancer Treatment Centers of America and the country’s largest insurance companies. Prior to entering private practice, he clerked at the Supreme Court of the United States for Justice Clarence Thomas and Chief Justice Warren Burger. In addition to his legal career, Tilleman is an Olympic athlete who played on the Canadian National Basketball Team in the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Games, setting a record for three-point shooting that has never been broken. He earned his JD, summa cum laude, from Brigham Young University, where he was the editor in chief of Brigham Young University Law Review, and his BA from the University of Calgary.

Charlton is known as a seasoned trial lawyer who successfully defended corporations and high-net-worth individuals who were the subject of state and federal investigations. A former career prosecutor, he ended his nearly 20 years of public service as Arizona’s United States Attorney.  Charlton also works in Native American Law and successfully advocated for Native American tribes and tribal leaders on nationally reported leaders.  He is sought-after and often-quoted media commentator on litigation in the news, and, with his wife, owns and operates a cattle ranch. Charlton earned his JD from the University of Arizona, where he was the note and comment editor for the Arizona Law Review, and his BA from there, as well.

Bradham focuses her practice on complex commercial litigation, with an emphasis on disputes involving aviation, healthcare, insurance and class action allegations. She has extensive experience defending clients in state and federal courts, and has served as trial counsel in multiple lawsuits, including a two-week jury trial that resulted in a defense verdict in her client’s favor. Committed to pro bono service, Bradham has successfully secured asylum and other immigration relief for over a dozen clients fleeing political persecution or harm in their home country. She earned her JD, magna cum laude, from Duke University, where she was the editor of the Journal of Law and Contemporary Problems, and her BA, summa cum laude, from College of William & Mary.

Cushner focuses on white-collar defense criminal defense and civil litigation including the successful representation of individual and corporate clients across the state and on American Indian tribal lands. Most recently he led public corruption investigations and served as a special prosecutor in Indian Country.  Previously he served as a clerk to US District Court Judge Stephen McNamee. Cushner earned his JD from the University of Arizona College of Law, magna cum laude, where he was a member of Order of the Coif and managing editor of Arizona Law Review, and holds a BA from Oberlin College. 

Great Wolf Lodge Arizona announces general manager

Great Wolf Resorts named Brian Johnson as the General Manager of Great Wolf Lodge Arizona, slated to open October 17, 2019. Hailing from the portfolio’s first-ever lodge in the Wisconsin Dells, Johnson is making the move to lead the pack at the company’s newest resort located within the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community’s Talking Stick Entertainment District.

Johnson begins his next chapter with Great Wolf Lodge and returns to the Arizona hospitality scene boasting three decades of hospitality industry experience, having previously held roles at both the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess and Loews Ventana Canyon Resort. 

“Brian’s knowledge and experience within the Scottsdale market, coupled with his proven track record with Great Wolf Lodge make him the ideal choice to lead the opening and on-going operation of our first resort in Arizona,” said Mark Rucker, Senior Vice President of Operations for Great Wolf Resorts. “Brian’s helped countless families make lifelong memories at our Wisconsin Dells location, and we’re excited to have him set a new standard for family entertainment with our Arizona resort.”  

Johnson was previously the General Manager of Great Wolf Lodge Wisconsin Dells, responsible for its 80,000-square-foot waterpark and 450 pack members.

CIVANA welcomes Amanda Grant, Dana Wendell

Following the completion of CIVANA’s nearly $50 million renovation and repositioning – including the grand opening of a 22,000 square-foot spa in December 2018 – Scottsdale’s newest wellness resort continues to build its leadership team with the additions of Amanda Grant as Program Director and Dana Wendell as Director of Marketing. Amanda and Dana will work alongside CEO Maggie Lang, continuing to grow CIVANA as an approachable, holistic destination wellness resort.

“I’m very proud to welcome these wellness veterans and incredible leaders to CIVANA,” said CEO Maggie Lang. “They will bring a level of depth and expertise to our leadership team that will serve our guests with even more intention and purpose, while strategically growing our brand.”                                                        

Heading up the programming division is Amanda Grant, a seasoned brand development and growth leader with over 15 years of experience across corporate, political, start-up, and non-profit industries. With a growth-oriented mindset and holistic mind-body health philosophy, Amanda is uniquely qualified to take CIVANA’s programming to the next level. She will oversee all aspects of wellness programs – including daily classes, special events, and bespoke retreats – which are at the heart of the CIVANA experience and make it a destination designed to connect mind, body, and health. Amanda spent a number of years at Disney and ABC Television directing digital, brand, and social strategy in multiple divisions, including consulting for ESPN where she spearheaded growth for the global brand. In 2012, she was trusted by Obama for America to lead social strategy for the re-election campaign. Most recently, she led values-driven work at the Living Peace Foundation, which included planning and hosting large-scale retreats. Amanda is a HeartMath Organizational Trainer and is completing a two-year Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program with Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach.

Dana Wendell joins CIVANA with 20 years of marketing, public relations, and communications experience and will be responsible for spearheading the resort’s marketing, public relations, and brand communication efforts. Before joining CIVANA, Dana oversaw all marketing initiatives for Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia, which included the award-winning Joya Spa and the #1 food and beverage program within the Omni portfolio. During her time there, she was nominated for Omni’s Marketing Leader of the Year for three consecutive years (2016-2018) and was awarded the General Manager’s MVP for Leadership Excellence in 2017. Prior to her time at Omni, she served as Assistant Director of Marketing for Miraval Resort & Spa, where she developed and executed the marketing efforts for the flagship property in Arizona. Born and raised in Tucson, Dana brings not only deep industry expertise, but also a personal passion for wellness.

New executive chef for The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain

Award-winning culinarian Emily Dillport has been named Executive Chef for The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain southern Arizona’s only Forbes Five Star/AAA Five Diamond hotel. For Chef Dillport, the appointment is the culmination of a career in which she has provided widely recognized leadership and culinary excellence for The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company and beyond. 

A native of Florida, Dillport has been with The Ritz-Carlton for 12 years and joined The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain as executive sous chef in 2016. Since 2016 she has led operations for the resort’s five dining outlets, banquet teams and culinary departments, and she was named its 2018 Five Star Leader of the Year. Prior to coming to southern Arizona, she held senior culinary positions at Ritz-Carlton hotels and resorts in Orlando, Palm Beach, Aruba, St. Thomas and New Orleans – where she was a key presence at the hotel’s famed M Bistro.

“I am delighted to welcome Emily to her new position as executive chef for The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain,” said Liam Doyle, Area General Manager of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company Arizona & Southern California. “Her proven culinary expertise, along with her talent, creativity and leadership skills, are true assets for the resort – and her promotion is richly deserved. Emily’s talents as a coach and mentor also bring great value to our team — as does her passion for this region’s unique local ingredients and cuisines.”