First Place AZ welcomes executive director

First Place® AZ recently hired Nancy Ottmann, who brings 25 years of leadership experience in health and wellness and resort operations, to serve as the executive director of First Place–Phoenix, a groundbreaking residential property for adults with autism and other neuro-diversities. 

Ottmann previously served as general manager of the Valley of the Sun Jewish Community Center in Scottsdale, where she successfully impacted the center’s membership growth and community program operations. She also served as executive director of Red Mountain Resort and Spa for 10 years in Ivins, Utah. 

“With a proven track record at shepherding large, complex organizations, Nancy is the right person to lead our mixed-use property and multidisciplinary team,” says Denise D. Resnik, First Place founder, president and CEO. “Equally important, Nancy has a big heart for special populations and is committed to helping us advance First Place–Phoenix as a pioneering, supportive housing community and national model.”

NexMetro Communities hires CIO

NexMetro Communities, pioneering developer and operator of the Avilla brand of luxury leased-home neighborhoods, announced today that Richard Van Wert has been named the company’s Chief Investment Officer. Van Wert will oversee all current and future investment opportunities for the rapidly growing single family home rental developer. He will work closely with equity, joint venture and debt partners while leading the company’s investment process from land acquisition through asset management and disposition. 

“Richard brings extensive industry experience to the role that will guide NexMetro’s exponential growth and build strong, collaborative relationships,” said NexMetro CEO Josh Hartmann. “Richard is a thought leader with deep industry knowledge who will be an integral part of NexMetro’s executive team and future growth of the company.” 

NexMetro’s portfolio currently consists of 20 properties completed, under construction and in development, with an additional 10 properties in pre-development stage. The more than $800M existing and pre-development portfolio spans Sunbelt locations from Arizona to Florida. In addition to developing and operating Avilla communities in partnership with equity partners, the company works with landowners interested in partnering with NexMetro to develop its sites.

APLA announces board members

The Arizona Private Lender Association (APLA) recently announced its 2019/20 Board of Directors and outlined its association/new member events through the summer.

Board officers for 2019/20 are President, Rob Leonard, Colonial Capital; Vice President, Jack Hilton, Hilton Financial Corporation; Treasurer, Aaron Zeese, PAJ Enterprises; Secretary, Phil Sollomi, Scottsdale Private Lending; and Statutory Agent, Jeff Craven, Craven Law Firm. Other board members are Bill Anastopoulos, Gold Coast Mortgage Group; Geoff Ball, Applewood Funding; Adam Nach, Lane & Nach, P.C.; and Christine Zeihen, OPM Capital.

Franc Del Fosse joins Ballard Spahr in Phoenix

Franc Del Fosse—whose corporate and transactional practice centers on securities, mergers and acquisitions, and finance—has joined Ballard Spahr as of counsel in the firm’s Phoenix office, firm Chair Mark Stewart announced today.

Mr. Del Fosse has advised companies on transactional and business matters for nearly 20 years and has significant experience representing public and private companies in complex securities transactions, financings, and M&A deals. He also has a wide-ranging project finance practice, advising developers, lenders, investors, and other parties in project development, including energy projects.

Prior to joining Ballard Spahr, Mr. Del Fosse served in-house as the general counsel of a publicly traded, Phoenix-based specialty pharmaceutical company.

Jennings Strouss’ Rogers will present at Opportunity Zone Expo

Jennings, Strouss & Salmon, P.L.C., a leading Phoenix-based law firm, announced that Christopher J. Rogers will present as a panelist at the Opportunity Zone Expo being held at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada, May 9-10, 2019. The Expo is the largest Opportunity Zone event in the country. Rogers, a corporate, securities, and real estate attorney at Jennings Strouss with substantial experience advising on opportunity zones and opportunity funds, will discuss “The Qualified Crowd: Knowing which businesses are OZ eligible while pinpointing trends.”

In 2018, the U.S. Congress created a provision under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in 2017 that offered tax incentives to encourage investment low-income or underserved communities. The governors of each state proposed designated Opportunity Zones. Many investors will take advantage of this program before the end of 2019.

“I am excited to speak at the Opportunity Zone Expo and offer important insights about the extraordinary potential, and subtle risks, of this groundbreaking investment incentive,” said Rogers, “This timely event is going to be a great chance to share some real experience advising opportunity funds over the last year – and to present alongside some amazing speakers!”

Banner Health names renowned surgeon to lead heart program

Banner Health has named Gordon Cohen, M.D., director of Banner Children’s Congenital Heart Program at Cardon Children’s Medical Center. The congenital heart program provides congenital cardiac evaluation and medical and surgical care for patients, from newborns to adults.

Dr. Cohen comes to Banner with an extraordinary array of accomplishments in the care of children with congenital heart disease. He received his pediatric cardiac surgery training at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London and is the first American cardiac surgeon to receive an appointment as a consultant surgeon on their faculty. He then moved to Seattle Children’s Hospital, where he created, grew and led the congenital heart program into one of the premier children’s heart centers in the U.S., including achieving Top-12 status in U.S. News & World Report. While there, he was appointed as Professor of Surgery at the University of Washington and as the Sam and Althea Stroum Endowed Chair in Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery. He also developed and expanded a major heart transplant and ventricular assist device program at Seattle Children’s.

In 2012, Dr. Cohen was recruited to the University of California, San Francisco Benioff Children’s Hospital as the Julien Hoffman Professor and Endowed Chair of Cardiac Surgery, the Vice Chair of the UCSF Department of Surgery and Surgical Chief of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery. There, he reorganized and rebuilt the pediatric cardiac surgery program with impressive volume growth and outstanding surgical outcomes, including mortality rates far below the national average in the Society for Thoracic Surgeons congenital heart surgery database.