Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie continues to expand

Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie LLP announced Kami Schvaneveldt Galvani joined the firm as Of Counsel in the firm’s Business Transactions practice group. She joins the robust team of attorneys whom the firm welcomed from Steptoe & Johnson earlier this year.

Galvani’s practice focuses on advising entities on day-to-day operations, including issues relating to corporate governance and customer contracts. She also advises clients with regard to mergers and acquisitions activity, including due diligence, preparation of purchase and sale agreements, and the structuring of transactions. Galvani also handles issues related to corporate governance for non-profit and hospitality clients.

Galvani received her J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Arizona and her B.A. from the University of Utah.

BIG YAM announces new VP of communications

BIG YAM, The Parsons Agency, a full-service marketing agency in Scottsdale, has recently hired Rob Merritt to lead its communications team. As the Vice President of Communications, Merritt will lead the department’s public relations and social team and help guide new business and agency development projects. 

A public relations veteran, Merritt brings more than 30 years of integrated agency experience to BIG YAM. Merritt has an extensive background in crisis communications, media training and media relations, including nationally recognized crisis management work in the chemical and oil and gas industries. Merritt’s experience spans a wide range of expertise including work in packaged goods, retail, telecommunications, professional sports, utilities, restaurants, agriculture, healthcare and financial services. 

“BIG YAM has quickly made a name for itself in the industry and I’m thrilled to join the team,” said Merritt. “I’m looking forward to collaborating with this group of talented and creative individuals to produce excellent work for our current and future clients.”

Merritt is a Midwest native and received his bachelor’s degree in journalism from The University of Kansas. He is nationally accredited by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and is currently an active member of its Counselor’s Academy, an esteemed group of public relations agency owners and senior leaders.

City of Mesa welcomes new deputy director

The City of Mesa Office of Economic Development has hired Lori Collins as deputy director of strategic initiatives. She will focus on development priorities related to Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, southeast Mesa and other economic development projects of strategic importance to the City.

“Lori’s extensive experience will be a tremendous asset for our office and the City of Mesa,” Mesa Economic Development Director Bill Jabjiniak said. “Lori will play an important role in championing key initiatives critical to creating quality jobs in our community.”

During the past nearly five years, Collins has worked for the City of Phoenix as the deputy director of economic development with responsibility for business attraction, focusing specifically on developing and implementing strategies to encourage investment and drive job growth. Collins assisted numerous noteworthy companies to locate in Phoenix including Stitch Fix, Farmers Insurance, Central Admixture Pharmacy Services (CAPS) and Nikola Motor Company.

Collins also worked at the City of Chandler as an economic development specialist and airport administrator for the Chandler Municipal Airport. While there, she led the efforts to expand existing businesses, attract new opportunities, and manage a team of professionals who plan, operate, and safely maintain one of the nation’s busiest general aviation airports.

MacQueen & Gottlieb adds Katie Bagnata

MacQueen & Gottlieb, LLC (M&G), Arizona’s top-ranked real estate law firm, today announced another addition to its’ staff with the hiring of Katie Bagnata as a client intake specialist. She comes to M&G from Coram CVS Healthcare in Phoenix where she served as a medical billing specialist focusing on submitting claims to insurance for reimbursement. Her responsibilities also included resolving insurance problems and patient issues; providing detailed follow-up with patients and payers; training new hires and answering customer billing questions.

Founding partner Benjamin Gottlieb said that Bagnata’s hiring reflects the growth of the firm over nearly three years.

“When we first opened our doors, we had only four people, and everyone did a little bit of everything,” he said. “As we’ve grown to 14 people, we’ve had to start hiring people with specialized skills, and Katie fits that bill. She’s an expert in client intake, making sure we have all the correct information, so we don’t have any communication or billing challenges as we move through our clients’ cases. She is going to be a huge asset for the firm, both by providing outstanding client service and efficiencies, but also in freeing other staff up to focus on their areas of expertise.”

Jaburg Wilk partner appointed to national leadership positions

Micalann Pepe was selected to be one of only twenty-four members of the American Bar Association Tort Insurance Practice Section (“TIPS”) Leadership Academy for 2018-2019. 

At the end of that leadership training program, in addition to beginning her third term as Vice Chair Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee, the ABA selected her to be Vice Chair for the following national American Bar Association TIPS Committees for 2019-2020:

• Property Insurance Law Committee and

• Self-Insurers and Risk Managers General Committee.

Micalann was also selected to serve on the following ABA TIPS Committees:

• Diversity and Inclusion Standing Committee; and

• Revenue Enhancement Standing Committee.

“Micalann’s rapid ascension in the ABA’s leadership is a testament to her hard work and unique blend of insurance expertise and ability to build authentic relationships” Insurance Law Practice Group Leader, Nate Meyer said.