McCarthy promotes Chris Nickle to EVP

McCarthy Building Companies Inc. ( recently promoted Chris Nickle to executive vice president of the Southwest Region as well as named him as a member of McCarthy’s Executive Committee.

Prior to this promotion, Nickle served as senior vice president of operations at McCarthy Southwest, where he led safety, quality and manpower concerns for numerous projects across the region. He also oversaw all field operations and worked closely with the business development team to acquire new projects, including the Sky Harbor International Airport Terminal 4 concourse expansion, a major hospital expansion and new laboratory at Arizona State University.

Chris has embraced our One Company approach and his all-in attitude has been instrumental in delivering exceptional experiences to our clients,” said Justin Kelton, president of McCarthy’s Southwest Region. “His commitment to delivering projects that meet our stringent safety, quality and budget management expectations has been evident in all of his projects.”

Over the course of his 20-year career with McCarthy, he has led the construction of more than $1 billion in construction projects throughout Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico.

Jeffrey Pitcher and Lorna Banister join Stinson Leonard Street

Stinson Leonard Street LLP announced that Jeffrey Pitcher and Lorna Banister have joined the firm in our Phoenix office.

Pitcher joins as a partner and counsels clients on distressed real estate properties, real estate development, financing and leasing. His clients include property owners, tenants, developers, institutional lenders and special servicers. Pitcher also advises clients on the financing and sale of commercial properties as well as the drafting of commercial and retail leases, guarantees and related occupancy agreements.

In addition to his practice, Pitcher is a frequent lecturer on various real estate, lending and workout-related topics. He is also a board member of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council and past chair of the Economic Development Advisory Board for the City of Mesa.

Banister joins the firm in the of counsel role and assists clients in matters related to commercial real estate, finance and creditors’ rights. Her clients include businesses, institutional lenders and special servicers. Banister brings extensive experience in the acquisition and financing of commercial real estate as well as handling all aspects of commercial loan workouts. She is also active with Arizona Commercial Real Estate Women, the Commercial Real Estate Finance Council and its Women’s Network, and president of the board of the American Liver Foundation, Desert Southwest Division. Banister is a frequent speaker on legal and practical issues that impact her clients.

David Martinez III and Kelsey Otten join Vitalyst Health Foundation

David Martinez III has joined Vitalyst Health Foundation as director of capacity building and community engagement. Prior to joining Vitalyst, Martinez was project manager for the Center for the Future of Arizona, and community engagement manager for St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance. In addition to his work at Vitalyst, Martinez serves as a Flinn-Brown Fellow with the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership and a steering committee member for the Center for LGBTQ Philanthropy with the Arizona Community Foundation.

“I have a passion for our state and making it better,” says Martinez. “Vitalyst is an amazing organization that does fantastic work across the state, bringing Arizonans together no matter their political affiliation, culture, or age, to create a state that we can all be proud of. I love the stories that come from Arizona — and being able to empower these voices from communities around the state will be a dream.”

Kelsey Otten has been named program coordinator at Vitalyst Health Foundation, effective February 5, 2019. Otten recently earned her master’s in public health at Western Kentucky University and brings her strong background and passion for wellness and health. In the past, she has served as a case manager for a medical clinic, prevention coordinator for a campus wellness clinic, and a community educator.

“Kelsey is a motivated individual who brings the education, skills and passion needed to juggle several projects at one time,” said Suzanne Pfister, President and Chief Executive Officer at Vitalyst Health Foundation. “She will play a key role in supporting our team’s work to improve community health throughout Arizona.”

Nextiva names Phil Steitz as CTO

Nextivaan industry-leading cloud communications company, announced today that it has named Phil Steitz its first chief technology officer (CTO), responsible for Nextiva’s product development, engineering, architecture, and overall technology strategy. 

As a seasoned executive, Steitz comes to Nextiva with a 30-year career leading global technology teams. His professional experience includes serving as American Express’ first global CTO, leading transformational change in the company’s technology, strategy, and partnerships. He also served as CIO of Barclays US Banking business, and CTO at Pegasus Solutions, Edgenuity Inc., and Deem. Steitz will report directly to Tomas Gorny, Nextiva’s co-founder and CEO. 

In addition to his business experience, Steitz serves as chairman of The Apache Software Foundation, the world’s largest Open Source software foundation, which develops, stewards, and incubates more than 350 projects and initiatives, including Apache HTTP Server, the world’s most popular web server software.  

Mark Russell named Nikola president

Nikola Corporation today announced that Mark Russell has joined its executive management team as president.  Russell, 56, joins Nikola at a time when the company is poised to start production of several groundbreaking zero-emission vehicles.

“We needed the best. We needed a seasoned manufacturing executive to join the Nikola team. Mark’s background and experience match well with the challenge to ramp up production of the extraordinary vehicles we will unveil at Nikola World on April 16 and 17,” said Trevor Milton, founder and CEO of Nikola. 

A seasoned executive, Russell specializes in building successful manufacturing companies. “I’m thrilled to be joining the Nikola team at this critical time and look forward to assisting its growth into production and beyond,” Russell said.

Russell has been building and managing companies in the manufacturing industry for over 20 years, helping them grow profitably while building significant value for investors.  Most recently, Russell served as president and chief operating officer of Worthington Industries (NYSE: WOR) from 2012 to 2018, and prior to that served as president of WOR subsidiary Worthington Steel since 2007.