Yaron Ashkenazi named CEO of Oxygen Hospitality

Oxygen Hospitality Group, a U.S. hotel real estate investment and management company today announced Yaron Ashkenazi, an award-winning international hotelier, has been named chief executive officer (CEO). Oxygen Hospitality, a name which means, “to breathe in and give life to”, will acquire, renovate and manage a portfolio of branded and independent hotel assets in the Sun Belt and other advantageous U.S. destinations. The Company, which will focus on instilling a values-based European ethos for global business and leisure guest appeal, is headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona.  

Ashkenazi, a highly seasoned international hotelier, joins Oxygen Hospitality from GCH Hotel Group in Berlin, Germany, where he most recently served as CEO for the country’s second largest hotel management group.  Notably, Ashkenazi managed and re-positioned an extensive portfolio of 120 hotels with 15,000 rooms in Germany, Belgium and Austria welcoming over three million guests annually, and employing 3,300 people.  Renowned hotel brands under his management included Wyndham, TRYP by Wyndham, Days Inn, Radisson Blu, Best Western, Mercure, Ibis, Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn.  His proven operational and financial excellence resulted in leading the Company to become the largest management company of Wyndham Hotel Group properties in Europe. 

In this most recent CEO role, Ashkenazi positioned his group of hotels as a “AAA’ in the Treugast Investment Ranking. Numerous projects, innovative ideas and implementation of advanced technology are attributed to his leadership. He positioned the GCH Hotel Group in the market as a professional, independent service provider (B2B) of management services and also caused a sensation in 2016, when his company became the first hotel management company in Europe to have a virtual reality website. He is a frequent speaker at conferences on leadership and operations development within the hospitality industry. Ashkenazi, a native born Israeli, began his 29-year hospitality leadership career in Tel Aviv. He holds a degree from Technion – Israel Institute of Technology in Hotel, Motel and Restaurant Management and a Bachelor’s degree from The Hebrew University in Jerusalem. 

“The opportunity to use the knowledge and lessons learned from decades within the hospitality industry and become an owner and co-founder, is a lifelong aspiration that has come to fruition,” said Ashkenazi.  “All guests will get an unforgettable experience across our properties as we will strive to create loyalty among guests, partners and investors.”

Greenberg Traurig adds 2 from Ducey’s Office

Michael T. Liburdi
Daniel Blake Seiden

Global law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP expanded the capabilities of its Phoenix office with the strategic addition of Michael T. Liburdi and Daniel Blake Seiden. Before joining Greenberg Traurig, both worked in the Office of Arizona Governor Doug Ducey; Liburdi as General Counsel and Seiden as Deputy Chief of Staff for External Affairs and Policy Development. Both join Greenberg Traurig’s Government Law & Policy Practice, with Seiden as chair of the Arizona Government Law & Policy Practice and Liburdi also joining the firm’s Litigation Practice as chair of the Phoenix Litigation Group.

“Mike and Danny offer tremendous value to our clients, both in the Southwest and nationwide,” Government Law & Policy Practice Co-Chairs Thomas J. Bond and Harold N. Iselin said in a joint statement. “Their impressive experience in Arizona government strengthens our existing capabilities and allows us to continue delivering high-quality results for our clients.”

Liburdi counsels clients on a variety of government law and policy issues, as well as complex litigation in federal and state court. Before serving as General Counsel to Governor Ducey, Liburdi was a partner and associate at two national law firms and, in 2008, worked as litigation staff attorney for the Federal Election Commission. He advises on political and constitutional litigation, campaign finance compliance, and matters related to antitrust and unfair competition. His litigation experience also includes class action and appeals. Liburdi serves as an adjunct professor of law at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University. He received his J.D., magna cum laude, from Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law and his B.S., summa cum laude, from Arizona State University.

“I am thrilled to join Greenberg Traurig and its highly regarded Government Law & Policy Practice,” said Liburdi. “I look forward to collaborating with the firm’s robust network of attorneys and participating in the growth of the practice and Phoenix office.”

Seiden has extensive experience in politics and government, having served as Governor Ducey’s Deputy Chief of Staff, Special Assistant Maricopa County Attorney for the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, and in other public-sector roles. He focuses his practice on federal, state, and local government relations and governmental matters ranging from political and constitutional litigation to campaign finance compliance and environmental law. He advises clients on labor and employment law and serves as counsel in insurance defense matters and class actions. He received his J.D. cum laude, from Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law and his B.A. cum laude, from Pepperdine University.

Liz Harrell named Crossroads chief medical officer

Crossroads, Inc., the largest residential substance abuse treatment program in the Southwest, has named Liz Harrell to a new position, Chief Medical Officer of Integrated Services. 

Dr. Harrell is a College of Nursing and Health Innovations professor at Arizona State University and program director for the Student Health outreach for Wellness (SHOW) Community Initiative. The SHOW program is a tri-university, interprofessional, student led, and community-based student health program that addresses critical community needs and increases access to prevention, health promotion and transitional care for highly vulnerable populations. 

It is actually Harrell’s involvement with SHOW that led her to Crossroads. Last year, Harrell spearheaded a partnership between Crossroads and Arizona State and Northern Arizona University students and faculty, leading a team to address Arizona’s opioid addiction and abuse epidemic, by providing comprehensive medical care to the many individuals seeking treatment for addiction. 

“In my new role at Crossroads, I am committed to closing gaps that can sometimes stand in the way of providing adequate care to the needs of this population,” said Harrell. “It is through the smooth and uninterrupted delivery of care that we can best help individuals stay focused on their substance abuse treatment.” 

Later this year, Harrell will be opening a new integrated specialty clinic for Crossroads that will provide comprehensive services, including behavioral health and physical health, as well as occupational therapy, social work, and more. The clinic will be built on teaching, says Harrell, with faculty and students from SHOW staffing the teaching clinic. 

“The opportunities are fabulous,” said Harrell. “In many cases, substance abuse patients are embarrassed about the stigma associated with their situation, and are forced to tell and retell their stories to new care providers. It will be wonderful to have one place for people who are newly recovering from substance addiction. All providers will understand where they are in recovery, and actively make choices that support their recovery.”