Steptoe partner earns Black Bar Individual Diversity Award

Steptoe partner Tim Overton has been selected by the Arizona Black Bar as the 2018 Individual Diversity Award recipient for his contributions to the legal profession and the community at large. Overton accepted his award during a ceremony in Phoenix on October 12.

At Steptoe, Overton litigates commercial claims of all types, including those involving insurance defense, construction, products liability, and American Indian affairs. He defends major product manufacturers from significant tort claims, represents employers facing employment and compensation-related claims, and helps creditors to obtain and collect on judgments. Overton has won both jury and bench trials in state and federal courts. His most substantial trial work has involved complex commercial disputes, such as breach of contract and related actions where ownership of entities, properties, and other assets were at stake. He also has significant experience handling school desegregation cases. In 2016, the Phoenix Business Journal named Overton to its “40 Under 40” list. He has also been recognized on the Southwest Super Lawyers “Rising Stars” list. 

Michael Groeger joins Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona (BCBSAZ) has named Michael Groeger as its vice president of commercial group and specialty sales. In this role, Groeger will lead the BCBSAZ sales team with a focus on growth and the company’s steadfast commitment to improving the lives and health of all Arizonans. 

“Michael was a key contributor to our management team previously, and we’re excited to have him back,” said Mike Tilton, general manager, commercial business segment, BCBSAZ. “As vice president of sales, Michael’s role will be critical to the success and long-term growth of our organization.”

Groeger joins BCBSAZ from Banner-Aetna, where he led the national employer solutions team. He also previously served as chief revenue officer and equity partner for Genius Avenue, where he helped the early-stage insurtech company grow its revenue more than 50 percent in 12 months. Prior to his time at Genius Avenue, Groeger spent nearly 10 years at United Healthcare, where he held various local and national leadership roles.

Hines hires a managing director

Hines, the international real estate firm, announced the hiring of Robert Trujillo as a managing director and Jim Bulsiewicz as a development associate.

Trujillo will expand Hines’ multifamily development business in Arizona and Colorado. He brings more than 21 years of experience in real estate development in major markets on the East Coast. Previously, Trujillo was the vice president of development for Lennar Multifamily Communities where he was responsible for developing five properties in Washington D.C. and Phoenix. He earned his Master of Architecture at the University of New Mexico and his Bachelor of Architecture at the University of Kentucky.

“Robert will be integral to enhancing our multifamily strategy as we proactively expand our business opportunities in this sector,” said Chris Anderson, managing director and Arizona leader for Hines. “He has deep real estate industry expertise, experience and relationships.”

Bulsiewicz will assist in evaluating new development and acquisition opportunities within the office, retail, multifamily and self-storage sectors for the Arizona and New Mexico markets. He recently earned his Master of Business Administration from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. While studying for his graduate degree, he interned at WP Global Partners in Chicago.

FSL board member receives award

FSL Board member, Brenda L. Holt who is a senior program specialist at AARP Arizona, has been selected to receive the Black Board of Directors Project – Dr. Charles R. Campbell Outstanding Alumnae Award. This award is bestowed upon a member whose contributions to the community/society have been exemplary. Her civic activities include serving on the Board of Directors for FSL, the Arizona Commission on African American Affairs, and the Governor’s Council on Aging (GACA), AZ Myeloma Network – Cancer Caregivers Committee.  She was recently invited to serve on the Attorney General’s African American Advisory Council.

“The staff at FSL is proud of Brenda Holt and we congratulate her for receiving the Dr. Charles R. Campbell Outstanding Alumnae Award from the Black Board of Directors Project,” said Tom Egan, CEO and president of FSL. “Brenda joined our board in 2016 and was instrumental in launching the FSL R&R retreat which was an event geared towards Family Caregivers; this event provided resources and relaxation to hundreds of family caregivers. She has also been an active member of our fundraising committee and brings her wealth of knowledge about the needs of older Americans.”

Kristen Wendler joins Farhang & Medcoff

Farhang & Medcoff announced Kristen Wendler has joined the firm as Senior Counsel. Wendler brings significant experience and skill in real estate and construction law to F&M’s team of attorneys.

Wendler has extensive experience in commercial real estate transactions, and represents developers, contractors and subcontractors in all areas of construction and corporate law, both in the private and public sectors.

Wendler is a current Board and Executive Council Member of the Children’s Museum Tucson, an Executive Council Member of the State Bar of Arizona Real Property Section, a member of the Arizona Builder’s Alliance and the Arizona Transportation Builder’s Alliance, and a Rotarian. When she’s not working, she enjoys playing soccer and spending time with her husband and children.

Meridian hires Sheila Schmidt as VP of development

Meridian, a full-service real estate developer and owner of medical real estate, announced today that industry veteran Sheila Schmidt has been hired as Vice President of Development. She will be based in Meridian’s new Phoenix office located at 2375 N. Camelback Road, Suite 600 and will lead the company’s development efforts in the southwestern region of the United States.   

“We are very excited to welcome Sheila to our team,” said Mike Conn, Senior Vice President of Meridian. “Her wealth of experience in the real estate and commercial construction industry will be a great asset to our organization. Sheila also has a strong background in healthcare services and we look forward to continuing to expand our healthcare reach outside of California.” 

In her position, Schmidt will be responsible for all aspects of acquisition, management and development of healthcare properties. “Sheila has a passion for helping others and assisting providers to realize their real estate goals,” said Conn. “Her ability to provide guidance in all aspects of development from site selection and land acquisition, municipal approvals, constraints analysis and due diligence, design and construction coordination, to lease and sale negotiations is the exact kind of talent we need to successfully expand in the Southwest.”