Az Business magazine partnered with the Arizona Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel and the State Bar of Arizona Thursday night to present the 2019 Arizona Corporate Counsel Awards in front of a huge crowd at the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort.
“There’s a very innovative trend among general counsel around the world and it’s not about technology or transformation,” said Cheryl Green, publisher of AZ Big Media, which produces Az Business magazine. “It’s about delivering significant value to the companies they represent. And tonight, we will be honoring 27 attorneys and legal teams who truly add significant value to their Arizona companies and to the communities those companies serve.”
Winners of the 2019 Arizona Corporate Counsel Awards:
Up-and-Comer of the Year: Ijana Harris, assistant general counsel, Maricopa Integrated Health System
Harris provides legal advice on matters relating to the operation of a public healthcare system, including advising on state and federal regulations, employment law, medical malpractice defense, contracts and public procurement. Harris was given the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law’s Class of 2013 Dean’s Award for exemplary contributions to the law school.
Up-and-Comer of the Year: Matthew Meaker, assistant general counsel, Sundt Construction
Meaker provides primary legal support for Sundt’s Transportation Group, Industrial Group and its human resources team. He is past chair of the State Bar of Arizona Construction Law Section and has co-authored a number of publications related to construction, including the “Green Building Construction: A Practical Guide to Transactional and Litigation Issues.”
Pro-Bono Award: APS/Pinnacle West Capital Corporation’s legal department
The APS legal team provides free estate planning services to Valley veterans through its Wills for Arizona Veteran Heroes Clinic. Legal documents ranging from basic wills, personal financial or durable power of attorney and advanced medical directive documents are prepared for veterans who served in the Army, Marines, Navy and Air Force.
Government, Municipal or Public Sector: Michael Minnaugh, general counsel, Valley Metro
Minnaugh is responsible for all aspects of the agency’s legal affairs. He provides counsel on all significant business issues involving the planning, developing, operation, safety and maintenance of bus, vanpool, and light rail systems, paratransit, Dial-a Ride, and rural and neighborhood circulators throughout Maricopa County.
Nonprofit Sector: David Mulvihill, vice president and general counsel, Make-A-Wish Foundation of America
Responsible for overseeing all of the foundation’s legal affairs, Mulvihill spends a substantial portion of his time protecting the Make-A-Wish name and trademarks from infringement by unscrupulous sound-alike organizations and others. Mulvihill has worked closely with various federal and state charity regulators over the years.
Private Company: William Sawkiw, assistant general counsel, Bar S Foods
Sawkiw has worked in various positions in his career — public service, in big and small firms, in solo practice and now in house.
Medium Private Company: William Black, vice president and general counsel, MD Helicopters
Black helps lead MD Helicopters, Inc., an Arizona defense contractor supplying military helicopters to the US Government and allied armed forces. He has spent over 28-years as in-house counsel for multinational companies, including BAE Systems, Lantronix, Thales, the L. L. Knickerbocker Co. and AMCOR.
Large Private Company: Jeff Hansen, senior vice president and associate general counsel, Troon
Troon has grown during Hansen’s tenure and he has been an important part of the growth. His ability to turn management agreements quickly is unsurpassed and also his creativity in landing on solutions to complete an agreement are unmatched. He works tirelessly to improve the processes and legal systems for the company.
Public Company: Sonny Cave, executive vice president, chief compliance and ethics officer, chief risk officer, general counsel and board secretary, ON Semiconductor
Cave is the founder of ON Semiconductor’s law department, where he serves as executive vice president, general counsel, chief compliance and ethics officer, chief risk officer and secretary to the board of directors. Prior to ON Semiconductor, he worked for Motorola. More recently, he received the 2018 University of Colorado Law Alumni Award for Distinguished Achievement as Corporate Counsel.
Legal Department of the Year: Microchip Technology’s legal department
With the leadership of Vice President and General Counsel Kim van Herk and Director and Assistant General Counsel Mari Valenzuela, the Microchip legal team supports all aspects of Microchip’s business. As a $3.9 billion publicly-traded international company headquartered in Chandler, Microchip is an active consolidator in the semiconductor industry, recently logging its 112th consecutive quarter of profitability. Microchip has grown substantially in size, geographic footprint, and complexity, both organically and through acquisitions. The legal team puts a tremendous focus on learning new businesses and developing collaborative relationships with business leaders. The team consistently receives positive feedback from internal clients about their understanding of issues and practical business approach.