The best in-house counsel in Arizona will be in the spotlight Thursday at the Arizona Corporate Counsel (ACC) Awards.

The event will feature a keynote address from the always-entertaining Grant Woods, one of Arizona’s most acclaimed and successful lawyers.

Effective corporate counsel has never been more important than it is in today’s new and ever-evolving, technology-driven economy. So each year, Az Business magazine, in partnership with Arizona Corporate Counsel and the Arizona State Bar, recognizes the important and vital role that in-house counsel plays in the success of a business with the ACC Awards.

“The diverse personalities and skill sets of the finalists for the ACC Awards show how much the role of the corporate counsel has evolved over the last few years,” says AZ Big Media Editor in Chief Michael Gossie. “While maintaining a firm handle on the traditional functions of the legal department, the roles of these in-house attorneys are expanding to handle complex issues such as regulation and compliance, data privacy and cybersecurity issues. It’s a difficult, yet vital role that has a direct impact on every organization’s bottom line.”

Candidates in several categories will be recognized for their extraordinary legal skills and achievements across a full range of in-house responsibility, exemplary leadership and for contributions to Arizona’s communities. The finalists and winners will be honored during a ceremony and dinner Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019  at the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort. For more information or to buy tickets, go here.

Sponsors for the Arizona Corporate Counsel Awards include Ogletree Deakins, Cresa, Grant Thornton, and Littler.

Here are the finalists, in alphabetical order:

William Black, MD Helicopters

Carvana legal department

Marina Carpenter, Arizona Coyotes

Jose Carrillo, Western Alliance Bancorporation

Sonny Cave, ON Semiconductor

CopperPoint Mutual Insurance Company legal department

Martin Demos, Maricopa Integrated Health System

Mary de Ranitz, Canyon Ranch

Jason Englund, Pinnacle West Capital Corporation

Martin Felli, JDA Software

Peter Gentala, Childhelp

Jeff Hansen, Troon

Ijana Harris, Maricopa Integrated Health System

Ryan Liebengood, ASM America

Lance Lucey, International Cruise & Excursions (ICE)

Brendan Mahoney, BBK Tobacco & Foods

Matthew Meaker, Sundt Construction

Microchip Technology legal department

Michael Minnaugh, Valley Metro

David Mulvihill, Make-A-Wish

Michael O’Neill, Avnet

Pinnacle West Capital Corporation legal department

Justin Powell, Isagenix International

Mike Rafford, Isola Group

William Sawkiw, Bar S Foods

Mona Stone, Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona

Marcel Valenta, ASU Enterprise Partners

All the finalists will be profiled in the January issue of Az Business magazine. For more information about the event, send an email here.