LAVIDGE adds diversity and public service marketing director 

LAVIDGE, a leading advertising, public relations and digital marketing agency, announced today the appointment of Alec Esteban Thomson to Diversity & Public Service Marketing Director.

In the new position, Thomson will empower LAVIDGE clients with strategies for connecting with diverse communities and hard-to-reach populations, increasing client impact within these groups. Thomson will also support the efforts of public sector and nonprofit clients, offering unique insights from his strong record in public service and advocacy. Thomson will also assist with the agency’s multicultural and public service accounts.

Thomson most recently served as Director of Strategic Initiatives & Campaigns for the Office of Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, where he led efforts to engage Arizonans in priority issues. This role included leading the 2020 Census campaign, resulting in the state’s highest response rate in decades and also the Arizona Together initiative, connecting Arizonans with resources, information and ways to support their community throughout the pandemic. Prior to that, he worked as COO of the Arizona-Mexico Commission, leading international policy and economic development initiatives for the Governor’s Office.

What’s more, Thomson’s background includes promoting LGBTQ equality as a Regional Field Organizer for the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBTQ advocacy organization, based in Washington, D.C. Thomson worked across 17 states leading efforts in support of marriage equality, nondiscrimination protections, fighting discriminatory legislation and electing pro-equality candidates.

Thomson is a Flinn-Brown fellow, and an alumnus of Valle del Sol’s Hispanic Leadership institute, the LGBTQ Victory Fund Institute and the AEI Leadership Network. He is actively involved in the community, serving on the Friends of Public Radio Arizona Board of Directors and volunteering with numerous groups.

He earned a bachelor of arts degree in global studies from Arizona State University. Thomson is a fourth generation Arizonan, raised in the border community of Nogales.

Jones, Skelton & Hochuli welcomes Kristin W. Basha

Jones, Skelton & Hochuli, PLC welcomed associate attorney Kristin W. Basha to its Medical Malpractice Group. Kristin focuses her practice in the areas of Medical Liability and Healthcare, Premises Liability, Professional Liability and Wrongful Death and Personal Injury Defense. She represents insurance, medical service providers, retail and hospitality and transportation.

Before joining JSH, Kristin gained significant defense experience at Valley law firms where she handled matters involving commercial litigation, insurance defense, medical malpractice defense, wrongful death and personal injury, product liability, premises liability, professional liability and civil litigation matters such as bankruptcy, surety and probate. Kristin has represented businesses and business owners in an array of commercial litigation and transactional cases, including restructuring business entities and negotiating settlements between former employers. In her insurance defense practice, she has overseen complex liability claims on behalf of excess insurance.

Throughout her 14-year career, Kristin has guided healthcare companies and providers through every aspect of malpractice litigation, from the investigation of claims to settlement negotiations to trials. Her experience includes defending and prosecuting complex medical malpractice claims and wrongful death claims involving healthcare providers, healthcare practitioners, urgent care facilities, pharmacies and prisons. She has also defended professional liability claims involving the Arizona State Board of Nursing and the Arizona Board of Chiropractic Examiners.

During law school, Kristin worked as an extern for the Honorable Redfield T. Baum (then Chief Justice) in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. She is able to put that financial knowledge to work for all of her clients, including those she served through the Volunteer Lawyers Program, which provides free legal assistance to low-income Arizonans. Kristin earned her law degree from Arizona State University, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law and her B.A. in Philosophy, cum laude, at Santa Clara University.

ASU law student Victoria Hawley joins Jones, Skelton & Hochuli

ones, Skelton & Hochuli, PLC welcomed its 2021 Diversity Writing Extern, 2L law student Victoria “Tor” Hawley. In partnership with ASU College of Law, Tor will work at the firm during her second year of law school to gain practical law firm experience. Through this externship program, Valley law firms host qualified diverse students who may have been missed during the traditional recruitment process. Tor will work with many of the firm’s trial groups and attorneys, and be assigned several writing and research projects. She will also attend virtual depositions, hearings and observe other events typical of a litigation law firm. With a minimum of 165 hours required per semester, the Program ensures the law student will have ample opportunities to hone their writing skills, while experiencing law firm life first-hand.

Tor is a 2L law student at Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. She is the Vice President of Internal Relations for the Chicano Latino Law Student Organization and the 2L Representative for the Black Law Student Association.

Before law school, Tor was an elementary school teacher. She graduated from University of Iowa in 2016 with a double major in Spanish and Elementary School Education.

 State Bar of Arizona honors JSH partner Ashley Villaverde Halvorson

Jones, Skelton & Hochuli announced that the State Bar of Arizona has honored partner Ashley Villaverde Halvorson with the 2020 Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Award. Established in 2015, the Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Award is presented by the Board of Governors to an attorney, judge, employer, organization, or bar association that significantly advances diversity and inclusion in the Arizona legal community through creative, strategic, or innovative efforts. In 2018, the State Bar presented this Award to Los Abogados – Arizona’s Hispanic Bar Association – during Ashley’s tenure as president.

As a passionate supporter of diversity in the profession and the Latino community in Arizona, Ashley serves on the firm’s Diversity Committee, Recruiting Committee, and formerly chaired its Diversity Legal Writing Program. Since 2010, Ashley has been an active member of Los Abogados, Arizona’s Hispanic Bar Association. She was elected to serve as President in 2018, and has previously served as Vice President, Secretary, and on several committees focused on mentorship and fundraising for scholarships for Latino law students.

Ashley joined JSH in 2009 immediately after graduating from ASU law school. She represents insurance company in the areas of bad faith litigation, insurance coverage, and general personal injury and wrongful death actions.

Morgan Danhoff promoted Velocity Retail Group

Velocity Retail Group has promoted Morgan Danhoff to from Associate Vice President to Vice President. Since joining the firm in 2015 Morgan has consistently grown her knowledge and advanced in her role within the company.

Morgan provides superior customer service to several of Velocity Retail Group’s national and regional tenant accounts.  She is committed to the success of our clients and provides unparalleled discipline, attention to detail and speed to each transaction she manages.  She has an ability to shorten the sales cycle and meet our client’s goals for new stores.

“Morgan has been an integral part of our organization and has earned this promotion by exhibiting exceptional work ethic and a thoughtful approach to each of our client’s transactions,” said Dave Cheatham, President of Velocity Retail Group.  “Our clients consistently praise her ability to provide service that goes above and beyond in every case.”

Velocity Retail Group handles the real estate requirements for numerous retailers expanding in the Arizona market and they rely on the expertise of the entire organization for critical information regarding new site selection.

The Brokery names Tim Menghini new designated broker

Leading Valley residential real estate brokerage The Brokery has named Chandler resident Tim Menghini as their new Designated Broker. He will be working out of The Brokery’s Arcadia office at 40th Street and Campbell.

“We looked for the very best when identifying the right person to step into this important role,” says The Brokery Co-founder Tucker Blalock. “Tim Menghini is the perfect fit for our company. Not only does he bring incredible experience and leadership skills honed during his years growing a Scottsdale real estate brokerage, but he also sets the example of professionalism and drive that our company culture is based on.”

Menghini grew up in the Arcadia neighborhood, attended Brophy College Preparatory in Phoenix, and earned a degree in Finance at Creighton University. He became a licensed real estate professional in 2002 and set out to build his business upon three important pillars: integrity, unparalleled communication, and effective negotiation. Prior to joining The Brokery he owned and ran Scottdale realty brokerage, Racquet Club Realty, for six years.

“After selling my company last year, I sought out a partnership with a brokerage that embodied my own philosophy,” says Menghini. “I found a true match here at The Brokery, and I’m proud to be their Designated Broker.”

The growing Brokery team recently opened a new office in North Central Phoenix and has plans to add additional community-focused offices in select neighborhoods around the Valley in the coming year, gradually rolling out their model of delivering “relentlessly local” knowledge and service.

“Tim is a true pro, and he is an outstanding addition the Brokery team,” says The Brokery Co-founder Oleg Bortman. “He’s certainly built a long-standing, successful career in residential real estate — and more importantly, he’s earned a reputation as being someone people love to work with – whether in the area of residential sales, leasing, or property management.”