Ogletree Deakins appoints new leadership in Arizona

Ogletree Deakins, one of the largest labor and employment law firms representing management, announced that Chris Meister has been elected to serve as office managing shareholder of the firm’s office in Phoenix, Arizona. As a part of his role, Meister will serve on the firm’s Management Committee and drive the firm’s presence in Arizona.

Meister succeeds Leah Freed as office managing shareholder. Freed, who is the current Best Lawyers® 2021 Phoenix Litigation – Labor and Employment “Lawyer of the Year”, departs her post after nine years to focus on her litigation practice, where she also regularly advises employers on day-to-day employment issues, risk mitigation, and compliance with state and federal employment laws.

“Leah has done a phenomenal job leading our Phoenix office and has formed a lasting legacy,” said Meister. “I am excited to assume this role and to continue to lead our growth throughout the Southwest in accordance with our Client Pledge.”

“I am grateful for the nine years I spent leading the exceptional team in Phoenix and for the growth and successes we have collectively achieved during this time,” said Freed. “Our office and clients will remain in very good hands with Chris as office managing shareholder, and I look forward to the continued success of our office under his leadership.”

Meister joined Ogletree Deakins in 2006 and regularly partners with clients to help manage employee and union relations. He also has extensive experience litigating trade secret, employment, and labor matters in arbitrations, in state and federal courts, and before state and federal administrative agencies including the National Labor Relations Board, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and Department of Labor.

STORE Capital appoints Mary Fedewa president

STORE Capital Corporation (NYSE: STOR), an internally managed net-lease real estate investment trust (REIT) that invests in Single Tenant Operational Real Estate, today announced that Mary Fedewa has been appointed to President, in addition to her role of Chief Operating Officer and Board member. The Company also announced the promotions of Tyler Maertz to EVP of Acquisitions and Craig Barnett to EVP of Underwriting and Portfolio Management.

“I am thrilled to announce Mary’s well-deserved and well-earned promotion. As one of STORE’s founders in 2011 and a member of our Board of Directors since 2016, Mary and I have worked side by side for many years, and her promotion to President reflects her abundant talent, many contributions and impactful leadership at STORE,” said Christopher Volk, Chief Executive Officer of STORE Capital. “Mary initially formed and led our acquisitions team, which is a distinct strategic advantage for our Company. When Mary was promoted to Chief Operating Officer in 2017, she assumed additional responsibility for our servicing, portfolio management, information technology and real estate closing areas. She has extensive knowledge of our industry, a deep passion for our business and mission, and operational expertise that has been instrumental in elevating STORE to the industry leadership position we enjoy. I look forward to continuing to work closely with Mary in her new role as we deliver value for all our stakeholders.”

Volk continued, “I am also happy to announce the promotions of Tyler Maertz to Executive Vice President of Acquisitions and Craig Barnett to Executive Vice President of Underwriting and Portfolio management. Tyler and Craig both came to us from predecessor platforms, have been with STORE since the beginning, and have contributed greatly to building our Company. Each of them has made profound marks on our success. These promotions recognize their leadership and hard work and are also reflective of STORE’s abundant leadership talent. The addition of Tyler and Craig to our senior management team is an important step as we look to fulfill our meaningful growth potential for the benefit of our many stakeholders.”

First Place AZ elects four to Board of Directors

First Place AZ, a local nonprofit working to ensure housing options for people with autism and other special abilities are as bountiful as they are for everyone else, has elected four new members—Kathy Hancock, Tom Ortega, Amy Pawlowski and Michael Trailor—to serve on its board of directors.

First Place AZ’s 81,000-square-foot, $15.4 million property, First Place–Phoenix, is a residential community for individuals with autism and other neurodiversities. Ushering in a new era of housing options for special populations, First Place is combining apartments, the Transition Academy residential life skills program and the Global Leadership Institute to advance more independent and community-integrated living options. In addition to 55 apartments, First Place–Phoenix has a sports pool, culinary teaching kitchen and community center, and offers a suite of supports to residents.

“Our newly elected board members bring storied careers in business, housing, advertising, public policy and developmental disability  services,” says Sara Dial, chair of First Place’s board. “Their vision, creativity, problem-solving skills, leadership and relationships are tremendous assets to First Place AZ. We are thrilled they are committed to First Place and our mission.”

Kathy Hancock most recently served as the chief operating officer at Fennemore Craig, one of the country’s 250 largest law firms. She joined Fennemore Craig in 2001 and retired in February 2020 to form her own consulting company focused on business strategies and problem solving and link up with Vertex Advisors Group, which advises professional services firms across the country. Prior to joining Fennemore Craig, she was a partner and vice president for a leading Arizona public affairs firm, Jamieson and Gutierrez, where she managed a portfolio of clients from Fortune 50 companies to real estate development firms on a wide range of projects. Hancock has long been active in numerous other civic and charitable organizations, including the Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center (SARRC).

Tom Ortega is the chief creative officer and a partner at RIESTER, an independent advertising agency with offices in Phoenix, Los Angeles, Park City, Washington, D.C. and New York City. In his role, he oversees the development of all creative services, including print and broadcast. This included RIESTER’s recent participation in the Arizona Together campaign to raise awareness of the importance of wearing a mask and taking precautions to contain the spread of COVID-19. Over a 35-year career, Ortega’s work has earned a number of creative honors, with inclusion in Communication Arts Advertising and Design Annuals, Graphis International Advertising Annual, Mercury Radio Awards and numerous local, regional and national ADDYs. He is also a contemporary artist. Over the years, his work has shown in Arizona, Texas, Colorado, France, Guadalajara and Bulgaria, as well as in publications such as Art in America, Shade and Phoenix Home & Garden Masters of the Southwest.

Amy Pawlowski is the executive director of UnitedHealthcare Community Plan’s Complex Care Programs, serving more than 70,000 Arizonans across the Developmental Disabilities, Dual Special Needs and Fully Integrated Dual Special Needs programs. She is passionate about empowering individuals to live their healthiest, happiest lives by exploring innovations in care delivery and developing relationships with community stakeholders. Pawlowski began her career as a financial analyst with the Arizona Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD), where she developed an in-depth understanding of DDD’s unique delivery system, Medicaid in Arizona and the delivery systems serving individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Pawlowski then served as DDD’s health care services business administrator, responsible for overseeing all aspects of acute care service delivery for more than 25,000 individuals with I/DD. She joined the UnitedHealthcare Community Plan team in 2013 and oversaw the organization’s corporate compliance program for all Medicaid products in Arizona.

Michael Trailor is the chief strategy officer of Native American Connections (NAC). He oversees NAC’s overall strategic position as a leader in behavioral health, affordable housing and community development. Trailor is a residential construction industry executive with 10 years of state service rehabilitating two distinct and varied state agencies as director of the Arizona Department of Housing and Arizona Department of Economic Security. With more than 20 years of entrepreneurial and executive experience in the development and homebuilding industries, his track record reflects sound business acumen and an uncompromising commitment to quality. Noted for maximizing operational effectiveness while minimizing costs and developing differentiated products in choice locations, Trailor is a principled, decisive leader with quantifiable results maximizing business growth, market share and profitability.