Vynalek named president of Quarles & Brady

Quarles & Brady, a national law firm with offices in 10 cities across the United States (including offices in Phoenix and Tucson), today announced an evolution in its national leadership structure designed to build upon its reputation for outstanding client service and partnership.

Kim Johnson’s term as firm chair, a position she has held since 2013, ends October 1. Mike Aldana, managing partner since 2018, will continue in that role and take on the internal responsibilities handled by the firm’s chair in the past. Phoenix partner Brad Vynalek becomes president, a new role designed to allow him to focus on strategic client growth and innovative client collaborations.
For Vynalek, his responsibilities as president will include collaborating with partners and other attorneys across the firm to leverage new opportunities with existing clients while also focusing on key industries and markets to expand the firm’s signature practices. He will continue his practice as a partner in the firm’s Commercial Litigation Group. Based in the firm’s Phoenix office, Vynalek counsels clients in a variety of industries, including banking, manufacturing, health care, higher education and technology.
After concluding her term as chair, Johnson will continue to focus on her estate, trust and wealth preservation practice. A partner in the Naples, Fla., office, Johnson is highly respected by her clients — both individuals and companies — for her knowledge in critical areas of estate planning designed to preserve wealth and efficiently transfer it to future generations, as well as the handling of trust administrations to take advantage of the tax laws and promote family values.

“An unrelenting desire to deliver better results for our clients and our own people has driven our actions for almost 130 years,” said Aldana. “This new structure strongly positions the firm to achieve long-term growth. I look forward to partnering with Brad, and on behalf of everyone at Quarles & Brady, I want to thank Kim for her outstanding leadership over the past seven years.”

Thomas Pytel, Jr. joins CopperPoint

CopperPoint Insurance Companies, a western-based super regional commercial insurance company, announced that Thomas Pytel, Jr. has joined the company as Vice President, Chief Marketing and Corporate Communications Officer.

Thomas’s responsibilities include leading the Marketing and Communications functions for the CopperPoint Family of Insurance Companies across the company’s core 10 state western footprint. He will be instrumental in driving compelling marketing and communications programs to support the CopperPoint value proposition to agency/broker partners and insureds. Pytel’s areas of responsibility include brand strategy, advertising, corporate communications, digital marketing, consumer research and creative services. He will also oversee enterprise and regional community giving to support brand awareness through the company’s community giving partnerships.

“Thomas is an experienced marketing executive who brings an extensive insurance background to CopperPoint at an important time in our growth,” said Marc Schmittlein, President and Chief Executive Officer, CopperPoint Insurance Companies. “As we continue to execute our vision, we are confident that his skills and expertise will build upon CopperPoint’s marketing and brand strategies throughout our core states. We are excited to welcome him to the company.

Molly McShane named 2nd CEO in The McShane Companies’ 35-year history

National real estate development and construction services provider The McShane Companies announced that its Board of Directors has appointed Molly McShane as Chief Executive Officer effective October 1, 2020. Ms. McShane previously held the position of Chief Operating Officer.

“During this time of transformation, there is no better person to lead The McShane Companies than Molly,” said Jim McShane, company Founder and Chairman of the Board. “Molly is a proven leader with a clear business vision and the ability to bring people together. Her vision for growth and diversification is exactly what The McShane Companies needs as we enter our next chapter.”

Since joining the company in 2002, Molly has spearheaded major strategic initiatives across its portfolio of services, most notably its expansion into new geographic markets and a conscious effort to create a diverse workplace. During her tenure as Chief Operating Officer, the organization posted record growth. Before serving as COO, Molly was Chief Investment Officer – and the first woman to rise to the c-suite leadership level in the firm’s history.

Patrick MacQueen named to ‘The Best Lawyers in America’

Patrick MacQueen, a founding partner of Arizona’s top-ranked real estate law firm MacQueen & Gottlieb, PLC (M&G) has been named to the 27th edition of the prestigious The Best Lawyers in America© list. MacQueen was selected in the Real Estate Practice Area.

The designation recognizes the top six percent of private practice attorneys in the United States. The 2021 Edition of America’s Best Lawyers is based on more than eight million evaluations by attorneys around the country and recognizes just over 65,000 attorneys in 147 separate practice areas. Recognition by Best Lawyers is based on peer review; the group’s methodology is designed to capture, as accurately as possible, the consensus opinion of leading lawyers about the professional abilities of their colleagues within the same geographical area and legal practice area.

This is the first time MacQueen has earned designation as one of The Best Lawyers in America©, and it is an honor he found humbling.

“The most important part of this, other than just being selected, is that the selection comes through peer review,” MacQueen said. “The selection lets me know I’ve earned the respect of my colleagues. It solidifies for me that we are doing the right things the right way here at M&G. I’m extremely proud of this honor, but it’s not just an award for me, it reflects the hard work and dedication of everyone here in the firm that provides our clients with great service and great results.”

Larissa Grantham receives divorce accreditation

Larissa Grantham, a senior wealth counselor at Versant Capital Management, Inc. in Phoenix, has earned the Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA®) designation from the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts (IDFA).

The IDFA prepares financial advisors to become experts on the financial aspects of divorce. For many people, divorce is the largest financial transaction of their lives. A CDFA® professional addresses the special financial issues of divorce with data to help achieve equitable settlements. Recipients of the CDFA® designation must have relevant experience as defined by the IDFA in financial planning or family law practice, have successfully completed the IDFA program, and passed the exam.

With her CDFA® credential, Larissa can join a divorce team to provide litigation support for both the lawyer and client.

10 to 1 Public Relations named Agency of the Year

Scottsdale-based strategic communications firm 10 to 1 Public Relations was named Agency of the Year by the Public Relations Society of America Phoenix Chapter (PRSA Phoenix) at the annual Copper Anvils awards event on September 17, 2020. PRSA is the nation’s largest professional organization serving the communications community, and each year, the Phoenix chapter recognizes the best public relations campaigns, tactics, agencies, and teams in the Greater Phoenix area at its annual awards event.

“With so many businesses struggling during this pandemic, it’s very humbling to have continued to grow as a firm in recent months and now to be recognized by our local public relations peers as the Agency of the Year,” said Josh Weiss, President at 10 to 1 Public Relations. “This recognition is 100% attributable to our amazing team and their passion for ensuring our clients thrive and gain media recognition and community awareness to further grow and succeed.”

In the last two years, 10 to 1 Public Relations has experienced exceptional growth, doubling its staff count and client roster. In 2019, the company generated more than 2,500 verified news stories for its twenty different clients across a plethora of industries and specialties. Furthermore, 10 to 1 Public Relations has been recognized by many other business and professional organizations for its outstanding work. For the third year in a row, the firm has been ranked as one of the Top Public Relations Firms in North America by independent, third-party review site Clutch.co. 10 to 1 Public Relations was also named winner of the 2019 Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce Sterling Award for business excellence. Bolstering the firm’s national and global reach, 10 to 1 Public Relations is also the sole Arizona member of the IPREX Global Communication Platform of more than 70 independent public relations agencies across the globe.

In addition to being named Agency of the Year at this year’s Copper Anvils, 10 to 1 Public Relations was also recognized with five different Copper Anvil awards in the categories of crisis communications, reputation management, and community relations.

“What I’m most proud of winning these Copper Anvil awards is the results we were able to deliver our clients through our targeted public relations campaigns and tactics,” added Weiss. “Our team is made up of some of the best story-tellers I know, and I am proud to work with them.”