Snell & Wilmer partner selected as State Bar of Arizona’s 2020 Member of the Year

Snell & Wilmer announced that Greg Gautam was selected by the Board of Governors as the State Bar of Arizona’s 2020 Member of the Year Award.

Established in 1991, the Member of the Year Award is presented to that attorney(s) who has rendered extraordinary contributions to the programs and activities of the State Bar in the prior year. Hundreds, even thousands, of the Bar’s members contribute their time and talent to the work of the Bar, but this award is limited to that individual(s) whose contributions are exceptional.

Gautam was also selected to serve on the State Bar’s Task Force for Social Justice, Bias and Inclusion, which is charged with studying and making recommendations to the Board of Governors regarding current and future programs, services and initiatives addressing social justice, bias and inclusion.

Gautam has an unwavering belief in helping people from all walks of life. The practice of law has inspired him to challenge the status quo and to use his position, education, and resources to serve and improve the community in which he lives and works. He strives to recognize and foster the hard work of underrepresented groups (including people of color and individuals who identify as LGBTQ+) in the law and to help spread the message and practice of inclusivity, particularly in the large law firm setting.

Gautam earned his B.S. in political science from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and his J.D. from the Washington University School of Law. He began his career at Snell & Wilmer in 2008 and was promoted to partner in 2017. Gautam has served as co-chair of Snell & Wilmer’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee since November 2016 and is the current President of the South Asian Bar Association of Arizona and serves on the Regional Board of Directors for Teach for America – Phoenix.  Gautam was Recognized by the Phoenix Business Journal as a member of its 40 Under 40 class in 2019 and has been named as a Southwest Super Lawyer®, Rising Star each year since 2014.

The Ritz-Carlton, Paradise Valley appoints general manager

The Ritz-Carlton, Paradise Valley announced that Mr. Steven Szenasi has been appointed general manager ahead of the resort’s late 2021 opening.

As the first Ritz-Carlton to be built in North America in over a decade and the centerpiece of the $2 billion, 122-acre luxury master-planned development of The Palmeraie, The Ritz-Carlton, Paradise Valley is positioned to become a flagship property for The Ritz-Carlton brand. Szenasi brings with him exceptional expertise in luxury hotel operations as well as celebrated success across The Ritz-Carlton portfolio.

“Steven is an exemplary leader whose decades of experience in luxury hospitality, in addition to his deep history with The Ritz-Carlton brand, make him the perfect fit to bring this outstanding new Ritz-Carlton property to life,” said Alex Ahluwalia, Area Vice President for the Western Region, Marriott International. “As General Manager of The Ritz-Carlton, Paradise Valley, Steven will lead a team committed to delivering the personalized service and genuine care for which The Ritz-Carlton brand is known, while also creating lasting memories for guests,”

“We searched the world to find someone who truly understands the highest level of luxury and superior hospitality for which this resort will soon become known around the globe,” said Jerry Ayoub, president of Five Star Development, the resort’s developer. “Steven’s international pedigree and stellar performance leading award-winning properties for more than two decades made him a natural fit for this remarkable resort.”

In his most recent role as general manager of The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain, the hotel was awarded the prestigious Forbes Five-Star and AAA Five Diamond Awards, while accomplishing the rare distinction of earning a second Forbes Five-Star award for The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Dove Mountain. Szenasi’s leadership contributed to the resort’s superior performance.

HonorHealth chief transformation officer wins healthcare IT award

HonorHealth, a leading Valley healthcare system serving 1.6 million people in the greater Phoenix area, announced today that Jim Whitfill, MD, senior vice president and chief transformation officer, received the 2020 Health IT Leadership award.

This annual award presented by Health Current, the health information exchange (HIE) of Arizona, recognizes one individual each year who helps improve quality and patient experience at lower costs through leadership and information in health information technology in Arizona. The announcement was made Tuesday, Oct. 12 at the 2020 Health Current Virtual Summit and Trade Show.

“Dr. Whitfill has paved the way in information technology for patients that has truly made an incredible impact,” said Melissa A. Kotrys, MPH, chief executive officer of Health Current.

“Especially during an unprecedented time in history with the global pandemic, we commend him and his team for being able to shift priorities to produce optimal results.”

As COVID-19 cases began appearing in Arizona in early 2020, the HonorHealth marketing and technology teams quickly pivoted in order to effectively communicate with patients and community members. Under Dr. Whitfill’s leadership, the entire team came together quickly to accomplish:

• The launch of an automated chat bot for their nursing line to answer COVID-19 FAQs.

• A symptom checker program on to help guide patient about their health symptoms in relation to COVID-19.

• An online chat feature to maximize nursing resources to connect with patients vs. telephone calls.

• Easy front door access to COVID-19 resources on the homepage of

“This has been a challenging year for all of us in healthcare,” said Dr. Whitfill. “As a technology leader and a physician, we have seen so many uncertainties, and this type of recognition is humbling and provides validation to not only myself, but to the teams who I have the pleasure of working with every day.”

Sundt Construction makes 3 key personnel moves

SUNDT PROMOTES LABUFF TO IT MANAGER: Sundt Construction has promoted Jennyfer LaBuff to Application Development Manager within the company’s Information Technology (IT) department. In her new role, LaBuff will manage the application development team, which is responsible for Sundt’s custom applications and databases.

“Jennyfer has established herself as a highly technical and personable leader,” said George Hubert, Sundt’s Director of Information Technology. “I look forward to seeing her continue to provide incredible leadership to the application development team.”

LaBuff has held various roles in Sundt’s IT department throughout her eight years with the company, during which time she has earned a reputation for providing excellent customer service, flexibility and responsiveness. In her new position she will oversee a team responsible for helping meet the ever-growing demands for customized, integrated applications and databases. An Arizona native, LaBuff earned her bachelor’s degree in software engineering from the University of Advancing Technology in Tempe.

SUNDT’S CHAD BUCK TO LEAD ARIZONA BUILDING EFFORTS: Chad Buck has been selected to lead the Southwest District for Sundt Construction’s Building Group. As Senior Vice President and Southwest District Manager, Buck will provide direction to the district’s leadership team and is responsible for the district’s overall performance, including acquiring and executing work.

The Southwest District constructs buildings for public and private clients in a wide range of sectors including healthcare, education, data centers, commercial office, hospitality and more. It operates primarily in Sundt’s home state of Arizona as well as New Mexico and other adjacent markets. The Southwest District is responsible for award-winning projects such as the new Banner – University Medical Center tower in Tucson and Union Tempe, a mixed-use project located near the Arizona State University campus as well as many other local landmarks.

“Chad will bring a depth of strength and expertise to his new role,” said Teri Jones, Sundt Building Group President. “We are thrilled to welcome him to the Building Group. This expanded responsibility is an important step forward in Chad’s career and a recognition of his future leadership potential.”

Buck brings over 20 years of industry experience to his new role, including 11 years at Sundt. Before joining the Building Group, Buck most recently served as Senior Vice President for the company’s Industrial Group.

SUNDT PROMOTES ROWLEY TO SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT OF TRANSPORTATION: Sundt Construction, Inc. has promoted Cade Rowley to Senior Vice President and Southwest and Intermountain Regional Manager for the Transportation Group. In his new role, Rowley will oversee the company’s heavy civil construction work throughout Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Southern California.

“I’m pleased to announce Cade’s well-deserved promotion,” said Sundt’s CEO and Chairman of the Board G. Michael Hoover. “His experience and expertise will enable Sundt to continue to grow and prosper while delivering excellent results to our clients and employee-owners.”

Rowley joined Sundt over 20 years ago as a field engineer. Since then, he has served in multiple roles within the Transportation Group including project manager, area manager, business development manager, preconstruction manager and Southwest regional manager. He holds a degree in civil engineering from Arizona State University and is a registered Professional Engineer.