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2016 EXCELLENCE IN CORPORATE COUNSEL ACC Awards honor Arizona’s most accomplished in-house attorneys. Effective corporate counsel has never been more important than it is in today’s new and ever-evolving economy. Az Business magazine is recognizing the important and vital role that in-house counsel plays in the success of a business with the Arizona Corporate Counsel Awards (ACC Awards). Candidates in several categories will be recognized for extraordinary legal skill and achievement across a full range of in-house responsibility, exemplary leadership and for contributions to Arizona’s communities. The 25 finalists and winners will be honored Thursday January 14, 2016 during a ceremony and dinner at The Camby/Autograph Collection Hotel (formerly the Ritz-Carlton). Over the next several pages, you can meet the finalists, in alphabetical order:

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2016 FINALISTS 56th Fighter Wing JAG (Judge Advocate General) Luke Air Force Base |


he 56th Fighter Wing JAG provides a wide variety of legal service to the more than 5,500 Airmen who serve at Luke Air Force Base in the West Valley. The top legal advisor is Lt. Col. Joel England, a graduate of the Air Force Academy in 1995 and the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law in 2002. He

oversees a legal office of 12 attorneys, 10 paralegals and three civilians. The team provides legal advice to the Wing’s commander, Brig. Gen. Scott Pieus, and his staff, as well as the base population. They also assist military retirees and their dependents who have served in any of the five branches of the armed services.

Karim Adatia Associate general counsel Insight Enterprises |


datia is the company’s principal legal advisor on worldwide supply-chain transactions and intellectual property matters. He leads a legal team that supports client and partner relationships, helps execute Insight’s primary business strategies, implements risk-mitigating processes/ control and the delivery of IT solutions

globally. Before joining Insight, Adatia gained extensive international privatepractice experience as a lawyer with top-tier law firms in the U.S., Canada and Malaysia, with a practice focusing on corporate, mergers and acquisitions, securities and intellectual property law matters. He has been admitted to practice law in the U.S. and Canada.

Mary Alexander Executive vice president and general counsel DMB Associates, Inc. |


lexander is executive vice president and general counsel for Scottsdale-based DMB, where she serves on the company’s executive leadership team. In addition to becoming a Fellow in the American College of Real Estate Lawyers, she currently serves on the board of directors for the Association of Corporate


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Counsel, Arizona chapter, and the Arizona Chamber of Commerce Legal, Regulatory and Financial Services Committee. She is on the board of directors for Valley of the Sun United Way and chairs its Community Impact Committee, and is on the board of trustees for the Sonoran Institute.

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With experience encompassing corporate, finance, real estate, intellectual property, employment, litigation, restructuring and environmental matters, our lawyers have the skills and in-depth industry knowledge to provide the full range of legal counsel needed to implement your business strategy in Phoenix, across the country and around the world.

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44 Offices in 21 Countries

2016 FINALISTS Daniel K. Christensen Global group counsel for IT, privacy and security Intel Corporation |


hristensen serves as global group counsel for IT, privacy and security at Intel, focusing on privacy, security, transactions, IP and mergers and acquisitions. Intel sent Christensen overseas for three years to lead an international legal team, and he recently returned from a South African project. Christensen

helped Intel establish an Arizona pro bono debt clinic and serves on the Access To Justice board. Prior to Intel, Christensen was chief privacy officer and assistant general counsel for a consortium of private equity groups. He has an MBA (Oxford), a J.D. (Utah), double bachelor’s (BYU), and is IAPP CIPM, CIPT and CIPP/US certified.

Veda Collmer In house counsel and compliance officer WebPT |


ollmer is the in house counsel and compliance officer at WebPT, a leading provider in Web-based electronic documentation for the rehabilitation therapist. Her responsibilities include the design and implementation of compliance programs, contract negotiations and advising her client of legal risks and issues. Collmer received her

Mark Davis Senior intellectual property counsel Microchip Technology Inc. |


avis is senior intellectual property counsel at Microchip in Chandler. At Microchip, Davis manages all aspects of the company’s worldwide intellectual property portfolio and oversees Microchip’s multinational IP litigation matters. Prior to working at Microchip, Davis served as senior litigation


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counsel for BlackBerry in Washington, D.C., and patent counsel for Samsung Electronics in South Korea. Davis began his legal career at the Washington, D.C.-based IP firm Sughrue Mion.

B.S. from Utica College of Syracuse University and her J.D. from City University of New York School of Law. In 2012, Collmer was awarded a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Public Health Law Fellowship. She is a member of the New York State Bar Association and the Arizona Association of Health Care Lawyers.


Michael Donovan

Jennifer Eichholz

Intellectual property counsel Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) |

Investment counsel Arizona Public Safety Personnel Retirement System |



onovan, who received his PhD in immunology and parasitology from Notre Dame, plays a large role in ensuring that TGen’s intellectual property strategies will propel the organization as a major player in the field. Donovan is a registered patent attorney who specializes in intellectual property, genomics and biotechnology. His responsibilities at TGen include collaborating with internal scientific faculty to receive, develop and assess invention disclosure documents; interfacing with internal and external business-development personnel to make determinations regarding intellectualproperty strategies; preparing provisional, non-provisional, and PCT patent applications; responding to domestic and international office actions; and managing TGen’s intellectual property docket.


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ue to its declining funding ratios, the PSPRS has been subjected to public criticism, but when a position opened up to serve as PSPRS investment counsel, Eichholz took on the challenge and worked tirelessly to streamline the system’s deal procedures and reduce documentation costs, all of which contributed to PSPRS now achieving top riskadjusted investment returns during her tenure. Eichholz is credited with making PSPRS a better investor. An honors graduate from Columbia Law School, Eichholz was a partner at Quarles & Brady before giving up her lucrative private practice to become the first in-house investment counsel of PSPRS.

With more than 425 members, the Arizona Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel promotes the common professional and business interests of Arizona’s in-house counsel and supports them through education, networking opportunities, advocacy initiatives and information. As part of an organization with more than 34,000 members employed by over 10,000 organizations in more than 85 countries, the Arizona Chapter connects the Chapter’s members to the resources of the ACC worldwide. The Arizona Chapter’s members use their experience every day to help their companies, their clients succeed by contributing their legal skills and business leadership.

To learn more about the Arizona Chapter of the Association of CorporateCounsel please visit

To join ACC please visit

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2016 FINALISTS GoDaddy legal department GoDaddy |


ed by Executive Vice President and General Counsel Nima Kelly, GoDaddy’s legal department is comprised of 12 attorneys, two global policy experts, and nine paralegal/ support staff. In 2015, the legal team orchestrated a highly successful initial public offering, successfully defended a landmark cybersquatting case, developed an industry-leading

online filter to assist brand holders against trademark infringement and played a prominent role in formulating the future of Internet governance. The team also worked fearlessly and joined forces in making GoDaddy an even greater place to work, all while helping the company achieve its goal of shifting the global economy toward small businesses.

Jennifer Holsman Tetreault Division general counsel Rural/Metro Corporation


olsman Tetreault serves as division general counsel for Rural/Metro. She is responsible for all company legal work in the West Division, including Arizona, Washington, Oregon, California, Colorado, Iowa and Nebraska. In this capacity, she handles contract drafting and negotiation, litigation, compliance, risk management and regulatory matters for the company.

She also serves as the company’s corporate legal liaison to multiple divisions and manages all litigation, employment and labor matters for the company on a national basis. While at Rural/Metro, she successfully guided the company through a financial restructuring and a merger with Envision Healthcare Holdings.

HonorHealth legal department HonorHealth |


enior Vice President and General Counsel Alan Kelly has championed the concept of a well run, efficient, thoroughly modern legal department at HonorHealth. Under Kelly’s leadership, the HonorHealth corporate compliance program grew and flourished. Kelly and his team have also been responsible for upgrading the SLHN


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Risk Management Department into an entity that can effectively manage the risk complexities of a $2 billion company. Kelly is personally responsible for creating the HonorHealth Captive, which is well suited to manage HonorHealth’s malpractice claims. Kelly oversees the use of all external counsel and actively promotes initiative in all people who work for him.

CONGRATULATIONS to the arizona corporate counsel of the year award winners The State Bar of Arizona and the In-House Counsel Committee are proud to be the Presenting Partner of the ACC Awards Program.

Maria Spelleri, General Counsel, on being named a finalist for an Arizona Corporate Counsel Award. We honor your accomplishments and are very proud of you. With appreciation from your colleagues at Chicanos Por La Causa, Inc.


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Because differences matter.


Congratulations to all finalists for the 2016 Arizona Corporate Counsel Awards.


2016 FINALISTS Stacey Kelly Corporate counsel Empire Southwest, LLC |


elly has served as Empire’s corporate counsel for eight years. She thrives in managing the diverse legal issues associated with a 65-year-old heavy equipment dealer. In addition to managing day-to-day legal matters for the company, Kelly has overseen the legal aspects of high-dollar equipment transactions, negotiated international sales and

service agreements, drafted largescale solar installation agreements and implemented a variety of risk management initiatives. By simplifying contracts and streamlining processes, Kelly strives to ensure Empire’s legal issues are covered, so her internal clients can focus on meeting the equipment and product support needs of Empire’s clients.

Kenneth Lee Senior director of resource transactions Salt River Project |


ee directs several groups within resource transactions, including fuels, power contracts and energy initiatives, and supply and trading. His role as a director is to oversee and negotiate critical transactions affecting SRP’s resource portfolio. In addition, Lee provides legal services to clients at SRP, including issues with respect to SRP’s acquisition of the

Nona Lee Senior vice president and general counsel Arizona Diamondbacks |


ee recently completed her 16th season with the Arizona Diamondbacks and sixth as senior vice president and general counsel. Lee has served in the role of general counsel since 2005, overseeing all legal issues for the organization. Previously, she served as vice president and associate general counsel for the Phoenix Suns,


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D-backs, Phoenix Mercury, Arizona Rattlers, Chase Field, US Airways Center and the Dodge Theater. A dedicated member of the community, Lee has served on numerous local and national boards and has been named one of the Most Influential Women in Arizona by Az Business magazine.

the City of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s interest in the Navajo Generating Station. During Lee’s career as an attorney at SRP, he has negotiated asset acquisition agreements, long-term renewable power purchase agreements, swap derivative agreements and credit support documents.

Residential > Commercial > Mixed-use > Redevelopment

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Greg Linaman II

Jenny Moody

COO and general counsel Arizona Commerce Authority

Vice president and international counsel Kahala Brands|



n addition to Linaman’s position as COO and general counsel, he is also the ACA’s ethics officer and staffs the ethics and compensation committees of the ACA’s board of directors. He regularly leads ACA special project teams, including teams assembled to attract major employers. In his time at ACA, Linaman helped drive the ACA to exceed its annual job-creation goals by more than 20 percent in fiscal years 2013-2015 and has led teams that work with companies representing a capital investment of more than $1 billion. Linaman has also served on the founding board of directors for Phoenix Collegiate Academy.


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oody started with Kahala more than five years ago as a legal intern during her first summer of law school. From there, she earned a more permanent position with the company’s legal team, where she worked throughout law school. After passing the bar, Moody joined Kahala’s in-house legal team as a full-time attorney. Within one year, she was promoted to her current position, where she handles the legal aspects of the company’s international business in the 26 foreign countries in which it operates, assists with negotiating international expansion deals and manages an IP portfolio of nearly 1,000 trademarks and 100 domains.

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2016 FINALISTS Chris Miner Senior vice president and general counsel Mobile Mini, Inc. |


iner is responsible for all Mobile Mini’s legal strategy, compliance, litigation and regulatory matters. In the past 18 months, Miner has distinguished himself as general counsel by leading and managing more than $500 million in acquisitions of new assets and strategic purchases. Additionally, he has led the legal department to

develop and roll out external affairs and government relations programs across North America and the United Kingdom. Lastly, in his role as corporate secretary under board leadership, he executed a successful amendment of the company’s certificate of incorporation to declassify the board, eliminating the staggered election of board members.

Maria Morales Spelleri General counsel and executive vice president Chicanos Por La Causa Inc. |


pelleri joined Chicanos Por La Causa, Inc. in 2011 and serves as CPLC’s general counsel and executive vice president, overseeing all legal, compliance, internal audit, human resources, risk management and insurance matters. Spelleri has completely re-organized the oversight of the many complex programs run by Chicanos Por La Causa and its

affiliates. The careful management of compliance issues has facilitated more effective community services by the organization. Previously, Spelleri was a partner at Lewis & Roca for more than 13 years, counseling nonprofit organizations, public agencies, small manufacturers and affordable housing developers on their projects.

John Murphy General counsel and secretary Nextiva |


s the first in-house counsel for Nextiva, Murphy built a legal department from the ground up. He created policies and procedures that address litigation management, intellectual property, contracts, contract review, employees, data privacy and regulatory compliance. He created contracts and contract processes for Nextiva’s new channel partner 66

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program. Finally, Murphy manages and responds to the increasing legal needs of Nextiva, which was named the fastest-growing technology company in Arizona by Deloitte in 2014. Prior to Nextiva, Murphy was associate general counsel for JDA Software, a publiclytraded, international supply-chain management software company.

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2016 FINALISTS Jay Pricher Corporate counsel Best Western |


richer provides counsel, leadership and guidance on all issues related to Best Western’s international operations, intellectual property matters and commercial litigation. Pricher has spearheaded the management of an extensive IP portfolio for Best Western, which has more than 4,000 hotels in 100 countries and

owns more than 1,900 trademark filings and 1,800 domain names. Pricher also handles prosecution and defense of Best Western’s portfolio, as well as dealing with the constant threat of litigation by patent trolls. Pricher is active in ACC and Teach for America and has also been a panelist for the ABA.

Bhavi Shah Executive vice president, general counsel and assistant secretary Blood Systems |


hah provides leadership for Scottsdale-based Blood Systems, one of the nation’s oldest and largest independent nonprofit community blood service organizations. She provides legal counsel to executives and governing boards on mergers and acquisitions, governance, strategic planning, operations, human resources, compliance and

risk management. Shah is legal counsel and assistant secretary to Blood Systems’ joint venture, Creative Testing Solutions, which tests a significant portion of the U.S. blood supply. She also provides legal counsel to Blood Systems’ other divisions, affiliates and subsidiaries. She received her JD from the University of Kansas School of Law.

Laura Toncheff Senior legal counsel CVS Health |


oncheff has always made it a point to truly understand her client’s business and has become not only a valuable legal adviser, but a valuable business partner as well. During her 14-year tenure at Clear Channel, she not only held increasing levels of seniority and responsibility within the legal department, but she also became a vice president and


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executive vice president with roles that expanded beyond the legal group and into business leadership and strategy. Toncheff has been involved with Teach for America for 16 years and truly believes that a passionate and skilled teacher can make an indelible positive impact on a young person’s life.

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2016 FINALISTS Rob Tuttle Vice president, chief intellectual property counsel ON Semiconductor |


uttle combines expertise in semiconductor design with IP law. He has pursued and won patent infringement lawsuits, led due diligence in mergers and acquisitions, generated revenue from patent sales, successfully defended lawsuits from non-practicing entities and investigated trade secret and infringement claims. Tuttle has

also become a strategic manager of a global patent portfolio of thousands of patents and a trusted resource for management on issues related to intellectual property. Tuttle has a solid reputation in the industry, attracts high quality players to his team and now has a team of 15 legal professionals.

Helena Varnavas Associate corporate counsel Limelight Networks |


arnavas specializes in complex commercial transactions. She works closely with internal clients on a wide range of business and legal matters, providing strategic advice and negotiating contracts for customers worldwide. Varnavas particularly enjoys sharing relevant legislative and regulatory developments, drafting

template language and strategizing solutions with her legal department colleagues. She is a member of the ASU President’s Club and ACC. Varnavas, a Moeur Award recipient for highest academic standing, graduated with a B.S. from Arizona State University (2007) and a JD from the University of Illinois College of Law (2010).

Douglas Wilson Executive vice president and assistant general counsel Discount Tire |


ilson was the president of his family business until he went back to school and earned a degree in law. After graduating, he was recruited by Fennemore Craig in Phoenix. After a few years at the firm, he took advantage of his experience running a business and accepted


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an offer to work for Discount and America’s Tire in 1991. His role has grown and evolved over the years. His current position is executive vice president and risk business segment leader. His background in business has aided in understanding corporate initiatives through a business and legal perspective.

Congratulations! Karim Adatia, Associate General Counsel, on being named a finalist for an Arizona Corporate Counsel Award. With appreciation from your colleagues at Insight Enterprises, Inc.

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Arizona Corporate Counsel Awards 2016  
Arizona Corporate Counsel Awards 2016