Friday, July 31, 2009

Deborah Charlesworth Joins
West Valley National Bank

Deborah M. “Debbie” Charlesworth has joined West Valley National Bank as Vice President and Business Development Officer. With nearly 30 years of banking experience, Charlesworth brings a deep knowledge and strategic vision to the community bank. “We are tremendously pleased that Debbie is joining our team,” said Candace Hunter Wiest, President and CEO of West Valley National Bank. “Her leadership is a key element to building an even greater presence in the growth of the West Valley.”

Charlesworth is focusing on medical financial services. Her emphasis will be directed towards specialized banking services for the healthcare industry. “It is essential that the changing world of medicine has the best tools for treating patients,” said Charlesworth. “This means creating a partnership with a bank that understands the unique aspects of healthcare, patients and the structure of business.”

With financial services such as practice expansion loans, electronic medical record conversions, office management, accounts receivable financing and commercial real estate loans, West Valley National Bank is actively developing a stronghold in the healthcare market. “Medical institutions, private practices and general healthcare options are growing in the West Valley of metro Phoenix,” added Wiest. “Our bank is making a strong commitment to supporting excellent healthcare for our communities.”

Debbie is also active in the community, serving on the executive committee for Theater Works, a non-profit theater company in Peoria, Arizona and on the board of Leadership West.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Lewis and Roca attorneys named to Arizona
State Bar section boards and committees

Lewis and Roca is pleased to announce that five attorneys in its Phoenix office have been elected to the Executive Councils of State Bar of Arizona sections.

Bert Acken was elected to the Executive Council of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Section; Emily Bayton was elected Vice Chairperson for the Intellectual Property Section; Kimberly Demarchi was elected Chair-Elect of the Appellate Practice Section; Scott DeWald was elected Chair of the Executive Council of the Business Law Section; and David Weinzweig was elected Chairman of the Antitrust Section.

Acken is a partner in the firm’s Environmental, Natural Resources and Utilities Practice Group. His practice includes assisting industrial, manufacturing, construction, energy and mining clients with air and water permitting and facility siting. He counsels clients in federal, state, and local regulatory compliance and defends clients in regulatory enforcement actions.

Emily Bayton
Bayton is a partner in the firm’s Intellectual Property and Technology Practice Group. She focuses her practice primarily in the areas of trademarks, copyrights and sweepstakes/promotions law. Bayton counsels clients on trademark selection, clearance, registration and prosecution in the United States and around the world.

Kimberly Demarchi
Demarchi is a partner in the firm’s Litigation Group, where she represents public, private and non-profit clients in civil appeals and in the litigation of complex matters. She represents clients at all stages of litigation, with a particular emphasis on litigating complex motions, advising clients and trial counsel on how to preserve and position issues for appeal, and briefing and arguing appellate cases.

DeWald is a partner, and a leading attorney, of the firm's Corporate, Tax and Securities Group. He practices in the areas of corporate, securities, mergers and acquisitions, lending and other commercial transactions, with particular emphasis on the legal needs of high-tech, e-commerce and emerging companies and limited liability companies.

Weinzweig is a partner in the Litigation Group. His practice is concentrated in complex commercial litigation. He advises and represents clients at all stages of commercial disputes. Weinzweig has considerable experience in the antitrust field, which he has practiced in the public and private sectors.

Phoenix writer Jessica McCann wins
inaugural Freedom in Fiction prize

Jessica McCann has won the inaugural Freedom in Fiction Prize for her historical novel, All Different Kinds of Free.

The international prize recognizes the best unpublished work of fiction with the greatest potential for imparting the ideas of free markets, liberty and personal responsibility. The honor includes a $10,000 cash award. It is sponsored by The Mackinac Center for Public Policy ( and supported by the Rodney Fund.

McCann’s novel was inspired by a true story. The narrative is about Margaret Morgan, a free black woman who was kidnapped in 1837, along with her free children, and sold into slavery. Although she fought hard to regain her freedom, Margaret endured tremendous loss and hardship. Her ordeal led to one of the most pivotal Supreme Court cases in America’s history, Prigg v. Pennsylvania, 1842. The history books will have you believe the story of Prigg v. Pennsylvania is important because it ended in controversy and fanned the early embers of the Civil War. This book will have you believe the story is important because it began with Margaret.

As a novel-in-progress, the work also was named a semi-finalist in the 2004 Dana Awards and the 2005 William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing competition.

McCann is currently seeking a publisher for her award-winning manuscript and has begun work on a second novel.

A long-time professional freelance writer, McCann’s nonfiction work has been published in local, national and global publications, such as Business Week, Phoenix and ASU Research magazines. Her corporate and nonprofit clients span a variety of industries, including education, gaming, retail, waste management, health care and financial services. (

McCann lives in the Phoenix metropolitan area with her husband and their two children.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Under the Influence:
Overcoming Addiction with Hope

by Barbara Nicholson-Brown

There is nothing unusual or special about my story—it happens every day. Women, men, children, young adults and teens all over the world struggle from the same disease I have: addiction. Not only does this disease destroy families, relationships and careers, it also claims thousands of lives through overdoses, illness, auto fatalities and violence.

Addiction affects 23 million people of all ages in the United States alone. Two-thirds of Americans have friends or family who struggle with addiction. It’s estimated that 5.3 million women in the U.S. drink in a way that threatens their health, safety and general well-being. Alcohol and drugs are incredibly destructive; long term chronic drinking or drug use ravages the body, mind and soul.

In a few more days, I’ll have been clean and sober for 19 years. One of my purposes in this recovered life is to let others know it is possible to live without being chained to a bottle, glass or pill—there is a special freedom that comes from not being under the influence.

Addiction dragged me into the shadows of darkness, hopelessness and isolation. While I was filled with embarrassment and shame for years, asking for help and having to admit to this “problem” seemed unbearable. What would everyone think? Then, one remarkable day after years of hangovers and blackouts, I surrendered. It took time, but I slowly began to understand, feel and believe that I was not alone.

Today, recovery from addiction is more openly talked about. Celebrities and the media have begun making a concerted effort to raise awareness, and little by little, inch by inch, the stigma associated with addiction is slowly lifting—but we have a long way to go. Many people still feel that they must hide their addiction out of fear or shame. I believe that part of my responsibility is to offer the message that hope exists by extending myself to others who have felt the struggle and putting a face to this disease.

Five years ago, in my quest to be part of the larger solution, my husband and I created the Art of Recovery Expo. We envisioned a day when we would have the opportunity to open the doors of the Phoenix Convention Center to the general public. Here, anyone and everyone would have the chance to meet the leading treatment providers, counselors, therapists and professionals in the field of mental health and addiction at no cost.

We would bring in highly recognized speakers and offer workshops, resources, education and—most of all—hope. Today, the Expo has grown to be one of the largest recovery events in September as the nation celebrates National Recovery Month.

As members of our community, we need to speak up about the successes that occur and talk about the realities of this disease. We need to make a difference by removing the stigma addiction still carries. I know for a fact that miracles are abundant for those who make the choice to change. It’s not an easy task, but it is possible. It happened for me in my worst moment of despair; I was offered something as simple as a glimmer of hope. I invite you to join us at the Expo this year and see the smiles that recovery brings. Today, my life is under a new kind of influence: hope.

Barbara Nicholson-Brown is Founder of the Art of Recovery Expo and Publisher of Arizona Together, a monthly publication with a focus on addiction recovery.

* * * * * *
Visit the 5th Annual Art of Recovery Expo
This year’s presenting speaker at the Art of Recovery Expo will be Christopher Kennedy Lawford, the first-born child of President John F. Kennedy’s sister, Patricia, and famous Rat Pack actor, Peter Lawford. Lawford is an actor and bestselling author who struggled with addiction for many years. Sober now for 22 years, he shares his personal story with others in his memoir, Symptoms of Withdrawal, Moments of Clarity and Healing Hepatitis C, in hopes of making a difference.

5th Annual Art of Recovery Expo
Saturday, Sept. 19, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Phoenix Convention Center, Hall G

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

PRIME 3 continues as leader in Phoenix PR
and marketing industry

In an economy that has been torn apart through the biggest economic downturn in years, one woman business owner sees the silver lining and is leading clientele into the spotlight. Now sole owner of PRIME 3, Jennifer Stringfellow, has taken what she’s learned through her 15 plus years of experience in the Phoenix market to lead PRIME 3, and most importantly their clientele, to bigger and brighter futures.

“As leaders in this industry, we’ve been noticing the community and companies across the board regaining their optimism for the future and investing in services such as PR, marketing and events. Many see the added value and are once again taking steps toward regaining their edge in their respective industries,” says Stringfellow. “As a company that focuses on all aspects of PR, marketing and event planning, we’ve been creating new and unique ways to help our clients stay top of mind, be it through social media campaigns on Twitter and Facebook to creating events and unique story angles pertaining to not only their services, but relating to industry trends and economic trends as well.”

Beginning her career servicing clients in marketing and sales, Jennifer Stringfellow’s successes did not go unnoticed, and she was soon offered a position with a television production company where she spent more than five years. Here she created and managed new divisions, increased profit over 300 percent and led the company to continued success as the chief operations officer. The hands-on and management experience in public relations, production, events, marketing and all facets of the company with a diverse group of clients was an invaluable experience that since led her to co-found PRIME 3 in 2005, of which she has now taken sole ownership.

Having worked with a diverse client base of over 90 companies and organizations, stretching across all industries, some of PRIME 3’s current clientele include the Arizona Cardinals Fan Club, The Big Red Army, Cadillac Ranch All-American Bar and Grill, AMA-PRO superbike racer Jonny Rock Page, Luci's Healthy Marketplace, Recess Kids Club, Rejuvena Health and Aesthetics, Sprinkles Cupcakes and Z'Tejas Southwestern Grill.