• Gretchen Jacobs has started her own firm, Arizona Governmental Affairs, initially focusing on areas such as the high-tech industry, procurement, nonprofits, education and insurance.
Jacobs, previously with Greenberg Traurig’s Phoenix office as of counsel, has worked with legislators and the executive branch at the Capitol since 1999. She is admitted to practice law in Arizona and California and earned her juris doctorate from Santa Clara University School of Law in 1995, capping a college career that included studying at both Cambridge and Oxford universities in England and University of Southern California.
Jacobs, who has a daughter with autism, has received numerous accolades during her career and is a founding member and board chair of Arizona's Chapter of ACT (Autism, Care & Treatment).
• David Lujan, Arizona House Democratic leader, has received the Greater Phoenix Child Abuse Prevention Council’s Cherish the Children Award in recognition of his efforts to protect children from abuse and neglect in polygamist communities and in other areas around the state.
This year, Lujan introduced a bill that enforces a stronger punishment of incest and changes the definition to include participants younger than 18. The current definition of incest applies only when both participants are 18 or more years of age.
The District 15 representative accepted the award at the organization’s 13th Annual Child Abuse Prevention Awards Luncheon on April 21 at the Glendale Civic Center.
• Bob Burns, president of the Arizona Senate, has been appointed to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) Board of Directors.
Burns has been the Arizona ALEC state chairman since 2005 and serves on the Telecommunications & Information Technology Task Force. He is an ALEC Legacy member, having attended his first meeting in 1999.
Burns is a District 9 Republican from Peoria first elected to the Senate in 2002.
• Brian Williams, anchor and managing editor of “NBC Nightly News,” will receive the 26th Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism during a luncheon ceremony Nov. 18 at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel.
Williams became the seventh anchor and managing editor of “NBC Nightly News” in 2004, replacing Tom Brokaw, who won the Cronkite Award three years ago.
Williams is the most honored network evening news anchor, the recipient of four Edward R. Murrow awards, five Emmys, the duPont-Columbia University Award and the George Foster Peabody Award. He also holds six honorary doctorates.
His award-winning work has included coverage of Hurricane Katrina, which the New York Times called “a defining moment as a network reporter and anchor.”
• Mitch Basefsky, public information officer with Tucson Water, has joined the Central Arizona Project as communications representative for Pima and Pinal counties.
Basefsky will be responsible for building relationships and increasing public awareness of CAP with Pima and Pinal county customers, community leaders, educators, citizens, and the media.
Basefsky, a 30-year resident of Tucson, has a master’s degree in anthopology/museum studies from the University of Arizona and a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the University of Colorado in Boulder.
• James Rogers has joined Phoenix law firm Osborn Maledon, P.A., as an associate.
Rogers, whose practice focuses on appellate law and litigation, is a graduate of Harvard Law School, where he also edited the “Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy.”
He also received a master of laws degree in international law from the University of Cambridge and served as a missionary in Brazil for two years, becoming fluent in Portuguese and Spanish.
• Deb Jayne has been appointed to the position of director of membership of the Arizona Association for Economic Development.
Jayne, a native of Oregon City, Ore., joined AAED in June 2008, and was previously involved in the membership, events and public relations committees in the organization.
• Bridgette Walker, manager of business operations for the Arizona Association for Economic Development, has been promoted to the position of director of marketing and operations.
Walker, a native of Raleigh, N.C., attended the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where she graduated with honors, earning a bachelor of arts in public relations and business.
• Mortenson Construction, a general contracting firm with offices in Phoenix, recently promoted the following team members:
Eric Grentz, project manager II
Adam Hardy, project manager II
Devin Hunsaker, project manager II
Mike Manos, superintendent
Beth Scarano, director of project development for Mortenson, took office as incoming president of the Executive Board for CoreNet Global-Desert Mountain Chapter, a leading professional association for corporate real estate and workplace executives.
Scarano was also appointed to the board of directors of ASU’s Masters in Real Estate & Development.