By Stephanie Marie Adames (Published on TheUMPHX,com)
Rushing into the office with a binder full of legal papers, she enters the large dark conference room and seats herself at the head of the table. It is 8:30 a.m. on a Wednesday. This is the earliest Nicole Stanton is available to meet since she drops her kids off at school each day before coming to her office in downtown Phoenix.
Nicole Stanton, well known for being the former First Lady of Phoenix, has spent her career at Quarles & Brady practicing real estate and commercial litigation. Quarles & Brady is one of the largest law firms in the nation, with offices located all across the country. She has also spent five years of her time as managing partner of the Phoenix office.
Originally from Utah, Nicole moved to Tucson in 1995 to attend law school at the University of Arizona. After spending a couple of summers in Phoenix for an internship at Quarles & Brady, she eventually ended up in Phoenix after taking a job as a law clerk for former Vice Chief Justice Charles Jones.
“Although I always thought that I would go back to Utah, things just kept keeping me here,” Nicole adds.
Finding love in Phoenix
Once she realized she was in Phoenix to stay, Nicole decided that it was time to meet someone. A colleague told her that Greg Stanton was “datable material.” Nicole laughs as she explains that was not the glowing recommendation she was looking for, but she decided to take the initiative and ask him out anyways.
Nicole reminisces, “So, I invited him to meet under the rouse that I wanted to get more involved in the community.”
They met for dinner in Phoenix at the famous Park Central Mall, where the date did not go as well as Nicole had hoped.
“He showed up late and was talking on his phone. I thought to myself, this guy is not dating material!”, Nicole smiles as she reflects and shares the memory.
But regardless of the poor first impression, their relationship continued to grow, and they have now been married for 14 years with two children.
On top of building a family together, the Stanton's have gone through six political campaigns. Greg Stanton most recently was elected to Congress and is now serving as the Representative for Congressional District 9, covering parts of Tempe, Scottsdale and Phoenix.
Reflecting on their time together, Nicole explains, “While he was mayor, I was probably over to his office at city hall a dozen times in six or seven years. I have my own professional life and things that I’m involved in.”
Leading lawyer in Phoenix
Focused on her career, Nicole served as managing partner of Quarles & Brady for five years.
Nicole explains how she worked her way into managing partner at Quarles & Brady by doing the work others didn’t. She developed a keen talent for navigating ethical issues that lawyers often face when taking on clients.
Over time, she became the ethics guru in the office. She openly offered help to other lawyers who were challenged by complicated ethics issues on many of their cases.
“I think Quarles & Brady saw how I was able to handle tough issues with confidentiality and care,” she offers
As a litigation attorney, you have to learn everything about the business you are representing, including how they operate, to serve them best. Nicole explains that through the years she has represented a range of businesses from cities to funeral homes, and even the dairy industry.
“What I like about being a lawyer is that no two days are the same in terms of continually having to learn something new,” Nicole notes.
Her work and commitment to the community are recognized by 29 different organizations, including her 2017 recognition by AZ Business Magazine as one of the top 100 lawyers in Arizona.
While Nicole has had much success in her career, she is still very aware of the particular challenges that women face in a male-dominated workforce. She explains that while progress has been made to ensure women are not excluded, there is still work to be done.
“What I think is much more prevalent, and perhaps even more dangerous, is the subliminal and more subversive things that go on which continue to hold women back.”
While navigating her career, Nicole learned there are two ways for women to leverage success.
“You can either adopt the current infrastructure, or you can create your own. Creating your own is a lot more work, but in the long term is more consistent with the way I live my life … it has been much more successful and effective for me.”
Nicole has continued to create a network of support throughout her entire career. She will often go to lunch or coffee with people after she drops her kids off at school. This keeps her from feeling obligated to attend events during hours she would usually spend with her family, such as after-work happy hours.
“Happy hours do annoy me because it is six men and one woman because women are usually responsible for picking up the kids from school. Happy hour is a bonding time for men, and they talk and network opportunities. This is not an institutional problem, but life can be socially non-inclusive for women,” mentions Nicole.
Nicole believes it is really about finding a group who can support you in the way that you actually need to be supported.
When it comes to law firms, Nicole explains how she has seen other women fight for inclusivity.
“Women in legal leadership have told law firms, including Quarles & Brady, that unless they diversify their team to include women and other groups, we will not be giving you new work.”
In her experience, those demands are only made if you have a woman in charge or a man who is willing to make that demand. That is why she believes women need to continue to push their way into positions of power. “That is how we really influence change, by getting into those positions and supporting women,” urges Nicole.
Nicole hopes that the current pressure to ensure women have equal rights continues — not just for herself, but for her daughter and the future career she will have one day.
“There is great momentum right now to make a change, and that is when you have to make your move — when everyone is rowing in the same direction.”
Involvement in the community
In addition to sharing her passion for law and women’s rights, Nicole explains how she is focused on being a mom and continuing her work in the community.
During Nicole’s term as First Lady of Phoenix, she spearheaded an anti-bullying campaign called Stop Bullying AZ. The program has transitioned into a prevention effort in partnership with Adverse Childhood Experience Study (ACES), working to identify ways to prevent the adverse effects of bullied children and the long-term health issues it may cause. The program also works to create a supportive environment for kids who have faced trauma.
Beyond the anti-bullying work Nicole has created, she explains how she is committed to Phoenix. She is currently examining what work in the community she wants to focus on, along with how she and Greg both plan to stay engaged in the community.
Nicole mentions, “I want this to be a place where my kids can get a good job and where they can raise their families.”
By Stephanie Marie Adames (Published on TheUMPHX.com)
A sentiment of nostalgia filled the room as Former Arizona Governor, and past Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano stepped onto the stage to a standing ovation. Napolitano visited Phoenix to discuss her new book How Safe Are We? at an event hosted by Poison Pen and the Maricopa County Democratic Party at The Madison Center for the Arts.
The night of discussion was lead by Mayor Kate Gallego who shared that early in her career she worked for the former governor. Through their conversation, Napolitano shared why she was motivated to write the book, stating, “I have something to say about Homeland Security and what we ought to be doing now for security.”
Throughout her book, Napolitano shares insight into her own life and experience as Secretary of Homeland Security, along with issues she dealt with and policy analysis about what is going on now.
Immigration and the border
The Department of Homeland Security was created in the wake of 9/11 and was the most extensive reorganization of the federal government since World War II. Napolitano said she spent her time working to develop a unifying vision for the department and worked hard to get comprehensive immigration reform, explaining how we “sorely” need immigration reform since immigration policies have not changed since 1986.
Gallego asked her about her stance on “The Wall.” Quick to respond, Napolitano said, “Let me tell you about the wall, I used to say this as governor, show me a 10-foot wall, and I’ll show you an 11-foot ladder.”
She went further to say, “A wall is a symbol, but it is not a strategy. We’re not going to solve our immigration issues by building a structure over 1,940 miles of some public lands, some private properties and some sovereign Indian nations, so rather you can even do it is an open question.”
Instead, Napolitano says we must deal with the source of migration for families fleeing for their lives and invest in the countries that can help stabilize them. Speaking to her career experience, Napolitano said she had spent much time on the border, having grown up in border states, touring it by aircraft and even horseback. She explained that the border is not a war zone to be militarized, but a region to be managed in accord with our values as Americans.
Present time threats
Napolitano believes that there are real risks to our security, but they do not exist at the southwest border. She went on to say that the three most considerable risks that she highlights in her book are climate change, cybersecurity and the rise of mass shootings.
She stated that climate change is a risk to America because of an increase in hurricanes, tornadoes and forest fires caused by drought. She is concerned about the changes in global migration and rising temperatures, giving way to new kinds of diseases.
Touching on cybersecurity, she said, “What is more critical than our democracy? We saw direct attacks on our democracy in the 2016 election interference.”
She explained that the most concerning to her is the rise of mass shootings. She stated that we need to think of this not just as a law enforcement issue, but as a public health issue. Napolitano believes we need to better understand what causes a human to become violent to that degree, saying, “I think if we understood that better, we would have a better chance of preventing it.”
Taking a look at threats that exist for Americans, Napolitano said, “In some areas, we are safer,” explaining that the tragedy of 9/11 could not happen again because security measures have been successfully put into place to prevent attacks, but that risks and things that endanger us change. “We must have the depth and be agile enough to deal with these risks.”
A look back
Gallego noted that many old colleagues of the former governor were in attendance at the event. Asking Napolitano to share some of the work she did as governor, Napolitano proudly explained how during her time in office, she tried to move the needle on public education.
She started all-day kindergarten saying, “ I actually believe that for the future in young states like Arizona, you really cannot do enough to invest in public education. Public universities and education are the one tried and true tactic throughout history that have helped people increase their income over time.”
Napolitano served as the 21st Governor of Arizona before going on to be the Secretary of Homeland Security under the President Obama Administration. She now serves as the President of the University of California. She has been recognized by many for her leadership, including being ranked the ninth most powerful woman in the world by Forbes in 2013.
Her new book, How Safe Are We? was released in February 2019 and is available for purchase at your local bookstore or online. Signed copies of her book are available for order through Poisoned Pen’s website here.
By Stephanie Marie Adames (Published on TheUMPHX.com)
Heidi Ganahl’s life changed forever when her first husband tragically died in a plane crash. Five years after he passed away, Ganahl’s little brother was determined to help her find her passion again. Remembering that she and her late husband had once dreamed of opening a dog daycare camp, he encouraged her to put the plan into motion.
Over time she built the company into a franchise finding success after being featured on AOL online in the early 2000s. Now Camp Bow Wow is a multimillion-dollar franchise with locations all over the nation. Ganahl continues to work hard to inspire others through sharing her story of struggle and success.
“I’ve faced extraordinary adversity throughout my life, and I’ve experienced a few different twists and turns in my own career. My entrepreneurial spirit and love for animals helped me to build a $100 million brand in the pet and franchise industry, Camp Bow Wow,” said Ganahl.
Ganahl is currently working to help inspire other women to find success with her new brand, SheFactor. She explains how she came up with the idea when helping her daughter navigate her career after college.
“I tapped into tools and resources I used with my team of young leaders at Camp Bow Wow to help her, and it worked like a charm. I started to help other young women use the same ideas and develop their own path to success, which is how SheFactor first got started,” said Ganahl.
Ganahl believes that women must celebrate every success and rally around each other. She explains that SheFactor was created to do just that. SheFactor is a book, platform and app all in one that aims impact young women, giving them the tools to find passion while connecting them with other like-minded women.
“SheFactor provides members with the resources needed to not only build a career but a fulfilling life,” said Ganahl.
Ganahl explains how SheFactor works to help women prioritize the areas they’d like to improve or focus on in their career. She said women can help hold themselves accountable through the app with coaching, tailored content, networking sessions and even local mentors.
Reflecting on the lessons she has learned along the way to her success, Ganahl said she is always working on giving herself and others grace by not expecting everything to be perfect. She also said it is important to take time to relax and not over schedule your life.
To celebrate the launch of SheFactor Ganahl will be in Phoenix for two events on June 21. Join her for a happy hour from 4-6 p.m. at Second Story or at Changing Hands from 7-9 p.m. To learn more about She Factor, click here.
By Stephanie Marie Adames (Published on TheUMPHX.com)
Kevin Patterson is an active community advocate and the Senior Director of Human Resources for Maricopa Integrated Health System. However, his most significant role is being a dad to two daughters, Cayden and Cayla.
Being a parent is a heavy responsibility with lots of lessons along the way. Kevin shared insight about being a dad to two daughters and the values he hopes to instill in them.
He said that when he first became a dad, he wanted to seem perfect in his daughter’s eyes, but quickly learned we can’t always hide our mistakes.
Kevin explained, “At first, I wanted to be the perfect dad, and I didn’t want them to have this flawed view of me. However, I learned that I can model how to own mistakes, apologize, and make things right in ways that empower.”
Kevin shared that he hopes to teach his kids always to be kind and loving. He is diligent in treating his husband David the way he hopes his daughters will treat others throughout life and reminds them to be kind sisters to one another.
Beyond what he teaches them himself, one of Kevin’s favorite things to do is spend time with them at Changing Hands Bookstore. He said, “There’s nothing more relaxing than a good cup of coffee, some good books, and watching the girls discover new things through reading.
The best advice Kevin has for new parents is to practice self-care. “It’s very easy to make your kids your world and then burn out from not taking moments for yourself. When you’re better, they’re better,” said Kevin
Stephanie Adames, Puma Press News Editor
Participants of the Fathers Mentoring Fathers program pose for a photo after completing the six-session workshop. The National Center for Education Statistics reports that children with involved fathers are more likely to excel in school.
Children who are raised in single parent homes and primarily raised by their father are twice as likely to get A’s if their fathers are involved with their education. While these statistics show that students excel when a father plays an active role in their children’s life, the Congressional Research Service reports that one out of every three children live apart from their father. Father Matters, a non-profit organization, works to increase the amount of active fathers.
Father Matters, located in South Phoenix, strives to provide single fathers with resources that can help them strengthen their roles as parents. Participants can attend a variety of workshops including Court and Custody, Financial Literacy, and Fathers Mentoring Fathers.
Stephanie Adames, Puma Press Editor
The U.S. Department of Commerce paints a grim picture of life in this country for women—the poverty rates among women have been two to three times higher than the overall poverty rate among men since 1966. Statistics also show women continue to earn less than men, and 28 percent of unmarried working mothers earn income below the poverty level. Fresh Start Women’s Foundation, an Arizona based non-profit organization, aims to improve these statistics by empowering women through its services.
In 2002, the Jewell McFarland Lewis Fresh Start Facility located at 1130 E. McDowell Road in Phoenix opened its doors to offer women the resources and help they need in every stage of life. Legal document preparation, a health clinic, yoga classes, self-esteem workshops and child watch are a few of the different services Fresh Start has to offer. Fresh Start provides services for a variety of issues, including legal assistance, career inspiration and guidance or help with the loss of a love one.
Each year millions of pounds of unwanted produce are dumped into landfills by produce brokers to create more room in their warehouses. In order to prevent the waste of that food The 3000 Club, a nonprofit organization based in Phoenix, has created a program called Market on the Move that saves unwanted produce and gives it to people in need.
Last year, The 3000 Club saved over 1 million pounds of food and distributed it to local residents in Metro Phoenix and Tucson, according to Ethel Lazario, Co-founder of the 3000 Club. The program provides a farmers’ market atmosphere where people can donate $10 for up to 60 pounds of food. The 3000 club partners with local churches and other nonprofit groups to organize the MOM Events.
The Arizona State Legislature proposes a bill that will require each in-state university student receiving financial aid to pay a minimum of $2,000 out-of-pocket annually.
Rep Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, is sponsoring HB 2675 that will force full-time students to pay at least $2000 a year without the assistance of the university or university affiliates.
Kavanagh said that this bill was inspired after learning that 48 percent of students at ASU had their tuition completely paid by university grants and scholarships.
Kavanagh refers to these subsidies as “unearned tuition subsidies.”
“I am amazed that my attempt to have students who have not earned
scholarships owing to either academic or athletic accomplishment has met
such resistance,” said, Kavanagh
Kavanagh went on to say, “In these troubled economic times, it is unfair to taxpayers to give away university education free...”
HB 2675 states, “A student may not use any other source of public or private funding, including grants, gifts, scholarships or tuition benefits or other types of funding administered by or through a university or an affiliate of a university, to reduce or eliminate that student’s contribution.”
Students awarded athletic scholarships who remain in good standing and recipients of merit scholarships, based solely on academic merit, special aptitude, talent, or ability, will not be required to pay the minimum contribution. This exemption is limited to no more than 5 percent of students who enroll for the first time as undergraduates at state universities.
Kavanagh said by restricting the subsidies will save the university $18 million that they can then use to improve the university as a whole.
Whether the $18 million savings saved will be regulated to help students, will be up to the university to decide, Kavanagh said.
Kavanagh went on to say that subsidies create unintended and perverse incentives that lure many students needing more academic preparation away from their local community college to the universities.
“Free tuition works well when the recipient earns it but carries a high-unseen cost, when dispensed to others,” said Kavanagh; “… the sooner student's learn this, the better off they, the taxpayers and the universities will be,”
Profound linguistic expert, Dr. Noam Chomsky discussed the decrease in subsidies for students at public universities while speaking at The University of Arizona on Feb 8th. He said that funding issues for universities would not be a problem if public good was a priority.
Chomsky went on to discuss the idea that educating the underprivileged creates a threat for the 1 percent. He also said increasing tuition for students creates larger debt and limited options for graduates.
The bill passed the appropriations committee and now goes to the full house for a vote.
By: Stephanie Marie Adames, Puma Press Staff Writer
“We have a right to make profit,” said Brian Moynihan, CEO of Bank of America to CNN when defending the recent announcement to add more fees to customers’ accounts. Banks may have a legal right to make profit, but the moral right of their actions seems to be in question as consumers continue to speak out against the increase of fees.
Across the nation, Americans have been speaking out against the outrageous profits of Wall Street-controlled banks and corporations.