AZPM announces promotion, new hires

Arizona Public Media has announced that John Booth has been hired as executive producer and Michael Chihak has been promoted to news director.

Other additions to AZPM are Mark Channell as associate director of development; Julie Ben-Yeoshua as program coordinator for development and underwriting; Amanda Le Claire as underwriting reporter; Andrew Brown as videographer; and Sandra Riggins as underwriting consultant.

• Booth will lead and manage all aspects of planning, production and presentation of original programming for AZPM’s radio and television, as well as online and social network content.

Booth, a Tucson native, graduated from the University of Arizona with a bachelor of fine arts in radio and television and then spent five years at KUAT (now called Arizona Public Media).

In 1989 he moved to Portland, Ore., where over a 17-year span at Oregon Public Broadcasting he shot and edited for such national PBS programs as “The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour,” “Frontline” and “Nova”; produced and wrote programs including “Sinking the Lusitania,” “Occupied Japan” and episodes of “The Great Lodges of the National Parks” and “Great American Railway Journeys.”

From 2005 to 2009, Booth was executive producer and director of production at Eight, Arizona PBS/Phoenix. His credits include the history series “Arizona Stories,” “Arizona Memories of the Seventies,” “Under Arizona” and “Arizona Lodges.” Most recently, he was deputy director of content at KCTS 9 in Seattle.

Booth has received awards including Tellys, CINEs, a Chicago International Film Silver Hugo Award and several regional Emmys.

• Chihak will be responsible for news operations and reporting on AZPM’s television, radio, online and social media platforms. Formerly host of AZPM’s weekly public affairs program “Arizona Week” and director of online news, Chihak will continue as interim host of “Arizona Week” until a full-time host has been selected.

Chihak is a former editor and publisher of the now-closed Tucson Citizen. After leaving the Citizen, he was an independent media relations consultant.

He previously held editorial positions at The Californian in Salinas, Calif.; USA Today and The Associated Press.

Chihak, a seventh-generation Tucsonan, holds a UA bachelor of arts degree in journalism.

• Channell will assist in major and estate gift development. He comes to AZPM from the University of Arizona Foundation, where he worked as a senior accountant and as a gift-planning officer, working with donors and generating estate gifts.

Before that, he worked as an accountant for Carondelet Healthcare Network and University Physicians Healthcare.

He is a graduate of the UA’s Eller College of Management and licensed as a certified public accountant in Arizona.

• Ben-Yeoshua’s career in the public sector includes experience with the UA College of Medicine, the city of Tucson, and educational institutions in Southern California. She graduated from Northern Arizona University with a BSIS in public management.

• Le Claire comes to AZPM after working in Detroit at WDET-FM, where she launched a daily talk show and worked as a producer, morning edition host and reporter.

She also worked at Team Detroit, a global ad agency, where she produced a series of short documentaries that showcased the city’s cultural life. She has produced and art-directed independent music videos featured by Vice and MTV, and blogged for the Huffington Post.

• Brown graduated from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University in 2004. He spent six years covering Southern Arizona as a videographer at KOLD News 13. Brown has been nominated and won awards for his work, including two Edward R. Murrow Awards for videography.

• Riggins was an advertising manager with the Arizona Daily Star and Tucson Citizen newspapers for 17 years. Her advertising sales and marketing experience also includes management positions with the Miami Herald, Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Marin Independent Journal.

She is a recipient of the Charles Horne Lifetime Achievement Award for advertising, the Vic Mergard Lifetime Achievement Award with the Hearth Foundation for Homeless Women With Children, and the Tucson Indian Center’s Service and Dedication Award.

Williams joins Stantec as senior project manager

Chuck Williams has joined Stantec as a senior project manager in its Tucson water practice.

Williams brings more than 25 years of experience in managing public-works projects for local government agencies.

He operated an independent consulting firm responsible for water-planning services for projects across the Southwest. He remapped the flood plains for Southern Arizona’s Santa Cruz County and carried out a management study of the Lee Moore Wash Basin for the Pima County Regional Flood Control District, in partnership with Tucson and Sahuarita.

Williams is a past president of the Arizona Floodplain Management Association and the Arizona Association of County Engineers. He also held a 20-year tenure as a member of the Arizona Department of Water Resources State Standards Work Group for Floodplain Management.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Arizona.

Ramos to head BrakeMax business development

Melissa Ramos has returned to BrakeMax Car Care Centers and Max Auto Glass as business development coordinator.

Ramos is experienced in management and sales and previously started her own business, the company said in a news release.

She will coordinate community and business events and help to enact marketing and account management strategies.

Cox assumes adviser role for Farmers Insurance

Donald Cox is now an insurance adviser in Tucson for the Southern Arizona District Office of Farmers Insurance Group.

He holds property/casualty and life/health insurance licenses.

Cox has worked in education for many years, Farmers said in a news release.

Email notices of local hirings and promotions to (please use “Moving Up” in the subject line).