Appointments: December 2015
1) Kyle Levine has been appointed vice president of legal and general counsel at Alaska Air Group, effective January 1, 2016. As part of a planned succession in Alaska's legal division, Levine will succeed Herman Wacker, who is also chief compliance officer, and will be returning to private practice after an extended sabbatical.
Levine, who joined Alaska in 2006, currently serves as the airline’s deputy general counsel, managing director of legal and assistant corporate secretary. He previously worked for the Nixon Peabody law firm in its San Francisco office as part of the aviation products liability litigation team.
He earned a BA degree from Stanford University and a law degree from Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law. He is a member of the California Bar and has applied for admission to the Washington Bar. Levine earned his private pilot's license in 1994.
2) Calgon Carbon Corp has named Chad Whalen as senior vice president, general counsel, and secretary. Whalen comes to Calgon Carbon from RTI International Metals, a global supplier of advanced titanium and specialty metals products and services that was acquired by Alcoa earlier this year.
Whalen served as general counsel and senior vice president of government relations at RTI. Before RTI, he was a practicing attorney in the Pittsburgh office of Buchanan, Ingersoll and Rooney, where he represented public companies in the areas of corporate finance and corporate governance. He was also a member of the steering committee of the firm’s SEC practice group and a member of its mergers and acquisitions practice group.
Whalen has a BA degree from Grove City College and earned his JD from Penn State University’s Dickinson School of Law. He is a member of the American Bar Association’s federal regulation of securities and negotiated acquisitions subcommittees, the Society of Corporate Secretaries and Governance Professionals, and the Pennsylvania and Allegheny County Bar Associations.
3) Daniel Kuntz has been named general counsel and secretary at MDU Resources Group, effective January 9, 2016. He will succeed Paul Sandness, who is retiring after a 36-year career with the company.
Kuntz joined MDU Resources in 2004 and served most recently as associate general counsel and assistant secretary. Prior to MDU Resources, he was an associate and partner at Zuger Kirmis & Smith from 1985 to 2004. Before that, he served as counsel for the North Dakota Public Service Commission from 1979 to 1985 and a law clerk for the North Dakota Supreme Court from 1978 to 1979. He also served 11 years on the Bismarck, ND Public School Board.
Kuntz received his law degree from the University of North Dakota School of Law.
4) Rite Aid has promoted Jim Comitale to senior vice president, general counsel and secretary. A seasoned retail attorney with nearly 20 years of corporate in-house experience, Comitale succeeds Marc Strassler, who will continue to serve as Rite Aid's corporate counsel, providing corporate governance support.
Since joining Rite Aid in 1997, Comitale has held several positions of increasing responsibility within the legal department, including associate counsel and senior corporate counsel, before being named to his most recent role as vice president, assistant general counsel and secretary in June 2006. From 1990 until 1997, he practiced at private law firms in Philadelphia and Harrisburg.
Comitale is a graduate of Penn State University's Dickinson School of Law and received his BA degree from La Salle University.
5) Melissa Centers has been appointed senior vice president, secretary and general counsel at State Auto Financial Corp, succeeding Jay Yano, who passed away in September.
Most recently, she was assistant secretary and associate general counsel at State Auto. Centers joined the insurance company in 2006 as master planner in the program management office. Prior to that, she was director of the program management office at Worthington Industries. She has also worked at Nationwide Insurance, where she was director of corporate communications for the P&C strategy and planning division and program manager in the IT architecture division.
She received her undergraduate degree from Wright State University and her JD from Capital University Law School.
6) West Pharmaceutical Services has named George Miller as senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary. Miller will serve on the senior leadership team of the manufacturer of packaging components and delivery systems for injectable drugs and healthcare products.
Miller joins West Pharmaceutical from Sigma-Aldrich Corp, where he served as senior vice president, general counsel and secretary. He has more than 30 years of corporate legal experience with large, multinational, publicly traded companies in the pharmaceutical, life sciences and transportation industries. Prior to Sigma-Aldrich, he worked at Novartis, where he held posts in New York, Basel, Switzerland, and Tokyo, Japan, as well as at Federal Express in Tokyo.
Miller earned his JD from Georgetown University Law Center, his MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management and his BA from the University of St. Thomas. He also holds an Advanced Management Program certificate from INSEAD (European Institute for Business Administration).