Feedback: June 2020

by James Goodnow, Erik Hoyer, Lauri Leadley

Question: Describe the most profound change the pandemic has caused you to make in your business operations in planning next steps for your business.

James GoodnowJames Goodnow

CEO and Managing Partner
Fennemore Craig
Sector: Law

As a law firm that’s been serving Arizona and the Mountain West for 135 years, Fennemore Craig has withstood the tests of both World Wars, the Great Depression and the Great Recession. The COVID-19 pandemic, however, could reshape our firm and the industry more than any previous crisis.

In my mind, the greatest lesson of the COVID-19 pandemic is that relationships are bigger than buildings. Across the legal services industry, there’s been a general skepticism about whether client and team connections could endure without face-to-face meetings. Our firm, however, has thrived utilizing leading-edge communication technologies for more than a decade. Now, we’re being even more intentional, strategic and creative in the way we connect with each other and our clients to build for the next 135 years.

This doesn’t mean we’re going to abandon in-person get-togethers anytime soon. These human interactions will continue to be crucial. But smart businesses are going to take the lessons from the pandemic to alter space planning, technological investment and management practices forever.

James Goodnow is CEO and Managing Partner of Fennemore Craig, which was founded in 1885 and is one of the largest law firms in Arizona and the western United States. The Harvard Law graduate took the reins of the firm at age 36, which made him the youngest known lawyer elevated to the top position of a large law firm in U.S. history.


Erik Hoyer

Chief Executive Officer
EJ’s Auction & Appraisal
Sector: Auction Houses

Prior to the pandemic, our full-service auction house would attract 300 to 600 bidders to our live weekly Saturday auctions, which were also online. We moved all auctions to online-only in late March, but when Governor Ducey issued the “Stay at Home” order, we temporarily closed for a month.

Since reopening on May 1, we have been conducting all auctions on our new online auction platform, which also features our new EJ’s

Auction & Appraisal app. This move has, surprisingly, increased our online auction attendance by 30 percent, and we’ve seen strong results with final prices realized.

We’re hoping to bring back our live auction crowd within the next 30 to 60 days, and we will keep our standardized social distancing guidelines in place as well as enhanced sanitization of our 30,000-square-foot facility. In addition, we created a new online scheduling platform for buyers who wish to pick up assets purchased at auction. For customers who prefer not to enter our facility, we provide a contactless shipping option to their homes.   

Erik Hoyer, CEO of EJ’s Auction & Appraisal in Glendale, has been an auctioneer since 2008. He holds several certificates: Graduate Personal Property Appraiser (GPPA), Certified Auctioneers Institute (CAI), Certified Estate Specialists (CES) and Professional Ringmen’s Institute (PRI). A history buff, he enjoys presenting to groups of fiduciaries and attorneys, and he also donates his time as an emcee and auctioneer at several charity fundraisers.


Lauri Leadley

Founder and President
Valley Sleep Center
Sector: Healthcare

Having cancer twice really prepared me for the pandemic. With adversity comes opportunity. As soon as the government announced the stay-at-home order, I began to question, “What if this chaos was our chance?”

My desire was to create a culture where people felt safe, seen, heard and respected. I offered a money course to our team so they could have the tools to properly plan for their futures. As an essential business in healthcare, there was a need to stay open. We immediately implemented telemedicine so our providers could continue to diagnose and treat sleep disorders. We also made available disposable at-home sleep tests so patients could get their diagnosis and treatment without leaving their homes. Some services still needed to be in-person, so we heightened our infection control process, implemented social distancing and checked patients’ temperatures prior to entering each clinic.

Our team planned daily online Community Health Talks and partnered with other providers and vendors to help educate people about various sleep disorders. Lastly, we purchased American-made cotton masks with smiling sleep emojis for our referral sources and patients.

Lauri Leadley, CCSH, RPSGT, is the founder and president of Valley Sleep Center as well as a Clinical Sleep Educator. Battling rheumatoid arthritis as a young child inspired her to help others as an adult, so she began working as a respiratory therapist. After many years as a respiratory therapist, she launched an in-home medical testing service that quickly outgrew her home base.

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