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Arizona & Mexico Town Hall To Bring Diverse Perspectives Together To Explore Cross-Border Connecting Virtually

March 9, 2021

Phoenix, Arizona

Phoenix, AZ (March 10, 2021) – Jennings, Strouss & Salmon, P.L.C., a leading Phoenix-based law firm, is pleased to partner with Arizona Town Hall as the premier sponsor of their ongoing 2021 Virtual Community Town Hall Series: Cross-Border Connecting. As the Arizona-Mexico community continues to work through the COVID-19 pandemic and its lasting effects, participants of Arizona Town Hall's virtual series will hear from guest speakers who will provide important recommendations that can play a crucial role in driving cross-border trade, tourism, investment, cultural connections, and economic development in the Arizona and Sonora region.

On Thursday, March 18, 2021, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., we will hear from U.S. Consul General Laura L. Biedebach of Nogales, Mexico, U.S. Consul General Ken Roy of Hermosillo, Mexico, and U.S. Consul General Sue Saarnio of Tijuana, Mexico in a discussion moderated by Jennings Strouss attorney Patrick F. Welch. The Consuls General will talk about their background, what they do, and how they play a part in the cross-border relationship of Arizona and Mexico.

“Jennings Strouss is proud of its longstanding partnership with the Arizona Town Hall and its collaborative efforts to address issues critical to Arizona’s ongoing success. The Arizona & Mexico Community Town Hall program, which began in 2017, has brought together hundreds of Arizonans and Mexicans to explore ways in which to increase cooperation between Arizona and Mexico with the goal of increasing regional prosperity,” Patrick F. Welch, Member. “The recent pivot to virtual programming presents a unique opportunity to engage with three U.S. Consuls General about the ways in which they support the relationship with our essential neighbor, Mexico.”

Laura L. Biedebach has been a career Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State since 2002. She began her assignment as Consul General for the U.S. Consulate in Nogales, Mexico in August 2020. Prior to returning to Mexico, she served as the Deputy Consul General at the U.S. Embassy in Paris, France where she was responsible for services to U.S. citizens. In Washington, Laura has worked on various policy and management issues. She has led the Iraqi and Afghan Special Immigrant Visa Program and managed global consular staffing and Foreign Service assignments for Consular Officers.  In addition, she previously served as the Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs and as an instructor at the Foreign Service Institute in Arlington, Virginia.

Ken Roy began his tenure as Consul General at the U.S. Consulate General in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico on August 21, 2020. He joined the U.S. Foreign Service in January 1999. Before his assignment as Consul General, he earned a master’s degree in International Security Studies at the U.S. National Defense University. Prior to his studies, he served the U.S. Government as the Chief Foreign Policy Advisor to the Air Force Special Operations Command in Florida for three years. His previous overseas assignments include Buenos Aires, Asunción, The Hague, Panama City, and Belize City. His Washington assignments include two separate tours at the State Department Operations Center, once as Watch Officer and again as Crisis Management Coordinator; as Senior Desk Officer to the United Kingdom; and in the European Affairs Front Office. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from Michigan State University and a Juris Doctor from Wayne State University Law School. He practiced law for three years in his home state of Michigan. He has earned the State Department’s Superior Honor Award six times.

Sue Saarnio is a career Foreign Service Officer with more than 30 years of experience on international trade and economic issues in the U.S. State Department. She started her Foreign Service career serving in the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City. She most recently served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Energy Resources and Senior Advisor in the Bureau of Oceans, International Environmental and Scientific Affairs. Prior to that, she served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Mexico, Canada, and Regional Economic Policy in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs. She has served in the State Department’s Economic, Energy and Business Affairs Bureau as Deputy Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs and Director for Multilateral Trade Affairs. She was the U.S. Special Advisor for Conflict Diamonds.  She also has served at U.S. Embassies in Ottawa, Panama, and at the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem.

“It’s critical that Arizona and Mexico maintain a strong relationship with each other,” Tara L. Jackson, President of Arizona Town Hall. “The Cross-Border Connecting Series is a great vehicle for achieving that goal.”

This free event will be held virtually through Zoom. To register, visit the Arizona Town Hall event webpage here.

Also included in the virtual Cross-Border Connecting series are the following upcoming events:

  • Secrets of Real Mexican Home Cooking” – April 15, 2021
  • The Impact of Tourism in Arizona and Sonora” – May 20, 2021
  • Creating and Sustaining a Robust Regional Economy” – June 17, 2021

About Jennings, Strouss & Salmon, PLC

For over 75 years, Jennings Strouss has been dedicated to providing clients with strategic legal guidance to help them seize every opportunity. The firm is well-known for its rich heritage, commitment to community, and long-lasting relationships. We have a deep understanding of business and law. When you work with us, you’ll have a team of legal experts who are dedicated to your vision of success.

Through our offices in Phoenix, Peoria, and Tucson, Arizona, and Washington, D.C., we leverage resources both regionally and nationally to serve our expanding client base. Jennings Strouss is deeply rooted in each of our locations’ legal and business communities, and is especially instrumental in helping shape the dynamic growth of Arizona and many of its institutions. The firm promotes a pragmatic, results-oriented approach, coupled with a healthy, well-managed, and friendly atmosphere of collaboration.


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