DI People: CFT, SWMF, Spacee, Tech Titans, Transwestern, TRG, The Vistra Group, Stream, and More Make Moves

In this week's roundup of hires, promotions, and accolades in North Texas, you'll also find news from Sabre, Secmation, Crow Holdings, Westmount Realty Capital, DRC, Invitation Homes.

Plus, Communities Foundation of Texas adds two new trustees to its board—and honors outgoing trustee Florence Shapiro for a decade of service.

Dallas Innovates covers people in Dallas-Fort Worth business—from new hires to promotions to accolades. Here’s the latest news tied to innovation and technology moves in the region.

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Southwestern Medical Foundation Announces New Trustee Lineup 

Cheryl D. Alston, Dawn Zierk, Imran Khan, Kathleen J. Wu, Shonn Brown, and Pilar Tabarnero Henry. [Images: SWMF]

The nonprofit that helped create UT Southwestern Medical Center aims to “broaden the reach of its mission” by adding to its lineup of trustees. 

Joining the Dallas-based Southwestern Medical Foundation are Cheryl Alston, executive director and chief investment officer of Dallas’ Employees’ Retirement Fund; Dawn Cierk, philanthropist; Imran Kahn, co-founder and CEO of Verishop; Kathleen Wu, a partner at Hunton Andrews Kurth; Pilar Tabarnero Henry, philanthropist; and Shonn Brown, VP and deputy general counsel at Kimberly-Clark Corporation. 

The foundation manages a portfolio of $1.3 billion in pooled assets, about half of which are permanently endowed to benefit UT Southwestern Medical Center.

Read more here.

Communities Foundation of Texas Adds Two New Trustees to Board 

Left to right: Alfreda Norman, Richie Butler, John Stephens, Thear Suzuki, and Florence Shapiro.

Communities Foundation of Texas—the largest community foundation in the state—has announced two new members to its board of trustees: John Stephens and Thear Suzuki. 

Stephens is the former VP and chief financial officer at AT&T, while Suzuki serves as a global client service partner at Ernst & Young. 

They join CFT’s other board leadership, including Alfreda Norman, SVP of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, who continues to serve as board chair; and Richie Butler, Senior Pastor at St. Luke “Community” United Methodist Church and former senior managing director of the Prescott Realty Group and founder of Project Unity, who will be serving as vice chair and chair-elect. 

Florence Shapiro—board trustee, State Senator, and committee chair for CFT’s Educate Texas—announced she is stepping down from her post at the organization, after serving in that capacity for more than a decade.

Southlake Biotech Names New CEO—and Announces New Funding

Frank Stonebanks

Renibus Therapeutics, which focuses on treatments for acute and chronic kidney diseases, has named a new CEO on the heels of closing a $35 million Series A funding round.

Incoming CEO Frank Stonebanks has led three other biotech companies. “Renibus has arrived at a critical inflection point in its commitment to transform the prevention and treatment of kidney diseases,” said incoming CEO Frank Stonebanks in a statement. “The closing of our $35 million capital raise will accelerate our momentum across the clinical portfolio.”

Read more in our story.

Dallas ad agency names new CFO

TRG CFO Michelle Gardner [Photo: TRG]

Dallas-based independent advertising agency TRG, formerly The Richards Group, has a new chief financial officer for the first time in nearly four decades. The firm has tapped Michelle Gardner, a former financial director for Fujitsu America, to the role, making the company majority female-led. Gardner has also previously served as CFO for Venturity Financial Partners. 

Gardner will replace Scot Dykema, who has held the role for nearly 40 years. Her appointment comes as TRG has named a new chief people officer, chief creative officer, and chief collaboration officer in the past year. 

Local tech leader joins Austin startup as CTO

After raising a $30 million Series B funding round last year, Austin’s Eventus Systems is adding to its C-suite. The market risk solutions and multi-asset class trade surveillance company has named Frisco resident Josh Bosquez as its new chief technology officer. Bosquez most recently held a similar role at Richardson-based cybersecurity firm Armor Cloud Security. Following its funding in September, Eventus said it was planning to quadruple its staff, focusing on its sales, product, and engineering teams.

Go-to-market advisory adds new CFO to its C-suite

Adding to the growing list of companies he’s served as the head of finances for, Howard Reba has joined Dallas-based go-to-market growth advisory firm SBI as its new chief financial officer. Reba most recently served as the head of portfolio finance for CI Capital Partners. According to LinkedIn, Reba has served as CFO for at least four companies, with experience ranging from startup companies like Fidelus Technologies to private equity experience at Marlin Equity Partners. Reba’s addition comes as SBI said it is seeing “accelerated growth.”

PE firm hires local partner to focus on health care

Nick Loporcaro

Private equity firm The Vistra Group is building out its team, after opening offices in Dallas last year. And, according to the Dallas Business Journal, it’s looking to focus on health care. The Chicago-based firm named Nick Loporcaro as a senior operating partner on the industry-focused team. He will also serve as the chairman of the firm’s home health and hospice data platform Medalogix. Before joining, Loporcaro served as the CEO at Landmark Health and as the president of U.S. pharma and specialty health at McKesson. According to the DBJ, local companies in Vistra’s portfolio include Edmentum, AIS Healthcare, and Academic Partnerships. 

Sabre board gets new chairman, other changes

Sean Menke

Southlake’s Sabre Corporation is making changes to its board of directors. The travel industry-focused technology and software provider elected CEO and current board member Sean Menke as its new chairman. He replaces Karl Peterson, who held the position since 2020 and will remain on the board. Also leaving the board is Gary Kusin, who has served on Sabre’s board since 2007. In addition, the board member Gregg Saretsky will become its independent lead director, overseeing the company’s new governance structure that it says provides more oversight.

Cybersecurity firm taps local tech leader as first advisory board member

William (Bill) Irby

Cybersecurity company Secmation is forming a new advisory board, and it’s tapped a local tech leader as its first member. The North Carolina-based company has made Bill Irby its first addition. Irby most recently served as the president of ShieldAI following that company’s acquisition of Plano-based unmanned drone company Martin UAV, where he served as COO. Previously, Irby served as the president of reconnaissance mission systems as L3Harris Technologies, in addition to holding leadership roles at large firms like Textron Systems and Northrop Grumman Corporation. Irby also serves on the boards of Ghost Robotics and the Association for Uncrewed Vehicle Systems International. 

Retail experience revolutionizer adds to advisory board

Jeff Wellen

Addison-based Spacee has a new advisory board member that Founder and CEO Skip Howard says will be a “major value add.” Spacee, which looks to revolutionize retail experiences with augmented reality and virtual touch technology, has named Jeff Wellen to its board. Wellen brings deep experience in the retail space, having held leadership positions at places like Michaels Stores, Fossil, and Tuesday Morning. Wellen also serves as a managing partner at local management consulting services firm Wellen, Phelan & Associates. 

Real estate expert joins two local institutions 

Crow Holdings and the Robert and Margaret Folsom Institute for Real Estate at SMU Cox School of Business announced the joint hiring of Mark G. Roberts as Director of Research at both institutions.

Mark Roberts is taking his expertise in the real estate space to two local organizations. 

A fellow at the Real Estate Research Institute, Roberts has been jointly hired as director of research by Dallas real estate investment and development firm Crow Holdings and SMU Cox School of Business’ Robert and Margaret Folsom Institute for Real Estate.

With experience in real estate research, finance, and architecture, Roberts will conduct market research, develop insights, and provide commentary for investors on topics in the real estate industry. He will then take that into the classroom at SMU, teaching undergraduate and graduate students about market analysis and strategy. 

In addition to his new roles, Roberts is also a regular contributor to the National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries and a registered architect. He most recently served as the executive director of the Real Estate Center at UT Austin’s McCombs School of Business and has held previous research and strategy leadership positions at places like DWS Group and Invesco Real Estate.

Read more here.

Transwestern Investment Group hires former alternative investment firm leader

Kimberly Steinberg [Photo: Transwestern]

As it looks to build its list of U.S. and foreign institutional investors, Dallas-based real estate investment management firm Transwestern Investment Group has named Kimberly Steinberg as its new managing director and head of business development and investor relations. She will oversee capital raising efforts for Transwestern’s fund vehicles and separately managed accounts. Before joining Transwestern, Steinberg served in a similar capacity at Minneapolis-based alternative investment firm Värde Partners, the company said she helped double Värde’s assets. 

Tech Titans names new leader to focus on STEM initiatives

Jean Bono previously served on the Richardson ISD board of trustees. [File photo]

After its President and CEO Bill Sproull stepped down last month, industry trade group Tech Titans is adding to its ranks. The Richardson-based organization, which has more than 300 members, appointed Jean Krone Bono as its director of STEM initiatives. In her new role, she will work with local school districts, universities, and tech companies to promote STEM careers and build the local talent pool. Before joining, Bono was a trustee on Richardson ISD’s board for six years. She has also previously served as the president of the local branches of the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute and the National Investor Relations Institute. 

DRC SVP of Public Policy Named 2022 Director of The Texas Lyceum

Matt Garcia

Matt Garcia, the Dallas Regional Chamber’s senior vice president of public policy, was recently honored by being the only North Texan named a 2022 Director of The Texas Lyceum.

Other prominent Texas Lyceum alums include President George W. Bush; former U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison; Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins; Dr. Michael Hinojosa, Dallas Independent School District Superintendent; Dr. Michael Sorrell, Paul Quinn College President; and Nina Vaca, Founder of the Pinnacle Group, Inc. and a Dallas Regional Chamber board member, according to the chamber.

The “statewide non-partisan organization is more important than ever as leaders build thoughtful consensus on the complex issues facing our state,” said DRC President and CEO Dale Petrosky in a LinkedIn post on the appointment.

Commercial real estate firm promotes three female leaders

North Texas leaders, from left: Barbara Georgakis, Ginny Goldsmith, and Julie Butticarlo

Coinciding with International Women’s Day, Dallas commercial real estate firm Westmount Realty Capital has named three female leaders to its local office. After joining the firm in 2018 as director of asset management, Julie Butticarlo was promoted to senior director of asset management. Ginny Goldsmith, who joined Westmount about five years ago, was promoted to senior director of property management. And Barbara Georgakis was promoted to senior controller. Georgakis joined the firm in 2015 as its corporate controller.

Stream Realty Partners launches Industrial Capital Markets Division, taps Texas leaders

Seth Koschak

Dallas’ Seth Koschak has been tapped to lead Stream Realty Partners’ new industrial capital markets division, along with Houston-based Matteson Hamilton

The two CRE veterans have been named executive managing directors and partners in Texas.

The firm’s full-service offering aims to create value for industrial clients at every stage of the investment lifecycle, and the new team will work to deliver expertise in advanced financial strategies, such as investment sales and acquisitions, equity and fund placement, debt placement, and other services that provide real-time market data and trend analysis, Stream said in a release.

“Capital markets is a natural expansion for Stream,” said Stream president Chris Jackson in a statement. “With an industrial portfolio of over 150 million square feet in leasing and management, we have listened to the demands of our strategic customers and look forward to adding this vertical to our industrial services offering.”

Former tech exec joins local law firm offices

After providing counsel to issuers and investment firms from deals involving venture capital and private equity to IPOs, Don McDermett has joined international law firm Winston & Strawn LLP’s Dallas offices as a partner forced on its corporate practice. McDermett previously served as a senior partner at Baker Botts, after leaving Dallas-based Sterling Software, where he served as senior vice president, general counsel, and secretary, following its acquisition by Computer Associates International in a $4 billion stock swap deal. 

Dallas leasing giant promotes new leader of corporate strategy and capital markets

Greg Van Winkle

After joining Dallas-based leasing giant Invitation Homes in 2016, Greg Van Winkle has been promoted to the role of senior vice president of corporate strategy and capital markets. Van Winkle started with Invitation as its director of investor relations, later serving as senior director and vice president. Before joining the firm, he served as an equity research lead analyst for Morgan Stanley’s equity research group. The announcement comes as Invitation is teaming up with Boston property investment firm Rockpoint Group to commit $750 million, including debt, to acquire and renovate high-end single-family homes for rental. 

Professional services firm makes new promotions

Fort Worth-based professional services firm JTaylor is making a handful of promotions. Moving to the role of partner are Marc Geisler, who joined the firm in 2015 and will oversee its tax services division, and Andrew Pirtle, who is also joining JTaylor’s tax services division, focusing on tax compliance and advisory. Taking on new roles as senior managers are Julie La Pata, who will focus on consulting services, and Ronald Woodruff, who focuses on tax preparation and consulting. 

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