DI People: AECOM, American Airlines, Michaels, and Aventiv Make Executive Moves

In this weekly roundup of leadership and executive moves by companies and organizations in North Texas, you’ll also find news from Tony Fay Public Relations, Catapult Health, NetSTREIT, Envision Dallas, CSW Industrials, and McCarthy.

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Across North Texas, companies are promoting and hiring people to take on leadership positions within their organizations. Dallas Innovates covers prominent personnel moves in Dallas-Fort Worth businesses and nonprofits—from the newest startups to well-established companies. Here are people moves tied to innovation and technology in the region.

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AECOM promotes Wendy Lopez to Texas Executive

Wendy Lopez

Senior Vice President Wendy Lopez has been promoted to Texas Executive by infrastructure firm AECOM, a role in which she will spearhead the company’s strategy, growth, and leadership in its major Texas cities—Dallas, Austin, Houston, and San Antonio.

As senior Vice President, Lopez oversaw more than 1,300 employees across 22 states as AECOM’s central region transportation regional business line leader with Dan Manojlovski, the company said in a release.The company said that Manojlovski now wil serve as the single central region transportation regional business line lead.

With nearly four decades of experience in transportation consulting in Texas, Lopez’s experience includes large-scale and complex infrastructure projects across the state, AECOM said.

Lopez led AECOM’s involvement in the Texas Hyperloop Project, a never-before-seen 700 mph technology across the state, and she is working with Dallas to find solutions to climate change as part of Dallas’ First Climate Action Plan.

Charles joins American Airlines as chief inclusion and diversity officer

Kenneth Charles

American Airlines has named Kenneth Charles as the Fort Worth-based airline’s chief inclusion and diversity officer.

Charles will lead American’s global inclusion and diversity strategies, including establishing the company’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to ensure best practices are implemented across the company’s people and business processes.

Charles comes to American Airlines from U.S. Bank where he was senior vice president of enterprise talent. He brings more than 30 years of private sector experience, including a decade of inclusion and diversity leadership to his new role, according to a statement. Charles previously served as vice president for global inclusion and staffing and chief diversity officer at General Mills.

Michaels names Buchanan president and CEO

Ashley Buchanan

Irving-based arts and crafts specialty retailer The Michaels Companies has selected Walmart U.S. eCommerce chief merchant Ashley Buchanan as its new president and CEO.

Buchanan assumed the new roles of president and CEO designate on Jan. 6 and joined the company’s board. He succeeds current Michaels CEO Mark Cosby after a transition period ending April 1. Cosby will remain on as a board member.

“Ashley is a world-class executive who has demonstrated the ability to redefine customer experiences and drive growth at the world’s largest retailer, and we are confident that he will be successful in leading Michaels forward,” Michaels Chairman James Quella said in a statement.

Michaels operates more than 1,260 stores in 49 states and Canada and offers online sales via its digital platforms Michaels.com, consumercrafts.com, and aaronbrothers.com.

Aventiv taps Jones as its new chief information officer

Evon Jones

Evon Jones has been appointed as chief information officer by Carrollton-based Aventiv Technologies, the parent company of Securus Technologies, JPay, and AllPaid.

Jones is expected to report to President Dave Abel and contribute to customer-facing products and corporate information technology, according to a statement. In his new role, Jones will support all brands under the Aventiv Technologies umbrella, focusing on improving processes, creating more efficiencies, and fueling tech to increase consumer value through consistent positive brand engagement.

Jones brings with him more than 20 years of executive-level IT management experience with consumer brands including Hallmark, Liz Claiborne, The Dial Corp., Bausch and Lomb, and American Express.

Tony Fay Public Relations names Hamamoto as VP

Lori Hamamoto

Lori Hamamoto has been named senior vice president of public relations and client services by Tony Fay Public Relations, a Dallas-based agency specializing in sports, entertainment, and cause marketing communications.

Hamamoto was the fourth woman to lead a National Basketball Association public relations department—and the first female PR director in the history of major New York City sports franchises—when she was vice president of public relations for the New York Knicks in the 1990s and early 2000s, according to a statement.

At that time, Hamamoto was the first Asian-American to lead a public relations department in the history of the four major North American sports. 

Catapult Health chooses Dickerson as chief revenue officer

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Art Dickerson

Art Dickerson has joined Dallas-based Catapult Health, a national provider of onsite preventive health checkups, as chief revenue officer.

Dickerson’s responsibilities include growing and leading Catapult’s sales team, expanding its consulting firm relationships, and increasing Catapult’s client roster of large national employers.

Dickerson has been an adviser to large employers at leading firms such as E&Y and Mercer where he served 17 years and was a senior partner, according to a statement. Dickerson was also a senior vice president for the national accounts arm of the Blue Cross Blue Shield system.

NetSTREIT appoints Blocher as chief financial officer

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Andrew Blocher

Andrew Blocher has been appointed chief financial officer by NetSTREIT Corp, a Dallas-based real estate investment trust specializing in acquiring single-tenant net lease properties to retailers nationwide.

Previously, Blocher was with First Potomac Realty Trust where he served as executive vice president, chief financial officer, and treasurer. 

Before that, Blocher was senior vice president, chief financial officer, and treasurer at Federal Realty Investment Trust in Rockville, Maryland.

Stupay joins Envision Dallas as executive director

Vice President chief

David Stupay

Wichita, Kansas-based Envision is one of the largest employers of people who are blind or visually impaired in the U.S. David Stupay has joined the Envision Dallas team as its executive director.

Stupay will focus on expanding employment, programs, and services for people with vision loss in the Dallas area, according to a statement. He will report to Michael Monteferrante, president and CEO of Envision, who is based in Wichita.

“Envision Dallas Lighthouse for the Blind is evolving at a rapid rate, and the addition of David to the team will only strengthen our mission to improve the quality of life and provide inspiration and opportunity for people who are blind or visually impaired through employment, outreach, rehabilitation, education and research,” Monteferrante said in a statement. “David’s extensive background leading organizations through strategic expansion will be invaluable moving forward.”

Most recently, Stupay was president and CEO of Heartspring, a Wichita-based provider of services to children with special needs and their families. 

Larry Lavine joins CMP as executive consultant

Larry Lavine will join CMP, an executive search, consulting, and outplacement firm with offices in Richardson and Fort Worth, as executive consultant of strategic solutions, according to a statement.

In that role, Lavine and CMP will provide strategic insights and support for restaurant concepts and keynote speaking.

Lavine has developed and influenced many brands in the restaurant world, according to a statement, including Chili’s Grill & Bar, Tia’s TexMex, Carino’s, Charley’s Seafood, and Ten50 BBQ.

CSW Industrials adds EY exec to its board

Debra L. von Storch

Dallas-based CSW Industrials announced that its board of directors has elected Debra L. von Storch as an independent director.  

With the addition of von Storch, the board increases to eight members, seven of whom are independent.

Von Storch is a partner of Ernst & Young LLP and plans to retire from the firm in June. She has served at EY for 37 years, most recently as a partner and leader of Southwest Region Growth Markets, where she is responsible for developing strategic directions across numerous service platforms. 

McCarthy announces five leadership moves

McCarthy Building Companies, Inc.’s Dallas business unit has announced five leadership changes.

Nate Kowallis has been promoted to senior vice president; Steve Wilson has been promoted to vice president, operations; Tim York has been promoted to senior vice president, operations for mega projects; Danny Mignano has been promoted to senior preconstruction director; and Grant Apkarian has been promoted to preconstruction director. 

“This is a great time for our region and for McCarthy. The Dallas area is thriving, and we foresee great opportunities in our key focus areas from aviation to fine arts. Our teams are aligning for these opportunities and to deliver an exceptional client experience,” Joe Jouvenal, president of the southern region of McCarthy, said in a statement.

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