DI People: Alkami, Perot Museum, Buff City Soap, and More Make Moves

In this week's roundup of hires and promotions in North Texas, you'll also find news from BBG, Imaginuity, Eyemart Express, JAMCO Interests, The Nonprofit Alliance, RGT Wealth Advisors, Mohr Partners, and Complexity Gaming.

Dallas Innovators you need to know this week, including Bill Britian, Frank Deutschmann, Grant Griffin, and Alex Shootman.

Read the latest DI People here. In the week’s roundup of hires and promotions in North Texas, you’ll find news from Jacobs, ClubCorp, Tappit, WiNGS, TearLab, Activate Renewables, StreetLights Residential, The Expo Group, Lear Investment Management, Big Thought, and more.

Dallas Innovates covers prominent personnel moves in Dallas-Fort Worth businesses and nonprofits—from the newest startups to well-established companies. Here are innovators to know in the region.

Alkami names a new CEO

Alex Shootman

The board of directors at Plano-based Alkami, the cloud-based digital banking solutions provider for financial institutions, has appointed Alex Shootman its new chief executive officer, effective Nov. 5. He will also join the board of directors.

He succeeds Mike Hansen, who will remain onboard in an advisory role through the end of the year to assist with the transition. Hansen will also continue as a director on the board through at least 2022. 

Mike Hansen has been an inspiring leader over his more than eight years with Alkami,” Brian R. Smith, founder and managing director of S3 Ventures and chairperson of Alkami’s board of directors, said in a statement. “During his tenure he has exponentially increased the company’s value and scale including completing the IPO of ALKT on Nasdaq earlier this year. The board and I thank Mike for his service and look forward to continuing to work with him.”

Shootman has more than two decades of experience as an executive leader who has grown and scaled enterprise software companies. He joins Alkami from Workfront, where he also served as CEO. While there, he is credited with more than doubling revenue over a five-year period, while repositioning the company from a departmental project application to an enterprise application platform.

Before that, Shootman was the president of Apptio and president of Eloqua.

“Alex’s experience in growing and scaling enterprise software companies is essential at this stage of Alkami,” Smith said. “Alkami possesses the vision, strategy, and technology to help our remarkable clients grow faster than the market. With Alex at the helm, Alkami has also acquired an enterprise software veteran with proven success scaling high-growth companies.”

Perot Museum names five new board members

The Perot Museum’s new board members, left to right: Garrett Boone, Kelvin Walker, Meghna Sharma, Sachin Shroff, and Scott Greene. [Photos: Perot Museum]

The Perot Museum of Nature and Science has added five new members to its 2021-2022 board of directors and named three to its Executive Committee.

They will serve under the leadership of Board Chair Karen Katz, the former president and CEO of the Neiman Marcus Group, and Chair-Elect David Corrigan of Corrigan Investments.

“Our new board members bring a wealth of extraordinary talent and varied perspectives to the Perot Museum, which will be invaluable as we move toward our 10th anniversary—a milestone year focused upon increasing our community connections and building the next STEM workforce,” Dr. Linda Silver, Eugene McDermott CEO of the Perot Museum, said in a statement.

The new board members are:

• Garrett Boone, co-founder of The Container Store and Texas Business for Clean Air;
• Scott Greene, executive vice president of missiles and fire control at Lockheed Martin Corporation;
• Meghna Sharma, group manager executive for Toyota and controller of the Toyota Foundation;
• Sachin Shroff, vice president of CRM, loyalty, and marketing for The Michaels Company; and
• Kelvin Walker, CEO of the Dallas Citizens Council.

The new Executive Committee members are:

• Abby Williams of United to Learn, chair of the Learning Committee;
Earl Simpkins of Strategy&, chair of the Collections and Research Committee; and
• Dr. Joan Hill of The Lamplighter School; chair of the Nominating and Governance Committee.

BBG appoints a CTO

Bill Britian, Frank Deutschmann, and Grant Griffin

Dallas-based BBG, an independent national valuation and assessment real estate services firm, is reorganizing its leadership team, promoting two senior executives and naming a chief technology officer.

Bill Britain, current chief operating officer, has been promoted to the new position of president of assessment. Britain is a 25-year commercial real estate veteran who has been COO since 2019. He has also served in other roles at BBG, including chief financial officer and advisor to the board.

Senior Managing Director Grant Griffin has been promoted to the new position of president of valuation. He has more than a decade of experience in commercial real estate valuation and advisory services, specifically in multifamily, industrial, retail, office, and hospitality. He was previously responsible for overseeing BBG’s Southeastern operations. 

Frank Deutschmann was named as BBG’s CTO, a newly created role that will support the firm’s growth and guide the significant investment in technology and security that’s currently underway. He has vast experience in fintech, previously serving as a head of product management and CTO for multiple companies.

Most recently, Deutschmann was a product manager for T-REX’s warehouse lending analytical product.

“Our reputation for producing the best possible client outcomes is the direct result of a highly talented staff dedicated to successfully achieving strategic initiatives,” BBG CEO Chris Roach said in a statement. “In order to maintain this high level of client service and firm-wide growth, it’s essential that we continue to expand our leadership team to meet these goals.”

Buff City Soap expands its c-suite

Buff City Soap’s new hires, Ric Smith, Shellie Caudill, and Jean Grossman. [Photos: Buff City Soap]

Dallas-based Buff City Soap, the plant-based home and personal care franchise, has added three leaders to its c-suite amidst rapid growth. The company expects to double its national footprint in 2022.

Ric Smith has been named as chief development officer, Jean Grossman as chief operating officer, and Shellie Caudill as chief product officer.

Smith has previously served as an early-stage leader at big-name food and beverage brands, such as Starbucks, Potbelly, Qdoba, and Scooter’s Coffee. Grossman has experience scaling some of the largest food and service franchise brands, including Dunkin’ Donuts, Cosi Restaurants, and European Wax Center. Caudill has led R&D at some of the most recognizable consumer companies: Procter & Gamble, Bath & Body Works, and Church & Dwight.

“All three leaders come with 20+ years of experience in their respective fields and are best-in-class leaders,” Craig Kessler, Buff City Soap’s CEO, said in a statement. “As Buff grows its footprint beyond our current 145 stores, our expanding leadership team is poised to continue innovating and enhancing the brand.”

Founded in 2013, Buff City Soap has more than quadrupled in size since 2020. It’s now in more than 145 stores in 27 states.

Imaginuity gets a new president

Corbett Guest

Dallas-based Imaginuity, the award-winning marketing agency, has named Corbett Guest as its new president.

Guest was formerly a principal at Calise Partners, which acquired Imaginuity in 2019, a move that made it one of the largest independent marketing services providers in the Southwest. Since then he has served as  chief strategy and innovation officer, guiding the firm alongside CEO Taylor Calise through a period of high growth. He will now oversee all professional services disciplines and performance-based culture.

“Corbett has been critical to the evolution of our agency, proving his leadership and vision, and we’re thrilled to name him president as we eye sustained growth,” Calise said in a statement. “He has helped establish our marketing and technology leadership in web development, user experience, and marketing transformation, allowing us to manage the customer journey at every stage of the buying process both offline and online to deliver transformative results for our clients.”

Eyemart Express names a CMO

Katy Hanson

Dallas-based Eyemart Express, a national optical retailer that provides prescription eyewear in as little as 30 minutes, has promoted Katy Hanson to chief marketing officer.

Hanson has served as interim CMO since January. Before that, she was the company’s VP of Strategy and Planning for two years. In all, she has more than three decades of experience in strategic marketing and communications, previously holding leadership roles at Blockbuster and Michaels Stores before joining Eyemart Express. In her new role, she will lead all marketing operations.

“Katy has shown the ability to adapt in an ever-changing environment and engage customers with our brand in new ways,” CEO Michael Bender said in a statement. “I’m excited that she is officially joining our senior leadership team and look forward to the positive impact she will continue to have on our company. As Eyemart Express grows and evolves, Katy’s understanding of our customers, culture, and Eyemart Family is invaluable.”

JAMCO Interests LLC appoints a new operating partner

Sherif Mityas

JAMCO Interests LLC, the majority stakeholder of BRIX Holdings, a Dallas-based multi-brand franchising company, has added Sherif Mityas, an experienced restaurant and retail executive, as its operating partner.

Mityas has been serving in an advisory role to JAMCO, supporting the organization and its portfolio companies in strategic positioning, growth, and M&A. Prior to the role as operating partner, he has held various executive positions in consulting and in the retail-restaurant industry, specifically as the chief experience officer for TGI FRIDAYS and chief executive officer for Hollywood Video/Movie Gallery. 

“Sherif brings deep strategic experience and operational expertise to our consumer-facing portfolio including his knowledge and connections in the global ghost kitchen and virtual brand space, which will be a growing and important part of our portfolio moving forward,” John Antioco, founder, chairman, and managing member of JAMCO, said in a statement. “We look forward to his contributions to JAMCO and are confident he will meaningfully enhance our capabilities and those of the companies in which we invest.”

The Nonprofit Alliance adds Pursuant’s EVP to its Board

Jennifer Bielat

Jennifer Bielat, the EVP of Client Strategy at Dallas-based Pursuant, a provider of omnichannel fundraising and marketing solutions to nonprofits, has been appointed to the board of The Nonprofit Alliance. 

Founded in 2018, The Nonprofit Alliance was formed to be an authoritative voice to promote, protect, and strengthen the philanthropic sector. Pursuant has been a continued supporter of TNPA and its mission, and Bielat herself has been an active TNPA committee member. As a board member, she will support the growth of the Alliance through continued education that inspires the next generation of fundraisers.

“As a seasoned nonprofit leader, Jennifer leverages her robust career experience of integrated marketing and fundraising to bring a real-world understanding of what it takes to deliver results in support of mission,” Trent Ricker, CEO of Pursuant, said in a statement. “Her expertise has had a profound impact on the way Pursuant builds results-driven solutions and will undoubtedly be a valued asset to TNPA as a board member as they continue their initiatives.” 

RGT Wealth Advisors names a managing director

Price Wagner

Dallas-based RGT Wealth Advisors, an independent financial advisory firm, has added C. Price Wagner to its team as a managing director.

Wagner has 25 years of experience in managing commercial real estate developments and acquisitions, along with investments and allocations for a large family office in Dallas. That includes directing development, construction, and property management from sourcing, entitlement, financing, building, leasing, and disposition.

Wagner has served as a member of the RGT Investment Committee and member of the Business Development & Branding Committee. Before joining RGT, he was a senior vice president at Lincoln Property Company. He is also part of the Salesmanship Club of Dallas and is a member of the Momentous Institute Board of Directors and the Salesmanship Club Foundation Board.

Mohr Partners brings on a director of HR

Audrey Conley

Dallas-based Mohr Partners, a wholly-owned commercial real estate advisory firm, has hired Audrey Conley as its director of Human Resources and Corporate Initiatives.

In her new role, Conley will lead the human resources department. She previously was an HR consultant focusing on implementations, organizational and business development, employee relations, and compliance. She has more than 10 years of HR experience in the hospitality industry, specifically in assisting organizations to improve the overall employee and guest experience. 

“We’re excited to have Audrey join us during this exciting, rapid growth phase in our company’s history so she can help us recruit, on board, train and nurture leading talent in the commercial real estate industry,” Mohr Partners’ Chairman and CEO Robert Shibuya said in a statement.

Complexity Gaming hires two key executives

Olly Emery

Frisco-based Complexity Gaming, a GameSquare Esports Inc. subsidiary that’s one of the longest-standing esports organizations, has brought Olly Emery and Christina Grushkin onto its team as head of marketing and head of sales, respectively.

The hires come at a time when Complexity and GameSquare are looking to boost its global expansion efforts and diversify its offerings for fans. Both Emery and Grushkin will explore new avenues for fan engagement and develop monetization strategies for the organization. 

“Our lofty growth ambitions have underscored the need to hire the industry’s best as we continue to scale,” Justin Kenna, CEO of GameSquare, said in a statement. “Olly and Christina will play an integral role in this effort, developing innovative ways for Complexity and GameSquare to better service our fans, players, and partners.”

Christina Grushkin

Emery has more than 15 years of international marketing experience in esports, media, entertainment, and online retail. He will oversee Complexity’s brand identity and lead all marketing initiatives to grow its fandom worldwide. He previously was the CMO at Hubrick.

Grushkin has more than two decades of experience in the gaming industry. In her new role, she will identify new business opportunities, including brand partnerships, events, and more to diversify the organization’s revenue streams. Grushkin previously served as senior director for Client Strategy at Twitch.

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