DI People: American Airlines, StackPath, Infolob, and More Make Leadership Moves

In this week’s roundup of hires, promotions, and accolades in North Texas, you’ll also find news from the cities of Dallas and Plano, the North Texas Commission, TPG, ParkHub, Vistra, CyrusOne, Van’s Kitchen, ROBOAMP, and more.

Van’s Kitchen CEO Steps Down, Brother to Become Interim CEO

Dallas-based Van’s Kitchen, one of the nation’s leading egg roll manufacturing brands, announced that CEO Theresa Motter has decided to step down from that position and her brother, Apollo Nguyen, has been named as interim CEO, effective immediately.

Apollo Nguyen

“Theresa took over the family business as CEO nearly a decade ago. Without her leadership, Van’s Kitchen would not be one of the country’s most successful egg roll manufacturers,” Apollo Nguyen said in a statement. “Theresa successfully navigated the company through the pandemic while increasing sales and maintaining employee retention. We’re grateful for the exceptional leadership Theresa brought to Van’s Kitchen.”

“Van’s Kitchen began and will continue to be a family-owned and operated business. My brother, Apollo, will now steer the company and work with the board to hire the next CEO to lead Van’s Kitchen into the future,” Motter said. “Our company’s success demonstrates what hard-working families and dedicated employees can accomplish together. I’m incredibly proud of our legacy.”

Ganesh Jayaram [Photo: American Airlines]

American Airlines Appoints Deere & Co. Exec as EVP, Chief Digital Officer

Ganesh Jayaram has been named executive vice president and chief digital officer of Fort Worth-based American Airlines, effective September 1.

Currently, Jayaram is CIO at farm-machinery maker Deere & Co.

In a statement, American’s CEO Robert Isom said Jayaram has a “proven ability” to drive innovation in large, complex global organizations that depend on operational reliability.

“His leadership style, global expertise and success in building and implementing both business and technology strategy will serve him incredibly well as he steps in to lead our technology team,” Isom said in a statement.

Jayaram, who will report to Isom, will lead and shape the roadmap for the role technology will play in driving customer and team member experiences, the airline said. AS CDIO, he’ll set vision and direction for American’s technology organization that supports both technical and business strategic objectives.

MAC Diversity Recruiters Hires Chief Operating Officer

Frisco-based MAC Diversity Recruiters announced that Brook Sims has joined its team as chief operating officer.

Brook Sims

The company said that as COO, Sims will be responsible for supporting the CEO’s vision and initiatives, providing strategic growth, financial performance, and operational efficiency in helping MAC reach continued success as a leader and strategic partner to drive diversity.

“Increasing diversity is crucial for our workplaces, social environments, and economies and Brook is going to be a game changer for our DEI organization as well as our clients. With her experience and future vision, I couldn’t imagine a more perfect individual to take on the role of COO at MAC Diversity,” CEO Jeff Chaponick said in a statement.

Previously, Sims worked at First United Bank and at JPMorgan Chase.

Biote Appoints New Chief Financial Officer

Irving-based Biote Corp., a high-growth, differentiated medical practice building business within the hormone optimization space, announced that Samar Kamdar has been appointed CFO overseeing Biote’s financial operations, with a focus on driving revenue growth and profitability.

He will report to CEO Terry Weber.

The company said that Kamdar brings a deep knowledge of financial leadership experience across industries including healthcare information technology, consumer packaged goods, retail services and software industries, with a proven track record of building high-performance teams and driving business transformation and growth.

Most recently, Kamdar was CFO at Slync.io, a software-as-a-service operating platform company for global shippers and logistics services providers, where he led the company’s financial operations. Before that, Kamdar was CFO at TaxAct, a leading provider of tax preparation solutions.

“He will play a key role in the design and execution of our capital allocation strategy. Samar’s experience supporting innovative growth and history of financial leadership will enable us to optimize our strategic growth,” Weber said.

Doug McDonald [Image: City of Plano]

Doug McDonald Will Return to Plano as Director of Economic Development

The city of Plano has named Doug McDonald as its Director of Economic Development.

He’ll take the post held by long-time director Sally Bane, who retired in July. Bane’s tenure was marked by some 149 corporate relocation and expansion projects and the creation of more than 45,000 jobs.

It’s a return to familiar territory for McDonald, who worked for the city for nearly five years as a comprehensive planning manager, before departing to work for the city of Richardson.

McDonald—currently the interim executive director for the Richardson Economic Development Partnership and the managing director for the city’s Office of Innovation—was a key player in the creation of the Richardson Innovation Quarter. Other significant projects during his time in the city include transit-oriented development along the DART Red Line and collaborative new programs that support Richardson’s startups and small businesses. 

Read more in our story here.

ParkHub Deal Brings in Payment Solutions President, New Chief Revenue Officer Named

Lane Conner

In an all-Dallas deal, parking technology provider ParkHub has acquired payment processing integrator Fuzse for an undisclosed amount, and as a result, Fuzse founder and CEO Lane Conner will take on the role of president of payments at ParkHub.

Conner has helped found and lead numerous payment-focused ventures.

“We’re thrilled to bring Fuzse into the ParkHub fold as we strive toward payments leadership in the parking industry,” ParkHub founder and CEO George Baker Sr. said in a statement. “The convergence point of our hardware, software, and payments solutions is where our customers compete and win with better customer experience and rich data to inform every decision.”

Chris Elliston

Also, Chris Elliston has been named chief revenue officer of ParkHub.

Elliston joined ParkHub in 2017 as senior vice president of Enterprise Sales after successful stints in growth positions at Skillsoft, Corpedia, and Primedia Workplace Learning, a trio of educational technology firms. In 2021, he earned a promotion to EVP of sales.

During Elliston’s first three years, ParkHub grew revenue at a rate of 369%, earning ParkHub its first Inc. 5000 selection in 2020. Between 2020 and 2022, ParkHub has maintained a 144% growth rate under Elliston’s sales leadership.

Read more in our story here.

UNT Board Names Sole Finalist to Lead Health Science Center at Fort Worth

The University of North Texas System Board of Regents announced that Dr. Sylvia Trent-Adams is the sole finalist for president of The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth.

Dr. Sylvia Trent-Adams

Her selection culminates a nearly eight-month national search, the system said.

Trent-Adams will become the seventh president in the university’s history and will succeed Dr. Michael R. Williams, who became chancellor of the UNT System on January 1 and continued to serve as HSC’s president during the search process.

The system said that under state law, university governing boards must name finalists for a presidency at least 21 days before making a permanent appointment. The Board of Regents is expected to finalize the selection the week of September 12, according to a statement.

“Sylvia Trent-Adams is one of the most accomplished, admired and effective leaders in higher education and specifically, health care,” Williams said. “This is a pivotal moment for HSC – one full of extraordinary possibilities to pursue new knowledge, serve the community, and enhance education and health care – but also a time of unique challenges in an ever-changing higher education landscape. Such an era calls for skillful leadership, strategic thinking, and disciplined execution. Dr. Trent-Adams will provide just that.”

Since 2020, she has served as HSC’s executive vice president and chief strategy officer, the system said.

Stacey Doré has been named Vistra’s Chief Strategy and Sustainability Officer [Photo: Vistra]

Vistra Hires First Chief Strategy and Sustainability Officer/EVP of Public Affairs

Vistra announced that Stacey Doré will join the company as its first chief strategy and sustainability officer and executive vice president of public affairs.

She’ll be responsible for corporate strategy, sustainability, regulatory and government affairs, communications, and community engagement at the Irving-based Fortune 500 power company.

Doré, who climbed the ladder as a corporate counsel, will report to Jim Burke, Vistra’s president and CEO, in the new role, the company said.

She is a “respected, proven leader who has a broad understanding of both our company and our industry,” Burke says. Doré previously worked for Vistra’s predecessor companies.

“Her diverse background spans not only competitive power generation, retail, and commercial activities, but also in related businesses, including transmission and distribution, as well as natural gas,” he said in a statement.

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson Taps Attorney Carlos White to Serve as Franchise Impact Ambassador

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson announced a new initiative Thursday to increase business franchising in the city, especially in historically underserved communities. Johnson appointed Carlos White—a Dallas attorney who specializes in franchise law—to serve as Franchise Impact Ambassador and chair of the mayor’s Franchise Initiative.

Carlos White

White’s goal will be to make Dallas “a global hub for franchising” by forming partnerships that can help teach city residents how to create, systematize, and scale successful businesses.

“To grow Southern Dallas, we cannot afford to focus on real estate development alone. We must also invest in the people of Southern Dallas,” Mayor Johnson said in a statement. “Through the Mayor’s Franchise Initiative and our continuing focus on upskilling our city’s workforce, I know that we can finally meet our full potential as a city.”

Read more in our story.

TPG Appoints Partner, Head of Business Services at TPG Capital

TPG, the global alternative asset management firm headquartered in Fort Worth and San Francisco, announced the appointment of Peter Munzig as a partner and head of business services for TPG Capital, the firm’s private equity platform.

Peter Munzig

In this role, Munzig will lead TPG Capital’s investment activity and portfolio management in the business services sector, the company said.

“Peter’s broad experience investing in and advising companies across industries makes him an excellent fit to lead our business services strategy, which focuses on partnering with leading technology-enabled services businesses that are delivering increasingly critical outcomes for enterprises globally,” said Nehal Raj, co-managing partner of TPG Capital. “His appointment highlights TPG Capital’s ongoing commitment to developing deep expertise in our core sectors, and we’re confident his leadership and insight will allow us to expand our investing efforts in the space.”

Munzig comes to TPG after 17 years with General Atlantic, where he most recently served as managing director and head of their Palo Alto office, responsible for the firm’s B2B investing efforts. At General Atlantic, Munzig led and managed investments in outsourced services, technology-enabled services, information services, and software across a range of industries and end markets. Before that, Munzig was an investment banker with Goldman Sachs, where he advised clients in the technology, industrial, and consumer sectors on a range of M&A and corporate finance transactions.

StackPath Hires New Head of Channel Partnerships

Dallas-based StackPath, a leading platform of edge computing, edge delivery, and edge security solutions, is formally launching its Channel Partnership Program and has hired Frank Stepczyk as head of channel partnerships.

Frank Stepczyk

The company said that Stepczyk will be responsible for building out the strategy and recruitment of new reseller partners worldwide while also managing the entire lifecycle of the relationship with partners, enabling them to sell, deploy, and recommend StackPath products.

“Frank has built a strong brand in the channel community as a partner advocate who drives value to customers through dynamic partnerships, and we are excited to see what he can do with our channel program in this underserved space,” said Kevin Odden, StackPath’s chief revenue officer.

StackPath said that Stepczyk has been working with channel partners for more than 25 years. For the first 12 years of his channel career, he built a successful program for the boutique telecom reseller Access One. Then he led channel teams as part of PAETEC/Windstream’s Channel Program, where the program was recognized for excellence by the channel community at large. Most recently, he spent three years leading the channel team at CenturyLink/Lumen.

CyrusOne Hires SVP of Project Development

Dallas-based CyrusOne has hired Michael Nudelman as SVP of project development for the global data center developer and operator specializing in delivering state-of-the-art digital infrastructure solutions.

The company said that Nudelman brings more than 20 years of experience in data center development, strategy, and management of multidisciplinary teams, including nine years as senior lead for global data center strategy for Google.

In his new role, Nudelman will lead global site selection strategy, acquisitions, and expansion of the CyrusOne portfolio of data center assets with a focus on sustainable operations and reliable power infrastructure, CyrusOne said in a statement.

Before joining CyrusOne, Nudelman led international teams and data center projects for Google that successfully enabled the delivery of several gigawatts of data center capacity and over $5 billion in investments.

Comerica Names EVP of National Business for Energy, Renewables, and Waste

Dallas-headquartered Comerica Inc. announced that Joe Ursuy has been named to the new role of executive vice president of national businesses for energy, renewables, and waste.

Joe Ursuy

Ursay will report to Mike Ritchie, EVP and head of national and specialty businesses.

Most recently, Ursuy was SVP, director of environmental services, leading the Environmental Services Department that he was instrumental in establishing among Comerica’s Commercial Bank divisions and industry services. The company said that in addition to continuing to manage Comerica’s sizeable relationships in the recycling, renewable energy, and waste industries, Ursuy will also oversee the bank’s existing oil and natural gas production and midstream line of business.

“Joe’s expertise assisting renewable energy, recycling and refuse companies has been instrumental in allowing us to deepen our relationships in many sectors within those industries across all our markets,” Ritchie said. “These businesses and the environments in which they operate are continuing to evolve, and Joe’s leadership and extensive knowledge bolster our customers’ ability to navigate through their challenges while helping them grow and succeed.”

SMU Adds Serial Social Entrepreneur as Adjunct Professor

Suzanne Smith

Suzanne Smith announced that starting this fall, she will be an adjunct professor at SMU’s University Cox School of Business, teaching the Corporate Social Responsibility & Ethical Leadership class.

A Dallas-based serial social entrepreneur and keynote speaker, Smith said on LinkedIn that she will continue teaching Social Entrepreneurship each spring at UT Arlington.

Smith is the founder and CEO of Social Impact Analysis, a social change agency that provides consulting and learning experiences to changemakers, working alongside them to create game-changing solutions to social issues.

NEC Corp. of America Names VP of Solutions

Irving-based NEC Corporation of America, a provider and integrator of advanced IT, communications, networking, and biometric solutions, announced that Gary Lac has joined the company as vice president of solutions.

Gary Lac

Lac brings more than 20 years of biometric and identity solution sales, development, and delivery experience to NEC, the company said in a statement.

“Gary’s experience makes him a great addition as we look toward meeting growing customer demand and simplifying the delivery of our current portfolio of solutions,” said Eugene le Roux, VP of International Operations and Domestic Government for NEC’s Digital Services business group. “His vision for product development will be key as NEC expands its footprint in the Digital Services industry with new product launches and partnerships in the near future.”

In his new role, Lac will oversee product standardization with an emphasis on simplifying project deliveries as well as launching new products for NEC’s growing customer base. He will support State & Local Government, NEC National Security Systems, and Digital Services verticals.

Realtor Makes Move to Compass Real Estate

Jansen Klefeker

Realtor Jansen Klekeker announced that he’s joining Compass and will focus on the Dallas luxury market.

The Jansen Klefeker Group, which did over $30 million in residential deals in the DFW metro in 2021 according to the Real Deal, will be joining the Dallas brokerage

According to the Real Deal, Klefeker has spent the last five years at Rogers Healy and Associates, where he was recognized by D Magazine as among DFW’s “Best Real Estate Agents” in 2020, 2021, and 2022, as well as “Top Producer” for 2021 and 2022.

JPMorgan Chase Bank in Richardson Names Executive Director

Kristen Wells has taken on the new role of executive director of business management for MMBSI Risk at JPMorgan Chase Bank in Richardson.

Kristen Wells

The middle market banking and specialized Industries team works with mid-sized companies, municipalities, and not-for-profit entities across a variety of industries including technology, healthcare, life science, higher education and more. 

Previously, Wells was a senior underwriter at JPMorgan Chase Bank.

She has a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the Texas McCombs School of Business.

Infolob Solutions Strengthens Solutions Leadership with Hire

Irving-based Infolob Solutions announced the strengthening of its solutions’ leadership with the addition of Yzelle Conrad De Wet.

Yzelle Conrad De Wet

The company said the move accentuates Infolob’s goal of aspiration to deliver its global clientele a complete suite of digital transformation services including cloud migration, cloud apps enablement/renovation, hybrid- and multicloud infrastructure managed services, database upgrades, and data management from a business intelligence viewpoint.

“Our customers admire our cloud, apps, and database competencies. However, without the ability to leverage data and gain business insights—the circle is not complete and the essence of a true digital transformations remains unfilled,” founder and CEO Vijay Cherukuri said in a statement. “Yzelle is a data management expert with an illustrious career that has helped numerous enterprises execute their data strategy.”

De Wet has more than two decades of experience in integrating disparate data systems to create a unified and seamless data flow, the company said He has had previous associations with organizations including Informix Software, Compaq Computers, Hewlett Packard, and private equity groups.

ROBOAMP Hires Two Software Engineers

Simon Montoya and Karel Puerto have joined Dallas-based ROBOAMP as software engineers.

Simon Montoya (left) and Karel Puerto

The announcement was made on LinkedIn by Roberto Inetti, founder and CEO at ROBOAMP, a Techstars 2022 company. ROBOAMP says that it makes web pages load in two seconds or less with one line of code.

Montoya, a resident of the nation of Colombia, has eight years of experience in the programming world. Puerto, who lives in Mexico, says he is continuing to polish his professional skills in the development of computer applications and solutions.

North Texas Commission Names Members of Leadership North Texas Class 14

The North Texas Commission announced that it has selected the members of Leadership North Texas Class 14.

The North Texas Commission is a public-private partnership dedicated to advancing the vibrancy of the North Texas region. Leadership North Texas is a graduate-level, regional leadership program that recruits, develops, and supports stewards of the region. Oncor is the presenting sponsor for the program.

Class 14 is made up of 32 leaders from across North Texas in a variety of industry sectors including elected officials, municipal leaders, education leaders and the business community.

The 2022-2023 Leadership North Texas Class will include the following:

  • Jerod Anderson, City of Coppell
  • Amy Arnold, City of White Settlement
  • Jeannette Benefee, DFW International Airport
  • Kervin Campbell, Dunaway
  • Councilman Don Carroll, City of Coppell
  • Camilo Carvajal, MEMCO
  • Thuy Cobb, DFW International Airport
  • Jasmine Collier, Year Up
  • Cristina Criado, Criado & Associates, Inc.
  • Martha Fernandez, Dallas College
  • Janet Foreman, The Ascend Institute – Dallas College
  • Andrew Fortune, City of Plano
  • Joshua Griffith, Hillwood
  • Clyde C. Hairston, City of Lancaster
  • Sadaf Haq, Be In Health Foundation
  • Fraser Hay, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano
  • John Heerwagen, Aetna, a CVS Health Company
  • Shannon Hicks, Town of Addison
  • June Jenkins, Noir Lifestyles of Collin County
  • LaJuanda Jones, Dallas College
  • Councilmember Jennifer Justice, City of Richardson
  • Dana MacDonald, Quest Employment Services
  • Rob Matwick, Texas Rangers Baseball Club
  • Shanee’ Moore, Dallas College North Lake Campus
  • Trent Newell, Fidelity Investments
  • Andjelka Pavlovic, The Cooper Institute
  • Dylan Rafaty, North Texas Disability Chamber
  • Catherine Riggle, Children’s Health
  • Mary Rosenbleeth, Town of Addison
  • Jane Santa Cruz, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
  • Megan Stoub, Oncor
  • Alexandria Woodward, City of Mesquite


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