DI People: Argano, ZeOmega, TracyLocke, UNT, and More Make Moves

In this weekly roundup of executive moves in North Texas, you'll also find news from Cyber Group, the Dallas Regional Chamber, Imaginuity, and Questpro.

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 the people moves tied to innovation and technology in the region.

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Argano names chief revenue officer

Sri Ayyeppen

Dallas-based Argano, which delivers next-gen business and technology services that keep pace with today’s fast-changing customer expectations, has appointed Sri Ayyeppen as its new chief revenue officer.

Ayyeppen is currently the co-founder and president of ArganoKeste. Argano is an amalgamation of two North Texas tech firms, Plano-based Keste and Arlington-based interRel, combining with United Virtualities, which has offices in New York, Guadalajara, and Buenos Aires.

Within Argano is ArganoKeste, a technology services firm focused on commerce to cash solutions in the B2B space; ArganoInterRel, a provider of enterprise performance management and business intelligence software; and ArganoUV, a design and technology team that will deliver commerce experiences for leading B2C brands.

Ayyeppen will be tasked with formulating Argano’s global go-to-market offerings and sales processes in collaboration with ArganoKeste, ArganoInterRel, and ArganoUV. Three additional firms are expected to join the platform in the coming weeks.

“Sri has extensive experience driving strategic growth at ArganoKeste across multiple technologies and business solutions,” Argano Group CEO Chip Register said in a statement. “He will work closely with all of the sales teams across Argano, with marketing, and with our alliance leads to develop a consistent framework for communication and collaboration to bring to life our combined value proposition. Sri will also facilitate the introduction of each of our platform businesses to all of the clients across our extensive portfolio.”

Cyber Group adds a principal to its team

Summer Hilfers

Dallas-based Cyber Group, a fast-growing software service company, has announced that Summer Hilfers is joining its Retail Energy practice as a principal.

Hilfers is an experienced business development executive who has more than a decade of experience in retail energy. Her record includes facilitating long term business relationships, helping energy companies grow their businesses, and building alliances. She was recently a director of business development at Emerios.

“Cyber Group’s Retail Energy Practice has largely grown organically and has come to form a firm foundation for Cyber Group. However, we know that there is so much more we can offer to the Retail Energy space,” Jonathan Goldstein, SVP of Retail Energy at Cyber Group, said in a statement. “Together with Ms. Hilfers, we will be seeking to advance our brand recognition, develop key strategic partnerships and expand the breadth and depth of services we can offer to Energy and Utility organizations. Summer will be a core driver of this strategy.”

ZeOmega names a chief medical officer

Dr. David J. Sand

Plano-based ZeOmega, a provider of technology-enabled population health solutions, has added David J. Sand, M.D., M.B.A. to its team as the chief medical officer.

Dr. Sand previously served as CMO with multiple organizations, including Permedion, Care N’ Care, and Medicare for Anthem BCBS. He also spent 12 years running his own clinical practice. He has provided key insights throughout his career to startups, established Medicare and Medicaid health plans, program-integrity companies, and vendors to CMS. His areas of expertise are care management, finance, risk adjustment and management, data analytics and medical management platforms, healthcare coordination, and more.

“Dr. Sand is a phenomenal addition to our team,” ZeOmega Founder and CEO Sam Rangaswamy said in a statement. “Dr. Sand’s thought leadership will be invaluable to informing and supporting our innovation pathway. His contributions will solidify our mission of empowering health plans and other risk-bearing organizations to deliver integrated, whole-person health management.”

TracyLocke gets a new president

Tina Manikas

Dallas-based commerce and communications agency TracyLocke has appointed Tina Manikas as its new U.S. president, effective immediately.

In her new role, Manikas will focus on driving agency growth through innovation, specifically to increase its capabilities and maximize its growing portfolio. She has more than two decades of experience in multiple categories, having previously founded and led FCB/RED, an award-winning shopper, retail, and commerce agency. In 2019, she was named Advertising Woman of the Year by the Chicago Advertising Federation. 

“We’re excited to welcome Tina to the TracyLocke family,” TracyLocke CEO Michael Lovegrove said in a statement. “Tina not only embodies the core values and culture of our company but brings extensive industry knowledge working with truly innovative brands.”

UNT gets its first chief diversity officer

Danetta English Bland

After a comprehensive national search, the University of North Texas System has named Dannetta English Bland as its chief diversity officer, effective July 19.

Bland previously spent some 17 years at Deloitte, where she gained a wealth of experience advising Fortune 500 companies on diversity, equity and inclusion and talent strategy, cultural and workforce transformation, and executive transition and alignment. In the newly created position at UNT, she will work collaboratively with existing campus and system DEI advisory groups and HR leaders to refine and accelerate this important work. 

“Dannetta English Bland is an accomplished trailblazer in DEI strategy, and we are excited to have her join our leadership team to help build upon the UNT System’s core belief that higher education should be accessible to everyone,” UNT Chancellor Lesa Roe said in a statement. “Dannetta will help our system and member institutions find authentic ways to come together and affirm the value of our diverse students, faculty and staff.”

Dallas Regional Chamber names an SVP of Education and Workforce

Jarrad Toussant

The Dallas Regional Chamber, the voice of business and champion of economic development and growth in the Dallas region, has hired Jarrad Toussant as its new SVP of education and workforce.

Most recently, Toussant was the division director of College, Career, and Military Preparation at the Texas Education Agency (TEA), which oversees primary and secondary public education and improves outcomes for all public school students in the state. Before that, he was a director for Teach for America, senior education advisor for then-Newark (NJ) Mayor Cory A. Booker, and deputy director of Policy for Educate Texas. At the DRC, he will lead education and workforce initiatives.

“Jarrad brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the DRC in this critical area, which is the key to developing local talent into tomorrow’s highly productive workforce,” DRC President and CEO Dale Petroskey said in a statement. “We know Jarrad well through partnering on DRC projects for the past seven years and are excited he’ll be leading our efforts to improve the education and workforce pipeline in the Dallas Region.”

Imaginuity expands its team

Left to right: Bethany Davidson, Chris Brown, Jourdan Wilkerson, and Molly Brill

Dallas-based Imaginuity, an integrated agency that is reimagining marketing for the connected age, has made a number of staff appointments to accommodate its continued growth.

The hires were in Client Partnerships, Search Engine Optimization, and Digital Media:

• Dave Newman was named senior account director of Client Partnerships. He most recently served as vice president of marketing for Cicis Enterprises, and before that, was group account director at TracyLocke.
• Molly Brill was named senior director of Client Partnerships. She previously led digital marketing and advertising for Sonic Drive-In.
• Jourdan Wilkerson was named new director of Client Partnerships. She has formerly provided digital services for Jiffy Lube, Coca Cola, FedEx, Wendy’s, T-Mobile, PrimeLending, and Toyota.
• Chris Brown was named director of SEO. He previously served as the senior director of Digital Marketing at Wpromote.
• Bethany Davidson was named group media director in the Digital Media division. She most recently served as the director of digital marketing at BJ’s Wholesale Club.

“Today’s customer journey is incredibly complex, and we have taken the time these last several months to more deeply invest in having the specialized talent in-house to better integrate each of the steps in that journey into our service offering,” Imaginuity CEO Taylor Calise said in a statement. “This gives our clients direct access to the individuals that can help them both efficiently reach broader audiences and more effectively convert leads. Our staffing approach has been pivotal in delivering for the clients we’ve worked with for years as well as in winning those we’ve recently welcomed.”

Questpro makes leadership changes

Dallas-based Questpro, a full-service staffing and recruiting firm exclusive to the insurance and risk management industries, is expanding its national footprint via the promotion of several key team members and a new hire.

“Despite the pandemic, we’ve continued to see momentum and growth within the industry,” CEO Kevin Burch said in a statement. “Jobs are up. Revenue is up. With this unprecedented growth comes a need to further develop and strengthen our divisions, ultimately allowing us the opportunity to serve a greater number of clients and candidates within the market.”

The changes are:

• Johnny Park, former COO, was named president of Questpro, the company’s direct hire practice, which also consists of contingency and retained searches. Park previously served as Chief Operations Officer for the company.
• Kathy Gilman O’Brien was named president of QTemps, the temporary and temp-to-hire contract staffing practice. O’Brien was previously the VP of QTemps.
• Debbie Hubbell, former VP of Sales, was named president of QExecs, the executive consulting practice.
• Taylor Jones, former business development director for the South region, was named VP. Jones will oversee sales, marketing and business development activity across each division and territory.
• Tandeka Nomvete was hired as the director of College Recruiting for QGrads, the college and recent graduate recruiting division. Nomvete was previously the director of Chapter Engagement for Gamma Iota Sigma.

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