DI People: Buff City Soap, Comerica Bank, Sally Beauty, and More Make Moves

In this week's roundup of hires and promotions in North Texas, you'll also find news from Accolite Digital, Pursuant, Dynamic Infusion Therapy, Omni-Threat Structures, WiNGS, Zirtue, and RBA.

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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Buff City Soap gets a new CEO

Craig Kessler

Buff City Soap, the Dallas-based home and personal care brand, has appointed Craig Kessler as its new chief executive, effective Aug. 2.

Kessler was most recently the chief operating officer at Topgolf, where he helped the Dallas-based sports entertainment company more than triple its size to nearly one billion dollars in revenue. He has a proven track record in managing multi-unit operations, brand development, experiential concepts, and building teams and culture. At Buff City, Kessler will support significant expansion plans for its offerings of plant-based soaps, laundry, bath, and body products.

“We believe that Craig will be instrumental in helping accelerate the Company’s unit expansion across the U.S.,” Mike Sutton, managing partner at Guideboat Capital Partners and co-chairman of Buff City Soap, said in a statement.  “We are seeing incredible demand for our handmade and plant-based products and Craig’s experience building a global brand was essential as we embark on the next phase of growth.”

Comerica Bank appoints a national practice leader

Bob Buchanan

Comerica Bank, a subsidiary of Dallas-headquartered financial services company Comerica Incorporated, has named Bob Buchanan as a senior vice president and national practice leader of Business Transition Planning.

Buchanan is a financial services veteran with more than two decades of experience. Most recently, he was the managing director and national practice leader for the Business Transition Planning team at Wells Fargo. At Comerica, Buchanan will be tasked with developing and implementing planning programs for business owners. He will also partner with colleagues in the Commercial Bank and Retail Bank to assist their business-owner clients.

“We are pleased to have Bob join our team and know that he will be an incredibly strong partner to our clients,” Lisa Featherngill, national director of Wealth Planning, said in a statement. “Bob has extensive experience in advising high net worth clients and business owners on business valuation, transaction structure and financing, transition planning, and many other issues facing business owners today.”  

Sally Beauty Holdings expands its Board

Erin Nealy Cox

Denton-headquartered Sally Beauty Holdings, the distributor of professional beauty supplies, has added Erin Nealy Cox to its Board of Directors.

Nealy Cox is a trial attorney, cybersecurity expert, and former federal prosecutor. Her appointment to Sally Beauty’s Board comes full circle: From August 2016 to November 2017, she served as an independent director on the Board and Audit Committee, but resigned when she was nominated and confirmed as the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas. She has been in that role since January 2021.

“I am extremely pleased to welcome Erin back to our Board,” Bob McMaster, chair of the Board of Directors, said in a statement. “We are excited about her return as an independent director and we look forward to her leadership.”

Accolite Digital names a new CFO

Mark Himelfarbas

Dallas-based digital transformation services provider Accolite Digital has appointed Mark Himelfarbas as its new chief financial officer.

Most recently, Himelfarbas served in the same role at tech consulting and digital business transformation firm Publicis Sapient. At Accolite, he will be a member of the Executive Leadership Team, overseeing all financial and business operations globally. His goal is to help build the company into a major digital and product engineering powerhouse.

“I am pleased to welcome Mark into the Executive Leadership Team at Accolite Digital,” Accolite Founder and CEO Leela Kaza said in a statement. “Mark’s appointment comes at a critical juncture, where we are aspiring to scale revenues 5X by 2025 through organic and inorganic routes and expand capabilities geographically. His extensive and rich global experience and ability to operate at scale will help us achieve our aggressive growth targets.”

Pursuant brings on a lead of its digital fundraising practice

Kacey Crawford

Dallas-based Pursuant, the full-service fundraising agency behind industry-leading SaaS platform GivingDNA, has added Kacey Crawford to its team as the VP of Digital.

Crawford has some two decades of experience serving nonprofit organizations. Most recently, she was the director of digital content strategy at Sierra Club, a role in which she managed a team of digital strategists to optimize strategic initiatives. Before that, she led account management teams at CDR Fundraising Group. At Pursuant, Crawford will lead the digital practice and serve as a senior strategist that partners with client strategy teams on digital offerings that drive relationships with clients.

 “I’m delighted to welcome Kacey to Pursuant,” Pursuant EVP of Client Strategy Jennifer Bielat said in a statement. “Her two decades of service to the industry and the results she has been able to achieve are reflective of the passion and commitment she brings to her work.  We’re excited to have her on board and look forward to the impact she will make with our clients.”

DIT shakes up its executive team

Dallas-based Dynamic Infusion Therapy, a provider of outsourced vascular access services, has announced a new executive team to fuel the growth of its platform.

The changes are:

• Peter Harris will serve as the president and chief executive officer. Harris previously held executive positions at a dozen private equity-backed companies and served customers across the nation and the globe.

• Tim Boes will serve as the chief development officer responsible for growth and acquisitions. He has more than two decades of experience as a healthcare executive at national home health, nurse staffing, and medical supply organizations.

• Thomas Bumpass will serve as the chief financial officer. He has ten years of experience with private-equity backed healthcare information technology companies, which includes acquisitions and the sale of a business. 

• Carla Dillard, the company’s longest tenured employee, will continue serving as the chief operating officer. She oversees the clinical and operational components of services delivered by DIT.

Omni-Threat promotes an executive

Rob Seiter

Dallas-based OTS Acquisition Group, dba Omni-Threat Structures, a specialist in shielding concrete and shotcrete structures, has named Robert Seiter as the new chief administration officer.

Omni-Threat Structures buildings are designed to offer protection for critical infrastructure, power generating companies, the military, financial institutions, and other industries. Seiter has a wide-ranging background in construction. Most recently, he worked at Critical Project Services, serving at team in the UK and Europe as a contracts director. He has more than 15 years of direct leadership experience in the construction and data center industries.

“As we accelerate our growth globally, Rob’s extensive experience and proven domestic and international leadership will be a powerful addition to our OTS team, and we are thrilled to have his expertise in this role,” Brandon McDaniel, managing principal and CEO of OTS, said in a statement.

WiNGS expands its Board of Directors

Dallas-based WiNGS, a provider of gender and financial equity resources dedicated to empowering women, has added seven new members to its Board of Directors and announced that James Vaughan will begin his term as president. 

“We are honored that these Dallas leaders have joined us in our mission to provide critical support to women in North Texas,” WiNGS CEO Kate Rose Marquez said in a statement. “Our board members represent a broad range of industries, bringing with them considerable knowledge and understanding of our community and its unique needs.”

The new additions to the 21-member board are:

• Anamika Gupta, a director and the head of customer marketing for Fujitsu America;
• Mary Henderson, the chief accounting officer and corporate executive officer at Arcosa;
• Jervonne Newsome, an associate at Lynn, Pinker, Cox & Hurst;
• Cynthia Nwaubani, vice president and senior relationship manager for the Wells Fargo Commercial Banking office in Dallas;
• Karen Perry Ashmore, VP of accounting and land administration at Unity Hunt;
• Jolene Risch, lead at Risch Results; and
• Holly Tucker, a partner in Deloitte’s Regulatory & Legal Support practice.

RBA brings on a new creative director

Max Elo

Dallas’ RBA, an advertising and branding agency hyperfocused on challenger brands, has hired ad industry veteran Max Elo as its new creative director.

Elo is the agency’s second ever creative director. He most recently was the group creative director for The Marketing Arm, where he led all business acquisitions through a network of 12 offices and seven different companies nationwide. Before that, he was a VP and creative director at Krause Advertising.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Max into the RBA family during a time of great growth and transition,” RBA CEO Ross Cromartie said in a statement. “He is massively talented and his career prior to RBA speaks for itself. We can’t wait to see how Max is able to innovate and help move RBA and our clients forward.”

Zirtue hires a VP of Engineering

Dallas-based fintech startup Zirtue, a relationship-based lending application, has added Amr Desouky to its team as the new vice president of engineering.

Desouky previously worked at notable organizations like the United States Social Security Administration, SkyKode, and Koding Lab. In his new role at Zirtue, he will be tasked with building and scaling the engineering team while leading the architecture, design, and development of all apps and products.

Zirtue was founded in 2018 to drive financial inclusion. The startup aims to simplify loans between friends, family, and trusted relationships by turning informal promises into structured agreements and automating the repayment process.

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