Addison Official Will Become Frisco’s City Manager, Effective August 2
The city of Frisco has named Wes Pierson as its new city manager beginning August 2, culminating a nationwide search.
Pierson has more than 13 years of city management experience, including nearly seven years as city manager in the Town of Addison where he currently serves. Pierson also served the cities of Corpus Christi and Allen.
The city said that Pierson will follow George Purefoy, the city’s first city manager, who is retiring after more than 34 years of service.
“Frisco is a phenomenal city. I’m going to start by being focused on learning from our people and understanding how our culture works,” Pierson said in a statement. “Frisco is already extremely well managed. But I’m prepared to provide a new perspective and balance it with the city’s strong foundation to then prepare Frisco for its future as a world-class city.”
CBRE Makes 5 Internal Leadership Moves Across Key Business Units
CBRE, the Dallas-based commercial real estate services and investment firm, has made several key leadership changes—and they’re all internal moves designed to leverage emerging opportunities.
The new responsibilities “play to each executive’s unique strengths and capitalize on their outstanding track records of driving growth and excellence,” CBRE President and CEO Bob Sulentic said in a statement. “These changes will help us realize the full range of significant opportunities we foresee for our clients, people, and shareholders.”
Danny Queenan, a longtime CBRE executive who has served as CEO of the company’s Advisory Services segment since 2000, has been named CEO of Real Estate Investments (REI). One of CBRE’s key strategic objectives is to increase capital investment in its REI businesses, company said in a statement, adding that Queenan “has a proven record of value creation as a developer/investor.” He previously led the REI segment in 2018 and 2019 before taking on his advisory services CEO role. Earlier in his tenure, he was CEO of Trammell Crow Company (TCC), CBRE’s development subsidiary.
Mike Lafitte, who currently has dual roles as CEO of both REI and TCC, will now focus on his CEO role at Trammell Crow Company “to further build this business,” the company said, noting that TCC has “grown significantly” in the U.S. and established a growing presence in the U.K. and continental Europe under Lafitte’s leadership. Lafitte has also assumed oversight of CBRE’s Client Care program, which focuses on “driving measurable, integrated solutions for the company’s largest investor and occupier clients.”
In other moves, Jack Durburg has been named CEO of CBRE Advisory Services, after most recently serving as CEO of the company’s Global Workplace Solutions (GWS) business segment. A full-service real estate outsourcing business serving the world’s largest real estate occupiers in more than 100 countries, GWS produced more than $17 billion of revenue in 2021. Previously, Durburg served in a number of top CBRE roles including Global COO and Group President and CEO of the Americas.
Chandra Dhandapani has been named CEO of Global Workplace Solutions (GWS), after most recently serving as COO of GWS and Chief Transformation Officer for CBRE. She joined CBRE as Chief Digital & Technology Officer in 2016, leading a transformation of the company’s digital strategy and tech infrastructure.
Chris Kirk, CBRE’s COO, has been given “elevated responsibilities” in his role. He now shares responsibility with CBRE’s president and CEO, Bob Sulentic, “for driving excellence across the entire company,” and has “dotted-line operational oversight” of the three business segments. Kirk has also assumed direct oversight of CBRE Project Management, which remains part of the GWS segment, and will report to Dhandapani in doing so.
Thryv Holdings Names New Chief Marketing Officer
Thryv Holdings, the Dallas-based small business platform for growing small- to medium-sized businesses, announced that Tami Cannizzaro has been hired as chief marketing officer.
Cannizzaro has more than 20 years of experience building tech companies into category leaders and will play a key role in Thryv’s growth strategy, the company said in a statement.
“Tami has a proven track record of driving new customers, increased engagement, and revenue growth for major global technology brands as well as emerging leaders in the category,” Thryv Chairman and CEO Joe Walsh said in a statement. “She understands customer needs and uses those insights to drive integrated marketing programs that produce revenue growth.
Most recently, Cannizzaro was vice president, growth marketing at Forcepoint, where she was responsible for $75 million marketing-generated pipeline. Before that, she was CMO at Comodo, where she ramped per year net-new annual recurring revenue (ARR) from 54 percent to more than 100 percent.
Aero Design Labs Announces New Chief Commercial Officer
Fort Worth-based Aero Design Labs announced that Chris Jones has joined its leadership team as chief commercial officer.
He will report to President and CEO Jeff Martin and will be responsible for all customer engagements, driving the business forward on a global scale as the company transitions to its next phase, Aero said in a statement.
“His longstanding record of sales success at the highest level, customer mindset and moral integrity were key factors in making the appointment,” Martin said in the statement. “From the outset it was clear our values aligned perfectly, and I am looking forward to building the success of ADL with Chris’ help and experience.”
Aero said that Jones brings more than 30 years of aviation sales and marketing experience, including more than 20 years with Airbus in customer-facing roles. Most recently, he held the position of SVP, customers, North America and was a driving factor in Airbus’ sales success with some of the world’s largest passenger airlines.
Perimeter Medical Imaging Appoints CFO
Perimeter Medical Imaging AI announced that Chris Scott has been appointed as chief financial officer.
Perimeter, headquartered in Toronto with U.S. headquarters in Dallas, is a medical technology company driven to transform cancer surgery with ultra-high-resolution, real-time, advanced imaging tools.
Perimeter CEO Jeremy Sobotta said in a statement: “Chris is a collaborative leader who brings a wealth of public company experience directly relevant to Perimeter as we continue to execute on our commercial, clinical, and corporate development goals.”
The company said that Scott previously played a key role as chief financial and operating officer “at a Nasdaq-listed medical device company, where he led them through an IPO process and subsequent scale-up during a period when their market cap grew from approximately $10 million pre-IPO to $600 million.”
Sobotta said Scott joins Perimeter “at time when we have a strong balance sheet and see exciting milestones ahead, including the continued commercial launch of our flagship S-Series OCT and the ongoing development of our next-gen AI technology now being evaluated in a pivotal trial.”
Restaurant Company BRIX Holdings Appoints former On the Border Exec as CFO
Dallas-based BRIX Holdings, a multi-brand restaurant management and franchising company, announced that Pamela Hunt has been appointed as chief financial officer.
Hunt has more than 20 years of experience as a financial and operational leader for global organizations. In her new role, Hunt will oversee BRIX Holdings’ finance organization and all financial activities including accounting, financial planning and analysis, treasury, and tax for the BRIX Holdings’ portfolio companies. They include Friendly’s Restaurants, Orange Leaf, Red Mango, Smoothie Factory, and other brands.
Most recently, Hunt was vice president of finance and accounting at Bioworld Merchandising, a manufacturer and distributor of headwear and related accessories, where she led all aspects of its financial activities. Previously, she oversaw the accounting operations of On the Border Mexican Grill & Cantina, a chain of Tex-Mex casual dining restaurants, as the brand’s vice president and controller.
T.D. Jakes Foundation Names Former Dallas Foundation Executive as Chief Partnerships Officer
The nonprofit T.D. Jakes Foundation has appointed Kezia Stegemoeller as Chief Partnerships Officer to develop and implement its partnerships-focused strategic plan.
As a key member of the senior leadership team, she’ll report to President and CEO Hattie Hill and serve as a member of the senior leadership team.
“The barriers to success for many people in our city, country, and world are manifold and defy single solutions,” said Stegemoeller. “T. D. Jakes and this Foundation have the comprehensive vision and the local and global reach to assist people to fully self-develop and build equity stakes in their communities.”
Stegemoeller is one of the community’s “most respected relationship builders,” said President and CEO Hill. “Her experience and values are so closely aligned with the Foundation’s focus on bridging racial, gender and socioeconomic opportunity gaps for underserved and underrepresented populations. We see tremendous potential and growth ahead under her leadership.”
Prior to joining the T.D. Jakes Foundation, Stegemoeller was senior director of donor engagement at The Dallas Foundation. There, she co-launched a multi-million-dollar fund to advance equity for BIPOC residents in Dallas. Prior to that, Stegemoeller, who has a passion to help local underserved youth, was executive director of the Friends of Barack Obama Male Leadership Academy in Dallas. “I’m happy to have played a very, very small part in changing their trajectory and that of their families,” she said at the time.
American Airlines CIO Steps Down From Post, to Take Advisory Role
Fort Worth-based American Airlines announced in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that Maya Leibman is stepping down as executive vice president and chief information officer.
Leibman joined American Airlines in 1994 in the airlines’ revenue department and has spent her entire career with the company. She has been in her current job since November 2015.
American said that Leibman has decided to relocate to the United Kingdom. She will remain in her current position until the company appoints a successor. Once a successor is named, she will continue in an advisory role.
An American Airlines spokesperson told the Dallas Business Journal that Leibman is not leaving the company and wants to be closer to her family. Leibman disclosed in a LinkedIn post last year that her husband has cancer.
Senior Director at The DEC Network Departs
Demetria Brown announced that she has left The DEC Network, where she served as senior director.
In a statement on LinkedIn, Brown said: “I am so proud of what was accomplished over the last couple of years including bringing the SBA Community Navigator Pilot Program to Dallas, establishing the BUILD Ecosystem, and developing signature programs like Your Startup 2.0 and Big iDEA Dallas at The DEC at RedBird.”
Brown said she was hired at The DEC in 2020 to lead its coalition-building initiative as well as manage its expansion efforts which included leading The DEC at Redbird. She said was focused on driving economic impact and financial inclusion through programming, community building, and advocacy.
Nanoscope Therapeutics Names Two to Board of Management
Bedford-based Nanoscope Therapeutics Inc. announced that Naveed Shams, M.D., PhD, and Thomas Ciullas, M.D., will serve as advisers to its board of management.
Nanoscope is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing gene therapies to treat retinal degenerative diseases.
“Their deep experience and long list of accomplishments in the ophthalmology space will play a key role in providing guidance to support our clinical and corporate strategy. We look forward to leveraging their expertise as we advance of Nanoscope’s groundbreaking platform of optogenetic therapies,” said Nanoscope’s Co-Founder and CEO, Sulagna Bhattacharya.
Most recently. Shams served as chief science officer at ProQR Therapeutics and previously served as president and CEO of Santen Inc, and global head of R&D at Santen Pharmaceuticals, a global ophthalmology company, for over a decade, Nanoscope said in a statement. Shams has more than 25 years of global drug development experience across startups and large multinationals, including Novartis and Genentech/Roche.
Ciulla has 25 years of executive management, clinical research and academic leadership experience and he has served as chief medical officer since 2018. He also served as chief development officer since 2020 at Clearside Biomedical, which pioneered the development of the first FDA-approved suprachoroidal therapy (Xipere®). At Spark Therapeutics, Ciulla led medical strategy through approval and commercialization of Luxturna® (voretigene), the first FDA-approved gene therapy for a hereditary retinal disease, which involved novel functional vision endpoints, complex genetic testing paradigms, and new administration procedures.
Apty Names Former Hitachi Chief Transformation Officer to Executive Advisory Board
Frisco-based Apty, a leading digital adoption platform, announced that Levent Arabaci has joined the company’s Executive Advisory Board. Arabaci brings more than 30 years of experience in leadership and transformation in global companies like PepsiCo, Nestle, Cisco, and Hitachi.
During his career at Hitachi, Levent served in senior roles including Chief Transformation Officer and EVP Human Resources where he was responsible for transforming key corporate functions such as Finance, HR, IT, Facilities, and Procurement and creating common global business services across the organization.
“We got to know Levent over the past few years and were impressed with his business acumen and track record of scaling major initiatives across large, global organizations,” said Krishna Dunthoori, Apty’s CEO and co-founder, in a statement.
“The size and scope of technology investments continues to rise, yet most organizations struggle to realize the full value of these investments,” Arabaci added. “I’ve seen firsthand the strategic role Apty plays in accelerating digital transformation by driving user adoption of a company’s digital assets. Apty is leading the Digital Adoption Platform market with its customer-centric approach that ensures successful digital transformations.”
SMU Names Two New Deans
SMU has announced two new appointments to its ranks. Jason P. Nance will serve as the Dean of the Dedman School of Law and Robin Poston will serve as the Dean of the Moody School of Graduate and Advanced Studies.
Nance, an education policy and law scholar who studies inequalities in public education, will join SMU’s Dedman School of Law as the Judge James Noel Dean in August. He comes to SMU from the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where he is associate dean for research and faculty development and a professor of law.
“The Dedman School of Law aspires both to maintain its long-standing top status in the region and to rise significantly in the national rankings,” said Elizabeth G. Loboa, SMU provost and VP for academic affairs, in a statement. Under Nance’s leadership, “we’re well positioned,” she said.
Poston has been appointed dean of SMU’s Moody School of Graduate and Advanced Studies and associate provost for graduate education. Currently vice provost and dean of the Graduate School at the University of Memphis, Poston has led strategic initiatives at the university to modernize academic, scholarly and international approaches to support enrollment growth, student success, and timely graduation. She’s also supported interdisciplinary teams as director of the Systems Testing Excellence Program (STEP) at the university’s FedEx Institute of Technology.
The Moody School is focused on improving SMU’s graduate programs, as well as strategic research investments, says SMU’s Loboa. “Graduate education is an essential component of a university’s research ecosystem, and doctoral students, in particular, constitute important metrics in the Carnegie Classification, which is used to distinguish universities in terms of their research productivity,” the provost said.
SMU launched the Moody School in 2020—its eighth degree-granting school—after receiving a “landmark” $100 million in funding from the Moody Foundation in November 2019. All graduate programs were previously administered through individual schools, such as Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.
The investment in a “more strategic approach” to graduate-level education and research signaled SMU’s determination to be a” full partner in global and commercial problem-solving,” as well as a pipeline for leaders to tackle those challenges, the university said.
“Dr. Poston will help us build our research and graduate education capabilities to meet needs that we don’t even know exist yet, said SMU President R. Gerald Turner.
UNT Names Economics Professor as New Provost, Appoints Interim CIO to Permanent Roles
The University of North Texas has appointed Dr. Michael McPherson as UNT’s next provost and vice president for academic affairs. In addition, interim Chief Information Officer Dr. Adam Fein has been given permanent status in that role, and named VP for digital strategy and innovation as well.
Dr. McPherson, a professor of economics, joined the UNT faculty in 1992 and has made an impact in each of his leadership posts, which include Faculty Senate chairperson, acting dean of the Mayborn School of Journalism, associate vice provost for Faculty Success, special advisor to the provost, and vice provost for Student Success. Because of his extensive experience at UNT, UNT President Neal Smatresk says McPherson is “well versed in our challenges and is dedicated to resolving those and moving us ahead.”
McPherson is a recipient of the J.H. Shelton Excellence in Teaching Award. Smatresk says he is “dedicated to the vision of helping us build student success, transform our students’ lives, and continue to grow UNT’s Tier One reputation through research, scholarship, and creative activity.”
Earlier this year, Dr. Fein was tasked with organizing UNT’s IT efforts to improve efficiency and deliver better services while helping the university collaborate with UNT System and ITSS. As UNT’s interim CIO, he’s managed the efforts of administrative IT and helped guide UNT’s academic IT to provide critically needed services to faculty, staff and students. “Dr. Fein’s partnership with our UNT System IT colleagues will be pivotal in helping us negotiate the changing landscape of IT, cybersecurity, and cloud computing,” Smatresk said in a statement.
NEC Corp. of America Announces SVP Promotion
Irving-based NEC Corporation of America, a leading provider and integrator of advanced IT, communications, networking, and biometric solutions, announced that Marc Hebner has been promoted to SVP and head of enterprise business in the Americas, and that Al Kelley will serve as vice president of channel sales.
Hebner is a 15-year veteran at NEC and has excelled in several roles during his times at NEC, the company said in a statement. Before his promotion, Hebner led the Channel Sales organization and was successful in transforming the division into a software-as-a-solution (SaaS) sales channel while navigating full profit and loss responsibility for a traditional premises-based business into the cloud.
As the leader of NEC’s Enterprise business in the Americas, Hebner will be responsible for achieving NEC’s revenue and operating profit targets for Channel, Direct, Cloud, IT, and Smart Workspace lines of business for the U.S., Canada, and Latin America operations.
Valor Promotes Its Controller to Serve as Director of Oil and Gas Accounting
Valor, a Fort Worth-based asset management and professional services company specializing in oil and gas mineral rights, announced that Cathy Ramirez has been promoted to director of oil and gas accounting.
Ramirez previously held the position of controller.
“As we’ve revamped and grown our entire accounting services division, her background and specific experience in the oil and gas industry make her the logical choice to lead this department,” Valor CEO Joseph DeWoody said in a statement.
Valor manages just over 8 million gross mineral acres across 32 states, which generate over $100 million in annual revenue for its clients and the oversight of these non-operated oil and gas holdings is the primary objective of the company’s oil and gas accounting department, the company said in the statement.
Valor’s clients come from multiple categories, including individuals, banks, families, partnerships, trusts, nonprofits, universities, institutions, investment funds and family offices. As the new director of oil and gas accounting, the company that Ramirez will lead all accounting services for the department, representing the full scope of Valor’s professional services in the energy sector.
DHA, Housing Solutions for North Texas, Names Vice President of PD&R
DHA, Housing Solutions for North Texas, formerly the Dallas Housing Authority, announced that Dr. Maggie Deichert, the agency’s director of Policy Development & Research, has been promoted to the position of vice president of PD&R.
In her new position, Deichert leads the organization’s research initiatives surrounding affordable housing and self-sufficiency and the development and implementation of innovative policies. These policies work to remove barriers to self-sufficiency and foster upward mobility for communities chronically under-resourced across North Texas.
Deichert is responsible for the technological design and implementation of many PD&R programs. She also leverages a customer relations management platform to create automation-driven programs for quick, transparent, and responsive government operations, DHA said in a statement.
Since joining DHA in 2019 as director of PD&R, Deichert has been involved in the development of many successful programs aimed at increasing access to housing for North Texans. In 2019, she helped launch Children First North Texas. The program is designed to combat segregation and focuses on the provision of mobility counseling and support services for voucher families with children living in racially or ethnically concentrated areas of poverty.
Southwest Airlines Announces Two Internal Promotions
Dallas-based Southwest Airlines announced two leadership promotions from within the company.
Brendan Conlon has been promoted from senior director labor relations to vice president of crew scheduling.
In this newly created role, Conlon will be responsible for developing and executing the daily crew scheduling operations and building plans for the future. Conlon also will work closely with cross-departmental teams within Inflight, Flight Ops, Network Operations Control, and others. Conlon joined Southwest in July 1986 as a ramp agent after emigrating from Ireland.
Cole McGuire was recently promoted from senior director performance & projects to vice president of ground operations support. Southwest said that in this new role, McGuire will oversee ground operations support functions that ensure the department has the staffing, tools, products, and equipment necessary for safe and reliable operations. He started his Southwest career in 2007 and has held positions in Financial Planning & Analysis and Operational Strategy & Performance.
Invited Announces New National Director of Racquet Sports, Pickleball Partnerships
Dallas-based Invited, formerly known as ClubCorp, announced that Jonathan Fralick has been named national director of racquet sports, a role in which he will oversee all racquet sports operations across the company’s portfolio of 200 owned and operated golf and country clubs, city clubs, and stadium clubs.
Invited’s lifestyle hospitality brand was founded in 1957. Its recently launched new name and brand convey the aspiration to match the lifestyle and hospitality service that the company and its members and guests have become accustomed to, the company said.
“With more than 800 tennis courts and more than 300 pickleball courts, we are the largest operator of racquet sport facilities in the industry,” Invited CEO David Pillsbury said in the statement. “Our members have embraced racquet sports and the growing interest in pickleball to bring people together while enjoying a fun and challenging new activity. Jonathan has a proven history as an industry leader with his innovative approach to programing, business design and facility management that will help us take our racquet sports to new heights.”
Invited said that it has established partnerships with Dynamic Universal Pickleball Rating (DUPR) and agreed to host nine Professional Pickleball Association events at Invited facilities in Dallas, Austin, Atlanta, and Palm Springs. The DUPR is the most accurate and only global rating system in Pickleball. All players, regardless of their age, gender, location, or skill, are rated on the same scale between 2.000-8.000 based on their match results which levels the playing field at the amateur level, the company said.
TimelyMD Adds Leaders to Meet Demand for College Students’ Virtual Health, Well-Being Solutions
Fort Worth-based TimelyMD has added leaders to its care, communications, and partnerships teams to meet continued demand for virtual health and well-being solutions tailored for college and university students.
TimelyMD announced these promotions:
• Todd Hegseth has been promoted to SVP of Business Operations. Previously, he led sales operations and oversaw improvements in forecasting, sales processes, data management and systems. Hegseth has seen success in various leadership roles in sales, customer support, finance, and operations in the cybersecurity, telecommunications, and networking sectors.
• Zac Fleming has been promoted to SVP of product, a role in which he has responsibility for product management, design and strategy. In his new role, Fleming leverages technology and strategy to change models of care so that college students everywhere can seamlessly access the care needed to thrive.
• Panos Efsta has been promoted to assistant vice president of care operations and delivery. Efsta’s background includes more than a decade in operations and financial leadership, primarily focused on systems development, strategy deployment, and operational excellence. Previously, he served in senior roles at Bryan Health and GLE Healthcare Consulting. He’s the author of “Seeing to Understand: Your Scientific Thinking Lifestyle Coach.”
The following senior leaders are already helping TimelyMD fulfill its mission to help students be well and thrive:
• Rufus Tony Spann is a counselor, educator and thought leader whose passion is to shift the culture of mental health and wellness by promoting inclusivity for all people. As Executive Director of Mental Health at TimelyMD, he oversees a national network of licensed providers trusted to provide virtual therapeutic counseling, in-the-moment behavioral health support, health coaching and crisis intervention services to college and university students.
• After serving as a communications consultant with TimelyMD since March 2020, Katie Neal recently joined the team full-time as AVP of Media Relations. In a statement, TimelyMD said that Neal is a strategic communications professional with 20 years of experience and that she has a track record of delivering award-winning campaigns and high-impact results, with a specialty in higher education. Previously, Neal led the media relations team at Wake Forest University, her alma mater, and worked at PR agencies in California, Singapore, and North Carolina.
• As director of care coordination and basic needs, Manuel Carrillo manages and coordinates all student care activities with the goal of superb care with safer and more effective practices. The company said that Carrillo has worked in community mental health, crisis intervention, and academia for nearly two decades, and that his passion and expertise lies in helping young adults and college students achieve their innate purpose through emotional and psychological well-being.
• Chris Wuorinen comes to TimelyMD with more than a decade of healthcare leadership experience. Most recently, he was regional VP at SOC Telemed, the nation’s largest provider of acute telemedicine, where he built long-term relationships with hospitals and health systems providing high-acuity specialty virtual care programs, including telestroke, teleneurology, and telepsychiatry. TimelyMD said that as director of strategic partnerships, Wuorinen is dedicated to removing barriers and increasing access to care for college students.
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