DI People: ClubCorp, North Dallas Bank and Trust, Tappit, and More Make Moves

In this week's roundup of hires and promotions in North Texas, you'll also find news from Jacobs, WiNGS, TearLab, Activate Renewables, StreetLights Residential, The Expo Group, Lear Investment Management, and more.

Across North Texas, companies are promoting and hiring people for leadership positions.

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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ClubCorp hires a chief commercial officer

Dallas-based private club leader ClubCorp has brought Peter Kent onto its team as its chief commercial officer tasked with driving revenue.

Kent is well-known in the industry for his expertise in global sales and business developmet. Most recently, he was the chief commercial officer at ILITCH Sports and Entertainment, where he managed commercial aspects of the Detroit Red Wings, Detroit Tigers, 313 Presents, and Olympia Development. He also previously spent 11 years with the PGA Tour as SVP of Global Business Development and Tournament Revenue.

“With his experience building and leading sales and revenue organizations, Peter will continue to develop an integrated and innovative sales strategy serving our clubs, and most importantly our membership,” ClubCorp CEO David Pillsbury said in a statement. “He will lead an experienced and diverse sales team and will build on the strong foundation we have today in membership, private events, outings and retail.” 

NDBT expands its leadership

Brian Jensen

North Dallas Bank and Trust Co., a local community bank organization that has five locations across DFW, is adding Brian Jensen to its team as the executive vice president of marketing and communications.

Jensen has more than two decades in marketing and communications, most recently leading efforts at international real estate services firm Cushman and Wakefield. Prior to that, he was a television sports anchor and reporter at places like Dallas-Fort Worth’s ABC affiliate WFAA-TV (Channel 8) and NBC affiliate KXAS-TV (Channel 5). At NDBT, he will oversee internal and external communications, branding, media relations, digital marketing, social media strategy, and more.

“Adding a proven communications expert to our team is part of an overall strategy designed to enhance communications throughout our bank, benefitting both our internal and external audiences,” NDBT CEO Larry Miller said in a statement. “Brian’s proven communications and leadership skills will be instrumental in guiding our organization moving forward, ensuring our continued growth and success.”

Tappit gets a chief commercial officer

Laurens Eckelboom

Tappit—a provider of global payment and data ecosystems for sports, events, stadiums and venues that has its U.S. headquarters in Plano—has appointed Laurens Eckelboom as its chief commercial officer.

Eckelboom will help introduce a range of touchless payment solutions as Tappit explores ways to enhance the fan experience. He has a track record in co-founding scaling SaaS companies, having previously started Parkmobile and serving as chief revenue officer for ParkHub. Eckelboom has also held multiple board member seats.

“We’re extremely excited for Laurens to join our team as CCO,” Jason Thomas, global CEO of Tappit, said in a statement. “We are continuing to experience rapid growth, including new partnerships and with Laurens’ expertise and experience, Tappit is poised to continue expanding globally throughout 2022 and beyond.” 

TPN names a new chief strategy officer

Cheryl Polic

Dallas creative commerce agency TPN has appointed industry veteran Cheryl Policastro as its new chief strategy officer, effective immediately.

Policastro has vast experience in retail, brand, and analytics. She first joined TPN in 2016 as VP of Planning & Perspectives, focusing on the Bank of America client. From there, she was promoted to managing director and head of Strategy & Insights in 2018. As CSO, she will continue leading the strategy and insights discipline to advance the agency’s overall vision, resources, and capabilities. Her appointment boosts the company’s already predominantly female-led c-suite.

“Cheryl’s expertise in analytics and insights, brand management and shopper marketing has helped to deliver on that promise for our client partners,” TPN CEO Sharon Love said in a statement. “She led the strategic charge as COVID-19 drastically altered the retail landscape, navigating what it meant for TPN and our client partners. Her steadfast leadership has allowed our team to be proactive and adaptive during a time of great change, and she works and leads with empathy, respect and drive, all which are core to our TPN Soul.”

UNT names its new chancellor

Dr. Michael R. Williams

The board of regents at the University of North Texas System has unanimously chosen Dr. Michael R. Williams, current president of the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth, as the sole finalist for chancellor after a months-long search process.

Dr. Williams is now set to become the UNTS’s fourth chancellor following Lesa Roe, who announced her retirement in June 2021. Prior to being named HSC president in 2012, he served on the UNT System board of regents, practiced anesthesiology and critical care medicine in Texas for more than twenty years, and served as CEO of Hill Country Memorial Hospital. As chancellor, Dr. Williams will act as CEO of the UNT System responsible for all aspects of operations.

“The UNT System Board of Regents selected Dr. Williams as our next Chancellor because we believe in his vision for, and deep understanding of, our system and member institutions, as well as his proven track record transforming HSC,” Laura Wright, UNT System board chair, said in a statement. “Dr. Williams’ innovative mindset, values-based approach and focus on customer service will be essential leading us into a changing future.”

Lear Investment Management names a director of business development

Tom Steinle

Dallas-based Lear Investment Management, which focuses on portfolio management and research, has added Tom Steinle to its team as the director of business development.

Steinle will lead the investment firm’s marketing and investor relations for existing and prospective investors, including financial advisors of both broker/dealers and registered investment advisors. He has more than two decades of experience in the asset management industry, joining Lear from AssetMark, where he served as a senior regional consultant.

“Tom shares our passion to serve investors and advisors. He brings deep industry knowledge, keen relationship skills, and a strong desire to help advisors grow their businesses and serve their existing clients,” Managing Partner Rick Lear said in a statement. “Importantly, Tom’s dedicated focus on our relationships will enable the investment team to focus on what we do best: invest wisely and opportunistically.”

Shoptology expands its team

Plano-based Shoptology, a shopper marketing agency that partner with companies to create disruptive strategies in retail, is boosting its team to meet the demands of an evolving retail market with four new hires.

Josh Rateliff was appointed senior vice president of account leadership. He has more than 20 years of experience in shopper and retail marketing, previously leading work for brands like Walmart, Toyota, Procter & Gamble, and Tyson Foods. He most recently worked at The Marketing Arm.

Wells Deschler was named vice president of strategy. He has more than 15 years of brand, retail, and communications experience in CPG, automotive, financial services, and durable goods. He also joins Shoptology from The Marketing Arm.

John Baker, who most recently led internal branding at KFC Global, was hired as senior copywriter. Baker has more than a decade of in-house and agency-side experience, which includes work on brands like Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, GameStop, Charles Schwab, and Anderson Erickson Dairy.

Filiberto Cervantes joins the team as senior art director. Cervantes has spent the past several year creating impactful brand and retail work for companies like Metro by T-Mobile, AT&T, UFC, NBA, and EA Sports. He joins the team from Credit Karma Money and is also a U.S. Army veteran.

WiNGS names its inaugural advisory board

WiNGS, a Dallas-based provider of gender and financial equity resources, has announced the members of its inaugural advisory board.

The 15-member group will be tasked with providing strategic counsel and support to WiNGS leadership. The formation is essential, as WiNGS had to shift programs and operations to be fully virtual amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The board’s experience combines unique insight in finance, healthcare, community engagement, and equity.

“The clients that WiNGS serves just want what everyone else wants – the opportunity to provide a good life for their family,” said Regina Montoya, WiNGS advisory board chair. “I am honored and excited to work alongside WiNGS staff and the Board of Trustees as they empower women, equip them with the tools they need to succeed, and truly change not only an individual woman’s life, but also the trajectory of her family for generations to come.”

The members of the advisory board are:

  • Regina Montoya, Advisory Board Chair | Regina T Montoya PLLC
  • Gillian Breidenbach | Belo + Company
  • Ka Cotter | Mary Ka Cotter
  • Debbie Dennis | Oncor Electric Delivery Company LLC
  • Jennifer Staubach Gates | Dallas Civic & Philanthropic Leader
  • Kim Hext | Community Volunteer
  • David Holl | Mary Kay, Inc.
  • Emily Horner Ledet | Bank of America
  • Sarah Losinger | John R. McCune Charitable Trust
  • Steve Love | DFW Hospital Council
  • Diane McNulty | University of Texas at Dallas
  • Anne Motsenbocker | Retired, JP Morgan Chase
  • Greg Nieberding | Digital 3 Printing
  • Brendon Riley | Wells Fargo
  • Alice Rodriguez | JP Morgan Chase | US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
  • Carol Seay | Community Volunteer

Jacobs adds to its board

Priya Abani

Dallas engineering firm Jacobs has elected Priya Abani, the CEO and president of AliveCor Inc., to its board of directors.

Abani has more than two decades of experience in business and technology with track record of innovating new paradigms, scaling ground-breaking products and services, developing entrepreneurial organizations, and building cross-industry strategic partnerships. She was previously a founding member of the Alexa Voice Service (AVS) team at Amazon and has held leadership positions across multi-discipline tech companies.

“As we increase our focus on climate response, cyber, AI and data-driven solutions, we are excited to welcome Priya Abani to Jacobs’ Board of Directors,” Jacobs Chair and CEO Steve Demetriou said in a statement. “A critical element in Priya’s decision to join was her alignment with our company’s purpose—creating a more connected, sustainable world. Priya’s vast knowledge and experience in technology-driven and innovative solutions makes her a great addition to our board.”

TearLab expands its board of directors

Jim Mazzo

Southlake-based TearLab Corporation, a global ophthalmic diagnostics company marketing laboratory point-of-care testing, has added James V. Mazzo to its board of directors.

Mazzo brings deep industry experience as one of the ophthalmic industry’s most respected business leaders. He is currently the executive chairman of Neurotech; advisor for Avellino Labs, Zeiss, and Bain Consulting; and founder and chairman of OCTANe.

In total, Mazzo has more than four decades of experience in the medical device space, having held various leadership positions that includes CEO of Allergan’s North American and European eyecare organizations; chairman, president, and CEO of Advanced Medical Optics; EVP of Abbott’s global ophthalmology business; executive chair and CEO of AcuFocus; and global president of ophthalmic devices for Carl Zeiss Meditec.

Activate Renewables names a new president

Maria Klutey

Plano-based Activate Renewables, an acquirer of real estate and royalty interests in wind, solar, and energy storage, has appointed Maria Klutey as its new president. Activate was launched in May in a joint venture with Accelerate Real Asset Management.

Klutey is a renewable industry veteran who joins Activate from serving in various roles originating, underwriting, and financing energy land investments. After serving six years active duty in the U.S. Army, Klutey joined GE Capital Energy Services. Then, in 2010, she was named CFO of American Wind Capital.

“Maria has unparalleled experience in financing deals in the renewable energy space,” said Brennan Potts, CEO of Accelerate Real Asset Management. “She has been a part of the acceleration of renewable energy adoption for more than a decade and we are excited to welcome her to Activate to help us execute our business plan.”

Big Thought gets a development team lead

Akilah Wallace

Local impact nonprofit Big Thought has appointed Akilah Wallace as its vice president of development focused on fundraising and donor engagement.

Wallace has more than 17 years of experience in development, equity, and advocacy, most recently serving as executive director for Faith in Texas. There, she helped shape public policy and community engagement campaigns that are changing lives. Wallace is also well-known in the community for founding the HERitage Giving Fund, the first Black giving circle serving North Texas.

“We are very proud and excited to have Ms. Wallace, who is a true change agent, joining our team,” said Byron Sanders, president and chief executive officer of Big Thought. “Her strategic development experience, passion for racial, economic and social justice and innovative mindset will enable Big Thought to continue to serve an increasing number of students and communities as we grow.”

StreetLights Residential brings on an SVP of design

Vincent Hunter

Dallas-based StreetLights Residential, a design-driven developer of multifamily and mixed-use communities, has added Vincent Hunter to its team as senior vice president of design.

Hunter has 27 years of design experience in multple asset classes. He joins StreetLights from WDG Architecture, where he co-founded the Dallas office in 1998 and most recently served as the principal of design. In his new role, Hunter will focus on design vision, innovation, and initiatives. The appointment comes full circle, as he designed the very first StreetLights project, The Taylor in Dallas. 

“Vincent’s design expertise, industry knowledge, and leadership make him a valuable asset for StreetLights,” StreetLights Residential CEO Doug Chesnut said in a statement. “For many years I have praised his deep level of design, talent and experience and in this new role he will build upon our vision of design-driven development and aid in the continued success of our organization.”

The Expo Group adds senior members to its team

Michael Guillory

The Expo Group, an Irving-based event and tradeshow design and management company, has hired Michael Guillory and Brooke Graham as its vice president of marketing and communications and senior project manager, respectively.

Guillory joins The Expo Group from Texas Instrumens, where he led worldwide corporate brand communications. Before that, he served in marketing leadership positions for Philips Electronics and Sage Software. He has also been recognized with the American Marketing Association’s Marketer of the Year award for Dallas.

Graham has extensive experience in customer support, relationship management, experiential engagement, and operational excellence. She has been recognized by clients for her attention to detail and extra efforts. She was most recently the client solutions manager for Freeman.

“We’re excited that Michael and Brooke bring fresh perspectives and deep expertise in marketing and project management to our team,” The Expo Group President and COO Randy Pekowski said in a statement. “This is an example of our ongoing initiative to hire industry-savvy professionals that bring proven expertise in their fields.”

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