DI People: COMSovereign, Capital One, Comerica Bank, Riveron, and More Make Moves

In this weekly roundup of executive moves in North Texas, you'll also find news from Vizient, Foundry Commercial, Catalyze Dallas, Kimberly-Clark, Cyber Defense Labs, High-Tech High Heels, and Keurig Dr Pepper, among others.

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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Vizient announces new executive vice president

Simrit Sandhu

Headquarted in Irving, Vizient, the nation’s leading healthcare performance improvement company, has named Simrit Sandhu as the company’s executive vice president of strategic transformation and clinical-supply solutions.

Prior to joining Vizient, Sandhu spent 14 years with Cleveland Clinic where she served as its chief supply chain and support services officer. Her leadership allowed Cleveland Clinic to be named a top hospital by Gartner’s ranking of health care supply chains for three consecutive years. In her new role, Sandhu will focus on implementing Vizient’s strategic plans and its supply chain businesses in areas spanning medical-surgical, clinical preference, capital, purchased services, and supply chain operations.

“Simrit brings a unique blend of leadership and innovative thinking. Her experience with Cleveland Clinic, and understanding of Vizient, will enable her to help the company as it seeks to bring transformational strategies to better connect clinical care, sourcing and supply chain operations,” Bharat Sundaram, president and chief operating officer for Vizient, said in a statement. “We are excited to have Simrit join our leadership team as our organization evolves in support of our member health systems.”

Comercia Bank appoints a national African American business development manager 

Summer Faussette

Comerica Bank, a financial services company headquartered in Dallas, has chosen Summer Faussette as its national African American business development manager to continue its commitment to building strong relationships with diverse business leaders. 

With more than 17 years of experience in the financial services industry, Faussette previously served has the company’s VP of External Affairs in Arizona. She will continue to oversee Arizona’s Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) activities, which include civic and community relations, internal and external CRA strategic planning, and fostering community partnerships and investments.

Faussette’s new role will be an extension of her current responsibilities: She will now collaborate with Comerica’s African American Business Resource Groups, Chief Diversity Officer Nate Bennett, and Chief Community Officer Irvin Ashford, Jr. on enhancing external partnerships with African American nonprofit organizations across the bank’s national footprint.

Riveron names a new CEO

Julie Howard

Founded in Dallas, Riveron, a national business advisory firm specializing in accounting, finance, technology, and operations, has elected Julie Howard to be the its new chief executive officer. 

Formerly, Howard worked as Navigant Consulting’s chairman and chief executive officer. During her tenure at Navigant, she enhanced the company’s value for its shareholders ahead of a successful sale of the business in 2019. Howard joined the Riveron team last fall as a member of its Board of Directors, in which she brought her 30 years of professional experience to execute growth. In her current role, she focus on creating new strategies in order to capture emerging growth opportunities.

“I am honored to lead Riveron, a true powerhouse that is in the business of generating remarkable outcomes for its people and clients alike,” Howard said in a statement. “Riveron, like many companies today, stands at an inflection point as the uncertain business landscape creates opportunities to serve clients in new, innovative ways. I look forward to partnering with Riveron’s leadership team and its talented people to seize new growth opportunities while building upon the extraordinary momentum achieved through Landon’s vision.”

CRE veteran joins Foundry Commercial as its Texas market leader

Steve Bassett

Foundry Commercial, a full-service real estate services and investment firm with offices across the Sun Belt, has appointed Steve Bassett to the position of Texas Market Leader with a primary focus on the Dallas office.

Having over 30 years of experience under his belt, Bassett has spent his career overseeing and growing regions, recruiting, and developing local service talent. Most recently, he served as global account executive at CBRE, spearheading a team that provided strategy formation, account management, and service delivery for the firm’s top institutional and private equity clients. During his nearly 20-year tenure at CBRE, he held multiple other positions, including executive managing director, U.S. investor services business development leader, and office leasing practice leader.

In his new role as Texas Market Leader, Bassett will be responsible for increasing the footprint of Foundry’s services platform and forging new business growth in the greater Texas region with an emphasis on the Dallas-Fort Worth market. 

Catalyze gets a new CFO

James Bendle

Catalyze Dallas, which works with defense companies to unleash the full value and potential of their investments in innovation, has named James Bendle as its chief financial officer to support continued growth. 

Over his 25-year career, Bendle has pursued his passion for incubating and growing businesses. Prior to Catalyze Dallas, he served as senior vice president of CesiumAstro, a space communications equipment company. Bendle has also worked for the investment division of Silicon Valley-based Flex, where he created all governance and portfolio management infrastructure and monetized vast technology capabilities. In his new role, Bendle will work to amplify portfolio companies into full production mode and ensure partners continue to see their innovations commercialized. 

“James is a key addition as we enter our next stage of growth based on our broadened partnerships with Fortune 500 aerospace and defense companies,” Tricia D’Cruz, co-founder and managing director of Catalyze Dallas, said in a statement. “James will not only manage financial planning, accounting, compliance and reporting for Catalyze and its existing holdings, but also accelerate the process of spinning out products into new businesses using our signature turnkey commercialization model.”

Kimberly-Clark selects a new chief strategy officer

Paula Ramos

Irving-based multinational personal care corporation Kimberly-Clark has announced that Paula Ramos is the first Latina to ever named to the role of chief strategy officer.

Previously, Ramos spent 18 years as at parter McKinsey advising some of the world’s largest consumer goods companies. With extensive experience in Latin America and the United States, she is well versed in accelerating growth and improving company’s organizational effectiveness. During her time at McKinsey, Ramos trailblazed the firm’s global consumer health practice, and played a key role in its inclusion and diversity programs. Now, she will report to to Mike Hsu, chairman and CEO, as she focuses on magnifying Kimberly-Clark’s global responsibility and company’s enterprise strategy.

“Paula’s diverse and deep experience in the consumer goods industry, particularly in driving agility-led growth initiatives and commercial performance, will provide Kimberly-Clark with sharp focus as we continue to accelerate growth,” Hsu said in a statement. “She will be a great addition to our global leadership team.”

Cyber Defense Labs welcomes a new managing director for Professional Services

Pedro Cordero

With its headquarters in Dallas, Cyber Defense Labs, a full lifecycle information security service provider, has named Pedro D. Cordero as its managing director for Professional Services.

A seasoned and trusted executive, Cordero previously served 27 years in the Federal Bureau of Investigation where he specialized in complex cyber intrusion investigations, public corruption, counterterrorism, financial institution fraudm and more. In holding multiple leadership positions within the FBI, he gained insight on cyber intelligence and shared it with private and public sector partners. In addition to several professional certifications in cybersecurity and information assurance, Cordero is the author of two cybersecurity leadership books and a cybersecurity training course for business leaders. 

“I have worked with Pete for over 20 years and find his leadership, professionalism and personality to be a winning combination,” Robert Anderson, Jr., CEO of Cyber Defense Labs, said in a statement. “Pete’s ability to communicate clearly and concisely about complex issues is just one outstanding attribute he will bring to the Cyber Defense Labs team.” 

Federal Home Loan Bank announces 2021 Advisory Council members

Calvin R. King

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas), has appointed Calvin R. King Sr. and Deborah Welchel to its Affordable Housing Advisory Council, and named four reappointments to focus on affordable housing and economic development issues.

King is the founder, president, and CEO of the Arkansas Land and Farm Development Corp., which assists farmers in retaining land ownership, develops housing, and creates small rural business opportunities. The organization is currently active in 42 counties. As a result, King has received numerous state and national recognitions for his work with African American farmers and other small landowners with limited resources.

Deborah Welchel

Welchel is a senior development director of Volunteers of America National Services, a subsidiary of Volunteers of America, where she is responsible for the development, acquisition, and preservation of affordable housing. The organization’s mission is to advance, support, promote, and administer health, housing, and supportive services. For 26 years, she has worked in the affordable housing and community development field.

The following board members were also reappointed: Samuel Sanders, executive director of Mid City Redevelopment Alliance Inc.; Michelle DenBleyker, senior vice president of development for YES Housing; Matt Hull, executive director of the Texas Association of the Community Development Corporations; and Tim Pierce, executive director of the South Plains Association of Governments.

High-Tech High Heels – North Texas adds new directors to its Board

Left to right: Alexa Nguyen, Dawn Bradney, Sherri Thomas, Tori Salido, and Vanessa Zeman Ashlock

Local nonprofit High-Tech High Heels – North Texas, which aims to close the gender gap in STEM, has elected five new members to its Board of Directors.

HTHH was founded two decades ago by a group of women from Texas Instruments. Since, they have used their pooled resources to fund programs that increase the number of girls entering into college-level degree programs in STEM. 

All newly elected, and current, directors are Dallas-Fort Worth-based leaders in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. As members of the Board, they will be tasked with ushering the HTHH North Texas chapter into a successful future. President Robin Bray will remain the Board’s leader.

The new directors are:

  • Dawn Bradney, a support engineering director at Microsoft for its Azure Rapid Response offering;
  • Vanessa Zeman, a chief financial operating officer who provides strategic direction for global finance, operations, governance, and compliance functions;
  • Alexa Nguyen, senior consultant at The Vested Group;
  • Sherri Thomas, an IBM Corporation executive who has 24 years of domestic and international experience; and
  • Tori Salido, a machine learning engineer at Toyota Connected.


Capital One names new Dallas market president

Jorge Calderón

Bank holding company Capital One has brought on Jorge Calderón as its new Dallas market president and head of DFW regional commercial banking.

As a 30-year banking veteran, Calderón has extensive experience in middle market, corporate banking, and multi-unit restaurant financing. Before joining Capital One in 2006, he led Dallas’ middle market team for JPMorgan Chase and a corporate banking team for Frost National Bank. 

At Capital One, Calderón previously led Capital One’s de novo strategy into the DFW market and started Capital One’s food & beverage business for the Southwest Region. He has also served as Dallas market president and Central Texas market president. In his new role, he will lead the regional commercial banking teams and focus on food and beverage, convenience and gas, government contracting, technology, media and telecom, and more.

COMSovereign appoints a new COO

Dallas-based COMSovereign, a developer of 4G LTE and 5G communication systems and solutions, is expanding its senior leadership team by naming Bud Patterson as chief operating officer.

Patterson has more than 30 years of experience in operational and engineering development, specifically in wireless communications systems and semiconductors for commercial, government, and military applications. Most recently, he was COO of COMSovereign’s Silver Bullet Technology business unit, in which he led a team that delivered commercial and government projects while managing on- and off-shore manufacturing resources to build low- and high-volume products.

“We are pleased to add Bud to our leadership team as we ramp up commercial operations of the business,” John Howell, president of COMSovereign, said in a statement. “The vast potential of 5G is met with equal challenges, and that is why COMSovereign has built a team of visionary technology experts, guided by an accomplished and diversified board of directors who share a singular vision of helping customers realize the benefits of the coming revolution in communications technology.”

Keurig Dr Pepper adds a new director to its Board

Burlington, Massachusetts- and Plano-based Keurig Dr Pepper has named Debra Sandler as a director of its Board of Directors.

For the past 35 years, Sandler has served as an executive in the consumer and healthcare industries. Currently, she is the ounder and CEO of Mavis Foods, and before that was at Mars, Inc. as chief consumer officer, president of Mars Chocolate North America, and chief health and wellbeing officer. She also previously worked at Johnson & Johnson and PepsiCo.

Sandler is a well-known speaker on health and wellbeing, diversity and inclusion, and business development in the CPG industry. In addition to Keurig Dr Pepper, she sits on the Board of Directors at Archer Daniels Midland, Dollar General Corporation, and Gannett Co. She is also on the Board of Advisors for Pharmavite and is a trustee for her alma mater, Hofstra University. 

Alex Edwards contributed to this report.

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