DI People: Dallas Cowboys, Hilti, Neiman Marcus Group, MoneyGram, and More Make Moves

In this week’s roundup of hires, promotions, and accolades in North Texas, you’ll also find news from the Dallas Jackals, Akorbi Group, egage2learn, Trademark Property Co., Independent Bank Group, Avanci, Independent Bank Group, and more.

Hilti North America Promotes SVP to Serve as Region Head and CEO

Plano-based Hilti North America, the regional arm of the global tool manufacturer, has promoted SVP and GM Mike McGowan to the role of Region Head and CEO, effective October 1.

MIke McGowan

McGowan will be replacing Martina McIsaac, who resigned her position effective the same date.  In a statement, the company said McGowan was selected after an internal search, after serving multiple roles at Hilti since he joined it in 1988 as a store sales associate.

“For more than 35 years, I’ve been committed to Hilti, its team members, and its customers,” McGowan said in the statement. “Since the early days of my career, the construction industry has been my passion. I look forward to continuing to build on an already strong foundation of success by working alongside the more than 4,000 team members who’ve chosen to make Hilti North America their professional home.”

McIsaac is leaving her post after working at Hilti since 2013. She took up her current Region Head/CEO role in 2020 after serving as GM for Hilti Canada since 2017.

Neiman Marcus Group Appoints New Neiman Marcus President

Dallas-based luxury retailer Neiman Marcus Group has appointed Ryan Ross president of Neiman Marcus, effective August 15.

Ryan Ross

The company said Ross’s new role has been established to fuel acceleration by strengthening the brand and customer experience. He will report to Nieman Marcus Group CEO Geoffroy van Raemdonck.

“Ryan is a values-driven leader with a proven track record of achieving rapid growth and optimizing customer-centric experience,” van Raemdonck said in a statement. “This new role represents the next step in our Revolutionizing Luxury Experiences strategy, and we’re confident that an esteemed omnichannel retail leader like Ryan further positions Neiman Marcus for sustainable growth.”

Previously, Ross was president of Williams Sonoma, where he was responsible for driving integrated channel strategies, customer growth, and evolving the relevancy of the brands. Before that, Ross was EVP Marketing and Digital at HSN through the company’s acquisition by QVC. He’s also held leadership positions at Harrods, Pottery Barn and Gap, Inc.

“Neiman Marcus is the pinnacle of luxury and maintains the strongest customer relationships in the industry,” Ross said in a statement.

The company said that Lana Todorovich, president and chief merchandising officer of Neiman Marcus Group, will remain in her current role, reporting to Ross.

Michael Hinojosa [Image: DISD]

engage2learn Hires Former DISD Superintendent as Chief Impact Officer

Former Dallas Independent School District Superintendent Michael Hinojosa has been appointed as chief impact officer for engage2learn, a leader in supporting public school districts through measured, competency-based talent development.

In his new role at engage2learn, Hinojosa will work with school leaders nationwide to develop and implement sustainable systems of innovation designed to engage and support educators on an individual level, the company said.

“The key word in my new role—impact—is exactly what I’ve strived for throughout my career in public education, so I’m honored to work alongside education leaders and empower them to implement real-world, dynamic solutions,” Hinojosa said in a statement. With an education career spanning 43 years, including 27 years of experience as a superintendent, Dr. Hinojosa deeply understands the challenges educators face. As Chief Impact Officer, he will collaborate with school leaders to implement and execute long-term, analytics-based strategies to evolve professional learning and get results.

According to engage2learn, burnout and resignations are rampant in education, with 25% of superintendents nationally leaving in the last year. It’s increasingly difficult for administrators and teachers to navigate the current state of education. That’s why engage2learn said it provides forward-thinking resources and smart professional development to retain educators and leaders, optimize learning opportunities, and cultivate high-performance cultures. engage2learn said that Hinojosa’s role is to increase impact through customized solutions that result in professional growth analytics representing measurable outcomes for teachers, students, and leaders.

MoneyGram Promotes Two Executives to Serve as CFO and COO

Anna Greenwald (left) and Brian Johnson

Dallas-based MoneyGram International, a global leader in the evolution of digital P2P payments, announced that Brian Johnson, who currently serves as head of corporate finance and global treasurer, has been named the company’s CFO, effective September 1—and Anna Greenwald, who currently serves as chief readiness officer, has been appointed chief operating officer, effective immediately.

Johnson succeeds Larry Angelilli, who’s been appointed executive vice chairman of MoneyGram, effective September 1. In this role, Angelilli will help ensure an orderly transition of the CFO role and assist on external relations and other strategic matters.

“Brian has been a vital member of our team over the past several years, providing invaluable financial, strategic and operational insight that has been instrumental in supporting the Company’s execution of its strategic business plans,” Alex Holmes, chairman and CEO of MoneyGram, said in a statement.

Johnson joined MoneyGram in 2018. Previously he was a managing director at Commerce Street Capital, where he advised clients on acquisitions and divestitures. He’s also had tenures with Hudson Advisors/Lone Star Funds and Bear Stearns.

CEO Holmes said that Greenwald “has played a key role in transforming the business to better serve our customers and agents, enabling us to continue to execute on our digital transformation.” She’s held multiple posts at the company since 2011 in product, technology, and operations roles. Previously she worked at Boston Scientific, Qumu, and other leading technology companies where she led business model transformation, global expansion initiatives, managed merger activities, and oversaw compliance remediation efforts.

Independent Bank Group Appoints New CFO

Independent Bank Group, the McKinney-based banking company, announced the appointment of Paul Langdale as chief financial officer, replacing Michelle Hickox, who has served as CFO of Independent Bank Group and its subsidiary Independent Bank since 2012.

The company said that Hickox will remain at IBG in an advisory capacity to facilitate the transition until Oct. 1.

“Paul has proven himself to be a great strategic partner to me and the board as we position the organization for future growth and development,” Chairman and CEO David R. Brooks said in a statement. “His deep understanding of complex finance and technology disciplines, coupled with the strong relationships he’s built across the organization, give the board and I great confidence that he is the ideal strategic CFO to help us execute our plan.”

Langdale joined Independent Bank Group in 2018, and has held increasingly senior positions in finance, investor relations, and corporate development, most recently serving as EVP, corporate development & strategy. He began his banking career in 2010.

Previously, Langdale was VP of strategic services at Dallas-based PlainsCapital Corp. until mid-2013, when he left to pursue an MBA at the University of Texas at Austin.

Akorbi Group Appoints CTO to lead ITS Multilingual Digital Transformation

Plano-based Akorbi Group, a global group of companies specializing in language, technology, and workforce solutions, announced that Javier Martinez has been appointed as chief technology officer.

Javier Martinez

Akorbi is one of the largest U.S.-based, woman-owned companies providing enterprise solutions that enable companies to succeed in the global economy, it said in a statement.

The company said that as director of the strategic design, management, and implementation of Akorbi’s technology functions, Martinez will be responsible for driving innovation in application development, social engineering, data analytics, and cloud platforms.

Martinez is a multifaceted enterprise software solutions architect with over 26 years of expertise. He has a history of delivering significant business outcomes by building and sustaining scalable, secure, and robust applications. Martinez has cut operational costs, increased revenue, and spearheaded innovation through one-click ordering and machine learning, Akorbi said.

He worked at Verizon for 19 years, most recently as technology director, overseeing the development and delivery of software for advertising, search and discover, personalization, Web VOD and linear viewership, business intelligence, and service unification. Before that job, Martinez was the director of Verizon.com Retail E-Ordering and BSG Verizon Communications director, managing end-to-end systems development teams and processes.

Anelto Hires New Chief Revenue Officer

Anelto, a Coppell-based provider of remote patient monitoring solutions, announced that healthcare sales veteran Chuck Washburn has joined its executive team as chief revenue officer—a newly created role in which he is responsible for accelerating Anelto’s revenue-generation strategy and sales execution.

Chuck Washburn

Washburn will report to CEO Mark Denissen.

“Chuck is a seasoned leader with a proven history of growing revenue,” Denissen said in a statement. “As Anelto continues to grow, Chuck’s experience and expertise will be a crucial asset to leading our sales organization with forward-thinking ideas that build enduring relationships with our healthcare clients and partners.”

Washburn brings decades of experience growing and managing healthcare customers and building successful sales team at several large companies, including Allscripts, Mysis Healthcare Systems and Cerner, the company said. Before joining Anelto, Washburn was vice president of sales, Central Region, at RPM solutions provider Vivify Health.

Dallas Cowboys Hire New Leader of PR and Communications

The Dallas Cowboys have hired former Cleveland Cavaliers executive Tad Carper to replace longtime SVP of Public Relations and Communication Rich Dalrymple.

Dalrymple retired from the Cowboys in February following his involvement in the team’s cheerleader scandal.

“Tad brings deep and proven experience at the highest levels, and he’s one of the sports industry’s most respected communications professionals. Tad is the right person to lead our communications platform, both internally and externally, into the future,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said in a statement.

For the NBA’s Cavaliers, Carper was executive vice president and chief communications officer, serving in that role from April 2003 until leaving in May. Carper joined the Cavaliers in March 2000 as vice president of marketing. He received his master’s degree in sport management from the University of Richmond and his bachelor’s in business administration from Shepherd University.

Dallas Jackals President Steve Violetta, left, with GM Santiago Sodini at Choctaw Stadium in Arlington. [Photo: Dallas Jackals]

Dallas Jackals Name New President With NHL, MLB Experience to Join Recent GM Hire

The Dallas Jackals, Major League Rugby’s newest expansion team, announced the hiring of its new president, former NHL and MLB executive Steve Violetta. That followed the July 21 hiring of the Jackals’ new general manager, Argentina’s Santiago Sodini

Dallas has long been a football town. But the upstart Dallas Jackals are trying to drop-kick their way into the conversation—and the two big front office moves may just help them do it.

Violetta aims to do so by tapping his experience as a front office leader of five NHL teams (the Pittsburgh Penguins, Ottawa Senators, Nashville Predators, Detroit Red Wings, and Edmonton Oilers). He has a baseball background too, having been a senior business executive for the San Diego Padres and for the New York Yankees’ Single-A Staten Island team.

Sodini was most recently business development manager at STATSports, a sports performance and analytics service used by leading teams worldwide. STATSports offers what it calls “the most powerful wearable in sport,” a small GPS device worn on a player’s upper back that captures game and practice data, and Sodini will be making the tech part of the Jackals’ regimen.

Previously, Sodini was director of operations for the MLR’s Rugby ATL, where he helped create a pathway for players and coaches to the USA Eagles, the national team that represents the U.S. in international competitions. He’s moving from Miami to Dallas to take on his role.

Read more here.

CEO Michele Wheeler (center) with Joy Chiles, Lewis W. Shaw II, Miles Terry, Michele Wheeler, Mark Butler, Joe Blewitt, and Zac McGuire

Real Estate Development Company Jackson-Shaw Announces Five Promotions

Dallas-based national real estate development company Jackson-Shaw announced the promotion of five team members.

The promotions are on the heels of President and CEO Michele Wheeler’s own promotion in mid-July. Wheeler, who previously was president and COO, joined the company in 2005 and held positions in finance, development, and management.

“We aren’t a team because we work together—we’re a team because we communicate well, focus on results, and support each other,” she said in an announcement. “These individuals have remarkable talents and skills that fuel our shared efforts and are all well-deserving of these promotions.”

Promotions include:

Joy Chiles, previously vice president and controller, was promoted to senior vice president and controller. Chiles joined Jackson-Shaw in 1998 and is responsible for accounting and financial reporting.

Joe Blewitt, previously vice president of asset management, is now senior vice president of hospitality development. He joined Jackson-Shaw in 2016 and is responsible for the company’s hospitality developments and its expanding hospitality presence in several states.

Mark Butler, formerly a development associate, is now a vice president of finance. He joined Jackson-Shaw in 2017 and focuses on debt and equity efforts related to the company’s development strategy.

Miles Terry, previously a development associate, is now a vice president of development. He joined Jackson-Shaw in 2019, and his responsibilities include land acquisitions, market analysis, layout and feasibility studies, entitlements and supporting construction and asset management of industrial projects.

Zac McGuire, formerly director of construction, was promoted to vice president of construction. He joined Jackson-Shaw in 2018 and leads day-to-day operations for all development and construction management projects.

Trademark Property Co. Names Director of Asset Management

Fort Worth-based mixed-use investor, developer, and operator Trademark Property Co. announced that Soumi Biswas is its new director of asset management,and said she’ll be a leader in multiple areas, including property operations and client relations.

Soumi Biswas

 “Soumi will be a wonderful addition to the overall Trademark team and our asset management staff. She brings an impressive background and extraordinary knowledge to the role,” Trademark CEO Terry Montesi said in a statement. “With her vast international experience and enthusiasm, Soumi will play a key role in helping us continue to be extraordinary stewards, enhance communities and enrich lives.” 

The company said that Biswas will wear multiple hats directing the efforts of financial analysts, managing institutional assets, working on special acquisitions and divestiture projects and more.

Previously, Biswas was a freelance portfolio manager and financial adviser and spent a summer working with Goldman Sachs in New York within its real estate financing group. She served as an assistant manager in various design, planning and procurement, project management and marketing roles at PS Group and in business development for a project management group at CBRE, both in Calcutta, India. She began her career as an architecture intern at InterDesign and as a freelance architect and planner, the company said.

Trademark’s mixed-use, retail, and institutional services portfolio includes Galleria Dallas, WestBend and Alliance Town Center in Fort Worth; Market Street-The Woodlands in The Woodlands (Houston); La Palmera Mall in Corpus Christi, Texas; Zona Rosa in Kansas City, Missouri; Annapolis Town Center in Annapolis, Maryland; Bridgewater Commons in New Jersey; and North Point in Alpharetta (Atlanta). In addition to the current portfolio, Trademark previously worked on such projects as Victory Park and Preston Oaks in Dallas, Watters Creek in Allen, and Rice Village in Houston.

Duane Morris Law Firm Names Leader of New Fort Worth Office

Philadelphia-based law firm Duane Morris is opening an office in Fort Worth that will be led by corporate partner Mitchell J. Moses, who also works in the firm’s Dallas office.

“Our Fort Worth clients appreciate being able to see their attorneys out contributing to the community,” Moses told Law360 Pulse this week. “I’ve found that being able to meet with my clients in person affords me the opportunity to establish a deeper understanding of their business needs.”

The firm reportedly is seeking to connect its local clients, such as Texas A&M, as well as real estate developers, construction clients and private equity clients, to its national practice.

Law 360 Pulse also reported that Dallas Managing Partner Randy Gordon said that the firm is pleased with its success in Dallas, but thought that Fort Worth deserved a separate location. “The legal markets, business communities, and economies in Fort Worth and Dallas are truly distinct,” Gordon said. “The office affords our attorneys an opportunity to service their Fort Worth clients efficiently and to the highest standards.”

EFG Companies Hires VP of Training and Recruiting

Irving-based EFG Companies announced that automotive industry sales and operations leader Kim Kotz Carroll has joined the company as vice president of training and recruiting.

Kim Kotz Carroll

“In our current sales environment, dealers are facing a complicated paradigm shift,” Kotz Carroll said. “On one hand, the traditional sales model is under tremendous strain to accommodate more pre-orders, an online or hybrid sales environment, and demand for increased transparency from both consumers and regulators. On the other hand, the process changes and market shifts are also creating a heightened regulatory atmosphere as regulators work to better understand the downhill compliance implications of processes such as online sales and market pricing adjustments.”

EFG said that it positions clients to weather these changes through its award-winning client engagement model that incorporates ongoing sales, finance and insurance compliance training, active recruiting, and product innovation with ongoing in-store engagement to tackle each dealership’s unique goals.

The company said that this engagement model relies on the expertise of individuals such as Kotz Carroll to provide strong direction to both EFG and its clients.

EFG said that during her 25 years of sales, operations, and training experience, Kotz Carroll has developed enablement initiatives and managing sales programs that have driven profitable results for brands such as LoJack, DealerSocket, Cox Automotive Group/Dealertrack F&I, and Reynolds & Reynolds.

Avanci Hires Industry IP Licensing Veteran

Marianne Frydenlund, a global leader in intellectual property licensing, has joined Dallas-based tech licenser Avanci to develop and lead new programs for the internet of things (IoT) beyond the automotive industry.

Marianne Frydenlund

“Her expertise and enthusiasm will enable us to launch licensing programs for new categories of IoT products, building on the momentum of our existing program in the automotive industry, and working alongside our world-class team,” Avanci SVP Laurie Fitzgerald said in a statement.

Founded in 2016, Avanci said its vision is to transform how patent licensing is done in the IoT era. Avanci says its program for connected vehicles now has 42 auto brands licensed to the 4G, 3G, and 2G essential patents of 49 licensors, with more than 65 million licensed vehicles—around half of connected car shipments to date.

Marianne joins Avanci from Nordic Semiconductor, where most recently she was senior vice president, legal and compliance with responsibilities including patent licensing activities, having concluded several groundbreaking agreements.

McKool Smith Adds Two Veteran Litigators in Dallas Office

Law firm McKool Smith announced that veteran litigators William D. Ellerman and Ari Rafilson have joined the firm as principals in its Dallas office.

William Ellerman

The firm said that Ellerman focuses on complex commercial and IP litigation, and Rafilson focuses on patent matters. Both have extensive experience in disputes involving universities, research institutes, and technology companies, the firm said in a statement.

Their arrival comes after that of Principal Alfonso Chan, who joined McKool Smith’s Dallas office earlier this month and previously practiced with Ellerman and Rafilson at another firm.  

“Will and Ari are wonderful additions to our firm,” McKool Smith Chairman and Managing Partner David Sochia said in a statement. “They will add even more depth to our core strengths in high-stakes trials and patent litigation and help bolster our expanding practice representing universities in IP disputes and licensing matters.” 

With 120 trial lawyers across offices in Dallas, Austin, Houston, Los Angeles, Marshall, New York, and Washington, D.C., the firm says it has secured 13 nine-figure jury verdicts and 15 eight-figure jury verdicts, obtaining more VerdictSearch and The National Law Journal “Top 100 Verdicts” than any other law firm.


Girls Inc. of Metropolitan Dallas Appoints New Board Member, Executive Officers

Girls Inc. of Metropolitan Dallas says its new leadership is “poised to guide the organization to achieve ambitious goals.” The board and its newly elected officers will help the nonprofit reach their “ambitious goal of expanding Girls Inc. services to 25,000 Dallas County Girls” by the end of the decade.

Shannon Meyers

The organization’s mission is “to inspire all girls to be strong, smart, and bold.”

The organization serves girls in Dallas County between the ages of 6 and 18. From mostly low-income households, they reflect the diversity of the Dallas community. Girls receive research-based programming from trained and dedicated staff with the overall objectives of improving their economic mobility, preventing teen pregnancy, and changing the face of STEM fields.

Shannon Meyers, senior managing director in CBRE’s GWS healthcare sector, has joined its board of directors. It also named a new slate of executive officers for the 2023 fiscal year:

  • Arjun Dugal will continue serving as the chairman of the board in the second year of his term
  • Stephanie Zapata Moore will serve as chair-elect
  • Jamie Lavin was elected treasurer
  • Phil Dayalu will serve as corporate secretary
  • Amy Stewart was appointed to chair the nominating and governance committee

Left to right: Arjun Dugal, Stephanie Zapata Moore, Jamie Lavin, Phil Dayalu, and Amy Stewart

Sally Beauty Holdings Appoints New Board Members

Rachel Bishop

Denton-based Sally Beauty Holdings Inc. has announced the appointments of three members to its board of directors, effective immediately. The new board members are Rachel R. Bishop, Ph.D., president, Hefty Tableware at Reynolds Consumer Products; Jeffrey Boyer, COO of Fossil Group; and Lawrence “Chip” Molloy, CFO of Sprouts Farmers Market.

The company said in a state that with these appointments, Sally Beauty Holdings’ board is now 46% women and 8% racially/ethnically diverse, with 69% having joined within the last five years.

Chip Molloy

“These appointments are aligned with our commitment to engaging in intentional and thoughtful board refreshment and bring three highly respected executives with extensive experience in the retail and consumer goods industries to the board,” Board Chair Bob McMaster said in a statement. “Collectively, Rachel, Jeff and Chip enhance our expertise across retail operations, strategy, finance and we look forward to benefiting from their insights and fresh perspectives.”

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