DI People: EarthX, Match Group, Bonton Farms, and More Make Leadership Moves

In this week’s roundup of hires, promotions, and accolades in North Texas, you’ll also find news from Ribbon Communications, Texas Brand Bank, Evolve Biologics, and COMSoverign Holding Corp., Warrior Connection, T.D. Jakes Foundation, Mindzie, the City of Fort Worth, UT Arlington, Allied Electronics and Automation, KTA Media Group, My Possibilities, and more.

EarthX Founder Announces New CEO, Executive Director

Nathan Loftice has been named the new CEO and executive director of EarthX, the Dallas-based international nonprofit environmental organization.

Nathan Loftice

Loftice’s appointment was announced by Trammell Crow, real estate developer-turned-environmentalist and founder of EarthX.

Loftice is a longtime director at Fort Worth-based BNSF Railway, and Crow noted Loftice’s business acumen, integrity, leadership, and passion and respect for the world and people around him.

“Nathan is a native Texan whose farming and ranching heritage spans six generations,” Crow said in a statement. “Owning land throughout Texas and the West and growing up on a working farm and cattle ranch, he spent most of his time outdoors and has always loved the land working to conserve resources. Nathan has been with us since we started 12 years ago as a volunteer, exhibitor, sponsor, and speaker. He and his family have never missed an event.”

Crow said that Loftice’s work ethic is the foundation for his genuine principles and passion for the environment and conservation.

“He defies the Texas stereotype of being ‘anti-the environment,’ because during his career in the for-profit world, he was always the corporate champion of sustainability,” Crow said.

“Nathan shares my passion for making the world sustainable for generations to come,” Crow said. “He will reignite our collective spirit to continue what we began more than a decade ago. Stay tuned, as together Nathan and I will be making more announcements very soon regarding our global reach.”

Founded in 2011 by Crow, EarthX will host its Half-Earth Day event on Oct. 20-22 and annual Earth Day celebration on April 20-23, 2023, both in Dallas.

Signify Health CEO to Remain in Role After $8B CVS Health Acquisition

Dallas-based Signify Health’s CEO, Kyle Armbrester, will continue to lead the 600-person Signify team after the company is acquired by CVS Health.

Kyle Armbrester

The Rhode Island-based company behind the national chain of pharmacies has inked an agreement to acquire the local tech-enabled home health services firm for $30.50 per share—a deal valued at around $8 billion. Armbrester will be a part of CVS leadership.

CVS beat out other big-name contenders like Amazon in the bidding battles to acquire Signify Health.

“Signify Health’s mission is to build trusted relationships to make people healthier by using actionable intelligence to understand what’s really impacting outcomes and cost today,” Armbrester said in a statement. “As we carefully considered our long-term strategic options, we determined that CVS Health is the ideal partner, given its focus on expanding access to health services and helping consumers navigate to the best sites of care.”

As CVS looks to reach more patients in the home, president and CEO Karen Lynch said the move will help better address those patients’ needs, while bolstering its ability to expand its footprint in the value-based care market with “new product offerings in a multi-payor approach.”

Armbrester said that the two companies have a “shared vision” of providing “a more proactive, preventive and holistic approach to patient care.”

CVS is valued at more than $130 billion and saw nearly $300 billion in revenue last year.

Nonprofit Bonton Farms Names Thomson Reuters Exec as Its First President

Gabrielle Madison, president of Bonton Farms. [File Photo]

Gabrielle Madison, the director of community relations for Thomson Reuters since 2015, left the company after 11 years this week to become the first-ever president of Bonton Farms—a nonprofit in South Dallas that operates a farmers market, two fully functioning farms, and a café and coffee house. 

Bonton Farms pursues a stated goal of transforming the community around it by creating jobs and volunteer opportunities, while offering healthy, organic food options for Dallas’ underserved Bonton neighborhood.

“This is a freeing of Bonton Farms to allow it to become something much more than it could be with just me,” CEO Daron Babcock told the Dallas Morning News.

“What started as just an interest in this South Dallas nonprofit (and a friendship in CEO Daron Babcock) has grown into a passion that lives deep in my bones and holds a piece of my heart,” Madison wrote in a LinkedIn post.

“The work Daron and the team have invested into this community, mission and model is transformational,” Madison added. “Both Daron and I believe that Bonton Farms can be the change the world needs, and it’s my greatest honor to partner with him to continue bringing that vision to life.”

Read more.

Addison-Based Bar Louie Appoints New CEO

Bar Louie has appointed Brian Wright as its new CEO, the 70-restaurant Addison-based company announced.

Brian Wright

“With his track record of guiding legendary brands and a clear vision for the future, he is the perfect choice to take advantage of the many opportunities we see at Bar Louie and to lead our business to even greater heights,” Gordon Paris, Bar Louie’s board chairman, said in a statement.

Wright brings more than 35 years of experience in the hospitality industry to his new position. Previously, Wright was CEO of Tijuana Flats, a Tex-Mex fast-casual restaurant. He’s also held leadership positions at Bertucci’s, Au Bon Pain, and Einstein Bros Bagels.

“I see numerous opportunities to drive growth and profitability and meaningfully improve the customer experience, and I am excited to begin tackling these challenges with the outstanding members of the Bar Louie family,” Wright said.

National Restaurant News reported that the leadership move represents a new chapter for Bar Louie, which filed for bankruptcy just before the pandemic in 2020 and was bought out of bankruptcy by the company’s secured lender Antares Capital LP later that year under Tom Fricke’s leadership.

Texas Brand Bank Adds Director, Merges with Harmony Bank

The boards of Harmony Bank, N.A. and Texas Brand Bank have signed an agreement in which Harmony Bank will merge with and into Texas Brand Bank.

John Carona

The merger agreement, announced this week by former Texas State Senator John J. Carona, chairman of Harmony Bank, N.A. of Kemp, and Edward B. Tomlinson II, chairman of Texas Brand Bank of Dallas, is subject to shareholder and regulatory approval and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2023.

Once completed, the combined company will conduct business as Harmony Bank and operate as a state-chartered bank. Harmony Bank is expected to have over $700 million in assets with 11 banking offices in Dallas, Ellis, Henderson, Kaufman, and Navarro counties, the banks said in a statement.

“Merging with Harmony Bank is synergistic for our teams, and we look forward to the benefits it will bring to our customers,” Tomlinson said. “We are committed to maintaining the great personal service that our customers have come to expect from us.”

William E. Lowe, president and CEO of Texas Brand Bank, will continue in the same role for Harmony Bank. Tomlinson, Lowe and two additional current directors of Texas Brand Bank will join the board of Harmony Bank.

“The combination of our two financial institutions will allow us to double our lending limit and acquire additional digital banking options, giving us the ability to provide greater service to current and future customers,” Lowe said.

Texas Brand Bank also announced that Amanda Moreno-Lake has joined its board of directors.

COMSovereign Holding Corp. Names Interim CEO

Dallas-based COMSovereign Holding Corp., a developer of 4G LTE Advanced and 5G Communication Systems and Solutions announced that its board of directors has accepted the resignations of co-founder, chairman, and CEO Daniel Hodges and co-founder, president, and board member John Howell.

In a statement, the board said it has been reviewing CEO candidates and has appointed David Knight as interim CEO until a formal selection is made.

Knight, a seasoned and successful technology and operations executive has led turnarounds and transformations of multiple technology and services companies. He previously served as CEO of Dispersive Holdings, a cybersecurity company based in Atlanta, Georgia and was CEO of Federos (acquired by Oracle).

Previously, Knight held senior management positions at Motorola, SEI, and at Micromuse where he was responsible for the acquisition and integration of over $200 million in subsidiaries and partnerships prior to the firm’s purchase by IBM.

Warrior Connection Appoints New CEO

The Warrior Connection has appointed Grapevine resident Elizabeth Fields as the new CEO of the organization, which is based in Graham, northwest of Dallas-Fort Worth.

Elizabeth Fields

She previously held the position of chief operating officer at the Gary Sinise Foundation.

“There is no better person to lead The Warrior Connection than Elizabeth,” said Peter F. May, The Warrior Connection’s board chair. “She’s a proven executive with the right mix of skills, abilities, experience, and an outstanding professional network to lead The Warrior Connection well into the future.”

Founded in 2009, The Warrior Connection, a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization, works to end veteran suicides and repair family relationships through proven holistic residential retreats for veterans and military spouses.

Evolve Biologics Taps New CFO

Chris Carr has been appointed chief financial officer of Evolve Biologics Inc., an innovative Canadian plasma-derived therapeutics company that has begun construction on its first manufacturing facility in the Collin County city of Sachse.

Carr will be responsible for all finance and accounting functions at Evolve. As a senior member of the executive team, he’ll report to CEO Jim Caggiano.

Carr brings over 30 years of financial experience in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries, recently serving as CFO of Aeon Biopharma, where he was a key member of the executive leadership team, developing and directing the company’s financial processes and contributing to the overall business strategy.

Previously, Carr was EVP of finance and IT and a board member of Dendreon Pharmaceuticals. He’s also held financial management positions with Abbott Laboratories, PerkinElmer, and the Genzyme Corp.

The Sachse facility will be the first to use Evolve’s proprietary technology, PlasmaCap EBA, to commercially produce plasma-derived therapeutics, initially Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIG) and Human Serum Albumin (HSA).

UT Arlington Names CFO and VP of Business and Finance

John Davidson

John R. Davidson has been named vice president for business and finance and chief financial officer at the University of Texas at Arlington.

In a statement, UTA said that Davidson brings more than 20 years’ experience in government and higher education finance leadership positions to his new role at the university, where he served as interim CFO since February. Davidson came to UTA in August 2015 as associate vice president for budgets, planning and analysis, leading the design and implementation of a transformational planning and budgeting software and an effort to redesign the University’s budget model.

Prior to joining UTA, Davidson served as vice chancellor for administrative affairs and CFO at Arkansas State University-Mountain Home, institutional finance coordinator at the Arkansas Department of Higher Education, and senior budget analyst with the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration. He earned both an MBA and a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Louisiana Tech University.

Read more.

Shoebacca.com Hires New Chief Information Officer

Irving-based Shoebacca.com recently hired Thomas Birmingham as its new chief information officer to expand and advance its internal information technology program and e-commerce infrastructure.

Thomas Birmin

Birmingham began his career in management consulting with Ernst & Young’s technology and process improvement practice, where he worked with a variety of enterprise industries to transform IT effectiveness and drive new business capabilities through innovative technology solutions, Shoebacca.com said in a statement.

Prior to joining Shoebacca, he worked as a management and technology consultant specializing in digital transformation for growth retail brands.

Birmingham previously served as CIO for The Container Store, where he helped lead its growth.

“Shoebacca provides an entrepreneurial setting that offers a fantastic opportunity for leveraging emerging best practices and technologies to not only power ambitious growth objectives, but also achieve a creatively fresh approach in the footwear and apparel industry,” Birmingham said.

Allied Electronics & Automation Names New Chief Information Officer

Allied CIO Jason Taylor [Courtesy photo]

Fort Worth-based Allied Electronics & Automation—a trading brand of RS Group plc, a global omni-channel provider of product and service solutions—recently added Jason Taylor as its new chief information officer.

Taylor is replacing retiring CIO Andy Jackson, the company said in a statement.

Before joining Allied, Taylor was VP of global digital and innovation at Gates Corp. He brings a blend of keen business acumen and proven leadership, technology, systems implementation and relationship and stakeholder management experience developed over more than 20 years in roles of increasing responsibility in the tech industry, the company said.

Taylor will develop and execute plans and strategies aimed at supporting, improving and expanding upon Allied’s Technology division, which is composed of business intelligence & process automation, business application, web development and technology operations run by four fast-paced, high-performing technology teams managed by RS Group’s Chief Technology Officer, Simon Ramskill.

Taylor will have a primary reporting line to Simon and will provide Allied President Ken Bradley with technology and innovation initiatives for the region. He will also be a member of the Americas Executive Leadership Team and Global IT Leadership Team.

YMCA of Metropolitan Fort Worth Appoints Chief Marketing Officer

Christy Jones has been appointed as chief marketing officer of The YMCA of Metropolitan Fort Worth.

Christy Jones

She will oversee the organization’s marketing and growth initiatives and will lead a team implementing YMCA outreach serving Tarrant, Hood and Johnson counties with programs aimed at empowering youth, improve health, and inspire social responsibility, the YMCA said in a statement.

The YMCA said that Jones comes to the organization as it begins an ambitious effort to enhance its presence and find innovative ways to serve well-being across the region by investing in people, facilities, programs and partnerships across the public, private, nonprofit, and philanthropic sectors. Plans include building a state-of-the-art facility to replace the existing Northwest YMCA and efforts to renovate, expand, and enhance services at its Eastside YMCA.

Jones brings more than 20 years of experience to her new role. She’s held leadership positions in the corporate, healthcare and nonprofit sectors, most recently as SVP of marketing and strategic alignment with Camp Fire First Texas.

T.D. Jakes Foundation Adds Chief Programs Officer

Jennifer Stimpson, Ed.D.

Dallas-based T.D. Jakes Foundation announced has appointed Jennifer Stimpson, Ed.D., as its chief programs officer. She will report to president and CEO Hattie Hill and serve as a member of the senior leadership team.

The foundation, dedicated to building bridges to opportunity for underserved populations around the world, said Stimpson will play a key role in developing and implementing T. D. Jakes Foundation’s mission-focused programs in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics) education and training, workforce development, and community building.

Stimpson is a content expert who consults with community, civic, and federal organizations, including the National Science Foundation, the Department of Justice, and Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas, to design educational programs that expand STEAM education opportunities for all students, the foundation said. She is the founder of JSTEMP Science and has produced science-themed camps for students for 20 years.

In 2020, Stimpson was a fellow with the U.S. Congress as an Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator, helping craft STEM education legislation, co-authoring the first Women and Girls in STEM Resolution for Congress, and launching the HBCU Podcast to honor the voices and experiences of blacks in the federal government. She is a recent graduate of the Education Policy Fellows Program, representing the state of Texas, where she worked with state education policy leaders to increase the number of STEM teachers of color.

She is an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)/IF THEN Science Ambassador, selected to inspire the next generation of female scientists, and is featured as one of 125 women scientists presented as a collection of life-size statues in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C.

Stimpson comes to T.D. Jakes Foundation after serving as a science teacher at The Hockaday School for 11 years.

Match Group Connects with New Chief People Officer

Dallas-based Match Group, a provider of digital technologies designed to help people make meaningful connections, announced that D.V. Williams has been appointed chief people officer, effective Sept. 13.

DV Williams

Williams will oversee people operations, including compensation; benefits; people information systems; diversity, equity, and inclusion; and learning & development for Match Group and its global portfolio of brands, the company said. He will be based in Los Angeles and report to Match Group CEO Bernard Kim.

Williams comes to Match Group from Cars.com, where as chief people officer he led all aspects of human resources and diversity, equity, and inclusion.

“D.V. is an exceptional people leader whose expertise in talent retention and recruitment will be an enormous asset as we pursue our innovation goals,” Kim said in a statement.

Match Group has more than 2,000 employees worldwide and has been recognized as one of the Best Places to Work for LGBTQ+ Equality 2022 by the Human Rights Campaign.

My Possibilities Names Chief People Officer

Tiffanie Douglas

Plano-based My Possibilities has appointed Tiffanie Douglas, SHRM-CP, as its chief people officer.

My Possibilities is a North Texas for-cause nonprofit organization that serves as a leader in vocational education for adults with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities throughout North Texas.

“It’s essential to implement innovative ways to set the entire MP family up for success” as it continues to grow, the nonprofit said.

“Planning for the completion of the Career Services Building, powered by Bread Financial in 2023, we selected a leader with strong workforce planning and talent strategy experience,” said Karen Wald, My Possibilities’ chair of the board.

Douglas, who has a background in business partnership, organizational design, advocacy for inclusion, and learning and development, will explore cutting-edge approaches to helping the MP staff develop in their career and attract the best people to serve its Hugely Important People (HIPsters).

Douglas’ “expertise, passion, and energy will foster an environment where our staff and HIPsters can thrive,” Wald said.

Read more.

City of Fort Worth Appoints Chief of Strategy and Innovation

Fort Worth’s Chief of Strategy and Innovation Carlo Capua [Courtesy photo; DI background]

The city of Fort Worth announced that Carlo Capua has been appointed to a new role in the city manager’s office: Chief of Strategy and Innovation for the City of Fort Worth.

Previously, Capua was deputy chief of staff in the Mayor and Council Office.

“I’m keen on challenging why and how we do things,” City Manager David Cooke said in a statement about the appointment. “After all, what better way to keep up with the demands of a vibrant and growing city than trying innovative ideas?”

Capua’s diverse background makes him a good fit for this role, the city said. Born and raised in Fort Worth, he graduated from TCU and lived abroad for seven years, returning to start multiple businesses. Most recently, Capua finished his master’s degree in international relations from Harvard University.

Read more.

Comerica Names EVP-Chief Legal Officer, General Counsel

Von Hays

Dallas banking company Comerica announced that Von E. Hays, senior vice president–general counsel Human Resources, Litigation and Corporate Operations, has been named executive vice president and chief legal officer-general counsel.

He has been interim chief legal officer since May and will continue to report to Chairman, President and CEO Curt Farmer. 

“During his 15 years with Comerica, Von has been instrumental in providing valuable counsel and guidance in key legal matters,” Farmer said in a statement.  “His strong legal acumen, tenured experience and demonstrated leadership will continue to serve as an important asset for our organization.”

Prior to his role as interim general counsel, Hays served in a variety of leadership roles with responsibility supporting Human Resources, Litigation and Corporate Operations.

Prior to joining Comerica in 2007, he spent more than 10 years in private practice, most recently as a partner at K&L Gates where he represented clients in litigation, government investigations and labor and employment matters.

FourthSquare Adds SVP of Cloud Transformation

FourthSquare, a boutique global, digital and enterprise services company based in Irving, said Santosh Kusuma has joined the company as its senior vice president of cloud transformation services.

Kusuma is an accomplished industry veteran with strong experience in management consulting and corporate strategy in the information technology services industry with a focus on large, Oracle cloud transformation projects, the company said in a statement. He was the principal cloud architect at Oracle and brings more than 20 years of experience to FourthSquare.

He will be responsible for customer engagement and revenue growth operating across all global locations.

“It’s an exciting time to assume leadership of FourthSquare’s Cloud Transformation Practice as we move to empower enterprises to transform their businesses through the implementation of cloud delivery services to gain top-line growth and operational efficiencies,” Kusuma said in a statement. “Throughout the years, FourthSquare has built a platform that puts it in a very strong position to secure opportunities in the growing Oracle cloud market.”

Tailwater Capital Names Head of Strategic R&D

Dallas-based private equity firm Tailwater Capital LLC announced that Dana Sweet has been appointed to the newly created role of head of strategic research and development.

Dana Sweet

Tailwater takes a full immersion approach to investing in energy and growth infrastructure solutions, the firm said in a statement.

Sweet will lead the firm’s development and implementation of strategic macro perspectives, as well as the delivery of Tailwater’s growing volume of proprietary research and insights across the energy solutions space, the firm said in a statement. She will also work closely with Tailwater’s deal, investor relations, and communications teams across the firm to integrate R&D and data analytics throughout its investment process to enhance everything from opportunity origination and assessment to execution.

“As we continue to grow and scale our platform and the impact we have across the Tailwater ecosystem, allocating the resources and institutionalizing our research and macro perspectives will allow us to enhance our investment process and outcomes,” said Jason Downie and Edward Herring, co-founders and managing partners of Tailwater Capital.

Impact Ventures Brings on Senior Program Manager

Dallas-based Impact Ventures announced that Amanda Viola has joined the organization as senior program manager.

Her new role focuses on cultivating lasting vision-aligned partnerships that can provide continuous value to founders, mentors, alumni, and the overall accelerator experience.

Impact Ventures said that Viola is a dynamic growth leader, creative business development professional, and passionate  diversity advocate. It said that because of personally being affected by gender/racial disparity throughout her career, Viola seeks to intentionally advocate for historically marginalized groups inside and outside of Impact Ventures.

Viola has a rich background in marketing and sales operations, with an emphasis on technology product/service, and her strategic customer acquisition experience in the financial, healthcare, retail, transportation, and energy sectors bring a creative perspective toward connecting people to opportunity.

Impact Ventures is a 501c(3) organization that states its mission is to eliminate the social and economic barriers for talented, yet under-estimated Women and BIPOC communities to build generational wealth through inclusive entrepreneurship and integrated capital.

The Dallas Inclusive Capital Fund is place-based integrated capital fund investing flexible debt and patient equity in women and BIPOC-led enterprises to build economic power and create community wealth.

Impact Ventures recently announced its Fall 2022 Accelerator cohort:

  • Simpleaf Brands | Femi Oyenekan
  • Cultivation | Nathan Smith
  • Ardor Bin LLC | Latrice Littleton
  • Imperial Floors LLC | Benjamin Suchil
  • Froomie | Brea Givens
  • The Product Place | Alia Oneal
  • OSO Inc | Ubong Ikpe
  • Elevate Coffee Trading LLC | Michael Iwasko
  • Anwuli Eyewear LLC | Nwamaka Ngoddy
  • Trash Scan | Paul Jackson
  • Authentic Kitchens | Noel Sinaga & Cesar Martinez
  • AccuPhotography | Richard Fogerty
  • The Guilty Grape | Nicole & Nichelle Nichols
  • Forever Flight Worldwide | Ryan Wilkoff
  • Ayanna Denise Skin | Ayanna Zahra
  • Bindu Bites | Bindu Marasini

Crow Holdings Adds New Head of Sustainability

Crow Holdings, the Dallas-based real estate investment and development firm, announced that Don Brooks has been hired as head of sustainability, bringing with him more than 15 years of direct experience leading environmental initiatives for real estate firms.

His experience makes Brooks well-suited to oversee the efforts across Crow Holdings’ investment management and development businesses to increase the adoption of environmental impact investing initiatives, including carbon reduction, climate resilience, renewable energy, and sustainable development practices, the company said.

Crow Holdings said it weighs a variety of sustainability factors in connection with the acquisition, development, and ownership of its real estate properties, implementing features that reduce energy use, lower operating costs, and promote green living. It said adding Brooks enhances its ability to bring practical, cost-effective, and environmentally conscious solutions to current and future projects on behalf of both tenants and investors.

“Throughout our 70-plus-year history, alignment with our partners has been foundational to how we do business, as has a spirit of innovation,” Crow Holdings CEO Michael Levy said in a statement. “Without question, sustainability’s increased importance to our tenants and investment partners is clear. What’s more, technological developments in the areas of sustainability create enhanced opportunities to improve building design and construction, reduce energy usage, reduce operating costs, and lower the carbon footprint across the property.”

Before joining Crow Holdings, Brooks was vice president-multifamily services at US-Eco Logic/TexEnergy Solutions, the world’s largest provider of energy efficiency and green building services for single and multifamily developers.

Comerica Inc. Names Director of Investor Relations; Executive to Retire on April 1

Kelly Gage

Dallas-based Comerica Inc. announced that Kelly Gage, national director of sales and strategy for the Commercial Bank has been named senior vice president, director of investor relations.

Gage will succeed Darlene Persons, SVP, director of investor relations, who plans to retire on April 1, 2023. Gage will report to EVP and CFO Jim Herzog, the company said.

“Kelly’s leadership, extensive knowledge of Comerica and its businesses, and her unwavering commitment make her the perfect fit for this role,” Herzog said. “We thank Darlene for her hard work and dedication, as well as the strong relationships she fostered, throughout her 36 years with Comerica.”

The company said that in her new role, Gage is responsible for articulating Comerica’s value proposition. This includes meeting the information needs of investors and analysts regarding the company’s business model, long-term strategy, financial performance, and governance.

Gage’s banking career started at Comerica in 2004 as a credit analyst and later moved into the role of middle market relationship manager.

CBRE Promotes Exec to Managing Director of Property Management

Teri Garcia

CBRE has promoted Teri Garcia to managing director of property management in Dallas-Fort Worth, where the company has the leading market share for assets under management across all property types.

“This promotion is a testament to Teri’s exceptional leadership abilities, her extensive market knowledge and her team-first mentality,” said Brooke Armstrong, CBRE’s President of Advisory Services for Dallas-Fort Worth. “She has built a strong reputation within the industry for being a trusted advisor for our investor clients.”

Formerly a director with CBRE Property Management, Garcia now assumes overall leadership for the regional property management business and is responsible for leading a team of highly capable property management employees in the Dallas-Fort Worth region. She is responsible for setting strategic direction for the PM business and delivering differentiated outcomes for CBRE’s landlord clients in the region.

Garcia has more than 25 years of property management experience in Dallas-Fort Worth, beginning with Trammell Crow Co. in 1997 before moving to CBRE in 2004.


Ribbon Communications Adds Former AT&T Exec to Board

Plano-based Ribbon Communications Inc. announced the appointment of Scott Mair, former president, AT&T Networks Engineering and Operations, to its board of directors.

Scott Mair

Ribbon is a global provider of real-time communications technology and IP optical networking solutions to many of the world’s largest service providers, enterprises, and critical infrastructure operators to modernize and protect their networks.

“Scott’s extensive experience at AT&T, one of the world’s largest service providers, will be an incredible asset for Ribbon,” said Shaul Shani, Chairman of the Company’s Board of Directors. “He brings an in-depth understanding of 5G mobile networks, IP and Optical systems engineering, cybersecurity, and network operations that will greatly benefit the company and provide the Board with valuable perspective and insight as we continue to grow and expand our business.”

Ribbon said in a statement that Mair’s accomplishments during his over 37-year career at AT&T include launching the first standards-based mobile 5G network and building and operating the U.S. Public Safety’s first dedicated, nationwide communications platform for America’s police, firefighters, EMS, and first responders.

Texas Brand Bank Names New Board Member Ahead of Merger

Amanda Moreno-Lake

Amanda Moreno-Lake was recently named to the board of directors of Texas Brand Bank, just ahead of its merger with Harmony Bank, which was announced this week. The bank noted that Moreno-Lake has been a driving force behind the growth of the Bishop Arts District, and brings a unique perspective and unmatched expertise to her new role.

“Amanda is an ideal addition to the Texas Brand Bank board of directors,” William E. Lowe, Texas Brand Bank’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “She brings extensive expertise and success as a business owner that will continue the momentum we’ve built in the community.”

Moreno-Lake has been in the construction and real estate business for over 20 years and currently serves as president of redevelopment at Jim Lake Companies and partner in several investment partnerships. Previously, she completed the redevelopment of the downtown square in Waxahachie and is currently focusing on the Oak Cliff Tower, and the redevelopment of the downtown square in Ennis and Cedar Hill.

Aside from real estate and construction, she has previously owned a range of businesses including a restaurant, hair salon, western-wear store, and trucking company.

Southwestern Medical Foundation Names New Board Chairman, Six New Members

Left to right, top row first: Kim Askew, Peter Brundage, Pete Chilian, Michael Kahn, Linda Kao, Amy McKnight and Jere Thompson

Dallas-based Southwestern Medical Foundation announced that Jere W. Thompson Jr. has been elected chairman of the board of trustees. It also named six new members to its board during its recent annual meeting.

The new trustees are Kim Askew, Pete Chilian, Peter Brundage, Michael Kahn, Linda Kao, and Amy McKnight.

Southwestern Medical Foundation is a public healthcare charitable corporation advancing progress in medicine, primarily at UT Southwestern Medical Center and its related institutions, by connecting donors with innovative programs, managing philanthropic funds, and building broad engagement on the need for quality medical education, research, and clinical care, according to a statement.

In his new role as board chairman, Thompson will work closely with Foundation President and CEO Kathleen M. Gibson to lead the board in growing the organization’s impact and reach, the statement said. Thompson on the board since 1999 and is succeeding James R. Huffines, who served as chairman since 2019.

“Jere has been a longtime friend of mine for 40 years and has long served on the Executive Committee, Audit Committee, and other roles. I have no doubt that he will be an outstanding Chairman for this Foundation, guiding the mission through his business expertise,” Huffines said in a statement.

Thompson has served in leadership roles across several committees and has been instrumental in helping fulfill the mission of Southwestern Medical Foundation, the foundation said. Three generations of his family established the Thompson Family Fund, which contributed $5 million in support of the UT Southwestern Peter O’Donnell Jr. Brain Institute in 2021.

Thompson was co-founder and CEO of Ambit Energy, a $1.2 billion retail energy provider. Before Ambit, in 1992 Thompson founded CapRock Fiber Network, which built and operated fiber and broadband data networks across Texas and four neighboring states. He took CapRock Communications public and was CEO until it was acquired in 2000.

More on the new trustees:

  • Kim Askew is a partner at DLA Piper and represents clients in significant employment matters involving claims of race, disability, gender and age discrimination, and sexual harassment, as well as in litigation involving business torts, trade secrets, non-compete, and non-solicitation and employment agreements. She has successfully tried cases to jury and non-jury verdicts for over 35 years in state and federal courts across the US and has handled appeals before federal and Texas appellate courts.
  • Peter D. Brundage is a senior managing director and head of Evercore’s Dallas Advisory Practice. Prior to joining Evercore, he was Managing Director in the Investment Banking Division of Goldman Sachs, where he worked for over 30 years. During his career, Peter advised companies throughout the Southwest on a wide range of transactions including financings and mergers & acquisitions. He has worked extensively with companies in the energy, industrial, consumer, and technology markets.
  • Pete Chilian is a managing director with J.P. Morgan Private Bank. As the head of the Dallas region, he directs a team of 100+ bankers and specialists to present a full range of wealth management services to affluent families and foundations in the greater Dallas area, East Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma. In this senior role, he delivers investment, banking, lending, and planning resources to help clients fulfill their purpose and leave a legacy for the next generation.
  • Michael Kahn is an executive director at HPS Investment Partners. Before joining HPS in 2018, Kahn served as the director of Business Development at Talamod Asset Management where he was responsible for articulating investment strategy, performance, and positioning to private and institutional capital sources. Prior to Talamod, Kahn was a vice president at JPMorgan Private Bank, where he delivered customized wealth management solutions to ultra-high net worth individuals and family offices.
  • Linda Kao is the assistant dean of global programs at the SMU Cox School of Business where she directs the strategic planning, creation, and management of international experiential learning opportunities across all its graduate programs. Prior to joining SMU and up to 2002, she worked on seven Summer and Winter Olympic Games, three World Cups, and 25 live telecasts of Miss Universe, Miss USA, Miss Teen USA, and several international events. She has also served as the chairwoman of the Greater Dallas Asian American Chamber of Commerce.
  • Amy McKnight was born in Houston and is a graduate of Southern Methodist University. She worked at Vogue in New York and later attended Parsons School of Design. After 12 years in New York, she relocated with her family to San Francisco in 2011. In addition to being active at her children’s schools, she was a board member of the University of California, San Francisco Foundation, The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, and Family House San Francisco.


Advisers & Councils 

Deloitte Center for Process Bionics Co-Founder Joins mindzie as Adviser

Julian Lebherz [Images: courtesy photo; Shutter2U/istockphoto]

Dallas-based provider of process mining and business process optimization software, mindzie Inc., announced that Julian Lebherz, Head of Data Insights at A.P. Møller-Mærsk, co-founder of the Deloitte Center for Process Bionics, and member of the IEEE Task Force on Process Mining Steering Committee, has joined the organization as a strategic adviser.

Lebherz brings more than a decade of experience in process mining technology to the role, and he has worked with some of the largest international companies deploying process mining solutions to analyze and streamline business operations. Also, in his role on the Task Force on Process Mining, he is co-leading the standardization working group designing an object-centric process mining data format as the interest in process mining continues to expand across the globe.

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Grant Halliburton Foundation Announces Leadership Council

Top L to R: Bradley Haynes, Membership Co-chair; Katie Witte, Membership Co-chair; John Boerger, Social Events Co-chair; Kyah Nichols, Vice President; Sarah Cornelia, Spring Event Co-chair; Bottom L to R: Maribel Morales, Marketing Co-chair; Kelsey Cameron, President; Anna Montgomery, Marketing Co-chair; Olivia Strader, Secretary [Photo: Grant Halliburton Foundation]

Grant Halliburton Foundation of Dallas recently celebrated the launch of its inaugural Young Professionals organization with a council announcement and networking event at Pegasus Park by announcing the 2022-23 GHF YP Leadership Council members who toured the new office and viewed the gallery of artwork by Grant Halliburton.

The Grant Halliburton Foundation Young Professionals organization is a personal and professional development organization for DFW-area young professionals in their 20s and 30s who want to impact their community in a positive way. According to a statement, GHF YP is a home for the next generation of philanthropists to learn and grow while supporting the organization’s work to advocate for stronger mental health education and suicide prevention in North Texas.

The foundation said that the 2022-23 GHF YP Leadership Council is led by Kelsey Cameron, president; Kyah Nichols, vice president; Olivia Strader, secretary; Andy Weis, treasurer; John Boerger and Molly Grace Brown, social event chairs; Katie Witte and Bradley Haynes, membership chairs; Maribel Morales and Anna Montgomery, marketing chairs; and Michelle Schwarz, Emily Sandler, and Sarah Cornelia: spring event chairs.


NABJ Honors KTA Media Group Founder with Award

Dallas public relations executive Kayla Tucker Adams was recently honored by the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) with the 2022 Patricia L. Tobin Media Professional Award during its Hall of Fame Luncheon in Las Vegas.

Adams is the founder and chief strategist of KTA Media Group, a full-service communications firm specializing in public relations, media training, crisis communications, community engagement, book and product launches, digital marketing, social media, and strategic partnerships.

NABJ presents the Patricia L. Tobin Media Professional Award annually to an entrepreneur, public relations/advertising/marketing professional, or media owner who serves as a trailblazer in the media realm and is responsible for a positive impact of black coverage and the media profession.

Patricia “Pat” Tobin was a pioneering publicist, media entrepreneur, co-founder of the National Black Public Relations Society (NBPRS), and a longtime member and leader in NABJ. Widely known as the “queen of public relations,” Tobin is recognized as a Black PR pioneer in the Museum of Public Relations.

“A longtime NABJ member, Kayla has distinguished herself on several levels as a communications professional, mentor and supporter of journalists and journalistic excellence, just like Pat Tobin,” said Cheryl Smith, publisher/editor of Texas Metro News, Garland Journal and I Messenger. “She is grounded in her community, serving on several organization boards and committees, and Kayla also gives of her time and resources. Kayla is about representing her clients and ensuring that KTA Media Group provides the best service.”

North Texas Commission Announces Regional Leadership Award Recipients

The North Texas Commission has announced eight of the nine recipients of the organization’s 2022 Regional Leadership Awards. The awards recognize North Texas organizations and individuals who have had a lasting impact shaping the region.

The ninth award honors the memory of the organization’s former president and CEO Dan Petty. The North Texas Commission established the Dan Petty Regional Visionary Award, which will be announced for the first time during the Commission’s 51st Annual Members’ Luncheon on Sept. 13.

Out of more than 50 nominees, nine recipients were selected to receive the awards, including business leaders, elected officials, civic leaders, and organizations.

“These nine unique awards represent the significance of our region’s public and private sector leaders and the importance of collaboration in North Texas,” said Chris Wallace, the NTC’s President and CEO. “These past few years have reminded us that we are better together as we work as one, unified region to tackle our challenges and work on future growth opportunities.”

Meet the eight announced award recipients.

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