DI People: Globe Life, Keurig Dr Pepper, ORCA AG, and More Make Leadership Moves

In this week’s roundup of hires, promotions, and accolades in North Texas, you’ll also find news from National HME, Brinker International, Robin Autopilot, GlassView, TPG, Weitzman, and others.

Globe Life Announces Top Executive Leadership Changes

McKinney-based Globe Life Inc. has announced changes to its top executive leadership team. Effective December 31, 2022, Co-Chairmen and Co-CEOs Gary L. Coleman and Larry M. Hutchison will step down as Co-CEOs. They will continue to serve in an executive capacity as co-chairmen of Globe Life’s board of directors. 

J. Matthew Darden

The Globe Life board has unanimously appointed J. Matthew Darden, currently Globe Life’s Senior EVP and chief strategy officer, and Frank M. Svoboda, currently Globe Life’s Senior EVP and CFO, as the company’s new Co-CEOs, effective January 1, 2023.

“”It’s been a privilege to serve Globe Life and we’re extremely proud of the many accomplishments achieved at this great company,” Coleman and Hutchison said in a joint statement. “We’re indebted to the talented employees, agents and agency owners, and the members of the board of Globe Life and are deeply appreciative of their hard work and dedication.”

“As Co-CEOs, Gary and Larry have provided outstanding leadership over the last 10 years, helping generate strong growth and shareholder value,” said Linda Addison, lead independent director at the company.

Frank Svoboda

Frank Svoboda

“They have Globe Life well positioned for future success and will help facilitate a seamless transition of leadership to Matt and Frank,” Addison added. “This transition is the culmination of a robust, thoughtful succession planning process that began many years ago.”

In their own joint statement, Darden and Svoboda said they look forward to partnering together “to build on the solid foundation established by Gary and Larry and their predecessors, and are committed to enhancing value for all of Globe Life’s stakeholders. While the company will evolve and capitalize on future opportunities, we’ll continue to focus on providing basic protection insurance to the vastly underserved lower middle to middle-income market with a commitment to grow our business and return excess capital to our shareholders.”

Globe Life also announced today that Thomas P. Kalmbach, currently Globe Life’s EVP and Chief Actuary, has been appointed EVP and CFO, effective January 1, 2023; and Dolores L. Skarjune, currently Globe Life’s SVP of Sales Administration, has been promoted to Executive Vice President effective January 1, 2023.

National HME Appoints New Chairman, CEO

National HME, an Irving-based provider of durable medical equipment solutions to hospices and alternate sites of care, announced that Jeffrey Waldman has been appointed chairman of the board and CEO.

Jeffrey Waldman

“I believe National HME has a great business model and an extremely talented team,” Waldman said in a statement. “With leading technology in Hospice Cloud Pro, high-quality medical equipment, and skilled medical service technicians to support delivery and set up, National HME is positioned to be a leader in the expanding DME market.”

Waldman previously spent 18 years at Henry Schein Inc. in executive leadership roles in the U.S. and international distribution businesses, most recently as president of Henry Schein’s medical device business unit.

As CFO and later chief operating officer of the Henry Schein U.S. Medical Group, Waldman was part of a leadership team that led its transformation to become the No. 2 physician and alternate care distributor in the U.S. with approximately $4 billion in revenues, the company said.

As president of Henry Schein’s medical device business unit and leader of the company’s international medical distribution business, he led a combined team of more than 300 employees while overseeing sales and marketing, product management, and the development of strategic growth activities.

Keurig Dr Pepper Appoints New CFO

Keurig Dr Pepper Inc. has appointed Sudhanshu Priyadarshi as chief financial officer, effective Nov. 14.

Sudhanshu Priyadarshi

He will report to CEO Ozan Dokmecioglu and will lead the company’s finance and information technology organizations. Keurig Dr Pepper is headquartered in Frisco and in Burlington, Mass.

“Sudhanshu’s impressive financial management experience at leading companies, combined with his strategic and operational savvy, makes him the ideal executive for this critical role,” Dokmecioglu said. “He will be a strategic partner to our team as we deliver against our commitments, scale our business for growth, and continue to successfully navigate the complex macro environment.”

Priyadarshi is an experienced global finance, strategy, and operations executive, with more than 20 years of leadership experience in the food & beverage, retail, pharmaceutical, and logistics industries, KDP said. He has spent most of his career at mult-national CPG and retail companies, namely PepsiCo and Walmart.

Most recently, he was CFO at Vista Outdoor Inc., overseeing all financial management and strategic planning for the sporting and outdoor goods company during a period of significant organic and inorganic growth.

GlassView Hires Google’s Head of Industry as Chief Growth Officer

Dallas-headquartered GlassView, a leading independent video advertising distribution platform, has appointed Natasha Berney as its chief growth officer.

Natasha Berney

Berney will be responsible for leading GlassView’s sales strategy domestically and internationally to drive revenue and deepen relationships with the company’s clients, including 80 Fortune 100 brands. She will report to James Brooks, Founder and CEO at GlassView.

Berney brings more than 15 years of experience developing sales teams and leading initiatives to enhance organizational performance. Most recently, she held the role of Head of Industry, Retail and Global Business Solutions, International Growth at Google, with a multi-billion-dollar book of advertising business. During her seven-year tenure at Google, she established new lines of specialty business, which continued to perform in consecutive years, GlassView said.

“Natasha brings an impressive level of experience in leading sales strategies and international teams, and we’re ecstatic for her to join us as our chief growth officer,” said James Brooks, founder and CEO GlassView, in a statement. “To have an all-star of this magnitude join our team is a testament to the hard work and growth GlassView has accomplished over the past few years, and we’re thrilled to have her on board to help guide us through our next chapter of global expansion.”

Prior to Google, Natasha spent nearly 10 years at Microsoft, overseeing brand partnerships while building the company’s sales teams. She also developed outsource team models, including scope of work and capacity planning, and served as hiring manager for over 100 roles for Microsoft and Google.  She received her master’s in management from Harvard University.

“Brand market share is in more flux today than ever before, necessitating intelligent marketing strategies and activation,” Berney said in the statement. “GlassView has proved itself as a high-performing vehicle to drive brand growth and defend market share. The amount of opportunity for customers is tremendous, and I cannot wait to see how brands lean into our unique offering.”

Charmaine Tang, president of Switzerland-based ORCA AG. [Photo: ORCA AG]

ORCA AG Names Dallas Exec as President

Zurich-based SaaS tech company ORCA AG announced that Dallas-based Charmaine Tang has joined the company as president.

Tang, who most recently was a senior client strategist at BNY Mellon, is the first “boots on the ground” in the U.S. for ORCA AG. Founded in 2017, the Swiss software and services firm offers an SaaS platform with solutions from wealth structuring to tax, compliance, succession planning, and more. The company serves global families, foundations, corporations, professional services, and other complex clients.

Tang has more than 25 years of experience in finance and serves on the board of directors of the Texas Women’s Foundation and the Dallas Symphony Association. She’s a venture capital adviser to Gore Range Capital and is on the board of Kloseby Inc.

Read more here.

Brinker International Taps New EVP, Chief People Officer

Dallas-based restaurant company Brinker International Inc. announced that Aaron White has been promoted to EVP, chief people officer, a role in which she oversees all of aspects of the team member experience for Brinker and Chili’s Grill & Bar.

Aaron White

The company also announced that Wade Allen will return to his role as SVP, chief digital officer, this time with a focus on growing the company’s off-premise business and driving the digital guest experience online through the Chili’s app, To-Go and Delivery.

In her new role, White will oversee recruitment and retention, talent selection, learning and development, and diversity, equity and inclusion. At an enterprise level, Brinker said that White will lead key business priorities such as culinary operations, restaurant services, guest engagement, and team member relations.

“Given the importance of team member and manager retention, we’re moving our people function closer to the operation,” Kevin Hochman, Brinker’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “And with previous leadership roles in PeopleWorks—our HR department—and extensive operations experience, Aaron was the perfect candidate to help us achieve our hiring and retention goals and make our positions in the field easier, more fun, and more rewarding.”

Wade Allen

White joined Chili’s as an hourly team member and has devoted her 20-year-plus career serving Chili’s restaurant teams and guests.

Allen joined Brinker in 2014 and was previously SVP of Innovation with oversight of culinary innovation, engineering, strategic growth, and the development and execution of virtual brands. He held multiple leadership roles in technology, analytics, and digital marketing. He will work with the Chili’s CMO, George Felix; CIO Pankaj Patra; and COO Doug Comings to identify strategies and plans to accelerate the Chili’s off-premise business, most of which is transacted digitally.

Robin Autopilot Makes Chief of Staff Promotion

Robin Autopilot, the McKInney-based robotic mowing technology and robotics-as-a-service (RaaS) platform, announced that it has promoted Ellen Bruno to the new position of chief of staff.

Ellen Bruno

In her new role, Bruno’s responsibilities will include overseeing staff relations, strategic planning, and assisting in mergers and acquisitions. Bruno will retain all of the responsibilities she had as vice president of operations, including day-to-day operations, finance, e-commerce, and logistics, Robin Autopilot said.

“Ellen has played an important part in the growth and success of Robin and many of our other companies,” Logan Fahey, CEO and founder of Fahey Group, said in a statement. “We’re privileged to have Ellen on our team and look forward to her continuing contributions as we expand Robin’s offerings and strengthen our position as a leader in the robotic lawn care service industry.”

Bruno joined Fahey Group, a holdings company, in 2017. She has helped launch and manage several Fahey acquisitions and ventures, including Robin Autopilot, Landmark Lawn and Garden Supply, and Fahey Hospitality Group. Bruno has more than 25 years of practical experience in multiple industries, including roles in professional services, retail management, and administration.

Tadd Tobkin

First United Bank Appoints SVP, Chief Technology Officer Based in McKinney

Former Mr. Cooper executive Tadd Tobkin has been appointed senior vice president and chief technology officer of Oklahoma-based First United Bank. He will be based in McKinney.

In this role, Tobkin will lead the company’s technology groups and work to advance and transform First United’s customer and employee experience.

“His proven track record of transformation and innovation will play an integral part in our Vision 2030 efforts and beyond. His alignment with our values and passion for bringing dreams to life makes me proud to have him on board.” Greg Massey, chairman and CEO of First United, said in a statement.

Formerly, Tobkin was executive principal for technology strategy and transformation at Coppell-based mortgage company Mr. Cooper.

“I look forward to partnering with the team to embark on a technology transformation journey that will provide a world-class customer and employee experience, enable the Spend Life Wisley vision, and elevate 10 million lives,” Tobkin said.

TPG Appoints Partner, Head of TPG NEXT Strategy

TPG, a global alternative asset management firm based in Fort Worth and San Francisco, announced that Pamela Pavkov has joined the firm as a partner and head of TPG NEXT, a strategy designed to back the next generation of diverse alternative asset managers.

Pamela Pavkov

In her new role, Pavkov will be responsible for driving TPG NEXT’s investment strategy, sourcing, execution, and portfolio management, the company said.

“We believe investors and allocators are seeking more proactive solutions to address private markets’ systemic inequities,” Anilu Vazquez-Ubarri, partner and chief human resources officer at TPG and senior sponsor of TPG NEXT, said in a statement. “TPG NEXT is bringing purposeful, flexible capital to bridge the opportunity gap in our industry and develop and scale the next generation of diverse managers and diverse-led ecosystems. Pamela’s leadership and experience make her the right executive to grow our mandate.”

TPG said it launched TPG NEXT to accelerate the growth of diverse-led GPs by providing access to capital, business building expertise, and strategic advisory to underrepresented talent. The company said the strategy is aimed at increasing the number of diverse-led firms in alternative assets, aligning the industry more closely with broader demographic trends and catalyzing diverse-led managers’ growth and success.

The firm said it began investing in diverse managers in 2019 and has since backed three firms: Harlem Capital, VamosVentures, and LandSpire.

Neighborhood Credit Union Promotes Exec to SVP of Lending

Neighborhood Credit Union, a not-for-profit financial organization and the first credit union in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, announced that Kenny Cooper has been promoted to senior vice president of lending.

Kenny Cooper

Previously, Cooper was vice president of lending. In his new role, Cooper will direct and oversee all aspects of lending activity for the credit union to ensure effective and efficient operations, quality of member service, and compliance with existing regulations and policies. Cooper will report to CEO Chet Kimmell.

“Kenny’s dedication to our company since he joined the credit union a decade ago has been unwavering. His credit union experience and knowledge of the industry are unmatched, and I know he will even further contribute to the success of our lending programs in his new role,” Kimmell said in a statement.

Cooper begain his banking career during college and quickly began climbing the corporate ladder. He transitioned to the credit union space and began working at Resource One Credit Union, where he worked his way up to vice president of lending and collections by the end of his 13-year tenure there.

He then joined City Credit Union, working as the director of lending and sales until he joined Neighborhood Credit Union in 2013. He began as a lending manager but was quickly promoted to vice president of lending in 2015.

“I’m fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to work and grow at a place as special as Neighborhood Credit Union over the past nine years,” Cooper said in a statement.

Weitzman Promotes Executive to SVP to Lead Asset Management Division

Blane O’Banion has been promoted to the position of senior vice president of Weitzman, where he will lead the company’s Asset Management division.

O’Banion is an experienced retail real estate professional who handles the asset management for a portfolio of power, community, neighborhood, and mixed-use retail centers, Weitzman said.

O’Banion was most recently vice president and regional leasing director for Weingarten Realty Investors, a retail real estate investment trust, where O’Banion asset-managed and directed the leasing and operations of a 3 million-square-foot retail portfolio in six states. In addition to asset management and leasing, he has extensive experience with retail redevelopments and re-tenanting programs.

Cadence Bank Promotes Exec to EVP, Director

Dallas-based Brad Durham has been promoted to EVP and director of Houston-based Cadence Bank’s Financial Institutions Group, which offers operational, cash management, and other business services to financial institutions.

Brad Durham

Durham will lead the FIG team in his new role to expand sales and increase geographic research to serve new and existing clients, the bank said.

“Brad is a highly respected banker with a wide breadth of knowledge and experience,” Dan Rollins, chairman and CEO of Cadence Bank, said in a statement.

Prior to Cadence, Durham was senior vice president and correspondent banker for a Dallas-based community bank, and he served as the founder, president, and CEO of Irving-based Independent Bank of Texas.

Cadence Bank has roughly $50 billion in assets and nearly 400 branch locations across Texas and the South.

In August, Cadence Bank promoted two commercial bankers to lead corporate banking and middle market teams in Dallas as it continues to expand in North Texas following its merger with BancorpSouth last year.

Andrew Widmer was appointed EVP, senior managing director for Dallas middle market banking; and Brandon Dunn was promoted to executive vice president, managing director of mid-corporate banking.

CBRE Names Real Estate Veteran as SVP in Fort Worth

CBRE announced that James Stein has joined the company in Fort Worth as senior vice president and will represent the real estate needs for tenants across North America.

Via the company’s fully integrated, global services platform, CBRE’s Dallas-Fort Worth professionals serve some of the most prominent companies locally and nationally on virtually every aspect of commercial real estate.

Before joining CBRE, Stein worked at Cushman & Wakefield. During his career, he has represented companies such as Dyson, Coca-Cola, Workday, and Mastercard.

CBRE, the largest real estate services company in the world, has more than 105,000 professionals in over 100 countries and is a global leader in commercial real estate services and investment.

Cooksey Communications Adds Professional Services Practice Leader

Irving-based strategic communications firm Cooksey Communications announced that Kelly Morris has joined its team as Professional Services Practice leader.

Morris brings nearly two decades of public relations, marketing, and journalistic storytelling experience to advise Cooksey’s professional services clients on PR, marketing, and community engagement programs. She will guide the practice group’s overall, purposeful growth, Cooksey said.

“Kelly’s deep knowledge of the North Texas civic and business community, coupled with her advanced communications skills, makes her the perfect fit to lead our distinguished Professional Services Practice,” Colby Walton, chairman and CEO of Cooksey Communications, said in a statement. “After helping the Dallas Regional Chamber and well-known clients headquartered in DFW, she has the connections, savvy, and client-service mindset to lead high-impact PR and marketing initiatives for the ‘best of the best’ in the regional professional services sector.”

Most recently, Morris was VP of communications at the Dallas Regional Chamber, where she oversaw multiple newsletters and developed editorial content around its four strategic pillars: economic development, education and workforce, inclusion and community engagement, and public policy.

Before joining the DRC, Morris was part of the communications team at Ursuline Academy of Dallas, and then worked at another full-service PR agency in Dallas, where her clients included engineering giant AECOM and Capital One. She began her career as a sports reporter, with stints covering numerous sports.at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Shreveport Times, and the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

DevLab bio Names VP of Business Development, Lab Director

Coppell-based laboratory services company DevLab bio announced that Daniel H. Farkas, PhD, HCLD, has joined the company as VP of clinical business development and laboratory director of the Clinical Diagnostics Division.

Farkas will lead the clinical diagnostics team, assume clinical laboratory regulatory responsibilities, and identify new business opportunities, the company said.

Most recently, Farkas was section head of Molecular Pathology at Cleveland Clinic and Medical Director of Molecular Genetics, where he led a team that revitalized the service.

Farkas established molecular pathology services at Saint Barnabas Medical Center, William Beaumont Hospital, and Houston Methodist Hospital. He has served on the faculty at Lerner College of Medicine, Michigan State University, Downstate Medical Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College, and Beaumont’s School of Medical Technology. Farkas has been an officer and clinical laboratory director at startup companies and reference laboratories including: Celmatix; the Center for Molecular Medicine; Sequenom Laboratories; Clinical Micro Sensors, and ChondroGene.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges Adds 5 Associates in Dallas Office

The Dallas office of the international law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP has added five new associates: Madeleine Carpenter, corporate; Olga Cosme Toledo, corporate; Xenna K. Davis, litigation; Carson Parks, corporate; and Luke S. Smith, corporate.

Weil’s Dallas office, founded more than three decades ago, provides Wall Street-quality legal services to Dallas and the Southwest, the firm said in a statement. The Dallas office is known for its sophisticated transactional and complex commercial litigation practices and is recognized for its civic involvement and its extensive pro bono service to the Dallas community.

Founded in 1931, the firm has been a preeminent provider of legal services for more than 90 years. With roughly 1,100 lawyers in offices on three continents, Weil has been a pioneer in establishing a geographic footprint that has allowed the firm to partner with clients wherever they do business. The firm’s four departments, Corporate, Litigation, Restructuring, and Tax, Executive Compensation & Benefits, and more than two dozen practice groups are consistently recognized as leaders in their respective fields.

Madeleine Carpenter

Madeleine Carpenter earned her J.D. from Vanderbilt University Law School and her B.A., summa cum laude, from The University of Mississippi. While in law school, she earned Order of the Coif recognition and served as editor-in-chief for the Vanderbilt Law Review. She clerked for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit under the Hon. Julia Smith Gibbons from 2021-2022 and joins Weil after serving as a summer associate for the firm in 2020.

Olga Cosme Toledo

Olga Cosme Toledo earned her J.D. from the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law and her B.A. from California Institute of the Arts. While in law school, Toledo served as a staff member for the Northwestern University Law Review and served in leadership positions with the Black Law Students Association and Latinx Law Students Association, among other activities. In 2020, she was a judicial extern for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and joins Weil after serving as a summer associate for the firm in 2021.

Xenna Davis

Xenna K. Davis earned her J.D., summa cum laude, from Texas Tech University School of Law and her B.A., magna cum laude, from Texas Tech University. During law school, she earner Order of the Coif recognition and served as managing editor for the Texas Tech Law Review and as a legal practice teaching fellow, in addition to earning Order of the Barristers honors. Davis joins Weil after serving as a summer associate for the firm in 2021.

Carson Parks

Carson Parks earned his J.D., magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School and was one of two graduating J.D. students to be awarded the Morgan and Helen Chu Prize for the highest-grade point average in his final year. While in law school, he also served as editor of the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy. Parks earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration, with highest honors, from The University of Texas at Austin. Parks joins Weil after serving as a summer associate for the firm in 2020 and 2021.

Luke Smith

Luke S. Smith earned his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law and his B.S. from Texas A&M University. While in law school, he earned Order of the Coif recognition and served as notes editor for the Virginia Journal of International Law and president of the Lone Star Lawyers at UVA Law. Prior to attending law school, he worked as a process engineer for Valero Energy Corp. for more than four years. He joins Weil after serving as a summer associate for the Firm in 2021.

Current, Ex-Dallas Cowboys Players Sign on as TruGolf Ambassadors 

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott and former NFL wide receiver and ex-Cowboy Brice Butler have become brand ambassadors for TruGolf. The two were on hand for a launch event recently at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel.

TruGolf is a Utah-based golf simulator company that’s seeking to expand its presence in Dallas.

Both Elliott and Butler say they love to play golf. The two athletes came together at an event called SAP Spend Connect Live at the hotel, where the company announced their affiliation with the athletes.

“Offseason, I love to go golf with the boys and have a couple of beers,” Elliott, 27, told The Dallas Morning News.

Elliott and Butler will be paid for promoting the simulators, which cost about $13,500. According to the Morning News, TruGolf’s technology can be bought for home use, but the company would like to create public venues with the technology.

The company has two Texas locations where prospective buyers can try out a simulator: Nip It Gold in Longview and TeeBox Texas in Kemah, southeast of Houston. TruGolf said it also will have simulators at The Clubhouse in McKinney in coming weeks.

Dallas Arboretum President, CEO to Retire

Dallas Arboretum President and CEO Mary Brinegar announced that she will retire within the coming year.

She has been with the Dallas Arboretum for more than two decades, developing over 60% of the garden and Aboretum personnel.

The Dallas Arboretum said it will form a committee to conduct a national search for its next president and CEO.

Meghna Tare

UTA Chief Sustainability Officer Receives U.N. Honor

The chief sustainability officer at the University of Texas at Arlington has received the 2022 U.N. Global Leadership for United Nations Sustainable Development Goal No. 4, Quality Education, the university said in a statement.

Meghna Tare was honored for her work that responds to imminent global challenges such as climate change, migration, rising inequity, and the pandemic, the university said.

“Institutions of higher education like UTA play a pivotal role in transforming the lives of individuals and enhancing their communities through collective action,” Tare said in a statement. “This award celebrates UT Arlington’s commitment to positive change in the community and leadership by action.”

Sustainability education is a critical tool for the transition to sustainable development, UTA said. The UN award reflects the bold and transformative programs Tare is leading to advance the U.N.’s goals, as well as translating these global goals into the context of North Texas communities, UTA said.

Tare is founder and director of the Regional Center of Expertise for Education on Sustainable Development (RCE North Texas), a program of the United Nations University. RCE North Texas is a multisectoral and interdisciplinary consortium of members who work collaboratively through capacity building, education and training. RCE North Texas is one of 179 RCEs across the world and the only one in Texas.

Evolon Technology Adds Experienced Leader to its Board

Dallas-based Evolon Technology Inc., a developer of proprietary software technology that turns surveillance video into real-time actionable information, announced that Cynthia “Cindi” Keith has been appointed as the fourth director on its board of directors.

Keith serves on the boards of two publicly traded companies, City Bank of Texas, a financial services company, and PCTEL, a communications equipment company.

She spent over 25 years with PricewaterhouseCoopers, the world’s largest multinational professional services firm. During that time, Keith served in numerous leadership roles and was elevated to the position of partner in 2002. As a respected audit partner with extensive experience in governance, audit, IPO, merger, acquisition, and divestitures, Keith is well known for helping management teams meet their strategic growth targets, including working through IPO and other strategic growth opportunities.

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