DI People: Kimberly-Clark, Fossil Group, Care Continuity, and More Make Moves

In this week's roundup of hires and promotions in North Texas, you'll also find news from Thryv Holdings, Ryan, Texas Capital Bancshares, Populus Financial Group, Bedrock Manufacturing Company, TearLab Corporation, Texas Instruments, KIS Technologies, Ventra Health, and more.

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

Dallas Innovates covers prominent personnel moves in Dallas-Fort Worth businesses and nonprofits—from the newest startups to well-established companies. Here are the people moves tied to innovation and technology in the region.

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Kimberly-Clark names a president

Ehab Abou-Oaf

Irving-based personal care corporation Kimberly-Clark has promoted Ehab Abou-Oaf from managing director of the Middle East and Africa to president of Kimberly-Clark Professional, effective Jan. 1, 2022.

In his new role, Abou-Oaf will oversee business-to-business operations globally, reporting to Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mike Hsu. Prior to joining Kimberly-Clark, he spent 19 years in senior management roles at Mars Inc., which included president of Mars Wrigley Confectionery for Asia, Australia, the Middle East, and Africa. Prior to that, he spent 10 years with Procter & Gamble.

“Since joining Kimberly-Clark, Ehab has strengthened our business in the Middle East and Africa, establishing new routes to market and grown our market share across multiple categories in developing markets including Nigeria and South Africa,” Hsu said in a statement. “Further, he has established an exceptional team in the region, and I’m confident that he’ll bring the same proven track record of leadership to our K-C Professional business.”

Fossil Group appoints a lead of its flagship brand

Melissa Lowenkron

Richardson-based Fossil Group, the global fashion lifestyle designer and manufacturer, has added Melissa Lowenkron to its team as senior vice president and general manager of Fossil Brand.

In the newly created role, Lowenkron will be responsible for brand strategy, product design, and marketing. Previously, she spent more than two decades at Neiman Marcus Group, where she built omnichannel businesses across men’s and women’s categories. Most recently, she was NMG’s SVP and general merchandise manager leading the handbag and accessories, women’s footwear, jewelry, and beauty businesses.

“Melissa’s extensive leadership experience with luxury retailers, including Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman, makes her the perfect leader to continue to drive growth for Fossil,” Kosta Kartsotis, Fossil Group chairman and CEO, said in a statement. “Her fashion, product and consumer insights across a wide range of categories will allow us to continue to capitalize on the brand’s momentum.”

Care Continuity gets a new CEO

Steven Mason

Dallas-based Care Continuity, a provider of patient navigation and care transitions, has named Steven Mason, Jr. as its chief executive officer, effective Jan. 1, 2022. He assumes the role from Founder Andrew Thorby, who hand-picked his successor and will remain on as executive chairman.

Mason is a veteran of the healthcare industry with more than 25 years of experience starting and growing technology and services companies. He joins Care Continuity from Iodine Software, where he was executive vice president. He joined Iodine when it acquired ChartWise Medical Systems, where Mason was the CEO. He was also formerly the CEO of OnFocus Healthcare.

“The time is right for fresh energy,” Thorby said in a statement. “Care logistics is the missing layer in healthcare today.” Care Continuity this year received Series A funding to continue growing its position as a leader in patient navigation.

Thryv appoints a new chairman of the board

Joe Walsh

Dallas-based Thryv Holdings, which operates an end-to-end client experience platform for small businesses, has appointed CEO and President Joe Walsh as its chairman of the board of directors following the news that current chairman Jason Mudrick was resigning.

Mudrick Capital Management will remain Thryv’s largest shareholder for the foreseeable future. Mudrick is the founder and CIO of Mudrick Capital. Walsh previously supported the development of Thryv’s software, its flagship product, and helped transition the company from a marketing services business to an SaaS business.

“With Joe’s team in charge and under the oversight of the new SaaS-focused Board we put in place last year, it is now my time to step off the board and continue this journey from the sidelines,” Mudrick said in a statement. “We cannot wait to see what Joe and his team can accomplish in this new chapter of growth.”

Ryan names a principal of its income tax practice

Charles J. Fischer

Dallas-based Ryan, the global tax services and software provider, has added Charles J. Fischer to its team as a principal in the state income and franchise tax practice.

Fischer has more than 24 years of experience in public accounting, in which he advised clients on multistate tax matters. He also has worked on income and franchise tax refund reviews, legal entity restructurings, and assisting with state tax controversy matters. Most recently, he was responsible for leading national and regional efforts between multistate and international tax teams at a big four accounting firm.

“We are very excited to formally welcome Charles to our growing Ryan team,” Ryan President of U.S. Operations Damon Chronis said in a statement. “His vast experience with income and franchise tax refund reviews and advising clients on multistate tax matters will further strengthen our State Income and Franchise Tax service line.”

Texas Capital Bancshares gets a new CFO

Matt Scurlock

Dallas-based Texas Capital Bancshares, the parent company of Texas Capital Bank, is transitioning Matt Scurlock from the role of executive vice president and corporate treasurer to executive vice president and chief financial officer, effective Jan. 1, 2022.

Scurlock will replace Julie Anderson, who has been with the bank for 22 years, as CFO. She will remain onboard in an advisory capacity until March 31.

Scurlock previously served in leadership positions across the corporate finance, risk, and treasury sectors. Previously, he provided strategic consulting to financial services clients at Deloitte & Touche LLP and was a leader in Zions Bancorporation’s corporate finance group. He joined joined Texas Capital Bank in 2013 and has served as director of finance, EVP, and corporate treasurer. Most recently, he was responsible for managing the bank’s corporate finance, investor relations, corporate treasury, and corporate strategy initiatives.

Populus Financial Group names a CFO

Melanie Few

Irving-based Populus Financial Group, a provider of digital and retail financial services, has promoted Melanie Few to president and Spencer Williams to executive vice president and chief financial officer. Williams replaces Sue Pressler, who is retiring as CFO and taking on the new role of executive advisor. 

Few, the current senior vice president and chief marketing officer, has been with Populus for 15 years. During her tenure, she has held key roles in lending, marketing, and financial areas of the company. Most recently, she led the development, marketing, and roll-out of Porte, Populus’ digital banking product.

Spencer Williams

Williams joined Populus 10 years ago. Currently, he serves as senior vice president of finance. Throughout the past decade at Populus, Williams has gained experience in finance, accounting, treasury, and risk.

“It is rewarding to recognize our internal talent with these promotions to key leadership roles at Populus,” Jay Shipowitz, CEO and chairman of the board, said in a statement. “Melanie is uniquely qualified for this role and notably, will be the first woman to hold the position of president in our company’s 50+ year history. Spencer’s long-tenure, broad financial services experience, and knowledge of Populus allow us to seamlessly fill the CFO role.”

All appointments will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2022.

Bedrock Manufacturing Company gets a new chief executive

Awenate Cobbina

Plano-based Bedrock Manufacturing Company, the parent of Shinola and Filson, has named Awenate Cobbina as its new chief executive officer, effective Jan. 1, 2022.

Cobbina currently serves as a member of the BMC board and runs investing and philanthropic activities for its largest investor. In his new role, Cobbina will be tasked with driving day-to-day business activities and developing new opportunities that are additive to the core businesses. He previously led operations as a member of the Biden-Harris Transition’s executive leadership team, served on the leadership team at Pistons Sports & Entertainment and the Detroit Pistons, and held various positions in the Obama White House.

“Awenate has become an active member of the BMC, Shinola and Filson leadership teams during the course of this year,” Tom Kartsotis, BMC’s founder, said in a statement. “In recent months, Cobbina has joined BMC’s board of directors and worked closely with leadership to begin developing a blueprint for future growth.”

TearLab Corporation gets a new CEO

Adam Szaronos

The board of directors at Southlake-based TearLab Corporation, an ophthalmic diagnostics company that markets point-of-care laboratory testing, has appointed Adam Szaronos as its president and chief executive officer.

Szaronos is credited with bringing innovations to market to address unmet needs throughout eye care. He joined TearLab’s executive team as chief commercial officer last year, overseeing the commercial restructuring and relaunch of TearLab’s global diagnostics business. Before that, he held various sales, marketing, and strategic management positions at Alcon.

“I am extremely pleased and proud to be taking the helm of this great organization. This company is forged on a strong customer-focused foundation, with a proven ability to pioneer new innovations and categories,” Szaronos said in a statement. “That’s a winning model I want us to continue building upon as we expand our current diagnostics business and bring new technologies to market for our customers.”

TI adds to its board of directors

Haviv Ilan

Dallas-based semiconductor leader Texas Instruments Incorporated has added Haviv Ilan, the TI executive vice president and chief operating officer, to its board of directors.

Ilan first joined TI in 1999. Currently, he is responsible for leading businesses, sales, manufacturing, and information technology organizations. He has led large global organizations at TI, gaining experience technical and market expertise.

“Haviv will be a valuable addition to our board,” Rich Templeton, TI’s chairman, president, and CEO, said in a statement. “He brings strong business and financial acumen, a strategic mindset and sound judgement.”

KIS Technologies names a president

Ron Wilson

Plano-based KIS Technologies, a provider of kiosks, ticketing, and parking technology, has appointed Ron Wilson as its new president.

Wilson most recently served as the chief technology officer at Tessitura Network for 13 years. There, he was instrumental in building the company into a market dominant provider of fully integrated CRM, ticketing, and fundraising software. He succeeds Toby Fender, who announced his resignation in September.

“Ron is a phenomenal leader who has been instrumental in creating success and driving innovation in the ticketing market. His leadership, character and knowledge set him apart, and I couldn’t be happier to welcome him as the new [resident,” Tracey Geren, CEO of Weldon, Williams & Lick, Inc. the parent company of KIS Technologies, said in a statement. “Ron brings deep experience in scaling fast-growing technology companies, and we expect his leadership will be an invaluable asset to KIS Technologies as we continue to grow at a rapid pace.”

Ventra Health names a president of anesthesia

Drew Bell

Dallas-based Ventra Health, a provider of revenue cycle management, practice management, and advisory services for hospital-based physician specialties, has appointed Drew Bell as its new president and anesthesia.

Most recently, Bell spent the past five and a half years at Surgical Care Affiliates, where he held increasingly responsible management positions. Before that, he held leadership roles at Glendale Memorial Hospital and Oak Street Health. His experience includes building high-performance teams, developing new business capabilities, and leading client engagement.

“The addition of Drew Bell as President of Anesthesia furthers Ventra’s commitment to building a scalable physician RCM organization and putting clients first in everything we do,” Ventra Health’s CEO Michael O’Boyle said in a statement. “Drew is an exceptional talent and will work tirelessly to deliver superior results for Ventra’s anesthesia clients. We could not ask for a better leader to take on the leadership of our Anesthesia business unit.” 

Orsinger, Nelson, Downing & Anderson names a managing partner

Scott Downing

Texas family law firm Orsinger, Nelson, Downing & Anderson has appointed Scott Downing as managing partner of its North Texas offices.

Downing, the firm’s original managing partner, is assuming the role from Brad LaMorgese. Downing is a skilled trial attorney who has a reputation for being a fierce courtroom advocate in complex high-dollar property and custody cases. He is board certified in family law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He is also an award-winning writer on family law issues.

“Scott is ready to resume the daily duties of the firm as our partner Brad LaMorgese’s law practice proudly grows,” Keith Nelson, a firm partner, said in a statement. “We are glad to make a smooth transition back to Scott.”

VERTESS gets a new managing director

J. Blake Peart

Fort Worth-based VERTESS, a healthcare mergers and acquisitions advisory firm, has added J. Blake Peart to its team as a managing director.

Peart is healthcare veteran who has served as CEO for multiple hospitals and Ambulatory Surgery Centers. he has played key roles in several M+A transactions with a focus on private equity transactions. At VERTESS, Peart will provide M+A and consulting services to Ambulatory Surgery Centers, physician practices, and independent hospital business markets.

“We are honored to have Blake join our team,” Brad Smith, VERTESS managing director and partner, said in a statement. “His far-reaching and respected career in healthcare provides him an advantage few in the healthcare M+A world can claim. Our clients have gained a formidable and compassionate ally in their journey through the transaction process.”

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