DI People: Kimberly-Clark, Medecision, Comerica Bank, and More Make Moves

In this weekly roundup of executive moves in North Texas, you'll also find news from CASPR Group, NuZee, ThermoTek, and Oceans Healthcare, among others.

Across North Texas, companies are promoting and hiring people to take on leadership positions within their organizations.

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

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CASPR Group brings on a VP of Distribution Development

Dallas-based CASPR Group, a provider of continuous air and surface pathogen reduction technology, has added Charlie Suiter to its team as vice president of Distribution Development.

Charlie Suiter

Suiter is a seasoned management executive with more than 18 years of experience in sales and distribution. He previously worked with multimillion-dollar companies, in which he oversaw day-to-day operations, managed key accounts and recruiting, and trained and supervised on- and off-premises sales teams. In his new role at CASPR, he will lead an internal sales team, along with its network of North American distributors.

“We’re thrilled to add Charlie to our management team,” CASPR Group CEO Scott Wheeler said in a statement. “His long experience in managing sales and distribution logistics will be an asset as he leads the development of our distribution team.”

NuZee expands its Board of Directors

Tracy Ging

Leading American producer and co-packer of specialty single serve pour-over coffee pouches, Dallas-based NuZee Inc., has appointed Tracy Ging to its Board of Directors as an independent director.

Ging is currently the chief marketing officer at Kum & Go, the convenience store chain with more than 400 locations. In that role, she is tasked with creating and guiding its growth strategies. Before that, she was the deputy executive director of the Specialty Coffee Association, and later the chief business officer for S&D Coffee and Tea.

“[Tracy] is a leader who has a deep understanding of our coffee business and knows how to bring growth, innovation, and company culture to an organization. Her passion for coffee and ability to see growth opportunities will be welcomed,” Masa Higashida, president and CEO of NuZee, said in a statement.

Kimberly-Clark makes executive changes

Dallas-based Kimberly-Clark Corporation has named Russ Torres, current president of Kimberly-Clark Professional, as the new group president of Kimberly-Clark North America. He succeeds Kim Underhill, who is departing from the company after 33 years.

Russ Torres

In Torres’ new role, he will lead the consumer side of the business. That includes some of the industry’s most iconic brands: Huggies, Kleenex, Cottonelle, and Depend. His successor will be named in the near future.

Torres joined Kimberly-Clark last year with more than two decades of experience in the consumer products goods industry. He’s previously held key senior leadership roles at Bain & Company, Mondelez International/Kraft Foods, and Newell Brands. 

“We’re proud to have a deep bench of talented leaders to drive our global business,” Mike Hsu, Kimberly-Clark chairman and CEO, said in a statement. “Russ is a decisive leader with deep industry experience and a strong set of capabilities. His ability to rally teams around a common vision will drive results for our largest business unit.”

Medecision gets a new CEO

Dallas-based Medecision, an integrated health management company that supports virtual care, has named Ken Young as its president and CEO, effective immediately. He succeeds Deborah Gage, who is parting with Medecision along with Chief Administrative Officer Jennifer Ponski. 

Ken Young

He is an experienced executive who has previously driven growth and value across multiple industries. He brings more than two decades of insight to Medecision’s business, strategy and operation, and previously held leadership roles within the company from 2010 to 2016. Most recently, he was COO of Vidyo, leading the company’s transformation into one a leading telehealth platform.

“Ken has deep knowledge of Medecision’s business and significant operational and technology experience. Having previously served in various leadership roles at Medecision, he is uniquely positioned to execute on our strategic priorities and lead the company through this transition,” Arun Prasad, HCSC’s chief strategy officer and Medecision board member, said in a statement. “On behalf of the Board, I want to thank Deborah and Jennifer for their leadership and contributions to Medecision.”

Comerica Bank names a national director of Wealth Planning

Dallas-headquartered Comerica Bank, a subsidiary of Comerica Incorporated, has announced that Lisa Featherngill will join the company on April 19 as a senior vice president and national director of Wealth Planning.

Lisa Featherngill

In her new role, Featherngill will lead Comerica’s wealth planning business. She will be responsible for ensuring the planning-based approach is successfully adopted and integrated into the client experience—this includes enhancing advice capabilities for professionals servicing all client segments.

Featherngill is a seasoned wealth management and financial planning veteran with more than 35 years of experience. She joins Comerica after nearly 14 years with Abbot Downing, a Wells Fargo business, where she was senior vice president, managing director, and head of Legacy and Wealth Planning.

ThermoTek names a new CEO

Dallas-based ThermoTek, a portfolio company of private equity firm Havencrest Capital Management, has brought on Randy D. Chatman as its new chief executive officer.

Randy D. Chatman

Chatman has more than two decades of experience in medical device operations. He has held key leadership roles for global industry leaders, including Wright Medical Group (acquired by Stryker), Covidien (acquired by Medtronic), Johnson & Johnson, and more. Most recently, he was the vice president of President of Strategic Contracting, Pricing, National Accounts, Reimbursement & Market Access for Wright Medical Group, a global medical device company that sold to Stryker for $4.7 billion.

“We are thrilled to have Randy join the ThermoTek team,” Christopher W. Kersey, founding managing partner of Havencrest Capital, said in a statement. Randy’s deep knowledge of the medical device industry, highly-regarded leadership and proven expertise in scaling businesses makes us confident he is the right executive to lead ThermoTek’s next chapter of growth.”

Oceans Healthcare gets an EVP of Human Resources and Talent Management

Oceans Healthcare, a provider of inpatient and outpatient behavioral healthcare services, has appointed Tom Lokaras as its new executive vice president of Human Resources and Talent Management.

Tom Lokar

In the newly created role, Lokar will lead Oceans’ HR function, focusing on creating programs to attract, retain, and develop employees. He has more than 25 years of experience helping companies develop people strategies to support growth and business transformation. Previously, he led HR at global organizations like Hewlett-Packard and most recently, Mitel.

“As our company continues to grow, one of the most important things we can invest in is our people,” Oceans CEO Stuart Archer said in a statement. “Tom’s background and experience in building HR and leadership development programs in rapidly growing companies like ours will serve as a great complement to the expertise of our human resources team as we continue to elevate this important function.”

Reata adds to its Board of Directors

Plano-based Reata Pharmaceuticals, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, has appointed Christy J. Oliger and Shamim Ruff to its Board of Directors.

Oliger has some 30 years of experience in biopharma having previously served in various commercial roles at Genentech and Roche Holding AG. Most recently, she served as SVP and oncology business unit head at Genentech before retiring last year. Her leadership includes a variety of therapeutic areas, including oncology, neurology, rare diseases, respiratory, dermatology, and immunology in hospital and specialty settings.

Ruff also has around 30 years of experience in the industry and has served in a number of regulatory roles. Since December 2018, she has served as chief regulatory affairs officer and SVP and head of Quality Assurance at Stoke Therapeutics. Before that, she worked at Sarepta Therapeutics in different roles, including chief regulatory officer and SVP of Quality.

“We are excited to welcome Ms. Ruff and Ms. Oliger to Reata’s board,” Reata CEO and Presidnet Warren Huff said in a statement. “They join at a critical point in Reata’s development having just submitted our first New Drug Application for bardoxolone methyl (“bardoxolone”) for the treatment of chronic kidney disease caused by Alport syndrome. Both Ms. Ruff and Ms. Oliger bring a wealth of experience that will be invaluable in helping us achieve our mission to develop innovative therapies that change patients’ lives for the better.”

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