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.
Meritize promotes legal and compliance veteran to its general counsel
Frisco-based Meritize, a developer of merit-based financial and career solutions, has appointed Daniel Chang to its general counsel.
Meritize’s approach to education finance is based on an individual’s potential to succeed—not just on a credit score or similar measures. The company’s proprietary approach uses an individual’s academic, military, and work achievements to enhance their credit evaluation and improve financing options.
“Education consumers too often face serious uncertainty when it comes to financing their education, often because of backward-looking measures that fail to account for accomplishments in education, work and service used to evaluate credit,” Chang said in a statement. “In today’s uncertain labor market, it has never been more urgent for us to rethink the historic models we’ve used to finance education and training.”
Chang, who joined Meritize last March, previously served as chief compliance officer and senior counsel. He brings more than 15 years of experience, having represented Fortune 500 and 100 companies in complex legal and regulatory compliance matters.
Before joining Meritize, Chang was VP and chief compliance officer for marketplace lending at Cross River Bank. There, he led the bank’s fintech strategic partnership compliance management system, according to the company.
Oakview Capital Management adds to its team
Jeff Fahrenbruch has joined Oakview Capital Management, a Dallas-based independent investment firm, as a principal.
Fahrenbruch joins the investment team from Barrow, Hanley, Mewhinney & Strauss LLC, where he served as managing director and equity portfolio manager. There, he was in charge of the Vanguard Windsor II and Large Cap Value portfolios.
Fahrenbruch said he decided to join Oakview after long admiring its stock picking and focus on downside protection. Founder Patrick Malone called him an outstanding fit and invaluable asset.
“We’ve been carefully seeking the ideal addition to our investment team, and Jeff’s success speaks for itself,” he said in a statement. “We have known Jeff for decades, and he shares our disciplined approach to value investing and active management.”
OYO Hotels & Homes appoints Troy Alstead to its board
India-based OYO Hotels & Homes, which has its U.S. headquarters in Dallas, annouced that Troy Alstead was joining its board of directors as an independent member.
In his role, Alstead will provide guidance and management on business decisions, OYO said. He has heavy experience in operations, financial management, business resilience planning, and growth cycle management, which he will bring to the growing company.
“Troy brings tremendous operating and governance experience that will help us continue delivering on our mission to help millions of middle-income people around the world gain access to quality accommodations at different price points,” Ritesh Agarwal, founder and CEO of OYO, said in a statement. As we continue to grow and to deepen our relationships with asset owners and consumers around the world, we are fortunate to have seasoned professionals like Troy on our board of directors.”
Alstead spent more than two decades at Starbucks, most recently serving as COO. He’s also the founder, president, and CEO of two dining entities—Ocean5 and Table 47—in Washington. According to OYO, he also sits on the boards of Topgolf, Harley-Davidson, and Levi.
Cantey Hanger attorney hired by EPA Region 6
Stephen Tatum Jr., who’s currently a partner at Fort Worth-based Cantey Hanger LLP, will now serve as the assistant chief of staff to Ken McQueen, the Regional Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency Region 6. The office serves Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana.
At Cantey Hanger, Tatum works on issues in various sectors: the environment, energy and eminent domain, and government and regulatory matters. Before that, he was a deputy commissioner of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, according to a press release. He has extensive experience with complex environmental issues.
“The job will afford me the unique opportunity to serve our nation and this region as I hone my experience in federal environmental law while supplementing my state environmental law experience, knowledge and network,” Tatum said in a statement. “I’m eager to be part of the federal regional team to implement our country’s laws in the areas of environmental permitting, air and water quality, waste regulation, and oil and gas regulation, among others.”
Lauren Acton joins TechFW
TechFW, a Fort Worth nonprofit that helps entrepreneurs launch tech companies, has brought on Lauren Acton as its new marketing director.
In her new role, Acton will lead all branding, marketing, and communication initiatives and strategies for the nonprofit. TechFW said she will also represent its brand and mission in the startup community.
“Lauren is an ideal fit for the job, the team and the community,” Executive Director Hayden Blackburn said in a statement. “She brings the skills and experience we need to continue to support entrepreneurs and collaborate with other support organizations and university partners to build the Fort Worth innovation ecosystem.”
Most recently, Acton was creative manager for Dallas-based software company Centerbase, where she developed SEO and branding/marketing strategies.
Tricolor gets a product and strategy officer
Dallas’ Tricolor, a vehicle retailer focused on sale and financing to Hispanic consumers, has brought a veteran automotive software innovator onto its team.
Jennifer Lee will now serve as chief product and strategy officer, a role that’s apart of Tricolor’s core leadership team. Lee will be tasked with rapidly scaling the platform and retail network, Tricolor said, while at the same time expanding the availability of its vehicles and financing options in new markets.
Lee’s experience includes more than two decades in automotive and tech at DealerTrack, Cox Automotive, and DealerSocket. Tricolor CEO Daniel Chu said she brings a passion for innovation and an entrepreneurial drive to the company.
“Now more than ever, companies must provide solutions for their customers which responsibly meet their needs,” said Tricolor CEO Daniel Chu. “Jennifer shares our vision for remaking the our industry as a digitally-driven experience that empowers and enables customers.”
TYME Bank adds Jonathan Price to its Advisory Board
Farmers Branch-based TYME Bank, a de novo community bank that aims to form this year, has added Jonathan Price to its Advisory Board. Price is currently the senior director of risk and safety at Plano’s Main Event Entertainment.
“What Jonathan brings to the TYME Bank Advisory Board is his ability to blend risk management and customer experience,” TYME Bank Vice Chairman and CEO Joe Hansen told the DBJ. “If we are going to be an innovative bank we need someone like Jonathan who can bring his experience to create a great customer experience while managing risk.”
We told you about Hansen and proposed CFO Ken Judd filing a de novo application for the new North Texas bank—something that hasn’t happened in the region since 2009—earlier this year. The process has been a three-year journey Hansen, who led the bank out of stealth in December to file its applications.
Dive into our interview with the organizers here.
Texas Capital Bank expands its commercial banking team
Dallas-based Texas Capital Bank is welcoming Marcus Poole to its commercial banking team as SVP of relationship manager.
In a LinkedIn post, the industry leading bank commended Poole for his long career in the industry. The company wrote:
Marcus began his banking career as a management trainee and then went on to hold various positions including middle market lender, commercial business banking market manager and regional banking manager. He has partnered with commercial businesses in the DFW area for the past 16 years, specializing in manufacturing, distribution/wholesalers, healthcare and B2B service companies. Throughout his career, Marcus has successfully helped his clients meet and exceed their annual growth goals.
Joe Beard announces departure from Perot Jain
Within five years, Perot Jain’s portfolio grew to more than 40 companies, and the Dallas-based venture capital firm became one of Texas’ most active early-stage venture firms, Joe Beard writes in a Medium post that announced his departure.
That “ride has been thrilling, bumpy, and inspirational—everything I could ask for!”
Beard, who is a partner at Perot Jain, shares a quote and a tease:
When we look back in five years, we are going to realize that there were 10 to 20 amazing companies that were started that changed the world and led us to a brighter future. Ask yourself: “Why Not Me” or “Why Not Us”. Now is your time. The world is waiting. – Mark Cuban
“The next chapter in my journey has been calling me for some time,” Beard writes. “I have developed a unique and diverse skillset by means of some amazing mentors and professional opportunities throughout the years. I feel like I would have wasted all that I have been given if I didn’t pour EVERYTHING into the opportunity I am creating.”
He adds: “Why not me? Now is my time.”
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