DI People: Meritize, Southwest Airlines, Innov8te Smart Cities, and McCarthy Announce Leadership Moves

In this weekly roundup of leadership and executive moves by companies and organizations in North Texas, you’ll find news from SierraConstellation Partners, Caregiver, Inc., Norton Rose Fulbright, Tricolor Insurance, Southern Methodist University, and MedWell Solutions.

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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Meritize appoints Raymer as its first chief technology officer

Kent Raymer

Kent Raymer has been appointed as chief technology officer at Frisco-based Meritize, a developer of merit-based financing options.

As Meritize’s first CTO, Raymer is expected to lead the development of the company’s tech platform bridging the gap between job seekers, training providers, and employers, according to a statement.

Meritize calls its approach to education finance unlike any other as it’s based on an individual’s potential to succeed, instead of just a credit score or other specific calculations.

Southwest Airlines announces leadership moves

Tony Roach

John Herlihy

Dallas-based air carrier Southwest Airlines Co. has announced several leadership changes in its marketing and technology departments. 

Tony Roach has been promoted to managing director customer experience from his previous role of senior director customer experience.

Bill Tierney was promoted to vice president marketing. Most recently, he was managing director marketing. Roach and Tierney will report to Ryan Green, Southwest’s senior vice president and chief marketing officer.

Tom Merritt is being promoted to vice president technology—infrastructure & services and chief technology officer. 

Southwest is also promoting John Herlihy to managing director technology—technical operations. Herlihy previously worked as senior director technology.

Jeff Jones is being promoted to vice president technology—commercial & customer. He was previously managing director of the same function. Jones, Herlihy, and Merritt will all report to Kathleen Wayton, Southwest’s senior vice president and chief information officer.

Innov8te Smart Cities Incubator appoints Heyn managing director

Cynthia Heyn Innov8te

Cynthia Heyn

Cynthia Heyn has been appointed managing director of Innov8te Smart Cities Incubator, where she will be responsible for the overall execution and operations of the incubator, along with its strategy and partner relations, according to a statement.

The incubator was created to support entrepreneurs and early-stage companies in urban and civic transformations, and was backed by public, private, and academic collaborators including AT&T, Cisco, Microsoft, the University of Texas at Dallas, and the Dallas Innovation Alliance.

Heyn has a background in product innovation and smart cities consulting as well as in executive management for companies including Ericsson and Nokia Siemens. She also has experience in the not-for-profit sector.

In 2016, Heyn founded SMARTnTX, a consultancy concentrated on North Texas smart city initiatives.

McCarthy places Parks in new craft training and development role

Trina Parks is joining Dallas’ McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. in its newly created position of national craft training and development director.

Trina Parks

The firm is committed to craft training and outreach, according to a statement, which is further solidified through the establishment of this new role. Parks is expected to lead McCarthy’s national craft development strategy as well as be in charge of craft training resources throughout the firm’s markets.

“The industry is experiencing a shortage in the workforce and McCarthy is actively working to solve this issue,” Ray Sedey, president of McCarthy’s Southern Region, said in a statement. “By creating this new role, we hope that this can enhance our efforts and ensure that our crews are properly trained and developed so that they are encouraged to continue in the industry, and McCarthy, while delivering their best work for our clients.”

Before being hired to the McCarthy team, Parks worked as a learning and performance manager at Oceaneering.

Moore joins SierraConstellation as managing director

Carl Moore

Carl Moore has joined Los Angeles-based SierraConstellation Partners, a national interim management and advisory firm, as a Dallas-based managing director.

Moore will work closely with SCP’s Houston office to grow the firm’s presence in the Southwest region, according to a statement.

He brings more than 20 years of experience in distressed investing, private equity portfolio management, corporate turnarounds, M&A, and strategic planning to his new role. Previously, he was a managing director at Highland Capital Management in Dallas, serving as co-head of its equity group. 

Caregiver, Inc. taps Corrigan as president of Texas operations

Amanda Corrigan

Amanda Corrigan has been promoted to president of Texas operations for Fort Worth-based Caregiver, Inc., a provider of services to adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Corrigan is expected to help the company’s regional directors across Texas and will report directly to president and CEO Mark Lashley, according to a statement.

Corrigan joined Caregiver in February as vice president of operational excellence and jointly led the internal Project Management Group. In her new role, Corrigan will provide operational oversight while supporting Texas leadership on Caregiver’s largest segment of business.

Chrisman joins Norton Rose Fulbright as a partner in Dallas office

John Chrisman

John Chrisman has joined the global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright as a partner in the firm’s Dallas office.

Chrisman, a globally accomplished M&A and capital markets lawyer, joins Norton Rose Fulbright from Clyde & Co’s Dubai office. He has more than 30 years of experience advising governments, companies and financial institutions on international M&A, capital markets, private equity, and venture capital transactions, according to a statement.

Archie Gall named CEO of Tricolor Insurance

Archie Gall

Tricolor, a used vehicle retailer, Archie Gall has been named chief executive officer of its affiliate company, Tricolor Insurance.

Gall brings 30 years of experience to his new role with a track record of launching, growing, and operating successful insurance agencies in Texas, according to a statement.

The insurance provider is expected to begin rolling out its new insurance offering throughout its markets in Texas and California.

Abernathy named Designer-in-Residence for MADI program at SMU

Jennifer Abernathy

Jennifer Abernathy has been announced as the Fall 2019 Designer-in-Residence for the Master of Arts in Design and Innovation (MADI) program at Southern Methodist University.

Abernathy is the director of Innovation Research and Design at Health Care Services Corp., part of the Dallas-based Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, and she brings expertise in product development, design thinking, brand strategy, and user and trend research to her new role, according to a statement. At Healthcare Services Corp., Abernathy oversees a cross-functional design team that includes graphic design, design research, data science, business analytics, project management, communications, and client consulting. Her team at the C1 Innovation Lab partners with Blue Cross’ biggest clients to develop user-centered solutions to customer-specific challenges via facilitation of rapid design sprints.

 A multidisciplinary degree, the MADI program is based on the concept of human-centered design as an approach to problem-solving. It is said to be important in fields ranging from engineering and business to the arts, advertising, and the social sciences.

MedWell Solutions names Curtis as new chief operations officer

Marcus A. Curtis

Marcus A. Curtis has been named chief operations officer at Dallas-based MedWell Solutions.

Curtis has hired for the position to help enhance the company’s offerings, help establish the scope needed to finalize and launch a new proprietary medical implant database system, and oversee all current and future software development and operational services, according to a statement.

MedWell offers centralized care solution support that offers communication among healthcare members’ physicians, surgeons, ancillary services, and family members.

Most recently, Curtis was a public relations communications specialist in New York working with Stanton PRM.

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