DI People: Pillar Clinical Research, Dallas City Homes, Mohr Capital, and More Make Moves

In this weekly roundup of executive moves in North Texas, you'll also find news from Operation Kindness, Cooksey Communications, Munck Wilson Mandala, and StoneEagle F&I.

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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Pillar Clinical Research names a new CEO

Carol Witham

Richardson-based Pillar Clinical Research, which focuses on early and late-stage central nervous system trials, has appointed Carol Witham as its chief executive officer.

Witham brings more than three decades of experience in the medical and pharmaceutical research industry to her new role. Previously, she founded Woodland International Research Group and Woodland Research Northwest, and was CEO until it was sold in 2014. After that, she founded The Starr Coalition, a nonprofit that supports mental health clinical research. 

She will now helm Pillar’s strategic growth and development plans in her new role. Former CEO Brian Craig will remain at the company as president of Translational Medicine.

Dallas City Homes appoints third president

Jason Brown

Dallas City Homes (DCH), a nonprofit community development organization, has named Jason Brown as its new president, the third in its 31-year history. He succeeds Karen Brooks-Crosby, who is retiring.

Brown is currently a managing partner at aTENANTCo, a commercial real estate brokerage firm. He has experience working with public and privately held real estate investment trusts, developers, nonprofits, municipalities, and high net worth individuals. In addition to being on DCH’s Board of Directors for four-plus years, he serves on the Boards of the International Council of Shopping Centers, North Texas Commercial Association of REALTORS, The Real Estate Council, and Fair Park First.

“Jason is an ideal mix of intellect, experience, commitment and passion for communities,” Brooks-Crosby said in a statement. “I am thrilled that he has been selected to lead DCH into its next phase of community development and its continuing mission of creating housing and physical spaces that meet the residential needs of people while addressing their multifaceted needs for wellness, education, human connectivity and personal growth.”  

Mohr Capital expands its development division

Tom Theobald

Dallas-based privately held real estate investment firm Mohr Capital has added Tom Theobald to its team as the SVP of Development.

Theobald will be tasked with sourcing and directing build-to-suit and speculative development projects nationally, focusing on industrial properties and mixed-use business parks. He brings more than 25 years of experience to Mohr Capital, specifically in commercial real estate brokerage, development, and construction. Most recently, he was a principal at Exeter Property Group.

“We’re pleased to welcome Tom to the firm,” Bob Mohr, chairman of Mohr Capital, said in a statement. “His deep experience developing properties that cater to the specific needs of end users will no doubt bolster our portfolio in our key target markets.”

Operation Kindness gets a new CEO

Ed Jamison operation kindness

Ed Jamison

Operation Kindness, a leader in advocating for animal welfare in North Texas, has named Ed Jamison its new CEO. In his new role, Jamison will lead Operation Kindness’ work to help local homeless pets.

Prior to the new post, Jamison was the director of Dallas Animal Services, where he initiated an innovative neonatal kitten program to save young kittens’ lives among other significant initiatives to help decrease the population of roaming and homeless animals with an “understanding that animals should have a chance to feel safe, thrive and ultimately, be treated with respect,” according to a news release.

During his tenure at DAS, Jamison developed the partnership with Operation Kindness.

“I’ve never been more honored to partner with Operation Kindness during my time at Dallas Animal Services, and the ability to join the lifesaving work as CEO is a milestone in my passion for animal wellness,” says Jamison, whose own pets currently include dogs, cats, fish, cows, and donkeys.

Jamison succeeds Robert “Bob” Catalani, who recently led the organization through renovations, expansions, and a capital campaign as CEO. Catalani stepped down to retire but will remain on the board.

Cooksey Communications gets a VP of Finance and Administration

Karen Neal

Cooksey Communications, a local strategic communications firm, has promoted Karen Neal from finance and administration manager to vice president of finance and administration.

With the promotion, Neal will continue to oversee the firm’s accounting and finances, human resources initiatives, and administrative needs. She first joined Cooksey in 2016, and today has more than three decades of business and financial experience. Previously, her work supported Fortune 500 companies and her own business. 

“For the past five years, Karen has drawn upon her diverse corporate background to bring a valued perspective to Cooksey’s financial and business administration needs,” Colby Walton, president of Cooksey Communications, said in a statement. “This promotion is a well-deserved recognition of her many contributions that safeguard the agency’s distinctive culture and vital business operations.”

Munck Wilson Mandala adds a principal attorney

Emily White

Tech-focused law firm Munck Wilson Mandala has added principal attorney Emily White to its intellectual property practice.

White has 11 years of legal experience, in which she has represented clients in intellectual property law and patent litigation. Her work includes drafting and prosecuting patent applications, counseling on technology-related transactions, managing an in-house legal department, and advising on trademark matters.

Previously, White worked as an associate at MWM from 2021-2016. Before rejoining, she owned and operated White Law Group.

StoneEagle F&I gets an SVP of Business Development

Joe St. John

StoneEagle F&I, a provider of finance and insurance technology solutions for the automotive industry, has added Joe St. John to its team as senior vice president of Business Development. 

As an automotive industry veteran, St. John has more than two decades of experience in dealership development, management and operations, sales force development, and digital transformation. Most recently, he was head of Digital Retail at financial technology company AutoFi. He will lead the company’s business development enterprises—sales, marketing, and affiliate partnerships—in his new role.

“Joe brings an incredibly valuable and unique set of skills and experience to our StoneEagle team,” CEO Cindy Allen said in a statement. “Joe’s singular blend of talents from a career that spans automotive retail to F&I administration to Silicon Valley startup will help fuel the acceleration of our growth and be an invaluable add to our executive team as we shift into strategic M&A activities.”

Updated May 10, 2021:
Bob Catalini was misidentified as the incoming CEO of Operation Kindness. Operation Kindness announced its new CEO, Ed Jamison, on March 4. His start at the leading no-kill animal shelter was effective, March 29, 2021. Catalini, who was CEO since June 3, 2019, is now retired but will remain on the board.

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