DI People: Kimberly-Clark, Sabre, Charles Schwab, and More Make Moves

In this week’s roundup of hires, promotions, and accolades in North Texas, you’ll also find news from DHD Films, Briggs Freeman Sotheby's International Realty, M2G Ventures, UT Dallas, the Dallas Museum of Art, MOOYAH, Successive Technologies, CG Infinity, and more.

Kimberly-Clark Appoints Former Toyota Exec as Chief Digital and Technology Officer

Irving-based Kimberly-Clark Corporation has appointed Zack Hicks in the newly created role of Chief Digital and Technology Officer. As a member of the company’s executive leadership team, his role reflects the company’s increasing focus on digital technology in building brands and creating differentiated capability for Kimberly-Clark.

Zack Hicks

Hicks joins the company after 26 years of leadership roles at Toyota Motors North America and Toyota Motor Sales, USA. His most recent roles include serving as CEO of Toyota Connected, a startup operating as the company’s data science hub connecting vehicles, customers, and businesses through machine learning and artificial intelligence.

Hicks also served as Chief Digital Officer of Toyota Motors North America, leading the company’s digital transformation and mobility efforts, including in-vehicle multimedia systems, vehicle connectivity, cloud, electrification, and autonomous driving technologies.

“Zack brings to Kimberly-Clark significant experience in technology innovation, operations and team leadership,” said Mike Hsu, Chairman and CEO, Kimberly-Clark. “He’s the right leader to help us leverage the full potential of technology to accelerate the next phase of our growth strategy for long-term value creation.”

“Kimberly-Clark has a clear vision for leveraging technology to drive growth,” said Hicks. “I’m excited to work with the team to bring together strong capability and next-generation technology solutions to help the company continue to win today and position us well for the future.”

Sabre Corp. Names Former Dell and eBay Exec as Its New EVP, Chief Product Officer

Southlake-based travel technology Sabre Corp. announced that Garry Wiseman will succeed Wade Jones, EVP and chief product officer of its Travel Solutions business, who has decided to leave the company.

Garry Wiseman

Wiseman will join the company on August 1, and Jones will remain with Sabre for a period of transition before officially stepping away in the fall.

To his new role, Wiseman brings more than 25 years of product, technology, and digital leadership experience in developing and operating large-scale platforms at some of the world’s most innovative technology companies, including Dell, eBay, Microsoft, Nautilus, and Salesforce.

“Garry is a deeply accomplished executive with a proven track record of building and scaling high-growth products in both B2C and B2B environments. He will be an integral member of our leadership team as we further invest in our value propositions, develop cutting-edge technologies that serve new and existing customers, and execute against our vision to be the premier global technology platform in travel,” said Kurt Ekert, the company’s president.

Most recently, Wiseman was senior vice president and chief digital officer at Nautilus Inc., a role he held since 2020. Prior to that, he was SVP of digital customer experience for Dell Technologies.

Successive Technologies Appoints Chief Growth Officer

Coppell-based Successive Technologies, a next-gen (CMMI Level-3) technology consulting and services company specializing in digital transformation, has appointed Steve Dantas as chief growth officer, focusing on North America.

Steve Dantas

Dantas brings more than two decades of leadership experience, the company said, playing key leadership roles at companies such as Metafora (previously CarrierDirect), Sapient (acquired by Publicis Groupe), Vectorform (acquired by NTT), Vodafone, and Tata Consultancy Services.

Successive says Dantas has a strong record of successfully growing and scaling companies to 5X to 20X revenues. His mandate is to build a strong consulting and technology team in the Americas, partner with top enterprise customers, and take Successive to the next level of growth.

“I look forward to Steve helping us achieve the next growth milestone for our North America business at Successive Technologies,” CEO Sid Pandey said. “His proactive mindset and ongoing quest to grow businesses make him a perfect culture fit for the company.”

M2G Ventures Adds Chief Financial, Operations Officer

M2G Ventures, a Fort Worth real estate investment and development company, has named Mark Collier as its chief financial and operations officer as the company continues to grow and expand.

Mark Collier

M2G Ventures, a WBE (women owned business) certified company, doubled the size of its overall team and tripled its leadership team over the past year with the addition of Collier and five executive level positions to oversee acquisitions, asset management, construction, development, and leasing.

“Mark’s ability to tackle large, high-level responsibilities and transform them into growth opportunities while establishing and maintaining conducive relationships makes him a valuable addition to our leadership team,” said Susan Gruppi, co-president of M2G Ventures. “With two decades in the industry, his asset management and business operations skills will strengthen and refine our efforts to use real estate as a platform for innovation and inspiration in the communities where we work.”   

Collier brings more than 20 years of experience in financial operations and asset management to M2G Ventures, aiming to sharpen the company’s’ competitive edge in the ever-growing Dallas-Fort Worth market.

The company said he will serve as the key financial leader, implementing profitable financial strategies, developing growth opportunities and streamlining effective business operations.

Collier spent the last two years as CFO of the Leon Capital Group, with assets under management of $1.5 billion.

DHD Films Exec is New President of Entrepreneurs’ Organization Dallas Chapter

Hussain Manjee, president and chief success officer of Dallas-based DHD Films, is the new president of the Dallas Chapter of Entrepreneurs’ Organization—a support network of more than 16,500 business leaders from more than 60 countries.

Hussain Manjee

Manjee has been a board member since June 2020 of the global network exclusively for entrepreneurs. The organization helps leading entrepreneurs grow through peer-to-peer learning. Its membership is exclusive and by invitation only.

Manjee is also a member of board of the Dallas Regional Chamber.

He holds an MBA in entrepreneurship from Babson Graduate School and is an alumnus of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program.

Jefferies Financial Group Hire Vice Chairman to Grow its Dallas Presence

New York City-based Jefferies Financial Group Inc. has hired Moelis & Co. investment banker Lawrence Chu as vice chairman to help build out the bank’s presence in Dallas, according to a Bloomberg report citing people familiar with the move. Chu, who is relocating from New York, will start in October, the report said.

Lawrence Chu

Along with his vice chairman role, Chu will also be its global head of telecommunications, according to the report.

Chu has been at Moelis for about seven years, most recently as managing director at the firm. He’s a longtime adviser to Dallas-headquartered AT&T.  

Jefferies joins other leading financial firms in wanting to grow its North Texas presence. Goldman Sachs Group has been planning an office tower for 5,000 workers, according to the report, while Charles Schwab Corp. relocated from San Francisco to Westlake, a DFW suburb which is also home to campuses for Fidelity Investments and Vanguard Group. 

UT Dallas Names Inaugural Dean for Merged Schools

The University of Texas at Dallas aims to enhance the arts on campus this fall with the merger of two schools into the newly named School of Arts, Humanities, and Technology—and it’s appointed Dr. Nils Roemer as the school’s inaugural dean.

Nils Roemer

By combining UTD’s School of Arts and Humanities (A&H) with its School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication (ATEC), the university aims to “forge a new path for excellence, innovation, and growth in the arts.”

The move also positions the school to take advantage of UTD’s future arts and performance complex—the Edith and Peter O’Donnell Jr. Athenaeum, a $158 million cultural arts district that had its groundbreaking in May.

Dr. Roemer, interim dean of A&H and ATEC, director of the Ackerman Center for Holocaust Studies, and the Stan and Barbara Rabin Distinguished Professor in Holocaust Studies, will take up his role as inaugural dean of AHT effective Aug. 22.

Read more in our story here.

Munck Wilson Mandala Adds a New Partner to Its Dallas IP Group

Munck Wilson Mandala has added partner Eric Tautfest to the intellectual property group in its Dallas office, the law firm announced.

Eric Tautfest

In a statement, the firm said that Tautfest is a respected patent litigation and trial lawyer known in the IP community as a patent litigation one-stop shop. Tautfest has been on both the prosecution and the defense sides of litigation for IP law practices in Dallas and he also worked in-house, giving him a well-rounded perspective on the issues from his clients’ viewpoint.

Previously, Tautfest was the chair of the IP department at Gray Reed and McGraw in Dallas.

The firm said that Tautfest brings more than 22 years of legal experience representing clients in IP litigation and he’s credited with building the IP practice at his previous firm, where he hand-selected the attorneys on his team during his six-year tenure. His collaborative work approach and team-focused leadership have helped him lead IP litigation teams that bring significant results for clients, Munck Wilson Mandala said in the statement.

“Eric’s impressive background and record of successes in patent litigation will add substantial depth to our IP teams in the North and Central Texas regions,” said William A. Munck, MWM’s managing partner.  “He’s highly regarded in Dallas and positioned well to assist us as we build our Waco presence with our two new partners in that market, David Henry and Connie Nichols.”

CEO Coaching International Adds Frisco Wine and Spirits Entrepreneur as Partner, Coach

Florida-based CEO Coaching International, a top executive coaching firm for growth-focused CEOs and entrepreneurs globally, announced that Frisco resident Meghan Watkins is its newest partner and coach.

Meghan Watkins

In a statement, CEO Coaching International said that Watkins is a strategic and dedicated leader with a proven track record for transforming startup businesses into viable, scalable, and thriving organizations.

She uses her expertise to create leadership programs, build high-performing teams, and scale at speed, the statement said. Watkins has over 20 years of experience in sales, marketing, and supply chain management in the wine and spirits industry.

The organization said that Watkins has represented prestigious wineries, including Quintessa, Flowers, and The Prisoner. She co-founded Victory Wine Group, a wine and spirits distributor located at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, which scaled to $60 million in seven years, and was a partner at wine and spirits wholesalers Progress Wine Group (Florida) and Quench Fine Wines (Arizona). These businesses formed Palomar Beverage Company, where Watkins has been credited as the driving force both internally and externally for capturing new account business, developing sales teams, and building revenue to over $100 million. 

CBS Stations Adds Six Journalists to Its CBS Local News Innovation Lab in Fort Worth

CBS Stations announced that it has hired David Schechter as national environmental correspondent and Ash-har Quraishi as national consumer correspondent and it will base both at the CBS Local News Innovation Lab in Fort Worth.

David Schechter (left) and Ash-har Quraishi

Schechter and Quraishi will report to Chad Cross, VP of content development for the station group, and will be responsible for national-scale stories and longform reporting that will air on CBS-owned stations across the country and on the group’s local news streaming channels. Their reports also will also be made available to CBS affiliates via CBS Newspath.

Cross also announced the hiring of four additional members of the Innovation Lab team: Schechter’s longtime colleague Chance Horner has been named senior photographer, editor and producer; Amy Corral and Haley Rush have been appointed investigative producers; and Jose Sanchez has been named investigative photographer, editor, and producer.

CBS Stations announced the Innovation Lab in January, creating what it calls a local news innovation lab. Based at KTVT-KTXA Dallas-Fort Worth, the lab will be the base for a team of CBS News and Stations employees that will “experiment with next-generation storytelling, including data journalism, and also test new products, workflows, and production models for the future,” CBS Stations said in January.

MOOYAH Burgers Hires Vice President of Technology

Plano-based MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes has hired Ed Andrews as its new vice president for technology.

Ed Andrews

Andrews brings more than six years of technology experience with other fast-casual restaurant concepts to his new role with the 90-unit burger franchise company. MOOYAH says that Andrews joins the company during a continued phase of growth.

“Integrating cutting-edge technology and digital experience solutions that will allow MOOYAH to provide a guest experience that competes with much larger brands,” the company said in an email to Dallas Innovates.

Andrews joins MOOYAH’s “already stacked” executive team, which has a “combined 92 years of experience in restaurant franchising.” The company aims to create one of the most guest- and franchise owner-friendly opportunities in franchising, it says.

“Ed is joining the brand to further accelerate our growth and advance our technology by enhancing our online ordering experience, updating our in-store restaurant technology, and powering the brand’s entry into drive-thru,” said Doug Willmarth, president of Mooyah.

Associa Principal Management Names New Branch Vice President

Richardson-based Associa Principal Management Group of North Texas announced that Kristen Russell has been promoted to branch vice president of the community management services provider.

Kristen Russell

Russell will be responsible for leading strategy development, operational business activity management, and branch personnel supervision. She replaces John Miller, who recently accepted a transfer to Associa Principal Management Group of Houston, the company said.

She joined PMG North Texas in 2018 as a portfolio manager where she organized, implemented, and led client projects and initiatives. Russell joined the company’s senior leadership team in 2019 and has since played in a key role in growth and retention, Associa added.

She has also supported numerous additional projects, including growing the branch’s Associa OnCall maintenance division, re-organization of the team structure, and marketing campaigns. Previously she worked in the hospitality industry, where she spent more than 10 years in front office leadership with a strong emphasis on customer relations, employee retention, and related policy implementation.

CG Infinity Adds Vice President of Customer Experience

Plano-based Salesforce solutions provider CG Infinity Inc. has added Mike Parish as vice president of customer experience.

Mike Parish

“Mike Parish knows customer experience is no longer an intangible benefit. He’s a leading CX practitioner in the nation who has perfected the art of harnessing customer data and AI into measurable business gains quarter over quarter,” CG Infinity President Saurajit Kanungo said. “Mike leading our CX practice will benefit CG Infinity in helping all our clients drive their customer experience agendas and measure benefits.”

CG Infinity helps its customers design, build, and automate their customer journey and omni-channel campaign structure.

“I’ve run a lean AI and automation team, made up almost entirely of CG Infinity employees, for the past 5+ years. Working with them is nothing short of infectious,” Parish said. “The builds we’ve created, the enthusiasm that we exude together, how we learn together—all of it leaves you happy to come back to work the next day,”

CG Infinity is a 24-year-old company that leverages Salesforce platform technologies to help its customers get close to their customers. The company has offices in Dallas, Houston, Albuquerque, Little Rock, and New Delhi and employs over 300 people worldwide.

Fort Worth Native joins Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty

Fort Worth native Raleigh Green has joined Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty’s Fort Worth office, where he has also launched the Raleigh Green Real Estate Group to serve clients across North Texas.

Raleigh Green

“In this market, it’s essential for a luxury real estate advisor to have an exceptional support team, innovative technology and visionary leaders. After looking at other brokerages, I was impressed with the ability of Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty to offer it all. From the CEO’s desk to the front desk, this brokerage could not be more supportive. I only see this maturing as our relationship continues,” Green said.

A former NCAA Division 1 athlete at The University of Texas at Austin, Green is a graduate of Texas Christian University in Fort Worth and an MBA graduate from Southern Methodist University in Dallas.


Charles Schwab Appoints CEO as Co-Chairman of Board

Charles Schwab Corp., the Westlake-based financial giant, announced that CEO Walter Bettinger II was unanimously voted as co-chairman of the board, where he will serve alongside company founder Charles R. Schwab.

Walter W. Bettinger II

Bettinger will also serve as co-chairman of the boards of the firm’s banking subsidiaries: Charles Schwab Bank, Charles Schwab Premier Bank, and Charles Schwab Trust Bank.

In a statement, the company said that Bettinger’s appointment reflects the company’s intention to ensure strategic and leadership continuity by following a thoughtful, long-term succession plan. He will retain his current responsibilities as CEO while also sharing responsibilities for leadership of the board with co-chairman Schwab, who will continue to be actively involved in the firm’s strategic direction and corporate governance.

“Walt embodies the firm’s belief in service and integrity and is an excellent steward of the business as both CEO and a member of the board,” Schwab said. “The board will benefit greatly from Walt’s expertise and insight being applied in this new capacity. I’m looking forward to evolving our work together on behalf of our clients, colleagues, and stockholders.”

Dallas Museum of Art Elects New Board Chair, Adds Officers and Trustees

Gowri Natarajan Sharma has become the first person of color to chair the Dallas Museum of Art’s board in the museum’s 119-year history, the DMA announced.

Gowri Natarajan Sharma

Sharma had been on the DMA’s board since 2017 and is a member of the acquisitions committee. With an endowment of around $270 million, the DMA is one of the country’s biggest museums.

According to a museum statement, along with her philanthropic endeavors at UNICEF’s North Texas chapter, the Texas Women’s Foundation, the Lamplighter School, and other institutions, Sharma serves as an architectural adviser to her family’s business.

The museum also said it elected four new officers and twelve trustees with diverse backgrounds, including international leadership expertise and distinction in business, technology, building design, and creative industries.

“At its heart, the DMA is a collage of different cultures, ideas, and perspectives,” said newly elected Board President Gowri Sharma in a statement.

Officers include CBRE Group vice chairman Jeffrey S. Ellerman; Mary Kay chief marketing officer Sheryl Adkins-Green; Venugopal Menon, former vice president of technology at Texas Instruments; and Jun Il Kwun, founder and managing director of the Actium Group.

The twelve trustees, who will serve for a three-year term are Victor Almeida, Chairman, Interceramic, Inc.; John W. Carpenter, III, Principal and General Partner, Miramar Holdings; J. Patrick Collins, Co-founder and CEO, Cortez Resources; Brent English, Global Diversity, Equity, Inclusions (DEI) Lead, Ralph Lauren; Gene Jones, Dallas Cowboys Organization; Max Lamont, Co-founder and Managing Partner, Montgomery Street Partners, Cristina Lynch; Kelli Questrom, The Allen and Kelli Questrom Foundation; Katherine Perot Reeves; Marcia Dunn Sobel, Ophthalmologist; Gayle Stoffel; and Dennis Wong, President and Chief Investment Officer, Verbena Road Holdings, Ltd.

For a full list of the 2022–2023 Board of Trustees, go here.

Dwell with Dignity Appoints New Board Chair

Dallas-based nonprofit Dwell with Dignity has appointed Jason Needleman as board chair of the organization, whose mission is to transform lives through design by providing and installing interiors for family homes and community spaces.

Jason Needleman

Needleman has been a longtime advocate for Dwell with Dignity and has been a board member since 2011. In his new role, Needleman will oversee Dwell with Dignity’s board of directors, ensure the board’s goals and objectives are met, provide leadership to the nonprofit’s employees, and more.

Needleman and his company, Peacock Alley, have been involved with Thrift Studio, the nonprofit’s monthlong fundraiser and home decor pop-ups, for many years as a sponsor. This year he will be a designer, creating a vignette showcasing donated high-end furniture and home decor pieces that will be available for purchase.

In 2009, Needleman took the role of president and CEO of the family-run Peacock Alley. Prior to Peacock Alley, his almost 20-year professional sales career enabled him to gain knowledge of sales, marketing, and general management. Since his appointment as CEO, Peacock Alley’s brand footprint has seen much growth. Peacock Alley currently has six retail showrooms, a thriving online business, and sells to over 500 retailers around the country.

Left to right, top row first: Emily Somerville, Christina Eubanks, Bonner Allen, Heather Lorch, Isabell Novakov Higginbotham, Jacqueline Wasem, Jessica Pantano, Katy Ratley, Kristen Shear, LaNasha Houze, Lara Bubalo Manor, Marisa Partin, Megan LaDriere White, and Rhonda Williams

Junior League of Dallas Appoints New Board, Kicks Off Its ‘Next 100 Years’ 

The Junior League of Dallas is kicking off its second century of service after celebrating its centennial this year. The organization, which has grown  from 40 women in May 1922 to nearly 5,000 this year, aims to help women flourish and to impact Dallas’ most critical issues.

“We are as dedicated as we have ever been to developing the potential of women, promoting voluntarism, and addressing critical needs in Dallas through the effective action and leadership of our trained volunteers,” said newly appointed Board President Emily Somerville-Cabrera in a recent president’s note. 

Somerville-Cabera says the group has a “bold new strategic plan” that will guide the organization over the next five years. The forward-looking plan is focused on three areas: “reviving the member experience, redefining community, and reimagining training.”

Here is the new board of directors:

Emily Somerville, president

Christina Eubanks, president elect

Isabell Novakov Higginbotham, administrative vice president

Jacqueline Wasem, communications vice president,

Katy Ratley, community vice president

Marisa Partin, development vice president

Lanasha Houze, diversity and inclusion vice president

Rhonda Williams, finance vice president

Heather Lorch, membership vice president

Lara Bubalbo Manor, secretary

Megan Ladriere White, signature projects vice president

Kristen Shear, strategy vice president

Jessica Pantano, training vice president

Bonner Allen, sustainer advisor

Go here for a full list of the group’s leadership council.

DI People was updated with additional details about MOOYAH’s VP of Tech, Ed Andrews, on August 12.

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