DI People: Toyota North America, Sally Beauty, Allie Beth Allman, Bottle Rocket Make Leadership Moves

In this weekly roundup of executive and leadership moves by companies and organizations in North Texas, you'll also find news from Stryve, Transplace, RKD Group, Conifer Health Solutions, Comerica Bank, Tenet Healthcare, and Civitas Capital Group.

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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 people moves tied to innovation and technology in the region.

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Toyota promotes Basra to group VP of Connected Technologies

Steve Basra

Steve Basra has been promoted to group vice president, Connected Technologies at Plano-based Toyota Motor North America.

Toyota said he will continue to report to Zack Hicks, executive vice president, Digital Transformation & Mobility and Chief Digital Officer. 

Basra has served as vice president, Connected Technologies since October 2017, and has led TMNA’s efforts to enhance the customer’s in-vehicle experience. Basra has overseen the transformation and expansion of the Connected Technologies group as its pivoted to becoming an agile, product-focused organization, Toyota said in a release.

Basra also serves as chief operating officer for Toyota Connected North America.  

Metz and Lakshmi take digital leadership roles at Sally Beauty

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Vanathy Lakshmi

Kevin Metz

Denton-based Sally Beauty Holdings has hired Kevin Metz as its vice president of Ecommerce and Vanathy Lakshmi as its vice president of Digital Product. 

Metz will lead Sally Beauty’s ambitious growth plan for all of its North American digital commerce businesses, including the websites for Sally Beauty and Cosmo Prof, mobile apps, portals, integrations with physical retail stores, and third-party online marketplaces, according to a statement.

He joins Sally Beauty with two decades of experience in helping organizations build digital commerce capabilities. Most recently, Metz was chief marketing and digital officer with Stuller, following e-commerce leadership positions at Ulta Beauty, Yankee Candle, and Cache.

In her new role with Sally Beauty, Lakshmi will be responsible for the digital guest experience and digital product roadmap across all of the company’s digital activities. She comes to Sally Beauty with more than 10 years of experience in in-store and online product management. Most recently, Lakshmi was senior director of Digital Product at Walmart, following extensive digital product leadership experience at Pier One, Academy Sports, and Frontgate.

Allie Beth Allman selects Conlan as president of sales

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Keith Conlan

Keith Conlan has been promoted to president of sales at Dallas luxury real estate brokerage, Allie Beth Allman & Associates, after hitting $2 billion in production for two consecutive years.

“Leadership begins with core values,” firm founder and CEO Allie Beth Allman said in a statement. “Four years ago I started searching for someone to work with me in a leadership role.”

Conlan moved into his first leadership role as a sales manager, according to a statement. After two years, he earned the title of general manager of the brokerage.

Bottle Rocket appoints Midha as chief strategy & operating officer

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Rajesh Midha

Addison-based digital experience consultancy Bottle Rocket has appointed Rajesh Midha to the position of Chief Strategy and Operating Officer effective immediately.

In his new role, Midha will focus on advancing and scaling all aspects of the business, including growing revenue, scaling product, design and engineering, and driving innovation and growth on behalf of clients, according to a statement.

Midha will serve as the connection between multiple practice areas and clients, making sure that business goals are translated into effective digital experiences that make users happy, according to a statement.

Midha comes to Bottle Rocket from Quartet Health, a series D healthcare technology company focused on behavioral health and backed by Google, where he served as Chief Product Officer.

Healthy snack maker Stryve appoints Alt as co-CEO

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Jaxie Alt

Stryve, a Plano-based maker of healthy snack foods including beef biltong, announced that Jaxie Alt has been appointed as co-CEO.

Alt joined Stryve in March 2019 as chief marketing officer after spending 17 years with Keurig Dr Pepper, where she oversaw a product portfolio responsible for more than $8 billion in retail sales, according to a statement. Since coming to Stryve, Alt has helped the healthy snacking maker double its annual revenue and establish itself as the top-selling biltong brand in the U.S at traditional retail and online stores.

In her new role, Alt will continue to oversee nationwide marketing efforts as Stryve expands its footprint, along with leading sales and human resources at the company.

In addition to Alt’s promotion, Stryve recently welcomed three experienced executives to its leadership team:  chief operating officer Alex Hawkins; chief financial officer Billie Winkle; and chief sales officer Bruce Boettner.

Transplace taps Sebolt as EVP of strategic capacity services

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Greg Sebolt

Transplace, the Frisco-based provider of transportation technology and services, has appointed Greg Sebolt as executive vice president of strategic capacity services, its over-the-road truck brokerage business.

Sebolt’s appointment underscores Transplace’s ongoing investment in delivering efficiency, flexibility, and cost savings for U.S. shippers, according to a statement.

Sebolt brings more than 20 years of experience in third-party logistics to his new role. He has led teams in analyzing complicated supply chains to create more collaborative and cost-effective logistics strategies.

He began his career in the supply chain group of Andersen Business Consulting and has held executive leadership roles at Coyote Logistics, General Freight Services, and Zengistics.

Eazor named president and CEO of Conifer Health Solutions

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Joseph Eazor

Joseph Eazor has been appointed as president and chief executive officer of Tenet Healthcare Corp.’s Conifer Health Solutions business, according to a statement.

A healthcare business veteran, Eazor has held the CEO role and other top leadership positions at public and private companies, with expertise across strategy, customer engagement, product development, global sales and marketing, outsourcing, and mergers and acquisitions, according to a statement.

Kyle Burtnett, who was interim CEO of Conifer during the search process, will return to his previous role of COO of Conifer, reporting to Eazor.

Eazor joins Conifer from Oracle Corporation, where he was executive vice president and chief customer officer.

Howard joins RKD Group as senior vice president

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Tonie Howard

Veteran nonprofit fundraising executive and agency professional Tonie Howard has joined Richardson-based RKD Group as its senior vice president.

RKD Group is a fundraising, marketing, and data services provider to nonprofit organizations.

Howard brings in decades of experience and leadership to her role of providing multichannel fundraising and marketing services to a growing list of organizations that market at the local and regional levels, according to a statement.

Previously, Howard worked with more than 200 American Red Cross clients for seven years at Grizzard/One & All agency before building and leading the agency’s animal welfare services group for the past 14 years. Before that, Howard was the assistant executive director at the American Red Cross in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and two other chapters.

Comerica taps Ashford as chief community officer

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Irvin Ashford Jr.

Dallas-based Comerica Bank has named Irvin Ashford Jr. as its new chief community officer.

Ashford will be responsible for community reinvestments nationally and all associated activities, including development, lending, community investments, volunteerism, and data analysis.

He will also lead Comerica’s diversity business resource groups. Previously, Ashford served as Comerica’s National Director of Financial Education and External Affairs and will maintain these responsibilities in his new role.

Civitas Capital Group hires three new leaders

Dallas-based investment firm Civitas Capital Group has hired three new senior members of its team—Austin Khan, managing director, Investments; Kerry Braxton, vice president and deputy general counsel; and Jorge Adler, senior associate, Investments.

The new hires have extensive experience in real estate and lodging, reflecting Civitas’ commitment to excellence in these investment areas, CEO Daniel J. Healy noted in a statement.

Khan is an experienced hotel and real estate investment management professional and a senior member of the Investments team at Civitas. Most recently, he was the managing director of Blue Lion Capital LLC, an investment and advisory firm focused on real estate special situations investing.

Most recently, Braxton was assistant general counsel and vice president of Legal and Corporate Risk for Lincoln Property Co., the second-largest property management company in the nation, according to a statement.

Adler joins Civitas from The Howard Hughes Corp., a publicly-traded firm that owns, manages, and develops commercial, residential, and mixed-use real estate throughout the U.S.

Read Next

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