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.
o9 promotes Anand Govind to CFO
Dallas-based o9 Solutions, which has an AI platform that powers digital transformation for a company’s integrated business planning and operations, has promoted Anand Govind from EVP of Finance to chief financial officer.
o9 said Govind brings vast industry experience in the financial and technology industries.
Before joining o9 last year, Anand spent more than a decade in leadership roles at technology investment banking groups. During his time at J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley, he focused on advising clients on IPOs, M&A, capital raising, and other areas of strategic corporate finance.
Govind’s promotion comes at a time when o9 is preparing for significant business and financial growth—the company has more than doubled its headcount and subscription revenue in the last year. It also closed its first ever external capital raise from KKR, which valued o9 at more than $1 billion.
“We’re at a pivotal juncture in our growth. o9’s vision of digital transformation of planning and operations is accelerating as global enterprises are understanding the value-unlock potential of integrated planning,” CEO Chakri Gottemukkala said in a statement. “Recent events with COVID-19 have elevated the need for this capability to the C-suite and have served to amplify this trend.”
MediaKind appoints a new chief executive officer
Global media tech leader MediaKind has announced that industry veteran Matt McConnell is its new CEO.
McConnell brings more than three decades of experience to the Frisco-based company. MediaKind cited his expertise in the media industry, driving growth, building innovative technology platforms, and enabling service providers to operate at scale.
Most recently, he served as SVP and general manager at Comcast Technology Solutions, the global division of Comcast Cable. During his time there, from 2012-2018, McConnell established and operated the Comcast Technology Solutions division.
“Matt is the perfect leader to accelerate MediaKind’s strategy execution and the delivery of innovative solutions required by our customers,” Angel Ruiz, chairman of the board at MediaKind, said in a statement. “The market and consumer behaviors are changing faster than ever and Matt is a battle-proven media executive with an extensive track record in successfully leading and growing business in this sector.”
In his new role, McConnell will be responsible for spearheading MediaKind’s growth in cloud-based solutions, with a focus on streaming products.
Tyler Downs joins Orb Health as VP of Engineering
Richardson-based Orb Health has hired Tyler Downs as its new vice president of Engineering. The move will help expand the capabilities of Orb’s virtual Chronic Care Management platform.
Downs has more than 20 years’ experience as a software architect, developer, and executive in communications, big data, and healthcare. He has held executive and architect positions at TriZetto, Allscripts, Siemens, and Microsoft, and most recently served at MedeAnalytics.
Orb’s care delivery platform is pivotal to the company’s growth. In scaling its virtual services, Orb is able to help provide “significant improvements in chronically ill patient outcomes while increasing value-based care profitability.”
“The demand for Orb Health’s unique and proven approach to virtual healthcare for chronically ill patients has seen huge, ever-increasing demand and we are hiring top talent in the healthcare market to quickly scale and execute our services to meet this demand,” CEO Bryan Krastins said in a statement. “[Down’s] practical healthcare experience coupled with a hands-on approach is already paying dividends by accelerating our care platform faster than ever before.”
Federos restructures its worldwide operations with a new CEO
Keith Buckley has been appointed chief executive officer at Dallas-based Federos, a provider of AI-optimized solutions. The move represents Federos’ decision to restructure operations to “optimize product development and deployment to support worldwide expansion.”
Federos’ solutions aim to assure availability and performance of critical networks and services for some of the world’s largest service providers and enterprises. The company’s new structure and leadership will allow it to invest significantly in its flagship AI/machine learning product and the team that installs, integrates, and supports customers around the world.
Buckley has more than 25 years of experience leading software, manufacturing, and services companies in telecom and media and technology. Most recently, he was the president and CEO of The Switch Enterprises, a content productin and delivery services provider for streaming and broadcast networks.
MJB Wood Group promotes Scott Griggs
Coppell-based MJB Wood Group, LLC announced that Scott Griggs has been promoted from VP of Sales to president.
MJB Wood Group is a leading manufacturer and distributor of industrial wood products. Griggs has worked there for 12 years, most recently in a role that allowed him to lead the company in expanding its core U.S. markets and products.
During his tenure, Griggs supported a diversified customer base, from original equipment manufacturers to big box retailers. In his new role, he will be responsible for all sales and operations.
“We’re pleased to introduce Scott as our new president because he lives MJB Wood Group’s core values of innovation, leadership and integrity,” Steve Rask, CEO of MJB Wood Group’s parent company AC Summit LLC, said in a statement. “Scott has a great track record of taking care of our customers, partners and employees, and we have complete confidence that Scott will continue to build on our 40 years of growth and success.”
Signify Health makes a series of leadership moves
Signify Health, a Dallas-based provider of tech-enabled healthcare solutions that keep people at home healthy and happy, has made a slew of executive appointments.
To its Episodes of Care (EOC) Division, which uses technology to align physical health with financial incentives, Signify Health has made Josh Builder chief technology officer and Laurel Douty executive vice president of Clinical Operations and chief operating officer.
As CTO, Builder will oversee all tech innovation, integration, and operations for the division. He formerly served the same role at Rent the Runway, SoulCycle, and The Orchard.
“I am honored to lead the evolution of Signify Health’s Episodes of Care technology,” Builder said in a statement. “We have the opportunity to transform and connect the fragmented healthcare system using intelligent technology and a human-centered data platform that taps rich longitudinal data and unlocks insights so people will receive the right care at the right place at the right time.”
In her role, Douty will lead all clinical operations for the same division, with an emphasis on client-focused process improvements and change management. She was formerly COO and chief experience officer at Magellan Healthcare.
“This is an exciting and dynamic time to join Signify Health’s Episodes of Care Division because we are using the power of the episode to help fix a fragmented system and transform the way healthcare is delivered and paid for,” Douty said in a statement. “The entire team is committed to building strong connections between providers as well as community resources, enabling us to close critical care and social gaps.”
Marc Rothman, MD has also been appointed to chief medical officer and Kathleen Tourjee to chief human resources officer.
In his role, Rothman will oversee the clinical quality and program development across the company’s home and community care, episodes of care, and pharma and life science services. Prior to joining the company, he was senior medical officer at Aspire Healthcare.
“Our traditional healthcare system is undergoing a big transformation toward value-based care and Signify Health is at the forefront,” Dr. Rothman said in a statement. “I am eager to lead this shift toward keeping people healthy and happy in their homes and communities.”
Tourjee will lead Signify Health’s human resources function. Most recently, she was the VP of human resources at WebMD, but began at the company as a chemical process engineer in pharmaceutical manufacturing.
“I am looking forward to what we can accomplish in cultivating a corporate culture that supports our brand values of being adaptive, inclusive, compassionate and accountable,” she said in a statement. “Our growth and leadership position is supported by a workforce that is committed to driving change, being inclusive and making a difference in the lives of the people we serve.”
Sabre announces leadership moves
The Southlake-headquartered company has announced changes to its executive leadership team as part of that strategic realignment.
Dave Shirk will continue in his role as president of Sabre’s Travel Solutions. He will oversee the company’s agency and airline-focused business segments.
Wade Jones has been appointed to executive vice president and chief product officer. Jones will lead a centralized product management and marketing organization focused on helping customers maximize the value of content.
Dave Moore has been appointed executive vice president and chief technology officer. He will manage the Sabre global product development team.
Roshan Mendis is now executive vice president and chief commercial officer, and will oversee all agency and airline-focused sales and account management teams.
Cem Tanyel has been named executive vice president and chief services officer of Sabre’s new professional services, consulting, and support organization, which brings together the company’s delivery and care teams.
Blair Austin is taking on the role of Sabre’s vice president of Global Business Operations. This organization is expected to work cross-functionally to help each business function focus on maximizing Sabre’s value creation, according to a statement.
Kristin Hays has been named senior vice president of Global Communications with responsibility for all aspects of Sabre’s corporate messaging, including executive and team member communications, public and media relations, and external affairs.
Vistra names a new CIO
Vistra, headquartered in Irving, has appointed Tom Farrah as its new senior vice president and chief information officer.
Farrah is replacing outgoing CIO Ravi Malik, who resigned to pursue other opportunities. He will report to CEO Curt Morgan.
Farrah brings three decades of experience in information technology to the company. For the last 15 years, he worked at Keurig Dr Pepper in various IT positions, most recently serving as SVP of Business Transformation.
In his new role, Farrah will be responsible for ensuring the reliability, security, and development of Vistra’s tech platforms. He will also deliver new solutions to support the business.
“I’m looking forward to getting involved in a new industry with a fascinating company that’s seen tremendous and impressive growth in a short time,” Farrah said in a statement. “This pandemic has shown that technology is a critical enabler to keeping business running and allowing customers to choose and manage their electricity needs. I’ve spent my entire career in technology and it’s clear that when a company can marry robust technical knowledge and innovation with strong business operations, you drive greater results.”
BenefitMall adds a new Sales Leader
Dallas-based provider of next-gen broker services BenefitMall announced that John T. Wiesler has joined its team as head of general agency sales.
In his new role, Wiesler will oversee the sales strategy and growth of BenefitMall’s general agency business. He will also be tasked with driving the adoption of the company’s digital technology.
Wiesler was previously VP of Sales Distribution at Humana Inc. He has more than three decades of experience in sales and sales leadership.
He started at BenefitMall on July 6, and relocated to Dallas to do so.
“BenefitMall has an excellent reputation in the benefits industry, and I am honored to have been selected for this position,” Wiesler said in a statement. “I have spent much of my career working to deliver benefits solutions to employers, and I am excited to work for the leading general agency in the U.S. and to make the move to Texas.”
Idea Grove gets a VP of Client Development and Partnerships
Dallas-based Idea Grove, a PR and marketing agency for B2B technology companies, has brought on David Reiter as its new vice president of Client Development and Partnerships, a newly created role.
In his new role, Reiter will work hand-in-hand with Founder and CEO Scott Baradell and John Lacy, COO. He will be tasked with driving the agency’s growth across its PR and marketing practices and advancing its business development and partner growth.
Reiter has extensive leadership experience and a track record of driving new business revenue. Most recently, he held various senior leadership positions at software companies, marketing agencies, and a few successful startups.
Idea Grove said the appointment demonstrates its commitment to substantially growing and expanding its client based in the next year, and beyond.
“I am excited to play a role in the next phase of Idea Grove’s evolution,” Reiter said in a statement. “Powered by top talent and a forward-thinking approach to business, I have full confidence that Idea Grove will achieve substantial growth—in both revenue and reputation—in the coming years.”
AZZ Inc. makes key management promotions
Fort Worth-headquartered AZZ Inc. has promoted Bryan Stovall to chief operating officer of its Metal Coatings Segment and David Nark to senior vice president of Strategic Marketing, Communications, and Investor Relations.
AZZ is a global provider of metal coating services, welding solutions, specialty electrical equipment, and highly engineered services.
Stovall has been with the company since 1993, holding various positions of increasing responsibility throughout his time there. Most recently, he was SVP and president of AZZ Galvanizing Solutions, in which he managed the company’s network of 41 hot-dip galvanizing plants. Stovall’s new role will include the operational leadership of both the Galvanizing and Surface Technologies operating platforms.
Nark joined AZZ in 2013 as VP of Marketing and Communications. Now, Nark will add Investor Relations to his role, in which he will be responsible for improving AZZ’s overall communications, enhancing its strategic content, and building strong relationships with the investor community.
Envy Gaming names Adam Rymer CEO
Dallas’ Envy Gaming, hailed as the largest esports organization in Texas, announced that Adam Rymer has joined its team as chief executive officer.
Envy Gaming owns and operates the Dallas Fuel team in the Overwatch League and the Dallas Empire team in the Call of Duty League. It is also a founding member of Flashpoint, a professional tournament series that franchise Team Envy competes in.
Rymer joins Envy with more than 20 years of experience in film, digital media, and entertainment. In his new role, Rymer will oversee all business operation for the company, reporting directly to the Envy Gaming Board of Directors led by Chairman Ken Hersh.
The move comes after owner and former CEO Mike Rufail decided to transition to the newly created full-time position of chief gaming officer.
“Adding Adam to our leadership team will help accelerate the steps we are taking to grow and reach Envy Gaming’s potential as an organization that delivers world-class entertainment, events, fan experiences, content and more,” Rufail said in a statement. “I have focused on building a runway for Envy and the company’s teams, leagues and properties for many years. With Adam onboard, I can dedicate myself to my first passion: developing players and fielding competitive esports teams that maintain and build on our organization’s winning tradition.”
French American Chamber of Commerce DFW appoints Honorary Consul of France
Ruth Baron, president of FACC DFW, announced that Francois Fournier has been appointed the chamber’s new Honorary Consul of France.
Francois, a member of FACC DFW, is the president and CEO of Fort Worth-based Virbac North America. He attended Lavendou Bistro Provencal for the annual Bastille Day celebration on July 14.
“We are thrilled that a long-time member of our chamber is now the Honorary Consul,” Baron wrote in a company email.
Trademark Property Company adds a VP of Experience
Fort Worth-based Trademark Property Company—a retail and mixed-use development, investment, and institutional services firm—has brought on Chuck Steelman to boost its experiential retail and guest experiences.
Trademark’s portfolio includes a number of major shopping centers, including Galleria Dallas, Memorial City Mall and Market Street-The Woodlands in Houston, La Palmera Mall in Corpus Christi, and more.
In his role as vice president of experience, Steelman will elevate and lead Trademark’s experiential retail and guest experience platforms at the company’s properties across the U.S. He will be tasked with developing unique programming through events, partnerships, and other programs.
Steelman has garnered expertise in event and VIP client experience management after spending nearly a decade at Neiman Marcus Group in Dallas.
“In order to thrive, brick-and-mortar retail must offer customers an experience that e-commerce can’t give them. This is why we are doubling down on creating experiences, partnerships and community connections,” CEO Terry Montesi said in a statement. “Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, now is a time to be especially creative in how we make connections in unique, but safe, ways. With his extensive background in VIP services and event programming, Chuck will help properties across our portfolio focus on guest experience and fostering true community, virtually or in person.”
Freese and Nichols president is elected to the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards
Alfred Vidaurri Jr., a vice president and principal at Fort Worth’s Freese and Nichols, has been elected the first vice president/president-elect of the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB).
The announcement was made at the organization’s 2020 Annual Business Meeting. Vidaurri is the first Latino president of the organization.
NCARB facilitates the licensure and credentialing of architects. Per NCARB, in his new role, Vidaurri will focus on furthering the organization’s equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts, which includes identifying and addressing barriers along the path to licensure and ensuring the organization’s staff and volunteers reflect the diverse communities served.
Vidaurri is also a member of the American Institute of Architects, American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), U.S. Green Building Council, National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA), Texas Society of Architects, and AIA Fort Worth.
Lennox International adds to its Board of Directors
Lennox International, a Dallas-based leader in heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration, has made Shane D. Wall a member of its Board of Directors.
Wall was the CTO of HP Inc, but retired in January. He’s had a long career in technology, having held roles at Intel Corporation and Hewlett-Packard Company before it separated into HP Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Enterprise.
“We’re excited to welcome Shane as a member of our Board of Directors of Lennox International,” CEO Todd Bluedorn, who is also chairman of the board, said in a statement. “Shane’s extensive technology expertise coupled with his diverse general management experiences within large global technology companies make him an excellent addition to our board.”
Mohr Partners adds to its National Capital Markets Division
Commercial real estate services firm Mohr Partners is welcoming Grant Palmer to its team to expand the national capital markets division.
Palmer is a top producing broker with NAI Dodge of Omaha. At Dallas-based Mohr Partners, he will focus on representing private-client and institutional investors in disposing and acquiring office, industrial, retail, healthcare, and multi-family properties.
“I plan to leverage Mohr Partners’ established 24-office U.S. platform and London office to provide enhanced services to my investor clients while leveraging the firms extensive occupier relationships to build a strong sale-leaseback and capital investment advisory practice,” Palmer said in a statement. “As a CCIM award winner for the largest transactions in both retail and industrial sectors I’m excited to take on one of the largest markets despite the current economic climate.”
Bart McCollum joins ThinkWhy’s Executive Advisory Board
Dallas-based ThinkWhy has added Bart McCollum, the president and CEO of Ameriflex, to its Executive Advisory Board.
ThinkWhy is behind an SaaS platform that helps companies navigate a new era of work.
McCollum will bring his operational expertise to the company to help it advance its mission and drive organizational excellence. He has spent more than a decade at Ameriflex, earning multiple awards for payments innovation and customer experience during his time there.
“We are honored to have Bart join ThinkWhy’s Executive Advisory Board as a trusted guide to help us accomplish our strategic vision,” said Claudine Zachara, president and COO of ThinkWhy, in a statement. “With Bart’s unique instincts, vision and eye for innovation, ThinkWhy will continue to adapt our product roadmap to today’s workforce shifts and deliver a strategic advantage to businesses.”
Lone Star Analysis hires two military veterans
Dallas-based provider of advisory services Lone Star Analysis has added a United States Navy and Air Force veteran to its Business Development and Sales team.
Colin Walsh is joining Lone Star after serving in the U.S. Navy for more than 30 years. A retired Navy Captain, Walsh previously held senior staff positions at several NATO Commands. His career includes two command tours, a fixed wing training squadron and the Naval Support Activity in Bahrain.
Rick Sladek is a retired lieutenant colonel of the United States Air Force.
He has an extensive background in military service, having previously served as an active duty instructor pilot, program manager for the Cruise Missile Mission Control Aircraft, systems representative to Air Training Command at Randolph Air Force Base, and chief of the Flying Training Requirements Division.
“We’re very excited to bring in these new team members. They both have extensive first-hand experience with the organizations we work with,” Steve Roemerman, Lone Star’s chairman and CEO, said in a statement. “Both of these men have a rich history of both military and professional experience, making them excellent additions to the Lone Star team.”
Adolfson & Peterson Construction appoints a new director of scheduling operations
Richardson-based, a national construction management firm and general contractor, announced that Rob Sepanek has joined its team as the new director of scheduling operations.
In his new role, Sepanek will lead project scheduling across AP’s Arizona, Minnesota, and Texas offices. Per a release, he will also engage in extensive collaboration with project teams to establish scheduling standards, work products, project timelines, performance indicators, risk management, and recovery strategies.
Sepanek, a 28-year veteran of construction management and coordination, most recently was the director of centralized planning and scheduling at The Beck Group.
“We’re thrilled to have Rob join the AP team and believe his depth of experience and ingenuity makes him a great fit for AP,” Bob Lemke, a vice president and project executive at AP, said in a statement. “He provides our team with a level of expertise in scheduling and construction operations that allows us to enhance project performance across the board and more efficiently reach our goals.”
Access Healthcare Services Names New Chief Investment and Transformation Officer
Access Healthcare Services, a local revenue cycle management and IT services company, has appointed Harish Mysoré as its chief investment and transformation officer.
In his new role, Mysoré will identify growth opportunities and push for transformation.
Harish is already making an impact in his new role, leading the investment in an auto coding medical company that has been been creating an artificial intelligence platform for healthcare revenue management cycle.
Prior to Access, Harish held leadership roles in the technology, healthcare, customer experience and government services industries, most recently as senior vice president of corporate development at TTEC, Inc., a publicly traded customer experience technology and services provider. He also spent time with Cognizant Healthcare and Dell Services.
“Harish has an impressive résumé with extensive global business development and transformation experience gained from a wide range of industries including healthcare,” said Vardhman Jain, Vice Chairman of Access Healthcare via release. “He brings a fresh perspective to Access Healthcare and will work with our leadership team and board to identify growth opportunities and strategies that help us stay ahead and continue providing value to our customers across the healthcare landscape.”
MSI gets a new CEO and president
Mortgage Specialists International LLC (MSI), a field services and asset management firm based in Fort Worth, has appointed Baker Breedlove to president and chief executive officer.
Breedlove previously served as the president of I Property Claims (IPC) and general counsel for Insight One Solutions. He replaces Gary Tolbert, who is transitioning into a strategic advisory role.
“We are excited to have Baker’s leadership and industry knowledge to help us deliver on our plan to disrupt the status quo in default mortgage servicing by delivering a true end-to-end solution for our clients,” Steve Stallard, principal of Insight One Solutions, the parent company of MSI, Williams & Williams Worldwide Auction, I Property Claims, and Sortis Financial, said. “There is energy, innovation, and creativity building with MSI and its affiliates. I’m confident that under Baker’s leadership, MSI will continue to provide world-class services and customer care.”
Simmons Bank appoints a lead to its Texas division
Simmons Bank has named Kent Eastman, a long-time Dallas banking leader, its executive vice president and Texas Division president.
Simmons Bank said the hire represents its growing focus on Texas, which was kickstarted with the acquisitions of Southwest Bank and Bank SNB in 2018. The state is Simmons’ largest asset base in its seven-state portfolio.
In his new role, Eastman will have a range of responsibilities, from overseeing business development and brand awareness to driving community engagement. He brings 38 years of experience in banking and management to the company, with expertise in credit and sales leadership, brand management, market development, and more.
Most recently, Eastman was the Texas state president and head of commercial banking for Capital One Bank.
“Simmons is proud of our rapidly growing presence in Texas and has gained an excellent leader in Kent,” George Makris, Jr., chairman and CEO for Simmons First National Corporation, said in a statement. “Kent’s comprehensive knowledge, visionary leadership and genuine passion for banking will be immeasurably valuable as we capitalize on the opportunities at hand.”
Ernst to resign as CFO of RealPage
Richardson-based RealPage, a global provider of software and data analystics to the real estate industry, announced that Tom Ernst is resigning from his position as executive vice president, chief financial officer, and treasurer.
The move is effective Aug. 15, but Ernst will stay on as a consultant through the end of the year. He leaves to pursue new opportunities.
In a release, RealPage said it has initiated the search for a new CFO.
“Tom was instrumental in our efforts to enhance RealPage’s systems, processes and culture to support accelerated organic revenue growth,” Steve Winn, chairman and CEO of RealPage, said in a statement. “He also helped orchestrate the largest acquisition in our history, opening the SMB market for accelerated growth. He was key in our financing for this acquisition with a $690 million concurrent public common equity and convertible debt offering completed in May 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
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