DI People: Toyota, Dallas Regional Chamber, Mohr Partners, Cigna Make Moves

In this week's roundup of hires and promotions in North Texas, you'll also find news from LinkAmerica, Dallas ISD, TPN, ReCode Therapeutics, Linear Labs, Knox Financial, and more.

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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Toyota Motor North America makes executive changes to Supply Chain Management team

Keith Robertson

Plano-headquartered Toyota Motor North America (TMNA) has made two executive changes to its Supply Chain Management (SCM) operations, effective Oct. 26.

Randy Pflughaupt, who had been serving in the role of group vice president of SCM, is retiring after a 38-year career with Toyota. During his time there, Pflughaupt held various leadership positions: group vice president of sales administration, Toyota Motor Sales; senior vice president of production control, Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing; and group vice president of marketing.

Keith Robertson, who is currently the vice president of Demand and Supply Management (DSM), will take over for Pflughaupt as group vice president, SCM, TMNA. Robertson’s promotion means that he will now be responsible for all North America vehicle supply chain operations, according to Toyota.

Read more here.

Dallas Regional Chamber names a senior vice president for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Jared Fitzpatrick

The Dallas Regional Chamber, which serves as the voice of business and champion of economic development and growth in the Dallas region, has added Jared Fitzpatrick to its team as the first-ever senior vice president for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI).

The creation of the new role coincided with the news that the DRC Board of Directors formed a DEI Council in June. Last month, the DRC hired Tosha Herron-Bruff as its first senior vice president for community engagement, who will work closely with Fitzpatrick.

Fitzpatrick brings extensive experience working on local DEI initiatives to the position. He most recently was a Senior Culture and Human Resources strategy advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, and before that held positions with PricewaterhouseCoopers and Huron Consulting Group.

Fitzpatrick will be responsible for the DRC’s DEI work with its 800 member companies, per a news release.

Former AT&T executive joins LinkAmerica

Pablo Salazar

Dallas-based LinkAmerica, a minority-owned IT services and telecommunications company, has tapped veteran executive Pablo Salazar as its new chief technology officer.

Salazar brings what LinkAmerica calls a “trailblazing background” in IT, IT security, and digital transformation to the company. He is the former chief information officer and chief compliance officer at AT&T Mexico, and has more than 28 years of experience in the U.S. and global markets.

LinkAmerica credits Salazar as having an extensive proficiency and a deep knowledge of technology. Previously, he managed a team of more than 1,300 IT professionals, was responsible for integrating multiple organizations, and led IT teams in more than 45 countries.

In his new role, Salazar will be tasked with strengthening and expanding LinkAmerica’s IT initiatives, according to a statement. Read more here.

TPN names a new CFO

Kayla Waters

Dallas-based creative commerce agency TPN has appointed Kayla Waters as its new chief financial officer, effective Nov. 1.

Waters will be taking over for her boss and mentor of the past 15 years, Mike Pate, who is retiring from the role after 17 years. To ensure a smooth transition, Pate will remain at TPN in a consulting role until early 2021.

Waters was most recently the senior vice president of Finance for TPN. She has more than two decades of experience in the finance industry, having served various roles at TPN over the last 15 years.

In her new role, she will work alongside the leadership team to enhance operations and workflow, deliver cost-effective results, drive profitability, and help the agency and its clients achieve success, per a news release.

Mohr Partners adds a managing partner of Strategy & Growth

Misti Meggs

Dallas-based Mohr Partners has promoted Misti Meggs, an industry veteran, to its managing partner of Strategy & Growth.

Meggs has been with the commercial real estate advisory firm for the past 14 years, serving in business development, as a transaction manager, head of Research, and leader of the strategic consulting practice. She has experience leading teams who have advised leading Fortune 500 firms on their relocations, supply chain optimizations, and change management and cost reduction initiatives, per a news release.

In her newly expanded role, Meggs will continue providing strategic direction over her current business unit responsibilities.

Dallas ISD career institute adds a professional architect to its team

Lorena Toffer

Lorena Toffer, who has worked as a professional architect for more than 15 years, has been named the leading instructor of the Principles of Architecture course at Dallas ISD’s Career Institute East.

Toffer, a first-year educator, had been volunteering for Dallas ISD high schools as a guest lecturer and architecture mentor. She previously was senior project manager at Corgan, but “felt a need to share her knowledge and experience with the younger generations,” DISD said.

At Career Institute East, which opened this school year, is one of the district’s three career institutes that offer industry-standard training and career and technical education in eight diverse pathways. After completing a pathway course, students earn industry-based certifications and are workforce-ready for high-skill, high-paying, high-demand jobs.

ReCode Therapeutics names a new chief operating officer and chief financial officer

Julie Eastland

ReCode Therapeutics, a California- and Dallas-based biopharma that works on disease-modifying medicines to treat life-limiting respiratory diseases, has appointed Julie Eastland as its chief operating officer and chief financial officer.

In her new role, Eastland will oversee the company’s financial and business operations. She has more than 25 years of experience in corporate finance, corporate development, financial planning and analysis, investor relations, and operations, per a news release.

Most recently, Eastland was the CFO and CBO at Rainier Therapeutics. Before that, she held the same roles at Cascadian Therapeutics.

Cigna names a market president for its commercial business in North Texas and Oklahoma

Keith Barnes

Cigna, a worldwide health services organization based in Connecticut, has appointed Keith Barnes as the market president for its commercial healthcare and related benefits plans in North Texas and Oklahoma.

Barnes has more than 33 years of experience in the commercial and public sector and market sales leadership within the health care industry. She was most recently the senior divisional vice president at Health Care Service Corporation/Blue Cross Blue Shield. 

In his new role, Barnes will be responsible for driving market growth. He will focus on creating customer value and ensuring that the local market strategy, product, and network offerings meet customer and client needs, per a news release.

In North Texas and Oklahoma, he will collaborate with healthcare professionals and health systems in the areas.

Knox Financial has hired a Dallas property expert

Tabatha Green

Knox Financial, which offers a way to build weath through investment property, announced that it tripled its staff in 2020 with three new hires in Dallas, Atlanta, and Houston.

In Dallas, Knox Financial has named Tabatha Green as its Dallas property expert. She brings more than 15 years of experience in real estate and client services to the role, previously working as a real estate agent at ICONIC Real Estate and serving as a leasing consultant at The Connor Group.

“During a time of unprecedented economic uncertainty and stock market volatility, homeowners and landlords across the U.S. are looking for more effective, secure ways to build wealth through the properties they already own,” CEO David Friedman said in a statement. “Whether you’re considering turning the home you’re moving out of into a rental property, or you’re a seasoned landlord who owns multiple units, Knox gives you a smart way to optimize the performance of your investment while also taking care of all of the work associated with being a landlord.”

Linear Labs adds the Masergy chairman and CEO to its Board of Directors

Chris MacFarland

Linear Labs expanded its Board of Directors, adding Masergy Chairman and CEO Chris MacFarland to the team.

MacFarland, a known cloud platform leader, sees Linear Labs as effecting change on an international scale in multiple industries. The news coincided with the announcement that the Fort Worth-headquartered smart electric motor company was expanding its manufacturing capabilities and employee base through a new $6 million round of funding.

“The company is getting bigger by the moment, and to join their board just as their new funding is secured and their deal with Fort Worth is announced, is fortuitous timing,” he said in a statement. “Amazing things are just around the corner, including incredible economic possibilities with Linear Labs’ new U.S. production facilities.”

Read more here.

UT Dallas’ School Of The Arts And Humanities expands its Advisory Council

The School Of Arts And Humanities  at the University of Texas at Dallas has added five members to its Advisory Council to act as liasons between the school and the local community.

The School of Arts and Humanities provides programs in creative writing, English, history, philosophy, and the visual and performing arts.

“I am thrilled to have individuals of this caliber join our advisory council,” Interim Dean and the Ackerman Center for Holocaust Studies Dean Dr. Nils Roemer said in a statement. “Each new member brings a different experience that we expect will assist our growth in enrollment as well as community stature.”

The new members are: Suzanne Cole, the medical director of UT Southwestern Medical Center’s University Hospital Simmons Cancer Clinic; Jerry Comer, who established the Jerry and Marilyn Comer Photography Collection with his wife, Marilyn; Ragen and Roy Eltermanm, a retired teacher and retired neurologist, respectively; and Richard Kurjan, who established the Trish and Richard Kurjan Fund that supports the Center for Translation Studies.

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