DI People: Toyota North America, The DEC, American Airlines Cargo Name New Execs

Also you’ll find leadership appointments and changes at Heritage Health Solutions, TiE Dallas, BG Staffing, and Cushman & Wakefield in this roundup of people news in North Texas.

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. 

Don’t miss a move: Get Dallas Innovates Every Day. Have a move? Let us know.

Toyota North America promotes Rich Valenstein

Richard Valenstein

Rich Valenstein has been named group vice president, revenue management and product profitability, for Plano-based Toyota Motor North America. 

It’s a new position for Toyota, which will involve Valenstein being responsible for the company’s product cost and profitability analysis, leading its drive to optimize revenue, including introduction of enhanced data analytics tools, as well as leading financial support for Toyota’s North America parts and accessories operations, the company said in a release.

Valenstein will continue to report to Chief Financial Officer and Group Vice President, Accounting and Finance, Tracey Doi. 

“Rich has been an integral part of our finance team for many years. He has already set a strong foundation that he will continue to build upon as he leads TMNA’s revenue optimization efforts,” Doi said in the release. 

Vaghela to head marketing, events for The DEC

Jigna Vaghela

Jigna Vaghela has been appointed as the new director of marketing and events for the Dallas Entrepreneur Center.

Most recently, Vaghela was a senior manager-global events at Cognizant, where she spent 12 years. Vaghela also served as senior project manager-women in digital for Cognizant Digital Business.

Vaghela will lead programming and promotional efforts at The DEC Network—The [email protected], The [email protected], The [email protected] Treehouse, and The [email protected], according to a release.

American Airlines Cargo names Tyler to lead strategy, development

Jessica Tyler

Jessica Tyler has been named by American Airlines Cargo as vice president, strategy and development.

The company said Tyler’s team will focus on the future, particularly on how the carrier plans and invests in the right technology, products, partnerships, and ways of doing business. Tyler will also continue leading its digital transformation initiative that will replace 90 percent of the organization’s legacy technology, enabling end-to-end business process and customer experience modernization.

“In this position, Jessica will have the resources and support needed to implement our new, fully integrated technology platform as well as continue to develop our product and partnership strategy,” Rick Elieson, president of American Airlines Cargo, said. “Her extensive experience in technology integration, change management and product strategy are skills that make her an invaluable asset to this organization and our long-term success.”

Heritage Health Solutions names Baiden EVP, general manager

Hamilton Baiden

Flower Mound-based health-care integrator Heritage Health Solutions Inc. announced that Hamilton Baiden has been appointed executive vice president and general manager, and will have day-to-day leadership and oversight of business development and strategic planning for the company.

Baiden will report to CEO Tonya Clark and will join the company’s leadership team.

“Hamilton brings a deep knowledge of the specialty pharmacy market, a clear focus on innovation, and a proven track record of successful execution,” Clark said in a release. “I am confident he will build upon the company’s solid foundation and continue to strengthen our ability to bring integrated health care solutions to government and self-funded entities.”

Most recently, Baiden served as executive vice president of sales at Avella Specialty Pharmacy.

BG Staffing promotes Garvey to CEO, president

Beth Garvey

Beth Garvey has been promoted to chief executive officer and president of BG Staffing Inc., the Plano-based national provider of professional temporary staffing services.

Her appointment is effective Oct. 1, the company said in a release. In conjunction with Garvey’s appointment, L. Allen Baker Jr. will resign as CEO and president but will remain chairman of the board.

“Looking ahead, we’ll continue to grow with our existing initiatives and always seek ways to improve operating efficiencies, enhance cross-selling opportunities, and build upon our strong foundation in order to continue increasing shareholder value,” Garvey said in the release.

Garvey has been the company’s chief operating officer since August 2016 after joining the BG Staffing team through the 2013 acquisition of InStaff Personnel LLC.

Desabrais joins Cushman & Wakefield as senior project manager

April Desabrais

April Desabrais has joined Cushman & Wakefield as senior project manager in its Project and Development Services group. 

Desabrais comes from CBRE, where most recently she was senior project manager.

“She has built a large network of Dallas-Fort Worth relationships which she leverages to get the job done right for her clients,” Brad Blankenship, executive managing director of Project and Development Services, said.  

Viswanathan named president of TiE DFW

Ram Viswanathan

Ram Viswanathan is the new president of TiE DFW, the local affiliate of The Indus Entrepreneurs.

TiE was founded in 1992 in Silicon Valley by a group of successful entrepreneurs, corporate executives, and professionals who have roots to the Indus region.

It is a global nonprofit undertaking that is devoted to entrepreneurs in all industries, at all stages. It focuses on five foundational programs—mentoring, networking, education, funding, and incubation.

Ram, a senior entrepreneur, has built a portfolio of tech businesses in the United States and India under the Nathan Research brand.

Shastri promoted to SVP at Cyber Group

Cyber Group has promoted Sankalp Shastri to senior vice president at Cyber Group, where he will run the company’s retail practice and advise customers on ways to adopt omnichannel strategies. 

Shastri joined Cyber Group in January 2011, and oversees half a dozen customers and a team of more than 50 employees.

Tobey joins litigation practice at DLA Piper

Daniel Tobey

Daniel Tobey has joined DLA Piper’s litigation practice as a partner in Dallas.

The firm said that in addition to being a litigator, Tobey also is a medical doctor and software entrepreneur. He will bring a unique mix of experience to his representation of technology, health-care, and life sciences companies in matters ranging from patent disputes to tort and contract claims.

“Danny is a perfect fit for our global platform, which will allow him to take advantage of his unique background in the life sciences and healthcare fields,” Loren Brown, co-chair of DLA Piper’s global and US Litigation practices, said in a release. 

“We continue to strategically expand our capabilities in Dallas and throughout Texas, and Danny will significantly strengthen our local litigation, life sciences, and healthcare teams, as well as our continued growth in these areas,” Marc Katz, managing partner of the firm’s Dallas office, said in the release. Tobey comes to DLA Piper from Vinson & Elkins LLP.

DRN creates new unit, promotes team members

Fort Worth-based AI and data analytics company Digital Recognition Network announced the creation of a new Client Services Unit as part of its FinTech Division and named a number of people who have been promoted as a result.

DRN provides vehicle location data and analytics to auto lenders, insurance carriers, and other commercial verticals. The Client Services Unit provides customers with consulting services, on-site training, and monthly reporting, allowing them greater insight into DRN’s vehicle location data to drive results.

The following members of the FinTech Division have been promoted:

  • Jeremiah Wheeler has been promoted to executive vice president and general manager for DRN’s FinTech Division. 
  • Stephen Nethery has been promoted to senior vice president of client services for DRN’s FinTech Division. 
  • Andy Cameron has been promoted to senior vice president of FinTech and manages DRN’s recovery agent and provider relationships, as well as ALPR camera sales and support.

Also, DRN recently hired:

  • Nick Haaf has joined DRN as senior executive director of national enterprise accounts.  
  • Oscar Nunez has joined DRN to serve as director of product for the FinTech Division. 


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