Newsmakers: Hires, promotions


Hub International Limited, a leading global insurance brokerage, announced June 7 that it has hired financial advisor Brandon Chase and acquired his book of business. Based in Fort Worth, Chase provides financial and private wealth management and succession planning services. Chase will join Hub Retirement and Private Wealth (Hub RPW) in Hub Texas and help expand its private wealth capabilities. 

Comerica Bank has added Freddy Espericueta, Ron Hilburn, and Piper Elam have  to the Fort Worth Business Banking Team, reporting to Fort Worth Market President Steven Colwick.

Espericueta has been named the Business Banking Group Manager. He brings more than 17 years of commercial banking experience to Comerica, including seven-plus in leadership from a large national bank.

The University of North Texas alumnus earned a bachelor of business administration and later graduated from Pacific Coast Banking School. An Aledo resident, Espericueta, is a Doxology Bible Church youth department volunteer and serves on the regional boards of numerous faith-based ministries.

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Hilburn, a Business Banking Relationship Manager, has worked in commercial banking for more than 20 years. He graduated from Texas Tech University with a BBA and master of business administration. Hilburn lives in Fort Worth and volunteers with various Tarrant County nonprofits in addition to coaching youth sports.

Elam has assumed Commercial Relationship Manager duties for Comerica’s Fort Worth Market. With close to 20 years of experience in the DFW banking and financial services industry, Elam manages a diversified client base, ranging from small-to-mid-sized companies. He is a Texas Tech undergraduate alumnus and holds his MBA from the University of Texas at Arlington. The Mid-Cities resident is active in the community, serving in various roles for multiple nonprofit organizations.

Colwick, who has led the Fort Worth Market since May 2019, is looking forward to the impact the trio will make in their footprint.

“Our experienced team with extensive market knowledge will be able to execute and provide solutions for local businesses that are attracted to Comerica’s relationship approach to banking,” Colwick said.

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Comerica Bank is a subsidiary of Comerica Incorporated (NYSE: CMA), a financial services company headquartered in Dallas and strategically aligned by three business segments: The Commercial Bank, The Retail Bank, and Wealth Management. In addition to Texas, Comerica Bank locations can be found in Arizona, California, Florida and Michigan, with select businesses operating in several other states, as well as in Canada and Mexico. Comerica reported total assets of $86.3 billion as of March 31, 2021.

Steve Eargle  has been elected as Chairman of the Board for The National Bank of Texas. Elected to the Board of Directors of The National Bank of Texas at Fort Worth in 2017, he currently serves on the Executive, Strategic Planning, Property and Director’s Loan Committees.
Eargle grew up in Tyler. In 1986 he earned his BBA in Marketing from the University of Texas, where he also played football from 1982-1986. He earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Texas School of Law in 1990.
After law school, Eargle went to work as an associate oil and gas attorney with the law firm of Law, Snakard & Gambill P.C. in Fort Worth where he worked until 1996, when he and his partners formed the law firm Beckham, Rector & Eargle L.L.P. Steve has also been a General Partner of Fort Worth Royalty Company since its founding in 1993.


Col. Jonathan S. Stover  has assumed command of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Fort Worth District. Stover takes over the district from Col. Kenneth N. Reed, who assumed command in July 2018. Reed’s next assignment will be the commander of the Trans-Atlantic Expeditionary District.

Gov. Greg Abbott has named Fred Farias III, O.D., as chair and Donna N. Williams, as vice chair of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board for terms set to expire at the pleasure of the Governor. The board provides leadership and coordination for the Texas higher education system.

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Williams of Arlington is vice president and program manager for Parsons Transportation Group Inc. She has served on THECB since 2018, and is currently vice chairman of the Academic and Workforce Success Committee. She was a member of the Texas State University System Board of Regents and served as chair for two terms. Additionally, she is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., and serves of the Laura Bush Institute for Women’s Health National Advisory Board and the Parsons Federal Credit Union board of directors.

Fred Farias, III, O.D. of McAllen is an optometrist and CEO of 20/20 Vision Care.


The James L. West Center for Dementia Care has added Lydia Ford  as assistant administrator for the leader in long-term care. Demonstrating that the West Center continues to educate, train and advance the next generation in health care leaders, Ford has served The West Center through COVID-19 and is assuming a new role as assistant administrator.

A graduate of South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Ford recently earned her Master of Health Administration degree from the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth while working for The West Center, and in April she received the Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ) designation.

Bio North Texas Foundation (BioNTX) has announced the appointment of Kathleen M. Otto as chief executive officer. The organization represents the bioscience industry for 26 counties in North Texas including Dallas, Fort Worth, and Arlington.

Former CEO and Chairman Jorge Varela will continue serving on the board of directors of the organization.

Prior to joining BioNTX, Otto served as executive director of BioBAT in New York for over six years and prior to that as vice president of business development and programs at Bio New Jersey (BioNJ).


At the 55th annual meeting of the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) on Friday, June 4, NCTCOG President Ray Smith presented three important regional leadership and cooperation awards.

The William J. Pitstick Award went to outgoing Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price. The award was established in 1993 to recognize an individual for his or her strong commitment to the concept and promotion of regionalism. It’s named in honor of the late Bill Pitstick, former executive director of NCTCOG for 26 years.

Price was nominated by Chris Wallace, president and CEO, North Texas Commission. Her nomination was endorsed by 39 mayors from throughout the region. She was described as someone who promotes cooperation among different communities and interest groups to look for solutions with regional benefits.

The Linda Keithley Award for Women in Public Management went to Gina Nash, city manager for the City of Sashe. The award, established in 1986, is presented each year to an outstanding woman in public management who exemplifies the high standards represented by Linda Keithley during her 17 years with the Council of Governments.

The Regional Cooperation Award went to the Denton County Vaccination Clinic Cooperation. The award was created in 1996 and jointly recognizes two or more local governments for outstanding acts of cooperation.

Denton County, in cooperation with the Texas Motor Speedway and 42 other regional partners, including local jurisdictions, state and federal agencies, private-sector organizations and thousands of volunteers represented the concept of reaching across jurisdictional boundaries as they responded to COVID-19 with a massive vaccination site at the Texas Motor Speedway.


Attorney Laura Hilton Hallmon,  a Partner at Cantey Hanger LLP, has been elected to the Board of Directors of Meritas Law Firms Worldwide, a global alliance of independent law firms that serves the legal needs of companies doing business across markets.


Recaro Aircraft Seating has announced Sunitha Vegerla as its new General Manager of Recaro Aircraft Seating Americas in Fort Worth. Vegerla is the Director of Quality and Process Management and a member of the Americas executive leadership team.

After three years in the role, current General Manager René Dankwerth will transition into a new position as EVP Competence Center Composites at Recaro headquarters in Schwaebisch Hall, Germany.


Gill Children’s Services has added Terri Sexton to the board of directors. She is currently enrolled at Dallas Theological Seminary in a non-credit master’s degree program. Her career began in accounting and ended in fundraising.

She previously served a development director at Texas Ballet Theater, including a stint as interim managing director’