Thursday, December 2, 2021
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People: Hallmark Financial launches new property division

🕐 7 min read

Hallmark Financial Services Inc., a publicly traded insurance holding company headquartered in Fort Worth, recently launched its Hallmark Specialty Property operating unit.

The new unit offers excess and surplus commercial property insurance products, distributed exclusively through designated wholesale brokers. The unit focuses on shared and layered property programs. Product offerings includes primary, excess and quota share placements, including dependency and indemnity compensation (DIC) programs for veterans, single peril contracts and deductible buy-back programs.

President of the new Hallmark operating unit is Gerald A. Dupre Jr., a 38-year veteran in the property insurance industry. Prior to joining Hallmark, Dupre was the senior vice president of Americas property and general property global property practice leader for Torus Insurance Co. His experience includes developing the risk management property unit and management of the excess and surplus property unit for Axis Insurance Co. He led the U.S.-based global, domestic and reverse-flow property portfolios for Allianz Global Risk U.S. and served in multiple management roles for Fireman’s Fund, Home Insurance and The St. Paul Companies, where he started his career.

Boards & Organizations

Gov. Greg Abbott appointed Robert Rivera to the Texas Lottery Commission for a term to expire Feb. 1, 2021. Rivera is vice president of public finance for Stephens Inc. He has served on the Arlington City Council since 2005. He is a board member of the National Association of Latino Elected Officials and the Salvation Army, and he served on the boards of the YMCA and Big Brothers, Big Sisters.

Members of Leadership North Texas Class 7 from Tarrant County include: Devan Allen,– assistant director, government and community relations, University of Texas at Arlington; Peter Barwinkel, assistant vice president, revenue management, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport; Glenn Clingenpeel, manager, planning and environmental services, Trinity River Authority of Texas; John Dewar, vice president, principal and North Texas Transportation Group manager, Freese and Nichols; Joseph DeWoody, owner/president, Clear Fork Royalty; Bob Golden, – city of Haslet mayor; Jaime Grassi, client partner, Slalom Consulting; and Brandon Steinmann, assistant vice president, government relations, D/FW Airport.


BJ Wilson & Co. hired Kalen Ruiz as director of sales/wardrobe consultant. She will be responsible for the growth of the wardrobe consulting and personal styling division of the business and brings more than 20 years of fashion and retail experience to the firm. Ruiz is the former owner of Bess & Evie’s Vintage, a vintage clothing boutique in Fort Worth. Most of her career was spent at Pier 1 Imports Inc. in a variety of departments including store operations, international marketing, e-commerce and merchandising.


Paul J. Fadel, -Ph.D., a physiology integrative researcher and authority in neural cardio-vascular control in health and disease, will join the University of Texas at Arlington College of Nursing and Health Innovation as it expands its health science focus. Fadel will serve as a professor of kinesiology and director of clinical translational science. His studies have focused on issues such as blood flow control in diabetic patients, the impact of physical inactivity on cardio-vascular health and hypertension in patients with chronic kidney disease. He most recently was on the faculty at the University of Missouri School of Medicine. Before joining that faculty, Fadel completed a post-doctoral fellowship and later was an assistant professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.

Honors & Awards

Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage was honored for his continued innovation in marketing and advertising with the third annual Advertising Innovation and Marketing Excellence Award. The AIME award honors a corporate leader whose company’s advertising and marketing initiatives have furthered the organization’s success and had a positive impact on the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

University of North Texas Distinguished Research Professor Richard Dixon earned the Phytochemical Society of North America’s Phytochemical Pioneer Award for his significant contributions to phytochemical research over his career. Dixon’s work includes basic studies on enzymes and metabolic pathways; researching the invention of a new, stronger plant-based carbon fiber; researching the impact of grape seed extract on Alzheimer’s disease, and developing more digestible and cattle-friendly alfalfa and improved bioenergy crops.

Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Hurst-Euless-Bedford has been designated as a Center of Excellence in Minimally Invasive Gynecology by the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists and the Surgical Review Corporation. Also, Dr. Kevin O’Neil was named a Surgeon of Excellence in Minimally Invasive Gynecology. O’Neil is an obstetrician and gynecologist on Texas Health HEB’s medical staff and is the hospital’s COEMIG program director.

Acme Brick Co. is one of 23 companies nationwide to receive David Weekley Homes’ 2015 Partners of Choice Award with an “A” ranking. Acme achieved the rating for quality. This is the fourth consecutive year Acme has been chosen a Partner of Choice.


Michael Appleman, chairman of the business, tax and estates section at Cantey Hanger LLP, has been elected managing partner of the firm. Appleman joined the firm in 1993. His practice focuses on helping clients plan their estates and probating the wills and administering the estates of clients’ family members. He has formed, established and secured charitable recognition for several nonprofit organizations and has significant experience with court-ordered guardianships. He is a member of the State Bar of Texas, the Tarrant County Bar Association and the Tarrant County Probate Bar Association. He serves on the boards for the Community Foundation of North Texas and the Trinity Valley School Alumni Association, and the Board of Visitors for the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. He is on the executive committee of the University of Texas School of Law Alumni Association, is an at-large representative of the Texas Exes Council of the University of Texas Ex-Students’ Association, and is a member of the Foundation Advisory Council of the University of Texas College of Liberal Arts.

The Fort Worth office of Winstead PC welcomes Stephen D. Taylor – as of counsel. Taylor represents clients on business and construction litigation matters. He most recently practiced as a partner at Cantey Hanger LLP.

Dr. Katarzyna “Kasia” Brozynski joined Shannon, Gracey, Ratliff & Miller LLP as a partner. Brozynski received her medical degree from Medical University of Lodz, Poland, and is a registered patent attorney representing clients in patent and trademark prosecutions, oppositions, copyright disputes and intellectual property litigation. She prosecuted U.S. and foreign applications relating to a range of technologies, including medical devices and implants, DNA sequencing, chemical compositions, cloud computing, optical recording media, wireless communications, fracking, control systems in computer networks, photovoltaic systems, Internet-related applications and mechanical devices. Her transaction practice includes IP portfolio valuation. She counsels clients on anti-trust issues, technology transfers, export controls and film.

Robyn Trosper joined the Fort Worth office of the law firm of Dorsett Johnson & Swift LLP as a litigation attorney. Trosper will focus on helping DJS clients is the areas of employment, general liability defense and workers compensation law. Additionally, she will support the firm’s other litigation practice areas.


Rick Lockridge joined elevator cab manufacturer Eklund as vice president of sales and marketing. Lockridge has 27 years of experience in the vertical transportation industry. Most recently he served as branch manager in Chicago for a large elevator company.

Nonprofit Organizations

Fort Worth Can Academy hired William Arevalo as the new principal for one of its two Fort Worth Can Academy campuses. Arevalo joins the Lancaster campus of 340 students. The nonprofit Texans Can Academies network serves the Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio areas.

Tourism, Entertainment & Leisure

The Fort Worth Convention & Visitors Bureau named Stacey D. Johnson as the new director of sales-Mid-Atlantic Region. Johnson will represent the bureau in the greater Washington, D.C., area, responsible for booking citywide and in-house meetings. She was previously the director of group sales for the Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel and worked for Marriott International Inc. in a variety of roles for the past 19 years, most notably as director of multicultural sales strategy until 2007. Additionally, she worked for the Reno-Sparks Convention & Visitors Authority and NYC & Co.

Send newsmakers to Betty Dillard at

Dupre and his team are located in Atlanta, Ga.

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