Newsmakers: AECOM Hunt names new division manager for Texas

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AECOM Hunt has named Monte Thurmond as its new executive vice president and division manager of the Texas region. In this role, he will lead all facets of the business unit throughout Texas and the South region.

Thurmond has more than 40 years of experience, working across numerous markets, including aviation, higher education, sports and special events facilities and health care, the company said in an announcement.

Prior to his appointment, Thurmond served as Executive Vice President/Operations Manager within the Southern U.S. region, where he successfully led some of the south region’s largest projects, including AT&T Center in San Antonio, Moody Center in Austin and Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport.

Sara Allen_

Sundt Construction Inc. promoted Sara Allen to project controls manager and Joel Holcomb to project engineer in its Dallas-Fort Worth office.

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Allen worked for more than 10 years as a project administrator on numerous projects across the state, including Midwestern State University’s Centennial Hall in Wichita Falls and the Fort Bliss Warrior Transition Barracks in El Paso.

Allen was honored with the Achiever Award by the Fort Worth Admin Awards program in 2018. She earned her bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies from Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth.

Holcomb has been with Sundt for five years, serving first as an intern at the Lanier High School project in San Antonio, and most recently, a project engineer in San Diego before transferring back to North Texas. He is currently working on the Tarrant County College District relocation project and the City of Arlington South East Recreation Center as a field superintendent. Holcomb earned his bachelor’s degree in construction management from the University of Texas at Tyler.


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Carlos Morales, Ph.D., founding president of TCC Connect, the virtual campus for Tarrant County College offering eLearning and Weekend College, recently was elected to a two-year term as chair of the board for Hispanic Education Technology Services (HETS), the first bilingual consortium organized to expand educational opportunities and access to post-secondary education to the Hispanic community.

Ernest Thomas has been named the new assistant principal of the Leadership Academy at John T. White Elementary School, one of five Fort Worth ISD campuses comprising the Leadership Academy Network, an innovative partnership between the district and Texas Wesleyan University.

Scott D. Browning, principal of St. Paul Lutheran School in Fort Worth, will represent The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS) schools at the 2020 National Distinguished Principal program. The National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) established the program in 1984 to recognize and celebrate elementary and middle-level principals who set high standards for instruction, student achievement, character and climate for the students, families and staffs in their learning communities.

The Texas Tech University System Board of Regents announced July 24 the selection of Lt. Gen. Ronnie D. Hawkins Jr., U.S. Air Force, retired, as the sole finalist for the presidency of Angelo State University.

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Mark McAvoy has been named director of the Fort Worth Planning & Data Analytics Department.

He interned for various local governments, including the City of Galveston, Missouri City and finally in the mayor’s office at the City of Houston. McAvoy has been in a variety of roles at the City of Houston since 2000, including administration manager of the Traffic and Transportation Division in Public Works; division manager in the Planning and Development Services Department; executive director of the Houston Permitting Center for seven years; and in the Planning and Development Services Department working with city engineers, the real estate division and the Permitting Center.

Most recently he was as an interim assistant city manager at the City of Rowlett and later accepted the permanent position.

William F. Rumuly was named director of the Fort Worth Municipal Court effective July 18. He had been serving in an interim capacity since January. Rumuly has an extensive background in local government services with more than 26 years of experience working in three North Texas municipalities.

He earned a bachelor of science degree from Texas A&M University and holds a Level 2 Court Clerk certification with the Texas Municipal Courts Education Center. He has worked with the City of Fort Worth since 2006, serving as the clerk of the court.

U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, R-Fort Worth,  has named Krister Holladay as her new chief of staff.

Holladay joins the office from the Government Affairs department at Raytheon and previously served in a similar role at the Goodrich Corporation.

He began his career on Capitol Hill in the office of Newt Gingrich and served as Chief of Staff to Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R- Georgia.

Fort Worth Housing Solutions has promoted a longtime, accomplished executive to be the agency’s deputy director and appointed a senior team member with a history of successful client and community engagement to direct the Stop Six Choice Neighborhood Initiative.

Sonya A. Barnette has been promoted to Senior Vice President and Deputy Director for Public Housing, Housing Operations and Client Services. She also will manage the Stop Six Choice Neighborhood Implementation grant that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded the agency and the City of Fort Worth in April 2020.

Barnette reports to Fort Worth Housing Solutions President Mary-Margaret Lemons, who has led the agency since December 2017 and who served as its general counsel from 2015 to 2017.

Barnette joined Fort Worth Housing Solutions in 1993 as a Resident Liaison Coordinator

Lachelle Goodrich has been promoted to Stop Six Choice Neighborhood Initiative Director. Goodrich joined the organization in 2002, left to teach middle school history for three years, and returned to the agency in 2012.

In recent years, Goodrich has served as the agency’s Resident Opportunity & Self Sufficiency Services Coordinator and as coordinator for the EnVision Center.


Steve Litke and Jermaine Watson have joined Bonds Ellis Eppich Schafer Jones LLP as partners. Litke represents clients in business and corporate transactional matters, including mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance and licensing and technology matters. His prior experience includes serving as a partner with a large Texas-based law firm, where he advised clients on corporate transactional matters for nearly 13 years and being general counsel of a privately-held education/technology company for more than five years. Watson brings 14 years as a corporate debtor-side bankruptcy lawyer with experience in business litigation and labor and employment.

Gov. Greg Abbott has appointed Joseph Patrick “Pat” Gallagher to the 96th Judicial District Court in Tarrant County for a term set to expire on Dec. 31, 2020, or until his successor shall be duly elected and qualified.

Gallagher of Fort Worth is an attorney in private practice. He is a member of the State Bar of Texas and the Federalist Society and a former member of the Texas Board of Legal Specialization Advisory Commission. Additionally, he is a member of the Tarrant County Bar Association, and has served in various positions for the association including as chair of the Judicial Evaluation & Polls Committee, a volunteer for the Young Lawyer Mentor Committee, and as a speaker for the Bench Bar Conference. Gallagher received a bachelor of arts in psychology from Indiana University – Bloomington and a juris doctor degree from Indiana University – Indianapolis.


Electrical Distributor (tED) Magazine, the official publication of the National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED), has named Courtney Miller, plant manager at Klein Tools’ Heritage Parkway facility in Mansfield to its 2020 “30 Under 35” list of rising stars, an annual list recognizes 30 talented young professionals who have the initiative, drive, integrity and creativity to move the industry forward in the decades to come.

Miller joined Klein Tools in September 2016 as a manufacturing manager and was promoted two years later to operations manager over the plant that produces all of Klein Tools’ flagship products.


Balcom Agency, a Fort Worth agency founded in 1993, was awarded five ADDY awards at the national American Advertising Awards ceremony held June 26. The agency’s work for Cavender’s was celebrated in five different categories by the American Advertising Federation (AAF), winning silver awards in each division.

Created in 2019, Balcom’s award-winning work for Cavender’s centers around a video campaign called “This Is How We Live,” showcasing the Western spirit and American lifestyle as expressed through the clothes that people choose to wear.

AAF Silver ADDYs were awarded to Balcom in the following categories:

­– Cinematography – Campaign

– Music With Lyrics – Single

– Music With/Without Lyrics – Campaign

­– Sound Design – Single

– Sound Design – Campaign

“National wins make us incredibly proud and are quite a bit of fun after all of the hard work that goes into planning and production,” said Stuart Balcom, president and CEO of Balcom Agency. “But much more important to us is how our clients feel about the work and the spotlight it shines on what they do and how they live. We’re so proud to have helped Cavender’s communicate their brand anthem via video, a project they truly love.”

At the regional awards held in April 2020, Balcom secured 12 gold, five silver and two bronze awards alongside a Best of Show and two Special Judges’ Awards. The regional work was done for two Texas-based clients, Cavender’s and Mrs. Renfro’s.

Fort Worth’s Schaefer Advertising Co. received an AAF Silver ADDY for its work on the Texas Ballet Theater 2019/2020 Season Illustrations.


Lighthouse for the Blind of Fort Worth has hired Lance Myska as the new Inventory and Purchasing Analyst. Myska spent several years in the audit department at Whitley Penn in Fort Worth working with both non-profit organizations and manufacturing and distribution companies, before transitioning into a relationship building and recruiting role with SNI Companies. He has both a bachelor and master of accounting degree from Texas Christian University.

Sara A. Richardson, the director of philanthropy at The Botanical Research Institute of Texas, has received the Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) designation .

The CFRE credential is awarded to those who have met a series of standards set by CFRE

International, including a tenured profession, education, and high achievements in fundraising, BRIT said.

Hanna Bell is the new executive director of the USS Fort Worth Support Committee, returning to her hometown after five years in Germany and China, the committee said in an email blast.

“Sam Petty has left to work with an incredible new Fort Worth organization called the Tarrant To and Through partnership which aims to ensure all students excel to and through the education pipeline. We will miss Sam, but we are also very excited to welcome Hannah on board,” the email said.

Bell says she worked overseas in Germany with Army Entertainment and China with Fantasy Performing Arts. She spent three years working as volunteer coordinator, education director, and performer with KMC Onstage in Germany as well as two years in the same roles in Chongqing, China.

She earned her bachelor of fine arts from Midwestern State University and her master of fine arts in performance and pedagogy, from Texas Tech University. She also is an active member of the DFW theatre community, both as performer and costume designer, as well as the volunteer coordinator for Onstage in Bedford.

Bell is part of the Quindigo Management team as the executive director for the USS Fort Worth Support Committee.  Quindigo Management, founded in 2005, is an association management company that partners with membership-based associations in North Texas.

Brenda Rios, CFRE, became Vice President of Development for the Presbyterian Night Shelter July 27 to  oversee the fundraising and marketing efforts of the organization.

Rios joined the development team at Presbyterian Night Shelter in February of 2019 as the Director of Major Gifts where she focused her efforts on donor relations, leadership gifts, planned giving and the capital campaign for the renovation to the newly named Karl Travis Men’s Center.

Rios started her career at Lena Pope Home and has also served as the Director of Development for JPS Foundation and Mental Health America of Greater Tarrant County.

Prior to joining Presbyterian Night Shelter’s development team, she led the fundraising initiatives for #LVTRise. Rios has worked in the non-profit sector for 20 years and has spent almost 14 of those years in fundraising.

TECHNOLOGY Fort Worth-based, a leading programmatic platform for CTV, addressable, and mobile advertising, announced that Sandra Murillo Sareyko, Vice President of Platform Sales, Advanced TV & Addressable Solutions, was honored with the 2020 Cynopsis Top Women in Media award in the Tech Leaders category. This award recognizes trailblazers who push the industry forward while empowering and inspiring others. Those who are characterized as innovators, risk-takers, and instrumental in executing strategy are selected as winners each year, sai