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Newsmakers: Almand receives award honoring veterans for Fort Worth contributions

🕐 8 min read

Retired Col. David Almand received the first Community Champion Award at Presbyterian Night Shelter’s Worth Honoring Luncheon. The award honors military veterans who have made substantial contributions to the city of Fort Worth during and after military service.

“Col. Almand stood out among the other outstanding nominations because of his continued involvement in supporting military veterans as well as his exemplary volunteer service,” said Janine M. Kraus, assistant vice chancellor at Texas Christian University and a member of the award selection committee. “Almand is extremely active serving our homeless veterans. His valuable work demonstrates dignity and respect to all who have served our country, while shining a light on this serious issue.”

Almand spent more than 24 years in the U.S. Air Force, completing his service as commander of the 89th Airlift Wing at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland. A command pilot, he flew in support of multiple combat operations including in Somalia, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. He retired in November 2014.

Almand’s civic involvement includes Arlington Heights Methodist Church, Boy Scout Troop 928, Colonial golf tournament, GRACE, Humane Society of North Texas, North Texas Association of Air Force Academy Alumni Association, Presbyterian Night Shelter, Southlake Carroll Independent School District, Southlake Citizens Academy, Southlake Community Emergency Response Team and Spokes for Folks. He received both the Legion of Merit and Bronze Star awards, was selected for the National Security Affairs Fellowship at Stanford University’s Hoover Institute and led the way for his community to win the Abilene Trophy while serving as 375th Airlift Wing Commander of Scott Air Force Base in St. Louis, Missouri.

Four other local veterans were finalists for the award. They are:

Maj. Charles Florsheim, deputy staff judge advocate and head of the Trial Defense Service for the Texas State Guard; Amos “Mac” McAlister, a retired decorated Air Force aircraft commander with 1,954 hours of flight time and 146 combat missions, and retired captain for United Airlines, where he served 28 years; Tim McKinney, a decorated Air Force captain, a Fort Worth banker for 36 years, and currently president and CEO of United Way of Tarrant County; and Lt. Col. Nat O’Day, retired from the U.S. Army after more than 20 years in the signal/electronic field, where he served tours in South Vietnam, South Korea, Japan and Germany. After a second career with the city of Fort Worth finance department for 25 years, he volunteered with the office of U.S. Rep. Kay Granger (R-Fort Worth) as chairman of the board, where he assisted with various military matters and appointments.

The Worth Honoring luncheon was Nov. 10, the day before Veterans Day, at the Downtown Hilton Fort Worth.

Advertising, Marketing & Public Relations

New hires at J.O. in Fort Worth are Duke Greenhill as vice president, creative and strategy, and Alicia Wyatt – photo — as junior graphic designer. Prior to joining J.O., Greenhill spent most of his 16-year career working for top agencies in New York City and Washington, D.C. He has written for The New York Times, among other publications, and has received numerous industry accolades, including multiple Tellys, Webbys, ADDYs, Effies and a student Academy Award nomination. Greenhill is also the co-founder of the new Fort Worth Film Commission.

Wyatt earned her BFA in illustration at the Kansas City Art Institute. She did freelance illustration and design work, created a scientific illustration for Kansas University and interned at a local letterpress shop. As junior graphic designer, she will assist the creative team as well as conceptualize, design and produce new and ongoing marketing projects for J.O.’s clients.


Paul Morell, vice president of safety, regulatory compliance and environmental for American Airlines, will retire in January after 39 years of service. Kevin Brickner will succeed Morell.

Morrell previously was director of flight training and standards. Earlier in his career, he was fleet captain for the US Airways Airbus A330, Boeing 757 and 767 fleets, where he oversaw pilot training and operational policies and procedures. Prior to joining US Airways, Morell was a U.S. Navy pilot and aviation safety officer, managing a program of aviation and maintenance safety training and awareness during the fleet introduction of the F-14 aircraft.

Morell has been instrumental in developing several safety programs, including the Advanced Qualification Program for pilot training, Threat and Error Management, and Safety Management Systems. He was the industry co-chairman of the Commercial Aviation Safety Team, is a member and past industry co-chairman of the Aviation Safety Information Analysis and Sharing Executive Board, and most recently was co-chairman on the Pilot Fitness Aviation Rulemaking Committee and multiple other safety boards.

Brickner, who has been with the airline for 20 years, has been working closely with Morell over the past year. Most recently, Brickner was vice president-operations integration for American and US Airways. He previously had leadership positions in engineering, quality, training, maintenance planning, aircraft acquisitions, and operations compliance. Brickner began his career at General Electric. He is a graduate of GE’s Manufacturing Management Program and worked in both the aerospace and transportation systems businesses. His roles at GE included manufacturing engineer, production supervisor, continuous process improvement coordinator and project engineer.

Boards & Organizations

Gov. Greg Abbott appointed Benny Morris of Cleburne to the Texas State Board of Social Worker Examiners for a term to expire Feb. 1, 2021. Morris is a retired public school guidance counselor. He previously was a gubernatorial appointee on the State Board for Educator Certification and the Family and Protective Services Council. He is a former member of Pi Lambda Theta and the Texas Counseling Association.

Michael Guyton, senior vice president and chief customer officer of Oncor Electric Delivery, has been appointed by Gov. Greg Abbott to the Small Business Assistance Advisory Task Force for a term to expire June 14, 2017. Guyton is a past executive board member of Big Brothers Big Sisters of North Texas, past chairman of the board of Tarrant County Metropolitan United Way, board trustee and chairman of the Fort Worth Harris Methodist Hospital and a member of the University of Texas at Arlington Foundation Board.

Chuy’s Holdings Inc. appointed Randall M. DeWitt to its board. With 22 years of restaurant experience, DeWitt is the founder and CEO of Front Burner Restaurants, which operates Whiskey Cake, Velvet Taco, Sixty Vines, Mexican Sugar and The Ranch at Las Colinas. Prior to founding Front Burner, DeWitt worked for 10 years in commercial real estate development and sales.

Honors & Awards

The American Institute of Architects Fort Worth recently presented the following Excellence in Architecture Design Awards: Bart Shaw, Honor Award for Pax & Parker and Fairmount Park, and Studio Award for Grandview City Hall; Bennett Benner Partners, Merit Award for a Cultural District office remodel and Le Cep Restaurant; VLK Architects, Studio Award for STEM Academy in Fort Worth and Condit Elementary School in Houston; and a joint venture with Bennett Benner Partners and Studio Outside, Studio Award for Heritage Park Plaza restoration. The winners will be honored during the AIA Fort Worth Awards Gala in February.

Robert Lummus, owner of Mr. Electric of West Fort Worth, received the Excellence in Mentoring Award, Rookie of the Year Award and Top Gun recognition from the Mr. Electric corporate office during the 2016 Dwyer Group International Conference in September.

Ernan Haruvy, professor of marketing at the University of Texas at Dallas, has been named the second Donna Wilhelm Research Fellow at Southern Methodist University’s National Center for Arts Research (NCAR). NCAR analyzes data on arts organizations and their communities nationwide and develops free reports on important issues in arts management and patronage, with the goal of helping arts and cultural leaders make more informed decisions and improve the health of their organizations. Haruvy will work with NCAR on its publications and reports and will serve as an ambassador for the organization. He is focusing on NCAR projects that examine how distance affects patrons’ arts attendance. NCAR was established in 2012 by the Meadows School of the Arts and Cox School of Business at SMU.

Kyle Greenleaf of the Fort Worth Sylvan Learning location was named Center Director of the Year at the company’s recent annual conference.


Peter Kreidler, most recently the executive chef at Swiss Pastry Shop, joined the Kimbell Art Museum’s staff as manager of food services. Kreidler will succeed Shelby Schafer, who is retiring after more 30 years in the position. Kreidler received his agriculture degree from Texas A&M University before moving to New York to attend the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park. Upon graduation, he trained at Craft Restaurant in Los Angeles and later joined Boulevard, a Michelin-starred restaurant in San Francisco. Kreidler worked at Neighborhood Services and Clay Pigeon before joining Swiss Pastry Shop.

Real Estate

New faces at Northern Realty Group are Zack Barbee, Emma Holzbach, Whitney Rodriguez and Ro Williams, all members of the Greater Fort Worth and National associations of Realtors.

Barbee is a commercial Realtor who has worked in the real estate industry since 2007. He has a background in finance and accounting and is a member of the Society of Commercial Realtors.

Holzbach, a residential Realtor, has previous experience with a real estate investment development firm. Holzbach is a member of the Fort Worth Fly Fishers Club, Steer FW, Metro Beekeepers Association and Christ Chapel Bible Church.

Rodriguez recently became a licensed Realtor and has been an integral part of the Northern Realty Group team for several months, overseeing office operations since June. She has several years of experience in the industry, previously working with Woodcrest Capital.

Williams is a residential Realtor with more than 30 years of experience in retail management and outside sales. She has worked in the real estate industry for a year with a home builder. She founded Cattailz, a trap, neuter and return program for feral cats in Tarrant and Parker counties.

Melody Martinez is now vice president-oil and gas management for Farmers National Co. in Fort Worth. Martinez has been with Farmers National for four years and is a certified professional landman. She also specializes in relationship management, marketing and advertising activities for the Texas market while managing a portfolio of producing and nonproducing minerals in a variety of ownership categories.

Send Newsmakers to Betty Dillard at

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