Saturday, May 15, 2021
74 F
Fort Worth

Newsmakers: Banking promotion, health care hires


Mike Rigby, a longtime banking executive, has been named by Legend Bank as executive vice president, regional president, with a focus on building the Legend Bank brand in Tarrant County and surrounding areas.

Rigby had been the market president of Liberty Bank in North Richland Hills since 2009 and prior to that, he was president and CEO for 11 years. He spent 18 years as an executive vice president for First National Bank in Weatherford before joining Liberty Bank.

Rigby is vice chairman of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas board of directors and is a member of the board for the Council of the Federal Home Loan Banks in Washington, D.C., Chairs and Vice-Chairs Committee. He previously was board chairman of the Texas Bankers Association.

Rigby is a graduate of Texas Tech University and attended the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Colorado.


The Oakridge School has added Bridget Lewis as director of marketing and communications and Nadia DiStefano as community engagement coordinator.

Lewis was previously assistant director for media relations at the University of Texas at Arlington. Before that she worked nearly 20 years in the television news industry at top-rated stations such as WSB/ABC 2 (Atlanta), KWTV/CBS 9 (Oklahoma City) and WFAA/ABC 8 (Dallas), where her news producing earned two regional Emmy Awards.

DiStefano most recently was senior director of resource development for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Arlington.

Texans Can Academies, an open enrollment, free public high school of choice with 13 campuses across the state, added Nancy Woodson as development director over its Fort Worth campuses. Woodson previously was regional director of development at Texas Christian University and was senior resource development director and major gift associate for the Salvation Army. She graduated from TCU with her children when she was 47 and says, “Education creates freedom and enables power.”

“I am thrilled to be working at the Fort Worth Can Academies,” Woodson said in a statement. “I am combining my two favorite passions of education and helping children in need. Texans Can is providing them with a second chance and I am grateful to be a part of that.”

Texans Can Academies has two high schools in Fort Worth: Texans Can Academy-Fort Worth Lancaster Avenue and Texans Can Academy-Fort Worth-Westcreek. Other campuses are in Dallas, Austin, Houston and San Antonio.


Medical City Fort Worth has announced two additions to the executive team – Sunny Drenik as vice president of business development and Tracy Stanford as vice president of human resources and employee health.

Drenik previously worked for Truman Medical Center and was vice president of business development and marketing for HCA Healthcare’s Midwest division in Kansas City. In Texas, she was an associate administrator at Texas Health Presbyterian in Denton and later was CEO/administrator for LifeCare Hospitals of Fort Worth. She is a recipient of the Fort Worth Business Press 40 Under 40 recognition.

Stanford began her career in human resources in 1999 at Henderson Memorial Hospital (now part of East Texas Medical Center) in Henderson, Texas. She later was staff manager of strategic human resources at Alltel Communications’ corporate offices in Arkansas. For the past nine years, she worked in North Texas health care organizations, most recently as director of human resources strategic and business services with Baylor Scott & White Health.

Cook Children’s has named Grant Harris senior vice president/chief development officer of Cook Children’s Health Foundation. For almost a decade, Harris has worked in the foundation, focusing on annual giving, donor engagement, donor relations and major gift fundraising. Harris’ team of 35 fundraising professionals completed the largest capital campaign in the foundation’s history, surpassing the original goal by over $35 million.


Associates Joshua Michaels, Melinda Louque, Brian Singleterry and Grant Austin Dickey have joined Cantey Hanger LLP. Michaels is a 2017 graduate of The University of Texas School of Law. While an undergraduate at The University of Texas, Michaels was in the Texas Army National Guard and led a peacekeeping mission in Sinai, Egypt.

Louque, whose primary practice areas are civil litigation and employment, twice served as a summer associate at the law firm. After graduating from the University of Texas, she earned her law degree from Texas Tech University School of Law in 2017. Singleterry earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Oklahoma and graduated first in his class at the Texas A&M School of Law in 2015.

Dickey has joined the firm’s Business, Tax and Estates Section. He earned a bachelor’s degree and a law degree from Southern Methodist University.


Texas Central, developer of the planned high-speed train between Houston and North Texas, announced Dec. 8 that business leader, entrepreneur and former Houston Astros owner Drayton McLane Jr. has been appointed chairman of its board. He succeeds Richard Lawless, who remains as a board member and chairman emeritus. McLane joined the board in January.

Send newsmakers to Robert Francis at

FW housing agency promotes Lemons from interim to president

The Fort Worth Housing Solutions (FWHS) board of commissioners selected interim president Mary-Margaret Lemons to lead the agency charged with providing affordable housing in the city at a board meeting Nov. 30.

Lemons was hired as general counsel in December 2015 and appointed interim president in May when the board declined to renew the three-year contract of Naomi Byrne, who was hired in 2014. No reason was given publicly for the Byrne decision other than that the board wished to move the agency in a different direction.

“Lemons has been working as interim for six months, and has done a great job during this time,” commission chairman Terri Attaway told the Fort Worth Business Press. “The board and executive staff look forward to working together with Lemons in continuing our mission to provide quality, accessible, affordable housing to our residents throughout the city of Fort Worth.”

Lemons said in a news release that she was honored and humbled by the decision.

“I look forward to continuing to work with our dedicated board and the amazing FWHS staff to advance our mission of preserving and expanding Fort Worth’s affordable housing opportunities, while providing access to the education, job training and supportive services our residents need to thrive and meet their self-sufficiency goals,” she said.

Lemons earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Arlington and her law degree from Texas Wesleyan School of Law, now the Texas A&M School of Law. Her previous experience include senior vice president and legal counsel at OmniAmerican Bank, now a part of Southside Bankshares.

Earlier she was a personal assistant to two of the area’s top chefs – Tim Love of Lonesome Dove Western Bistro and Grady Spears during his tour of duty at Reata.

Immediate issues facing Lemons include decisions on how to relocate the residents of Butler Place on the western edge of downtown Fort Worth and free that land for redevelopment.

FWHS is participating in a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development initiative called the Rental Assistance Demonstration Program. The idea is to encourage housing programs to move away from the traditional model of concentrated public housing and to focus instead on scattered housing sites that include all income levels either paying market rates on their own or with assistance from programs such as Section 8 vouchers.

Attaway described it as an opportunity to move from the business of public housing to the affordable housing business.

Key to that is the development of the historic Butler Place. Once residents are relocated and the federal government agrees, the FWHS is free to develop or sell the land and use that money to build or buy other housing stock in the city.

FWHS announced earlier this year that it had selected Atlanta-based Columbia Residential and its local partner, Hap Baggett, as the master developer for Butler Place. Columbia and Baggett previously worked together to develop Renaissance Square in East Fort Worth.

No contract has been signed, however, and Attaway told the Business Press previously that it was because there was no final study for the best use of the Butler site. And, she said, the agency is focused on relocating the Butler residents at this point.

Lemons and Baggett also co-chair the housing subcommittee for Las Vegas Trail set up by District 3 Councilman Brian Byrd. Baggett said that he enjoys working with Lemons and was pleased that she has been named president of FWHS.

FWHS provides mixed-income rental and homeownership opportunities to its clients.

“Through its real estate development program, FWHS also delivers stable investment opportunities for our development partners,” the agency said in a news release. “FWHS owns 998 public housing units, 4,545 affordable housing units and 665 market-rate units, administers over 5,000 Housing Choice Vouchers and operates a homeownership program.”

– Paul K. Harral

Group honors Valerie Washington for actions to ease racial tension

Assistant Fort Worth City Manager Valerie Washington, the first female African-American to hold the position, has been named the 2017 Stone of Hope Awards Person of the Year by the Fort Worth Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

The award was created several years ago when the organization hosted family members of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the national SCLC organization, said the Rev. Kyev Tatum, president of the local group.

“While we have given the Stone of Hope Awards to special people and special events locally and nationally, this is the first year we decided to select a local 2017 Stone of Hope Awards Person of the Year,” Tatum said.

Washington was selected because of her actions amid mounting racial tension when a video of a white police officer confronting an African-American mother and her children went viral internationally, Tatum said in a news release.

Washington reached out to a group of ministers who had previously worked with city leadership to draft the Police 3E Plan of Action, designed to help the police department build trust in the black community, Tatum said in the release. He is a member of the 3E Coalition.

“Because of her courageous actions, leaders in the community are communicating and working together to improve trust and community justice in Fort Worth,” Tatum said. ““Ms. Valerie Washington is a trailblazer and has the ability to disarm the harshest critics of city government. Because of her willingness to pull everyone back together to help improve race relations, we felt she deserved to be our community’s Person of the Year.”

Washington became a Fort Worth assistant city manager in 2015. Previously, she was the deputy director and chief financial officer for the Department of Public Safety in Indianapolis, where she was responsible for the operational and financial management for eight divisions, including police, fire, EMS, Homeland Security and animal care and control.

Would you like the option to login with your social media account?
Login using Facebook, Google, or LinkedIn instead of having to create a FWBP account?

Get our email updates

Related Articles

Our Digital Sponsors

Stay Connected


Join Our Newsletter

Latest Articles