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Newsmakers: Belen Marcos tapped to lead Cintra in U.S.

Belen Marcos tapped to lead Cintra in U.S.

Road builder Cintra promotes Marcos,

its local project CEO, to head US unit

Austin-based Cintra named transportation infrastructure development executive Belen Marcos as its new United States president. She will oversee Cintra’s entire U.S. portfolio, which includes nearly $8 billion worth of road infrastructure projects.

Marcos, 42, replaces Nicolas Rubio, who was promoted to global operations director in Madrid, Spain.

Marcos joined Cintra in 1999 as a project engineer and most recently was CEO of the combined operations of the North Tarrant Express, LBJ Express and construction of the NTE 35W project. Prior to that, she was the CEO of NTE Mobility Partners LLC for seven years.

While with NTE Mobility Partners, she managed the construction and operation of the $2.1 billion North Tarrant Express Managed Lanes (NTEMP), which opened nine months ahead of schedule in 2014. She also oversaw operation of the $2.6 billion LBJ Express, which opened ahead of schedule in 2015 and has been described by the Texas Department of Transportation as the most comprehensive, complex project of its type in the country.

Prior to NTEMP, she was chief operating officer for the Chicago Skyway and chief information officer for ITR Concession Co, a division of Cintra that managed the Indiana Toll Road.

A role model and advocate for women and minorities in construction, architecture and engineering, Marcos was named the 2011 CEO of the Year by the Regional Hispanic Contractors Association.

“From our perspective, the United States continues to be a great place to invest, create jobs and provide much-needed cost-effective, efficient solutions to meet drivers’ needs for safe, reliable mobility,” said Marcos. “The success of our North Texas projects demonstrate how public-private partnerships can and should play a significant role in helping states solve the growing problem of urban congestion.”

Alberto Gonzalez, who served as deputy CEO of the projects, will replace Marcos as chief.


American Airlines Group Inc. named Danielle Kirgan as senior vice president, people. Kirgan will lead all global human resource functions for the airline, including talent acquisition, training and talent development, compensation, benefits and diversity. Kirgan joins American from Darden Restaurants, where she was senior vice president, chief human resources officer since 2015. She joined Darden in May 2010 as senior vice president, Total Rewards & HR Shared Services. Previously Kirgan was the head of human resources with ACI Worldwide and was vice president, human resources for the Consumer Foods Division at ConAgra Foods. She also had positions in human resources leadership with W. W. Grainger and Teletech Holdings.

Boards & Organizations

Andrea Petro, executive vice president at Wells Fargo Capital Finance, was named president of the Commercial Finance Association. Petro has served on several CFA committees, including the board of the CFA Education Foundation. With more than 30 years of experience in the asset-based lending industry, Petro established Wells Fargo Capital Finance’s lender finance division in 2000, then known as Wells Fargo Foothill, and oversees the Dallas-based division’s daily operations today. Petro’s success with the lender finance division led to the expansion of her role and the formation of the resort finance and supply chain finance units. Prior to joining Foothill, Petro was senior vice president, national marketing manager of the Financial Services Funding Division of Transamerica Business Credit.

Elevator cabs

Ryan Lewis joined Eklund’s Inc. as director of business development-Western Region. Ryan will lead all sales and marketing efforts for Eklund’s western territory including California, Arizona, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, Utah, Idaho, New Mexico, Colorado, and Hawaii. He will work with customers on custom elevator cab interior projects. Customers include elevator companies, property managers/owners and general contractors. He’ll also lead efforts to educate architects and vertical transportation consultants about Eklund’s custom cab capabilities and product line. Prior to joining Eklund’s, Ryan had management positions in the vertical transportation industry.

Honors & Awards

Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price is America’s Most Bike-Crazy Mayor, according to Bicycling Magazine. Price, an avid biker, often pedals to work and hosts rolling town hall meetings with residents on bikes. Since she took office in 2011, the city has added 66 miles of bike lanes and put $1.2 million toward building trails to make it safer and easier for residents to exercise. “The health of communities is critical to your economic development, to your engagement, to the vitality of your community,” Price told the magazine. “Biking became a huge piece of that.” Price also launched an initiative called FitWorth that includes programs devoted to wellness, including the Tour de Fort Worth, which overlaps with the Tour de France and features 21 days of cycling events.

Dr. Paul Thornton, medical director of the Hyperinsulinism Center at Cook Children’s Health Care System, has been named one of five 2016 Rare Disease Heroes nationwide. The award, created by Rare Disease Communications, recognizes teaching and research hospitals and their teams for groundbreaking research and treatment of rare diseases related to endocrinology, genetics, hematology, lysosomal storage disorders and neurology. Thornton was honored for his work in endocrinology at the center, which is one of only two of its kind in the country.

Rep. Roger Williams (R-Austin), -former Texas secretary of state and a former baseball player at Texas Christian University, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Bobby Bragan Youth Foundation on Nov. 2 in Fort Worth. Williams has represented Texas’ 25th Congressional District since 2013. From November 2004 to July 2007, Williams served under Gov. Rick Perry as secretary of state. He played baseball at TCU from 1968-1971 and was an All-Southwest Conference selection as an outfielder in 1968. Williams, named to TCU’s 1960s’ All-Decade Team, was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in 1971 and played three years of minor league baseball. He returned to Texas to coach TCU’s baseball team before he embarked on a career in business and public affairs. The playing surface at TCU’s Lupton Stadium is named Williams-Reilly Field in honor of Williams and business leader Michael Reilly.

Jim Lewis, the vice president for advancement at Texas Wesleyan University, will be honored on Nov. 18 as Outstanding Fundraising Executive by the Greater Dallas Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals at the 31st annual National Philanthropy Day Luncheon. Lewis has 33 years of fundraising experience. He previously held the same position at Big Brothers Big Sisters, Lone Star; Austin College; and Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi. He began his fundraising career at Southern Methodist University. He has been a member of the AFP for 28 years and is a former AFP national board member. Lewis has been a certified fundraising executive for 25 years and an active leader on the Council for the Support and Advancement of Education for 30 years.

Ronak Patel, a partner at Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP, is the first recipient of the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) Patricia D. Struck Award. The award is presented to a long-standing NASAA member who has consistently advanced the investor protection goals of the association, while demonstrating qualities such as diplomacy, dedication to training, and mentoring. Patel was deputy securities commissioner of Texas and worked with the securities commissioner to manage the Texas State Securities Board. Patel served as both attorney, since 2003, and director of inspections and compliance, since 2011, for the Texas State Securities Board.

Elevate earned a place among the country’s Best Medium Workplaces recently announced by Great Place to Work and Fortune, ranking at No. 93 on the list. This award follows the company’s certification as a great place to work in July.

The Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders was reaccredited by the QOPI Certification Program, an affiliate of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, which provides a three-year certification for outpatient hematology-oncology practices that meet nationally recognized standards for quality cancer care.

Nonprofit Organizations

Harold Strong has been named president and CEO of bionorthTX, a regional trade association that promotes life sciences economic development. Strong was director of the University of North Texas Discovery Park and the school’s technology transfer department. He also was executive director of the Texas A&M University Research Park. He is a board member and past president of the Association of University Research Parks.

Joining the bionorthTX board are Francois Fournier, president of North America advanced wound care at Smith & Nephew Inc.; Duane Dimos, vice president for research at the University of Texas at Arlington; and Maxwell Lea, managing director at DFB Pharmaceuticals. Kay Tieman, who has been named vice president of sales and marketing of AmeriPac Inc., will remain on the bionorthTX board and executive committee.

LifeGift named Donna R. Smith the managing director of its office in Fort Worth. Smith will manage the day-to-day operations of LifeGift’s North Region, which covers nine counties. Smith joins LifeGift from LifeBanc in Cleveland, Ohio, where she was the director of procurement and preservation services. She oversaw all areas of the organ donation processes, designed and developed an in-house organ recovery center and managed key transplant/donor hospital partner relationships. Prior to joining LifeBanc, she was the director of organ procurement at Mid-American Transplant Services in St. Louis, Missouri. Smith began her career at St. Louis University Hospital as an ICU nurse, where she was responsible for the care of critically ill patients, charge nurse and preceptor. In 2012, she was an examiner for the Missouri Quality Award. She is a member of the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations, treasurer of the Organ Donation and Research Consortium and a member at large for the Organ Procurement and Transplant Network’s Membership and Professional Standards Committee.

Real Estate

Team Residential Management opened its doors for business in September in Fort Worth and surrounding areas. President/broker Kate Team has the designations for Texas residential leasing specialist and Texas residential property management.

Send Newsmakers to Betty Dillard at

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