Newsmakers: BRIT adds marketing manager

Chris Smith

BRIT adds marketing manager

The Botanical Research Institute of Texas hired Chris Smith as its new Advancement Department marketing manager. Smith has more than 20 years of experience with nonprofits, including 10 years in the conservation and environmental sectors.

Smith joins BRIT from Smith Communications, where she consulted the past eight years for numerous international and local clients, including BRIT and the Fort Worth Botanic Garden. Previously she was Texas media director for the Environmental Defense Fund and district marketing and public relations director for Tarrant County College.

“Chris brings strategic marketing and digital communications capabilities in her role as marketing manager that we will be using to engage new and existing audiences,” said Christie Eckler, vice president for advancement. “Her previous contract work with BRIT enables her to hit the ground running.”

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Smith has a master’s degree in strategic leadership from Texas Christian University and a digital marketing certificate from Cornell University. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism/public relations, with a master’s minor in environmental ethics from the University of North Texas.

Smith serves on several nonprofit boards and committees, including as past president of the Friends of the Fort Worth Nature Center, director-at-large for Fort Worth Veteran Professionals and president’s council chairman for the Greater Fort Worth Chapter of Public Relations Society of America.


Valor Mineral Management LLC has added John “Jammer” Moncrief and Tom Oil Moncrief to its board of advisers.

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John Moncrief is a general partner of CFR Royalty Partners LP. He is a certified mineral manager and a registered landman. Tom Moncrief is the managing member of Moncrief Properties LLC, which is involved in commercial real estate leasing and development and restoring and preserving historic buildings, primarily in the Weatherford area.


Bryan S. David with Cantey Hanger LLP has been elected to membership in the Fellows of the Texas Bar Foundation. Fellows are selected for their professional achievements and their commitment to improving the justice system throughout Texas.

Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP elected five new partners of the firm—Jonathan Cranz, Brian Garrett, Katherine Hopkins, Andrew Neal and Rick Shelby. The new partners are emerging leaders from a broad cross section of the firm’s practice groups, including Bankruptcy and Business Reorganization, Commercial Litigation, Public Finance, Real Estate, and Oil and Gas/Energy.

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Harris, Finley & Bogle PC has added five new and one returning attorney. Megan R. Knell, formerly of Branscomb PC in Houston, rejoined the firm’s oil and gas practice. Knell graduated from Texas Wesleyan University School of Law in 2008.

Joining the firm are Caroline K. Featherstone, a former a landman and project manager and 2011 graduate of Oklahoma City University School of Law, and Hayley S. Murray, a 2018 graduate of Texas A&M University School of Law.

The firm’s litigation section added J. Brison Bursey, formerly of Boyd, Powers & Williamson and a 2017 graduate of Texas A&M University School of Law who will practice in the Weatherford office, and Richard R. Hyde, formerly of Circelli, Walter & Young and a 2016 graduate of the University of Texas School of Law whose practice includes an emphasis in oil and gas, securities, and general business and commercial litigation. The firm has also added S. Brook Bell, a 2016 graduate of Texas A&M University School of Law and former public probate administrator for Tarrant County, who joins the estate planning and probate, tax and business section.


Taste Project has added Elizabeth McCarthy to its board of directors as the organization looks to expand in 2019. She has volunteered more than 500 hours at Taste Community Restaurant since joining the Taste Bud Team in March.


Peloton Land Solutions Inc. has promoted Erik Hinklin to associate principal and promoted three employees to associate.

Hinklin was hired by Peloton in 2014 as project manager. His experience includes single-family, multi-family, office/retail, light industrial, institutional/cultural, and higher education projects.

David Kalhoefer, Jordan Kaylor and Tanya Warbritton have been promoted to associates.


Pier 1 Imports Inc. has appointed Robert Bostrom as executive vice president, chief legal and compliance officer and corporate secretary. He succeeds Michael Carter, who retired in September. Bostrom has nearly 40 years of legal and corporate governance experience, including more than 16 years at publicly traded companies in the retail and retail financial services sectors.

Send newsmakers to Robert Francis at