Newsmakers: Fort Worth entrepreneur wins award

Fort Worth’s Austin Underwood has received one of the Lex Frieden Employment Awards from the Office of the Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities. Named for Texas disability rights champion Lex Frieden, the awards are given to Texans who have displayed a commitment to empowering their employees, co-workers and fellow Texans with disabilities.

Underwood, a young man with Down syndrome and a desire to be a chef, eventually opened his own restaurant, selling Underdawg Hot Dogs in his Traveling Dawgmobile.

Other winners of the 2018 awards are: Laura Warren of Austin, founder and executive director of Parent to Parent — The Governor’s Trophy; WinCo Foods of Denton — Large Employer; Axium Solar of Plano — Medium Employer; Walgreens Store #6753 in El Paso — Small Employer; Hugs Café in McKinney — Nonprofit Employer; and The University of Texas at Arlington’s Disability Programs — Martha Arbuckle Award.


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Balcom Agency has hired Hilary Rattikin as the agency’s newest multimedia designer.


Houston-based Dennard Lascar Investor Relations, a provider of advanced investor relations counsel and analytical services, announced that Sandy Martin has joined the firm as managing director and has opened an office in Fort Worth


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Sundt Construction Inc. has added Brent Weckar and Jae Ahn to the company’s Building Group, Texas District. Weckar has over 18 years of experience in the construction industry. He will be senior project manager for the Arlington Southeast Recreation Center project. Ahn will join a project in Denton as senior project engineer.

Amber Simonson has also joined the Building Group’s Texas Distric. She will be based in the Fort Worth office and serve as the manager for a project in Denton.


Bourland, Wall & Wenzel has added associate attorney Elizabeth “Liz” Feeney. She graduated with distinction from the Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law. Her practice focuses primarily on employment litigation and transactional employment law matters.

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Send newsmakers to Robert Francis at