Newsmakers: Industry veteran joins Texas Live! as COO

The Texas Rangers and The Cordish Companies have made their first key executive appointment to the Texas Live! team, naming Jim Watry as chief operating officer.

Watry has more than 20 years of experience in the dining, entertainment and hospitality industry, as well as a long history of community and philanthropic involvement, the group said in a news release.

“Jim’s experience and passion for community-driven initiatives make him the perfect candidate for this position,” Rob Matwick, executive vice president of business operations for the Texas Rangers, said in the release. “In our commitment to delivering a dynamic development to the City of Arlington that maximizes benefits and opportunities to local residents and businesses, we are thrilled to have Jim on board as chief operating officer to continue our commitment throughout the ongoing operations of the project.”

Watry previously was chief operating officer of Ballpark Village, a sports-anchored dining and entertainment district in St. Louis, Missouri, in partnership between The Cordish Companies and St. Louis Cardinals.

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“It is an honor to be named chief operating officer of Texas Live!,” Watry said in the release. “There is incredible momentum happening in the Arlington Entertainment District with Texas Live!, Live! by Loews and the Rangers’ new ballpark, Globe Life Field, all currently under construction. I am extremely proud to be joining the team at such an exciting time and look forward to the opening of Texas Live! later this year.”

Texas Live! is being built between the Texas Rangers’ Globe Life Park and the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium in the Arlington Entertainment District.

Fort Worth Chamber names

Montgomery as advocacy VP

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Public affairs executive Rebecca Montgomery, presently vice president of external affairs at the Fort Worth Transportation Authority, will join the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce April 9 as senior vice president of advocacy, the chamber announced March 21. She will lead one of the four pillars of the chamber’s new strategic plan called Fortify.

During her four years at the transit agency (recently rebranded as Trinity Metro), Montgomery was responsible for local, state and federal government relations, marketing, communications and community relations.

“As we look to take our advocacy efforts to new heights, the chamber will play a central role in bringing the region together to help identify issues and solve problems that will create greater prosperity for all in Fort Worth,” said Brandom Gengelbach, the chamber’s executive vice president of economic development.

“Rebecca brings established relationships and a wealth of experience with the Texas Legislature, Fort Worth City Council and other public partners to represent the interests of our stakeholders and help advocate for a stronger business climate,” he said in a news release.

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As head of advocacy, the release said, Montgomery’s goals will include developing and communicating annual public policy agendas, increasing business sector diversity on chamber advocacy committees, advocating on legislation and promoting Fort Worth as a driver of economic development policy discussions.

“This is an exciting time for Fort Worth and the North Texas region and I am excited to have the opportunity to join such a dynamic team to fulfill the vision of the chamber,” Montgomery said in the release.

“My role at Trinity Metro has prepared me for this new position because I have spent the last several years learning about essential issues that shape our community. I believe my experience in policy and advocacy will allow me to impact our community positively, and I cannot wait to get started in helping further the chamber’s mission of economic prosperity in Fort Worth.”

Previously, she was executive director of the USS Fort Worth Commissioning & Support Committee and spent 15 years at the Legislature in Austin as executive aide to Speaker of the House Tom Craddick (R-Midland) and as chief of staff for state Rep. John Smithee (R-Amarillo).


Fort Capital appoints two new directors

The Fort Worth-based real estate development and investment firm Fort Capital has appointed Patrick Pine as managing director of its multifamily division and Abby Osvog as marketing director, a news release announced.

“I’m thrilled to welcome such bright, ambitious talent to Fort Capital,” said Chris Powers, CEO and founder of Fort Capital. “Patrick’s experience is going to completely revamp the multifamily division, and Abby has brought a new contagious energy to the team. Fort Capital is posed to do great things in 2018, and the expansion of our team is going to really pour gas on that fire.”

Pine will focus on acquiring and repositioning multifamily portfolios, as well as developing ground-up multifamily and mixed-use developments.

A Fort Worth native, Pine received a bachelor’s degree in finance from Texas Christian University in 2006 and has almost a dozen years of experience.

As director of marketing, Osvog will lead all marketing efforts from brand management and strategy, content development and social media to website management, property marketing and public relations.

Osvog is also a TCU alum, having received her bachelor’s degree in marketing and entrepreneurial management in 2011.

Engineering firm adds 3

to aviation team in DFW

Burns & McDonnell is strengthening its aviation team in Dallas-Fort Worth, bringing in experienced professionals to provide integrated planning, design and project delivery services for airlines, airports and other clients in the industry.

“The Dallas-Fort Worth area is a key location for our airline and airport clients. This is another way that we show our commitment to our aviation clients, having experienced aviation professionals closer to them,” said Bret Pilney, vice president and leader of the engineering firm’s Aviation Group. “We focus on being a valued partner and trusted adviser, integrating with our aviation clients’ leadership and staff. These additions make our strong team in Dallas-Fort Worth even stronger.”

Those joining the team in Dallas-Fort Worth are veteran project managers Jane Ahrens and Denny Ellison and project and business development manager Stu Garrett.

Ahrens has more than two decades of experience as an architect, sustainability consultant and program manager. She was the deputy program manager for the new $1 billion, 35-gate North Terminal at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport and as the LEED project manager for the $1.4 billion Maynard H. Jackson International Terminal at Atlanta-Hartsfield International Airport. She has taught courses in architecture and sustainability at the University of Texas at Arlington and at Southern Methodist University. Ahrens was a founding board member of the Dallas chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council and serves on the board of the Airport Consultants Council.

Ellison has two decades of experience in construction, construction management and project management, including four years as a senior manager on facility projects for an airline with major operations in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and across the country.

Garrett has more than three decades of experience, including nearly two decades working with aviation clients. In 2015, he joined Burns & McDonnell at its world headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri, to plan, design and implement information technology systems for airlines, airports and other aviation clients across the country. His work in special systems design and IT consulting enables airports to turn their vast data — in fueling, cargo, passenger processing, maintenance and other sectors — into actionable intelligence, enhancing security, efficiency, convenience and cost savings.

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