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Newsmakers: JPS neurosurgeon reappointed to state advisory panel on stroke

Gov. Greg Abbott has reappointed Dr. George Cravens, chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery at John Peter Smith Hospital, to the Governor’s EMS and Trauma Advisory Council’s Stroke Committee, to serve a three-year term expiring Dec. 31, 2020. The Stroke Committee provides professional advice and recommendations to the EMS Regulatory and EMS/Trauma Systems programs statewide. Cravens has been a member of the Texas GETAC Stroke Committee since 2012.

Cravens led JPS’s Comprehensive Stroke Center process, resulting in JPS’s state certification in 2016. JPS, Tarrant County’s public hospital located in Fort Worth, is one of 23 hospitals in the state designated to provide the highest quality emergency medical care for stroke patients.

“As early as the 1980s, we identified the need to bring specialists in neurological diseases together to support primary care physicians as they cared for their patients,” said Cravens. “The diagnosis and treatment of strokes as well as brain tumors and other neurological disorders is extremely complicated.”

As a longtime member of the stroke committee, Cravens has been part of the Texas GETAC’s state initiative to create and develop a state-wide stroke emergency transport plan and stroke facility criteria program. As part of this initiative, Texas has created a multi-level stroke center certification program with The Joint Commission, Der Norte Veritas and the Texas EMS Trauma & Acute Care Foundation. Comprehensive Stroke Center designation is the highest level of stroke care (Level 1).

The GETAC Stroke Committee has developed treatment and rapid transport protocols and local EMS personnel education programs to construct an emergency treatment system in Texas. These protocols and programs allow stroke victims to be quickly identified, transported to and treated in appropriate treatment facilities.

Cravens is a contributing author in internationally renowned surgeon M.G. Yasargil’s Microneurosurgery, Volumes 1-4. Notably, Cravens offers his expertise on the surgical approaches to inaccessible brain tumors in Clinical Neurosurgery, Vol. 34. He is also the author and research investigator for numerous published articles on trauma head injuries and stroke treatments.


Kate Lattimore Norris is now Pavlik and Associates’ director of community engagement. With nearly a decade of experience at Pavlik, Norris has direct involvement in many of the firm’s public and private sector accounts and spearheads its brand research and public engagement activities. She is pursuing a doctorate in public and urban administration at the University of Texas at Arlington.

Rachel Greggis joins Pavlik as the firm’s new public relations representative. She has over 10 years’ experience in the broadcast industry. She was a morning TV news producer for the nationally syndicated news show Morning Dose and was a broadcast news producer in Connecticut for eight years, writing and creating local news content for several TV stations.

GCG Marketing has promoted Rolando Guerrero to senior art director, Marilyn Bergès to art director and Hannah Byrom to associate account executive.

In the creative department, Guerrero and Bergès will lead art direction for. In account services, Byrom will expand on her account services job, including managing day-to-day communication and projects.

Seth Owens has joined Balcom Agency in the new position of digital insights director. He will be responsible for providing solutions to drive digital performance for Balcom’s client base, from Kubota Tractor Corp. to Cavender’s and Mrs Baird’s Bread.


Whitley Penn has added Clint Crane, Camron Harris, Robert Metz, Brett Murphy, Elizabeth Pettijohn and Justin Roberts as partners at the firm.


Frank St. John has been named executive vice president of Lockheed Martin’s Missiles and Fire Control (MFC) business area, which is based in Grand Prairie.

St. John, 51, joined Lockheed Martin more than 30 years ago and has held a number of leadership positions, most recently as executive vice president and deputy for MFC programs.


The Hispanic Wellness Coalition has named Anelia Banda as executive director. The coalition was created as the result of several health, business and community leaders wishing to address this need and introduce the Hispanic community to preventive measures, services and resources.


David Claflin has joined The Blum Firm in its Austin office. Claflin has practiced estate planning and probate law in Austin for over 20 years. He is a founding director of the Austin Center for Attitudinal Healing, a past president of the Central Texas Estate Planning Council, a past director of the Financial Planning Association of Austin and a past president of the Austin Chapter of the Society of Former FBI Agents.

Harris, Finley & Bogle PC added Jason G. Breisch, formerly of Beckmen Law PC and Orange Energy Corp., to the firm’s oil and gas practice and Bryan J. May, formerly of Freeman Mills PC and Axia Land Services LLC, to it litigation practice. Breisch graduated from St. Mary’s University School of Law in 2007 and is admitted to practice in Texas, Utah, Oklahoma, and North Dakota. May graduated from Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law in 2012.

The firm also added Jonathan W. Lehrmann to its litigation practice and Keirsten B. Hamilton to transactional practices. Lehrmann graduated from the University of Texas School of Law in 2017. Hamilton graduated from Texas Tech University School of Law in 2017.


Brad Ramsey has been named president and general manager of TEGNA-owned WFAA in Dallas, replacing Michael Devlin, who previously announced his retirement. Devlin will remain at WFAA through early February. Ramsey is returning to TEGNA, where he previously was vice president of sales and president and general manager of WVEC in Norfolk. Most recently, Ramsey was vice president of business strategy for The Center for Sales Strategy, a sales performance consulting company.


Nancy A. Walsh, 57, becomes executive vice president and chief financial officer of Pier 1 Imports Inc., effective Jan. 25. Walsh will be responsible for financial operations and accounting, including financial reporting, planning and analysis, treasury, tax and investor relations. Darla D. Ramirez will step down as interim chief financial officer and will continue as the company’s principal accounting officer and vice president-controller of the company’s operating subsidiaries.

Walsh joins Pier 1 Imports from The Bon-Ton Stores Inc., where she was executive vice president and chief financial officer since 2015. Previously, she spent 14 years in the finance organization at Tapestry Inc., formerly Coach Inc. Earlier in her career, Walsh held positions in finance and treasury with Viacom Inc. and Timberland Co. She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of New Hampshire-Durham and an MBA from Northeastern University.

Send newsmakers to Robert Francis at

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