Newsmakers: Liesl Gray Manone joins DRC Solutions.


Dana Fike has joined Balcom Agency as administrative assistant. For the last three years, Fike worked as a receptionist at The Automotive Marketing Group in Baton Rouge.


Tony Prenger (Bridge Street) and Marvin Walters (Eagle Ranch) have been promoted to branch presidents for Pinnacle Bank. Carolann Morris and Charles Ivory have joined Pinnacle Bank Place as vice presidents-lending.

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“I am thrilled to be a part of the East Fort Worth community and am grateful for the opportunity given by the bank’s leaders to help build the businesses and neighborhoods,” Prenger said.

Prenger graduated with a bachelor’s degree in accounting with emphases in biology and Spanish from the University of Wyoming in 2009. He is on the Fort Worth Film Commission, is a board member of Trinity Habitat for Humanity and sits on the Cliburn 180s Young Professionals board. He has worked eight years for Pinnacle Bank in Keene and Fort Worth.

Walters attended Oklahoma State University. He completed the Texas Bankers Association Real Estate and Commercial Lending schools and the Management Development Program as well as the Appraisal Institute’s residential and commercial appraisal training.

Morris manages a portfolio of all types of loans and depository accounts. She is responsible for prospecting new customers and cross-selling banking services. She most recently was a vice president with Inwood National Bank.

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Ivory joined Pinnacle after five years with Southwest Bank. He received an MBA from Texas Christian University.

Simmons, which announced the completion of Southwest Bank’s merger in February, has named two new executives in North Texas. Garlon Ebanks will be senior vice president and trust portfolio manager at Simmons Bank in Dallas, and Carter Harbuck will be financial adviser in the Dallas and Fort Worth areas for Simmons First Investment Group, a broker-dealer subsidiary of Simmons.


ProParks Waterpark Holdings has hired Jody Kneupper as managing director for Hawaiian Falls Waterparks. Kneupper will lead the five Texas waterparks in The Colony, Garland, Mansfield, Roanoke and Waco.

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Tarrant County Commissioner Gary Fickes is the new chairman of the Regional Transportation Council after the 44-member transportation policymaking body elected him June 14. Fickes replaces Cedar Hill Mayor Rob Franke, who led the council for the past year.

Denton County Commissioner Andy Eads will serve as vice chairman, while Johnson County Judge Roger Harmon handles the duties of secretary. The new officers will serve through June 2019.


Jeff Kersey, a senior information technology tech support analyst with the City of Fort Worth, received the Best of Texas Award for Demonstrated Excellence in Project Management from the Center for Digital Government.

Kersey managed a large network infrastructure upgrade project for data and telephony services for more than 6,000 city employees and countless numbers of patrons. This project, split into three smaller projects that ran concurrently, succeeded in all upgrades being done with little to no impact to users. Through his leadership ability, the team completed each project ahead of schedule while staying under budget.


Steven L. Simmons, DO, has joined the Tarrant County Hospital District board of managers.

Simmons is in private practice for interventional sports medicine and pain management. He received his bachelor’s degree in biomedical science from Texas A&M University and completed his doctor of osteopathic medicine from the University of North Texas Health Science Center’s Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine.

He completed his family medicine residency program as well as a one-year sports medicine/pain medicine fellowship at John Peter Smith Hospital. During his residency, Simmons was named Intern of the Year and received the House Staff President’s Award.

He served in the U.S. Army for nine years as a Special Forces medical sergeant.


USI Southwest has opened an office in downtown Fort Worth. The local team includes Fort Worth natives Brandon Robinson, vice president, employee benefits consultant; Tim Miller, vice president, employee benefits consultant; and Steve Barnett, senior vice president and property and casualty consultant.


Liesl Gray Manone has been named director of communication and development for DRC Solutions. Manone will lead public relations and funding efforts for the agency, which works to end homelessness in Fort Worth.

Manone grew up in Crowley and earned her bachelor’s degree in radio/television/film from the University of Texas at Austin. A 20-year veteran of the nonprofit community in North Texas, Manone has served with such organizations as KERA 13, Girl Scouts and the Arlington Life Shelter. From 2013 to 2016, she was the director of Don’t Forget to Feed Me Pet Food Bank, leading the organization’s exponential growth and earning the agency numerous accolades.


Chelsey Lamar has been named area director of marketing at North East Mall, University Park Village and Firewheel Town Center, the malls’ owner, Simon, announced.

Send newsmakers to Robert Francis at