Newsmakers: Near Southside honors businesses, individuals

Community leader and namesake for the Kline Watts Award, Joan Kline, left, presents an award for outstanding leadership to Fort Worth City Councilmember Ann Zadeh.

Near Southside Inc. presented its annual awards to a number of individuals and businesses at the 2018 Near Southside Shindig.

Community Legacy Award – Paul Paine, Near Southside Inc. president since 2005.

Most Valuable Partner Award – The Night Stripers (Bryan McKendry, Bernie Scheffler, Paul Allen, Margo Allen, Jonathan McMillan and Lisa McMillan). The Night Stripers transformed South Main Street into a complete street and vibrant public space at the 2010 ArtsGoggle, setting the stage for an official restriping six months later, and for South Main’s complete reconstruction, which was completed in 2017.

Most Valuable Partner Award – Scott Rule. The JPS Health executive provided advocacy and assistance with initiatives large and small, from the complete reconstruction of South Main Street and the creation of a Near Southside Medical Innovation District to many hours of service volunteering at community events.

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Kline-Watts Award for Development Excellence – Shinjuku Station and Cannon Chinese Kitchen, Casey Kha, Jerry Ho and Mary Ho.

Kline-Watts Award for Pioneering Endeavor – Stir Crazy Baked Goods. This company employed boundless energy and selfless work to create tightknit communities in the South Main and Magnolia urban villages.

Kline-Watts Award for Outstanding Leadership – Fort Worth City Councilmember Ann Zadeh, who represents District 9. She was honored for her dedication and support of Near Southside efforts to cultivate community and create special places, and her consistent advocacy for important projects and policies benefiting the district.

Kline-Watts Award for Cultural Contribution – Gracey Tune. Since 1992, Tune has served as founder and director of Arts Fifth Avenue, producing a rich assortment of performance and educational programs for thousands of Near Southside residents and visitors.

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Kline-Watts Award for Historic Preservation – Ralph Watterson. The owner of Old Home Supply, Watterson has preserved and enhanced the architectural heritage of Historic Fairmount and the greater Near Southside and has inspired and equipped hundreds of neighbors to do the same.

Bob Hampton, chairman of the board, 2016-2017. Hampton’s leadership helped advance the organization’s most significant initiatives.


Frisco-based Texas Republic Bank is planning to expand west to Fort Worth and has hired a banker with local ties to lead the effort. It has named Peter G. Bennis as president for the Fort Worth market.

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Bennis was previously president and CEO of Pinnacle Bank Texas. A 34-year banking veteran, he is a board member of Independent Bankers Association of Texas and the Brazos River Authority.

Dale Duboskas joined Texas Republic Bank in May as president for the Dallas market. Duboskas has spent the last 15 years in Texas banking institutions, including an eight-year stint as chief lending officer for Origin Bank, Dallas.

Frost Bank Tarrant County has promoted Konnie Darrow to senior vice president, personal trust, downtown Fort Worth, and Lauren East has been promoted to vice president, personal trust, downtown Fort Worth.


Clark Sykes has been named director of preconstruction services for SEDALCO Inc.


The board of directors for The Ben E. Keith Co. elected two veteran company executives to the company’s top leadership positions.

On July 1, John Howard Hallam will become CEO, succeeding Robert Hallam, and Robert Hallam Jr. will become president and chief operating officer. Robert Hallam will continue as chairman of the board and Howard Hallam will continue as board vice chairman.

John H. Hallam has worked for Ben E. Keith for over 28 years, the last five as president and chief operating officer. During his career, he has held a wide range of positions in the Beverage, Food and Corporate Divisions. He has a bachelor’s degree from Tulane University and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Texas.

“I am honored to follow in Robert Hallam’s footsteps and look forward to leading the finest team in food service and beverage distribution,” said John H. Hallam. “Robert and I are proud of our company’s 112-year legacy and are eager to build on it as we continue our commitment to the growth and success of our customers, our industry, our partners, and our employees.”

Robert Hallam Jr. has been with the company for 24 years, most recently as executive vice president, and has held key leadership roles across all company divisions. He holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in business administration from Southern Methodist University.


Gov. Greg Abbott has appointed Donald “Donnie” Lewis to the Texas State Board of Pharmacy for a term set to expire on Aug. 31, 2019, and Rick Fernandez, Daniel Guerrero, Lori Henke and Julie Spier for terms set to expire on Aug. 31, 2023. Fernandez of Northlake is a health care director at Walgreens, overseeing more than 550 pharmacy locations in Texas, Oklahoma and southern New Mexico. He is a member of the American Pharmacists Association and the Texas Pharmacy Association.


Sara Allen, application administrator in Sundt’s Building Group–Texas District, received the Achiever Award from the Fort Worth Admin Award program on May 17. Allen oversees administrative personnel on projects in the region. The Achiever Award recognizes an administrative professional who has executed a significant project that has had a positive, company-wide impact and who solves challenging problems through resourcefulness, tenacity and perseverance.

Renee Baker Arrington, senior vice president and director of Pearson Partners International, has received one of the highest-level awards in the executive search profession. She has received the AESC Commitment to the Community Award for leadership in executive search combined with a strong commitment to community service.


Matthew Smith has been promoted to an assistant vice president and sales executive in Roach Howard Smith & Barton’s Fort Worth office. He specializes in the auto, nonprofit, real estate and small-business industries.


Haynes and Boone counsel Bill Greenhill has been elected chairman of the board of directors of the Community College Association of Texas Trustees, an organization that represents the trustees and regents of the 50 community colleges in Texas.

The organization is the collective voice representing the community college trustees and regents in Texas and advocates for community colleges and provides professional development for Texas trustees and regents. Greenhill will chair the board chair June 2020. He also is a trustee of Tarrant County College.


Euless-based HM Dunn AeroSystems Inc., a manufacturer of aircraft parts and assembly for the commercial aerospace and defense markets, has appointed Philip Anderson as the company’s CEO. Anderson succeeds Phil Milazzo as he transitions to the company’s board of directors.

Send newsmakers to Robert Francis at