Newsmakers: New leader at First National Bank


Brice Komatsu – has joined Fort Worth based Cornerstone Projects Group as senior project manager. He has a very diverse background and experience in the Construction and Development Industry in Fort Worth, partnering with the commercial, municipal, retail, higher education and private markets.


First National Bank has added Barry Kromann as Fort Worth Market President of the new commercial lending office in Fort Worth. Kromann has over 32 years of experience in the Tarrant County market and Fort Worth area. He most recently served as Fort Worth Area President at Independent Bank and previously served as executive vice president at Texas Capital Bank, and vice president/Corporate Banking at Bank One.

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Kromann graduated summa cum laude with a BBA of Finance from Texas Tech University.

Kromann and his wife of over 32 years, Vaughna, have three children and reside in Fort Worth. He has been honored by the Fort Worth Business Press in 40 Under 40 and has served in multiple leadership roles of several local nonprofit organizations including The Parenting Center, United Way, American Heart Association, Tarrant County Banker’s Association and Doxology Bible Church. He is currently serving on the Boards of Directors of ACH Child and Family Services and World Link Ministries.

In addition to the new Fort Worth location, First National Bank has banking centers in Southlake and Wichita Falls, and mortgage offices across North Texas in Southlake, Plano, Mansfield, Wichita Falls and Brownwood. Banking industry recognition includes the Independent Bankers Association of Texas Gold Award in Marketing in 2019


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Basic Energy Services Inc. on Dec. 20 announced the appointment of Keith L. Schilling as president, CEO and director, effective Jan. 2, 2020.

Schilling has over two decades of experience in senior managerial positions with major energy services companies. Schilling is replacing T.M. “Roe” Patterson in connection with his voluntary resignation.


The multi-disciplinary engineering, land surveying, and landscape architecture firm of Baird, Hampton & Brown recently announced the promotion of eight employees, and the hiring of a structural engineer.

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Austin Baird, PE, Senior Civil Engineer, was promoted to Principal to further BHB’s strategic vision, while strengthening client and business relationships. He has been at BHB for 17 years and has expertise in municipal infrastructure, water resources, environmental engineering, and transportation, the company said in a news release.

Senior Mechanical Designer Sean Rath, Senior Survey Technician Dave Horsburgh and Senior Civil Engineer Edward Chadwick, PE, were promoted to BHB Associates along with Ana Garcia, CPA, Controller and HR Manager, who became an Associate earlier in 2019.

BHB also promoted Civil Engineer Tyler Scott, PE; Electrical Engineers Paul Morris, PE, and Mario Calzada, PE; and Land Surveyor Toby Stock, RPLS, to project managers.

The firm also announced the hiring of Ronald Ishmael, PE, a new Associate and BHB’s first structural engineer. Ishmael, with 13 years of industry experience, will work to strengthen BHB’s structural engineering sector in cohesion with the firm’s five other departments of mechanical/plumbing, electrical, and civil engineering; land surveying; and landscape architecture.


The founder of one of the great radio success stories of the Dallas-Fort Worth area, if not the country, announced his retirement on Jan. 6.

Mike Rhyner, AKA, The Old Grey Wolf, founder of 1310 The Ticket and host of the drivetime show, The Hardline, said in a video posted on social media that he is retiring.

The Ticket, a sports/guy talk radio station that has long been a leader in the highly-coveted 25-54 male demographic, was started by Rhyner 26 years ago. Rhyner put together the broadcast teams, most of whom remain with the station.

“I loved everything about the radio station, I loved the work of the job, I loved being on the air, I loved hanging out with the guys, all the road trips with the guys … all those things that we’ve done have been the most meaningful experience that I have ever had, and I’ll miss it terribly, no doubt,” Rhyner said in the video posted to social media.

He said the decision to leave was entirely up to him. Rhyner said he had no immediate plans, but that he would consider other opportunities.

Rhyner, a 1981 graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington with a degree in radio broadcasting, started his career in radio broadcasting in 1979 as a news intern at KZEW-FM, another legendary local station, that once defined the area rock scene. Rhyner was named to ESPN’s list of Sports Radio Personalities of the Year in 1997, 1998 and 2003. He was inducted into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame in 2014 and the Dallas Press Club Legends in 2016.

Though he grew up and spent most of his time in Dallas, he always had great affection for, in his words, “Crazy Fort Worth.” A longtime area musician, as well as broadcaster, Rhyner has long led the Tom Petty tribute band, Petty Theft.

Longtime area media reporter Ed Bark, whose Uncle Barky website has chronicled the comings and goings and ups and downs of local media, announced Jan. 7, he is turning out the lights.

“After 40 yrs of covering TV, I’m retiring, Bark said in a Twitter post.


American Airlines announced Jan. 6 that Kenneth Charles has been named the airline’s Chief Inclusion and Diversity Officer.

In this new role, Charles will lead American’s global inclusion and diversity strategies, the company said in a news release, including establishing the company’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to ensure best practices are implemented across all aspects of American’s people and business processes.

Charles joins American from U.S. Bank, where he was Senior Vice President of Enterprise Talent, and brings more than 30 years of private sector experience, including a decade of inclusion and diversity leadership. He served as Vice President for Global Inclusion and Staffing and Chief Diversity Officer at General Mills.

In addition, Charles has received the Ted Childs Life Work Excellence Award from Working Mother magazine, only the second male to receive the honor. Previously, he was listed as one of the Top Executives in Diversity by Black Enterprise and served on the Human Rights Campaign Business Advisory Council.

Charles holds a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Kansas and a bachelor’s degree from Duquesne University.

American Airlines has promoted Kirk Hotelling – been promoted to vice president of Corporate Real Estate. He succeeds Tim Skipworth, who announced his retirement from the airline earlier this year.

In his new role, Hotelling will oversee relationships with Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and 265 non-hub airports. He will continue to oversee redevelopment of American’s campus in Fort Worth and lead American’s extensive ongoing construction projects at airports around the system. Hotelling will report to Steve Johnson, executive vice president of Corporate Affairs.

Hotelling began his career with US Airways in November 2000.

Most recently, he served as managing director of Campus Properties and Airport Affairs, a role in which he led both the design and negotiations for the re-imagination of American’s terminal space at LAX and the redevelopment of American’s 300-acre campus named for the airline’s retired Chairman and CEO, Robert Crandall.

Currently home to more than 12,000 team members, the campus will soon include a hotel and hospitality complex to welcome visiting team members from across the system for training sessions and meetings.

A native of northwestern Ohio, Hotelling graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1988. He served as an officer in the United States Army, where he was stationed in Fort Benning, Georgia, and Berlin. He served in the Middle East during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.


Lighthouse for the Blind of Fort Worth has hired Michael Light to be in charge of business development for the Lighthouse Optical Laboratory Services.

His experience spans more than 26 years in all areas of the optical industry. He is certified by both the American Board of Opticianry and National Contact Lens Examiners. Light, along with his wife and two children, relocated to Texas from San Diego in 2011.

Founded in 1935, Lighthouse for the Blind of Fort Worth has made a life-changing difference in the lives of individuals who are significantly visually impaired by providing skills enhancement, training and employment that empowers them to achieve their highest level of personal, economic self-sufficiency, the news release said.

The Hope Center 4 Autism has announced that Rebecca Galindo-Castro has joined its board of directors. Galindo-Castro is a native of Fort Worth and a mother of three.

The Jordan Elizabeth Harris Foundation, which invests in depression research and partners with other organizations to provide suicide prevention training and resources, has added two members to its board of directors.

The new members are Tina Vance, an assistant vice president in Private Trust with Frost Bank in Fort Worth, and Ray Casas, manager of programs and community outreach for the Texas Rangers Baseball Club.

The Jordan Elizabeth Harris Foundation was created in honor of Jordan Harris, who took her own life in 2012, and focuses on research and awareness related to depression and suicide.


The Wall Street Journal named two Kimbell Art Museum projects in its top 10 U.S. art exhibitions of 2019.

Critic Karen Wilkin, in “The Best Art of 2019: Where Knowledge and Beauty Meet,” listed Renoir: The Body, The Senses and Monet: The Late Years as two of the most striking and compelling exhibitions of the year.

Kimbell deputy director George Shackelford organized the Monet exhibition and joined Esther Bell, the Robert and Martha Bermann Lipp Senior Curator at the Clark Art Institute, as co-curator of the centennial celebration of Renoir.

Upon closing, Monet: The Late Years became the highest-attended exhibition at the Kimbell in more than two decades.

Renoir: The Body, The Senses is on view through Jan. 26, 2020, in the Kimbell Art Museum’s Renzo Piano Pavilion.

Four news professionals – Bob Dillard, who grew up in Fort Worth, H. Deskins “Deck” Wells, George McElroy and Cyndy Slovak-Barton – will be inducted into the Texas Newspaper Foundation Hall of Fame on Jan. 17.

A Tyler native, Dillard moved with his family to Corpus Christi and then to Fort Worth. He worked on the Eastern Hills High School student newspaper until he graduated in 1963. After graduation Dillard worked for T&P Railroad in Fort Worth and left after enrolling at Baylor University in Waco, where he worked as a plumber’s assistant.

Dillard continued his education at the University of Texas at Arlington, where he served as sports editor and later as managing editor of The Shorthorn. In 1973 Dillard met and married Christi Miles.

In 1976, after graduation from UT-Arlington, the Dillards bought a share of the Alpine Avalanche and settled in Fort Davis. Dillard operated and co-edited the Alpine Avalanche until 1990 and founded or purchased several other newspapers in the area.

Dillard edited the Jeff Davis County Mountain Dispatch and the Martin County Messenger until he died July 20, 2019, in a Lubbock hospital. He was 74.