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Newsmakers: New leader at Fort Worth BOKA Powell office

Advertising, Marketing & Public Relations Balcom Agency has hired Josh Wright as an interactive developer. Prior to joining Balcom, Wright worked as an entrepreneurial developer and consultant to businesses across the Dallas-Fort Worth area. He also has been a Web designer at Santander Consumer USA Inc., where he worked on internal and client portals for such companies as Maserati and Chrysler. Prior to Santander, he was a marketing and technology specialist at Puryear Custom Pools and Web developer at Steadfast Creative.

Architecture Mark H. Dabney has been hired by Dallas-based architecture and design firm BOKA Powell as associate principal. He will lead the firm’s Fort Worth practice. Dabney has more than 25 years of architecture and interior design experience. His expertise includes notable projects such as Tarrant County College District’s Trinity River East Campus, the Museum of Living Art at the Fort Worth Zoo, Phases II and III of the West 7th Development and Sundance Square Plaza. He most recently was director of PBK’s Fort Worth office. He is president of the Leadership Fort Worth board of directors and is a past president of the Fort Worth Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. Dabney was the 2004 recipient of the Texas Society of Architects’ William Caudill Award for Young Professional Achievement and was named 1998 Young Professional of the Year by the Fort Worth Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

Banking & Finance Catherine Piwoni has been appointed the first chief financial officer at Cathedral Capital Inc. Piwoni has extensive experience in financial management and consulting in a variety of industries, including marine manufacturing, veterinary medicine, construction, hospitality, and private trusts and estate management. She previously ran an accounting consulting firm. ViewPoint Bank hired Rusty Anderson as its new Tarrant County market president. He will be responsible for the bank’s corporate lending in the Fort Worth market. Anderson has 25 years of commercial banking experience. Most recently he was senior vice president and senior relationship manager for the corporate banking group at Bank of Texas, serving the Tarrant County market. Much of his commercial banking experience was spent in relationship management and business development roles at Wells Fargo and JP Morgan Chase. Cendera Funding has promoted Cristy Utleyto chief compliance officer. She will oversee all aspects of regulatory compliance, licensing and examinations and will ensure adherence to industry best practices for the company’s 21 branch locations and 65 originators. Utley joined Cendera in 2003. Her background includes mortgage processing, closing, funding, investor relations, post-closing warehouse line management and most recently, senior compliance manager.

Boards & Organizations The Fort Worth City Council named Sloan Harris, VLK principal, as one of the new commissioners on the Fort Worth Art Commission. Harris joins Jennifer Casler Price, curator of Asian and non-Western art at the Kimbell Art Museum, and Renita Garrett Smith, community representative, as a new or returning commissioner. Ed McGuire, president of Bob Moore Construction, has been appointed chairman of the American Concrete Institute C650-Tilt-Up Constructor Certification Committee.

Construction & Engineering New hires at Barron, Stark & Swift Consulting Engineers LP are Curtis Yarger – photo – and Jordan Bishop. Yarger has 35 years of experience in land surveying and will serve as vice president of the survey division, focusing on the oil and gas industry, including large-scale pipeline projects and well platting. Bishop rejoins the design team as project manager with an emphasis in residential subdivisions and commercial site plan development.

Honors & Awards Lee Davidson, past president of Allied Electronics, is the 2014 recipient of the Gail S. Carter Award, given annually by the Electronic Component Industry Association to an individual who has made significant contributions to the industry, has taken an active role in ECIA and civic affairs, and is recognized by the industry as a leader. Davidson is retiring after 42 years in the electronics components industry. NBC 5/KXAS-TV video journalist Chris Van Horne won top honors in the 12th annual Lone Star Emmy Awards for his coverage of Fort Worth news. The Lone Star Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences honored him in the video journalist category for an entry titled “Chris Van Horne: Covering Fort Worth.” He joined NBC 5 in 2011 after reporting in California’s Central Valley. Texas A&M University recognized Schwarz-Hanson Architects as a member of the 2014 Aggie 100, honoring the fastest-growing companies in the world that are owned or operated by former Texas A&M students. Schwarz-Hanson was ranked No. 59. This is the fourth time the company has been ranked, following 2006, 2007 and 2010. Twenty students from the Paschal High School Jazz Ensemble at the Fort Worth Independent School District’s Paschal High School have been invited to perform at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland in July. The group will perform with jazz trumpeter and Paschal alumnus John Thomas, professor of jazz studies at the University of Southern California. Recently, 11 jazz band students from Paschal were named to the All-Region Jazz Band in Texas. Paschal had more students make the All-Region Jazz Band than any other school in its region. USAA and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes program has ranked Fort Worth No. 9 on the 2014 list of “Best Places for Veterans: Mid-Career.” Houston earned the No. 1 spot on the list; Austin was No. 5.

Nonprofit Organizations YWCA Fort Worth & Tarrant County named Kimberly Clarke as director of Family Strengthening Services. Clarke has 23 years of experience in nonprofits, most recently as assistant executive director and then as interim executive director at Dental Health Arlington. Previously, Clarke spent 17 years with the Gladney Center for Adoption, counseling adoptive and birth parents. Her community involvement includes the Arlington Chamber of Commerce, Women’s Alliance, Leadership Arlington, Texas Oral Health Coalition and Children’s Oral Health Coalition.

Real Estate The LaSalle Group Inc., owner and operator of 36 Autumn Leaves senior living communities across the country including seven in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, has appointed Christopher Rio as executive vice president-management. He will lead the company’s management division, Constant Care Family Management, as its president. Rio has more than 25 years of experience at the executive level, including 12 years in senior living. He joined The LaSalle Group from Senior Living Communities in Charlotte, N.C., where he was executive vice president of operations. Rio also served as executive vice president of operations for Southern Assisted Living Inc.’s 47-community portfolio. His corporate, multi-site operations and property development experience includes leadership roles in the health care services, hospitality, commercial real estate and restaurant sectors.

Send newsmakers to Betty Dillard at

Pettys named concertmaster for Arlington and Las Colinas orchestras Symphony Arlington and the Las Colinas Symphony Orchestra appointed musical leader and educator Delmar Pettys as concertmaster. Pettys is recognized for his position as principal second violin of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra from 1986-2009 and for countless local concerts, events and recordings outside of the DSO. He earned degrees from The Juilliard School in New York, where he studied with Oscar Shumsky and Joseph Fuchs, and trained in chamber music with the Juilliard String Quartet. He was with the Lenox String Quartet for 10 years, leading the ensemble on tours and recordings. Pettys founded the Evansville Chamber Orchestra, was artistic director of the Evansville Chamber Players and was a member of The Chicago Ensemble. Previous orchestral experience includes the Casals Festival Orchestra (1965), concertmaster of the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra-Indiana (1977-1996), acting concertmaster of the San Francisco Symphony (1976-1977) and acting concertmaster of the Dallas Opera (2009-2010). He was a charter member, concertmaster and frequent soloist with the Music in the Mountains Festival in Durango, Colo. He has been concertmaster of the Eugene Oregon Opera since 2012. Between 1969 and 2000, Pettys taught at Grinnell College, State University of New York-Binghamton, University of Evansville, University of North Texas, Texas Christian University and Baylor University.  

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Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

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