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Newsmakers Oct. 27, 2014

Advertising, Marketing & Public Relations OCG PR named Raquel Daniels its chief strategy officer, Justin Adu as art director and Robert Cox to its digital team. Daniels joins the agency from a Dallas-based marketing and media agency, where she was most recently vice president of diversity and multicultural marketing. She has more than 15 years of experience creating strategic communications and media campaigns. Named one of Black Enterprise’s 2013 Top Women Executives in Marketing and Advertising, Daniels is credited with pioneering 150 strategic multicultural marketing programs for major brands, including Southwest Airlines and Blockbuster. Adu’s expertise has touched major corporate brands such as Pizza Hut, T-Mobile, Coca-Cola, 7-Eleven, Atlanta Hawks and CNN. Cox serves as the liaison between digital and public engagement to deliver strategies and tactics for the agency’s public sector clients. Before joining OCG PR, Cox served as the public information officer for Fort Worth’s mayor and city council.

Boards & Organizations The Texas Association for Home Care & Hospice board selected Helping Restore Ability CEO Vicki Niedermayer to its board.

Construction & Engineering New hires at DPR Construction’s Dallas-Fort Worth operations are Peter Read, Jeff Parsons, Dan Hansen and Roel Aguilar. Read, a North Texas business developer for more than 18 years, will work on business development in the D-FW area. Parsons, DPR’s new project executive, brings 23 years of experience in the construction industry, having worked on many high-profile projects such as the Perot Museum, the Gaylord Texan Resort, the Omni Dallas Convention Center Hotel and One Arts Plaza. Hansen, a long-time Fort Worth builder, joins DPR as a project executive focused on the Fort Worth market. He brings 21 years of health care construction experience to the DPR team. Aguilar, a seasoned preconstruction manager, joins DPR as a preconstruction manager. He has led preconstruction teams in the health care, hospitality, corporate office and life-science markets.

Education Texas Wesleyan University named James Lewis its new vice president of advancement. Lewis’ background in higher education development spans more than 25 years. Prior to his most recent role as executive vice president for development at Big Brothers Big Sisters in Irving, Lewis served as vice president for development at the University of Texas at Arlington from 2008 to 2014. Prior to UTA, Lewis led the development operations at Austin College for 13 years.

Energy Walter Dale joined Bosque Systems LLC to lead and grow the solutions team. Dale has more than 15 years of technical water treatment and executive experience. He served as the general manager in the Canadian Oil Sands for GE Water and Process and was the executive leading Halliburton’s water solutions business. Dale also has served as a registered lobbyist for sustainable development initiatives of water in the oil and gas industry.

Health Care The LaSalle Group Inc., a nationwide developer and owner of 36 Autumn Leaves communities across the country including seven in the D-FW Metroplex, appointed Brenda Abbott-Shultz – as vice president of health care. With more than 25 years of experience in senior living and senior care, Abbott-Shultz will participate in company-wide strategic planning to ensure the delivery of comprehensive and coordinated health care services. In addition, she will establish and direct the nursing model for the Autumn Leaves memory care communities, evaluate nursing procedures, and direct the development of health care policies and standards. Previously, she served as the chief excellence officer for Velacare and as vice president, customer experience, for Benchmark Assisted Living.

Honors & Awards Balcom Agency’s director of client services and media specialist Steve Cantrell was honored by Abilene Christian University with the Gutenberg Award, which recognizes ACU alumni with exceptional achievements in journalism and mass communications. Cantrell is one of only three individuals to receive the award this year, and the only one currently based in Texas. Fourteen Fort Worth Independent School District teachers have been chosen as the 2014-2015 Academic Chairs for Teaching Excellence. The selected teachers will be conferred with the title of Chair for Teaching Excellence for one year and receive a $5,000 honorarium. The campus of the winner will also receive a banner to be displayed in a prominent location. The honorees, their citation and the related sponsors are: Lockheed Martin Chair for Teaching Excellence in Elementary Math, Stephanie Marie Poe, Cesar Chavez Elementary School; Lockheed Martin Chair for Teaching Excellence in Elementary Science, Lester Sipma, George C. Clarke Elementary School; Angela D. Paulos Chair for Teaching Excellence in Visual Arts, David Orona, Manuel Jara Elementary School; Bayard H. Friedman Chair for Teaching Excellence in Performing Arts, Ramon Niño, North Side High School; Devon Energy Chair for Teaching Excellence in Secondary Science, Vanessa Adia, Benbrook Middle-High School; Sewell Lexus of Fort Worth Chair for Teaching Excellence in Humanities, Jennifer Andrews-Cox, R.L. Paschal High School; Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson LLP Chair for Teaching Excellence in Health & Physical Education, Laura Woerner, South Hills High School; RadioShack Chair for Teaching Excellence in Acquisition of Language, Brian Wooddell, Trimble Technical High School; Crescent Real Estate Chair for Teaching Excellence in Career and Technology Education, Rogelio Alfaro, Trimble Technical High School; Freese and Nichols Chair for Teaching Excellence in Secondary Mathematics, Sara Barnes, Applied Learning Academy; XTO Energy Chair for Teaching Excellence in Early Childhood Education, Todd Hepworth, Alice Carlson Applied Learning Center; Kroger Chair for Teaching Excellence in Special Education, Kierra Edgar, Boulevard Heights; Chase Chair for Teaching Excellence in Secondary English, Allyson Eaton, R.L. Paschal High School; and Outreach Communications Chair for Teaching Excellence in Elementary Reading, Kathy Petry, Morningside Elementary School.


Nonprofit Organizations Scott Polzin has been named executive director of The Stayton at Museum Way. Polzin brings more than 24 years of experience in the senior living field and extensive expertise in senior living management to his new role. Prior to joining The Stayton, Polzin worked for Greystone Communities as executive director at Aberdeen Heights, where he directed startup and licensure of the Continuing Care Retirement Community in Kirkwood, Mo. In that role, he received high resident satisfaction scores and was awarded Greystone outstanding performance awards for Highest Score in Hospitality, Leadership Development and Most Improved Financial Performance. Ludi Navarro joined Camp Fire First Texas as the vice president of the Group Services Division. She has 20 years of experience in education and nonprofit management, supporting children as a program director, elementary bilingual teacher and elementary school administrator. She will oversee the management and program direction for nine after-school programs in Tarrant and Parker counties and two summer day camps.

Radio & Television CBS 11 added Gilma Avalos and Lisa Villegas as the on-air team for the CBS 11 News Saturday Morning (8-9 a.m.) and CBS 11 News Sunday Morning (7-8 a.m.). News anchor Avalos was most recently a reporter for WTVJ-TV in Miami. Prior to that, she was an anchor/reporter for News 12 in the Bronx, N.Y. Meteorologist Villegas joined CBS 11 from KRGV-TV in Weslaco, Texas, where she was the weekday morning and noon meteorologist. Prior to that, she was the weekend morning and evening meteorologist at KLFY-TV in Lafayette, La.

Send newsmakers to Betty Dillard at

Freese and Nichols expands water resources services Fort Worth-based Freese and Nichols Inc. has enhanced and expanded its water resources-related capabilities across Texas and the Gulf Coast with the addition of six professionals to its environmental sciences group, who form the firm’s Coastal Planning and Restoration Team. – — The team – Juan Moya, Lisa Vitale, David Buzan, Andrew Labay, Tom Dixon and Cris Weber – offers coastal services, including coastal engineering and modeling; shoreline protection; fish and oyster habitat restoration; sediment management; program management; ecological function evaluation/monitoring; regulatory expertise; eco-geomorphological restoration; grant management; NEPA compliance; bird island restoration; Clean Water Act Section 316(b) compliance; and living shorelines zone. Moya is a senior geoscientist with more than 27 years of experience in geologic and environmental project management on projects involving coastal and terrestrial geomorphology, geosciences, feasibility studies, site assessment, NEPA regulatory consulting and hazard mitigation. Vitale, a marine biologist and project manager, has experience in assessing marine, estuarine and freshwater environments; identification of aquatic organisms; water quality monitoring and analysis; threatened and endangered species issues; the study of anthropogenic effects on aquatic ecosystems; document technical editing; and management of NEPA documents. Buzan is an aquatic ecologist and project manager with more than 36 years of experience working with streams, reservoirs and estuaries in Texas, including oyster habitat restoration. As Kills and Spills Team manager for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, he worked on two major oil spills that occurred in the Houston Ship Channel. Labay is a certified fisheries professional with more than 21 years of experience in environmental management with emphasis on Section 316(b) compliance. His experience also includes FERC hydropower licensing; management of cultural and historic resource investigations to meet Section 106 requirements; oil spill and pollution response; Aquatic Resource Relocation plans; mussel identification and relocation; aquatic weed and invasive species management; and fisheries management plans. Dixon, an ecologist and project manager, has more than 10 years of experience with emphasis on wildlife habitat management, coastal and wetland ecology, southeastern U.S. plant community ecology, predictive statistical modeling, and ecological processes and functions. Weber is a practicing coastal engineer with 15 years of experience as a project manager and engineer, field manager/field coordinator, numerical modeler and energy analyst for coastal engineering and other multidisciplinary consulting companies.  

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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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