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Newsmakers: Promotions, hires, moves

Banking & Financing

Weaver promoted Jackie Gonzalez to partner, Assurance Services, in its Fort Worth office. Gonzalez joined Weaver in 2004 and has 12 years of experience in performing and leading complex financial statement and compliance audits for governmental, nonprofit, retail and wholesale distributor industries. Gonzalez is a member of the AICPA, the TSCPA and its not-for-profit study group and the Fort Worth Chapter, GFOA, where she serves on its special review committee, and GFOAT. She is on the finance committee and board of directors for Presbyterian Night Shelter and is a member of Junior League of Fort Worth.

Money Matters, a Dallas-based wealth management firm, recently hired 10 advisers and one director of advisory services to offices throughout Texas, Arizona and California. Ben Newport joined the team in the Fort Worth office. Newport, a certified financial planner, worked previously at Northwestern Mutual. He served in the U.S. Air Force and is active in the National Guard.

Boards & Organizations

Julie Evans, executive director of Alliance For Children, has been named to the board for Children’s Advocacy Centers Texas. CAC Texas is the governing agency of all children’s advocacy centers in Texas. Evans became executive director of Alliance For Children in 2013. Prior to that she was associate director under founding Executive Director Nancy Hagan.

Fort Worth attorney Kara Rariden has been named to the board of Ciera Bank Fort Worth. She is a 2013 graduate of Leadership Fort Worth and has served on the boards of the Junior League of Fort Worth and Susan G. Komen Greater Fort Worth. She has chaired the 2011 Susan G. Komen Greater Fort Worth Race for the Cure and Lena Pope’s Sweethearts Dessert Fantasy.

Health Care

Plaza Medical Center of Fort Worth added interventional cardiologist Dr. Bruce Bowers to its structural heart program. Bowers is now performing transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedures at the center and seeing patients at the hospital’s heart valve clinic. Bowers is the medical director of invasive/noninvasive cardiology and co-medical director of The Dallas Valve Institute at Plaza’s sister HCA North Texas hospital, Medical City Dallas. He is the principal investigator for three TAVR clinical trials at Medical City Dallas. He is also the national director of interventional cardiology for HCA Healthcare, where he oversees the interventional cardiology programs at 130 hospitals across the country. Bowers has performed more than 700 minimally invasive valve replacements.

New hires at Maxim Management Group’s Weatherford Rehabilitation Hospital are Kasey Norman as chief executive officer and Jeff Smith as director of business development. Norman has been a nurse practitioner for more than 25 years, predominantly serving as a CEO for facilities specializing in rehab and long-term acute care. Smith also has more than 25 years of clinical experience, having been a registered nurse and manager pertaining to health care.

Honors & Awards

American Airlines recognized four employees with the 2016 Earl G. Graves Award for Leadership in Diversity and Inclusion. They are: Priyanka Arora, senior specialist-IT Vendor Relations, Headquarters; Faythe Clark, home-based representative-Elite Desk Reservations; Victor Escalante, manager-Customer Experience Reservations, DFW Reservations; and Todd Rice, manager-Purchasing Administration & Supply Development, Headquarters.

The Friends of the TCU Library, in partnership with TCU Press, named New York Times best-selling author, award-winning investigative journalist and former Fort Worth Star-Telegram books editor Jeff Guinn as the 2016 TCU Texas Book Award winner. Guinn will be honored at the Annual Friends Dinner on Oct. 13.

Four woman have been named the 2016 inductees into the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame. They are: Western sculptor and painter Veryl Goodnight; Arizona rancher and philanthropist Marilyn Williams Harris; the late Frances Rosenthal Kallison, a cattle rancher dedicated to preserving Jewish history in Texas; and Pat North Ommert, a trick rider, jumper and horse racer. The four pioneers will be honored at the 41st annual induction ceremony on Oct. 27 in Fort Worth.

Alexis Flores, a senior culinary arts student at South Hills High School in Fort Worth, claimed first place in the inaugural Mission Restaurant Supply Iron Chef Challenge. She won a $4,500 college scholarship. Flores is president of her high school’s Culinary Club and a past winner of the South Hills Food Truck Wars Competition.

Cigna selected Lena Pope to receive its annual Cigna Well-Being Award. The award recognizes the Fort Worth-based social service agency for demonstrating a strong commitment to improving the health and well-being of its employees through a workplace wellness program. The Cigna recognition follows Lena Pope’s designation as a participating organization in the Fort Worth Blue Zones Project, a healthy-city initiative based on making healthy choices readily available to the community. The Fort Worth City Council recently recognized Lena Pope for its efforts to improve the community’s well-being.

interRel Consulting received one of Oracle’s 11 global partner awards from among Oracle’s 25,000 partner companies worldwide. The firm won the Cloud Partner Award for its innovative use of Oracle products to drive measurable results for its clients.

Tarrant County College is one of 17 colleges recertified as an Achieving the Dream Leader College. The national honor is awarded to institutions in the Achieving the Dream National Network that have shown steady improvement in outcomes that measure student success beyond an initial three-year period.

Texas Health Resources has been recognized as the “best of the best,” earning the top spot on the 100 Best Workplaces for Women list from Fortune and Great Place to Work. They ranked Texas Health No. 1 – up from No. 3 in 2015 – based on a national survey of women about the quality and fairness of their workplaces. The winners were selected from organizations that embrace transparency and are committed to creating a great workplace.

Texas Christian University’s Office for Community Engagement received the 2016 Governor’s Volunteer Award. In 2015, 6,700 students participated in service projects sponsored by the community engagement office, affiliated student organizations and service-learning courses. TCU and the 10 other awardees will be honored on Oct. 10 at a reception at the Texas Governor’s Mansion.


Ronak V. Patel joined Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP as a partner in the litigation practice group in the firm’s Austin office. Patel’s practice focuses on government investigations and white-collar defense. He has extensive regulatory experience with securities regulatory agencies across the United States and has served as lead counsel in a number of high profile investigations including Ponzi fraud schemes, broker misconduct and complex investment products. Prior to joining Kelly Hart, Patel was deputy securities commissioner of Texas and worked with the securities commissioner to manage the Texas State Securities Board. Prior to that, he worked as both attorney, since 2003, and director of inspections and compliance, since 2011, of the Texas State Securities Board. He had various leadership positions with the North American Securities Administrators Association, working with numerous state and federal securities regulators.

Real Estate

Longtime real estate veteran Steve Berry is the newest Realtor at Williams Trew. Over his three-decade career, Berry has managed more than $140 million in transactions and developments, including multifamily ventures, senior housing facilities and student housing projects near Texas Christian University as well as land deals and commercial transactions in hotel, industrial, retail and office asset classes. He also has extensive experience applying project management, asset management, investment and underwriting skills as a partner in a real estate investment company. Berry has served on several boards, including the Fort Worth Transportation Authority, Region C Water Planning Group, Streams & Valleys Inc. and the Trinity Improvement Association. He has also served on the board of Union Gospel Mission and has taught at TCU as an extended education instructor.

Red Team Real Estate recently launched commercial and development services and hired Chuck Precopia, who has 47 years of experience in commercial and development real estate. Precopia previously held various positions at Zale Corp. and Greener & Sumner Architects and was vice president of corporate properties for the Associates Corporation of North America. He left the corporate world in 1985 to lead the commercial department at Century 21 McCracken Real Estate. Most recently he was president and broker at Client Based Properties Inc. Precopia has also worked in site surveying/platting, architectural design, construction, property management and development.

Send newsmakers to Betty Dillard at

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