Newsmakers: Rios joins Center for Transforming Lives

Karolam Ramirez


Karolam Ramirez is the newest addition to HOLLAND collective, joining as social and marketing content associate.


Gill Children’s Services has added Dr. Pilar Levy and Dr. Dennis Schuster to its board of directors.

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Levy is a pediatrician at Cook Children’s Neighborhood Clinic. Since 2007, she has been the medical director for all four of Cook Children’s neighborhood clinics. She has served on the Cook Children’s Physician Network board of directors and the Cook Children’s Health Plan board of trustees.

Schuster opened his practice for plastic surgery in Fort Worth in 1978, specializing in cosmetic surgery for adults and reconstructive surgery for children. He is a founding member of the Oral Facial Clinic at Cook Children’s Medical Center. He plans to retire after 40 years of practice in the Fort Worth community.

Gill Children’s Services also added Emily Calk, who will shadow the board of directors as a recent graduate of the LeadingEdge program. Calk is a clinical lead for the HOPES program at Early Childhood Services within MHMR of Tarrant County.

The North Texas Commission has selected the members of Leadership North Texas Class 10. Oncor is the presenting sponsor for the program. Class 10 is made up of 34 leaders from across North Texas, including elected officials, municipal leaders, executives from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, education leaders and the business community.

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From Tarrant County, the 2018-2019 class will include: Rebecca Barksdale, precinct administrator, Tarrant County; Jason Byers, assistant police chief, DFW Airport; John Fletcher, president/CEO, Fletcher Consulting Public Relations; Holly Gray-Moore, business development/associates principal, Pacheco Koch, and mayor pro tem, City of Roanoke; Traci Leach, deputy city manager, City of Coppell; Charley Mock, sales manager and associate, Freese and Nichols; Catherine Oliveros, vice president, community health improvement, Texas Health Resources; Rachel Phillips, marketing coordinator, The Rios Group; Joshua Roehm, vice president, Huitt-Zollars; Lee Rogers, – – president, The Rogers Group; Doug Short, CIO, Trinity River Authority of Texas; and Kathy Wheat, Colleyville City Council member.


Chris Harder, who has been Fort Worth’s interim water director since March, has been named director.

Harder joined Fort Worth in 1999 as a project engineer and was promoted to engineering manager in 2006. In 2017, he was selected as assistant director of the engineering division. A departmental reorganization in 2017 moved him to the role of assistant director of the strategic operations division. This division oversees capital project planning, asset management, regulatory compliance and laboratory operations.

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His work experience includes capital planning, master plan studies and assessments, and design and management of numerous projects related to water and wastewater treatment plants, pump stations, lift stations, storage tanks, pipelines and meter stations.

Harder is a registered professional engineer in Texas. He earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Valparaiso University, a master’s in civil engineering from the University of Texas at San Antonio and an MBA from Texas Christian University.

Fort Worth had hired a director for the water department in December 2017, but he was let go after 3 months on the job.

Gov. Greg Abbott has appointed Karen Liu Pang of Irving to the Midwestern State University board of regents for a term set to expire on Feb. 25, 2024. Pang is president of the Greater Dallas Asian American Chamber of Commerce.


Whitley Penn has been named a 2018 Silver Level Workplace by the American Heart Association. This recognition is based on the Workplace Health Achievement Index and the steps Whitley Penn has taken to build a culture of health in the workplace.

Renfro Foods is a finalist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s 2018 Dream Big Small Business Award. The awards will be presented Oct. 2-3 during the Small Business Summit in Washington, D.C. The company was also a finalist in 2012 and a regional finalist in 2014.


Elizabeth Cuneo joins Kelly Hart as an associate in the Litigation Section in the Fort Worth office. Cuneo focuses her practice on representing corporate clients in commercial and regulatory litigation in state and federal courts involving commercial disputes, breach of contract actions, antitrust, securities, and employment matters. Previously, she was a litigation associate at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP in Dallas. She earned her law degree, cum laude, from the University of Michigan Law School.

While in law school, Cuneo interned for Judge Anthony J. Scirica at the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia. After law school, she clerked for Judge Jane J. Boyle at the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas in Dallas.

Hillary Hunter has joined Kelly Hart as an associate in the firm’s Oil and Gas/Energy Section. She will focus her practice on oil, gas and energy litigation and transactions and work from the firm’s Midland office. Hunter received her law degree, summa cum laude, from Texas Tech University School of Law. She graduated from Louisiana State University of Alexandria with a bachelor’s degree in management. Prior to joining the firm, she externed for Justice Debra H. Lehrmann of the Texas Supreme Court.

Daniel Lichtl has joined Kelly Hart as a partner in the Corporate and Securities Section in the New Orleans office.

Prior to joining the firm, Daniel was a partner at Fowler Rodriguez in New Orleans.

Bourland, Wall & Wenzel has added Michael Vecchio as an associate attorney. Vecchio graduated with distinction from The University of Oklahoma College of Law and was admitted to the State Bar of Texas in 2017. His practice focuses primarily on commercial real estate transactions. He also has experience rendering drilling and division order title opinions and assisting oil and gas companies in the acquisition of oil and gas properties.


The Center for Transforming Lives announced that Brenda Rios has joined the agency as chief development officer. She oversees the development and marketing efforts of the $7 million agency. The Center for Transforming Lives, formerly the YWCA Fort Worth and Tarrant County, has served low-income women and children in Tarrant County for 110 years.

Rios started her career at Lena Pope Home and has also served as the development director for Mental Health America of Greater Tarrant County, where she was responsible for the fundraising initiatives and overall operations of the organization. For the last two years, Rios was JPS Foundation’s director of development, the agency said in the news release.

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