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Newsmakers: Sept. 8, 2014

Architecture VLK Architects appointed Stephen Hafer principal of operations, Kenneth Hutchens principal of creative and D’Lee Marshall director of marketing. Hafer has been with VLK for more than 20 years and his experience covers educational facilities, research facilities, commercial, theatrical and sporting venues. Hutchens has completed a variety of project types and municipal facility projects over 30 years. He has been at VLK for 10 years. Marshall will lead the marketing department in supporting business development activities and implementing communications strategies.

Banking & Finance Patriot Bank named Mark A. Warren as the North Texas region president. Warren formerly was a senior vice president in commercial banking with Wells Fargo. In his new position, Warren will manage commercial banking and commercial real estate banking and will hold a voting position on the Executive Loan Committee. He began his banking career in 1988. Shay Flowers joined the financial planning office of Derrick Kinney & Associates/Ameriprise Financial as a financial adviser. His specialty is retirement and investment planning.

Boards & Organizations Marilyn Peterson, the director of Texas Health Research & Education, the continuing medical education (CME) provider for Texas Health Resources, is the new board president for the National Commission of Certification of CME Professionals. She will serve through 2015. Jessica Stewart, CME curriculum development specialist with Texas Health Research & Education, was elected a board member-at-large with the Texas Alliance for Continuing Medical Education for a two-year-term. Clark Rucker, associate at Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP, was elected to the board of the Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association. Associate Katherine Hopkins was re-elected to a fourth term on the board. Matthew L. Motes, a shareholder with Decker, Jones, McMackin, McClane, Hall & Bates PC, has been appointed chairman of the Construction Law Section of the Tarrant County Bar Association for 2014-2015. He served as vice chairman for 2013-2014. Doug Renfro, president of Renfro Foods, was named to the advisory board of The Neeley Entrepreneurship Center of the M.J. Neeley School of Business at Texas Christian University. Sharon Millians, partner at Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP, was elected to the board of visitors of TCU’s AddRan College of Liberal Arts for a three-year term. Ronnita Carridine, principal of Morningside Elementary School, has been named president of the Texas Elementary Principals Supervisors Association Region 11.

Education Carol Noel joined the University of North Texas Health Science Center as senior director of development, where she oversees institutional outreach efforts to individuals, foundations and corporations in the community. Noel spent the previous 14 years at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, the last six as the director of development. Noel served on the board of the Association of Fundraising Professionals of Fort Worth and is a member of the Lone Star Council of the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning.

Engineering & Construction Pape-Dawson Engineers Inc. hired Chris Blevins in its Dallas office. Blevins will serve as a senior project manager for the civil design of commercial and residential development projects and as a resource for the firm’s Fort Worth, San Antonio, Houston and Austin clients. Blevins has more than 20 years of experience in civil engineering in the management, planning, design and construction of commercial and residential developments.

Health Care Renaissance Park Multi Care Center named Donna Schlumpf as its new executive director. She previously was interim executive director at The Vosswood Nursing Center in Houston. Prior to Vosswood, Schlumpf was administrator at Grand Prairie Health Care. She has more than 14 years of experience in long-term care, including working as a state surveyor for the Texas Department of Health. Dr. Lauri Ballard and Dr. Mark Prince – have joined USMD Affiliated Services. Ballard joins USMD’s team of geriatric medicine physicians and will practice at Dr. David Pillow Senior Health Clinic, a partnership with North Hills Hospital in North Richland Hills. She completed her fellowship in geriatric medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern and her residency in internal medicine at Methodist Dallas Medical Center.She received her medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern. Ballard has more than 11 years of experience caring for patients. The addition of Prince brings a new specialty, gastroenterology, to USMD. Prince will practice at USMD’s new Arlington South Specialty Care Clinic. He completed his fellowship in gastroenterology and his residency in internal medicine at the University of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center. He received his medical degree from the University of Kentucky and has more than 12 years of experience working at a gastroenterology practice in Tennessee. Lynn O’Neill – is the new chief nursing officer for Plaza Medical Center of Fort Worth. She previously was vice president and chief nursing officer for the Medical Center of Lewisville. O’Neill has more than 29 years of leadership experience in for-profit and nonprofit health care. Texas Health Physicians Group selected Jennifer Stephenson as vice president of operations. She will oversee operations of the north zone of the group’s 200-plus physician practices in North Texas. Stephenson joins Texas Health Physicians Group from Tucson, where she was chief operating officer of Arizona Community Physicians. Previously, she was an executive director for PrimaCare Medical Centers and a practice administrator for HeartPlace, both in Dallas. She also was an administrative manager at the Ochsner Clinic in Baton Rouge, La.

Nonprofit Organizations Camp Fire First Texas named Erin McDonald as the new annual-giving manager. She was previously a coordinator of engagement and stewardship.

Send newsmakers to Betty Dillard at

Thos. S. Byrne earns state award for historical contributions Sen. Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth) recently recognized Thos. S. Byrne Ltd., dba Byrne Construction Services, with a Texas Treasure Business Award from the Texas Historical Commission. The award recognizes well-established businesses that have provided jobs and support to the state’s economy for 50 years or more.  

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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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