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Newsmakers: TCC honors faculty, staff with annual awards

🕐 7 min read

Tarrant County College recently hosted Chancellor’s Employee Appreciate Day to honor faculty and staff for their dedication and commitment to TCC’s students and to the college’s institutional excellence.

The 2016 Chancellor’s Award for Exemplary Teacher winners by campus are: Northeast Campus, chemistry Professor Susan Patrick; Northwest Campus, English Instructor Wendi Pierce; South Campus, construction Assistant Professor Orlando Bagcal; Southeast Campus, developmental ESOL Instructor Mary Cinatl and Trinity River Campus, biology Assistant Professor Sophia Garcia.

Recipients of this year’s Chancellor’s Employee Excellence Awards are Gary Preather, associate vice chancellor for real estate and facilities, for access and diversity; TCC Career Services Coordinators and Foundation Specialist for forward thinking; South Campus Starpoint Champions Team for innovation and creativity; Southeast Campus accounting Associate Professor Karen Haun for service to community; and Paul Benero, South Campus art associate professor, for student success.

State board honors Ferguson

as public school volunteer

NBC5 News anchor and Fort Worth Independent School District volunteer leader Deborah Ferguson has been selected as a Hero for Children by the State Board of Education.

The Fort Worth ISD nominated Ferguson for this honor, which is given to volunteers who have made profound and positive contributions to student learning or who have demonstrated sustained periods of involvement and support of public schools.

Ferguson co-anchors NBC 5 Today weekday mornings from 4:30 a.m. to 7 a.m. She joined the station in 1991 after starting her journalism career as a reporter/anchor for WBAP Radio in Fort Worth.

She has earned professional recognition throughout her career including a regional Edward R. Murrow Award and a Gracie Award for Outstanding Anchor-News presented by American Women in Radio and Television. Other honors come from American Women in Communications, Association for Women Journalists, the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, the Texas Medical Association, the Dallas Press Club and the Lone Star EMMY Chapter.

Ferguson frequently spends time at community and charitable events, especially those focused on empowering girls through education. She recently joined the advisory council for the Young Women’s Leadership Academy, the first all-girls school in the Fort Worth ISD. She often visits area schools, stressing the importance of education and encouraging future journalists.

She graduated from Texas Christian University with a degree in broadcast journalism. While in college, she interned at NBC 5 and joined the staff a few years later.

Banking & Finance

Premier Bank Texas added Don A. Johnston as senior vice president, commercial banking officer for the Grapevine Banking Center. Johnston will be responsible for originating commercial loans in Grapevine and the surrounding areas. He has many years of banking and lending experience locally with a concentration in recent years in Northeast Tarrant County. He has served on several boards in the community and is president of GRACE (Grapevine Relief and Community Exchange). He also has served as president of the Grapevine Colleyville ISD Education Foundation, where he was named as its Distinguished Friend in 2011.

Southside Bank recently promoted Chad Kerr to vice president, commercial loan officer and relationship manager for the North Texas Region. Kerr joined Southside Bank in 2012 and has more than 16 years of banking experience.

TPG, a global alternative asset firm, named Sanghoon Lee as a partner. Lee will lead TPG Capital Asia’s investment activities in South Korea. A native of South Korea, Lee has more than 15 years of investment and banking experience in the Korea market, most recently as managing director and head of Korea for Morgan Stanley Private Equity. Lee joined Morgan Stanley in 2010 and oversaw the group’s private equity transactions in South Korea. Previously Lee was with Merrill Lynch, where he led the company’s M&A and capital market transactions in South Korea.

Boards & Organizations

Gov. Greg Abbott appointed Vince E. Puente Sr. to the Finance Commission of Texas for a term to expire Feb. 1, 2018. Puente is co-owner and president of marketing and sales for Southwest Office Systems Inc. He is a member of the board for the YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas, Big Brothers Big Sisters Lone Star, Dallas Regional Chamber, North Dallas Chamber of Commerce and Tarrant County Christian Prayer Breakfast. He is a former board member of the Fort Worth and Greater Irving chambers of commerce, North Texas Commission and the Texas Christian University Chancellor’s Advisory Council. Also, he is the former chairman of the Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and a former delegate for the Texas Association of Mexican American Chambers of Commerce.

Kate Hardy, a director of General Motors Financial, has been appointed by Gov. Greg Abbott to the board of the Department of Motor Vehicles for a term to expire Feb. 1, 2021. Hardy has had various positions in the sales and marketing group with GM for more than 30 years.

Business Furniture & Office Design

GL Seaman & Co. recently promoted Mary Edwards to the position of president-Fort Worth. Edwards is responsible for leading the company’s growth in the Fort Worth market. She joined GL Seaman in 2002 and has more than 30 years of experience in commercial interior design, office planning, office furniture sales, customer service, administration and management. She is president of Ronald McDonald House of Fort Worth Inc., is on the board of RMH Charities of North Texas and is co-chairman of Furniture 4 Kids, benefiting Vogel Alcove.

Engineering & Architecture

Halff Associates Inc. hired Bob Riley for business development in the firm’s Fort Worth office. Riley, a registered landscape architect, has nearly 40 years of public- and private-sector service in landscape architecture, public administration, governmental relations and client services. For 28 years, he worked in the city of Fort Worth’s parks, planning and development departments. He is a board member for the Trinity River Vision Authority, Streams and Valleys Inc. and several other groups.

Honors & Awards

Rev. Nehemiah Davis, pastor of Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church, will be honored for his years of service to the city of Fort Worth and Tarrant County with the unveiling of a bust in his likeness during a ceremony on Sept. 18 at the church. Davis has served the church more than 50 years and has been on numerous local boards and commissions and the National Baptist Convention.


Choice Hotels International Inc., Fillmore Capital Partners and developer Fillmore Hospitality named Sam Cannon general manager and Lisa Turley as director of sales and marketing for the Cambria hotel & suites Southlake DFW North, which is opening Oct. 15. Cannon has 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry. Previously, he spent four years as the dual property general manager of Cambria hotel & suites and MainStay Suites in Rapid City, South Dakota. Before that, he was general manager for the historic Hotel Alex Johnson in Rapid City, where he moved the hotel from an independent to an affiliate hotel and oversaw other significant hotel achievements, including receiving several hospitality awards. Previously Cannon had leadership positions with hospitality institutions in Colorado, Michigan, Ohio and Texas.

Turley has 15 years of sales experience. She spent two years at the Hilton Garden Inn in Arlington, where she was responsible for driving revenue for the sales and catering department. Previously, Turley was a sales executive at the Las Vegas Hotel and Casino and also a senior sales manager at the Hilton Garden Inn in Henderson, Nevada, and the Hilton Garden Inn in Yuma, Arizona.

Nonprofit Organizations

The Child Study Center added Becky Neander as an advanced practice nurse in the developmental pediatric department and Reagan Kinnear as a licensed psychologist.

Neander has 23 years of experience in pediatric nursing, with 16 years as a pediatric nurse practitioner. She spent four years in the neurosurgery department at Children’s Health in Dallas before moving to Texas Scottish Rite Hospital, also in Dallas, where she worked in the developmental disabilities department for 12 years. Her focus there was on children with developmental disabilities as well as spina bifida. She is a member of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners and the Cook Children’s Physician Network.

Kinnear, a nationally certified school psychologist, most recently worked at the Kennedy Krieger Institute, where she was a staff psychologist and a director of clinical services for the Behavior Management Clinic. In this position, she provided family, individual and group therapy for children aged 15 months through 12 years as well as direct clinical supervision and ongoing training of graduate level externs, doctoral level interns and postdoctoral fellows. Kinnear’s work at the Child Study Center includes behavior therapy/behavioral parent training and cognitive behavior therapy with children ages 2 to 11 and their families.

Send newsmakers to Betty Dillard at

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