Newsmakers: TCU grad joins Veritex Bank


Hunter Baird has joined Veritex Community Bank as vice president of lending. Baird graduated from Texas Christian University with a bachelor’s degree in finance in 2007 and an MBA in 2017.

He serves on the board of the Tarrant County Bankers Association.

Veritex Community Bank is a mid-sized community bank with total assets of over $3 billion. It specializes in providing depository and credit services to retail and small- to mid-size businesses. It was founded in 2010 and has branches in Dallas, Fort Worth and Houston.

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Shea Hopkins joined the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce staff June 27 as project manager for Business Attraction, Retention and Expansion, one of four pillars of the chamber’s strategic plan, called Fortify.

“Shea’s experience in projects and industry makes her a great fit with our needs and culture,” said Chris Strayer, senior vice president of Business Attraction, Retention and Expansion. “This role will provide industry-leading client support and customer service throughout the project life cycle, enhancing the Fort Worth area’s probability of success.”

Hopkins will be the day-to-day manager of economic development projects and client relationships. This includes providing information and consultation on real estate, workforce, financial resources and other information to help a client make a location decision.

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Previously, she was director of talent development for the Abilene Industrial Foundation, and also worked in supply chain, purchasing and logistics management in Austin and the Dallas-Fort Worth area. She has a bachelor’s degree in merchandising and marketing operations from Texas Woman’s University.

“Fort Worth for me is the perfect blend of Texas charm with a splash of metropolitan lifestyle,” Hopkins said in the announcement. “Born and raised in West Texas, I appreciate a city that pays tribute to its roots while still forging ahead and creating a thriving community. Business development is a passion of mine because it gives me the ability to impact not only the economic structure of the community but improve the overall quality of life. I’m honored to be able to bring both my private- and public-sector experience to the Fort Worth Chamber to help build an even stronger business climate.”


JPS Health Network has been recognized by the Association for Talent Development (ATD) with a 2018 BEST Award as one of 45 organizations worldwide demonstrating success as a result of developing its employees’ talent.

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ATD is the world’s largest professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees. Its members come from more than 120 countries and work in all industry sectors. The 2018 BEST Awards recipients include small and large private, public and nonprofit organizations from the United States and 10 other countries, including Australia, Canada, China, India, South Korea, Russia and Taiwan.

“Providing learning opportunities to our more than 6,500 team members at all levels of the organization is a key part of our strategic goals,” said Pia Walker, senior vice president of human resources. “We are only as good as our people and we are committed to creating development opportunities that benefit them personally and professionally.”

JPS’s Department of Learning and Organizational Development offers a variety of educational and training opportunities, including Leadership Development Institute (for leaders who manage people), Ambassador Development Institute (for front-line high achievers), Leading from the Front (new leaders), Leadership Acceleration Program (for mid-level managers), Empower (for front-line staff), and Sprint to Success (orientation for new leaders).

Company rankings for the 2018 BEST awards will be announced at a ceremony in October in Washington, D.C.


Darren Allred has been appointed as director of Judge Fite Insurance. In addition to his 12 years of experience in the insurance industry, Allred holds several insurance designations, including Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter, Associate in Management, Associate in Personal Insurance, Associate in Claims Management, Associate in Reinsurance and Associate in Claims. He is a graduate of Louisiana State University, where he obtained degrees in international business and French.


Colleyville attorney Wm. Frank Carroll has been elected the chairman of the board of the Texas Board of Legal Specialization for 2018-2019.

Carroll is the owner/member manager of The Law Offices of Wm. Frank Carroll PLLC.

“I am excited about the opportunity to continue the work of former Chairman David Dickson of Waco,” Carroll said in a news release. “We have an excellent group of board members and an outstanding executive director in Leo Figueroa. I look forward to working with all of them on the challenges we face in maintaining the highest standards of the legal profession and insuring the most competent representation for all clients.”

Carroll was appointed to the Board of Legal Specialization in 2016 by the president of the State Bar of Texas. The board is responsible for determining the attorneys who will be designated in 24 specialty areas as board-certified.

Of the 100,000 attorneys licensed to practice law in Texas only 7,300 are board-certified, the news release said. Carroll is board-certified in civil trial law and civil appellate law.

Carroll is a member of the American, Federal and Texas bar associations and has chaired the Federal Litigation Section of the Federal Bar and the Antirust and Trade Regulation Sections of the Federal and Texas Bar. He is an adjunct professor of Law at Southern Methodist University, a member of the William “Mac” Taylor American Inn of Court and a former director of the State Bar of Texas.

He is also a former member of the Colleyville City Council, chairman of the Dallas Bar Business Litigation and Antitrust and Trade Regulation Sections and a former director of the Dallas Bar. He is also an Executive Committee member and former president of the Bobby Bragan Youth Foundation in Fort Worth.

Carroll received a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Texas and a law degree from SMU.


Tammy Graham of Locations Photography in Fort Worth was elected to the Professional Photographers of America Council for 2018-2021. PPA is a nonprofit international association with more than 30,000 members.

Graham, a graduate of Texas Christian University graduate, is a 20-year veteran photographer, a former president of the Fort Worth Professional Photographers Association and current president of the Texas Professional Photographers Association.

PPA councilors are professional photographers who volunteer their time and service to guide and act as the voice for their state’s PPA members.

PPA is a photography trade association with a 150-year history that helps professionals elevate their craft and grow their business with resources, protection and education.


The United Way of Tarrant County has announced new members of its 2018-2019 board of directors.

“By taking on Tarrant County’s toughest social challenges, these individuals will help us make lasting changes in our community,” said TD Smyers, United Way president and CEO.

Joining the board for a three-year term are: Carlo Capua, co-owner and general manager of Z’s Café and Catering; Joseph DeLeon, president of Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth; Patricia Linares, former interim superintendent for both the Fort Worth and Crowley independent school districts; and Darwin L. Winfield, manager of public affairs for the Mid-Tex Division of Atmos Energy Corp.


Eric Fite has been appointed chief operating officer of CENTURY 21 Judge Fite Company Inc.

He has most recently been overseeing Judge Fite Insurance, as well as physical needs of the offices, service contracts, the Connections Network, and the information technology department. He is also a past recipient of the Jim Fite Leadership Award voted on by his peers in the company.

Eric Fite started out as operations manager, then director of operations, before becoming president of Judge Fite Insurance. He has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Texas at Dallas and completed ASCEND, a national leadership course.

“Eric Fite has actually been in training for this position his entire life,” said Jim Fite, president and CEO of Judge Fite Co. “Eric is the third generation of the Fite family to help lead the organization. Let me be clear, Eric has earned the position of COO and is well respected by the entire leadership team. He has been involved in every major decision of the company for many years while leading Judge Fite Insurance to all-time records.”


The Texas Association of Business (TAB) has hired Andres Alcantar, former chairman and commissioner of the Texas Workforce Commission, as executive vice president and chief operating officer.

“Andres brings an unmatched understanding of Texas business and workforce issues and has relationships across a broad spectrum of Texas industries, which makes his addition to our talented senior executive team as EVP and COO very exciting,” said Jeff Moseley, CEO of TAB, in a news release.

“As chairman of the TWC, Andres developed a strong network of allies in cities, counties, chambers of commerce and economic development organizations. No one has fought harder to bring jobs and paychecks to Texas than Andres,” Moseley said.

TAB represents more than 4,000 members with 200 local chamber partners and $8 billion annually in business.

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