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Newsmakers: TCU’s Tomlinson joins College Football Hall of Fame

TCU’s Tomlinson joins College Football Hall of Fame LaDainian Tomlinson, former Texas Christian University running back from 1997-2000, is a new member of the National Football Foundation’s College Football Hall of Fame. Tomlinson, a Heisman Trophy finalist and former NFL star, was recognized along with 13 First Team All-America players and two coaches at a ceremony on Dec. 9 in New York City.

The inductees were selected from the national ballot of 75 All-America players and six elite coaches from the Football Bowl Subdivision and the 87 players and 26 coaches from the divisional ranks. Tomlinson, known as LT, is the 11th Horned Frog to be chosen for the College Football Hall of Fame and the first since center Darrell Lester in 1988. Tomlinson was a unanimous first-team All-American and Heisman Trophy finalist in 2000 and a two-time NCAA rushing leader in 1999 and 2000. For 15 years, he held the NCAA record for most rushing yardage in a half (287) and a game (406). He was the recipient of the Doak Walker Award as the nation’s top running back in 2000, and was named the Most Valuable Player in the Mobile Alabama Bowl in 2000 and the Senior Bowl in 2001. “LT was a great player for TCU and in the NFL,” TCU head football coach Gary Patterson said. “Even more, he’s been a great ambassador for our university. He represents what’s great about the game of football.”

In 2005, LT returned to TCU to finish his bachelor’s degree in communications, fulfilling a promise he had made to his mother. In 2011, he was recognized with the Frog O’Fame alumni award. Tomlinson was the fifth overall pick in the 2001 NFL draft and spent nine seasons with the San Diego Chargers, and later with the New York Jets. In 2003, he became the first player in NFL history to rush for 1,000 yards and record 100 receptions in the same season. In 2006, Tomlinson was named the NFL’s Most Valuable Player. He reached his 50th career touchdown in his fourth season and was elected to the Pro Bowl team in 2002, 2004, 2005 and 2006. His charitable initiatives include the Tomlinson’s Touching Lives Foundation that helps families in need, Camp LT for kids and the LT Celebrity Golf Tournament.

Advertising, Marketing & Public Relations Kristin Peaks is the new public relations and social media director at Immotion Studios. Previously, Peaks spent eight years with Cook Children’s Health Care System handling PR as well as the social media program, which she created. Prior to Cook Children’s, she spent five years with RadioShack Corp. in a variety of roles within the communications department. Peaks is a monthly contributor to West FW Lifestyle magazine and an active volunteer. In 2012, she was the co-chairman for the Cowtown Ball benefiting American Cancer Society. Peaks was honored by the Fort Worth Business Press with a “40 Under 40” award in 2012.

Banking & Finance Whitley Penn will elevate Josh Agren to partner effective Jan. 1. Agren, a CPA, joined the firm in 2008 as an audit senior in the Fort Worth office after spending four years with a regional public accounting firm in Boston. His experience focuses on health care, manufacturing, distribution, oil and gas servicing, and employee benefit plans. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants and the Fort Worth Executive Committee of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Boards & Organizations Purnendu “Sandy” Dasgupta, Jenkins Garrett Professor of Chemistry at the University of Texas at Arlington, has been named a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Dasgupta is recognized worldwide for his pioneering work in ion chromatography, the process of separation and detecting atoms and molecules bearing a net electrical charge. He is the author of more than 400 scientific papers and book chapters and holds 25 U.S. patents. The Communities Foundation of Texas named nine new members to its 75-person advisory council. They are: Bill E. Carter, Carter Financial Management; Lora Davis, The Blum Firm; Sam Dykeman, J.P. Morgan Chase Private Bank; Sandy Kaufman, Kaufman & Associates; Keith Laylock, Northern Trust; Danika Mendrygal, Haynes and Boone LLP; Keith Novick, Gardere, Wynne, Sewell; Tom Montgomery, Montgomery, Coscia, Grelich LLP; and Kris Thomas, Communities Foundation of Texas.

Chambers of Commerce Brendon Payne, former president and CEO of the Greenville Chamber of Commerce and executive director of the Northwest Tarrant Chamber in Lake Worth, is the new president of the Colleyville Area Chamber of Commerce. Payne also served as president of the Saginaw Area Chamber of Commerce for almost nine years, where he and his team won multiple awards for Program of the Year and publications from the Texas Chamber of Commerce Executives Association (TCCE). Payne is the current past president of the North Texas Chamber of Commerce Executives Association, served as a past board member for TCCE, as past president of Saginaw Kiwanis Club, and as vice president of public relations for Northwest Tarrant Toastmasters.

Honors & Awards Katherine Sanchez, assistant professor in the UT Arlington School of Social Work, won a two-year, $200,000 grant from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Hispanic Health Services Research Grant Program to screen Hispanic patients for depression and educate them about the disease and the treatment options available. Nearly 70 of USMD Holdings Inc.’s primary care and specialty clinics, comprising 261 physicians and associate practitioners, are recipients of the 2013-2014 Texas Physician Practice Quality Improvement Award, sponsored by the Texas Medical Foundation in partnership with the Texas Medical Association and Texas Osteopathic Medical Association.

Manufacturing J. Anthony Petrelli has been appointed CEO of Conner Industries Inc. He has served as Conner’s chief operating officer since 2012. Petrelli brings more than 30 years of experience in the specialty packaging and forest products industries, previously serving as president and COO of CardPak Inc. and senior vice president of Caraustar Industries. Petrelli served as a 14-year board member, and from 2008 to 2010 was chairman of the board of the Paperboard Packaging Council.

Nonprofit Organizations New hire for the North Texas Chapter of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is Seetha Modi as patient access manager. Modi is responsible for meeting with patients in North Texas and connecting them to the services that LLS offers during and after their treatment. She will be setting up educational events in Dallas and Fort Worth to further expand LLS as a resource for people looking for assistance after a blood cancer diagnosis.

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Bell Helicopter makes leadership changes Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. company, said Dec. 1 it has named Matthew J. Hasik executive vice president of commercial business, succeeding Danny Maldonado, who has been selected to be president and chief executive officer of Textron Financial. Hasik will lead the combined commercial sales and marketing and commercial programs organization as Bell Helicopter continues to expand its global sales. Additionally, Barry Kohler has been named executive vice president, customer service and support, replacing Eric Cardinali who will lead global operations for Textron’s Kautex business unit. Kohler has led Bell Helicopter’s Mirabel assembly center as president of Bell Helicopter Textron Canada since 2009. Bell Helicopter also announced the following leadership changes: John Klopfer, president of Bell Helicopter Textron Canada, will return to Bell Helicopter as vice president of commercial business finance. Klopfer will be succeeded by Raymond Leduc. Patrick Moulay has been promoted to vice president, global sales and marketing, and Larry Roberts has been appointed vice president of sales and marketing for the Bell 525 Relentless program. All changes are effective Jan. 1, 2015.


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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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