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Newsmakers: Tips founds agency aimed at health care

Advertising, Marketing & Public Relations

Strategic health communicator and wellness advocate Jean Tips is founder and principal of Communicate For Health, a new communications agency based in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Tips is a former magazine journalist with the Runner’s World family of publications, agency public relations director, entrepreneur and in-house communications executive with more than 27 years of experience with primarily nonprofit health care organizations. Tips serves on the board for both the Foundation for Wellness Texas and The Cowtown Marathon. She is a co-founder of Mayor Betsy Price’s FitWorth Healthy City Initiative.

Balcom Agency promoted Jenna Simard from account coordinator and PR specialist to account executive and PR specialist. With Balcom since 2014, Simard will expand her responsibilities to include day-to-day management of additional clients in nonprofits and professional services.


VLK Architects named James (Jim) Stephenson as its newest principal responsible for the firm’s automobile dealership sector. He was owner and principal of Fort Worth-based Stephenson Architects since 1983 and has experience with building types such as institutional, warehouse, medical, retail, surgical, educational, office, service/repair and many automobile dealerships such as Grubbs Infinity, DFW Audi and Fort Worth Honda. Projects include renovation/repair, retrofit, additions and ground-up construction.

Banking & Finance

Northstar Bank is expanding its commercial lending presence in Fort Worth with the addition of Barry Kromann and Jim Vineyard.– Kromann joins the bank as executive vice president and senior commercial banker, bringing almost 30 years of banking and financial experience. He was executive vice president at Texas Capital Bank and vice president at Bank One, Texas. Kromann is also active in the Fort Worth community, participating on boards including The Parenting Center, Clear Fork Royalty, Weaver LLP, Leadership Fort Worth and Downtown Fort Worth Inc.

Vineyard joins Northstar Bank as the senior vice president for commercial banking in the Fort Worth office. He has more than 10 years of experience from Capital One and PlainsCapital Bank, with a focus on middle market and businesses with revenues of $25 million and up.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas appointed Mary Jo A. Polidore as vice president of the communications and outreach department. Polidore will oversee the bank’s corporate communications and public outreach functions, which support economic growth and increased understanding of the economy and role of the Federal Reserve.

Her experience in communications and marketing includes aerospace and defense, industrial manufacturing and finance, and small business.

Previously, she was vice president of corporate communications for Dallas Fort Worth International Airport. She also spent more than 15 years in senior management positions in communications and public affairs with four of Lockheed Martin Corp.’s major businesses, including its Fort Worth and Grand Prairie operations. In addition, she managed communications for Cooper Industries Crouse-Hinds division. She has led her teams in award-winning programs earning International Business Awards, American Business Awards and various public relations awards.

Matt Rhodes is a new hire at Rylander, Clay & Opitz LLP. Rhodes, a recent graduate of Hardin-Simmons University, joins as an audit associate.

Boards & Organizations

Yi (Leaf) Zhang, an assistant professor in the College of Education’s Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Texas at Arlington, has been named a member of the 2016 Class of Greater Texas Foundation Faculty Fellows. Zhang is one of four Fellows chosen from across the state this year. Each Fellow receives up to $30,000 per year for three years to support research aligned with the foundation’s mission to reinforce postsecondary preparation, access, persistence and completion for Texas students. Zhang’s research focuses on community college transfer students’ persistence and degree completion at a four-year research university in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Margaret Ritsch, an instructor and faculty adviser at Texas Christian University, has been elected to the Public Relations Society of America’s College of Fellows. Ritsch, along with 22 other new members, will be inducted on Oct. 22 at the PRSA 2016 International Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana.


Allied Electronics added Rebecca Weiser and promoted Mary Edmonds. Weiser joins as product director in product management for the interconnect, passives and electromechanical category of industrial automation products. Prior to joining Allied, Weiser was global sales manager for Future Electronics after serving on the Future DFW sales team.

Edmonds was promoted to director of web development in marketing for eCommerce after working as software development manager for the past two years. Previously Edmonds worked in information technology in high-tech industries including banking, aerospace, health care and retail.

Health Care

Natalie A. Wilkins joined Cook Children’s Health Care System in the new position of chief of staff. Wilkins comes to Cook Children’s from North Texas Specialty Physicians, where she most recently was administrative director of clinical programs. She joined the group in 2011 as director of accountable care operations and later led the funding, testing, operating and sustaining of health innovations focused on advanced illness strategies. She was director of system leadership and hospital operations at Baylor Scott & White in Dallas from 2009-2011.

Honors & Awards

The Fort Worth Chapter Texas Society of CPAs presented Rising Star awards to five area certified public accountants: Toni Ciggs, Tom B. Johnson CPA PC; Tatiana S. Markov, Recruiting Edge LLC; Norman B. Robbins III, Mark M. Jones & Associates PC; Ryan Scharar, Scharar Law Firm PC; and Mark Selking, Whitley Penn LLP.

A team of electrical engineering professors and students at the University of Texas at Arlington won three “Best Paper” Awards from the Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineers. Assistant Professor Ali Davoudi, Professor Frank Lewis and doctoral students Vahidreza Nasirian and Josep Guerrero won an award in the Transactions on Energy Conversion category and the organization’s 2016 Power and Energy Society Prize Paper Award. Davoudi, Lewis, Nasirian and doctoral student Hamidrez Modares earned an award for their paper on resilient control systems.

Baylor Surgical Hospital at Fort Worth earned a 2016 Brick in Architecture Award from the Brick Industry Association for incorporating fired-clay brick into its project. Architect for the project was Page Southerland Page Inc. and builder was Hill & Wilkinson. The bricks were distributed by Acme Brick Co. while the mason contractor was ROC Construction Inc.

Methodist Mansfield Medical Center received the 2016 Gold Mission: Lifeline STEMI Receiving Center Award, which recognizes hospitals for implementing specific quality improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Association for treating patients with severe heart attacks. Cedar Hill and Grand Prairie fire departments received the 2016 Mission: Lifeline Gold EMS Recognition Award, while Mansfield Fire Department received the Silver EMS Recognition Award.

Acme Brick Co. received David Weekley Homes’ 2015 “Partners of Choice Award” with an “A, A” ranking for both quality and service. This is the fifth consecutive year that Acme has received the award.


Lisa Vaughn Lumley, has formed her own firm, Lisa Lumley Law, based in Fort Worth. Lumley had been a business litigation partner at Shannon, Gracey, Ratliff & Miller LLP since January 2009. Previously she was a partner at Franklin, Cardwell & Jones PC for two years and a partner at Jackson Walker LLP for five years. During her 20-plus years as a trial lawyer, Lumley has built a record of wins and favorable settlements for clients in oil and gas, aeronautics, manufacturing and construction.

Materials Handling

Patrick Collier joined Shoppa’s Material Handling in the new position of chief operations officer. Collier will be responsible for implementing business strategies, plans and procedures as well as advancing internal policies and procedures. He has an extensive background in distribution, logistics, planning and operations with Alcon Laboratories, where he held several positions over the past 11 years including North America supply chain head. Collier also had advanced management positions with Staples and IBM Business Consulting Services.

Nonprofit Organizations

Big Brothers Big Sisters Lone Star appointed Bill Chinn- as its new Dallas president. Chinn spent 20 years at GameStop Corp., becoming senior vice president, retail, where he was responsible for more than 5,000 store locations. He was instrumental in GameStop’s growth from 400 to more than 5,000 stores and its progress from a private to a public company. Chinn was managing partner of Ricardian Capital and Atlanta Neighborhood Redevelopment Group. He was vice president for the DFW Retail Executives Association and a member of its board and was executive chairman of the Boy Scouts Board of Directors-Southlake. He also has been volunteer coordinator at Union Gospel Mission and active in foster care programs. In 2015 Chinn was honored as Volunteer of the Year by Big Brothers Big Sisters.

New hires at the Botanical Research Institute of Texas are Cleve Lancaster, vice president of development; Elizabeth Edwards, vice president of finance and operations; Reginald Robinson, director of green revolution; and Sara Richardson, director of corporate relations and events.

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