Newsmakers: UMB Private Wealth Management hires Jeremy Staus

Newsmakers 8-29-16

Advertising, Marketing & Public Relations

Randy E. Pruett re-joined Cooksey Communications as vice president and account manager. Pruett had worked with Cooksey in 2002-2003 as a senior account manager. Previously, he worked for Pierpont Communications for eight years as well as various security software companies before Pierpont. In addition to his 30-year career in public relations, Pruett is the author of A Dream as Big as Texas, which profiles the winners of the Miss Texas Pageant. He is on the board of directors of the Miss Texas Scholarship Organization and the Public Relations Committee for the Dallas Arboretum. A past president of the International Association of Business Communicators/Dallas, Pruett received the organization’s Dallas Communicator of the Year award. He is also a four-time FEMA-certified crisis communications expert and has earned the designations of accredited business communicator and certified association executive.

Greg Heitzman is the new owner of Performing Ads Co., which publishes playbill programs for performing arts venues and organizations across North Texas. Heitzman has more than 30 years of advertising and marketing experience, most recently as vice president of advertising for Fort Worth Business Press and CEO Magazine. Greg Ricks, who started Performing Ads Co. in 1994, will stay on in a consulting and sales position, as will account executive Theresa Kay Shaw, who has represented the company with advertising and school partners for more than four years.

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Banking & Finance

UMB Private Wealth Management hired Jeremy Stauss as senior vice president, private banking client manager at its Fort Worth location. He is responsible for creating customized banking for high-net-worth clients. Stauss has more than 20 years of experience in banking and financial services. Previously he was employed by Merrill Lynch for eight years. Stauss serves on the board for the Epilepsy Foundation of Texas.

Elevate, a provider of online credit solutions for non-prime consumers, added Al Comeaux as chief communications officer. He will focus on investor relations, corporate communications and internal communications. Comeaux has nearly 30 years of experience leading digital and online communications strategies at international consumer brands. Most recently, he was an executive director of communications at two GE businesses. Prior to that, he led strategic communications at Sabre, Travelocity (where he helped to launch the Roaming Gnome) and American Airlines in Europe and the United States, after working in public affairs and as a press secretary in Washington, D.C.

Boards & Organizations

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Will A. Courtney has been re-elected as an emeritus director of Goodwill Industries International. Courtney has served on the Goodwill International board in various capacities since 1976. Last year, he was inducted into the Goodwill Industries International Hall of Fame, which honors those dedicating a lifetime of service to the organization. Locally, Courtney has served on the board of Goodwill Fort Worth since 1964.

S. Benton Cantey, a partner with Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP’s corporate and securities practice, has been appointed to the board of trustees of the Bullock Texas State History Museum for a three-year term beginning in August 2016. Cantey is a Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation. He is an adjunct professor of law at Texas A&M University School of Law and previously was an adjunct professor of business law at Texas Christian University.

Gov. Greg Abbott appointed James “Tony” Pistilli of North Richland Hills to the Appraisal Management Companies Advisory Committee for a term to expire on Jan. 31, 2018. Pistilli is vice president and chief appraiser of Xome Settlement Services. He has more than 25 years of real estate appraising and lending experience and has provided compliance and regulatory assessments to financial institutions, regulatory agencies and appraisal management companies. He is an Appraiser Qualifications Board certified instructor in Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice and has a certified residential appraiser’s license.

The 2016-2017 Cowtown Executives Association board includes: Chairman Bob Lay, Lay & Williams Insurance; President Lucas Sawyer, Worthington National Bank; Vice President Pat Myles, Myles Pest Control; Secretary-Treasurer Clay Townsley, Sports Rehab Specialists; Travis Baker, All-Star Corrugated; Chuck Bouligny, Ascent Concepts; Dr. Bill Knox, William L. Knox, DDS; Chris Linkenhoger, Dividia Technologies; Dave Pels, Shannon, Gracey, Ratliff & Miller; Scott Sherwin, SalesMastery Consultants; DeWayne Smart, Smart Realty; Kate Taylor, Taylor Security Group; Mark Titus, Telesys Communications; and Sara Waskow, FranNet.

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Construction & Engineering

Sundt Construction Inc. promoted Teri Jones to senior vice president and building group manager. Jones previously was vice president in charge of business development for Sundt’s Northern California District. Jones is responsible for the overall performance of the entire building group, including North Texas. A 37-year veteran, Jones has developed expertise in nearly every aspect of the construction industry. Since joining Sundt nearly17 years ago she has advanced through multiple positions.

She is a LEED-accredited professional with the United States Green Building Council, a certified professional constructor with the American Institute of Constructors, certified instructor and guest lecturer at the University of California, Davis, and a member of the Construction Management Advisory Board at the University of California, Berkeley.


Richard Kilwien is the new associate athletic director for communications at the University of Texas at Arlington, effective Sept. 7. Kilwien previously worked in communications at Saint Mary’s College of California since 2010. He began his career in collegiate athletics at the University of Houston and worked closely with the Cougars’ track and field team that featured gold medalist and world-record holder Carl Lewis, Joe DeLoach and Leroy Burrell. Kilwien then joined Duke University in 1990 and was the assistant director for the back-to-back national championship winning basketball program. He oversaw the media relation duties for 12 Division I sports and was responsible for implementing the desktop publishing system for the department. In 1992 Kilwien joined the Southwest Conference for two years before the conference dissolved. He worked at Santa Clara University, the University of Washington and at Saint Mary’s. At Saint Mary’s Kilwien had primary media relations duties for men’s basketball, the men’s soccer and men’s golf. Kilwien has served on the senior advisory council for the College Sports Information Directors of America, was a featured speaker at the latest convention in Dallas in June and received recognition as a 25-year member.


1845 Oil Field Services promoted Robbie Ballard to president and chief operating officer. Ballard has held various executive operations positions at 1845 since joining the business in 2011. Ballard had significant operating experience in the trucking sector prior to joining 1845, spending five years with a distribution operation where he was responsible for the operations of a fleet of 150 power units. Prior to that, he had built a commercial HVAC company with 60 employees over 15 years.

Honors & Awards

Ginia Chapline, senior vice president of talent at Texas Trust Credit Union, has been named the 2016 HR Professional of the Year by the Cornerstone Credit Union League. Chapline, who has been with Texas Trust since 2008, was cited for reducing the turnover rate for new hires by implementing innovative technology to ensure the right people are hired for each position, leading an overhaul of the wellness program, and developing new training initiatives that led to the creation of the Center of Excellence, a development center that Texas Trust uses to train branch staff.

Linbeck Group, a Texas-based building construction firm, has been honored with an Award of Merit in the ENR (Engineering News-Record) Texas & Louisiana’s 2016 Best Projects competition for its renovation and addition of Texas Christian University’s Mary Couts Burnett Library.

The American Public Transportation Association awarded PAVLOV Advertising two Grand Awards in the 2016 AdWheel Awards competition. The firm received an award for its Client Acquisition Campaign in the group category of Campaigns to Increase Ridership or Sales. The campaign, which was started to introduce the agency’s new transit accounts director, Richard Maxwell, was selected for achieving key performance indicators such as website views, email responses, phone inquiries, new RFP opportunities and overall awareness in the mass transit community. On behalf of its client, the Fort Worth Transportation Authority, PAVLOV also won a Grand AdWheel Award for its Transit Master Plan Campaign in the group category of Campaigns to Highlight Transit Needs/Funding.

Send newsmakers to Betty Dillard at