Newsmakers: Whitley Penn adds partners


Whitley Penn added six new partners – Mark Duffy, Jeff Edwards, Brandi Fletcher, Ashley Kimery, Nick Wells and Kyle Willey – effective Jan. 1, the firm announced.

Duffy, a certified public accountant, joined the firm’s Fort Worth office in 2006 as an intern and took a full-time position in the tax department in 2007. He has a bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, in accounting from Texas A&M University and a master’s degree in accounting from the University of Texas at Arlington.

He is a member of the TSCPA, AICPA, Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, Wildcatters Fort Worth Chapter and Toastmasters Fort Worth Chapter. He is the firm’s representative for TECH Fort Worth and Cowtown Angels.

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Fletcher, a certified public accountant, joined the tax department in 2006 and has experience working with clients ranging from small to mid-size businesses, including entities held by private equity funds, large corporations and family offices. Fletcher is a member of the Fort Worth tax management team. She received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Sam Houston State University. She is a member of the AICPA, TSCPA, Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, Sam Houston State Alumni Association and Vision Fort Worth.


The Japan-America Society of Dallas/Fort Worth announced Paul Pass as its new executive director. Pass succeeds Anna McFarland, who retired after 22 years in the position.

“We wouldn’t be where we are today without the exceptional leadership shown by Anna,” said society President Jackson Chen. “She has positioned the organization for growth, ensured our stability and increased our influence over the past two decades. As we move into a new year and a new chapter for us, we look forward to the seasoned guidance and experience Paul will bring to the role.”

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Pass formerly worked for the Asia Society Texas Center, where he was most recently senior manager of business and policy.


JW Newman, formerly associate chief operating officer at Medical City Dallas since January 2018, is the new chief operating officer at Medical City Fort Worth. He was associate COO in Fort Worth from January 2016 through December 2017.

The Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council has announced its board of trustees for 2019. They include: chairman — Charles Gressle, CEO, Medical City Plano and Medical City Frisco;

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chairman-elect — John Phillips, president, Methodist Dallas Medical Center; past chairman — Scott Peek, COO, Baylor University Medical Center.

Trustees are: David Berry, president, Children’s Health System; Nancy Cychol, president, Cook Children’s Medical Center; Dr. William Daniel, vice president, chief quality officer, UT Southwestern Medical Center; Joseph DeLeon, president, Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth; Audra Early, senior vice president for strategy and development, Kindred Hospitals; Jerri Garison, president, Baylor Scott & White Medical Center–Plano; Blake Kretz, president, Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital; Dr. Esmaeil Porsa, executive vice president, Strategy/Integration, Parkland Health & Hospital System; and Xavier Villarreal, CEO, Medical City North Hills.

Ex-officio members are: Richard Carter, president/CEO, Hunt Regional Medical Center; Robert Walker, president/CEO, Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children; and Jyric Sims, CEO, Medical City Fort Worth.

Completing his term is Fraser Hay, president, Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Hurst-Euless-Bedford.


Dallas-based NextStep Recruiting opened a Fort Worth office in December at WeWork in Clearfork, the company announced. “Fort Worth has always been important to us,” said Chad Kooiman, president of NextStep Recruiting. “With our office in Dallas, we have always felt just a little too far away. We like to meet our clients and candidates in person and create true partnerships.”

Kooiman said the new location will allow increased support to existing Fort Worth clients and provide the opportunity to expand throughout Tarrant County.

The Fort Worth team will be led by Branch Director Don Kling. He started his career in Fort Worth and has 20 years of experience in the field.

Send newsmakers to Robert Francis at