Newsmakers: Whitley Penn promotions


Whitley Penn has made several recent promotions. Employees being promoted to senior manager are: Elise Padgett, Forensic Litigation & Valuation Services; Robert Pike, Tax; Kelly Shoulders, Audit; Rebecca Sierp, Financial Services; and Sarah Speegle, Tax.

Employees being promoted to manager include: Garrett Becker, Audit; Aaron Heimbuch, Forensic Litigation & Valuation Services; Chad Holmes, Financial Services; Jackson Jones, Audit; Andi Ramer, Audit; Bill Weston, Financial Services; Megan Widmayer, Tax; and Katelyn Woods, Audit.

Employees being promoted to senior include: Kristen Barton, Accounting Services; Angel Bertrand, Accounting Services; Wyland Bewley, Tax; Caitlin Brennan, Audit; Marilyn Brewster, Accounting Services; Jim Cummings, Audit; Sam Dunson, Audit; Whitney Ford, Tax; Yolanda Garcia, Accounting Services; Mitchell Gross, Tax; Chelsea Hastings, Audit; Jonna Lewis, Accounting Services; Anna Martirosova, Forensic Litigation & Valuation Services; Brenda McClure, Accounting Services; Leslie McGuire, Accounting Services; Joseph Miller, Forensic Litigation & Valuation Services; Jessica Peňa, Tax; Morgan Summers, Accounting Services; and Jill Valenzuela, Accounting Services.

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Employees being promoted to associate include: Thyra Barnes, Senior Accounts Receivable coordinator and Mary Ann Griffith, Senior Billing coordinator.


Gov. Greg Abbott has appointed Cliff McCauley and reappointed Will Lucas and Vince E. Puente Sr. to the Finance Commission of Texas for terms set to expire on Feb.1, 2024. The commission is the governing body of the state banking, savings and loan, and consumer credit agencies.

Puente, a Fort Worth resident, was originally appointed to the commission in September 2016 for a two-year term.

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He is co-owner and president of marketing and sales for Southwest Office Systems Inc. He is a member of the board of directors for the YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas, Dallas Regional Chamber, and Texas Values. He is a former board member of the North Dallas Chamber of Commerce, Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, Greater Irving Chamber of Commerce, North Texas Commission board of directors, Big Brothers Big Sisters Lone Star, Tarrant County Christian Prayer Breakfast, and the Texas Christian University Chancellor’s Advisory Council. Also, he is the former chairman of the Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce board of directors and a former delegate for the Texas Association of Mexican American Chambers of Commerce. Puente attended The University of Texas at Arlington.

Origin Bank has promoted Chief Operating Officer Lance Hall to bank president. Hall has worked at the bank, based in Ruston, Louisiana, for 18 years in positions including Louisiana State president, chief strategy officer and chief operating officer. As bank president, Hall will manage the bank’s day-to-day operations and growth strategy and support the commercial, private and retail teams across the bank’s markets in Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi.


The American Cancer Society presented Dr. Mark Koch of Fort Worth with its St. George National Award on July 2. It is the society’s highest honor for community volunteers in recognition of their service to the organization.

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Koch chaired Smoke-Free Fort Worth, a local initiative to make Fort Worth a healthier environment. He also sits on the Tarrant County board of the American Cancer Society and is director of family medicine endoscopy at JPS Health Network.

Koch is one of 11 people nationwide to receive this award in 2018, the local chapter said in a news release. Recipients were chosen based on their continuous leadership, commitment and dedication to supporting the society’s key initiatives to attack cancer from every angle.

Koch, as chairman of the Fort Worth coalition, worked closely with ACS CAN to that ensure Fort Worth joined Texas’ other large cities that have adopted smoke-free ordinances for workplaces. The city council passed the ordinance in late 2017, and it went into effect this year.


Brian Singleterry, an associate with Cantey Hanger LLP, is the new chairman of the Tarrant County Bar Association’s People’s Law School. The Bar Association and the Tarrant County Bar Foundation present the law school each spring, which offers free seminars on the basics of common legal issues. Sessions are taught by local attorneys volunteering their time.

Singleterry is a director of the Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association, the social chairman of the Bar Association’s Business Litigation Section and former chairman of the Bar’s Membership Committee. He is a 2015 graduate of the Texas A&M School of Law, where he earned a certificate in business law, was an editor on the Law Review and graduated first in his class. Before joining Cantey Hanger, he was an assistant district attorney. His practice focuses are commercial litigation, family law and health law.


Lindsay H. Klatzkin was recently named executive director of Tarrant Churches Together.

Klatzkin previously was volunteer coordinator for SafeHaven of Tarrant County, executive director of Down Syndrome Partnership of North Texas, and business development manager for Camp Fire First Texas.

She is a deacon and a member of University Christian Church board of stewards, a member of Early Learning Alliance of Tarrant County, a member of the Center for Transforming Lives/Community Initiative, a grant panelist for Arts Council of Fort Worth and a member of LeadingEdge, Leadership Fort Worth, Class of 2013. She is a former board member for the First Tee of Fort Worth. She graduated from the University of North Texas with a bachelor’s degree in development and family studies.

Tarrant Churches Together was among the organizers of the June 21 Interfaith Prayer Service for the Children at University Christian Church in response to the U.S. policy of separating immigrant children from their parents being detained crossing the southern U.S. border. More than 300 people attended the service.

Girls Inc. of Tarrant County has added three new members to its board of directors.

Kathleen Bryant, Six Sigma Black Belt at Cummins Inc., brings expertise in compliance and internal audits to the board. She serves on the City of Arlington’s Grant Review Committee and the KERNEL Live! Application Review Board for United Way of Tarrant County.

Laura Hopkins is a business leader in human capital management, change leadership, talent management and business operations. She is the human resources director at Lockheed Martin, is on the DFW Aerospace Consortium and is a member of Women’s Policy Forum.

Robert Munoz is the vice president of continuing education for Tarrant County College, Trinity River Campus. He serves on the United Way of Tarrant County Cabinet, the Career and Technical Education Advisory Committee for the Fort Worth Independent School District and the Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce advisory board.


Sommelier Chester Cox has joined Ellerbe Fine Foods as the restaurant’s director of wine sales and services. Cox will work with Richard King, co-owner and general manager, to oversee Ellerbe’s wine services. Cox is a 25-year veteran of the hospitality industry, including 11 years as sommelier for Del Frisco’s Fort Worth before helping to open Kent & Co. Wines as wine director and retail manager. Cox is a level 1 sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers. He is a member of the Fort Worth Foods & Wine Festival beverage committee and has been the wine chairman for The Big Taste of Fort Worth event since 2017.


Sabre Corp. has announced that Doug Barnett will join the company as executive vice president and chief financial officer on July 23. Barnett will succeed Rick Simonson, who previously announced his intention to retire as CFO in 2018. Simonson will become a senior advisor to the CEO.

Barnett most recently was CFO for Informatica, a global leader in enterprise cloud data management. He has more than three decades of experience, including CFO positions at TriZetto Corp. and UGS Corp.

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