Wednesday, May 5, 2021
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Fort Worth

People: Guinn promoted to FWOpera managing director

Hannah Guinn, the director of the Fort Worth Opera Studio and director of education, has been elevated to the role of managing director for the company.

Guinn takes over for Keith A. Wolfe, who left the company after 12 years to become the general director of Opera Birmingham.

“Over the past few years, Hannah has taken a greater lead in securing funding sources for the education department, going on development calls and writing grants to enhance the resources for programming. She has continually shown great leadership and has the respect of the entire staff,” said Fort Worth Opera General Director Darren K. Woods.

As managing director, Guinn oversees all of FWOpera’s individual departments. She will continue to direct the opera’s young artist program, manage the overall education programs and help guide the development department.

Guinn grew up in Crowley and earned a master’s degree in musicology with a focus on opera from Texas Christian University. She became the Van Cliburn Foundation’s production manager in 2004 and joined the Fort Worth Opera as company manager in 2008. She was named director of the opera’s young artist program and education director in 2011.

Guinn also served this past spring as interim director of opera studies at TCU in addition to her responsibilities at FWOpera.

Bible Translation

The Seed Company has named the Rev. Samuel E. Chiang as the new president and chief executive officer. Chiang, a board member for the last three years, will replace Todd Peterson, former chairman who has served as interim president since February 2014. Chiang served as executive director of International Orality Network and currently serves as senior associate-orality for Lausanne. He previously worked at Ernst & Young and then for Trans World Radio as chief operating officer.

Boards & Organizations

New chairman of the board at Samaritan House is Joe Niedziela, a director with Fort Worth Independent School District. The new vice chairman is Wes Oliver, Robert W. Baird Co.; Candace Blair, Sanford, Baumeister & Frazier LLP, is treasurer; and Margaret Ritsch, a faculty member of Texas Christian University and faculty adviser of Roxo, a student advertising-public relations agency at TCU, is the secretary.

New members on the YWCA Fort Worth & Tarrant County board serving three-year terms are Cameron Cook, Diana Combs-Selman, Stacy Landreth Grau and Sarah Topham. Newly elected and reinstated officers include Lisa Grady, president; Raquel Qualls-Hampton, first vice president, programs; Dana Compton, second vice president, development; Paula Hunter-Perkins, third vice president, human resources; Erin Carlson, secretary; Beth Miller, treasurer; Beth Reintjes, governance committee chair; Paulette Tutor, Arlington advisory chairman; and LeAnn Behrens, member-at-large. Other members are Nommo Donald, Lettie Haynes, Tracey Plumleigh, Sara Dameron, Wesley Snyder, Aubrey Gideon, Christie Guion and Mary Stelter.

The North Texas Commission graduated the sixth class of Leadership North Texas on May 15. The graduates are: Shannon Bettis, Southside Bank; Ellen Buck, Oncor Electric Delivery; Fred Busche, council member, Town of Highland Village; Linda Caram, AT&T; Allen Corry, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport; Amanda DeGan, Town of Westlake; LaToyia Dennis, T.D. Jakes Ministries; Ariane Einecker, American Red Cross, North Texas Region; Mark Felts, Slalom; Joy Goodrum, La Buena Vida Youth Leadership Foundation; Sheila Haley, Texas Woman’s University; Susan Harris, Atmos Energy; Tricia Hatley, Freese and Nichols Inc.; Victoria Huyhn, deputy city attorney, city of Plano; Dena Jackson, Dallas Women’s Foundation; Mark Jacobs, Regions Bank; Lori McMahon, deputy chief of staff for U.S. Congressman Sam Johnson; Steve Mitchell, Thomson Reuters and Richardson city council member; Jonathan Morrison, Morrison & Co.; Greg Porter, city manager, city of Cedar Hill; Eddie Reyes, veteran, women and minority business consultant; Michelle Riddell, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas; Ron Ruthven, R3F Consulting; Howard Slobodin, — photo — Trinity River Authority of Texas; Amy Stelter, Trinity River Authority of Texas; Sue Rosson Tejml, mayor, Town of Copper Canyon; Becky Tucker, Integrated Health Campuses for Texas Health Resources; Mitch Whitten, Fort Worth Convention and Visitors Bureau; and Karen Zahaluk, Hope for the Brave.

Neos Therapeutics Inc. appointed Paul Edick, managing partner of 3G Advisors LLC, and financial leader John Schmid to its board. Edick was CEO of Durata Therapeutics from 2010-2014. Prior to that, he was CEO of Ganic Pharmaceuticals from 2008-2010, CEO of MedPointe Healthcare Inc. from 2006-2008, and president of pharmaceutical operations at MedPointe from 2002-2006. From 1994-2002, Edick worked in leadership positions at G. D. Searle and its acquirer, Pharmacia Corp. Edick currently serves on the boards of directors of NewLink Genetics Inc. and Circassia Ltd.

Schmid served as chief financial officer of Auspex Pharmaceuticals Inc., from 2013-2015. Prior to that, he co-founded Trius Therapeutics Inc., where he served as CFO from 2004-2013. He also served as CFO at GeneFormatics Inc. from 1998-2003 and as CFO at Endonetics Inc. from 1995-1998. He currently serves as chairman of the board of Speak Inc.


Andre Fortune, assistant to the vice chancellor for student affairs at the University of Nebraska, has been hired as the new assistant vice president for student affairs at the University of Texas at Arlington. Fortune has served as director of the Office of Academic Success and Intercultural Services at the University of Nebraska since 2009. From 2007 to 2009, he was director of recruitment and retention for the College of Engineering.

Honors & Awards

Shirley Peterson, president of CMIT Solutions, has been named “Woman of the Channel” by CRN Magazine. This award recognizes women who drive the growth and advancement of the IT community. This is her third time winning the award.


Andrew Weber, former first assistant attorney general of Texas under now- Gov. Gregg Abbott, is the new partner in charge of Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP’s Austin office, effective July 1. In his new role, Weber will oversee client and community initiatives and focus on long-term strategic planning for the Austin office. Additionally, he will continue to chair the firm’s public law practice group. Weber joined Kelly Hart in 2006, after serving as the first lawyer clerk of the Texas Supreme Court. He left the firm when he was named head of the civil division of the attorney general’s office. He was later appointed first assistant attorney general. Kelly Hart welcomed Weber back as a partner in 2010. Later, he returned to the court as a staff attorney to Justice Jack Hightower and to then-Justice Priscilla Owen.

Gordon Sykes LLP added Desiree L. Strong as a partner. Strong will concentrate her practice in the areas of banking, franchising, real estate, and estate planning and probate.


Eklund’s has expanded into the Western region with a new presence in California. Based near Los Angeles, Tom Kotiranta will serve as a business development representative, working with customers to navigate custom elevator cab projects. He also will help launch the firm’s new standard cab line, StreamLine. Before joining Eklund’s, Kotiranta served as a regional sales manager for an architectural ceiling system fabricator.

Nonprofit Organizations

Ron Sylvan is the new managing director of the North Texas office of Children at Risk. He started his career in the field of education, having served as a classroom teacher and a secondary school administrator. He has more than 30 years of nonprofit management experience with several national organizations, including Make-A-Wish Foundation, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, United States Olympic Committee and Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

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