People: July 15, 2013


D/FW Airport names new CEO

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport officials have named veteran airline executive Sean Donohue as the airport’s new CEO. The airport’s board of directors announced it approved Donohue during its regularly scheduled board meeting today. Donohue currently serves as chief operating officer for Virgin Australia, headquartered in Brisbane, Aus. The appointment is subject to execution of a definitive employment contract, but Donohue is expected to assume his new role in October. Donohue is presently responsible for Virgin Australia’s Operations Division encompassing engineering operations, ground operations, flight operations, cabin crew operations, group flight standards, operations planning, catering services and safety systems. He also is responsible for corporate facilities and property. In addition, he is responsible for the operations of Virgin Australia New Zealand. Donohue has more than 25 years of airline and operational experience, working in senior roles at United Airlines.

“I am honored that the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth have entrusted me with the leadership of their Airport, which is in large measure responsible for the economic vitality of the region and the state,” Donohue said in a statement. “The board, the management team, and the employees of D/FW have built an inclusive culture and a record of accomplishment that creates the platform for continued innovation and success. I look forward to joining the D/FW team and working with our stakeholders to assure the highest levels of customer satisfaction, operational excellence, cost competitiveness and employee engagement, which will enable the Airport to deliver on its mission for many years to come.” Donohue will succeed Jeffrey P. Fegan, who announced his retirement in January after 29 years at D/FW Airport, the last 19 as CEO. “Mr. Donohue is a proven executive with a deep understanding of the aviation business, and he has earned the respect of many leaders in the airline and airport industry over the years.” said Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price. “He inherits a team that is recognized as one of the best in the world in terms of creating a positive experience for the traveling public, and his leadership style and personality will be a good fit for the organization.”

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Honors & Awards

The National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum will honor eight legendary cowboys and two cowgirls during its annual Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Banquet July 26 at the Worthington Renaissance Hotel in Fort Worth. This year’s honorees include early professional rodeo trailblazer Lawrence Homer Coffee; actress Pam Grier; African-American rancher and historian Mollie Taylor Stevenson Jr.; nationally recognized artist Burl Washington; world rodeo champion Fred Whitfield; and actor, cartoonist and satirist Walt Willey. Posthumous inductees are Col. Allen Allensworth, James Butler “Wild Bill” Hickok, Woodrow Wilson Woolwine “Woody” Strode and Floyd “Buck” Wyatt.

The awards ceremony and banquet will kick off a weekend of events celebrating the National Day of the American Cowboy. Additional weekend highlights will include a benefit concert on July 25 featuring Avery Sunshine, George Huff, Aquile and comedian Kenn Coxx; a free Western Heritage Symposium on July 27; a Living History presentation of “An Evening with Wild Bill Hickok,” a one-man show with Walt Willey on July 27; Zydeco Music Festival on July 27; and Hall of Fame Rodeo on July 28. For ticket information, a schedule of events and a list of locations, visit, or contact the NMWHM business office at 817-922-9999,

Banking & Finance Rogers Wealth Group recently hired Kyla Whittley as an associate financial adviser, Toby Teakell as a marketing associate for retirement plan services, Kendra Whittley as a marketing associate, Allison Doornik as client services associate in investment adviser service, and Deanna Williams as financial operations associate. Kyla Whittley will assist in retirement plan services through 401(k) education meetings for employers and plan participants.

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Channda Dunbar has been promoted to North Texas diversity leader at PwC. She was previously Washington Metro sourcing manager.

Boards & Organizations Louise Appleman recently was elected president of the Tarrant County College District Board of Trustees. Other officers elected are Kristin Vandergriff, vice president; O.K. Carter, secretary; and Conrad Heede, assistant secretary. Tom Tallent has been elected secretary/treasurer of the Texas Mortgage Bankers Association for the 2013-2014 term. Tallent is Southwest Bank’s senior vice president-credit manager for the bank’s Dallas-based Mortgage Warehouse Lending team. He has served on the TMBA board for three years. He is also a two-term past president of the Fort Worth Mortgage Bankers Association. Tallent has more than 15 years of experience in the banking industry. Prior to joining Southwest Bank earlier this year, he was vice president of servicing acquisitions, escalations and investor relations at Colonial Savings, F.A. Tallent has served two terms on his local city council as well as on the boards of his local library and chamber of commerce. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Texas at Arlington and is recognized by the national Mortgage Bankers Association as an accredited mortgage professional.

Judy Youngs, executive director of a Wish with Wings Inc. in Fort Worth, is the new president of the Association of Wish Granting Organizations.

Steve Rigby, a senior vice president with CBRE in Dallas, has been elected chairman of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society North Texas Board of Trustees. Vice chairmen are Erin Ragsdale, senior vice president of Allyn Media Group; Keith Pearson, president of Pearson Partners International; and Don Armstrong, project manager of PVR. Larry Kivett, partner with Deloitte Financial Advisory Services LLP, was elected treasurer and George Meza, senior manager at Accenture Consulting, was elected secretary. New board members are Alvin Wade, national managing partner, Grant Thornton; Steve Gunner, president of Paranet’s information technology staffing division; Tom O’Brien, partner at Baker Botts; Keith Williams, an investor with Crestline; and Jennifer House, community volunteer.

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Jamie D. Grant is the new chairman of the board for the Fort Worth Metropolitan Black Chamber of Commerce. Grant is president of JDG Wealth Management Group LLC and is a chartered retirement planning counselor with securities registrations through LPL Financial. The Fort Worth native earned a bachelor’s degree in economics/finance from Grambling State University and has served on several boards, including the black chamber, the Fort Worth Pension Committee and The North Texas Commission. Joining Grant on the board are nine new members: Breon Davis, assistant vice president for the Texas Rangers; Grace Daniels, Oncor area manager; Robert Jameson, president, Fort Worth Convention & Visitors Bureau; Sultan Cole, pastor, Revealed Word Ministry; Kimberly Agoro, CEO, Wellness Village; Monica Bailey Jackson, president, LeVis Consulting Group; Tre Garret, artistic director at Jubilee Theatre; Christopher Brim, senior manager at Jacobs; and Javan McLin, senior analyst at Bell Helicopter.

Honors & Awards Victoria Farrar-Myers, University of Texas at Arlington distinguished political science professor, has been named the 2013-2014 Fulbright Distinguished Chair in American Political Science at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia. She will be in residence during spring 2014. The Fulbright Distinguished Chair is intended to increase the awareness of the study of American politics and government in Australia and promote comparative and collaborative research in political science between Australia and the United States. She is one of 17 Americans to be recognized as a Fulbright Scholar to Australia in 2013. Farrar-Myers is an authority on the American presidency. She will conduct research on executive foreign policy-making with a particular emphasis on the Pacific Rim, take part in graduate and undergraduate seminars and deliver public lectures on a speaking tour throughout Australia. She joined UT-Arlington in 1998 and was a 2012 recipient of the University of Texas System Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award. She was an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow and has been a national finalist for The Congressional Medal of Honor Society’s Citizen Service Before Self Honors. Farrar-Myers earned her bachelor’s degree in political science from Russell Sage College, a master’s degree in political science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a doctoral degree in political science from the State University of New York at Albany.

The Southlake Chamber of Commerce presented its annual awards to community members during a banquet June 20 at the Marriott Solana Hotel. The 2013 Southlake Community MVP Award recipients are: David Faltys, Carroll Independent School District, Citizen of the Year; Greg Last, EDTBestPractices LLC, Chairman’s Award; Shana Yelverton, city of Southlake, President’s Award; Pro Players Foundation, Civic Group of the Year; Ian MacLean, Highland Landscaping LLC, Director of the Year; Grubbs Infiniti, Corporate Business of the Year; Burger Shack…breakfast too!, Small Business of the Year; Kevin Archer, Providential Realty Partners, Leadership Southlake Alumni of the Year; Laura Fuquay, Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Southlake, Volunteer of the Year; Lindsay Polyak, Knutson CPA PLLC, Ambassador of the Year; and Courtney Kent and Andrew Adams, Youth of the Year. Paint Horse Journal, the flagship publication of the American Paint Horse Association, earned recognition for excellence in editorial and design June 22 at the 2013 American Horse Publications Seminar in Colorado Springs, Colo. The association won the following First Place awards: Instructional Single Article, “Excellence in Equitation,” October 2012, written by Laura Stevens; Editorial Design, Circulation 10,000-20,000, “Behind Blue Eyes,” June 2012, designed by Art Vasquez; and Editorial Event Coverage Single Article, Circulation Under 20,000, “World of Dreams,” September 2012, written and photographed by the Paint Horse Journal staff. A Second Place award was for Publication Cover Page, Circulation 10,000-20,000, October 2012, photographed by Jessica Hein and designed by Vazquez, while Third Place awards went for Editorial Event Coverage Single Article, Circulation Under 20,000, “Riding High in Houston,” May 2012, written by Stevens; and Service to the Reader Article, Circulation Under 20,000, “Clean Up Your Act,” May 2012, also written by Stevens. The magazine received an Honorable Mention for General Excellence, Association Publication, Circulation Under 15,000.

Plaza Medical Center of Fort Worth, a HCA North Texas Hospital, is the first hospital in North Texas, and only the fifth in the state of Texas, to receive comprehensive stroke center certification. Plaza Medical Center was certified by DNV Healthcare.

Nonprofit Organizations Goodwill Industries of Fort Worth Inc. hired Ollincia Martin-Beard as west regional employment services manager and promoted Kristen Nicola to east regional employment services manager. Both Martin-Beard and Nicola will manage a team of five to eight employment specialists whose main focus is to assist people with disabilities and other disadvantages in gaining and keeping jobs. Prior to joining Goodwill, Martin-Beard served eight years in the U.S. Army as an automated logistical specialist and retention support specialist. She attended Henderson State University and the University of Alaska at Fairbanks, where she studied psychology. Nicola graduated with a bachelor of fine arts degree from the University of North Texas. She worked in sales, management and freelance interior design before joining Goodwill in 2012.

Lighthouse for the Blind of Fort Worth has two new hires. Andrea Hein, a recent graduate of Texas Christian University, has joined as the external communication coordinator. Hein has a bachelor’s degree in both advertising/public relations and speech-language pathology. She will oversee communication/media relations, employee communication, community and philanthropic activities, social media, brand management, and the production of marketing materials. Cecilia Nava spent the last seven years with the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services as an assistive technology specialist and joins the Lighthouse’s rehabilitation team in the same capacity. Within her first 60 days with Lighthouse, Nava coordinated and provided specialized training for the 2013 Camp Lighthouse @ the Y, where blind youth spent part of each camp day learning or enhancing their knowledge of the iPad.

Retail RadioShack Corp. named Merianne Roth to the new role of vice president-communications. Roth’s responsibilities will include RadioShack’s corporate communications, community relations, internal communications and event marketing. Roth joins RadioShack from the Fort Worth Convention & Visitors Bureau, where she was vice president, marketing and communications. Her background includes leadership roles for J.C. Penney, where she was director of consumer brand marketing and publicity, and Pier 1 Imports Inc., where she was senior manager of public relations. Roth serves on the boards of Fort Worth Bike Share, Fort Worth Food & Wine Festival and the Women’s Center of Tarrant County.

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