Newsmakers: Business development expert joins Pettit as project manager


Natalie Ayala Moore, a former business development official for the city of Fort Worth, has joined David Pettit Economic Development as a project manager. She will focus on economic development and real estate development projects and maximizing opportunities for public-private partnerships.

Moore was business development coordinator for Fort Worth’s Economic Development Department. At the city, her responsibilities included implementing incentives such as tax abatements, economic development program grants, tax increment financing, EB-5 funding and state tax incentives.

Previously Moore was an analyst with Integra Realty Resources in Fort Worth, where her work focused on commercial real estate appraisals used for loan underwriting for property types including office, hotel, industrial, retail and multifamily. Earlier in her career, Moore was an associate in CBRE’s brokerage services division. There she was responsible for negotiating and executing office and industrial lease and sale transactions.

Moore is a member of the Real Estate Council of Greater Fort Worth and received its 2017 Outstanding Young Leader Award. She is chairman of the Workforce Advisory Board for Catholic Charities and is a member of the Junior League of Fort Worth. She is a graduate of Leadership Fort Worth’s LeadingEdge program and served as the District 6 zoning commissioner in Fort Worth during 2014-2015.

- FWBP Digital Partners -

Moore, a Fort Worth native, has an MBA in corporate finance from Texas Christian University and a bachelor’s degree in management from Texas A&M University.


PAVLOV has hired Jordan Jones as media manager and Lee Shaw as copywriter.

As media manager, Jones will lead media strategy, planning, negotiating, buying and reporting for traditional media platforms such as radio, television, print, radio and outdoor.

- Advertisement -

Jones most recently held a similar position at Texas Dairy Queen’s internal agency. Prior to that, he worked for Omnicom Media Group and The Richards Group, where he managed media campaigns for national brands such as Mercedes, Apple, Google, Chick Fil A and Infiniti.

As copywriter, Shaw will develop creative ideas and compose copy for newsletters, print ads, radio and television spots and content for digital search campaigns.

Shaw received a bachelor’s degree in professional writing and rhetoric from Baylor University. He interned with PAVLOV twice and has also worked as a project lead for Baylor’s professional writing and rhetoric major, interned for The Voices in Our Heads blog and was a senior editor for MXDWN.


- Advertisement -

Longtime Associated Press correspondent Mike Cochran and longtime Galveston County Daily News publisher Dolph Tillotson are among four Texas journalists inducted into the Texas Newspaper Foundation Hall of Fame for 2018.

The other honorees are former Seguin Gazette owner and publisher John C. Taylor Jr. and longtime Nacogdoches Daily Sentinel editor and publisher Victor B. Fain. Taylor died in 2014 at age 88. Fain died in 2000 at age 84.

Cochran was the AP’s Fort Worth correspondent for about 40 years. He covered some of the biggest stories Texas saw during those years and has written several books, including one on the Cullen Davis murder case. He has also done freelance work for the Fort Worth Business Press.

Tillotson was a veteran newspaper executive when he became the Galveston publisher in 1987 and president of Southern Newspapers Inc., owner of The Daily News, in 2014.

The induction ceremony was Jan. 19 at the Texas Press 2018 Midwinter Conference & Trade Show in Galveston.

Lighthouse for the Blind of Fort Worth was honored by National Industries for the Blind, the nation’s largest employment resource for people who are blind, with the 2017 Employment Growth Award. The award recognizes the Fort Worth group’s efforts to increase job retention, growth and upward mobility for people who are blind.

“The mission of the Lighthouse for the Blind for 82 years has been to provide meaningful job opportunities and second-to-none training so that people who are blind can achieve their desired level of independence. It is always nice to receive confirmation from your peers that you are making a difference,” said Platt L. Allen III, president and CEO.

Pulliam Pools was recognized as the Careity Foundation Volunteer Business of the Year at the 2017 Celebrity Cutting Event ion Fort Worth. The award was created to acknowledge a business that “genuinely exemplifies the spirit of volunteerism and humanitarianism in the workplace. This is a business that contributes employee time as a platform for serving others and calling attention to the needs of the community. This company is devoted to philanthropic leadership. Specifically, they have demonstrated a commitment to Careity Foundation’s work in preserving and enhancing quality of life for cancer patients and children.”


Lon Smith Roofing and Construction has promoted Shawn Michael to vice president of sales. Michael will take over all corporate sales activities, including agency services. He has been with the company since 1992 and previously was sales manager.


Tarrant County College Adjunct Professor Vanessa Steinkamp has been named a member of the Task Force on Academic Credit and Industry Recognition by Gov. Greg Abbott.

Steinkamp, a government instructor at TCC Northeast in Hurst, will serve along with Mike Bell of Henderson, Tac Buchanan of Amarillo, Sam Hurley of Athens and Jim Yeonopolus of Harker Heights. Terms are set to expire on Dec. 1, 2021.

The five-member task force was created by Texas HB 553 during the 85th Legislature to identify academic credit and industrial recognition for offenders within the Windham School at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.


Punam Kaji has been named assistant general counsel-employment and litigation for Ben E. Keith Co. Previously, Kaji was an associate at Haynes and Boone LLP. She is currently chairman of the State Bar Association’s Asian Pacific Interest Section.


J.Austin Franklin joins Kelly Hart & Hallman’s Fort Worth office as an associate in the Litigation Practice Group. Franklin’s practice represents corporate and individual clients in matters including commercial disputes, breach of contract actions and employment matters.

Franklin previously served on active duty in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps representing the Army, military personnel, federal government employees and federal agents.


Texas Motor Speedway has hired public relations specialist Gavin Faretra and television multimedia journalist Jake Young in managerial positions in its Media Relations Department.

Faretra spent five years as the communications manager for the Speedway Motorsports Inc.’s sister track in Loudon, New Hampshire. He will work as a media relations manager for Texas Motor Speedway with an emphasis on print and digital media outlets.

Young worked for seven years career in the television industry as a sports anchor and reporter. He comes from Dallas-based KDAF-TV, CW33, where he was a multimedia journalist since 2016 on the station’s hour-long program NewsFix.


Summit Truck Group in Lewisville has added Craig Gassman as an area new truck sales director.

Send newsmakers to Robert Francis at