Newsmakers:A third-generation Decker forming new law firm

Decker Jones PC, the second-oldest law firm in Fort Worth, and attorney Kelly Decker jointly announced on March 1 that she has left Decker Jones to start a new law firm with her husband, Fort Worth attorney Olyn Poole. The new firm will be called Decker Poole PLLC.

After starting her legal career at another Fort Worth-based firm, Kelly Decker joined Decker Jones 10 years ago. Her grandfather, Robert Decker, became a named partner of the firm over 50 years ago.

After considering the idea for several years, she decided the time was right to pursue her desire to have her own law firm.

“We will certainly miss having Kelly at our firm, but we are excited for her and wish her nothing but the very best,” said senior partner Chuck Milliken. “We will always consider her to be part of our family.”

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“My 10 years with Decker Jones have been rewarding and exciting as I have developed my law practice,” said Kelly Decker. “I appreciate the mentorship I’ve received and know that being part of the Decker Jones family helped make me a better attorney. I have developed strong friendships with my partners at Decker Jones, which I know I will retain even though I am no longer ‘officially’ with the firm.”

The Law Firm of Decker Poole has signed a 1,770-square-foot office lease in Ridglea Bank Building at 6300 Ridglea Place in Fort Worth.

Decker Jones was formed in 1896 and has grown into a full-service law firm of 27 lawyers practicing in areas including business and corporate law, merger and acquisitions, commercial and real estate litigation, construction, employment, estate and probate, intellectual property, oil and gas, real estate, and family law. The law firm is headquartered in Fort Worth and has clients throughout Texas, the nation and the world.


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Crestline Investors Inc. has added Graham Officer as managing director at the firm, where he will focus on business development and client partnerships. Officer will head marketing for the Crestline Summit Equity Alpha Fund, a multi-PM equity relative value hedge fund launched in July 2015. He will be based in New York and report to Frank Jordan, head of business development and client partnerships.


Southeast Fort Worth Inc. has added six new members to the Board of Directors: Peter Grant Jordan, Tarrant County College South Campus; Michael Karol, Northern Realty Group; Dee J. Kelly Jr., Kelly Hart & Hallman; Lenetra S. King, Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth; and Melissa M. Mitchell, Bennett Benner Partners Architects + Planners. Carol Griffith of the City of Fort Worth was added as an ex-officio member.

John Dewar, vice president with Freese and Nichols Inc., will chair the 2017 Board of Directors. Other board members are: Reeshemah Davis, YMCA of Metropolitan Fort Worth; Erica Estrada, Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce; Glenn S. Forbes, JPMorgan; Curvie Hawkins Jr., The Fort Worth Transportation Authority; Alex Jimenez; Devoyd “Dee” Jennings, Fort Worth Metropolitan Black Chamber of Commerce; Lorraine C. Miller, Northern Realty Group; Kimberly C. Porter, BlueZones Project Fort Worth Healthways; Frederick G. Slabach, Texas Wesleyan University; and Vernell Sturns, CP&Y Inc.

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Mark Debenport, has been added to The Beck Group’s Fort Worth office. Debenport has worked in the industry in Fort Worth since 1994, most recently at The Walsh Group/Archer Western Construction as preconstruction director.


FASTSIGNS of Fort Worth-Alliance received the 2016 Small Business of the Year Award at the Northwest Metroport Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards Gala on Jan. 27. Award recipients are nominated by the membership and selected by the chamber’s Board of Directors.

“We are truly honored to be recognized as the Small Business of the Year,” said Sam Leopard, outside sales professional. “This award reflects our entire team’s dedication to helping businesses and organizations tell their story, increase awareness and achieve their goals. We thank the chamber organization and our customers for their continued support and look forward to cotinine serving the local business community for many more years to come.”

The Alliance FASTSIGNS was also honored as a Gold Event Partner for the support and signage they provide for chamber events throughout the year.

Dallas Fort Worth International Airport was named “Best Large Airport in North America,” according to Airports Council International. DFW Airport achieved the top ranking for customer satisfaction among large airports, according to ACI’s 2016 Airport Service Quality program survey. The airport finished first for all airports in North America serving more than 40 million passengers each year.

Mansfield Independent School District received a Texas Environmental Excellence Award from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality in the category of innovative operations/management.

Mansfield ISD said it started an energy conservation program in 2012 with three primary goals: reduce the environmental impact of school district operations; reduce overall utility costs by 20 percent; and educate students, teachers and community members about their roles in implementing efficient practices. The result? Nearly $7 million in savings that can be used elsewhere to improve student learning.

The award winners are jointly selected by TCEQ commissioners and the governor.

The Texas Association of Realtors honored several local real estate officials during its Texas Realtors 2017 winter meeting in Austin. The Tom D. Morton Association Executive of the Year award was presented to Mary Leidy, CEO of the Collin County Association of Realtors. The award is given only to Realtor association leaders with a long track record of service to their local association and a high level of respect among industry peers. Leidy was honored for her leadership at the local, state and national levels.

Coy Garrett of Coy E. Garrett & Associates in Arlington received the 2016 William C. Jennings Award for the outstanding commercial real estate transaction of the year. Garrett spearheaded the largest and most expensive redevelopment of industrial and commercial property in Arlington’s history, which is expected to bring more than 2,000 new jobs to the area.

The state group also recognized local Realtor associations that began innovative programs and educational courses over the last year that keep Texas Realtors up to date with legal, business marketing and industry trends. The Austin Board of Realtors, Collin County Association of Realtors, Houston Association of Realtors, MetroTex Association of Realtors and San Antonio Board of Realtors were each recognized in the Education Awards category.


Attorney Timothy Davis has joined Cantey Hanger LLP as a partner. His primary area of practice is commercial, health care and employment litigation. Davis represents a wide range of clients, from major hospitals and health liability carriers to start-ups, as well as churches and religious nonprofits.


Vickie L. Allen has been named director of major gifts for United Way of Tarrant County. For more than a decade she was an assistant professor in the Business Administration Department at St. Catherine University in St. Paul and Minneapolis, one of the largest Catholic liberal arts institutions for women.

Allen previously was executive director of Jeremiah Program, a nationally recognized nonprofit that helps women and children transform from poverty to prosperity through education and career-track employment. In addition, she spent more than 10 years in the corporate sector, working in leadership and sales positions with Xerox, IBM and M&M Mars.

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