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Monday, November 23, 2020
News Newsmakers: New branding firm in Fort Worth

Newsmakers: New branding firm in Fort Worth

Other News

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Advertising, Marketing & Public Relations

Balcom Agency promoted Lesley Dupre from account manager to account director and public relations specialist. She will continue to lead marketing strategies for such clients as the Neeley Executive MBA Program at Texas Christian University, Mrs Baird’s Bread and Ball Park Buns. Dupre joined Balcom in 2010 and is a board member for Greater Fort Worth Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.

Shawna Duckworth opened a new full-service branding firm called Volare in Fort Worth. Volare specializes in promotional, print and eCommerce needs. Duckworth is partnering with Proforma, an award-winning global provider of promotional products, printing services, business documents and eCommerce solutions. Duckworth has more than 20 years of industry experience working as a corporate branding solutions provider.


E4H Environments for Health, an architecture firm exclusively focused on health care and health innovation, appointed Larry LeMaster as the firm’s new chief financial officer. Before joining E4H, LeMaster, a certified public accountant, was executive vice president, CFO at Wilson Associates, where he set and enforced all strategic initiatives including mergers and acquisitions, financial performance, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, and firm value management. Previously he spent 22 years at HKS Inc., moving from controller to vice president of finance and ultimately principal, CFO. He helped the company open nine new offices and navigate eight acquisitions during the early 2000s. In 2007, LeMaster received the Stevie Award as Best CFO of the Year in the United States.

Banking & Finance

Capital One Bank added David Bekerman to its middle market commercial banking team in Fort Worth as a relationship manager. Previously he spent 10 years with BBVA Compass, most recently as vice president in the company’s middle market commercial banking team. Earlier in his career, he worked for JP Morgan Chase supporting its underwriting and credit monitoring processes. Bekerman is active in Fort Worth, serving on the board of The Parenting Center.

New additions at Premier Bank Texas in Grapevine are Jaime Dejesus as vice president, mortgage banking market manager, and Ron Gayle as mortgage banking officer. Dejesus, a former Marine, entered the financial industry in 2001. He has worked in many major markets, including, New York, Florida, California and Texas. He switched to the mortgage industry in 2009.

Gayle has more than 23 years of banking experience and entered the mortgage industry in 2014. Previously, Gayle, a Realtor, was the owner and general manager of a residential construction business. Earlier he worked for several years for a multinational banking corporation, where he worked in areas including trust, estate administration, financial planning and project management.

Boards & Organizations

Playa Hotels & Resorts B.V., an owner, operator and developer of premium all-inclusive resorts, and Pace Holdings Corp., a special-purpose acquisition company sponsored by an affiliate of TPG, named Tom Klein, former CEO, president and board member of Sabre Corp., to Playa’s board. Playa and Pace recently agreed to merge. At the end of the transaction, which is expected in first quarter 2017, the combined company will keep the Playa name and will be a publicly listed company. Klein is an industry veteran with more than 20 years of experience in the travel and leisure sector. Klein had a variety of executive roles at Sabre, including group president of both Sabre Travel Network and Sabre Airline Solutions, as well as company president in 2010. Early in his career, Klein led Sabre’s joint venture in Mexico. He serves on the board of trustees at Villanova School of Business, the board of Cedar Fair LP and on the executive committee of World Travel and Tourism Council. Klein was appointed by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker to both the President’s Advisory Council for Doing Business in Africa and the board of Brand USA, where he currently is chairman.

The 2017 Fort Worth Stockyards Business Association board includes: President Keith Powell, Hub Baker, Paul Gallagher, Nancy Gill, Trey Gordon, Bradley Hickman, Kristin Jaworski, Robert McKibben, Philip Murrin, Dena Newell, Chris Spinks, Marti Taylor, Bob Watkins and George Westby.

Event Management

Sedona Productions hired Thomas Dowdy as creative productions director of the company’s event technology division. Dowdy spent the last seven years with Onstage systems in Dallas, where he became a lead A1 audio engineer. He is a certified L’acoustics K1/K2 technician and has completed training seminars in Soundvision, LA-Network, Smaart Live and DiGico SD10 consoles. Dowdy’s portfolio includes: FWSO Concerts in the Garden, Edgefest, Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving Day halftime shows, Wildflower Festival, Taste of Dallas, Red Dirt Roundup, Earth Wind & Fire Regional and Dallas Symphony Orchestra parks events.

Funeral Homes

The Mount Olivet Cemetery Association named Jim Kennerly as president and chief operating officer. Previously, Kennerly was the association’s executive vice president and in-house legal counsel. He succeeds Jon Stephenson, who retired after 40 years of service. The century-old funeral home and cemetery business owns and manages Greenwood Funeral Homes and Cremation, Greenwood Memorial Park and Florist, and Mount Olivet Cemetery and Florist. He will continue as the association’s in-house legal counsel.

Health Care

Jeffrey S. Cook is the new CEO of the joint venture between Texas Health Resources and Aetna. Most recently, Cook was national vice president, insurance and value-based strategy and reimbursement, for Ascension Health. While at Ascension, he managed the insurance and value-based strategy for seven health plans, 20 ACOs, 145 hospitals and 6,000 physicians across the United States. Concurrently, he was president and CEO for Seton Insurance Services, Seton Health Alliance and Seton Health Plan. He was responsible for Seton’s managed care, accountable care organization, health plan, community insurance, charge master pricing and hospital case management. Previously Cook was vice president, managed care and pricing strategies, for Seton Healthcare Family and was CEO of UnitedHealthcare in Central Texas.

Civitas Senior Living hired Dionne Motal as vice president of human resources. Motal has a long career in human resources and has specialized in the health care sector since 2000. Previously, she led a district-based human resource team at Sava Senior Care and was the senior vice president of skilled health care prior to its merger with Genesis Healthcare Systems. Motal has certifications from both the Human Resources Certification Institute and the Society for Human Resource Management.

Honors & Awards

Purnendu “Sandy” Dasgupta, the Hamish Small Chair of Ion Analysis in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Texas at Arlington, received the 2016 Eastern Analytical Symposium’s highest award, the Award for Outstanding Achievements in the Fields of Analytical Chemistry.

Hilton Arlington General Manager Joe Jennings was named 2016 General Manager of the Year Full Service Hotels by the Tarrant County Hotel Association. Jennings began his 20-year hotel management career at the Westin Copley Place in Boston, where he supervised an $11 million property renovation. He then moved to Dallas, where he worked as area director of operations over Sheraton Brook Hollow Hotel and Radisson Hotel. He worked in Houston as director of operations at Hotel Derek and general manager at The Houston Magnolia Hotel. He spent six years in Washington, D.C., managing properties for RB Properties Inc., and then was vice president of hotel operations/task force general manager at eXceed Hospitality Asset Advisors.

Fort Worth’s vehicle fleet received a Bronze Award from DFW Clean Cities for leading the way with alternative-fuel vehicles and advanced technology vehicles. DFW Clean Cities is a program of the North Central Texas Council of Governments and the Regional Transportation Council.

Texas Trust Credit Union won two Pinnacle Awards from the Cornerstone Credit Union League for excellence in credit union marketing, public relations and business development. Texas Trust received an award for its Spirit in Action initiative and its One Million Brighter celebration.

The Dallas/Fort Worth Minority Supplier Development Council honored the University of North Texas System for excellence in developing a supplier diversity program and providing exceptional support to minority businesses. The UNT System Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) Program received an Excellence Award from the council as Emerging Buying Entity of the Year.

Radio & Television

Fort Worth native Madison Adams joined CBS 11 News This Morning (weekdays 4:30-7 a.m.) as traffic anchor. Adams, a graduate of Baylor University, most recently was an anchor and reporter for KWTX-TV in Waco. While there she was also the lead reporter for the Emmy Award-winning KWTX Baylor Gameday show, which airs before each Baylor home football game. Previously she was a sports reporter and anchor for Baylor Athletics, where she co-anchored regional broadcasts for events such as the Cotton Bowl, Russell Athletic Bowl, NFL Pro Day and National Signing Day.

Real Estate

Dawn Zimmerman joined Cushman & Wakefield as operations director of its Dallas-Fort Worth office. Most recently, Zimmerman was director of global corporate services and regional operations manager for Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, a post she had for more than five years. Prior to that, she spent nine years at CBRE, where she was regional operations manager.


Travel technology company Sabre Corp. named Sean Menke its new president and CEO. Menke succeeds Tom Klein, who retired after three years leading the company. Menke joined Sabre in 2015 and has been executive vice president overseeing the travel network division. Before joining Sabre, Menke was CEO of Frontier Airlines and was a senior executive with Hawaiian Airlines and Air Canada.

Send Newsmakers to rfrancis@bizpress.net


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