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People: Aug. 12, 2013


People Architecture The Beck Group named Scot Bennett as director of business development for the Fort Worth regional office. Bennett has nearly 20 years of experience in the design, construction and real estate industries. A trained architect, he has focused on the development of strategic relationships for more than a decade. Most recently, Bennett was responsible for the growth and development of the private/corporate sector and the Southwest district for a noted general contracting firm. CMA recently made the following promotions in its Fort Worth office: Gretchen Gause, senior architect; Laura Sanchez, senior project manager; Jason Beane, senior project manager; and Tami O’Neal, senior interior designer. Recent hires include Heather McElroy, interior design intern.

Aviation Jason Johnson has joined Bell Helicopter as director, sales and customer support activities worldwide. Most recently, Johnson was vice president, customer support and contract administration at Heli-One, CHC. In this role, Jason was responsible for the organization’s financial and operational success for the Canadian division of Heli-One. Prior to this, he had leadership roles at Safran, in the Turbomeca Engine and Sagem Avionics divisions. He also worked at Honeywell Aerospace. His aviation career began in the U.S. Air Force, where he served as a crew chief on A-10/OA-10 aircraft. Johnson earned an FAA Airframe and Powerplant certification and a bachelor’s degree in business management. Most recently, he completed a leadership and management program at the University of Texas at Dallas.

Banking & Finance Joining Colonial Savings F.A. is Chris Combest, who will work as commercial lending relationship specialist. Combest was previously at Frost Bank, where she managed commercial banking relationships for the institution. Kristopher Reece recently joined Whitley Penn as a tax accountant in the Fort Worth office. He was previously a staff accountant with Fitzgerald, DePietro & Wojnas CPAs.

Boards & Organizations Phil Cornies, chief financial officer at Hub International Insurance Services, was recently named president of the Fort Worth Chapter of the Financial Executives International for 2013-2014. Other officers and committee chairmen include: past president, Jeremy Sweek, Sweek Consulting; president-elect, Shannon Greene, Tandy Leather Factory Inc.; membership, Ann Crossman, Andritz Separation; membership (co-chairman), Lori Blythe, Co-Operative Industries Aerospace & Defense; programs, Alan Martin, Dent Zone Companies Inc.; treasurer, Joan Bradford-Pope, Gainsco Insurance; arrangements, Desiree Koozer, Pier 1 Imports Inc.; academic relations, Patricia Walters, Neeley School of Business, Texas Christian University; career management, Randy McCall, JMac Energy; professional development/CPE, Brandon Lobell, Hillwood Properties; directory, Jennifer McKeever, Hub International Insurance Services; diversity, Chandra Subramaniam, University of Texas at Arlington; newsletters, J. Graydon Vandament, Jacobs Engineering; sponsorship, Shannon Greene, Tandy Leather Factory Inc.; socials/plant tour, Carol Stuckley; web/technology, Mark Collier, Goff Capital Partners; publicity, Brian Dutton, Silver Creek Resources; golf tournament, Dutton and Tom Hook, Lockton Companies. Gov. Rick Perry appointed Jesus (Jesse) Nevarez Jr. of Keller as judge of the 231st Judicial District Court in Tarrant County for a term to expire at the next general election. Nevarez is an attorney in private practice and a licensed certified payroll professional. He is a member of the State Bar of Texas and the State Bar of Texas Family, Juvenile, Real Estate, Probate and Trust law sections. He is also a member of the Tarrant County Family Law Bar Association, Parker County Bar Association and American Payroll Association, and is a past member of the Mexican American Bar Association. He served in the U.S. Air Force. Nevarez received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Dallas and a law degree from the Texas Wesleyan University School of Law. Mary Vaccaro, professor of art and art history at the University of Texas at Arlington, has been appointed to the national screening committee for U.S. student Fulbright applications to Italy. Vaccaro, an expert on Italian Renaissance art, is one of three people, representing different disciplines and fields, who will serve on the committee. The Fort Worth Independent School District Board of Education elected District 3 Representative Christene Chadwick Moss as president, District 2 Representative Tobi Jackson as first vice president, T.A. Sims from District 4 as second vice president and Norman Robbins, the District 7 representative, as secretary. Moss, a graduate of the FWISD, began her board service in 1990. She is a registered nurse and works with the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services. She is the second African-American FWISD board president, Sims being the first. Jackson, a lifelong resident of East Fort Worth and a FWISD graduate, was elected to the board in 2010. She received a bachelor’s degree from UT-Arlington and a master’s degree from the University of North Texas. Sims was first elected to the board in 1983. He graduated from Texas Southern University’s School of Pharmacy with a bachelor’s and a master’s degree. In 1984, he received his doctor of pharmacy certification from the National Association of Retail Druggists. Robbins has served on the board since 2004. He has a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in business administration from Trinity University and has worked for Lockheed Martin since 1986, currently as senior manager of community relations. Fort Worth Can Academies named Scott Murray and Charles Powell to its Development Council. Murray is a well-known and award-winning former sports director and television anchor formerly with Dallas-Fort Worth’s NBC 5. He is chairman and CEO of Murray Media. Powell is president and chief operating officer of Bank of Texas, Fort Worth region. He also is chairman of the finance committee for the board of John Peter Smith Hospital and Healthcare Network. Murray and Powell will join Development Council members Geneva Cuellar, Victor Diaz, Jim Dickenson, Anthony Drake, Roberta Gerrick, Carrie Grider-Thompson, Liffort Hobley, Larry Mallory, Mark McLemore, Pastor Nunley, Emerico Perez, Jeff Powell, Diane Stow, Preston Taylor and Byron Williams. Texas Can Academies recently elected Rudy Oeftering and Regina Thompson to its board for three-year terms. Oeftering owns Oeftering Properties, a multi-tenant rental business, and was chairman of the Texas Association of Business. Thompson is a clinical and operational director for Children’s Medical Center. She earned a master’s degree in nursing, health care administration from UT-Arlington, and is a registered nurse and member of the Texas Nurses Association. The Health Industry Council Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Health Industry Council of Dallas/Fort Worth, appointed Kay Kirk Tieman to its board for a three-year term concluding on May 31, 2015. Tieman is an associate at the Dallas office of Higginbotham, a firm headquartered in Fort Worth. She got her start in health care in 1983 and specializes in risk management for the life science and health care industries. Tieman is a member of the Health Industry Council Technology Task Force, the Dallas Business Group on Health, the Texas Healthcare and Bioscience Institute, OkBio and BioAustin, and is an associate advisory board member for BioHouston. The National Institutes of Health Center for Scientific Review has chosen UT Arlington assistant biology professor Julian Hurdle to serve on a study section that reviews grant applications, makes recommendations and surveys the status of research in a particular field. Hurdle, a specialist in molecular microbiology and bacterial infectious diseases, will serve on the Drug Discovery and Mechanisms of Antimicrobial Resistance Study Section through June 30, 2017. Hurdle joined the UT Arlington College of Science in 2010 and was awarded a five-year, $1.9 million research grant in 2011 from the National Institutes of Health National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

Education Linda Martinez Petrey is principal at Our Lady of Victory Catholic School in Fort Worth. A 1978 OLV alumnus, she’s spent 20 years at her alma mater, 15 years teaching and five years as office staff. She graduated from Nolan Catholic High School in 1982 and received her business degree from Texas Christian University in 1986, her teaching certification in 1998 from the University of Texas at Arlington and her master’s degree in education from Concordia University in 2012. Health Care Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Southwest Fort Worth named Andrew Wilson senior director of support services. Wilson will oversee operations for various departments, including facilities management, security, nutritional and environmental services, and environment of care. He also will be responsible for managing business data analytics and business development for surgical services. Wilson previously was the administrative fellow at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth. During his tenure at Texas Health Fort Worth, he served on the hospital executive staff, where he managed ambulatory outpatient clinics. He also was project manager for the Texas Health Fort Worth Ambulatory Surgery Center and the creation of a 50-bed observation unit. Wilson graduated from Trinity University with a master’s degree in health care administration. New hires at Texas Health Care PLLC are Dr. Cherie LeFevre and Dr. Triwanna Fisher-Wikoff. LeFevre, one of a few dozen doctors in the United States who specialize in vulvar, vaginal disorders, will be director of Texas Health Care’s Fort Worth Center for Vulvar, Vaginal Disorders. After earning her medical degree from St. Louis University Health Sciences Center, LeFevre completed her residency in obstetrics and gynecology from SLU Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health in 1999. She has been a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist since 2001 and became director of the Vulvar and Vaginal Disorders Specialty Center at SLU in 2004. Fisher-Wikoff is a staff physician for the JPS Health Network in its family medicine department. She attended Xavier University, received her medical degree from Texas Tech Health Sciences Center in 2005 and completed her residency in 2008 at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth. In 2005, her JPS colleagues awarded her the Erickson Award for Exemplifying Compassion and Humanitarian Efforts in Medicine. She is a member of the American Academy of Family Medicine and American Medical Association/Texas Medical Association. She has board certifications from the Texas Medical Board, American Board of Family Medicine, Basic Life Support and Advance Cardiac Life Support.

Honors & Awards Longtime Fort Worth Sister Cities International member Michael S. Hyatt received the Sister Cities International Chairman’s Award at the national conference in July for his continued support for the organization. Hyatt has been a member of Fort Worth Sister Cities for 13 years, serving as board chairman, treasurer, government relations chairman and Nagaoka, Japan, chairman as well as in other leadership positions. Hyatt also serves on the Fort Worth Zoo board as treasurer and on the Oklahoma State University Foundation board. Michael A. McConnell will receive the A. Sherman Christensen Award from the American Inns of Court at the U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 19. McConnell is a partner at Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP and serves as chairman of the firm’s business reorganization and bankruptcy practice group. He is a former U.S. bankruptcy judge from the Northern District of Texas and has served as a Chapter 11 operating trustee and Chapter 11 examiner in several complex cases. He also has been involved in a variety of business, litigation and commercial law engagements. A co-founder and charter member of the Eldon B. Mahon American Inn of Court in Fort Worth and the Hon. John C. Ford American Inn of Court in Dallas, McConnell has been involved in the American Inns of Court movement for two decades. He has served as chairman of two national symposiums, including the 2013 American Inns of Court National Symposium in May. He has served on the American Inns of Court Board of Trustees and is active on its Leadership Council. McConnell earned his undergraduate degree from Loyola University of the South and attended law school at the University of Texas. He is a member of the American Law Institute and a Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy. Texas Healthcare trustees presented Drayton McLane Jr., a trustee at Scott & White Healthcare in Temple, with its 2013 Star Trustee Award for outstanding work on behalf of Texas hospitals. McLane is chairman of the McLane Group and was CEO of the Houston Astros Baseball Club from 1993 to 2011. He played an instrumental role in the December 2012 agreement between Scott & White Healthcare and Baylor Health Care System in which they will become the largest not-for-profit health system in Texas and one of the largest in the United States. Baylor All Saints Medical Center at Fort Worth was named in the US News & World Report 2013-2014 Metro Area Rankings, receiving recognition in the specialties of gastroenterology, urology and nephrology. Messina Hof Winery in Grapevine will receive GrapeFest’s Texas Wine Tribute’s first “Tall in Texas” award on Sept. 7 as part of the 27th Annual GrapeFest wine festival. Messina Hof Winery was founded in 1977 by agricultural pioneers Paul and Merrill Bonarrigo. Paul Bonarrigo has been the chairman of the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association and is a recipient of the John Crosby Lifetime Achievement Award, and Merrill Bonarrigo is a recipient of the Qualia Award for her contribution to the Texas wine industry. Messina Hof wines have won more than 1,500 awards, including 70 at GrapeFest’s People’s Choice Wine Tasting Classic. Yalumba, Australia’s oldest family-owned winery, has become the first non-U.S. winery to win the BRIT International Award of Excellence in Sustainable Winegrowing. The awarded wine was the Yalumba Y Series Shiraz Viognier. The award will be presented at the Botanical Research Institute of Texas’ (BRIT) seventh annual Fête du Vin Wine Dinner and Auction on Oct. 5 in Fort Worth. For the second year in a row, Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Azle has won the Premier health care alliance’s Supply Chain Excellence Award. Texas Health Azle is one of 29 Premier members to receive the award this year.

Nonprofit Organizations The USS Fort Worth Commissioning and Support Committee named Rebecca Montgomery as executive director for the organization, responsible for keeping the crew and family members of the city’s naval namesake connected with the residents of Fort Worth. Montgomery’s experience includes nonprofit management, government affairs, event planning and fundraising. As part-time executive director, she will continue her consulting work for the James L. West Alzheimer’s Center. Montgomery serves on the boards of the Chisholm Trail Chapter of the American Red Cross and the Women’s Policy Forum and will participate in the 2013-2014 Class of Leadership Fort Worth. She is a certified tourism ambassador for North Texas.

Performing Arts Ohlook Performing Arts Center in Grapevine hired Woodie Blackburn as the new marketing director. Blackburn, a graduate of Columbia College Chicago with a bachelor’s degree in marketing communications and an emphasis in public relations, has been with the company on a theatrical level for eight years. Blackburn will take over all press relations as well as all marketing outreach for not only Ohlook Productions, but also its education department, which currently run by the theater’s artistic director, Jill Lord.

Radio & Television Larry Giele has joined CBS 11/KTVT-TV and TXA 21/KTXA-TV as controller. Giele comes to the stations from WKYC in Cleveland, where he had the same position. CBS Radio Dallas-Fort Worth recently introduced La Grande 107.5 FM, which features regional Mexican hits by today’s most popular artists. Marconi Radio Award-winning personality Edgar (ShoBoy) Sotelo hosts the program weekdays from 5:30 to 10 a.m. Additional on-air staff will be announced later. Meteorologist Scott Padgett will join Brendan Higgins, Adrienne Bankert and Whitney Drolen on the CBS 11 News This Morning, weekdays from 4:30 to 7 a.m., beginning Sept. 16. Padgett joins CBS 11 from WPLG in Miami, where he is the morning meteorologist. Prior to that, he was chief meteorologist at Oklahoma City’s KOKH. He has also worked in Bowling Green, Paducah and Lexington, Ky.; and Baltimore. He began his career at KXFB in Dubuque, Iowa, while still in college. He earned a bachelor’s degree in meteorology from Western Illinois University, is a member of the American Meteorological Society and has the AMS Seal of Approval.

Real Estate Michael Dee has been appointed president of the Commercial Retail Division of Henry S. Miller Brokerage. Dee has more than 25 years of experience in the commercial retail real estate business. Prior to joining Miller, he was the senior real estate representative at 7-Eleven, where he was responsible for new store site selection, development and lease/contract negotiations. While at 7-Eleven, Dee opened 16 new stores in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. He has worked in new store development with 7-Eleven, AutoZone Corp., Blockbuster Inc., Starbucks Coffee Co. and Payless ShoeSource. He also was the national director of retail at Grubb & Ellis Co.

Restaurants Stefon Rishel is the new executive chef at Max’s Wine Dive, which is opening in late August on West Seventh Street in Fort Worth. With more than 15 years of industry experience, Rishel will oversee all kitchen operations. He began his culinary career when he attended the Art Institute of Dallas. Most recently, Rishel was executive chef at Sisu Uptown Resort and Brackets and also had many positions at Pappas Restaurants.

Staffing National staffing firm AtWork Group opened a new office in Richland Hills. The branch, located at 7410 Boulevard 26., is owned and operated by Jerry and Tina Reilly. CoAdvantage recently added Jason Paty as the company’s newest director of operations for the Central Region. Based in Tampa, Fla., CoAdvantage is a professional employer organization, human resources-outsourcing firm with an office in Euless.

Tourism, Entertainment & Leisure The Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial has added a new position to its tournament staff, tournament operations manager, and hired Stephen Nutt to handle the duties. Nutt brings 12 years of PGA Tour event experience with championship management. Most recently, Nutt worked with the Colonial tournament, serving the tournament committee with operations leading up to and during the event in 2012 and 2013.

Send People items to Betty Dillard at bdillard@bizpress.net

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Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

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