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Saturday, April 17, 2021

People: Pepper announces retirement

Nonprofit Organizations

Betsy Pepper, the founder of the Fort Worth Public Library Foundation and its president and CEO since 2009, announced her retirement effective Dec. 31. Pepper led a group of community leaders to establish the foundation in 1993 to bring public and private funding together in support of the library. A member of the foundation’s board and executive committee from its inception, she was elected chairman of the board in 1996 and served in that position until 1998. She continued as immediate past chairman of the board and chairman of the nominating committee until 2000, when she joined the staff as executive director. “Betsy Pepper has done an exemplary job in guiding the foundation since its inception,” said Tom Turner, board chairman. “She is passionate about the library and the vital impact it has on our community. We are fortunate that she will continue for the remainder of the year to oversee the foundation and our 20th anniversary fundraising campaign, which is focusing on youth and teen literacy.” The foundation is raising funds for the youth and teen areas of all branches of the library system, the Early Childhood Matters Centers, system-wide programming, the youth and teen collections, and the Hazel Harvey Peace Youth Center at the Central Library. Turner said the foundation has raised nearly $8 million to fund numerous projects to enrich and enhance the library beyond what city funds would provide. Achievements have included the expansion and improvements to the Central Library, the first-ever library master plan, an integrated computer library system, improvements in the library’s collections, renovations of the Northwest Branch, Central Library Gallery, Tandy Lecture Hall and Chappell Conference Room, and renovation of the North Side Branch in partnership with Crescent Real Estate Equities. The foundation has developed and provided free programs such as Priority Literacy, an adult literacy tutoring program, and Launchpad, a college application program for Fort Worth area high school students. A search is under way for Pepper’s successor.

Advertising, Marketing & Public Relations Fort Worth-based GCG Marketing hired Leah Spencer as account executive. Spencer’s responsibilities include organizing the agency’s various interdepartmental teams and nurturing client relationships as well as applying her knowledge of digital project workflow to manage jobs with interactive elements. Previously Spencer worked as the creative project manager of digital advertising for J.C. Penney Co. Inc., where she managed all programs for media and mobile experiences for the company’s websites and apps. Spencer graduated from Texas Tech University with a bachelor’s degree in electronic media and communications. After college, she polished her project management skills at Publicis, working on accounts for clients such as GlaxoSmithKline and the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children.

Boards & Organizations Gov. Rick Perry reappointed Henry Borbolla III to the Trinity River Authority board for a term to expire March 15, 2019. The authority oversees development and conservation of surface water resources for the Trinity River Basin. Borbolla is vice president of BB&T. He is a board member of the Fort Worth Convention and Visitors Bureau, Community Hospice of Texas, Downtown Fort Worth Design Review Board, University of North Texas Health Science Center Foundation, Tarrant County Housing Partnership Inc., Bobby Bragan Youth Foundation and Fort Worth Casa Mañana Theatre. He is also a member of the Fort Worth Rotary Club and a committee member of Catholic Charities Fort Worth. Borbolla received a bachelor’s degree from Texas Christian University. Randell Ball, vice president of Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth, has been named a Fellow of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists for distinguished service to pharmacy practice in hospitals and health systems. Lighthouse for the Blind of Fort Worth recently added Michael Hingson and Melanie Lara to three-year terms on its board. Hingson has been blind since birth and is an internationally renowned public speaker and bestselling author of Thunder Dog: The True Story of A Blind Man, His Guide Dog & The Triumph of Trust. He founded the Michael Hingson Group Inc., which provides consultant services to organizations concerning inclusion and diversity toward persons with disabilities, and Roselle’s Dream Foundation, which provides assistive technologies to blind persons. Hingson has a master’s degree in physics from the University of California at Irvine and is a lifetime member of the physics honor society, Sigma Pi Sigma. As controller for Downtown Fort Worth Inc., Lara brings significant nonprofit finance and fund development experience to the Lighthouse. Emily J. Davenport a partner in the Kemp Smith Law Firm, has been elected to the board of the Mount Olivet Cemetery Association. A native of Fort Worth, Davenport is the great-granddaughter of William J. Bailey, who founded Greenwood Memorial Park in 1909 and later purchased the Mount Olivet Cemetery, Fort Worth’s first endowed cemetery, which began in 1907. There has been no family or proprietary ownership in any of the association’s properties since 1952. Davenport is also the granddaughter of the late John T. Bailey, a past president of the Texas Cemeteries Association and American Cemetery Association (now the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association) and longtime general manager of Greenwood and Mount Olivet. Davenport graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor’s degree in government in 1996 and from the University of Houston Law Center in 1999. She was admitted to the Texas Bar that year. As an attorney, she specializes in health care liability and medical malpractice and also counsels health care institutions concerning risk management issues. Her professional affiliations include the Texas Association of Defense Counsel, Austin Bar Association, Defense Research Institute and Texas Bar Foundation-Fellow.

Honors & Awards University of Texas at Arlington psychology professor Robert Gatchel has received the Dallas Psychological Association’s Distinguished Psychologist Award for 2013. Gatchel is the Nancy P. & John G. Penson Endowed Professor of Clinical Health Psychology and director of the Center of Excellence for the Study of Health & Chronic Illnesses at UT-Arlington. He was nominated for the award based on his years of contributions to the psychological community as well as his mentorship of graduate students. The WARM Place Grief Support Center for Children hosted its annual Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon June 1 in Fort Worth. Ten volunteers were honored by their peers at the event: Sharon Finn, Houseparent Most Likely To Remember Names; Dolly Worden, Outstanding Houseparent; Lupe Montero Jr., Most Organized Houseparent; Margaret Mangum, Courtney Mooney, Pam Rivers, Top Chefs; Marsha Coke, Grammy Winner; Sean Curry, Most Entertaining Facilitator; Gregg Odell, Facilitator Most Likely To Sub; and Jim Koss, Outstanding Facilitator of the Year. Allied Electronics, a trading brand of Electrocomponents plc, recently received the Exceptional Supplier rating from its customer Halliburton. Allied scored 105 out of a possible 115 points and was rated in the following categories: Health/Safety/Environment, including housekeeping, safety program and compliance with Halliburton requirements; Service Quality, including quality of service, invoice accuracy, responsiveness to requests or needs and process improvement; and Financial Stability, including financial stability, competitive and value added, increased efficiencies and process improvements.

Hospitality Huntington Hotel Group has added Cynthia Anderson as regional vice president of sales. She brings more than eight years of hospitality experience. Prior to joining Huntington, she was director of sales for five property markets, primarily Marriott and Hilton select service hotels, and previously acted as regional director of sales for the Western Region including Arizona, California and Nevada. Anderson received a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a management concentration from Sacramento State University.

Law Andrea Whalen has joined the Fort Worth law firm of Brackett & Ellis. Whalen graduated magna cum laude from the University of Miami and is a 2013 graduate of Baylor University School of Law. Her practice consists primarily of school law and insurance litigation. She is a member of the State Bar of Texas, Tarrant County Bar Association and Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association. Timothy L. Thorne has joined as an associate with Harris, Finley & Bogle PC in Fort Worth. Thorne is a 2008 graduate of Baylor University School of Law with extensive experience in oil and gas law. He joins the firm’s oil and gas practice. Attorneys Jared Wood and Lauren Hanes have been hired at Cantey Hanger LLP as associates. Wood joined Cantey Hanger from another Fort Worth firm. His practice focus is business, corporate and securities, and banking transactions. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Baylor University and graduated from Baylor University School of Law. He was admitted to practice law in Texas in 2011. Wood is a member of the State Bar of Texas and the Tarrant County Bar Association. He sits on the board for the Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association and is a member of the Tarrant County Business and Estate Planning Council. Hanes was admitted to practice in Texas in May. She is a graduate of the Baylor University School of Law and received her bachelor’s degree in business administration from Texas A&M University, where she graduated magna cum laude. A summer associate with Cantey Hanger during 2012, Hanes is a member of the Tarrant County Bar Association, the Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association and the Tarrant County Texas A&M Club. Museums Judy Ivey has returned to the Amon Carter Museum of American Art as associate director of development. Ivey previously worked at the Amon Carter as the database coordinator from 1999-2005. Ivey earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Southwestern University. She has 24 years of experience in fundraising, grant writing and managing annual giving programs. Her experience includes positions at Texas Wesleyan University, AIDS Outreach Center, Fort Worth Museum of Science and History and The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza.

Nonprofit Organizations Emily Furney has joined the staff of United Way of Tarrant County as vice president of resources under management. She will be responsible for managing the agency’s education work, coordinating fund distribution and working on a national “cradle to career” education initiative. Furney previously was corporate market director for the American Heart Association of Tarrant County. Before joining the American Heart Association, she worked for five years at the United Way in Norman, Okla., where she was promoted to community impact director and helped to develop goals and strategies for the organization’s impact areas. A native of Dallas, Furney graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.

Performing Arts The Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth appointed Gary Levinson as its new artistic director, only the second artistic director in the organization’s 25-year history. Levinson also is senior principal associate concertmaster with the Dallas Symphony. In addition to his role as artistic director, Levinson will be involved in education outreach and will serve as ambassador for the society as he meets with potential donors and community leaders. Levinson has a multifaceted career as a soloist, chamber musician and pedagogue. He was chosen by Zubin Mehta to join the New York Philharmonic before the completion of his undergraduate degree from the Juilliard School in 1988. Levinson then made his New York Philharmonic solo debut in 1991. As a much sought-after chamber musician, Levinson has collaborated with Yo-Yo Ma, Lynn Harrell and Eugenia Zukerman among others. He performs on an Antonio Stradivari violin crafted in 1726 and made available for his use by the Dallas Symphony Association.

Retail RadioShack Corp. recently promoted Marty Amschler to senior vice president of franchise. In his expanded role, Amschler will continue to lead RadioShack’s dealer franchise operations while also now providing senior leadership to the company’s commercial sales division and B2B sales team. Since joining RadioShack in 2009, Amschler has led the expansion of its international franchise operations as well as its move into nontraditional channels through franchise partnerships. In 2012, he led a partnership between RadioShack and Berjaya Retail Limited that resulted in RadioShack opening 1,000 franchise locations across 10 Southeast Asian countries; it remains the largest franchise expansion in the company’s history. In 2013, Amschler finalized an agreement between RadioShack and NACSCORP, a subsidiary of the National Association of College Stores, to install RadioShack-branded electronics and accessories sections in college stores across the United States. Amschler has more than 37 years of experience in retail sales and franchise leadership. Prior to joining RadioShack, he was instrumental in developing the sales and franchise operations that helped build and expand brands such as Kinney Shoe Corp., The Athlete’s Foot and NexCen Brands.

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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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