Newsmakers: Irby joins Standard Meat Co.


Heather Irby has joined Standard Meat Company as Director of Human Resources.

As Director of Human Resources, Irby will focus on the administrative aspects of company internal growth and performance, leading the daily management and operations of Standard Meat’s HR programs including compensation, benefits, recruitment, and training and development.

Prior to joining Standard Meat, Irby served as Vice President and Human Resources Business Partner for Regions Bank in Dallas-Fort Worth. Her 14 years of experience in HR also includes Vice President positions at Comerica Bank and PlainsCaptial Corporation in Dallas. Irby received her bachelor of business administration in marketing from Texas Tech University, and her master’s degree in business administration from University of Texas at Dallas. 


Former Fort Worth City Councilmember Kelly Allen Gray is the new executive director at Aids Outreach Center in Fort Worth.

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Allen Gray served nine years as Fort Worth City Councilmember for District 8.

The Aids Outreach Center, located at 400 N. Beach St. in Fort Worth, was founded in 1986.

Ben Coogan has been named chief executive officer for Medical City Fort Worth, effective July 12.

Since 2019, Coogan has served as COO of Medical City Dallas and Medical City Children’s Hospital, where his leadership contributed to enhancements in patient experience and employee engagement, along with growth of services, Medical City Fort Worth said in the announcement.

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Coogan played an integral role in capital and program improvement projects including the emergency department renovation and expansions of the OR and the neonatal ICU. During his tenure, the hospitals were recognized for outstanding patient care, including a Leapfrog Group A safety rating.

Prior to Medical City Dallas, Coogan served as COO at Medical City Arlington where he helped pave the way for a successful opening of the $60 million Medical City Women’s Hospital Arlington, new neurotrauma ICU and inpatient rehabilitation units, and the expansion of the emergency department, among other accomplishments.

Caregiver Inc., a provider of long-term care services and supports to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, has announced it has hired Kathy Schaaf as chief people officer.


Former Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams is the recipient of the sixth annual Dream Builder award, presented by Texas Trust Credit Union during the Downtown Arlington Management Corporation annual meeting.

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In addition to leading Arlington as mayor for two consecutive terms, Williams has played an integral role in shaping the community for more than 30 years. Prior to being elected mayor he led two significant bond elections – both passed with wide margins – and was part of the Arlington Comprehensive Planning Committee.

As president of Arlington-based Graham Associates, Williams has heavily influenced the city through work on high-profile projects such as AT&T Stadium, Globe Life Park, River Legacy Living Science Center, the Parks Mall, Viridian development, the I.H. 30 Three Bridges Project, and the Richard Greene Linear Park.


Bourland, Wall & Wenzel has added a new associate attorney,  Michael A. Livens. Livens graduated with honors from UNT Dallas School of Law and was admitted into the State Bar of Texas in 2018. His practice focuses primarily on Estate Planning and Probate.  Livens also has experience in real estate and elder law.


United Way of Tarrant County announced July 6 that Melinda M. Johnston is the new chair of the board of directors. She succeeds James Powell, who now serves as the Immediate past chair of the board.

In addition, seven individuals were named as new members of the board.

Johnston is Senior Financial Advisor for M2J Wealth Management Group at Merrill Lynch.

She is a distinguished community volunteer and served as chair of the United Way Steering Committee for Women United and as a member of the board of directors and chair of the Heart Ball for the American Heart Association. She has also been recognized as a member of the Circle of Champions at Merrill Lynch. Johnston also will serve on the Executive Committee of the United Way of Tarrant County Board of Directors.

New board members:

­– Tara L. Hogan is general manager of the Texoma Service Unit of Union Pacific Railroad.

Bal Joshi is a Senior Vice President at Hancock Whitney Bank.

Chandler Merritt serves as an Assistant County Administrator for Tarrant County, the third-largest county in Texas.

Jeff Postell is the founder of Post L Group LLC and chairman of the DFW Chapter National Association of Minority Contractors.

Kellie Richter is executive vice president and Chief Marketing and Client Experience Officer at First Command Financial Services Inc. in Fort Worth.

Kenneth Washington is an Engineer II with ATMOS Energy.

Corey Wilson is Chief Operating Officer at Texas Health Harris Methodist Fort Worth. 

The Junior League of Fort Worth Inc. has announced its new president, Elizabeth Knuckley, and the Board of Directors for the 2021-2022 league year.

In 2021-2022, the league will provide nine grants totaling $560,000 to local nonprofit organizations including the Tarrant Area Food Bank and Meals on Wheels of Tarrant County, the announcement said.

The 2021-2022 Board of Directors includes:

Becky Escott, President-Elect; Aarti Puskoor, Administrative Vice President; Shay Johnson, Communications Vice President; Amanda Baker, Community Vice President; Emily Delgado, Education Vice President; Danielle Dollahite, Finance Vice President; Lyndsay Mojica, Assistance Finance Vice President; Ashley Davis, Fund Development Vice President; Mindy Hollan, Membership Vice President; Rachel Phillips, Nominating Chair; and Kristy Odom, Sustaining Advisor.

The 2021-2022 Project grants include:

Justin’s Place: $100,000 for a community space to allow families to gather in smalls groups or facility-wide functions for cooking classes and other experiences.

Tarrant Area Food Bank: $100,000 to establish five new school pantries and maintain for 3 years, serving an estimated 1,500 families a month.

Alliance for Children: $100,000 to fund the construction of a Client Emergency Needs Supply Cottage and to purchase an inventory tracking system.

Unbound Fort Worth: $75,000 toward supplies for the runaway and trafficked youth drop-in center.

Meals on Wheels of Tarrant County: $50,000 to fund physical infrastructure and bulk pantry item purchases.

Community Storehouse: $45,000 to establish a technology center.

Breakthrough Fort Worth: $45,000 towards programming costs for an additional location to support 70-80 Fort Worth ISD seventh and eighth-graders.

The Welman Project: $25,000 towards renovations for a creative collaboration space for Fort Worth educators.

Con Mi MADRE: $20,000 to support the out-of-school program, including educational conferences, college and career fairs, a leadership summit and college visits.

Total grant funds: $560,000


Hillwood announced that Christian Childs has been promoted to president of the Aviation Companies at Fort Worth Alliance Airport, with the former president, Tom Harris, stepping into a new role as executive vice president at Hillwood.

With more than 23 years of aviation experience, Childs will now lead the airport and its teams through highly anticipated rapid growth and will oversee all of the day-to-day operations of Hillwood’s three aviation divisions: Alliance Air Services, Alliance Aviation Services and Alliance Air Productions.

The three entities together manage the airport and fixed based operation, as well as produce the annual Bell Fort Worth Alliance Air Show, ranked first among “Best Air Shows” in the USA Today 10 Best Readers’ Choice Awards.

Harris, celebrating 31 years with Hillwood, will transition to a new role overseeing key airport infrastructure projects, activities at the AllianceTexas Mobility Innovation Zone (MIZ), workforce development programs and community partnerships, as well as the Alliance Landscape Company, celebrating its 10-year anniversary this year.

Christopher Ash, with 25 years of service to Hillwood, was promoted to senior vice president of aviation business development with a core function of expanding military, corporate, airline and real estate partnerships while maintaining oversight of AllianceTexas Fuel Services.

Additionally, Ash will serve as a central leader within the Aviation Companies, overseeing strategic marketing efforts, advancements in aviation mobility technologies and the unmanned aerial systems proving ground operations at the MIZ.

Caroline Kruse has joined ML Realty Partners as Asset Manager.  Kruse will focus on Chicagoland and Dallas-Fort Worth portfolio management for ML Realty Partners. Kruse was previously employed with CBRE as Senior Real Estate Manager.


ECI Software Solutions, a leader in cloud-based business management software solutions, announced the appointment of Todd Sanders  as chief financial officer, responsible for overseeing finance, accounting and investor relations.

He succeeds Sarah Hagan, who has assumed the role of president and chief operating officer of ECI. Sanders brings more than 25 years of financial and operational experience spanning senior roles as CFO, and VP Finance and Controller. Most recently, Sanders served as the CFO of Planview, a global enterprise software company specializing in portfolio and work management solutions, where he successfully led the company through a sale to TPG Capital and TA Associates in late 2020, made operational improvements that led to better gross margins and managed post-merger integrations for two acquisitions.

TTI Inc. has announced the appointment of Ashish Bhuskute as Chief Financial Officer.

Bhuskute holds an MBA in finance from the University of Dallas. Throughout his career he has held multiple top-level positions as a senior financial executive. TTI welcomes Bhuskute and his family to Fort Worth in July at which time he assumes direct responsibility for managing financial services for the TTI Family of Companies globally.

TTI also announced the promotion of John Archer to Senior Vice President Ethics and Compliance, General Counsel. In 2018, Archer was hired as the company’s first Vice President, Global Ethics and Compliance.

Lone Star Communications has named Jeff Richard as  Chief Technology Officer.