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  • 08/12/2022
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Wingstop CEO leaves to lead another restaurant chain, New CEO and board chair announced

Dallas Innovates covers people in Dallas-Fort Worth business—from new hires to promotions to accolades. Here’s the latest news tied to innovation and technology moves in the region.

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An Irving-based battery recycler has a new leader at the helm.

Marcus Randolf

Ecobat, which also focuses on lead products for energy storage, has tapped its executive chairman Marcus Randolf as its new president and CEO. The company said he will continue to serve in his position on the board. Randolf joined Ecobat in 2020 after serving as the executive chairman at Utah drilling equipment and services company Boart Longyear. He takes over for Jimmy Herring, who had held the top position at Ecobat since 2019.

“As executive chairman, Marcus has ably overseen the strategic direction of the company,” Ecobat board member Ted Lodge said in a statement. “With the addition of these new responsibilities, we’re excited that Marcus will build upon Ecobat’s leadership position in the marketplace.”


Dallas-based Wingstop’s CEO and chairman is stepping down.

Michael Skipworth

The fast-food chain announced Charlie Morrison has resigned from the company to become the new head of Salad and Go, where he serves as a board member. Morrison had been with Wingstop since 2012, previously serving as the president and CEO of Pizza Inn.

Wingstop tapped President and COO Michael Skipworth to take over Morrison’s CEO position and appointed Lynn Crupp-Caine, its lead independent director, to take over Morrison’s spot as chair of Wingstop’s board.

Skipworth, who will also join the company’s board, joined Wingstop in 2014 as its VP of finance, later serving as its CFO.

“I feel confident we have the right talent and team with a clear strategy to continue delivering our unparalleled and industry-leading results,” Skipworth said in a statement.


After nearly 100 years, ActivePure Technologies is looking to continue innovating with the addition of a new C-suite exec.

Vincent Lyons

The Dallas-based provider of surface and air purification systems has brought on Vincent Lyons as its new chief technology officer. He will oversee tech and innovation strategy at the nine brands under ActivePure’s umbrella. Before joining ActivePure, which counts former White House Coronavirus Coordinator Dr. Deborah Brix as chief advisor, Lyons served as the VP of engineering and president of the machinery and technology group at Leggett & Platt. Before that, he served as the VP of engineering and product development at Maytag.

“Innovation is the cornerstone of ActivePure. The addition of Vincent’s enormous talent, intelligence and breadth of experience at this critical time of growth will undoubtedly strengthen our company,” said Joe Urso, ActivePure CEO and chairman, in a statement.


Surveillance tech firm names new CTO

Tom Galvin

Surveillance technology company Evolon Technologies has named Tom Galvin as its new chief technology officer. He joins the Dallas-based company from his previous role at local startup Razberi Technologies, where he served as founder and CEO until its acquisition by ACRE in 2020.

Galvin is also the founder of NetVideo Consulting and a former leader at GVI Security Solutions. Following Evolon’s rebranding from Jemez Technologies in 2020, it raised a $16 million Series A funding round last year.


The Communities Foundation of Texas announces new CFO

Jim Berry

The Communities Foundation of Texas has a new senior VP and chief financial officer. The Dallas-based organization named Jim Berry to the positions.

Wingstop CEO leaves to lead another restaurant chain, New CEO and board chair announced

Berry takes over for Beth Bull, who retired as CFO after 14 years. Berry most recently served as the CFO of local real estate firm Harwood International, and has held similar roles at Vasari and Snell Staffing.


Nonprofit health care system makes leadership moves

Winjie Miao (left) and Laura Irvine

Texas Health Resources is making moves in its C-suite. The Arlington-based nonprofit health system has promoted Winjie Miao to the role of chief operating officer and hired Laura Irvine as its new chief experience officer.

A more than 20-year veteran at Texas Health, Miao started as an administrative resident and most recently served as its chief experience officer. Irvine will. join the organization in April from her previous position as executive VP and chief network strategy officer at Baylor Scott & White Health. She has also held leadership roles at Medical City Healthcare and Methodist Health System.


Neiman Marcus adds new female leader

Katie Anderson

Adding to its leadership, which it says is more than 50% female, Neiman Marcus Group has hired Katie Anderson as its new chief financial officer, starting in April. In addition to overseeing the company’s financials, Anderson will also be in charge of risk management, real estate, and supply chain initiatives as Neiman Marcus looks to invest more in e-commerce. Anderson most recently served in a similar role at retailer GUESS, and has held leadership positions at California Pizza Kitchen and Sprinkles Cupcakes.


Real estate firm names new Dallas leader

Bradley Brown

Real estate and construction firm Suffolk has tapped Bradley Brown as its new president for Texas. From Dallas, Brown will oversee Suffolk’s operations across the Lone StarSstate and the Central Southwest. Brown joins the firm from a previous role as a VP at Austin Commercial.

With Brown’s appointment, Suffolk is making a number of other leadership moves. The firm is moving Mark Penny from Dallas general manager to COO of Dallas, while former Dallas COO Mark Reed will move to the role of COO of national gaming.


Startup mentor joins e-commerce insights company’s board

Tom Douglass

After working with e-commerce insights marketplace Junction AI since the Dallas-based company joined the Fuel Accelerator program in 2021, Tom Douglass is joining the company’s board. The founder and CEO of Catapult Consulting, Douglass has served as the entrepreneur-in-residence at the Arkansas-based accelerator since 2019. He also serves as a technology ventures advisor at the University of Arkansas. Junction said Douglass will help scale the company, in addition to helping with fundraising efforts.


Ahead of $43B merger, AT&T changes board leadership

As AT&T looks to spin off WarnerMedia and merge it with Discovery in a $43 billion deal, the Dallas-based company is shrinking its own board from 13 members to 10, while appointing seven members to the Warner Bros. Discovery board ahead of the merger in Q2, The Dallas Morning News reports.

Samuel Di Piazza, Debra Lee, and Geoffrey Yang will step down from AT&T’s board to join the Warner Bros. Discovery board. Of the four other board positions AT&T is able to select for the new combined board, it has tapped former Dallas Federal Reserve Bank president and CEO Richard Fisher, Narrative founder and CEO Li Haslett Chen, former DreamWorks Animation CFO Fazal Merchant, and former Macy’s CFO Paula Price.


Marketing agency leader returns to Dallas firm

Tony Osterhaus

After leaving Imaginuity in 2019 to join Valiant Partners as a principal consultant, Tony Osterhaus has rejoined the Dallas-based integrated marketing agency as its new executive director of client partnerships. In his previous stint at Imaginuity, Osterhaus served as the company’s chief delivery officer and executive director of delivery. Osterhaus has also held positions at Pariveda Solutions, Affiliated Computer Services, and Atlantic Aviation.


Jacobs taps leader for new tech-focused business unit

Caesar Nieves

Dallas technical professional services giant Jacobs is setting up a new business unit focused on developing cloud, cyber, data, and digital technologies, called Divergent Solutions. And it has tapped Caesar Nieves, the senior VP and general manager of its cyber and intelligent business unit, to lead it. Jacobs said it expects the new business unit and its PA consulting capabilities to generate about $3 billion in revenue by fiscal year 2025. The move is part of an overall growth strategy to take advantage of current trends in the marketplace in areas like climate response, data solutions, and consultancy and advisory services.


Promotions take flight at Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines is making a new hire and a handful of promotions to build out its leadership team. New to the airline is Christa Lucas, a former senior VP at the National Business Aviation Association, who will serve as VP of governmental affairs. Moving up within the Southwest ranks are Phil Gouel, who will take on the newly created role of VP of vacation packages; Lee Kinnebrew, who will serve as VP of flight operations; Lindsey Lang, VP of people; Bobby Loeb, who will oversee employee education as VP of SWA U; and Kristi Owens, who takes on the role of VP of talent and leadership development.


Digital consultancy names new sales leader

Matthew Feyling

Dallas-based digital product development consultancy Dialexa has a new vice president of sales.

Taking on the role is Matthew Feyling.

Before joining Dialexa, Feyling held a similar role at Unify Consulting. Throughout his career, Feyling has held leadership positions at places like Ubisoft, Kinetic Networks, Accenture, and Trianz.


Global engineering firm adds to its ESG services

Robert Spencer

Dallas-based multinational engineering firm AECOM is focusing on sustainability, naming a new global head of environmental, social, and governance advisory services. Former AECOM Director of Sustainable Development Robert Spencer has been tapped for the role. According to the firm, Spencer is also the co-founder and executive director of the Natural Capital Laboratory, a joint venture between AECOM, the Lifescape Project, the University of Cumbria, and Emilia and Roger Leese focusing on the impacts of re-wilding and biodiversity efforts.


Comerica builds out its retail bank unit

Omar Salah (left) and Brian Haney

Comerica Incorporated is boosting its retail bank division with two new moves. Joining the Dallas-based financial services company behind Comerica Bank are Omar Salah, who will serve as executive VP and director of small business banking, and Brian Haney, who will serve as senior VP and director of strategy and transformation. Taking on the newly established role, San Diego-based Salah previously served as the managing director and head of small business banking at Union Bank. Haney joined Comerica in 2021. Before that, he served as the senior VP and director of strategy and product management for business banking at Fifth Third Bank.


PR firm adds to its VP lineup

From left: Sunwest Communications senior leaders Lauren Dugger, Melodie Elliott, Wachelle Williams, and Sydney Townsend. [Photo: BW/Sunwest]

Local public relations firm Sunwest Communications is making a number of internal moves. Taking on the newly created role of senior VP of creative is Wachelle Williams, who has been with Sunwest for more than two decades. Another 20-plus year veteran of the firm, Lauren Dugger, is moving from managing director to VP of corporate social responsibility. Also with more than two decades under her belt at Sunwest, Melodie Elliott has been promoted from senior managing director to VP of consumer products. Sunwest has promoted Sydney Townsend to the role of VP of commercial real estate.


Global investment firm names managing director of real estate credit business

Lindsey Wright

Global investment firm KKR has hired Lindsey Wright to the newly created role of managing director and head of investment services for the firm’s Dallas-based real estate credit business, which it says has about $25 billion in assets under its management. KKR said Wright will focus on building out the local team, focusing on areas like special servicing, stabilized loan asset management, and investment oversight. Before joining KKR, Wright served as the senior managing director of asset management at real estate finance firm Greystone.


Local leader tapped for Lockheed’s advanced developments arm

John Clark

Starting next month, Lockheed Martin will have a new leader of its Skunk Works arm. The aerospace and defense giant has named John Clark, whose LinkedIn places him in Fort Worth, as the new VP and general manager of its Advanced Development Programs—also called Skunk Works. The California-headquartered division focuses on cutting-edge aircraft design and is responsible for developing the SR-71 Blackbird, U-2, and F-117 Nighthawk. Clark has been with Lockheed, which has significant operations in the North Texas area, for more than 20 years, most recently serving as VP of engineering and technology. He replaces Jeff Babione, who retires at the end of the month after holding the position since 2018 and joining Maryland-based Lockheed in 2013.


UT Arlington professor helps lead atmospheric NASA mission

Yue Deng

NASA is aiming to better understand the boundary of Earth’s atmosphere and space, and helping lead the mission is UT Arlington professor of physics Yue Deng. She joins two other scientists in leading NASA’s Geospace Dynamics Constellation mission, which is in the process of assembling a full team ahead of a planned spacecraft launch early next year. The mission is aimed at uncovering new insights into how the ionosphere and thermosphere regions of the atmosphere responds to energy from the sun and how that energy is internally redistributed. Deng’s team fellow UT Arlington researchers Cheng Sheng and Christine Gabrielse, in addition to scientists at institutions like the University of Colorado, MIT, and Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory.


Frisco IT leader joins Forbes Technology Council

Satya Govindu

Based on the depth and diversity of his experience, Satya Govindu has been accepted as one of the newest members of the Forbes Technology Council, a network of CIOs, CTOs, and tech execs. Govindu currently serves as the chief delivery officer at Frisco-based digital business transformation firm Sage IT. Before that he was the VP of delivery at 22ndCentury Technologies and VP of engineering at TurningPoint Global Solutions. As a member of the Technology Council, Govindu will gain access to connect and collaborate with other leaders on the council, in addition to contributing to Forbes’ editorial content.

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