Dallas Regional Chamber, MoneyGram, COMSovereign, and More Make Moves » Dallas Innovates

Across North Texas, companies are promoting and hiring people to take on leadership positions within their organizations.

Dallas Innovates covers prominent personnel moves in Dallas-Fort Worth businesses and nonprofits—from the newest startups to well-established companies. Here are the people moves tied to innovation and technology in the region.

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Dallas Regional Chamber names its 2021 chair of the Board

Michelle Vopni

The voice of business and champion of economic development and growth in the Dallas region, the Dallas Regional Chamber (DRC), has elected Michelle Vopni as its 2021 chair of the Board.

She succeeds John Olajide, founder and CEO of Axxess, who served as the 2020 chair. Both will headline the organization’s virtual annual meeting event on March 4. In addition, Bob Pragada, the president and COO of Jacobs, has been elected to serve as DRC chair in 2022.

Vopni is the current Dallas office managing partner for Ernst & Young LLP, in which she leads day-to-day practice operations in one of the firm’s largest markets.

Bob Pragada

She has some three decades of experience serving large public and private companies, and has been an EY partner for more than 16 years. During her one-year term, Vopni will be tasked with overseeing the DRC’s efforts to return Dallas’ economy to its historically strong pace. 

“I am truly honored to have been elected by my Board colleagues to chair this important organization at such a critical time in our history,” Vopni said in a statement. “The global pandemic has been difficult for us all, but the Dallas region has proven resilient and companies from around the country are showing even more interest in expanding their operations in our community than they were a year ago.”

MoneyGram elects three new directors to its Board

Dallas-based money transfer company MoneyGram International has elected Alka Gupta, Francisco Lorca, and Julie E. Silcock to its Board of Directors, effective Feb. 23.

Each new member brings diverse experience in fintech, global payments, enterprise technology, and investment banking to the Board.

Gupta is a co-founder and former president of globaliD, where she still sits on the Board. Prior to that, she was an executive at eBay/PayPal. Lorca is the founder and CEO of EthosData, and previously held leadership positions at Startupbootcamp FinTech, First Data International, Teknoland, GE Capital Europe and McKinsey & Company. Silcock is a senior advisor at CDX Advisors, and has worked for more than three decades in capital markets and M&A.

“Coming off of a remarkable and record-breaking year that truly demonstrated the strength of our digital transformation, these three join MoneyGram at an exciting time,” Alex Holmes, MoneyGram chairman and CEO, said in a statement. “The addition of these directors complements the skills, experience and perspective of our established board, and we are confident that they will provide valuable insight as we continue to execute our purpose-driven growth strategy to mobilize the movement of money.”

COMSovereign Holding Corp. appoints a new CFO

Dallas-based COMSovereign Holding Corp., a developer of 4G LTE and 5G communication systems and solutions, has named Martin R. Wade III as its newest chief financial officer and executive vice president, succeeding Brian T. Mihelich.

Wade has more than 40 years of experience advising senior management and boards of directors. His focus areas include business strategy, acquisition, divestiture, and restructuring projects. Since 2007, he has been a partner in residence at Catalyst Acquisition Group, and is the current chairman and CEO of Broadcaster, Inc., VITA Mobile Systems, Inc., and Madice.com.

He’s also held senior-level positions with investment banking firms such as Lehman Brothers and Salomon Brothers, and served as national head of investment banking at Price Waterhouse LLP.

“We welcome Marty to the COMSovereign team at an especially exciting time for our company following our recent listing on the Nasdaq Capital Market and the infusion of over $40 million in growth capital from new institutional investors,” Chairman and CEO Dan Hodges said in a statement. “Martin’s successful track-record as a critical thinker, business leader and advisor building and operating businesses for long-term success will be invaluable as we begin the next phase of our growth plan which includes ramping-up product production and accelerating the commercialization of our next-gen wireless technologies.”

HealthMine adds an executive vice president

Kent Holdcroft

HealthMine, a tech-enabled member engagement and rewards company based in Dallas, has named Kent Holdcroft as its executive vice president of Growth.

In his new role, Holdcroft will lead all business development initiatives. He joins HealthMine with more than fifteen years of operational, consulting, and business development experience, most recently service as executive vice president of Enterprise Accounts and Strategic Partnerships at AdhereHealth. His other past stints include working with healthcare technology vendors, in which he has focused on bringing the voice of the customer into the solutions he represents.

“HealthMine delivers a best-in-class member experience and personalized member engagement and rewards through our technology-enabled solutions,” Bryce Williams, president and CEO of HealthMine, said in a statement. “Kent brings a wealth of experience and a track record of success in hyper-growth companies, aligning the needs of health plans and providers with the right technology solutions to drive improved health outcomes and member experience.”

Tricolor names a president of its new SaaS business

Stephanie Alsbrooks Hanson

Dallas-based Tricolor, a used vehicle retailer and lender for the Hispanic consumer, has launched Tricolor Financial, a new venture dedicated to extending its proprietary AI-powered technology, and appointed Stephanie Alsbrooks Hanson as its president.

Tricolor Financial is an extension of the company’s mission to transform consumer credit for underserved Hispanic consumers. Hanson brings a niche experience to the new business, previously serving as the founder and CEO of defi Solutions, a cloud-based solution for originating and servicing consumer loans. In that role, she is known for successfully raising funding from Bain Capital Ventures and drawing more than 100 lenders to the platform before merging with Sagent Lending Technologies in 2019.

“This is an exciting day for Tricolor as we significantly grow our capacity to fulfill our core mission by launching a new initiative to leverage our capability to ‘score the unscoreable,’” Tricolor Founder and CEO Daniel Chu said in a statement. “I am thrilled to welcome Stephanie to the team as she helps scale this endeavor nationally. Her experience as a technologist and innovator in consumer lending is unrivaled, making her the perfect person to lead this next phase of mission-driven growth.”

Teach For America DFW announces new COO

David Simpson

Teach for America DFW, which finds, develops, and supports a network of leaders to expand access and opportunity for children, has appointed David Simpson, an alumnus of Dallas ISD schools, to the role of chief operating officer.

Simpson’s professional background mainly focuses on nonprofits, as he has held stints at many of the country’s top organizations. He brings more than 14 years of nonprofit management experience to Teach For America DFW, most recently serving as COO of HopeWorks in Memphis. In his new role, Simpson will lead the internal business operations of the organization and ensure key initiatives are driven forward in the areas of culture transformation, advancing racial equity, and Fort Worth impact.

“The Teach For America DFW team is excited to have David join us in our mission of expanding access and opportunity for children,” Rea Foster, Teach For America DFW executive director, said in a statement. “We are confident his experience, leadership and passion for education will be tremendous assets to both our organization, as well as to thousands of local students.”

Catalyze Dallas founder and managing director named to Board of Directors for The Center for Advanced Defense Studies

Joe D’Cruz

Joe D’Cruz, the founder and managing director of Catalyze Dallas, has been elected to serve on the Board of Directors for The Center for Advanced Defense Studies (C4ADS), a nonprofit that provides data-driven analysis and evidence-based reporting on global conflict and transnational security issues.

D’Cruz brings experience working with defense companies to commercialize their investments in innovation to the Board. At C4ADS, he will assist in supporting efforts to bridge the intelligence gap between traditional public sector and profit-driven institutions using advanced technology and highly trained analysts.

“Joe is a welcome addition to our Board given his passion for national security, his background in effective business management, and his experience building productive connections between the public and private sectors,” David Johnson, executive director of C4ADS, said in a statement. “As we look ahead into the 21st Century, we recognize that we need committed, ethical leaders with a strong background in innovation, technology, and markets to create real impact. Joe will be instrumental in growing our influence and furthering our work.”

Meritas’ Black Lawyers Forum names a chairman

Brian Newby

The Black Lawyers Forum of Meritas, an alliance of leading independent law firms, has elected Brian Newby, a managing partner at Fort Worth-based Cantey Hanger LLP, as its new chairman.

Each of Meritas’ member law firms holds itself to the organization’s highest standard of service. The new forum initiative that Newby is leading will further Meritas’ commitment to racial equality by providing Black lawyers with greater visibility and opportunities. Its mission is to facilitate “connections and mentorship, but also provide a platform for our Black lawyers to discuss unique issues and experiences related to professional development and business development.”

“I am excited to lead this new initiative among our Meritas firms,” Newby said in a statement. “Each of our firms has struggled with ways to address inclusiveness and improve racial equity in our legal communities. What better way to begin than to convene with the bright minds, enthusiasm and business acumen of our Meritas Black lawyers to share best practices in professional development and create stronger connections for future business development.”

BizCom Associates adds an account executive

Nicole Traycoff

Allen-based BizCom Associates, a public relations and marketing communications firm, has announced that Nicole Traycoff is joining its team as an account executive.

Traycoff brings more than 20 years of experience in integrated communications to BizCom, specifically in the corporate, nonprofit, and integrated marketing agency sectors. Most recently, she provided senior-level strategic public relations and digital marketing counsel to consulting clients and agencies in Texas, North Carolina, Michigan, and Florida.

“We are elated to be welcoming Nicole to the BizCom team,” Monica Feid, president of BizCom, said in a statement. “Her senior-level strategic planning expertise and business acumen are valuable assets to her clients and colleagues. Nicole’s vertical market knowledge and passion for promoting emerging technologies will drive the PR campaigns of two new industry-leading clients we recently added to our ever-growing client roster.”

Alerian appoints a director of Marketing and Brand

Kim Greenberg

Dallas-based Alerian, an independent index provider of innovative, index-based investment strategies, has named Kim Greenberg as its new director of Marketing and Brand.

Greenberg brings more than 15 years of experience developing marketing strategies for financial services companies. Most recently, she led strategic beta and ETF marketing at Columbia Threadneedle Investments. In her new role, she will lead marketing and branding efforts, working with Alerian’s head of sales to strengthen the company’s business development strategy and collaborating with client partnerships to support growth.

“Kim’s deep background leading branding efforts and marketing campaigns, matched with her experience working with asset managers, focusing on product launches in the alternative investment and ETF space, makes her a great addition to our growing team,” CEO David LaValle said in a statement. “Her ability to develop, execute and achieve our business goals creates an unparalleled combination as we continue to increase our brand’s reputation within the industry.”

Care Continuity adds to its Board of Directors

Dr. Anthony Coletta

Dallas-based Care Continuity Inc., a provider of patient navigation and care transitions, has appointed Dr. Anthony Coletta to its Board of Directors.

Coletta is a board-certified general surgeon and the former executive chairman of Tandigm Health. As an experienced healthcare business leader, he has a breadth of executive and clinical expertise. Recent roles include leadership positions dedicated to restoring balance within our healthcare ecosystem, and placing patients and their physicians at the epicenter of proactive, coordinated care.

“We are pleased to welcome Dr. Coletta, who joins us at an exciting time as we continue to drive our strategy forward to improve network integrity, the patient experience, and clinical outcomes with fully connected care delivery and seamless care transitions,” Andrew Thorby, founder and CEO of Care Continuity, said in a statement. “The addition of Dr. Coletta complements our board of directors, and we are confident he will provide valuable perspectives as we continue to enhance our suite of solutions and services in the years ahead. We look forward to his contributions and are excited he chose Care Continuity.”

Texas Capital Bancshares makes executive appointments

Dallas-based Texas Capital Bank and its parent company, Texas Capital Bancshares, has made two executive leadership appointments: Tim Storms to chief risk officer of both companies, replacing John Turpen, who is stepping down, and Shannon Jurecka to the newly created position of chief human resources officer.

Storms previously served as the chief risk officer of the Commercial Banking’s Real Estate businesses at JPMorgan Chase & Co. before stepping into the role of EVP and head of Risk Transformation at Texas Capital Bank in January 2021. In his new position as chief risk officer, he will be tasked with managing all risk functions, enterprise risk management practices and programs, and regulatory compliance. He will also oversee strategic development and the execution of continued enhancements to the company’s risk management culture and capabilities.

In her new role, Jurecka will advance the company’s commitment to developing world-class talent and a high-performance culture. She will be responsible for the human capital strategy, which includes talent acquisition and development, compensation and benefits, and employee engagement. She has more than two decades of human resources leadership experience, most recently serving as SVP and chief human resources officer at Celanese Corporation.

Veritex Bank adds a new Board member

Arcilia Acosta

Dallas-based Veritex Community Bank is expanding its Board of Directors with the addition of Arcilia Acosta, the founder, CEO, and president of CARCON Industries and Construction.

Acosta is a 30-year business veteran who leads CARCON Industries and Construction, a full-services construction firm based in Dallas. She is also the president and controlling principal of Southwestern Testing Laboratories, a geotechnical engineering and construction materials testing firm additionally based in Dallas, and has held board level positions with some of the state’s most successful corporations. 

“There are not enough women in leadership positions in Texas business, let alone banking. Veritex has always been dedicated to gender parity when it comes to opportunity,” Malcolm Holland, Veritex Community Bank’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “The talent and leadership skills of Arcilia Acosta are unparalleled. As we begin developing new products and services specifically designed to help the construction industry, her depth of experience will make an impact on the bank’s growth for years to come. More importantly, her passion to champion women in business will help the communities we serve for generations.”

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