JUST IN: The Dallas Opera’s GM/CEO Keith Cerny Resigns To Head Up Calgary Opera

Keith and Jennifer Cerny (File photo)

The Dallas Opera‘s GM/CEO Keith Cerny has just turned in his resignation to take over the position of general director/CEO of Calgary Opera in January.

During his seven-and-a-half years with the Dallas company, Keith presided over five consecutive balanced operating budgets and a host of artistic projects, expansions, and technical innovations.  These include a highly-successful simulcast program; regional, U.S. and world premieres; and innovative community outreach programs.  

According to Dallas Opera Board Chair Holly Mayer, “Keith has every reason to be proud of his legacy. We wish him every success with his new responsibilities as we turn our efforts to maintaining this company’s impressive forward momentum and strengthening the collaborations with other arts organizations that have marked Keith’s tenure here in Dallas.”

Dallas’ loss is Calgary’s gain.

Kyle Taylor To Take Over For Retiring Irving Cares CEO Teddie Story

Kyle Taylor*

Some folks didn’t know much about Irving in 1957. It wouldn’t pop up on their radar until the Cowboys moved from the Cotton Bowl to the “state-of-the-art” Texas Stadium in Irving. But the Irving residents were already addressing “the social welfare of the needy people in their community.” To help those facing financial crisis, the seeds of Irving Cares were sown.

Its success was based on a dedicated staff and a compassionate team of volunteers. In July 2010 a fellow by the name of Kyle Taylor joined up as a volunteer in the Employment Services Program. In less than two years, he was named “Volunteer of the Year.”

His efforts impressed the Irving Cares staff so much that they hired him to be Coordinator of Volunteers, “where each year he has managed a food pantry that serves thousands of Irving resident and supervised hundreds of volunteers.”

Teddie Story*

Once again his work led to his being named Community Engagement Director, “working to build mutually beneficial relationships with a diverse set of community partners.”

Now, word has arrived that Irving Cares CEO Teddie Story is retiring this month after starting off as a volunteer in 1991 and, like Kyle rising through the ranks.

Carrying on in Teddie’s place will be… yup, Kyle.

According to Teddie, “The staff, volunteers, donors and customers of Irving Cares will be well represented by Kyle Taylor as the next Chief Executive Officer. His passion for service to others is evident in his dedication to Irving Cares and its customers.”

Congratulations to both Teddie and Kyle for showing that being a volunteer can lead to even greater things.

* Photo provided by Irving Cares

Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Kim Noltemy Selected To Be President/CEO Of Dallas Symphony Association

While all types of stuff are happening in the Dallas arts neighborhood like Dallas Museum of Arts Senior Curator of Contemporary Art Gavin Delahunty‘s unexpected resignation, the Dallas Symphony Association have good news with the announcement of a new president/CEO, who will be in place on Monday, January 22.  Dallas Symphony Association board of Governors Chair Sanjiv Yajnik announced that Kim Noltemy has been selected to head up the DSO.

Sanjiv Yajnik*

Kim Noltemy*

Having been associated with the Boston Symphony Orchestra since 1996, where she held various positions including Director of Sales and Marketing, Chief Marketing Officer and most recently Chief Operation and Communications Officers.

She has also served as president of the non-profit Boston 4 Celebration that produces Boston’s ever popular Fourth of July festivities.  

According to Sanjiv, “Kim comes to the Dallas Symphony with decades of experience at one of the world’s top orchestras. She combines a profound knowledge of orchestra management with a stellar reputation for growing an orchestra’s brand in and beyond its hometown. We welcome Kim to Dallas, and we look forward to working with her to continue the DSO’s commitment to artistic excellence, while reimagining what an orchestra can be.”

Jonathan Martin (File photo)

Michelle Miller Burns (File photo)

Since former DSA President/CEO Jonathan Martin’s announcement of his departure in June, Michelle Miller Burns has served as Interim President/CEO. Plans call for her to “continue as Executive Vice President for Institutional Advancement and Chief Operating Officer. She will work closely with Yajnik and Noltemy to ensure a seamless transition.”

* Photo provided by Dallas Symphony Association

JUST IN: Baylor Scott And White’s Kristi Sherrill Hoyl Adds Overseeing Healthcare’s Foundations And Community Relation Activities To Her Responsibilities

While preparing for Wednesday night’s ReuNight, Co-Chair Kristi Sherrill Hoyl was also expanding her responsibilities at Baylor Scott and White Health. She’s been with the healthcare system for the past 13 years, during which time she’s held the position of Chief Government Affairs Officer, setting up “the system’s legislative agenda and ensured that policy makers understood the implications of various legislation on the organization’s ability to serve.”

It was during that time that the merger between Baylor Health Care System merged with Scott and White Healthcare resulting in Baylor Scott and White Health — the largest not-for-profit healthcare system in Texas.

Kristi Sherrill Hoyl (File photo)

Jim Hinton (File photo)

In her “free time,” Kristi’s been heavily involved with numerous nonprofits and community organizations like Downtown Dallas Inc. and the Cotton Bowl Association. In 2010, she chaired the Cattle Baron’s Ball at Southfork benefiting the American Cancer Society. 

It was just announced that Baylor Scott and White CEO Jim Hinton has named her “Chief Policy, Government and Community Affairs Officer.” In her new role she will be “overseeing the four Baylor Scott and White foundations, all of the system’s community relations activities, and will continue to oversee government affairs.”

Congrats to Kristi, Jim and Baylor!

Just In: CEO Bill Hall Leaving Dallas Area Habitat For Humanity

Bill Hall (File photo)

Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity‘s inaugural Dream Builders Dinner last Thursday was almost as much about Bill Hall, the nonprofit’s longtime CEO, as it was about the featured guest, Deshaun Watson of the Houston Texans.

That’s because, as Hall revealed to the 400 guests at Belo Mansion, he’s leaving the organization. “I’m closing out my time at Habitat,” said Hall, who joined the Dallas area group in 2004.

Later, speakers Daryl Kirkham of presenting sponsor IBERIABANK and Mark Shank, a former board chairman for Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity, spoke of their “gratitude” and admiration for Hall.

Under his leadership, the group has served more than 1,600 families. It’s also become the largest nonprofit homebuilder in Dallas and the largest Habitat chapter in the country.

Hall was a Habitat volunteer before hiring on as a staff member. He holds a bachelor’s degree in building construction from the University of Florida and an MBA from the University of North Carolina.

As the Dream Builders Dinner drew to a close, flutes of champagne were passed around to all the guests. Then Shank led everyone in a “champagne toast” to the group’s departing leader.  

Award-Winning Filmmaker Johnathan Brownlee To Head Up Dallas Film Society And Dallas International Film Festival

Johnathan Brownlee*

The Dallas Film Society and its Dallas International Film Festival have new leadership. Award-winning Canadian/American entertain veteran Johnathan Brownlee has been selected to serve as the Dallas Film Society’s CEO/President and the DIFF’s Executive Director.

According to DFS Chair Mark Denesuk, “The board had a tall order for its new leader – expand our community impact and energize our development efforts, all while managing the city’s largest film festival. After a long process, Johnathan emerged as the clear choice and we are delighted that he is now leading the organization during this exciting new chapter of growth.”

Johnathan’s involvement in the film and television industry ranges from feature films to conducting workshops at Harvard, MIT, etc.

Johnathan replaces Lee Papert, who left the organization this summer.

* Photo courtesy of Dallas Film Society

For the full-blown press release, follow the jump: [Read more…]

Former Barrister Nick Even Named WaterTower Theatre’s General Manager

Change takes place quickly. No sooner had WaterTower Theatre’s General Manager Greg Patterson announced his departure than the board announced his replacement. It will be blonde, legal eagle Nick Even, who proclaimed his love of the arts when he resigned from the law profession to pursue his arts passion after 30 years.

Nick Even (File photo)

According to Nick, “I am thrilled to share that as of October 1, 2017, I will begin serving as Managing Director of WaterTower Theatre. For my friends outside the Metroplex, WTT is a leading professional theatre company here in North Texas and – as fate would have it – served as my entry into arts non-profit boards after moving from New York. Eventually, I served as Board President in 2008. The theater has developed substantially since then, both financially and artistically, and I could not be more excited to help lead it in its next era of growth.

“I will be joining WTT’s recently named Artistic Director Joanie Schultz. Joanie came to WTT at the first of the year from Chicago, where she was Associate Artistic Producer at Victory Gardens Theater and a freelance director at both the Goodman and Steppenwolf, among numerous other theaters. Joanie has already been cited for Outstanding Direction by the Dallas-Fort Worth Theater Critics Forum for her WTT directorial debut: ‘Hit the Wall.’

“WTT’s new season will open officially on Monday, October 16 with the regional premiere of ‘Pride and Prejudice,’ adapted from the Jane Austen novel by Kate Hamill, so I will be wasting no time in getting up to speed. 

“Other season programming includes The Great Distance Home (world premiere) by Kelsey Leigh Ervi; Elliot, a Soldier’s Fugue (regional premiere) by Quiara Alegría Hudes; Bread (world premiere) by Regina Taylor; Jason Robert Brown‘s musical “The Last Five Years; and Hand to God” (regional premiere) by Robert Askins. The season will also include “Detour,” a four-day festival of new work in March 2018. It’s a diverse and exciting season, to be sure. If you’d like to read more, you can visit: https://watertowertheatre.org/coming-soon.”

Sounds like Nick is already settling into his new role as things are shaking up north of LBJ.

Crayton Webb Heads Into “Sunwest” Thanks To A “Stern” Buyout

Folks have been wondering whatever happened to fundraising Crayton Webb, since his departure last month from Mary Kay Inc. Had he left his wife, Nikki Webb, and their four kids to join the Foreign Legion? Had he been whisked away by space aliens? Had he become a recluse living in The Joule?

Crayton Webb (File photo)

Andy Stern (File photo)

None of the above. He was in the final negotiations to “buy” Andy Stern’s 35-year-old Sunwest Communications. And now the deal is done.

Crayton admitted that the timing was perfect for him and he was flattered that Andy would entrust him with his company.

Crayton reported, “Thanks to Andy Stern, Sunwest Communications is highly respected in the reputation business, boasting an impressive list of clients and an amazing team of public relations professionals. I look forward to the privilege of building upon 35 years of outstanding public relations counsel, communications and senior-level service by standing on the shoulders of a giant in the industry like Andy.”

As for Andy, he’s really not going anywhere. He’s just moving down the hallway. As Senior Counsel, he’ll still be a part of the public relations firm whose clients include Exxon Mobil, CBRE, the Catholic Foundation, Rosewood Property Company, KDC, Victory Park and XTO.

The reason for Andy’s “selling” the firm was not a spur of the moment decision. He applied the same strategy to his plan that he has for his clients. Looking at the future of his staff and company, he didn’t want to sell to a mega public relations operation. But he did want Sunwest to move ahead providing strategic communication services. In considering in whom to entrust Sunwest, he recognized that he and Crayton shared common values, both personally and professionally.

According to Andy, “After 35 years, I had to be sure Sunwest Communications was left in the good, capable hands of an expert communicator and leader. Sunwest is a family business and that feeling of family extends to our team and clients. I’m confident in Crayton’s ingenuity and leadership to take Sunwest Communications to elevated levels of success, as well as his integrity and wisdom to carry on the company culture that has defined us.” 

Both men have worked in the political sector (Andy as Staff Assistant to President Gerald Ford and Crayton as chief of staff for Dallas Mayor Laura Miller) and in the media (Andy as a print reporter and Crayton at KTVT), and both have heavy ties and leadership positions in various community and nonprofit organizations.

Andy has held leadership roles in AMN Healthcare Services, Medical City Dallas Hospital, the Texas Healthcare Trustees, the American Hospital Association’s Committee on Governance, the Dallas Citizens Council, the Salesmanship Club of Dallas, Dallas Assembly, Leadership Dallas Alumni, Public Relations Society of America, Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center, the Sixth Floor Museum, North Dallas Chamber and Salesmanship Club Charitable Golf. 

On the other hand, Crayton has been involved with the National Domestic Violence Hotline, the Arbor Day Foundation, YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas, the Dallas Regional Chamber, SMU, the Junior League of Dallas, Leadership Dallas and Genesis Women’s Shelter’s HeROs.

When asked if Crayton’s new responsibilities as a CEO would curtail his involvement in the nonprofit sector, he was surprised that the question was even aired. With his young family and his new staff, he is even more dedicated to supporting the programs and organizations that build the North Texas community.

Greg Patterson Takes A Final Bow As WaterTower Theatre Managing Director This Month

Change continues at WaterTower Theatre. It was just a year ago that the Addison-based Theatre’s Artistic Director Terry Martin left and a search commenced for a replacement. That search resulted in bringing on board Joanie Schultz, who made headlines with her first local production — “Hit The Wall.”

Greg Patterson and Joanie Schultz (File photo)

Now word arrives that Managing Director Greg Patterson will be leaving the company at the end of the month, when his contract ends.

According to Greg, “I’ve so enjoyed my nearly 10 years here at WaterTower Theatre. My tenure at WaterTower Theatre has been the happiest time for me professionally. Over a year ago, when WTT was embarking on the search for a new Artistic Director, I committed myself to ensuring the transition from Terry Martin to Joanie Schultz would be as smooth and easy as possible, and to play a role in setting the Company on the right path going forward. I always knew that after that transition was completed, it would be time for me to look for new and exciting life adventures, and that time is now. I love WaterTower Theatre and all the donors, board, and staff who have made this Company so successful during my 9+ years of service. WTT has an exciting, bright future with Joanie at the helm and I couldn’t feel more pride and confidence in this great Company than I do at this point.”

In the meantime, “WaterTower Theatre’s Board of Directors has established a transition team comprised of the Executive Committee and Artistic Director Joanie Schultz to manage the theater’s operations until a new Managing Director is named.”

JUST IN: Crayton Webb Reveals His Last Day As Mary Kay Inc. VP, But Remains Tight-Lipped About Future Plans

Nikki and Crayton Webb (File photo)

In the North Texas nonprofit world, Mary Kay Inc. VP of Corporate Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility Crayton Webb has established quite a stellar reputation as a major champion in the war against domestic violence. Besides chairing HeROs, Genesis Women’s Shelter‘s men’s auxiliary, and co-chairing the recent Genesis Luncheon with wife Nikki Webb, he has served on the board of the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

An example of his blending his professional life with his personal advocacy has been his being front and center for the annual “Suits for Shelters” program, providing clothes for area domestic violence shelters.

What some folks don’t realize is that his involvement and leadership have not been limited to Mary Kay Inc. and domestic violence. Need proof? Since landing in North Texas in 1998, he has been part of a vast variety of organizations and programs, including the YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas Board, the Communications Council for the Dallas Regional Chamber, the Executive Forum of the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship, Communications Studies at SMU, the Junior League of Dallas, Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity, Leadership Dallas Alumni Association and Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau to name a few.

Prior to joining Mary Kay Inc., he was an award-winning reporter for KTVT-TV (CBS) from 1998 to 2001, as well as chief of staff for former Dallas Mayor Laura Miller from 2002 to 2005.

In the past 19 years, he has received the 2015 Leadership Dallas Distinguished Alumni Award, was named to the Dallas Business Journal‘s class of “40 under Forty,” was named one of the “Five Outstanding Young Dallasites” by the Dallas Junior Chamber of Commerce and one of the “Five Outstanding Young Texans” by the Texas Junior Chamber of Commerce.

It was just learned that Crayton announced that he has given his notice to Mary Kay. Ironically, his final day with the Dallas-based mega-company will be on the 54th anniversary of the founding of Mary Kay Inc. — Wednesday, September 13.

What’s in his future? Crayton is tight-lipped on that question. However, the answer will be revealed in September. But never fear. He and Nikki are still staying true to North Texas and its nonprofit world.

Stay tuned.

JUST IN: Neiman Marcus Downtown GM/VP Jeff Byron Has Retired

Jeff Byron (File photo)

Gee, whiz! Talk about starting the week with more boo-hoo news. It seems that Neiman Marcus Downtown GM/VP Jeff Byron’s last day was Thursday.

After being in the luxury retailing industry for nearly 40 years, the mustachioed baby boomer decided to retire. Despite reach-outs for confirmation that he’s burned his Brioni suits and Zegna ties and headed to some Caribbean island, he is staying put in  North Texas.

During his four years at the downtown store, he “enjoyed the privilege of working with so many great people both at Neiman’s and within the community,” and admitted that he “will miss interacting with all on a regular basis.”

Regarding his involvement with the area’s non-profits, Jeff revealed that his three-year term on the Equest board had ended, but he still plans to continue volunteering for various North Texas charities…that is, when he’s not enjoying the landscape at his lake house.

Hopefully, Jeff’s replacement will be on hand for the 2017 Crystal Charity Ball Ten Best Dressed Fashion Show and Luncheon hoop-la with cutie pie Zac Posen’s fashion brightening up the runway on Friday, September 15, at the flagship store.

In Addition To Naming Three New Trustees, Presbyterian Communities And Services Board Has Promoted President Tim Mallad To CEO

Was it just about a year ago that Tim Mallad joined Presbyterian Communities and Services as president? Sure was. Now, word arrives that Tim has been named CEO of the not-for-profit organization.

Tim Mallad (File photo)

According to PCS Board of Trustees Chair Phil Wentworth, “I am continuously impressed by Tim’s genuine passion for our mission and ability to lead our organization in the right direction. Mallad, much like our board, is focused on enriching the lives of seniors, making a meaningful difference and providing exemplary care and support for seniors and their families. We are focused on growth with the expansion of Presbyterian Village North, the opening of the T. Boone Pickens Hospice and Palliative Care Center and the master plan which is currently underway at Grace Presbyterian Village.”

In addition to Tim’s taking on the new title, three new board members have been named — Laura Wright, Liza Lee and Allen Tilley. They will be joining current trustees Ronald J. Gafford, L. Gerald “Jerry” Bryant, Dr. Lisa H. Clark, Cornelius “Neil” Foote, Dr. Rebecca Gruchalla, Douglas D. Hawthorne, Cynthia K. Hudgins, Ellen H. Masterson, Andrew Meyercord, Brad Nitschke and Michael Wright.

Phil added, “The new board members are fantastic additions to an already impressive board, and I believe together with Tim, we will expand our mission even further by growing our organization.”

Baylor Scott And White Health CEO/President Jim Hinton To Remain CEO, But Adds Pete McCanna As System’s President

Baylor Scott and White Health CEO/President Jim Hinton is not your everyday leader. Having taken over his new role in January as head of the largest not-for-profit health care system in Texas, he’s been very busy looking to the future growth of the organization. Evidently, he decided that an adjustment was needed moving forward.  And that adjustment was in his role. While he’ll remain CEO, Jim has tapped Northwestern Memorial Healthcare Executive VP/COO Pete McCanna to be president of Baylor Scott and White.

Jim Hinton (File photo)

Peter McCanna*

According to Jim, “This new office will further expand the capabilities of our already talented leadership team, helping us more rapidly evolve. We are committed to extending Baylor Scott and White’s long history of success by transforming into a nationally recognized, high-value integrated delivery network; and to transform, we must drive costs down, while making the right investments in key areas.

“Pete is a highly respected senior executive with a track record of helping to grow organizations, create and implement successful, long-range strategic plans and lead financial turnarounds. He is one of the best and brightest in health care.”

These two are no strangers. They have a track record when Jim was CEO at Presbyterian Healthcare Services in New Mexico and Pete was CFO.

Pete and his family are in the process of moving from Chicago to Dallas, so he can assume his new role in September. BTW, Pete already knows how to speak Texan. He earned his master’s degree from the University of Texas and is married to a native Texan.

JUST IN: Trisha Cunningham Named North Texas Food Bank President/CEO

Incoming North Texas Food Bank Board of Directors Chair Anurag Jain just announced that Trisha Cunningham has been named president/CEO of North Texas Food Bank.

Trisha Cunningham*

The former Texas Instruments Chief Citizenship Officer will oversee the “a group of 200 NTFB employees in their work to provide access to healthy foods for food insecure individuals across NTFB’s 13-county service area.”

During her tenure at TI, the company “climbed up CR Magazine’s Top 100 Corporate Citizens annual rankings, coming in at number 15 on the list in 2017.”

This new role is not Trisha’s first involvement in the non-profit sector. She has served in leadership positions for Leadership Women (national), Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas, VolunteerNow (Volunteer Center of North Texas), Girls Inc. of Metropolitan Dallas, Dallas Friday Group, Dallas Breakfast Group, DFW Corporate Citizenship Network, Junior League of Dallas, Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Advisory Board – Alliance for Greater Works, Leadership Dallas, Leadership Texas, Leadership International and International Women’s Forum Fellows Program.

According to Anurag, “We are confident that Trisha’s unique experiences and passion for strengthening the communities she is a part of make her the right leader to take the helm at NTFB.”

Trisha will be in the office officially on Monday, July 17. Instead of sending her flowers, why not make a donation to the NTFB in her name?

* Photo provided by North Texas Food Bank

JUST IN: Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s Jonathan Martin Is Headed to Cincinnati

Jonathan Martin (File photo)

Our buddy Mike Granberry at The Dallas Morning News is reporting that Dallas Symphony Orchestra CEO/President  Jonathan Martin announced this morning that he’ll be joining the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in September.

Taking over his duties immediately will be Michelle Miller Burns. Jonathan will serve as an advisor to the board chair and Michelle until he leaves at the end of August.

Dallas Film Society President/CEO Lee Papert To Exit The Popcorn World

Sarah and Lee Papert (File photo)

Dallas Film Society President/CEO Lee Papert is leaving the dark theaters of the film world and looking to a brighter future. As soon as the official word on his departure is received, it will be posted.

In talking with Lee, he admitted that six years ago he started a whole new world, both personally and professionally. Just the week before being named to head up the DFS, he married Sarah Papert, who is executive director of the Vickery Meadows Learning Center.

Lee will still be at DFS through June. After that, he’ll probably have to go through popcorn-withdrawal treatments.

As Hope Cottage Warms Up For Its Centennial, CEO Sonyia Hartwell Is Retiring With Chief Program Officer Brooks Quinlan Moving On Up

Hope Cottage is getting ready to kick off its centennial warm-up year at 8 a.m. on Saturday, June 3, with “Step Up For Hope Fundraising Walk” starting at Hope Cottage.  There will be no charge, but if a person raises $100 s/he’ll be rewarded with an event shirt and a goody bag.

All members of the family are invited to participate including the pets. (Cats might be a bit skittish about joining in, so let them stay at home on the couch.)

There will be games plus prizes for individual and teams who raise the most monies, best team costume and best dressed canine (leash required) in the pooch parade.

Sonyia Hartwell (File photo)

Brooks Quinlan (File photo)

Unfortunately, Hope Cottage CEO Sonyia Hartwell will not be a part of all the official festivities. She’s retiring to Arizona on Wednesday, June 28, after working at the adoption agency since 2009. During her tenure, she saw Hope Cottage through many developments, including the moving of its facility at Fitzhugh and McKinney to its brand spanking new sweetheart of a building in the Wilson Historic District.

As for who will be replacing Sonyia, it will be Hope Cottage Chief Program Officer Brooks Quinlan, who also joined Hope Cottage in 2009.

JUST IN: Beth Myers Named CEO Of Girls Inc. Of Metropolitan Dallas

Beth Myers*

After spending nine years as Girls Inc. of Metropolitan Dallas’ CEO, Lori Palmer slipped into retirement back in September. Now word has just arrived that Lori’s successor at Girls Inc. has been named — Beth Myers.

Prior to taking on the leadership of Girls Inc., Beth was VP of Consulting and Education for the CNM Connect (Center for Nonprofit Management). She had previously “held several roles with Big Brothers Big Sisters at both the national and affiliate level.”

According to Girls Inc. Dallas Board Chair Melanie Okon, “Beth will bring leadership and creativity to the Girls Inc. programs and a sense of commitment to the vision of a world where every girl has opportunities to break past serious obstacles and lead a healthy, educated and successful life.”

As Girls Inc. approaches its 50th year of providing “effective life skills and enrichment programs that empower girls, ages 6 to 18, to take daily charge of their lives,” Beth said she looks forward to “building consensus, teamwork and support at the local and national level, and effectively managing fiscal and operation aspects of Girls Inc as go into our 50th anniversary year and beyond.”  

* Photo provided by Girls Inc. of Metropolitan Dallas

 

JUST IN: Dr. Linda Abraham-Silver Named New Chief Executive Officer For Perot Museum

Perot dinosaurs (File photo)

Nearly a year after its previous permanent CEO resigned, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas has named a new chief executive officer. According to a letter sent to museum donors by Perot Board Chair Hernan J.F. Saenz III, “Dr. Linda Abraham-Silver will be joining the Perot Museum as our next Eugene McDermott Chief Executive Officer, effective July 1.”

According to the letter, Abraham-Silver will arrive at the museum this summer “from the Government of Abu Dhabi, where she has led science and technology promotion initiatives for the Technology Development Committee as associate director since 2011.” Earlier, Saenz went on, she spent eight years as president and CEO of the Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland, Ohio.

The board chair said the new CEO is “perfectly aligned” with the Perot’s strategic initiatives.

“Dr. Silver’s background is impressive in its own right, but it is particularly relevant at this stage in the Museum’s evolution,” Saenz told the donors. “We are all engaged in the challenging … effort to translate the Perot Museum’s initial momentum into an engine of sustainable innovation and community impact. This requires fresh, innovate programming and exhibits, renewed and deepened community engagement across North Texas, and enhancements to the overall guest experience.”

The Perot had been led by Interim CEO Dan Kohl, since the abrupt resignation last year of chief executive Colleen Walker after less than two years on the job. According to news accounts, Walker and the museum’s board had “differences.”

JUST IN: Big Thought’s Gigi Antoni Is Heading To The Big Apple As Director Of Learning And Enrichment For The Wallace Foundation

Gigi Antoni (File photo)

Boxes of Puffs are being passed around over at Big Thought. The reason is the staff was just notified that after 20 years with the nonprofit, Big Thought President/CEO Gigi Antoni will be leaving the education organization in April. The reason is that she is moving to New York City to join The Wallace Foundation as the director of learning and enrichment.  

The Foundation’s mission “is to foster improvements in learning and enrichment for disadvantaged children and the vitality of the arts for everyone.”

Will Miller (File photo)

It was back in December 2015 that a presentation was made to a small group of area leaders addressing the problem of the Dallas education system going dormant during the summer. The research was culminated by The Wallace Foundation, the Urban Institute Policy Group and Big Thought. According to The Wallace Foundation President Will Miller, this type of situation was the reason the Foundation had spent $23M in the past decade to address such issues.

For a full release on the news, follow the jump. [Read more…]

Dr. Dan DeMarco Got Pretty Gutsy At The Baylor Health Care System Foundation Board Luncheon

The word “gut” is usually not one that comes up at lunch. But on Tuesday, December 13, the Baylor Health Care System Foundation Board literally gutted up to learn about gastrointestinal research and developments.

Paula Walker

Ashley Jones

But before it kicked off, the Board members were entertained by musicians and artists like Ashley Jones from Baylor’s Arts in Medicine program at Sammons Cancer Center. Developed by Bonnie Pittman, the program is provided free-of-charge for cancer patients at Baylor as a creative therapy thanks to a donation by Paula Walker. Another part of the program is for musicians to play at bedside. When the program began in 2015, there were 300 requests for musical practitioners. This past year the monthly rate had risen to more than 2,000.

Margo Goodwin, Leonard Riggs and Annette Simmons

Amy Turner

Jerry Fullinwider and Martha Hackbarth

As guests like Nancy Dedman, Kelly Green, Richard Holt, Kathy Crow, Michal Powell, Amy Turner, Julie Turner, Su-Su Meyer, Leonard Riggs, Annette Simmons, Jerry Fullinwider, Martha Hackbarth, Trisha Wilson, Randi Halsell, Jill Smith, Paul Stoffel, Sharon McCullough, ­­­Lana and Barry Andrews and Tavia Hunt settled in their chairs at the Sammons Cancer Center, Foundation Chair Margo Goodwin reported that Celebrating Women Luncheon Chair Aileen Pratt and Underwriting Chair Gloria Eulich Martindale had raised $1.8M for breast cancer research. Taking over the leadership for the 2017 Celebrating Women will be Tucker Enthoven as luncheon chair and Ola Fojasek as underwriting chair. 

Aileen Pratt

Tavia Hunt

With tongue firmly in cheek, Margo explained that due to the day’s subject matter the presentation would be held after the meal was consumed.

No need. For the presentation, Margo and Baylor Health Care System Foundation President Robin Robinson had gotten retired Dr. Dan DeMarco to explain the various components of the digestive system. In introducing Dan, Robin admitted that he had done research by reading “Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body’s Most Underrated Organ” by Giulia Enders. He described it as “a really cheeky, easy-to-read guide about both the secrets and the science of our digestive system. I recommend it. It’s a neat read.”

Dan DeMarco

And, yes, the topic did have a “yuck factor” about it, but with the charm of a leprechaun and the knowledge and skill of a recognized health care provider, Dan took the SRO crowd through the various steps of the gastrointestinal system, or as Robin put it, “from stem to stern.”

 Dan started off by recalling years ago, an Australian doctor — Dr. Barry Marshall — claimed that bacteria, not acid, caused ulcers. Experts poo-pooed the idea, despite the doctor’s even swallowing bacteria to prove his point. Years later, he was proved right and won the 2005 Noble Prize.  

In addition to “Gut,” Dan suggested another book that was easy-to-read-and-digest: “Gulp” by Mary Roach.

Then he rolled out some facts that impressed one and all.

  • 80% of our immune cells reside in the gut
  • The gut sends emotional signal to the brain — suggesting we “feel” with our gut first.
  • Gastro-intestinal conditions can be seen as the “mental illness” of your gut.
  • Food affects your mood, and not just “comfort food.”
  • You have 10 times as many microbes as cells in your body. The health of these communities determines your overall health. Collectively, these communities are called the microbiome.
  • Digestive insufficiencies contribute to a wide range of health issues, including migraine headaches, depression, arthritis, autism, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, multiple sclerosis and more.
  • Lactose intolerance increases with age.
  • Gluten sensitivity is “relatively rare. It has to be confirmed with blood testing and intestinal biopsy. Certainly people do feel different on a gluten-free diet. People swear by it, but it’s probably not just the gluten. It’s due to other factors.”
  • Antibiotics kill bacteria. With the wide-spread use of antibiotics, the few bacteria that the antibiotics don’t kill get stronger, become resistant and become super bugs. Not everything should be treated with antibiotics.
  • Probiotics encourage the growth of good bacteria that help the digestive system.
  • Microbiome is the entire community of germs. By analyzing the microbiome, it is possible to create an individual’s “fingerprint” regarding their makeup. For instance, if antibiotics are given the first two or three years of life, they influence the microbiome.
  • Microbiome may have more of an effect on our makeup and well-being than genetics.
  • Diseases like Parkinsons, Lupus and others may be the result of the microbiome.
  • Microbiome is affected by whether you were born via C-section or natural delivery and if you were breast fed.
  • The gut affects the immune system, moods, personality and attitude. About 95% of the body’s serotonin is found in the gut. The gut is sometimes referred to as “The Second Brain.”
  • The small intestine is 21 feet long, which results in food taking about six hours to reach the colon.

The small intestine’s length was one of the challenges that had faced the medical community in detecting health problems. It was only accessible via the operating room. The traditional colonoscopy could only go so far, Dan said, but he had been involved in the creation of a new treatment combining the Double Balloon Scope and Spiral Component being “dropped from the top down.” The result was the shortening of the intestine “like rolling up your sleeve.” This procedure made it possible for the small intestine to be examined without trauma and reduced the six-hour traditional examination to a mere 30 minutes. It is currently going through national clinical trials for approval.

Another developments that is being tested at Baylor is the TransPyloric Shuttle for moderately overweight people and fecal transplants for colon diseases.

In conclusion, Dan discussed the gastroenterologist fellows program at Baylor in which, each year, two are selected to be part of the three-year program after finishing their training as internal medicine doctors. Emphasizing the need for gastroenterologists, he added that those participating in the fellowship program tended to stay locally.

To summarize his presentation, he suggested three take-home points:

  1. Think outside of the box
  2. Embrace new technology
  3. Keep learning, keep teaching and “support our fellowship program.”

Upon his retirement, Dan and his wife, Dr. Cara East, created an endowment to support a fellowship and, thanks to the Baylor Health Care System Foundation, more than a million dollars was raised resulting in the DeMarco Fellow each year that is fully funded.

Jim Turner and Joel Allison

Following Dan’s presentation, Baylor Scott & White Holdings Board of Trustees Chair Jim Turner told the foundation board members about the new Baylor Scott & White Health CEO Jim Hinton and extolled the accomplishments of retiring Baylor Scott & White Health CEO Joel Allison. Among them: during Joel’s 23-year tenure, he grew Baylor from a $1-billion asset healthcare system to $10 billion today; the merger with Scott & White; heading up 45,000 employees, 48 hospitals and countless other undertakings resulting in Baylor being one of the top ten not-for-profit healthcare companies in the country and the leading not-for-profit in Texas.

While Joel will officially retire on his birthday (Wednesday, February 1), he will remain as an advisor to Jim Turner. This relationship dates back to their days at Baylor University, when Jim was on the basketball team and Joel played football.

News 8 Daybreak’s Alexa Conomos May Be Leaving WFAA And News 8 Daybreak But Not The Nonprofits

Alexa Conomos (File photo)

For those nonprofits who worried their botoxed brows about word that WFAA’s News 8 Daybreak’s Alexa Conomos was leaving WFAA’s morning show, take a chill pill.

It was 16 or so years ago that Alexa’s journey from California brought her to North Texas and TXCN. Then, as TXCN went bye-bye in 2002, Alexa transitioned to co-anchoring with Ron Corning to wake folks up from 4:30 a.m. to 7 a.m.

Over the years, Alexa personally went from adorable single girl to glowing married lady to multi-tasking mama of three. In recent months, Alexa realized that her priorities needed a revisit and that making breakfast for her kidlets and having date nights with her hubby Bradley trumped all.

Luckily knowing Alexa, her support of the North Texas nonprofit world will continue beyond her days at the conclusion of her contract with WFAA in June.

After ‘Filling In’ 38 Years Ago, Cathy McCormack Maher Will Retire December 31 as Dallas Bar Association’s Executive Director

Back in the 1970s, the Idlewild debutante season dominated the Dallas social scene from October through January. Nonprofit fundraising was scarce because of the mega-storm of debutante teas, brunches, dinners, cocktail parties and balls.

And while some people might think that the young gals in white ball gowns simply evolved into socialites who spent their afternoons at country clubs and managing their household staffs, they would be short-shrifting many, like Chris Jonsson, Laura Bayoud Hunt, Linda Perryman Evans, Missy Gunn Falchi and others.

Cathy Maher*

One of those former debs will be retiring after working at the Dallas Bar Association for 38 years. Come Saturday, December 31, DBA Executive Director Cathy McCormack Maher will have cleaned out her desk and headed to retirement.

Not a bad career when you realize she joined the DBA in 1978 to fill in for a staff member who was on maternity leave.

When Cathy notified the DBA back in September 2015 of her plans to retire, DBA President Jerry Alexander admitted in the Bar’s newsletter, “Part of the process of hiring a new Executive Director of the Dallas Bar Association (you note I didn’t say ‘replacing Cathy Maher,’ because she is irreplaceable) is coming up with a job description.”

Jerry then had Cathy compile The Book, in which she would describe in minute detail the executive director’s daily responsibilities. He thought he would simply incorporate the information in the job description, but it turned out to be such an epic piece that he decided that during the interview process, the candidates would be able to see The Book and be asked a very simple question: “Do you think you can do all of this?”

After a national search, they found the candidate who answered “Yes” in Alicia Hernandez, who has worked for the association for 15 years.

Known to old friends as “Mac,” Cathy admits that she’s proud of having helped lead the $14M fundraising campaign that resulted in the building of the Belo Mansion’s Pavilion, where countless events are held. She has also instituted various programs that resulted in “the organization having twice received recognition from the American Bar Association for outstanding diversity initiatives such as the Dallas Minority Attorney Program, the Minority Attorney Business Development Initiative and the Minority Participation Committee.”

For her efforts, she received the Dallas Minority Attorney Program’s Legacy Award this past April.

When asked by Attorney at Law Magazine why she decided to retire, Mac said, “As you can imagine, I am very close to the Dallas Bar Association. It has been my life since I was 26 years old. But at some point, you know it is time to pass the torch. We have great bar leaders and staff, and the Bar is in excellent shape. The board has appointed Alicia Hernandez as the new executive director beginning January 1. Now is the time to get out and smell the roses. But, my heart will always be with the Dallas Bar Association — the best bar association in the country.”

And what does that smelling of roses include? According to Mac, she’s going to take some time off and then she’ll “be working on a biography of Colonel Belo with former Dallas Morning News historian Judith Segura.”

So, next time you hear somebody scoffing about debutantes, think about Cathy, who was just filling in back in 1978.

* Photo provided by Cathy Maher

JUST IN: Kenneth Goodgames Named Community Council Of Greater Dallas’ CEO

In its 76-year history, Community Council of Greater Dallas has only had five CEOs. The most recent one was Martha Blaine, who retired this past June after heading up the organization for 22 years.

Just before the year ends, Martha’s successor has been revealed.

Jennifer Coleman (File photo)

Jennifer Coleman (File photo)

Kenneth Goodgames*

Kenneth Goodgames*

According to Community Council Board President Jennifer Coleman, Kenneth “Ken” Goodgames will take over the role on Monday, December 19.

Formerly serving as president/CEO of Transformance (formerly known as the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Dallas), Ken has been associated in leadership positions with the American Heart Association and The American Red Cross, as well as “building and managing high-performance teams for Fortune 100 corporations as director, sales and global business development for Microsoft and vice president, Health Care, for NuTex Sciences.”

According to Community Council Board VP Levi Davis, “Ken is energetic and excited about the opportunity to make a significant difference in the Dallas community.  His management experience in both the nonprofit and for-profit sectors will serve him very well at the Community Council.”

Ken admitted that he has already recognized some adjustments will be in the wind for the organization that “improves the health and well-being of people through all life stages”: “To move forward,” he said, “I believe we need to refresh our brand, capitalizing on the organization’s history and accomplishments, yet expanding and innovating to better leverage partnerships with different community sectors.”

* Photo provided by Community Council of Greater Dallas