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Super PAC Men: How political consultants took a Fort Worth oilman on a wild ride

The head of a Texas oil dynasty joined the parade of wealthy political donors, aiming to flip the Senate to Republicans. By the time consultants were done with him, the war chest was drained and fraud allegations were flying

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Bridge collapse on I-35 north of Austin

SALADO, Texas (AP) — Emergency crews are responding to a reported bridge collapse along an interstate in Central Texas.

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Bon Appétit: New French restaurant dishes out the finest in Fort Worth

Barely open six months, Le Cep, a contemporary French restaurant proffering fine dining, is stirring up Fort Worth’s culinary scene.

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Latin-inspired restaurant set to open in downtown Fort Worth

Downtown Fort Worth’s dining scene is about to get spicier with the opening of a new restaurant featuring Latin-inspired coastal cuisine.

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Amazon begins Prime Now program in Dallas area

If you just have to have it now, as in one hour, you can, at least in the Dallas area, as Inc. announced Thursday it will offer Prime Now.

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Newsmakers - June 2, 2014

Advertising, Marketing & Public Relations
Debbi Morris is the new administrative coordinator at J.O. In this position, Morris will manage bookkeeping and support the staff in vendor relations, administrative assistance, light project management and traffic control. Most recently, Morris assisted manufacturing companies with inventory valuation as a contract accountant. Previously, she served for 31 years at Essner Manufacturing as a controller, managing accounting and administration for the company. Morris also served in the Texas Army National Guard for six years, specifically in the Signal Corps where she attained the rank of Sergeant E-5 before leaving with an honorable discharge.

Banking & Finance
John Wood joined OmniAmerican Bank as senior vice president, commercial lending, real estate and Steve Dalri joined the bank as senior vice president, commercial lending regional manager for the northeast Tarrant County markets. The expansion of the commercial lending team coincides with the introduction of the OmniAmerican Healthcare Banking Program offering loans to medical, veterinary and dental professionals. Wood’s 41 years of experience in the financial services industry includes specialties in commercial real estate lending, commercial lending and mortgage lending as well as management of banking divisions for banks in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. With more than 22 years of experience, Dalri’s background includes account management and development, revenue growth generation, needs analysis and financial planning, relationship building and commercial loan processing.
Eliot Management Group hired Tony Tinderholt as director of training and recruiting. Tinderholt served 10 years with the U.S. Air Force. After 9/11, he enlisted in the Army and served as an officer for another 11 years. He saw combat in Afghanistan and Iraq, and earned a Bronze Star. Tinderholt oversaw Army recruiting efforts for much of Texas, running 47 remote recruiting centers, and managing 420 soldiers. He has taught on a collegiate level, and was the vice president of education for a vocational college with 26 regional campuses.

Boards & Organizations
New officers and steering committee members for Vision Fort Worth are: Chairman John Black, Merrill Lynch; Vice Chairman Jonathan Whitley, Whitley Penn LLP; Pete Blaisdell, Doctors In Training; Justin Dillard, Lockheed Martin; Elizabeth Eder, Tarrant County College; Kyle Heronimous, Bell Helicopter; Nancy Jeter, Ronald McDonald House of Fort Worth; Staci Kirpach, Project Partners; Corey Lark, OCG PR; Matt Oliver, Trinity River Vision Authority; Andrea Puente, Southwest Office Systems; Raz Shafer, Frontline Political Strategy; Nicole Stanley, Frost Bank; and Jared Wood, Cantey Hanger.
The Texas Mortgage Bankers Association elected Tom Rhodes, CEO of Sente Mortgage, as president for 2014-2015. New officers are: Tom Tallent, Southwest Bank, vice president; Mary Pirrello, NexBank, secretary-treasurer; and Ruth Ruhl, Ruth Ruhl PC, associate representative and board member. Board members are: Blane L. Bauch, ServiceLink; Judith A. Belanger, Cornerstone Home Lending Inc.; Michael A. Carroll, Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corp.; James Clapp, Starkey Mortgage; Amy J. Coke, Polunsky Beitel Green LLP; Tracy Maynard Cole, Colonial National Mortgage; Brian Collins, Cendera Funding Inc.; Troy W. Garris, Weiner Brodsky Kider PC; Scott Gillen, Stewart Lender Services; Jason Gillespie, Santander Bank N. A.; Dana Gompers, Envoy Mortgage; Jonathan M. Grafflin, Chase Home Finance; Michael L. Kennemer, Mid America Mortgage Inc.; Renessa Knowles, Peoples Bank; Mike Manley, Security Service Federal Credit Union; Cari McCue, Guardian Mortgage Co. Inc.; Dayna D. McElreath, Sente Mortgage; Paulina S. McGrath, Republic State Mortgage; Vicki Murphy, McGlinchey Stafford and Youngblood & Associates LLP; James Sean O’Neill, Texas Capital Bank, N.A.; Chad Overhauser, AmeriPro Funding Inc.; Allan B. Polunsky, Polunsky Beitel Green LLP; Mark A. Raskin, PrimeLending; Steve Remington, Benchmark Mortgage; Todd Salmans, PrimeLending; Andrew Taylor, Franklin American Mortgage Co.; Billy F. Vaughn, Fidelity National Title Group, Southwest Agency; and Trey Worley, Comerica Bank-Warehouse Lending.

The University of Texas at Arlington hired Paul Componation as the new chair of its Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering (IMSE) Department. He will start July 7. Most of Componation’s current work has been in improving launch system development for NASA. He also worked on the application of decision-analysis tools to support Defense Department aviation and missile systems. Componation is currently a professor and director of Graduate Education for Engineering Management at Iowa State University. Besides systems engineering and engineering management, his research interests include commercial transportation and supply chain systems; and the institution of lean practices. In addition to serving as a professor at Iowa State and the University of Alabama at Huntsville, Componation also has worked as a resident researcher in systems engineering for the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville and as an engineering officer for the U.S. Air Force.

Energy services firm Purple Land Management appointed Jeffrey F. Holliday as land and community relations manager. Holliday has more than eight years of experience in land management, public affairs and governmental relations, at both the state and federal levels. Holliday will assist with leasing projects across the country, working from the company’s corporate office in Fort Worth. Prior to joining PLM, Holliday worked for Chesapeake Energy in Shreveport and Fort Worth, and previously was an account executive at Sun Coast Resources Inc. of Houston. He also served as a representative for U.S. Senator John Cornyn.

Naomi Byrne, former chief operating officer of the Pittsburgh Housing Authority, has succeeded Barbara Holston as president and CEO of the Fort Worth Housing Authority. Holston retired June 1 after serving 23 years at the agency. Byrne has more than 15 years of experience as a senior executive officer in the housing and nonprofit industries. Prior to her position in Pittsburgh, she served as the executive director of the Texarkana Housing Authority and the Georgetown Housing Authority.

Allied Electronics, a trading brand of Electrocomponents plc, promoted Ray Horner from product marketing manager to business development manager. Horner has years of experience at Allied and at TE Connectivity (Tyco Electronics).

Real Estate
Sperry Van Ness/Visions Commercial welcomes Robin Francis-Baker as associate adviser and Rebekah Moore as marketing director. Francis-Baker is in charge of researching multifamily properties, providing market and financial data to clients, and showing properties to prospective clients. Previously, she was a financial analyst at Bell Helicopter and also had accounting roles in the food service and plumbing industries. Moore is responsible for planning and implementing marketing and public relations strategy and managing digital media for the company. Moore was the director of communications for the Greater Fort Worth Association of Realtors and had account executive roles at various advertising agencies in the Fort Worth area.

Send newsmakers to Betty Dillard at

Banking & Finance
Jay Novacek, rancher and former NFL All-Pro tight end, is the new spokesman for Heritage Land Bank. Novacek will help tell the bank’s story and communicate the role Heritage plays in financing rural property and agricultural operations in Texas. Novacek, his wife Amy and their North Texas ranch will be featured in various media throughout East and North Texas touting the advantages of financing rural and recreational properties as well as farm production activities through Heritage Land Bank.

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