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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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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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Texas jobless rate falls as employers add workers

Texas unemployment fell to 4.3 percent during February for the sixth straight month of declines, the Texas Workforce Commission reported Friday.

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Newsmakers - July 28, 2014

Advertising, Marketing & Public Relations
New hire at Warren Douglas Advertising is Shane Bender, vice president of finance. Bender
joins from iProspect, where he served as director of financial planning and analysis. He previously worked as controller for Range Online Media and as assistant controller for Allied Electronics, and began his financial career with accounting firm KPMG.
Genius House Media, added Darren Pike as cinematographer and editor. Pike brings a decade of documentary, corporate and music video production experience to the team.

Banking & Finance
Chelsea Jones, a recent graduate from Texas Christian University, joined Rogers Wealth Group as operations associate.

Boards & Organizations
AZZ incorporated appointed Stephen E. Pirnat to its board. Pirnat currently serves as the managing director, Europe, the Middle East and Africa for Quest Integrity Group of Team Inc. He also was the president of Quest Integrated Inc. and Quest Metrology Group LLC. From 2000-2009, Pirnat was president/CEO of John Zink Co. LLC. From 1998-1999, he was president/CEO of Pangborn Corp. From 1988-1998, he served in sales, marketing, operational, engineering and executive positions at Ingersoll-Rand and Ingersoll-Dresser Corp. Pirnat currently serves on the board for ClearSign Combustion Inc. and Profire Energy Inc.
Fort Worth Country Day named new trustees to its board for a three-year term: R. Gantt Bumstead, former president and co-president of United Supermarkets LLC; Anne Carvalho, -- community volunteer; Gynna Harlin, community volunteer; and attorney Todd Kelly, a partner with Jones Day. Officers elected for the 2014-2015 academic year are Shannon Young Ray, president; David Ekstrom, vice president and treasurer; and Jane Nober, secretary.

Byron Gossett has been appointed as a new director of Trinity Bank. In addition to agricultural, real estate and investment pursuits, Gossett consults with a variety of businesses, nonprofit organizations, and families and individuals, providing strategic financial, organizational and relational alignment.
The 2014-2015 board of the Cowtown Executives Association includes Chairman John Farrell, vice president at Colonial Savings F.A.; President Scott Sherwin, president of Sandler Training; Vice President Bob Lay, partner at Lay & Williams; and Lucas Sawyer, vice president of Worthington National Bank. Other board members elected are Tim Cox of Royer & Schutts; Mark Campbell of Suddath Relocation; Jason Graves of Dart Couriers; Pat Myles of Myles Pest Services; David Pels of Shannon Gracey Ratliff & Miller; DeWayne Smart of Smart Realty; Mark Titus of Telesys Communications; and Clay Townsley of Sports Rehab Specialists.
Nathan DeWitt, is the new director of communications for the Greater Fort Worth Association of REALTORS. He also is the staff liaison for the Business After Hours and Technology committees and the Young Professionals Network. Prior to joining the association, DeWitt worked in the health care industry.

J. C. Johnson, an equity partner at Dorsett Johnson & Swift LLP, has been invited to join the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance. Johnson manages the D-FW operations for the law firm from its downtown Fort Worth office. His practice areas include liability defense litigation, real estate, and corporate transactions and litigation.
Brittany Bates, director of Vision FW for the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, has accepted an invitation to be “board shadow” to The Fort Worth Business Assistance Center Foundation’s board of directors.
Don Klein, of Don Klein Consulting, recently became an approved facilitator through the National Association of Realtors Strategic/Business Planning Facilitator Training.

Chambers of Commerce
Jack Thompson is the new executive director of the Kennedale Chamber of Commerce. Thompson is a certified economic developer and president of Orasi Development. During his almost 20 years of working in both municipal government and in the private real estate industry, Thompson acquired experience in strategic planning, economic development incentive negotiation, Tax Increment Financing and business attraction.

Fort Worth Country Day named Bradley Jones as its new assistant head of middle school. Jones will coordinate the support services for students in grades 5-8 and assist in parent, student and faculty presentations; manage faculty development; align instructional provisions for students; and design and supervise the execution of learning support plans. Jones comes from Oklahoma City where he worked at Casady School as an eighth-grade history teacher and a football/track coach. During his 13-year career, Jones has taught and coached at schools in Missouri and Texas. Previously, Jones served in the U.S. Air Force and the Oklahoma and Kansas National Guards.

Funeral Homes
Tim Brown is the new managing director of Greenwood Funeral Homes and Cremation-Arlington Chapel. Brown will be responsible for the day-to-day management of the funeral home staff and directors, and also will serve families with their arrangements. Brown started at Greenwood Funeral Home as a courier in 1995. He moved into various office support positions before becoming a funeral director assistant and subsequently entering the Dallas Institute of Funeral Service and becoming a funeral director. He comes to Arlington Chapel from Greenwood’s Mount Olivet Chapel, where he has served as assistant managing director since 2011.

Honors & Awards
Gina McEuen, creative services manager at Higginbotham, has been presented with the American Advertising Federation’s (AAF) Silver Medal Award in recognition of her contributions and commitment to advancing the advertising profession over the past 30 years.
Sherrill “Sherry” Briggs, a receptionist at HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Fort Worth, was honored as a finalist in HealthSouth’s companywide Outstanding Employee Achievement Awards. Briggs was one of only six finalists out of 23,000 HealthSouth employees to receive this annual recognition.
USMD Hospital at Fort Worth and USMD Hospital at Arlington each received a 2014 Texas Hospital Quality Improvement Award from the TMF Health Quality Institute. The Fort Worth hospital earned a gold award while the Arlington hospital earned a silver award.
Executive AirShare has earned International Standards for Business Aircraft Operations certification from the International Business Aviation Council Ltd., recognizing the fractional aircraft ownership company’s adherence to the highest international standards for safe and efficient fleet operations.

Matthew K. Walton has joined Barlow Garsek & Simon LLP. He was formerly law clerk to the Hon. Renee Harris Toliver, United States Magistrate Judge for the Northern District of Texas.

Sparkhound Inc. hired Rob Ward as its new general manager for Dallas/Fort Worth. Ward will lead Sparkhound’s D-FW sales and operations team and increase brand awareness in the D-FW IT and business communities. Before joining Sparkhound, Ward was director of business development for Avanade, and was responsible for the recruitment, management, strategy and performance of a regional sales and marketing team focused on all aspects of the Microsoft enterprise platform.

Send newsmakers to Betty Dillard at

Weaver’s Mack Lawhon receives TSCPA’s top honor
W. M. “Mack” Lawhon, chairman of Weaver LLP, received the 2013-2014 Meritorious Service Award to the Public Accounting Profession in Texas, the highest service award given by the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants (TSCPA).
TSCPA presented Lawhon with the award at the organization’s annual meeting on June 27 in Santa Fe, N. M. The TSCPA Fort Worth Chapter nominated Lawhon for this award, which is not given every year. The award is presented to an individual who has given outstanding service to TSCPA and their local chapter and who is a recognized leader of the organization, having served as a committee chair, officer and board member.
As Weaver’s managing partner and CEO from 1986-2009, Lawhon led the firm during a time of significant growth, strategic change and people development. With more than four decades of public practice experience, he has worked with partnerships, individuals and estates to provide consulting in tax planning, estate planning and partnership tax planning.
Lawhon is a trustee of the Financial Accounting Foundation and an active member of several professional industry associations including the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants and the Rotary Club of Fort Worth.

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