Six SMU alumni have been named to the Dallas Business Journal’s annual “40 Under 40” list of professionals under age 40 who are making their marks on the business world:
Gabriella Draney ’03/Tech Wildcatters
Gabriella Draney is co-founder and managing partner of Tech Wildcatters, a mentor-driven incubator for tech start-ups. She received an M.B.A. in strategy and entrepreneurship from SMU’s Cox School of Business and worked for HP Growth Partners and Morgan Stanley before following her entrepreneurial passion. Tech Wildcatters has been named one of the “10 Hottest Start-up Incubators” by Forbes.
In June, the Dallas Observer profiled Draney among its 30 “most interesting” people of 2013 issue. In July, she was invited to participate in the first national Accelerator Demo Day sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Global Accelerator Network in Washington, D.C. According to the SBA, “accelerators provide a mentoring and networking component to help start-ups avoid pitfalls and give them the skills necessary to raise capital.”
Lacy Durham ’08/Deloitte Tax
An active member of legal communities in Texas and Louisiana, she serves as minority director for the Texas Young Lawyers Association. She also is a member of the National Bar Association, the Dallas Bar Association, the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers, the Baton Rouge Bar Association and the J.L. Turner Legal Association.
In addition, Durham serves on the advisory board for the Southwest region of the National Diversity Council and volunteers with Big Brothers Big Sisters of North Texas and Junior Achievement.
Dan Healy ’06/Civitas Capital Group
Dan Healy, a co-founder and chief executive officer of Civitas Capital Group, holds an M.B.A. from SMU’s Cox School of Business. As CEO, he is responsible for the general management of the Civitas family of specialty management and financial services companies. Healy has been responsible for the origination, financing and management of dozens of real estate investments across all property types. He also has significant experience in securities compliance.
Prior to forming Civitas, Healy served in senior executive roles with Royalton Real Estate Capital, LLC and Highland Capital Management, LP, a $30 billion alternative asset manager.
Matt Houston ’06/Group Excellence
Matt Houston, executive director of Group Excellence, a mentor-tutoring company founded by SMU alumnus Carl Dorvil ’05, ’08, earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Dedman College and serves on the Young Alumni board. He has worked with Group Excellence since August 2008 where his responsibilities include the recruitment, training and management of 250 tutors, supervisors and directors providing educational programs throughout the North Texas area.
He is active in a number of civic organizations, including the Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce and the Urban League of Greater Dallas Young Professionals. He also has served on the W.W. Samuel Early College High School Advisory Board and the Southern Dallas Leadership Task Force. He is a member of the Leadership Dallas Class of 2012.
Kevin Lavelle ’08/Mizzen + Main
Kevin Lavelle, 27, founder and CEO of the clothing company Mizzen + Main, is the youngest honoree. He was a President’s Scholar at SMU and earned a bachelor’s degree from the Lyle School of Engineering. He traveled the world as a technology consultant before starting his company, Mizzen + Main, which makes high-quality dress shirts in moisture-wicking, wrinkle-free fabrics.
At TEDxSMU last fall, Lavelle talked about his goal of building a “socially responsible company” from the ground up, noting that his products are manufactured in the United States and that a portion of every sale supports charities and job programs for veterans. He was recently a panelist at the Bloomberg Conference on Alternative Investments held at the George W. Bush Presidential Center, discussing angel investing and entrepreneurship.
Carl Pankratz ’03, ’06/Capital Title
Carl Pankratz serves as vice president/legal counsel for Capital Title, a residential and commercial property title company, and is a member of the Rowlett City Council. He earned a bachelor’s degree from SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts and a Juris Doctor degree from Dedman School of Law.
At Capital Title he closes commercial real estate transactions, oversees the legal department and manages more than 200 employees. In recognition of his real estate law expertise, Pankratz was selected by the State Bar of Texas to serve on its Real Estate Forms Committee and was among 20 lawyers selected to participate in Leadership State Bar of Texas.
Active in civic affairs, Pankratz served on the City of Rowlett Planning and Zoning Commission and Board of Adjustment before being elected to the city council in 2011. He also is co-founder of the Rowlett Association of Non-profits and has performed in numerous productions with the Amateur Community Theatre of Rowlett.
The SMU alumni were selected from more than 300 nominees. All “40 Under 40” honorees were featured in the Dallas Business Journal and honored at a reception August 28 in Dallas.