Gilbert “Pete” Peterson, III of Alpine was appointed chair of the Texas Historical Commission by outgoing Gov. Rick Perry in January. Peterson earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in broadcast and film art from SMU. Peterson is the investments officer at West Texas National Bank in Alpine. He is president of the Museum of the Big Bend Advisory Board and Davis Mountains Trans-Pecos Heritage Association, and vice president of Friends of the Center for Big Bend Studies. He is a board member of Friends of the Texas Governor's Mansion, board member and past president of Leadership Big Bend, and a member of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association. He also is a past board member of the Alpine Public Library, past president of the Rotary Club of Alpine and past treasurer of the Alpine Chamber of Commerce.
Susan Williams Avant was featured as one of the top real estate agents in Texas by Top Agent Magazine in December 2014..
Michael Toland, who earned a master’s degree from SMU’s Perkins School of Theology, retired in June 2013 with 41 years service in the Texas Annual Conference. He and his wife, Vivian, have chosen Jacksonville, Texas, for their retirement home.
George C. Burke, III, recently retired as a full professor of health administration from Texas State University in San Marcos. Dr. Burke earned a bachelor's degree in social science from SMU, a master's degree from George Washington University and a doctorate in public health from the University of Texas School of Public Health. Burke says a favorite professor from his days at SMU was Kenneth Carroll, "who taught religion and made it relevant. He became my mentor, as I followed in his footsteps as a professor at Texas State for 25 years. I recently retired, having received teaching awards. I attribute this success to the love of teaching, exemplified by my SMU professors, including Dr. Carroll."
Thomas Slater, who earned M.Div. ’78 and D.Min. ’81 degrees from SMU’s Perkins School of Theology, recently preached two sermons at Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, GA, where former President Jimmy Carter and wife Rosalynn are members. In the photo, Slater, professor of New Testament Studies at McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University in Macon, GA, shakes hands with the former president after speaking to the congregation, which is searching for a new pastor. Slater is an elder in full connection in the Christian Methodist tradition
John S. Tieman recently became co-chair for the Schools Committee of the American Psychoanalytic Association. He also chairs the subcommittee for the association’s annual Educational Achievement Award. He earned an undergraduate degree in applied sciences from SMU in 1975 and a master’s degree in history in 1979. He studied child and adolescent development at St. Louis Psychoanalytic Institute and earned a Ph.D. from St. Louis University. He has been a certified teacher for almost 40 years.
Attorney David R. Cassidy has been recognized in the 2014 Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business for Louisiana in the area of Corporate/M&A: Tax. Chambers USA ranks the leading firms and lawyers in an extensive range of practice areas based on in-depth, client-focused research. Cassidy, a 1978 graduate of SMU’s Dedman School of Law, is a partner with Brazeale, Sachse & Wilson, L.L.P., in the firm’s Baton Rouge office. He is a board certified specialist in tax law. He serves on the editorial board of The Journal of Multistate Taxation and Incentives, where he also is a regularly contributing author. In addition, he is author of the Louisiana chapter in The ABA Sales & Property Tax Desk Book and co-author of the Louisiana chapter in The ABA Property Tax Desk Book.
Keith Karnes has been named president of BTerrell Group and CodePartners. BTerrell Group, LLP is a Dallas-based consulting firm focused on implementing and optimizing ERP, CRM and HRMS systems for mid-sized companies. Karnes joined BTerrell Group in April 2013 to lead the company’s efforts in launching the company’s Intacct practice, after providing similar services with Tenetus, LLC. Karnes brings a strong financial, accounting and technical background to his new role as President. During his career, he has served in capacities as COO and CFO, giving him awareness of the issues facing mid-sized businesses in many areas. He has actively transitioned companies into new phases of growth and stability. BTerrell Group focuses on Intacct and Sage software implementations in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas and New Mexico. CodePartners, owned by BTerrell Group, provides customized programming solutions for ERP, CRM and HRMS solutions.
Steve Jenkins has joined Jackson Walker, LLP, as a partner in the Real Estate practice group. Jenkins has more than 40 years of experience in the full spectrum of real estate transactions, enhancing Jackson Walker’s ability to serve the growing needs of its commercial real estate clients in the Dallas market, as well as the state and national markets, in the midst of a vigorous rebound. Jenkins’ practice is national in scope, and his clients include some of the largest and most sophisticated players in the commercial real estate industry. His experience encompasses all aspects of real estate ownership, leasing, financing and development of land, office, retail, hotel, industrial, multi-family, health care projects and mixed-use projects – including municipal land use planning and economic development initiatives. Since 1973, Mr. Jenkins has been actively involved in forming public and private real estate investment trusts (REITs) and structuring private equity investments, joint ventures, and other ownership vehicles as well as handling the acquisition or disposition of thousands of real estate assets valued at more than $30 billion.
Sculptures by George Tobolowsky are featured in The Elements of Hanukkah at the Museum of Biblical Art in Dallas through January 26. Among the large, welded steel works in the exhibit are “The War Menorah,” a menorah created from an actual bombshell to represent conflict in Israel; “The Maccabean Warrior” illustrating the struggle in the events of Hanukkah; and The Flame” representing the fire of the Hanukkah candles. Museum Curator Scott Peck: “The very elements of Hanukkah are given substance and meaning; Tobolowsky captures deep spiritual essence in his creations.” Curator of the Nasher Sculpture Center Jed Morse stated: “Such is the alchemy of Tobolowsky’s artmaking: to resurrect base inert matter, the detritus of our industrialized civilization, and to transform it into variously whimsical, powerful, moving, poetic presences.” The late Dr. Edmund Pillsbury, former Director of the Kimbell Museum, said of Tobolowsky:” By virtue of their being beautifully crafted objects deeply rooted in nature and everyday life, his creations belong comfortably in the modernist tradition of Brancusi.” Tobolowsky earned an undergraduate degree in accounting from SMU's Cox School of Business and a Juris Doctor from Dedman School of Law. As an undergraduate he studied sculpture at Meadows School of the Arts.