December 15, 2020


Ted Botner was promoted to executive vice president and general counsel at Murphy Oil Corp. in El Dorado, Arkansas. He joined the firm in 2001. Stacey Dickenson Cox was recently elected chair of the Board of Trustees of the Tri Delta Foundation. Doreen J. Oberg published Mile Markers, an autobiography of her spiritual journey. Andy Smith is the executive director of the Texas Instruments Foundation. He has worked with United Way, Dallas Theater Center, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Dallas Symphony, Dallas Museum of Art and many others. He’s also working to support the communities where Texas Instruments does business globally. Mary Upshaw joined Origami Risk as head of professional service. Based in London, she serves business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa for the risk, safety and insurance software firm. Upshaw holds two bachelor’s degrees from SMU.


Bruce Hendrick has joined the Dallas office of Carrington, Coleman, Sloman & Blumenthal, LLP as a partner, focusing on business transactions within Texas. Before launching his legal practice, he had a successful career on Wall Street, closing deals for Fortune 100 companies while with Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and Citigroup. He earned a J.D. degree from Dedman School of Law. Charlie Rozes joined IG Group Holdings PLC as its executive director and chief financial officer.


Claire Babineaux-Fontenot was the featured speaker at the University of Louisiana – Lafayette fall 2019 commencement. She is the CEO of Feeding America. Ann Marie Cowdrey joined law firm Shearman and Sterling as a partner in its Dallas office. Scott A. Meyer (J.D. ’99), a member of the SMU tennis team from 1989-1992 and an SMU Lettermen’s Association member, joined Holmes Firm PC in Dallas as a shareholder. He is married to Sherry E. Meyer (J.D. ’00); they have 15-year-old triplets. Melissa Morris Zaino has been director of benefits and human resource systems for Thrive Skilled Pediatric Care in Wakefield, Massachusetts, since August 2017. She received her Certified Employee Benefits Specialist (CEBS) designation from the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Programs and The Wharton School in August 2018. Molly Wood, senior creative services manager at Meredith Corporation, exhibited her botanical photography at several galleries and museums in Iowa. Wood holds an M.A. degree from SMU.


Brian S. Baker joined the security software firm Calipsa as vice president of the Americas. Pastor Richie Butler has joined St. Luke “Community” United Methodist Church in Dallas as senior pastor. He previously served as senior pastor at St. Paul United Methodist Church in the Dallas Arts District.  Lisa Burke Ellis-James joined law firm Ogletree Deakins as COO in its Greenville, S.C. office. Robert Dunkin II (M.B.A. ’02) was named Board Chair for the Boys and Girls Club of Palm Beach County. He is a partner and regional managing director at Cresset Capital Management LLC in West Palm Beach. Greg Hill (M.L.A. ’97), an educator since 2001 at Mesquite ISD’s Dr. John D. Horn High School teaching AP Human Geography, World History and American Cultural Studies, has been named 2020 International Educator of the Year (IEY) by the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth. In 2016, Hill was named a distinguished teacher (K-12) by the National Council for Geographic Education. The following year, he spent a month in Ecuador and Peru as the only social studies teacher in the Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad Program with the Center for Latin American Studies. Jason Kulas joined EZCORP, Inc. as its president and CFO. The firm is a leading provider of pawn loans in the United States and Latin America. Kristina Kloberdanz, the chief sustainability officer at Mastercard, was named to Greenbiz media’s 2020 list of women shaking up the climate movement. Kimberly Martinez joined Voices for Children–CASA of the Brazos Valley as its executive director. Voices for Children is a non-profit child advocacy organization for children in foster care. James Michael Nolan, Jr. joined the Board of Directors of Guaranty Bancshares, Inc. He is co-founder of Proterra Properties, a real estate firm and investment management company in Dallas. Kathryn “Kit” Sawers is the president of Klyde Warren Park in Dallas. A recent D Magazine profile touts her role in the continued success of the city’s public greenspace. She holds a J.D. from SMU. Rahsaan W. Thompson joined Gritstone Oncology, Inc. as its executive vice president and general counsel. The clinical-stage biotechnology firm is located in Emeryville, California.


Derrick Bolton was promoted to associate dean of external relations at Standford Graduate School of Business. Bolton has been with the school since 2001. Michelle Boros joined KDMX-FM 102.9 radio, in Dallas, as the weekday morning drive host. Nora Woodman joined the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites as chief development officer, bringing more than 25 years of development and fundraising experience. She earned a master’s degree in arts administration and an M.B.A. from SMU.


Cathleen O’Brien Dolt has returned to the Hilltop to serve as the student involvement coordinator in SMU’s Division of Student Affairs. Jeff Eckert was promoted to head of office leasing at JLL, a commercial real estate services firm where he has worked for 13 years. Craig B. Hays has joined KPMG as a managing director and leads the firm’s cloud engineering practice. Dr. Jody Sowell has been promoted to managing director of strategic initiatives for the Missouri Historical Society.


Diana Aguirre joined the Board of Directors of High-Tech High Heels–Texas Chapter. The non-profit organization aims to close the gender gap in STEM fields. Aguirre is director of development and alumni relations at the University of Texas at Dallas Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science. Christopher I. Clark joined law firm Fox Rothschild as managing partner in its Dallas office. Tomeka Moses Herod has been appointed to the Texas Medical Board by Gov. Greg Abbott. She is the president of telecommunications firm The Wilkins Group, Inc. based in Allen, Texas. Dmitriy Litvak joined the business asset and valuation appraisal firm Hilco Valuation Services as senior vice president. Damon Rowe was selected to lead the Internal Revenue Service Fraud Enforcement Office in Washington, D.C. Rowe holds a Master of Laws from SMU, and has worked for the IRS since 1998. Kathryn Stieber was appointed secretary of DePaul University by its Board of Trustees. She also assumed the role of vice president and general counsel. Stieber has served as assistant university secretary since 2019 and as deputy general counsel since 2007. She joined the university in 2005. Stieber earned her J.D. from SMU.


David Cramer joined Austin, Texas-based CPA Global as its CEO, Software and Data. Danan Healy Tsan performed at the faculty recital for Hamilton College, where she is the interim director of Choral Activities. She regularly performs in the Syracuse, N.Y. area and also teaches and directs singers at LeMoyne College. Chris Schwegmann became a named partner at law firm Lynn Pinker Hurst & Schwegmann in Dallas. Schwegmann has been with the firm since 2005.


Heather Del Bosco Centurioni, a certified health and wellness coach, was awarded 2019 Coach of the Year for generating $1 million in revenue for Code Red Lifestyle & Nutrition, a first for any coach at the company. Each day, she trains thousands of people via live video. Alison Ream Griffin was appointed by Colorado Governor Jared Polis to serve on the Board of Trustees for Colorado Mesa University. She is employed by Whiteboard Advisors, a social impact agency where she is involved with the higher education policy practice. She also is a regular columnist with Forbes magazine. Adrianne Jones was named chief admissions officer at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. She earned her M.L.A. from SMU and is working on her doctoral degree in higher education leadership, management and policy from Walden University. Summer Loveland joined home improvement firm Nation’s Best Holdings, LLC as its chief financial officer. Andrew Marsh received the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Industry Executive Award for 2019 from the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Industry Association. Marsh is the CEO of New York-based fuel cell manufacturer Plug Power. Sharon Snowton retired after 27 years in public education due to a cancer diagnosis. Since then, she has worked part time as an adjunct at Cedar Valley College. She also has participated in workshops to continue training bilingual and ESL teachers, worked with her local teachers’ union for the advancement of education, participated in Democratic Party activities and helped people learn the Spanish language. She also returned to college to work on another master’s degree in school counseling. She earned her Master of Bilingual Education from SMU. Dr. Christine Joy Tan was promoted to president of Grace Christian College, in Quezon City, Philippines. She had served as the school’s executive vice president.


Austin DeVaney joined Piedmont Lithium Limited as its vice president of sales and marketing. The battery-grade lithium hydroxide producer is based in Belmont, North Carolina. Malcolm R. Gage Jr. was promoted to general manager at Park Place Motorcars in Arlington. The luxury brands dealership has locations throughout North Texas. Brent Gleeson contributed an essay to Forbes magazine, recounting his path to becoming a U.S. Navy SEAL. Gleeson is an acclaimed keynote speaker and author of the book Taking Point: 10 Fail Safe Principles for Leading through Change. Cory Johnson, of counsel at Dallas-based litigation firm Lynn Pinker Hurst & Schwegmann LLP, was recognized as a Super Lawyer “Rising Star” in business litigation from 2015-17. Louis Olerio opened Shayna’s Place, a fast-casual restaurant in Dallas’ Oak Cliff neighborhood. Pat Pefley was promoted to deputy director of strategic engagement for the Machine-assisted Analytic Rapid-repository System (MARS) Program with the Defense Intelligence Agency in Washington, D.C. She earned her EMBA from SMU’s Cox School of Business. Matthew Pierre joined Nashville-based Loden Vision Centers as CEO. The company is Tennessee’s leading iDesign LASIK provider.