Mike and Mary Thulemeyer Murray celebrated their 64th wedding anniversary on August 9, 2022, and are deeply grateful for the 59 or 60 years of “happy marriage” enjoyed. Mike said most people really can’t claim every day was “happy,” can they? He remains involved with the Leadership Academy for Poland, which seeks to bring world-class education and leadership development to Poland. Mike delivered a virtual commencement address there in September 2022. He says his four years with the academy, including seven trips to Poland and numerous Zoom workshops, have been some of the most rewarding of his career.
Ken Loyd (MA ’69) was inducted into the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches Hall of Honor in May 2021.
Herbert B. Spangler has retired from the Boy Scouts of America as Assistant Scout Executive.
Doug Kohrs was named a board director of Sequana Medical in Belgium in July 2022. He is the President and CEO of Responsive Arthroscopy, which he founded. He founded several other companies and has a record of more than 40 years of success in the medical device industry. He serves on the boards of several companies.
Terri DeGroot Jentz retired in August 2020 from Kaiser Permanente. She and her husband, Chris, moved from Portland to Ashland, Oregon, approximately 15 miles north of California. Terri says Ashland is well known for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and is nestled in a scenic mountain setting with great hiking trails, exciting river rafting, inviting wineries, and, of course, a top-notch quilt shop. Sounds like her retirement years may be busy!
Mitchell Schulman joined the Origin Bank Memorial Banking Center team in Houston, Texas, in spring 2022 as Executive Vice President, Commercial Relationship Manager. With more than 38 years of experience in the financial services industry, he specializes in businesses and real estate lending.
Rick Avery is the director of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. As director, he oversees agency programming in agriculture and natural resources, Family and Community Health, 4-H and Youth Development, and Community Economic Development. Rick has an extensive background in both government relations and in government. His Capitol Hill experience includes service as an Assistant for U.S. Senator Lloyd Bentsen and U.S. Rep. Greg Laughlin. Most recently, Rick served as Deputy Director of the Brazos Valley Council of Governments. His career in government also includes serving as County Relations Officer for the Texas Association of Counties, where he worked with elected and appointed county officials in all 254 Texas counties, providing technical support, continuing education, and resource guidance to government operations. He holds a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from Texas A&M University.
Kerry Yancy earned a Master of Criminal Justice in Homeland Security and Emergency Management degree from the University of Mississippi in 2022. A physician, Kerry concentrated on disaster response and identifying victims of human trafficking in an Emergency Department setting. Going back to school after many years went so well that Kerry began a new bachelor’s degree in Spanish for Health Professionals. Since 2018 she has been a faculty physician in Pediatric Emergency Medicine at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, spending two weeks there each month, enjoying the “combination of great people, great medicine, and great education,” she said.
Lee Wood announces that he and his partners opened a new restaurant in 2022 in Plano. Darna Mediterranean Market serves foods from around the Mediterranean region as well as Turkish coffee and desserts from various countries.
Squire J. Booker has been awarded the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) Merck Award and its Ruth Kirschstein Diversity in Science Award. This is the first time ASBMB has awarded two major awards to the same individual in the same year. Squire is the Evan Pugh Professor of Chemistry and of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Penn State, where he also is the holder of the Eberly Family Distinguished Chair in Science and an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
Darrah Dunn became the Managing Artistic Director of Sherman Community Players near the end of its 73rd season. He continues in this role, which gives him new ways to use his creativity and talent for collaborating with others. He had been involved with theatre at Finley Playhouse for more than 30 years, both performing and directing.
Gary Ivory became President of Youth Advocate Programs (YAP), Inc., in January 2021. YAP is a national nonprofit that gives communities alternatives to incarceration by placing young people in residential treatment facilities. The new role was a promotion that came 30 years after the former prison chaplain and son of East Texas farmers joined YAP as a frontline Youth Advocate. Before joining YAP, Gary served as a Chaplain in the role of Youth Minister at New Jersey (formerly Trenton) State Prison. In 1996, Ivory was one of 10 national leaders awarded the prestigious Annie E. Casey Foundation Children and Family Fellowship, an intensive and highly selective executive leadership development opportunity. He holds a Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary. Read more about Gary on A Meaningful Life.
Montie Krumnow joined Betsy Furler at the company, For All Abilities, in November 2021. The 1985 Kappa Gamma Chi pledge sisters share a passion for neurodiversity and disability inclusion in the workplace. For All Abilities is a 100% ’Roo-owned software and consulting firm that helps employers proactively provide expert recommended supports that make employees more productive and satisfied. Montie was one of the oil industry’s top petroleum product brokers before retiring and then joining this effort.
Jeff Cordell became the Athletic Director for the Sherman (Texas) ISD in summer 2022. He had most recently served as Athletic Director of Crane ISD, a 3A district near Odessa. As the school’s Head Football Coach, Cordell had a record of 25 wins and 8 losses. He also led the Crane High School girls golf team to win a state championship in 2019 and was the Head Coach for four state powerlifting medalists in 2022.
Josh Lack was elected to the Board of Directors for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo in June 2022. The program promotes agriculture by hosting an annual, family-friendly experience that educates and entertains the public, supports Texas youth, showcases Western heritage, and provides year-round educational support within the community. Since its beginning in 1932, the Rodeo has committed more than $550 million to education and the youth of Texas.
Heisha Hunter Freeman was appointed by Texas Governor Greg Abbott in January 2022 to the Texas State Independent Living Council. The appointment term continues until October 2024. Federally funded and mandated, SILC is a statewide nonprofit organization with a mission to ensure that all Texans with disabilities have access to quality independent living services.
Christy Youker was promoted to Manager of the Community Appearance Division with the City of Victoria. In this role, she oversees and coordinates beautification projects in Victoria’s public spaces. She joined Environmental Services in March 2021 as the Environmental Programs Coordinator. She also serves as the Executive Director of Keep Victoria Beautiful.
Amanda Hammel, Senior Vice President & Chief Information Officer for Memorial Hermann Health System, was awarded the Nonprofit/Public Sector CIO of the Year® ORBIE® Award by HoustonCIO for 2022. Amanda is the executive leader of a team of more than 700 people who have been instrumental in developing IT solutions to improve health outcomes, particularly relevant during COVID. The team is also compiling and analyzing large amounts of health data to understand patient needs and to create healthier communities. The ORBIE® Award recognizes
professional achievements in 25 chapters that may cover a state or a large city.
Stephanie Barnes has been promoted to partner in the Collin County-based law firm Plunk Smith in the firm’s Frisco, Texas, office. She has more than 17 years of experience representing clients in various complex business litigation and civil litigation matters in state and federal
courts throughout Texas. She also is a former officer for the Eastern District of Texas Bar Association and a member of the Judge Paul Brown American Inn of Court. Barnes is AV Preeminent Peer Rated by Martindale-Hubbell.
Leslee Hunter Mallinson has been promoted to the role of Senior Vice President of Brand and Communications for Balfour Beatty’s national operations. The industry veteran is responsible for delivering strategic communications counsel and brand management across the company’s entire U.S. business. She had been a member of the company’s executive leadership team for the past eight years.
Michelle Davis Leverette (MAT ’98) earned her Ed.D. in Professional Leadership with an emphasis on Social Education from the University of Houston in August 2021. Luckily, she said, her program was online since most of her coursework occurred during the COVID pandemic. In April 2022, Michelle was named the Kiwanis Club’s Junior High Teacher of the Year for Arlington ISD and Arlington ISD’s Junior High Teacher of the District. She is pursuing a leadership role in public education as an administrator or as a professor for pre-service teachers after 24 years in Texas public school classrooms.
Michael Anthony García completed his Master of Fine Arts degree through the School of Art Institute of Chicago in July 2022. The program afforded him the opportunity to further explore his interdisciplinary sculptural, performance, and video practices in conjunction with poetry based projects, which were the focuses of his written and exhibition thesis work.
Holland Harper has been named Chief Development Officer of the HWH Group. In his new role, he will oversee the performance and execution of the HWH Group team and day-to-day operations for the Paris, Texas-based company. Previously, Holland was president of Harrison, Walker & Harper, the sister company to HWH Group. HWH Group focuses on supporting corporate expansion and growth.
Wendy Canfield Collins, who attended Austin College only in the 1994- 1995 year, graduated from The University of Texas at Arlington with a Master of Social Work degree in 2021 and was licensed in 2022. She works as a Licensed Medical Social Worker in hospice in Dallas.
Amanda Wilder Lark completed a Doctor in Medical Science degree from the University of Lynchburg in January 2022 and works as a PA at McGuiness Dermatology.
Tina Miller Howard has owned and operated Leaves Book and Tea Shop in Fort Worth since 2016. In 2022, she expanded her culinary reach by purchasing Stir Crazy Baked Goods, described by some as a pillar of Magnolia Avenue. Tina, who holds a master’s degree in Management from The University of Texas at Dallas, is not sure exactly what new things might come from her ownership, but assured others that for a time, at least, little would change at either business. She looks forward to brainstorming and envisioning what next steps might be ahead. (The
former bakery owner asked Tina to buy the business as she was ready to find what was next for her, too.)
Daniela Gonzalez de Serna has joined The Alamo as General Counsel. She is honored to be serving as the first and only In-House Attorney for the sacred Spanish mission, church, and 1836 battlefield with a rich 300-year history. The Alamo, known as the Shrine of Texas Liberty under the purview of the Texas General Land Office and managed by Alamo Trust, Inc., has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is considered a global cultural icon. It attracts more than 1.6 million visitors per year, making it one of the top tourist attractions in the State of Texas.
Polly Thomason was named head coach of the University of Hartford (Connecticut) Women’s Basketball program in May 2022. She arrived at Hartford by way of The University of Texas at Dallas, where she served as head coach for 17 seasons and had many successes. In addition to team success, Polly was named a Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) National Coach of the Year Finalist in 2020-2021, the WBCA South Region Coach of the Year in 2016-2017, and the D3Hoops.com South Region Coach of the Year in 2014-2015. She also is a six-time ASC East Coach of the Year.
Leslie Bethell Roper is the new pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Before taking that position, she celebrated a 15-year tenure with the congregation at First Presbyterian Church of Batesville, Arkansas, in May 2022. She had first served as associate
pastor for youth and children’s ministries at the church, then in 2012 she became head of staff. Leslie and her husband, Jeff, have two sons.
Monica Shah was recognized by Continental Who’s Who as a Distinguished Neonatal- Perinatal Physician for exceptional work in the medical field. She has more than 12 years of experience caring for newborns, the last nine years in Austin, Texas. She has a specific interest in neonatal nutrition and quality improvement. Dr. Shah treats critically ill and premature infants who can require specialized care during their first weeks of life. Coordinating with other physicians and her patients’ families, she evaluates and treats babies for breathing disorders, congenital disorders, infection, and life-threatening illnesses or medical problems.
Courtney A. Kuykendall has been elected a partner at Eggleston King Davis. She gained significant experience in municipal and land use law during the real estate boom of the last 15 years in North Dallas, McKinney, and Frisco. At Eggleston King Davis, she handles commercial
transactions, estate planning and probate matters, real estate transactions, and all types of corporate, partnership, and business entity formations. Eggleston King Davis maintains offices in Weatherford, Fort Worth, and Dallas, Texas, and Sacramento and Los Angeles, California.
Rania Batrice, President of Batrice and Associates, was honored at the 2021 American Association of Political Consultants (AAPC) annual conference. She was named one of the year’s “40 Under 40” leaders and innovators in the political business community (media, advertising, polling, and public affairs) who are making a mark in their profession and whose conduct has been consistent with the professional code of ethics of the AAPC.
DeMarcus Harris became the Head Football Coach and Athletic Director at Mesquite High School in early 2022. He has taught history and coached football and track for 14 years, beginning at Hillcrest High School, then Little Elm High School, Seguin High School, and most recently, Cedar Hill High School.
Holly Hull Miori earned her Ph.D. in Public Affairs in December 2021, at The University of Texas at Dallas. She serves as the Senior Director of Development at UTD.
Sarah Carabias Rush has relocated to take the position of Chief Economic Development Officer for the Greater San Antonio Regional Economic Partnership. She looks forward to sharing her new home and its rich culture and history with the world. The move was bittersweet; Sarah had loved her North Texas home, and she spent 18 years with the Dallas Regional Chamber where she led corporate recruitment, international engagement, and leadership development programs.
Kat Kornegay and Jessica Wescott ’09 found themselves in the midst of change as Dallas branding and advertising agency Johnson & Sekin did some rearranging to start 2022. Kat had been with the company for nearly 10 years as an Account Director and was appointed Chief Purpose Officer in the formation of the firm’s C-Suite. She will oversee all functions of helping brands, teams, and organizations uncover their purpose within business models and across industries. Jessica, appointed Chief Financial Officer, is new to the company and will lead the
financial strategy, planning, and growth. She previously served as COO and CFO of Fuzzy’s Taco Shop. She brings more than a decade of operations, financial, and client-facing experience to her new role with a focus on data-driven insights to analyze businesses and make growth decisions, her new employer said in announcing her appointment to the company.
Cathie Jones Hoffman has spent the past five-plus years as Regional Medical Director at Skilled Physicians Group in McKinney, working as a physician in wound care and educating new doctors. She recently became a fellowship-trained Post- Acute Surgeon and Wound Care Specialist, which she said allows her to provide even better care for her patients and further her role in medical education. Her husband, Dr. Kevin Hoffman, and kids, Harrison, 9, and Genevieve, 7, are her “avid supporters on the adventure that is life.”
Sara Giddings served as chair of the Texas Young Lawyers Association from June 2021 to June 2022. She had been a member of TYLA since 2015 and received many accolades from the organization, including the Outstanding First-Year Director Award, Outstanding Director Award, the Legacy of Service Award, the Trial and Appellate Advocacy Award, and a Presidential Citation by State Bar of Texas President Allan DuBois.
Anne-Alise “Ali” Hinckley, an associate with the Kessler Collins law firm in Dallas, was recognized in The Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America 2023 in Commercial Litigation. She also had been included in the category for 2022. A member of the firm’s litigation group, she represents clients in a wide variety of industries and has successfully represented her clients in state court, federal court, and federal administrative proceedings. Since 2016, she has served as a coach of SMU Dedman School of Law’s student team at the Defense Lawyers Mock Trial Competition in San Diego.
Lauren Ward Rose was named Assistant City Manager at City of Sachse in December 2021. In the new position, Lauren assists the City Manager in developing, planning, and implementing Sachse’s goals and objectives by providing high-level administrative direction to key city departments. She also attends city council and other public meetings and represents the city manager’s office as a member and liaison to city boards and other key groups. Before the promotion, Lauren served as Director of Strategic Services for the city, where she had also held the positions of Strategic Services Manager and Assistant to the City Manager. She had previously worked for the City of Mesquite.
Sarah Villaseñor joined the Collier Legal Search team in fall 2021. She worked as a paralegal in the intellectual property arena before joining Houston Christian High School’s business alumnae relations/event planning team. Sarah joins the CLS veteran team to continue the group’s long-standing tradition of solid legal recruitment and placement of quality attorneys and paralegals in Houston and throughout Texas. A native Houstonian, she is bilingual in Spanish.
Truman J. Word received his Ph.D. in Material Science/Metallurgy & Additive Manufacturing in December 2022 from The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). His research has been “developing and characterizing self-healing polymer blends for use in additive manufacturing.” At publication deadline, he had not taken a job, but he would like to work in the aerospace or automotive industry or perform research at a national laboratory for 10 years then become a professor at a university. While living in El Paso (his hometown), he worked as a year-round competitive swim coach for two club teams in the area.
Jack Kennady is a fourth-year medical student at University of the Incarnate Word School of Osteopathic Medicine. He served as the 2022 Student Representative to the editorial board of the American Family Physician journal through the American Academy of Family Physicians.
He peer-reviewed journal submissions, served as an anti-racism bibliography editor, contributed to AFP website content, participated in the AFP podcast, and assisted in social media management. He plans to have a career as a full-spectrum rural Family Medicine Physician.
Michael Cleveland, Director of Advanced Energy for Progress Rail, a Caterpillar company, was featured in a podcast for SAE International. In his role with Progress Rail, he is responsible for the vision around the future of locomotive technology and the energy transition. Michael also has 11 years of experience in the rail industry, previously leading BNSF’s battery electric and hybrid programs, where he handled the development, testing, and deployment of not only locomotives but also intermodal cargo handling equipment.
Reed Heim is the Head Football Coach and Athletic Coordinator at Guyer High School in the Denton ISD. He was the Defensive Coordinator and Linebackers Coach at Guyer before taking on the new role. His coaching career began as the Linebackers Coach at Virginia Military Institute in 2003. He also had stops at SMU and Baylor, where he was a Defensive Assistant for three seasons. After earning his degree at Austin College, he went on to complete a master’s degree in Health, Human Performance, and Recreation from Baylor University.