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The University of Texas at Tyler Magazine, Fall 2009

Class Notes

Tim Richison (B.B.A. 1977) was honored as Chief Financial Officer of the Year by the Sacramento Business Journal, receiving the award in the public agency category. Richison has served as CFO of the California Earthquake Authority since 1997 and has direct responsibility for all financial and insurance matters. Comprised of business community leaders, the panel of judges for CFO of the Year cited Richison’s achievements as a member of the original team at CEA. Established in 1996, the earthquake authority has become an international model for catastrophe insurance. Richison had an 18-year career with the United Services Automobile Association. He also worked for Liberty Mutual Insurance Co.

Carolyn Harvey (B.S.N. 1978) was appointed to the Aging and Disability Services Council by Gov. Rick Perry. The council assists the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services commissioner in developing rules and policies for the agency. Harvey is director of nursing for the Behavioral Hospital of Longview. She is a member of the American, Texas and District 25 Nurses associations and the Texas Cancer Council. She is development chair for the National Black Leadership Initiative on Cancer and a member of the Smith County American Cancer Society, Cancer Coalition and East Texas Tobacco Coalition.

Beverly Womack (M.S.I.S. 1978) of Jacksonville was reappointed by Gov. Rick Perry to the State Board of Examiners of Marriage and Family Therapists. The board adopts rules and regulations to license and regulate the qualifications and performance of marriage and family therapists in Texas. Womack is a marriage and family therapist and licensed clinical social worker in private practice. She is founder of Community Rehabilitation Professional Services, a clinical member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists and American Psychotherapy Association.

Nan Shertzer-White (B.B.A. 1979) was among an elite group of financial advisers recognized in Barron’s 2009 report of the “Top 100 Women Financial Advisers.” Shertzer-White has been selected for this award for four consecutive years. She has been with Merrill Lynch for 30 years, serving corporate and individual investors with comprehensive financial solutions. She also serves on the UT Tyler School of Business Advisory Council.

Joe Brodnax (B.S. 1982, M.S. 1984) is a senior principal engineer for Raytheon Co.’s Intelligence and Information Systems Division in Garland. Raytheon is a technology and innovation firm specializing in defense, homeland security and other government markets. Broadnax has more than 13 years experience in defense system design and implementation. He has served as adjunct lecturer in computer science at UT Tyler and UT Dallas, and was board president of the UT Tyler Alumni Association in 1984-85. Broadnax resides in Rockwall with his wife and daughter.

Don Houston (B.A. 1982, M.S. 1987) was named executive director of the Henderson County 911 District Board. Houston has 35 years of communications experience with Embarq and its predecessors. He began his career in switching design and engineering, later moving into directing the day network operations and maintenance for the company. After a stint in the company headquarters in Kansas City, Houston returned to East Texas to manage the public affairs of the company. He has served on several local boards including the Henderson County United Way and Athens Chamber of Commerce.

Bobye Molidor (B.S.Ed. 1982) recently partnered with Steve Rohus to open Rising Moon Imports, a ladies handbags and accessories shop in Tyler. She entered the business partnership after a 20-year career in education, teaching in Winona and Tyler school districts. But she still has a foot in education. In addition to the business venture, Molidor assists high school students with their college entrance applications.

Kenn Franklin (B.S. 1985, M.E. 1991) was appointed superintendent of New Caney Independent School District. Franklin previously served as superintendent of Marshall ISD and assistant superintendent of Marfa ISD. He also has worked in Athens, Tyler and Dallas school districts.

Jim Dunaway (M.S. 1987) was promoted to city manager of Taylor. Dunaway joined the city administration as director of public works in 2005. He previously served as city manager of Elgin, Corsicana and Jacksonville.

Jeff Austin III (B.S. 1992, M.B.A. 1996) was named chairman-elect of the Texas Banking Association. Austin will begin his one-year term as chairman in May 2010. He served as chairman of the TBA BankPac Committee from 1998-2000 and was elected to the TBA board of directors in 2005. A fourth-generation banker, Austin is board vice chairman for the Jacksonville-based Austin Bank. He will be the third successive member of his family to serve as TBA chairman. His grandfather, Jeff Austin, served as TBA chairman in 1966, and his father, Jeff Austin Jr., served in 1988.

Timothy Dick (B.B.A. 1992) was hired as chief financial officer of Akorn Inc., a manufacturer and marketer of sterile specialty pharmaceuticals. Dick joined the company from Walgreens-Option Care, Inc., where he served as vice president of operations improvement and analysis with responsibility for finance, pricing and process improvement. He also held leadership positions with Option Care Inc., Johnson & Johnson and Peace Health regional health care system.

Bill Damuth (B.S. 1995) was named head women’s basketball coach at Trinity Valley Community College. Damuth’s previous positions include assistant coach at TVCC and the University of Louisiana-Lafayette and head women’s coach at Hill College. Damuth and his wife Michelle have a son and daughter, Dylan and Madison.

Steve Beavers (B.B.A. 1996) was promoted to vice president and treasurer of Surface Equipment Corp., a designer and fabricator of ASME Code pressure vessels and other specialized equipment for use in oil and gas and other industries. A certified public accountant, Beavers joined the company in July 2008 after working with the accounting firm of John Cotton C.P.A.

Bill Robinson (M.Ed. 1996) was hired as head coach of men’s basketball at Milligan College in Milligan, Tenn. Robinson previously served as head men’s coach at Montreat College in Montreat, N.C., and LeTourneau University in Longview. At Montreat, he was a three-time Appalacian Athletic Conference Coach of the Year.

Tessa Filippazzo (B.B.A. 2000) has become an audit manager for the consulting firm of Curtis Blakely & Co. A certified public accountant, she joined the firm in 2000 after graduating from UT Tyler with a bachelor of business administration degree in accounting. Her responsibilities involve auditing, business consulting and tax services. The Longview resident is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and serves as chairman for the East Texas Piney Woods Chapter of the American Red Cross.

Joanette Duncan (B.F.A. 2001, M.F.A. 2007) was the featured artist of a “Woman on the Move’’ exhibit at the Marshal Visual Art Center. “Woman on the Move’’ showcased the artist’s collection of ceramics, paintings, prints and sculptures.

Allison McKinney (B.A.A.S. 2002) and her husband Matt have opened an Einstein Bros. Bagels franchise in Tyler. The recent opening marked the first of three locations to be established by the McKinneys in the Tyler market. Experienced restaurateurs with several years of franchise operations under their belts, the McKinneys also own four Smoothie King locations in East Texas.

Ron Short (M.B.A. 2003) was promoted to vice president of Good Shepherd Medical Center. In his new role, he oversees emergency services, patient flow operations, environmental services and inpatient rehabilitative services. Short began his tenure at Good Shepherd in 1997 as a staff physical therapist and outpatient therapy supervisor. He has served as director of nursing operations and divisional director of nursing operations and rehabilitative services.

Kenny Rigsby (B.S.I.S. 2005) and his wife Julie founded the nonprofit organization For the Silent to address the problem of child abuse in Cambodia. The organization is fighting against child sexual exploitation and trafficking in the country, through advocacy and fund-raising initiatives.

Sara Jones (B.S. 2006) was promoted to head softball coach at Cleburne High School after three seasons as assistant coach. A 2003 graduate of CHS, Jones played on the Lady Jackets varsity softball team for four years. At UT Tyler, she was a member of the Patriots softball team and received American Southwest Conference All-Academic honors. She majored in mathematics and communications.

Courtney Powell (B.S.N. 2007) is employed as a nurse in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Trinity Mother Frances Hospital in Tyler. The unit provides specialized care for infants born prematurely or with serious health problems.

Geoff Sherman (B.S. 2007) joined Tyler’s All Saints Episcopal School as a teacher and soccer coach after graduating from UT Tyler. Sherman reached great heights in his first year as All Saints soccer coach, guiding his squad to an undefeated district record. He is a former goalie for UT Tyler and T.K. Gorman High School.

Michael David Laney (B.S. 2009) of Grapevine was selected to participate in the 2009 College of Medicine Summer Research Program at the Texas A&M Health Science Center in College Station. The summer program offers medical students the opportunity to work with faculty on research projects and shadow surgeons in the operating room for a 10-week period. Laney entered The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School this fall. He graduated magna cum laude from UT Tyler in the spring, with a major in chemistry and minor in biology.

 

 

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