C-Suite Spotlight is pleased to announce The Top 25 C-Suite Executives of Dallas for 2023. Dallas is the third largest city in Texas and the largest city in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex. In this region, the dominant sectors of its diverse economy include defense, financial services, information technology, telecommunications, and transportation. Not to mention that the Dallas–Fort Worth area has one of the largest concentrations of corporate headquarters for publicly traded companies in the US. This year’s awardees work for some of the world's biggest companies and companies integral to the city, including American Airlines, Greyhound Lines, and Bibbentuckers.
Among this year’s awardees is Fred Graffam, Executive Vice President, and Chief Financial Officer, who helped Brinks Home in 2022 achieve its most profitable year since 2012. Awardee Andrew Watterson, Chief Operating Officer of Southwest Airlines, oversees the carrier’s network planning, revenue management, regional management, customer relations, and more. Also awarded is Melissa Collins, the Chief Marketing Officer of The Container Store Inc. She recently celebrated an impressive milestone of 25 years at the company.
Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of The Top 25 C-Suite Executives of Dallas for 2023.
1. Chris Mowan
CEO of Medical City Dallas, HCA Healthcare
Chris Mowan is the Chief Executive Officer of Medical City Dallas at HCA Healthcare. He first joined the company in 2004 as an Assistant Administrator of the Del Sol Medical Center. Mowan came to the Dallas flagship of HCA Healthcare from Las Vegas. Here he spent the past three years leading the teaching hospital MountainView. He’s been with the Tennessee-based HCA Holdings for more than two decades, beginning as a Division Manager in North Texas and working his way to Chief Operating Officer at El Paso’s Del Sol Medical Center.
Early in his career, Mowan worked in leadership at Plaza Medical Center in Fort Worth, where he led the development of an intern and resident teaching program. At MountainView, he led the hospital through a $90 million expansion and grew its ER as well as its graduate medical education programs. Mowan graduated with an MBA from Southern Methodist University and from Indiana University.
2. Derek Kerr
Chief Financial Officer & President, American Airlines
Derek Kerr is Vice Chair, Chief Financial Officer, and President of American Eagle. He oversees all global corporate risk, corporate development, and corporate finance functions. He’s also responsible for more than half of American Eagle’s departures with oversight of its operations. Kerr currently serves on the University of Michigan Ross School of Business Advisory Board, the Dallas Regional Chamber, and the Cotton Bowl Board of Directors. He is also a member of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics and the Knight Commission Task Force on Racial Equality.
Previously, Kerr served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of US Airways. He also worked for America West Airlines and served in a variety of finance and planning roles. He was later named Chief Financial Officer and eventually Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Kerr also worked in financial planning and analysis at Northwest Airlines. Before that, he was a Flight Test Coordinator/Control Engineer with Northrop Corporation’s B-2 Division. Kerr earned an MBA in finance and a Bachelor of Science in aeronautical engineering from the University of Michigan.
3. Joanne Caruso
EVP & Chief Legal and Administrative Officer, Jacobs
Joanne Caruso is the Executive Vice President, Chief Legal and Administrative Officer of Jacobs. Caruso aligns the company's overall business plan and strategic direction, specifically in the areas of legal, compliance and insurance, human resources, HSE, global security, and sustainability. She is also a member of the Company's Executive Leadership Team. She’s one of the global executive sponsors for the company’s Prism employee network group. Caruso has been with Jacobs for over 10 years.
Previously, Caruso was a Partner at Baker & Hostetler, where she was a litigation partner. Before this, she was a Partner at Howrey LLP. Caruso graduated from Boston College with a JD and a bachelor's degree in political science.
4. Vivek Sankaran
CEO, Albertsons Companies
Vivek Sankaran is the Chief Executive Officer of Albertsons Companies, one of the US's largest food and drug retailers. He brings a blend of CPG, retail, manufacturing, logistics, technology, and research and development to Albertsons Companies.
Sankaran previously served as Chief Executive Officer of PepsiCo Foods North America. Prior to that, he served as the company's President and Chief Operating Officer. During his ten-year tenure at PepsiCo, he led Frito-Lay and served as the Chief Commercial Officer for PepsiCo North America, the Chief Customer Officer of Frito-Lay, and the Senior Vice President of Strategy for PepsiCo. Before joining PepsiCo, he was a partner at McKinsey and Company, where he served various Fortune 100 companies. He co-led the firm’s North American purchasing and supply management practice and was on the leadership team of the North American retail practice. Sankaran has an MBA from the University of Michigan, a master's degree in manufacturing from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in Chennai.
5. Andrew Watterson
Chief Operating Officer, Southwest Airlines
Andrew Watterson is the Chief Operating Officer of Southwest Airlines. He first joined the company in 2013 as VP of Network Planning and Performance. His leadership group oversees the carrier’s network planning, revenue management, pricing, marketing, sales, loyalty, customer experience, regional management, and customer relations. He also is a Board Member of The Wings Club Foundation.
Previously, Watterson was a VP of Planning and Revenue Management at Hawaiian Airlines. Before that, he was a Partner at Oliver Wyman. Earlier in his career, he worked with Ernst & Young Management Consulting as a Manager. Watterson graduated with an MBA in operations management from Vanderbilt University and an undergraduate degree from Washington University in St. Louis.
6. Chris Callaway
Chief Development Officer, Topgolf
Chris Callaway serves as Chief Development Officer for Topgolf, leading the Real Estate Development, Design and Construction teams. Callaway oversees the site selection for Topgolf venue expansion across the globe and works to ensure that the brand is a catalyst for local economic growth in the communities where Topgolf operates.
Previously, Callaway spent 25 years at Walmart, where he led the development of more than 500 new supercenters, neighborhood markets, and Sam’s Clubs. Most recently, he served as the US Vice President of Real Estate and Facilities Support for Sam’s Club. His main responsibilities included real estate, design, construction, remodeling, and facilities maintenance. Callaway graduated from the University of Arkansas with a bachelor's degree in business administration and finance.
7. Martin Wick
Chief Executive Officer, Tradesmen International
Martin Wick is the Chief Executive Officer of Tradesmen International. He oversees all company operations and new market expansion initiatives. Wick first joined the company in 2018. In 2022, he was nominated for the World Staffing Award under the Top 100 Staffing Leaders to Watch category.
Previously, Wick was a Chief Operating Officer at Terminix, A ServiceMaster Company. Before that a President at Franchise Services Group, A ServiceMaster Company. Earlier in his career, he worked as a senior consultant with Cap Gemini Ernst and Young. Wick earned an MBA from Duke University, The Fuqua School of Business, and an undergraduate degree in finance and management information systems from the University of Virginia.
8. Jessica O'Neal
Chief Executive Officer, Medical City Healthcare
Jessica O’Neal is the Chief Executive Officer for Medical City Healthcare Las Colinas. O’Neal has served as the chief executive officer of Medical City Children’s Hospital and Medical City Women’s Hospital Dallas, establishing a strong foundation of success and growth. There, she led all programs related to women’s and children’s services, launching and expanding world-class congenital heart and fetal surgery programs, among other accomplishments. She serves on the board of directors for the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council and Community Partners of Dallas.
Prior to her roles at Medical City Healthcare, O’Neal served as the Chief Operating Officer of HCA Healthcare’s West Florida Hospital in Pensacola, Florida. She previously served as Vice President of Operations and Chief Operating Officer of Methodist Dallas Medical Center. O’Neal earned a Master of Science in healthcare administration from Trinity University and a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics from Texas Christian University.
9. Ken Pharr
CFO of North America, Crayon Group
Ken Pharr is the Chief Financial Officer of North America at Crayon Group. He first joined the company in 2015. Crayon helps its customers build the commercial and technical foundation for a successful and secure cloud-first digital transformation journey. Pharr oversees financial decision-making and company-wide policy development. He's been with the company for over seven years.
Previously, Pharr was at CompuCom for over 17 years, most recently as VP of Operations and Integrated Solutions Group. He was previously the Director of Sales Operations. Pharr earned an undergraduate degree in accounting from The University of Texas at Arlington.
10. Melissa Collins
Chief Marketing Officer, The Container Store
Melissa Collins is the Chief Marketing Officer of The Container Store Inc, an American specialty retail chain company. She recently celebrated 25 years at The Container Store. Collins has spent her career at the company working her way through different creative departments, helping to build the disciplines across channels she oversees today. She oversees everything from brand, storytelling, and loyalty marketing to the stores' PR, social, user experience, and visual merchandising.
Previously, Collins served as Vice President of Creative and Online. Before that, she served in various roles with increasing responsibility, beginning as Art Director and progressing to Senior Director of Creative and Online Services. Collins graduated from The Alberta College of Art.
12. Bill Blankenship
Chief Operating Officer, Greyhound Lines
Bill Blankenship is the Chief Operating Officer for Greyhound Lines. In addition to overseeing all operations, Blankenship is responsible for safety and security measures, technical applications, and business processes and analyses for the company’s passenger service. A passion for people (passengers and employees alike) keeps him tirelessly focused on finding better ways to do things. As COO, he wants Greyhound customers to have a positive travel experience so they return for future trips knowing the company has their safety and satisfaction at the heart of its business strategy. Blankenship joined Greyhound in 1996 as part of the GPX division.
Prior to joining Greyhound, Blankenship honed his leadership and logistical skills as a regional manager for Charlotte-based Pony Express Courier, where he managed sales and operations. Blankenship earned a Bachelor of Arts in marketing from Nicholls State University.
13. Jeremy Elder
COO and CMO, Soccer Innovations
Jeremy Elder is the Chief Operations Officer and Chief Marketing Officer of Soccer Innovations. He designs and manufactures cutting-edge soccer training equipment developing today’s greatest youth talent. As the son of an entrepreneur, Elder had the opportunity to learn first-hand, starting at the age of 15, the ups and downs of running your own business, including creating your own cash flow, problem-solving, and sourcing. Elder traveled the world for over a decade, watching his father closely, soaking up every tip in international business.
Shortly after college, Elder moved to Zurich, Switzerland, to immerse himself in international business and study German at the University. After two years in Zurich, Elder left his 9 to 5 to venture into business with his mother and father. Elder has since grown Soccer Innovations into a major brand worldwide and has become a household name in the industry through craftily scaling the business, improving internal efficiencies, creative marketing, and developing new products while maintaining the small business style customer service everyone wants but rarely experiences. Elder graduated from Texas Tech University Rawls College of Business with a degree in marketing. Elder was a two-sport NCAA athlete and attributes his success to his parents always holding him to a higher standard.
14. Michael Haynes
Chief Financial Officer, Heritage Auctions
Michael Haynes is the Chief Financial Officer of Heritage Auctions. He brings deep experience in finance and operations of companies in the collecting space to Heritage. He’s been with the company for eight years.
Previously, Haynes worked in both private and publicly traded companies in the collectibles, precious metals, and specialty retail businesses. He was the Chief Executive Officer of Collectors Universe and previously served as President of Heritage, President of A-Mark Precious Metals, and, more recently, as CEO of the privately held American Precious Metals Exchange. Haynes has an MBA in finance and marketing and a BSME in mechanical engineering from Southern Methodist University.
15. Frank Burns
Chief Revenue Officer, US Anesthesia Partners
Frank Burns is the Chief Revenue Officer of US Anesthesia Partners. He’s a senior healthcare executive with over twenty years of experience. Burns is familiar with all aspects of physician practice management, revenue cycle management, compliance, and commercial insurance contract negotiations.
Before joining US Anesthesia, Burns was a Regional Vice President at McKesson. Before that, he was a Vice President of Client Services at Intellicare. Earlier in his career, he worked with Pre-Se Technologies as an Account Manager and General Manager. Burns graduated from the University of New Hampshire with an undergraduate degree in healthcare administration and management.
16. Fred Graffam
EVP & Chief Financial Officer, Consolidated Communications
Fred Graffam is the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Consolidated Communications. He has more than 30 years of experience in financial management, operational leadership, and accounting within the technology and telecom industries at both public and private companies.
He was previously the Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of Brinks Home. He was selected as a 2022 Dallas Business Journal (DBJ) CFO of the Year Honoree. Graffam’s strategic financial leadership, ability to navigate large-scale business deals and success helped Brinks Home attain its most profitable year since 2012. Before joining Brinks Home, Graffam was the Senior Vice President of Finance, Investor Relations, and Corporate Development of DigitalGlobe, Interim Chief Financial Officer, and Vice President of Financial Planning and Analysis. He was previously the Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of North America and APAC at Level 3 Communications. Before joining Level 3, he spent 17 years with Comcast Corporation, serving as Senior Vice President of its Beltway Region and as Senior Vice President of Finance, West Division.
17. Dan Reinheimer
CFO, Modern Aviation
Dan Reinheimer is the Chief Financial Officer of Modern Aviation. He first joined the company in 2009. Modern Aviation is a growing company that is building a national network of premium FBO properties.
Previously, Reinheimer was a CFO at AsTech. Before that, he was the Chief Financial Officer - consultant at Hawaii Gas. Earlier in his career, he worked with Frontier Communications as a VP of Finance. Reinheimer earned an MBA in corporate finance and accounting from the University of Dallas and an undergraduate degree in finance and economics from the University of Missouri.
18. Ezekiel Kaufman
CEO, Marksman Security
Ezekiel Kaufman is the Chief Executive Officer and co-owner of Marksman Security. His leadership, insight, and operational expertise have strengthened Marksman’s culture of innovation and collaboration, expanded the company into new markets, and extended its portfolio and scope of service. He’s a volunteer Guardian ad Litem before the courts of Florida’s Seventeenth Judicial Circuit in Broward County. Kaufman represents the interests of children removed from their homes and placed in foster care because of abuse, neglect, or abandonment. He was awarded the 2012 Rookie Guardian ad Litem of the Year Award for his work in this area. He also serves on the Admissions Committee of the Cornell Hotel School and is a supporter of Voices for Children.
Prior to Marksman, Kaufman was an attorney with a national law firm, focusing on commercial real estate transactions and condominium/community association development. Kaufman earned his JD from Washington University School of Law and his bachelor’s degree from Cornell University in hotel administration.
19. Chad Sterling
Chief Executive Officer, Altair Global Relocation
Chad Sterling is the Chief Executive Officer of Altair Global Relocation. His leadership skills and wealth of experience in the relocation industry have proven to be invaluable assets to Altair. This has contributed significantly to developing innovative global solutions, delivering measurable results to every client, and achieving profitable growth through service excellence. Sterling joined Altair’s Global Headquarters and Central Service Center in 2003 as Vice President of Accounting. He has held the positions of SVP of Finance and Accounting, EVP and CFO, and CFO and COO. Sterling has more than 20 years of experience in relocation management and is a shareholder in the company.
He has previously served as an adjunct professor for the Dallas County Community College Business School. Sterling earned an MBA from the University of Texas, Dallas, and a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Texas, Austin.
20. Philip Wauters
CEO, Cartamundi North America
Philip Wauters is the Chief Executive Officer of Cartamundi North America. He first joined the company in 2019. Cartamundi is the worldwide leader in play solutions with a global brand portfolio that includes a suite of heritage brands like Bicycle®, Bee®, Copag®, and Shuffle®..
Previously, Wauters was a Partner at 4OpEx. Before that, he was a Managing Partner at Advance Business Coaching, where he was also an Operations Improvement Coach and Operations Manager. Earlier in his career, he worked with Argo as an Executive Vice President of Operations. Wauters earned an MBA in corporate finance from The University of Dallas.
21. John Stokes
Chief Financial Officer, ProPath
John Stokes is the Chief Financial Officer of ProPath. Stokes joined ProPath in 2012. He brings a broad range of experience across multiple industry segments, including healthcare, shared services, logistics, payment card processing, and manufacturing. His focus on financial and operational efficiency and compliance has contributed greatly towards meeting ProPath’s goals of serving our patient and client population with the highest levels of quality while ensuring growth and profitability.
Stokes was previously a Manager of Finance at Affiliated Computer Services, a Xerox Company. Before this, he was the VP of Operations and Administration at ClybCo Management. Prior to this, he was the Finance Director of Vital Processing Services and Director of Finance and Account at Mattel (American Girl). Early in his career, he spent two years at ProPath as an Accountant. Stokes graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington with a BBA in accounting.
22. Matt Oldroyd
Chief Executive Officer, Womack Machine Supply
Matt Oldroyd is the Chief Executive Officer of Womack Machine Supply. He represents the leading motion control solution provider for mobile equipment and factory automation applications. He was previously the Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director at Womack.
Before joining Womack Machine Supply, Oldroyd was the President and CEO at Partsmaster. Previously he was a Country Manager in Japan at NCH. Earlier in his career, he worked as an operations supervisor at O.C. Tanner. Oldroyd graduated from Harvard Business School with an MBA and from the University of Utah with an undergraduate degree in finance.
23. Patricia Manno
Chief Financial Officer, King Architectural Metals
Patricia Manno is the Chief Financial Officer of King Architectural Metals. King Architectural Metals is North America's largest decorative and ornamental metals supplier. Manno has been with the company for over 18 years, serving as CFO for over ten years. She first joined as a Controller in 2004. She’s currently a member of The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
She was previously a Division Controller at ITW. Manno graduated from The University of Texas at Dallas with an MBA in accounting and finance and an undergraduate degree in chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania.
24. John Sebastian
Chief Executive Officer, Sebastian Construction Group
John Sebastian is the Chief Executive Officer of the Sebastian Construction Group. The company has a highly specialized market niche, building many of the most expensive homes in the most prestigious areas of Texas, with a focus on Preston Hollow and the Park Cities in Dallas and River Oaks in Houston. He first assumed the role of the Company President in 1991, continuing the legacy of his father, founder George Sebastian. John brings his unique qualifications in design as a trained architect to this role. He provides intelligent and experienced leadership to all of the company’s projects, working relentlessly to deliver the premium experience that comes with a Sebastian home.
Sebastian has a degree in architecture from Texas Tech University.
25. David Meece
CEO, Pearl Street Dental
David Meece is a founding member of Pearl Street and serves as its Chief Executive Officer. While practicing law in the late 1990s, Meece foresaw a future shift in the dental and medical industries. This led to him forming a dental group to be a frontrunner in that evolution. brings a unique, analytical approach to the business side of dentistry, but he prides himself most on developing the relationships and creating the overall culture that has been key to Pearl Street’s success.
Meece previously founded Dental Management Strategies, where he was the President for 18 years. He was previously an Attorney and General Counsel at Knowles Publishing and an Attorney at Fraley & Fraley. Meece graduated from the University of Tulsa with a JD and Baylor University with a Bachelor of Arts.