Tuesday, February 7, 2023 Feb 7, 2023
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Personnel Moves

Personnel Moves: Cashless Payment Solutions Company Tappit Hires New CFO

Plus, Fears Nachawati Law welcomes new partner and Austin Industries appoints new board members.
By Mariah Terry |

Send your company’s personnel moves to online managing editor Bianca R. Montes at [email protected].


Jonathan Simkins

Jonathan Simkins, Chief Financial Officer

Jonathan Simkins joins Tappit from Appgate, where he was previously president and CFO. In his new role, Simkins is tasked with leading financial growth for the cashless global payment provider, looking toward new partnerships with NBA, MLB, and NFL teams. Simkins raised hundreds of millions of dollars in venture and growth capital in his previous roles with Appgate, CyberGRX, and Visum Cyber. He also spent six years at HSBC, working in strategy, operations, and corporate development.

Education:  Oxford University (MBA), University of Washington (BA)

Fears Nachawati Law Firm

Gibbs Henderson

Gibbs Henderson, Partner

As Fears Nachawati’s newest partner, Gibbs Henderson will work within one of the firm’s trial teams actively involved in mass torts and multidistrict litigation, specifically in relation to defective surgical mesh products and talcum powder-based products. He specializes in in national and mass tort litigation.

Education: University of Texas School of Law (JD), Vanderbilt University (BA)

Transwestern Real Estate Services

Grayson Gill

Grayson Gill, Executive Managing Director

As executive managing director, Grayson Gill will work to expand Transwestern’s commercial owner advisory services platform and grow market share. He will also be responsible for guiding business development and M&A exploration. Previously, Gill spent 10 years as chief operating officer at CBRE, where he oversaw a 900-million-square-foot portfolio, presided over numerous successful acquisitions, and created the CBRE Military affinity group. He is a former captain of the U.S. Army Reserve with 24 years of service.

Education: University of Mississippi (BBA)

AHS Residential

Fernando Soares

Fernando Soares, Project Executive for Dallas-Fort Worth

In his new role as project executive, Fernando Soares is responsible for all AHS Residential multifamily construction projects in Texas. With more than 20 years of experience, Soares previously worked as an independent business development consultant in Latin America. His experience also includes roles as senior project manager for OEC, a Brazilian construction company, and as senior project and operations manager for Integ Construction. Soares has led commercial development projects across Latin America, the United States, the Caribbean, and Africa.

Education: Instituto Brasileiro de Engenharia de Custos (MS), Universidade Federal Fluminense (MBA), Universidade Gama Filho (BS)

Dwell with Dignity

Diana Einstein

Diana Einstein, Director of Community Engagement

Diana Einstein joins Dwell with Dignity, a Dallas-based nonprofit that provides home interiors to families struggling with homelessness and poverty as director of community engagement. In her new role, Einstein will work to strengthen relationships with nonprofit partners and families served by Dwell with Dignity. Previously, Einstein was executive director for the Mayor’s Star Council. Her experience also includes leadership roles at the Jewish Women’s Foundation of New York, NYU Medical Center, Temple Emanu-El in Dallas, and the Anti-Defamation League’s Young Leadership Institute.

Education: Brandeis University (BS), The George Washington University (MPA)

McGuire, Craddock & Strother

Jonathan Petree

Jonathan Petree, Associate

Jonathan Petree joins McGuire, Craddock & Strother’s commercial litigation practice group, where he will focus on business restructuring, bankruptcy, and commercial real estate. His experience includes liquidations, reorganizations, and workouts in Texas and across the U.S. In his new role, Petree will provide guidance to businesses in disputes in federal and state courts, as well as those in arbitration panels.

Education: Southern Methodist University (JD), University of Arkansas (BA)

Austin Industries

New Board Members

Joe McLaughlin

Joe McLaughlin, Chief Financial Officer

Joe McLaughlin joined Austin Industries in 2002 as controller. He now serves as the company’s chief financial officer. He joins the board of directors as an internal board member.

Education: The University of Texas at Arlington (MBA, BS)


Bernard Hewett

Bernard Hewett, Executive Vice President of Operations

With more than 30 years at Austin, Bernard Hewett currently serves as executive vice president of Austin Industries and president of Austin Industrial. Previously, he was senior vice president of operations at Austin Commercial and president of Austin Bridge & Road. Now, he joins the board of directors as an internal board member.

Education: The University of Texas at Austin (BS)

Nina Vaca

Nina Vaca, Independent Director

Nina Vaca is the chairman and CEO of Pinnacle Group, which she founded in 1996. She joins Austin Industries’ board of directors as an independent director. Vaca has been named one of the 50 Most Powerful Latinas in the United States and Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young, in addition to receiving numerous other business accolades.

Education: Texas State University (BA)

Admiral Patrick Walsh

Admiral Patrick M. Walsh, Independent Director

Admiral Patrick Walsh (ret.) joins Austin Industries as an external board member. During his 34-year career in the U.S. Navy, Admiral Walsh was a member of the Blue Angels, flew combat missions in support of Desert Storm, and became a four-star admiral, serving as commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet in Pearl Harbor. He is currently vice president of U.S. Navy and Marine Corps Services for Boeing Global.

Education: Tufts University (PhD, MA), U.S. Naval Academy (BS)

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