Wednesday, April 17, 2024 Apr 17, 2024
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Valor Hires New COO

Plus, Bradley welcomes another new partner; Texas Women's Foundation announces new board members; and more.


Jonathon Lipko, Chief Operating Officer

Jonathon Lipko

In his new role, Jonathon Lipko will oversee all departmental operations. Lipko was previously the lead operations manager at Amazon’s distribution facility in Park City, Kansas, where he oversaw a 300-person team that managed $250 billion in revenue. Before Amazon, Lipko worked for multiple aerospace companies, including Boeing and Raytheon. Valor, an asset management and professional services company that specializes in oil and gas mineral rights, has seen its staffing and revenue double in the past year.

Education: Seattle Pacific University (MBA), Green River College (A.A.)

Christus Health

Gerardo “Jerry” Flores, Chief Nursing Executive

Gerardo "Jerry" Flores

Gerardo “Jerry” Flores succeeds Debi Pasley, who will serve in an advisory capacity through October 2022. Flores joined Christus Health, a Catholic, not-for-profit system made up of more than 600 centers, in 2019 as a vice president. Most recently, he was promoted to vice president and deputy chief nursing officer. Before joining Christus, he worked as a chief nursing officer for Community Health System. 

Education: American Sentinel College (DNP), Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi (MSN), Texas A&M International University (BSN), Laredo Community College (ASN)

Ashton Woods

Bret Bailey, Dallas Division President 

Bret Bailey

Bret Bailey is president of Starlight Homes Dallas, which is an Ashton Woods company. In his new role, Bailey will lead Ashton Woods and Starlight Homes’ continued growth across DFW. Bailey joined Ashton Woods eight years ago as vice president of operations. He then shifted to focus on Starlight specifically as division manager. Before joining Ashton, he worked for PulteGroup and Centex Homes over 12 years. Ashton Woods is one of the largest private homebuilding companies in the nation.

Education: Texas A&M University (BBA)

Bradley Arant Boult Cummings

Kyle A. Owens, Partner

Kyle A. Owens

Kyle A. Owens joins Bradley’s Dallas office as a member of the firm’s Banking and Financial Services Practice Group. Owens focuses his practice on supporting financial services firms and providers of goods and services that offer financing. He helps his clients solve problems, develop new lending products, and navigate risk. He was previously a partner at Dykema for nearly five years. Prior to that, he was a senior director and associate general counsel at Capital One.

Education: Harvard (J.D.), University of Notre Dame (B.A.)

Council For Life

Suzanne Everbach, Director of Communication and Philanthropy

Suzanne Everbach

Suzanne Everbach has been the chief operating officer of Council for Life for three years prior to her appointment as the organization’s first director of communication and philanthropy. In her new role, she will direct CFL’s communication and donor development efforts. She will continue to track relevant legal and legislative issues and provide educational summaries to the organization’s board and constituents.

Education: Southern Methodist Organization (J.D., B.A.)

True North Advisors

Braden Cole, Senior Wealth Manager

Braden Cole

Braden Cole has joined the Dallas office of True North Advisors, a wealth and investment firm. Cole was previously an Advisor at CH Investment Partners, a multi-family investment office. In his new role, he is able to simplify the complex for many clients that are ultra-high net worth families. Previously, Cole was an advisor for CH Investment Partners, a multi-family investment office founded by the Trammell Crow Family.

Education: Baylor University (BBA)


Texas Women’s Foundation

Connie Kleinert Babikian, Board of Directors

Connie Kleinert Babikian

Connie Kleinert Babikian is the owner and president of Dallas-based luxury pillow company The Pillow Bar. She previously worked in finance and planning at Hunt Oil Company and was a financial analyst for Goldman Sachs. Texas Women’s Foundation has elected Babikian, Etheridge, and Wong to serve three-year terms from 2022–2025.

Education: UCLA (MBA), Southern Methodist University (BBA, B.A.)

Jana Etheridge, Board of Directors

Jana Etheridge

Jana Etheridge is senior vice president and chief of staff and customer office, financial services at Capital One, where she has worked in leadership for more than 15 years. Before joining Capital One, she launched a café and wine concept, Café Du Luxe in Denton as co-owner. Prior to that, she served as implementation director for Ameriprise Financial for a little over a year.

Education: Oklahoma City University (MBA), Southern Oklahoma State University (B.S.)

Cris Zertuche Wong, Board of Directors

Cris Zertuche Wong

Cris Zertuche Wong is managing director at Goldman Sachs, where she was previously vice president. Babikian, Etheridge, and Wong join a board of 41 members led by the chair Hilda Galvan. The board of directors helps Texas Women’s Foundation advance its mission of investing in women and girls to create positive change.

Education: The University of Texas at Austin (BBA)


Suzanne Crow

Suzanne Crow