Friday, January 21, 2022 Jan 21, 2022
40° F Dallas, TX
Business

Executive Holidays: Tiffany Derry, Hilda Galvan, Artie Starrs, and more.

Area CEOs share their favorite memories, wish-list items, and New Year’s resolutions.
By  , and  |
Image
A young John Steinmetz celebrates Christmas with family.
Advertisement

Executive Holidays: Tiffany Derry, Hilda Galvan, Artie Starrs, and more.

{{ currentIndex+1 }} / {{ images.length }}

Advertisement

It’s our third and final post in the 2021 edition of Executive Holidays, a follow-up to our popular 2020 series. D CEO editors once again checked in with area leaders to learn about their holiday traditions, favorite gifts and treats, wish-list items, and their New Year’s resolutions for the year ahead. Be sure to read the first two posts in our current series, featuring Brad Alberts, Ossa Fisher, Erin Nealy Cox and more (Dec. 22); and Calvin Carter, Gerardo Galván, Thear Suzuki, and more (Dec. 23).

Happy Holidays from the D CEO team!

Kim Butler

Executive Vice President, HALL Group

Holiday traditions: “We have a tradition of my husband and our two daughters doing an activity before all the extended family arrives. One year it was painting with a twist (and wine, of course), and this year it is a cooking class (with wine, of course).”

Image
Kim Butler, husband Bruce, and their daughters, show off their paintings.

Favorite gift: “A competition ‘ultra-lite’ Radar waterski. My family had a friend help them find the best boot for me and the lightest and length-appropriate ski for me.”

On this year’s wish list: “That no one gets COVID and has to miss Christmas. We missed a nephew who tested positive right before Thanksgiving.”

Down time tips: “Work from home the week of Christmas. Take a conference call, then bake some cookies; take another conference call and help daughters wrap gifts; take another conference call and have friends stop in.”

Memorable moment from 2021: “My mom turned 80, and we had a party in Dallas with family, a party in Denver with granddaughters and friends, and a party in Fort Worth with her friends. The theme for that one was “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend.’”

My New Year’s resolution: “To take time to read more. I love to read, but we all live in such a go-go world that I rarely allow myself time to just sit and do so. It feels like I am slacking, when in reality it is improving my brain and creativity.”

Tiffany Derry

Founder, Tiffany Derry Concepts

Holiday traditions: “The holidays have always been about spending quality time with family. It’s one of only a few times of the year we all get together and celebrate over traditional recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation. We always host a large gathering that rotates between my mom’s and my aunt’s house – typically about 50 of us come together. We take over the whole house from the garage to the kitchen for a meal and to open gifts. One of my holiday dishes is my grandmother’s roasted duck. It’s a whole duck roasted over cornbread dressing, so the flavors meld together. This dish was the first time I experienced eating and cooking with duck fat, which is something I now use frequently work into my menus today.” 

Favorite gift: “Honestly, gifts aren’t what this season is about for me. What I cherish most is spending time with my family—laughing with my cousins and cooking with my mom. Waking up early to see the excitement on the younger family members’ faces is priceless.”

On this year’s wish list: “Like I said, it’s not about the gifts, but I’d love a vacation!” 

Down time tips: “Take advantage of the time you have. If you have two days off, make the most of it. When you’re home, be present and set aside time for your loved ones.”

Memorable moment from 2021: “Professionally, it was a dream to bring my new restaurant, Roots Southern Table, to life. It’s a concept I’ve been cooking up for seven years, and the menu tells the story of my culinary journey, starting from my upbringing in the South to global travels I’ve been able to embark. And personally, I’m excited to say I got engaged over Thanksgiving to my love William. I can’t wait to start our lives together.”

My New Year’s resolution: “For 2022, I want to work on being a better version of myself both physically and mentally.”

Hilda C. Galvan 

Partner-in-Charge, Jones Day 

Holiday traditions: “Our extended family gathers for Christmas Eve dinner, and we play charades afterward. We laugh so hard every year at the clues and the guesses. My favorite holiday treat is my mom’s My mom’s cinnamon-sugar bizcochitos.” 

Image
Hilda Galvan and her husband, Mike, on a recent White House holiday tour.

Favorite gift: “10-day stay in Paris during the holiday season. It was magical.” 

On this year’s wish list: “Another year with my 90-year-old dad, whose health has been declining.” 

Down time tips: “Don’t try to do it all—find the perfect gift, host a memorable party, accomplish your 12-month work goal in one month—or you will miss out on the best part of the holidays: spending quality time with family and friends.” 

Memorable moment from 2021: “On our first vacation since the pandemic began, I went white water rafting for the first time ever.  It was exhilarating!” 

My New Year’s resolution: “Same one as every other year: Be more thoughtful. I can get so busy and intensely focused on the task at hand that I lose track of the little things that I can do to make it a better day for others.” 

Miriam Jimenez 

General Manager and Partner, Miriam Cocina Latina 

Holiday traditions: “My favorite treat and tradition is spending time with my mother and sisters to make pasteles en hoja. It’s a delicious plantain and root vegetables masa filled with ground beef (picadillo) wrapped with plantain leaves—the best traditional Christmastime food!”

Favorite gift: “We had the best Christmas time in 2017. My dad came from the Dominican Republic, my mother from Houston, and my niece with her kids from Canada. Spending time with family is the best gift I can ever receive.”

On this year’s wish list: “I would like to take classes at a culinary school and learn even more about cooking.”

Down time tips: “It is hard for a restaurant manager to get time off during this time of the year. So, my advice is that on Christmas Eve, when you get home and find your family and friends ready to celebrate with a good dinner, forget about working and just enjoy the time together; everything is about that moment.”

Memorable moment from 2021: “Being named to the Dallas 500, D CEO’s list of the region’s most influential leaders. I was very grateful to be part of the select group that was featured in the magazine.”

My New Year’s resolution: “Like any other year, to lose weight (LOL). Also, spend more time with my 13-year-old son, Kahe. Time passes so fast and memories cannot be made if I don’t make the time to create them with him. Lastly, to continue creating new dishes for the restaurant and keeping the love for my guests. I look forward to celebrating the opportunity with them of a new year full of hope and a desire to be in good health. 

Nadine Lee

President and CEO, Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART)

Holiday traditions: “I love a good Christmas stollen, which is a traditional German yeasted bread filled with dried fruit, nuts, and marzipan. It is a real treat to have, and I’ve even made it a few times, after getting addicted to the Great British Bake-Off. Another treat I enjoy is a delicious molasses spice cookie, from a recipe I got from Cook’s Illustrated. It is hands-down the best cookie ever, and its secret ingredient is black pepper.”

Favorite gift: “The best Christmas gift was when my family stopped giving gifts so we could spend that money traveling to see each other. We usually gather during at Thanksgiving, but this year, we are gathering during Christmas in France, so it will be super special. Usually, my husband and I go to Steamboat Springs. We like to ski on Christmas morning while everyone is still opening gifts!” 

Image
Nadine Lee and her husband like to skii in Steamboat Springs while the rest of the family opens gifts.

On this year’s wish list: “I don’t really have a wish list per se, but my husband and I are in the market for a new car, and if there is anything to be wished, it is that the supply chain eases up in 2022 so we actually get one. It won’t be anything spectacular; as a transit professional, I like having a utilitarian vehicle!”

Down time tips: “Determine when you are going to check in with work and for how long. Then, stick to it. A lot of people end up working through the holidays, and that is not healthy for you or your family. (Emergencies excepted, of course.)” 

Memorable moment from 2021: “For me, 2021 was fraught with change. This time last year, moving to Dallas wasn’t even on the radar, and here I am. So, the memorable moment was a series of events that led to my transition from Los Angeles to Dallas. I am glad I’m here!” 

My New Year’s resolution: “In 2022, I am determined to get stronger as a foundation for staying active in the future. For the last six years, I have not been as committed to strength training as I once was. I know I can regain that strength if I just set the time aside to do it. already have several appointments with a trainer lined up in 2022.”

Matt Ogle

CEO and Founding Partner, Legacy Knight

Holiday traditions: “Every year we go see Santa at the downtown Neiman Marcus store. He has become a staple in our family tradition that we now get to share with our three kiddos. We also schedule the horse-drawn carriage to view the Christmas lights throughout Highland Park Village and surrounding neighborhoods. We have a birthday celebration for baby Jesus where we make a homemade cake and sing ‘Happy Birthday’ on Christmas Eve. And we attend the Christmas Eve service at Highland Park United Methodist Church, where we close with ‘Silent Night.’”  

Image
Matt Ogle and his family sing happy birthday to Jesus every Christmas Eve.

Favorite gift: “My brother and I woke up to a foosball table when we were 7 and 9 years old. We didn’t have much, so I know this was a bit of a stretch for Santa.”   

On this year’s wish list: “A New Generation Oura ring. I hear it’s the most effective and stylish of all the wearables. (I’m a little biased here.)”  

Down time tips: “Take a step back to reflect on the year, gather your thoughts, brief the team on lessons learned and expectations for the coming year. Setting expectations and letting the team know that it is healthy and a good thing to step away. I will be checking out to be with family and loved ones and you should, too. You never know how long your loved ones will be around. A special note for Legacy Knight staff: It is important to recognize that we plan for this time away. Yes, we have more going on over the next couple months than we ever have, but coming back fresh, excited, and well-rested is critical to our individual mental health while also continuing the development of our business.” 

Memorable moment from 2021: “I have so much to be thankful for in 2021 but the unexpected loss of my father-in-law, Rich, is the memory that keeps popping up. It is extremely sad, but it’s good to remember the mountain of a man he was. Rich was an individual who I had the utmost respect for and was a pillar of strength for our family. His passing helped us reflect on how to live a better life by putting others before oneself.”

New Year’s resolution: “To provide random acts of kindness without recognition to those who need it most.”

Adam Rymer  

CEO, Envy Gaming  

Holiday traditions: “Catching up with friends and family at new restaurants. We also do a family project such as a big Lego set or puzzle while enjoying time together with holiday movies.”  

Favorite gift: “My wife planned a surprise trip to Turkey that will be tough to beat.”  

On this year’s wish list: “A successful offer on a home here in Dallas. This market is insane!”  

Down time tips: “Carve out a specific brief time each day to catch up or focus on work; I use my morning coffee to do so.”   

My New Year’s resolution: “To truly settle in here to Dallas and get to know the city and the state better. I’m hoping to make new friends and get involved with the community.”  

Image
The Rymer family in Santa’s sleigh at the Dallas Arboretum.  

Sarah Shadonix

Founder and CEO, Scout & Cellar

Holiday traditions: “Every year, our family has a ‘best day of the year’ that includes decorating the tree with all the ornaments we have gifted each other through the years to commemorate some part of that year’s journey. We share stories, play holiday tunes, and pour our favorite clean-crafted wines. We finish off the night by topping the tree with our amazing technicolor angel from Target, laying under the tree and watching the angel lights twinkle while listening to Kelly Clarkson’s live performance of ‘Oh Holy Night.’ Treat-wise, we always enjoy some yummy tamales on Christmas.”  

Favorite gifts: “Giving presents is the best gift. When my husband and I were first married, we built a wine tasting and scoring process into our family’s annual holiday celebration. We would bring and gift a variety of amazing wines, and everyone would rank them on a scale of 1 to 100. We all had to defend our scores and kept a book of our rankings for almost a decade.”  

On this year’s wish list: “My biggest wish this year is for my kids to experience joy and gratefulness during the holidays.” 

Down time tips: “I have to work hard to keep work from invading family time—both the actual work and the thinking about work. For me, the best way to stay intentional during family and vacation time is to set aside a small amount of time for work. It’s important to stick to it—no more work outside of that set time! I try to make sure to schedule that time in the morning, so it’s done and I’m not obsessing about it throughout the day.”

Memorable moment from 2021: “Professionally, we celebrated Scout & Cellar’s 4th birthday party tailgate style in August under a huge tent. We had an amazing DJ, multiple food trucks, and celebrated with hundreds of our Independent Consultants and employees. Personally, I was fortunate to be able to spend a few weeks with family and friends in Colorado over the summer.”

My New Year’s resolution: “My goals for 2022 are to be more present and more grateful.” 

Artie Starrs  

CEO, Topgolf  Entertainment

Holiday traditions: “I enjoy eggnog and my wife’s Quiche Lorraine.” 

Image
Holiday night at Topgolf Park Lane in Dallas with the whole Starrs family.

Favorite gift: “My Uncle Gene gifted me the Transformer Optimus Prime.” 

On this year’s wish list: “Quiet time with my family”  

Down time tips: “Get out of town and don’t fuss—be present!” 

My New Year’s resolution: “To be present in the moment. We only live once.”  

John Steinmetz 

President and CEO, Vista Bank 

Holiday traditions: “With young children around, Christmas at my house is usually mayhem. It all starts around 4 a.m. with Santa and making my mom’s biscuits and gravy recipe to a carriage ride with Christmas lights. And we always somehow find a way to watch The Family Man together.” 

Image
John Steinmetz takes a carriage ride with his family each Christmas.

Favorite gift: “A painting that my daughter Stiles did when she was 5 years old that hangs above our mantel today.” 

On this year’s wish list: “COVID in the rear-view mirror.” 

Down time tips: “Same as any other time of the year: Put away your phone and block off work and play hours.” 

Memorable moment from 2021: “Quality time traveling with my 12-year-old son John David to his lacrosse tournaments.” 

My New Year’s resolution: “Get back to somewhat of a normal routine—setting and tracking goals, while making sure to prioritize quiet time.” 

Pamela Stoyanoff  

President, Methodist Health System  

Holiday traditions: “The old German tradition of hiding a pickle (a fake one!) in the tree and whoever finds it on Christmas morning gets an extra present! I also love Christmas morning brunch with just the four of us, every year.”

Image
Pamela Stoyanoff taking in the holiday lights with her family.

Favorite gift: “My engagement ring and proposal from my husband, Mike. We are now 34 years strong!” 

On this year’s wish list: “Well, some might not think it fun, but I’d love some new cookware.”  

Down time tips: “Get a lot of sleep in between and betwixt all of the merriment.”  

Memorable moment from 2021: “There were many of them, but they all have to do with COVID and how wonderful our staff and physicians were in dealing with all that has come with this pandemic.”

New Year’s resolution: “To lose weight. I lost a bunch, have gained some back and now must do it all over again.”  

John Clay Wolfe  

CEO, GiveMeTheVIN.com  

Holiday traditions: “My wife is from Copenhagen, so she cooks the ‘Danish holiday meal’ and we play Danish holiday games with the kids.  

Favorite gift: “My grandad surprised me with a Honda Trail-70 motorcycle when I was 9 years old. I couldn’t believe my eyes when he rolled it in after we’d opened our presents. I assumed it was for my older brother, but it was indeed for me.”  

Image
John Clay Wolfe and his extended family celebrate the holidays.

On this year’s wish list: “A bottle of Maker’s Mark”

Down time tips: “Since it’s impossible for me to turn off/tune out, I try and work half- or quarter-days during the week between Christmas and NYE. My advice is to knock out everything you can before lunch.”

Memorable moment in 2021: “The day we sold 1,535 cars in one day for $50 million” 

New Year’s resolution: “To build GivemetheVIN’s infrastructure to a point where I can take a legitimate vacation”  

Authors

Will Maddox

Will Maddox

View Profile
Will is the managing editor for D CEO magazine and the editor of D CEO Healthcare. He's written about healthcare…
Christine Perez

Christine Perez

View Profile
Christine is the editor of D CEO magazine and its online platforms. She’s a national award-winning business journalist who has…
Ben Swanger

Ben Swanger

View Profile
Ben Swanger is the assistant editor for D CEO, the business title for D Magazine. Ben manages the Dallas 500
Kelsey Vanderschoot

Kelsey Vanderschoot

View Profile
Kelsey J. Vanderschoot came to Dallas by way of Napa, Los Angeles, and Madrid, Spain. A former teacher, she joined…

Related Articles

Image
Coronavirus

COVID-19 Bulletin

As Dallas County adds more than 1,800 cases, health experts warn the surge will be like "unlike anything we have seen."
Image
Dining Dispatch

Justice Kitchen Puts Black-Owned Restaurants on the Map. Literally.

All those lists of Black-owned restaurants you're looking for lives on this user-friendly map.