Nelda Luce Blair, BA ’80, of The Woodlands, TX, was named an advisor to the board of directors of Spirit of Texas Bancshares Inc., the holding company for Spirit of Texas Bank. Blair’s legal and professional experience includes: president/owner of The Blair Law Firm since 1987; a legal consultant, local counsel, government liaison and expert witness; fundraising campaigns for educational awareness; and periodic legal commentator on FOX News, CNN, MSNBC, Court TV and Houston FOX 26.  

Dr. Jobeth Winsett Pilcher, BSN ’80, of Poetry, TX, was awarded the 2019 Louise Herrington School of Nursing Distinguished Alumni Award for her national and international contributions to nursing and nursing education through research, publications and presentations. Pilcher retired from Baylor Health Care System after 40 years of service. She is a part-time faculty member for Capella University’s doctoral nursing education program. Contact at jobethp@att.net.

Roth Capital Partners named Dr. Charles “Tony” Butler, BS ’81, as a managing director, senior equity analyst, and head of biotechnology research for the firm’s healthcare research team in Newport Beach, CA. He also will be a partner. Butler previously was a senior healthcare analyst and managing director at Guggenheim Securities, where he focused on both biotechnology and biopharma. Butler also was a senior healthcare analyst at Lehman Brothers/Barclay’s Capital for 18 years. 

Cindy Green, BA ’81, started her business after working for the founder of the Michaels store. Her brand, Neurons Not Included, targets scientific mindsets with her sales doubling each year with marketing visibility and order fulfillment help from Amazon.

John Martin, BA ’81, was elected managing partner of Baker Botts, one of Houston’s oldest and largest law firms. For the past five years, he led the firm’s growing operations in Silicon Valley. 

Dr. Steve Currall, BA ’82, was selected president-elect of the University of South Florida. Currall, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Southern Methodist University, will be USF’s seventh president when his tenure begins July 1. At SMU, he was the David B. Miller Endowed Professor and held academic appointments in the Cox School of Business, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences and the Lyle School of Engineering.

Brad Beam, BA ’83, was honored with the Herb and Marian Weston Humanitarian Award, given by the Beatrice [NE] Humane Society, for his outstanding service as a volunteer caring for shelter animals and serving as an animal advocate.

John L. Grayson, JD ’83, was inducted into membership of the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel. He was also named a panelist on the American Arbitration Association National Roster of Arbitrators for commercial and construction matters. John is a principal with the firm of Cokinos Young in Houston. Contact at jgrayson@cokinoslaw.com.

Great American Group Advisory & Valuation Services, a provider of advisory and valuation services and a subsidiary of B. Riley Financial Inc., announced that Stephen Shelton, BBA ’83, joined as managing director with the firm’s appraisal business based in New York. Shelton has more than 30 years of experience in banking, investment banking and financial consulting.

 J. Jeffrey Springer, BA ’83, JD ’85, with Springer & Lyle LLP, was elected to membership in the Fellows by Texas Bar Foundation. Each year the top one-third of one percent of Texas attorneys become Fellows. Springer has practiced law in Denton, TX, for over 30 years.

Ann Caulkins, BA ’84, is senior vice president of Novant Health and president of Novant Health Foundation, headquartered in Winston-Salem, NC. Caulkins served 12 years as president and publisher of The Charlotte Observer and before that served as president and publisher of The State newspaper in Columbia, SC.

Laura Harmon, BA ’84, was promoted to senior associate at the Cushman & Wakefield Thalhimer’s Greenville, SC, office. Harmon specializes in office sales and leasing in Upstate South Carolina, including commercial property sales, leasing and management.

Christopher Knighten, BMEd ’86, director of bands and associate professor of music in the music department at the University of Arkansas, was elected to the American Bandmasters Association. Knighten previously was a faculty member at Baylor.

Dr. Melissa “Missie” Barker Neathery, BA ’86, BSN ’87, has taught in Baylor’s Louise Herrington School of Nursing as clinical assistant professor for 10 years. Melissa and her husband Jim and sons Thomas, BA ’15, and Andrew, a Baylor senior, served as missionaries in Albania from 1999 to 2004. Upon their return, Melissa began teaching health assessment and psychiatric mental health nursing in lecture and clinical settings. Her research focuses on spiritual care and mental health recovery. “I enjoy teaching students who are sons and daughters of people I knew at Baylor,” she writes. Contact at Melissa_Neathery@baylor.edu.

Robin Russell, JD ’86, was named deputy managing partner of Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP. She previously was managing partner of its Houston office and for many years co-chaired its national bankruptcy and restructuring practice. Russell became deputy managing partner in 2018. At Baylor, she was the highest-ranking graduate.

Burnet [TX] County judges appointed Karin A. Smith, BA ’87, to serve as Burnet County auditor. Smith began a two-year appointment Feb. 4. She had served as Anderson County auditor in Palestine, TX, since 2011.

Brian Summerall, BA ’87, of Dallas has been a staff member for Young Life for more than 30 years. He leads the Todd Bush Training Center in Dallas and is also a StoryBrand expert. He has combined his adventures into a book, Telling Stories: God’s Grace Revealed through Adventures, Awkwardness, and a 1981 Monte Carlo. See more at tellingstoriesthebook.com.

Brent Veach, BBA ’87, of Scottsdale, AZ, was featured on Franchising.com. He is the largest Del Taco franchisee, operating 50 quick-serve restaurants — 21 in Colorado and 29 in Arizona. He and his wife Maria have three children: Craig, 23, Megan, 22, and Jacob, 19.

Victor Carrillo, MS ’88, corporate board director for Energy Hunter Resources in Dallas, was named to the list of Top Latinos in Energy, Oil and Gas for 2019 by Latino Leaders Magazine.

Dr. “Jim” Larkin Page, BA ’88, is an associate professor in the Division of Education and Counseling at Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans. In his 12th year as a professor, he holds a PhD in reading and began his higher education teaching and research at Texas A&M University-Commerce. He is a published author in the research areas of reading comprehension, English learners and teacher education.

Emily Hutchison, BA ’89, joined Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital as the health system’s director of development. Hutchison has more than three decades of nonprofit leadership and fundraising experience. She spent the last decade in higher education development in New York.

Entrepreneur, lawyer and motivational speaker Michelle May O’Neil, BBA ’89, JD ’91, of Dallas released Wisdom from Momma: Anecdotes and Euphemisms from a True Texas Lady, a guidebook from — and homage to — her mother Sandra Verdene Crouch May. The book contains life advice from Momma, whose spirit and tenacity guided her and her family through their most trying times.

Dr. Dean Rader, BA ’89, was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for 2019. He is a professor of English, author and an award-winning, widely published poet. The award places him in the company of 168 scholars, artists and scientists in the U.S. and Canada. Appointed “on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise,” the successful candidates were chosen from a group of almost 3,000 applicants. Rader’s poems have appeared in The New York Times, Best American Poetry, American Poetry Review, Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, Harvard Review and many others. He writes and reviews regularly for the San Francisco Chronicle, The Rumpus, Los Angeles Review of Books, Huffington Post and BOMB. While teaching at the University of San Francisco, Rader has won the Dean’s Scholar Award and the Distinguished Research Award. Most recently, he co-edited They Said: Contemporary Collaborative Writing (Black Lawrence) and Native Voices: Indigenous American Poems, Craft, and Conversations (Tupelo). 

For the third consecutive year, Matt Schoenfeld, BA ’89, was recognized nationally as a Top Financial Advisor for Houston-based AIG Retirement (formerly VALIC). Additionally, Schoenfeld’s 20th book, Growing Through Disaster (Abingdon Press), is due for release in September. Co-author is Rev. Clayton Smith. Contact at matt.schoenfeld44@gmail.com.