Caleb and Jayme Brock Butler, BA ’00, adopted their 7-year-old daughter Adya Rajlaxmi Butler from India. Jayme writes, “We began our process in March 2018 and brought her home June 26, 2019! She has been home with us for five months. We are so grateful how God orchestrated our journey perfectly to bring her home. Adya was able to share in our love for Baylor at Homecoming this year! A future Baylor Bear! We cannot wait for her to spend her first Christmas this year in her forever family! Merry Christmas & Sic ’em, Bears!” Contact at 41 Wistar Way, O’Fallon, MO 63366.
Laura Bedwell Cummins, BA ’00, joined the faculty of Weatherford College as a Spanish instructor. Cummins lives in Brock, TX, with her husband Aaron and sons Walton (12), John (12) and David (10). Contact at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As part of its centennial celebration, the Baylor School of Education honored Robert Duron, EdD ’00, of Elgin, TX, with the Centennial Outstanding Alumni Award. Duron has 32 years of public education experience and has held significant leadership roles. He is currently the associate executive director of governance services for the Texas Association of School Boards. Duron previously served as superintendent of the San Antonio and Socorro (El Paso) school districts and then as deputy commissioner for finance and administration for the Texas Education Agency.
Andrew McClain, BA ’00, was named senior vice president of people for Concord, CA-based ASRC Industrial, a provider of industrial and environmental services throughout the U.S. With more than 17 years of experience serving in various leadership roles, McClain previously worked as vice president of human resources for Stanley Black & Decker. Prior to Stanley, McClain held human resource leadership positions with Oshkosh Corporation, Royal Dutch Shell and ConocoPhillips.
Thasunda Brown Duckett, MBA ’01, was appointed to Nike Inc.’s Board of Directors. Duckett is CEO of Chase Consumer Banking, a division of JPMorgan Chase & Co., where she oversees a banking network with more than $800 billion in deposits and investments and 50,000 employees. She was previously CEO of Chase Auto Finance, a leading bank provider of auto financing with a portfolio of more than $80 billion in assets and relationships. Duckett is responsible for the bank’s development of new tools and products to build financial health and wealth for all consumers.
Dr. Kacy Dowd Tillman, BA ’01, MA ’04, a University of Tampa English professor, authored Stripped and Script, a book about female loyalist writers of the American Revolution who were marginalized because of their gender and their views but still communicated and survived by the writing of letters and journals. Her mentor is Baylor University Professor of Theology and Literature Ralph Wood, PhD.
David Anderson, BM ’02, MM ’04, in his ninth season as music director for the Lake Geneva [WI] Symphony Orchestra, discusses classical music in a Jan. 16 Q&A with Lake Geneva News, noting that it is often what audiences hear when they watch blockbuster films and popular TV shows. More at lakegenevanews.net.
Dr. Aerial Avery, BA ’02, and Christopher Shorter, BBA ’03, started a new business: ChristiansLuvSocks.net. “A percentage of each person will be given back to the community to help those in need. Each pair of socks has a Bible verse with encouraging words. Thank you and as always — Sic ’em, Bears!” Avery writes. Contact at ChristiansLuvSocks@gmail.com.
Recent support and time spent in Rwanda with Africa New Life encouraged Shelly Rayner Hagens, BA ’02, of Austin to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s tallest mountain, to raise funds for Africa New Life’s Food Program, which supports 10,000 students with a daily meal. Hagens’ climb was scheduled for Jan. 30-Feb. 6 with a Feb. 5 summit. Learn more at bit.ly/foodforrwanda.
Valify, a fast-growing Frisco, TX, healthcare technology company founded in 2014 by Chris Heckler, BBA ’02, and Matt Clark, BBA ’00, MBA ’15, was acquired by HCA Healthcare, the nation’s largest hospital operator. Valify ranked 169th in last year’s Inc. 5000 ranking of fastest-growing companies. Its software helps hospitals manage costs and find potential savings for purchased services.
Skye Perryman, BA ’03, is chief legal officer and general counsel for The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), the nation’s leading organization of physicians providing health care to women. Perryman leads ACOG’s legal, public policy, and government affairs work during a critical time for women’s healthcare. Perryman joined ACOG in 2018 as deputy general counsel and has served as the interim chief legal officer and general counsel since September 2019. Perryman is a member of Baylor University College of Arts and Sciences Board of Advocates.
Extraco Banks announced the promotion of Brian Reinhardt, BBA ’03, MBA ’09, to president, Central Texas Southern Region. Reinhardt has committed more than 18 years to Extraco Banks. He is a board member for the Temple [TX] Health and Bioscience District and is a member of the Temple Rotary Club. Reinhart coaches various youth sports teams and volunteers at his children’s schools.
Marissa Marquez, BA ’04, of Houston was elected to membership in the Fellows of the Texas Bar Foundation, who are selected for their outstanding professional achievements and their demonstrated commitment to the improvement of the justice system throughout the State of Texas.
Tay Bagley, BBA ’05, is CEO of Ways2Well, an innovative virtual preventative healthcare company. Learn more at ways2well.com. Bagley spent years in sales and management at Stryker and MediSmart.
Adam Bamford, BBA ’05, opened The Bamford Insurance Agency, PLLC, in Prosper, TX. Bamford transitioned from a 15-year career in sales operations at Liberty Mutual Insurance. He mentors students in Baylor’s Center for Professional Selling in the Hankamer School of Business, and he serves on the steering committee of the Baylor Business Network of Dallas. Contact at BamfordInsuranceAgency.com.
Joe Barnard, BA ’05, of Covington, LA, released his first book in January: The Way Forward: a Road-map of Spiritual Growth for Men in the 21st Century (Christian Focus Publications). The book is spiritual itinerary for men who want to cut through the noise and distraction of the 21st century and take definite steps toward spiritual maturity.
Brandon Bundren, JD ’05, was named a partner in the Nashville, TN, officer of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP. Bundren is a member of the Intellectual Property Practice Group.
Amy Bigbee Grosso, MSEd ’05, was named the first-ever director of behavioral health at Round Rock [TX] ISD. The newly created position is aimed at improving student academic achievement and wellbeing by providing mental health services.
Dr. Jill Hicks-Keeton, BA ’05, was awarded the 2020 Manfred Lautenschlaeger Award for Theological Promise by the Forschungszentrum Internationale und Interdisziplinaere Theologie (FIIT) at the University of Heidelberg (Research Center for International and Interdisciplinary Theology), Germany. Her award-winning work was Arguing with Aseneth: Gentile Access to Israel’s Living God in Jewish Antiquity (New York: Oxford UP, 2018). The award ceremony is May 15. Hicks-Keeton is assistant professor of religious studies at the University of Oklahoma, where she teaches courses on biblical studies, early Christianity and ancient Judaism.
Ryan Schroer, BBA ’05, of Flower Mound, TX, and his longtime friend John (JT) Thomas, have turned their subscription-based Black Mark Coffee Company into a thriving business. They deliver or ship the coffee to homes and offices from orders placed and fulfilled online. Learn more at blackmarkcoffee.com.
Chet Garner, JD ’06, is host of the public television program The Daytripper, which includes opening The Daytripper World Headquarters in downtown Georgetown, TX, last year. He was recently featured in a Q&A with Georgetown Community Impact.
Kirk Ryan Marshall, BBA ’06, has served at the White House as a presidential appointee for three years, since Inauguration Day (Jan. 20, 2017). Marshall currently serves as a Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Cabinet Secretary for Organizational Structure. He previously served as Special Assistant to the President and Director of Organizational Structure and Human Capital for the White House.
As part of its centennial celebration, the Baylor School of Education honored Ashley Minton, BSEd ’07, MSEd ’08, with the Centennial Outstanding Young Alumni Award. A native of Jacksonville, TX, Minton is principal of Canyon Ranch Elementary School in Coppell [TX] ISD, which opened Aug. 14, 2019. She earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education with a specialization in gifted and talented education. After graduation, she immediately began work on her master’s degree in educational psychology.
Mary Perez, BS ’07, and Mark Halamik, BS ’08, of Woodway, TX, were married in December 2019 in Waco and flung their green and gold afar. Both work for Texas Life Insurance Company.
Kimberly Willingham Hubbard, BA ’08, of Mechanicsville, PA, authored her first book, Crowned in Promise: 100 Prayers for your Children (release date: April 21, 2020). The book is a prayer resource book for parents; each page contains a themed prayer with applicable Scripture verses. Kimberly, her husband Taylor and son Joel currently reside in Richmond, VA. More at tradingpapercrowns.com.
D Magazine named Orsinger, Nelson, Downing & Anderson attorney Taylor Mohr, BA ’09, JD ’12, to its list of Best Lawyers Under 40 for 2020. It is the first selection for Mohr, who works in the firm’s Frisco, TX, office. Mohr’s practice focuses on complex family law matters. She also advises clients on estate planning and elder law.
Aimee Morgan, BBA ’09, joined JLL’s Valuation Advisory business as a senior vice president specializing in the appraisal of multifamily assets. Morgan is based in Houston and covers the region. JLL is a Fortune 500 company with annual revenue of $16.3 billion, operations in more than 80 countries and a global workforce of more than 93,000. Morgan comes from a leading global commercial real estate firm, where she most recently served as the Dallas multifamily practice manager and the regional business development and client care manager. She is a general state certified appraiser in Texas and Oklahoma. She is also the current treasurer of the Urban Land Institute’s North Texas chapter.
Plano, TX-based Stonebriar Commercial Finance announced Alex Palazzolo, BA ’09, joined the company as managing director of originations. Prior to joining Stonebriar, Palazzolo originated and managed public bond offerings for Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. His earlier experience includes business development and analyst roles with Wells Fargo Securities, Wells Fargo Equipment Finance and Moody’s Investors Services.
Ben Wright, BA ’09, was named president and a member of the board of directors of TFP Nutrition, an agricultural and pet food processing company in Nacogdoches, TX. He most recently was vice president of Private Label Sales.