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UT Arlington Development Board expands with prominent alumni, business and civic leaders

Thursday, September 24, 2009

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Media Contact: Kristin Sullivan, Office:817-272-5364, Cell:817-706-9811,

ARLINGTON - The newly expanded University of Texas at Arlington Development Board includes a four-star general, a celebrated film, TV and stage actor, the president of a specialty pharmaceutical company and a founder of one of the nation's largest independent oil and gas producers.

The UT Arlington Development Board convenes Friday, Sept. 25, 2009, in a daylong Leadership Summit to help chart the course as the University advances its mission of becoming a national research institution. Retired Army Gen. Tommy Franks ('71), who led Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq, joins the 40-member board this fall along with Lou Diamond Phillips ('85), who was Tony-nominated for his lead role in the recent stage revival of The King and I. Both are UT Arlington alumni.

The 17 new board members also include H.P. "Paul" Dorman, president and chief executive officer of DFB Pharmaceuticals/Healthpoint, and Steffen Palko, an assistant professor of educational leadership at Texas Christian University and a retired president and founding partner of Cross Timbers Oil Co., the predecessor of XTO Energy.

UT Arlington's Development Board represents a wide variety of University constituencies, including alumni, corporate executives and community leaders. Board members are called on to lend their expertise and perspective in helping shape the strategic vision of the University.

 "Our newest board members will greatly strengthen the UT Arlington Development Board's mission of advancing private philanthropy at the University through their wealth of talent and extraordinary leadership experiences," said Ralph Hawkins, president and chief executive officer of the HKS Inc. architecture firm and chairman of the UT Arlington Development Board. "Their commitment to this enterprise and their knowledge of corporate and civic leadership in North Texas and beyond will add significant value to our efforts to reach out to alumni, business and industry, foundations and friends of the University."

Jim Lewis, UT Arlington's vice president for development, said the board "will lead the effort to change the culture of private philanthropy" at the University.

"This dimension of our support will play a crucial role in the University's ascension as a nationally recognized, Tier One research university," Lewis said.

The new board members also include:

Jeannette Coburn ('72, '75), retired owner of Portal Consulting. Ms. Coburn served in the communications industry for more than 30 years and now is a civic volunteer living in Napa, Calif.

Keith Crandell ('87), co-founder and managing director of ARCH Venture Partners of Chicago. The company is one of the largest providers of seed capital for technology firms in the United States.

Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Phil Ford ('65), chief executive officer, Brazos River Authority. Gen. Ford manages the administration of air and water resources and the solid waste management program. Gen. Ford retired from the Air Force after a 35-year career, which included serving as Deputy Commander in Chief of the U.S. Strategic Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., responsible for all Air Force and Navy strategic nuclear forces.

Shirlee Gandy ('70), president, RPM Commercial of Fort Worth. Ms. Gandy's firm has specialized in historic renovations, including the Ashton Depot, a historic train station in downtown Fort Worth, and The Ashton Hotel.

Mike Guyton ('82), vice president for customer operations, Oncor Energy Delivery. Mr. Guyton's responsibilities have included economic development and managing all large commercial and industrial key accounts.

Frank Hill ('63), president, director and founding partner, Hill Gilstrap P.C. Mr. Hill specializes in the areas of civil trial, commercial litigation, constitutional law, employment law and school law arbitration.

Jeffrey Leuschel ('77), partner, McCall, Parkhurst & Horton L.L.P. Mr. Leuschel's Dallas office specializes in public-private projects, such as hotels in urban centers.

David M. Munson Jr. ('85), president, FOI Group, with offices in Dallas and Paris, Texas. FOI Group owns intellectual property at all stages of development and has several patents pending in the transportation, fire-fighting and military industries.

Lu Pham ('87), partner, Lynn, Pham & Ross LLP, a Fort Worth law firm that specializes in employment law and international concerns.

Dr. Maxwell Scarlett ('66), president and chief executive officer of Lekar Emergency Medical Associates in Killeen. Dr. Scarlett is a longtime emergency department physician originally from Fort Worth and is the first African-American graduate of UT Arlington.

Thad Smotherman, owner and director of The Arlington Medical Institute and The Neighborhood Doctor, P.A. Smotherman also founded The Arlington Medical Institute, a training facility for medical assistants.

Kelcy Warren, chief executive officer of Energy Transfer Partners LP, a Dallas-based company with pipeline operations in Arizona, Colorado, Louisiana, New Mexico and Utah. The partnership owns the largest intrastate pipeline system in Texas.

Jim Wilkinson ('93), managing partner, Brunswick Group, a global communications consulting firm. Wilkinson served as chief of staff to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson Jr. before joining Brunswick in 2006.

For information about UT Arlington's Office of Development, call 817-272-2584 or visit


The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.