Baker, Ahles & Kaskovich

Hillwood president a finalist for DFW CEO of the year

Mike Berry is a familiar face at Fort Worth business functions. But last week, the president of Hillwood Properties, developer of Alliance, was over in Big D to be honored along with top Dallas CEOs at Southern Methodist University.

Berry was one of 10 executives selected by North Texas CEOs and business owners as finalists for the Dallas-Fort Worth CEO of the Year award presented by SMU’s Cox School of Business and D CEO magazine.

Berry was honored for the steady and strong performance at Alliance, which has had a stellar year with projects underway in four sectors: office, industrial, retail and multifamily. “We’re on fire,” Berry said with his customary confidence.

Also honored from Tarrant County: Doug Hawthorne, CEO of Arlington-based Texas Health Resources, the operator of Harris and Presbyterian hospitals, which has grown to include 25 acute-care and short-stay facilities. Other finalists were Joel Allison of Baylor Scott & White Health; Norm Bagwell, Bank of Texas; Ray L. Hunt, Hunt Consolidated; John B. McWhorter, Baylor University Medical Center; Randall Stephenson, AT&T; Kip Tindell, The Container Store; and Kelcy Warren, Energy Transfer Partners.

And the winner? Legendary oilman T. Boone Pickens was selected by business leaders as the 2013 CEO of the Year for his performance at BP Capital and his leadership on the Pickens Plan, which advocates the use of natural gas vehicles in commercial trucking and fleets.

Accepting the award, Pickens noted that he must have had the most experience among the finalists.

“85 has got to win it for you,” he said, referring to his age.

— Steve Kaskovich

Texas Wesleyan breaks ground on new entrance

Texas Wesleyan University, the United Methodist Church, Fort Worth city and business leaders and students celebrated the start of construction Friday of a multimillion-dollar project that will change the face of the university along East Rosedale Street.

“Today marks the beginning of a new era,” said university President Frederick Slabach, calling the project a “revitalization of our home here in east Fort Worth. This project represents a true public/private partnership.”

The university started a $6.5 million capital campaign last fall and the project is slated to be completed by the end of 2014.

The project includes a $1.3 million entryway for the school from Rosedale Street that will feature a clock tower and horseshoe-shaped parking. The campus, at East Rosedale Street and Vaughn Boulevard, is now closed to traffic by a fence.

On the south side of Rosedale, across from the new entryway, the school will build a $3 million, 15,000-square-foot office building for the Central Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church, which serves 160,000 members at 325 churches.

Texas Wesleyan is also converting the historic Polytechnic Heights City Hall and fire station into a Business Incubator Center, allowing students to intern with and offer consulting services to area business owners.

Fort Worth native gets Hall of Fame nod

Fort Worth native David Ford, a professor at the University of Texas at Dallas’s Naveen Jindal School of Management, will be inducted into The PhD Project Hall of Fame this week for his work mentoring minority students.

Ford, who attended elementary school in Fort Worth at James E. Guinn and is a 1962 graduate of I.M. Terrell High School, has mentored students at UT Dallas for more than 20 years. He is also a founding member of the organization.

The PhD Project was started in 1994 to increase the diversity of corporate America by increasing the diversity of business school faculty members and students in doctorate programs.

Ford is one of three inductees this year into the Hall of Fame, which was established in 2011. The other honorees are Miriam B. Stamps, of the University of South Florida, and dt ogilvie of the Saunders College of Business at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

The organization is holding its annual conference in Chicago starting Wednesday.

“Any way I can help, I’m willing to do it,” Ford said of his work with The PhD Project “It’s a labor of love. It’s a fantastic thing to be involved in.”

Baldrige honor touches UNTHSC president

Before being named president of the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth in July, Michael Williams was chief executive of Hill Country Memorial Hospital in Fredericksburg.

He must have done a great job there. This past week, Hill Country Memorial was recognized for Best Practices by the judges of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. Duke University Hospital in Durham, N.C., was also selected for the honor.

The Best Practices awards are selected from candidates that are not winners of the Baldrige Award, which honors performance excellence through innovation, improvement and visionary leadership.

Hill Country Memorial was one of 22 applicants for the Baldrige, named after a Secretary of Commerce in the Reagan administration.

This year’s winners of the Baldrige award are Baylor Regional Medical Center in Plano, the Pewaukee School District in Wisconsin and Sutter Davis Hospital in Davis, Calif.