Key Executives is pleased to announce The Top 25 CEOs of Dallas for 2024. Dallas is known for its thriving business environment that has seen increased growth and opportunities in recent years, specifically in the technology, transportation, and energy sectors. Home to 24 Fortune 500 companies including AT&T, Southwest Airlines, and ExxonMobile, Dallas has no shortage of influential CEOs leading its corporate landscape. This year’s awardees are highly educated, steer their respective companies toward success, and play a key role in building the economic powerhouse that is Dallas. 

Among this year’s awardees, we recognize Satish Malhotra, Chief Executive Officer of The Container Store, who, in his first two years of leadership, has launched The Container Store App and released the store’s first-ever sustainability report. Next up, Virginia Drosos, Chief Executive Officer of Signet Jewelers, has quadrupled the company’s market capitalization from less than $1 billion at the start of the pandemic to $3.9 billion today. Lastly, we have George Leondis, Chief Executive Officer of Argon Medical Devices, who has over 25 years of leadership experience in the medical device industry with companies including Angiotech Pharmaceuticals Inc. and St. Jude Medical.

The CEOs on this year’s list have gone above and beyond to make major corporate decisions, manage day-to-day operations, and solidify company goals and objectives. Their contributions to both their respective companies and the city of Dallas deserve a round of applause. Please join us in recognizing the accomplishments of The Top 25 CEOs of Dallas for 2024.  


1. Jean Savage
President and Chief Executive Officer, Trinity Industries

Jean Savage is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Trinity Industries. Trinity Industries, headquartered in Dallas, Texas, owns businesses that are leading providers of rail transportation products and services in North America. Its businesses market their railcar products and services under the trade name TrinityRail®. The TrinityRail platform provides railcar leasing and management services; railcar manufacturing, maintenance, and modifications; and other railcar logistics products and services. 

Savage was previously the vice president of the surface mining and technology division of Caterpillar, Inc., a position she held since August 2017, overseeing the division's end-to-end value chain, ensuring a customer-centric approach in product design, development, manufacturing, and sales. Prior to this, Savage held leadership roles from 2002 to 2013 in Caterpillar's Progress Rail division, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Caterpillar, Inc. Before joining Progress Rail, Savage worked in a variety of manufacturing and engineering positions for 14 years at Parker Hannifin Corporation.

Savage began her career by spending nine years as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Army Reserves. She graduated from the University of Dayton with a master’s degree in engineering management and from the University of Cincinnati with an undergraduate degree in electrical and computer engineering.


2. Satish Malhotra
Chief Executive Officer, The Container Store

Satish Malhotra, joined The Container Store in February 2021 as Chief Executive Officer and President, leading the company through its articulation of a new brand purpose and branding campaign. In his first two years, Malhotra has overseen the launch of the Organized Insider loyalty program and the Container Store App, the opening of its first three small-format stores, significant investment in eCommerce improvements, a renewed focus on the customer experience, key additions to The Container Store leadership team, and the release of the company’s first-ever sustainability report. 

Notably, in 2022, Malhotra led The Container Store through its ClosetWorks acquisition and the launch of its Custom Spaces brand architecture, studios, and newest premium, wood-based custom line, Preston. Previously, Malhotra held various leadership roles at Sephora, most recently as chief retail officer and chief operating officer. Malhotra graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, Walter A. Haas School of Business with a bachelor’s in business administration, and has also completed the LVMH Inspiring Entrepreneurs Senior Executive Leadership Program.


3. Virginia Drosos
Chief Executive Officer, Signet Jewelers

Virginia C. Drosos is the Chief Executive Officer of Signet Jewelers. Signet banners include KAY Jewelers, Zales, Jared, Banter by Piercing Pagoda, Diamonds Direct, Blue Nile, James Allen, Rocksbox, Peoples Jewellers, H. Samuel, and Ernest Jones. She was appointed Signet CEO in July 2017 and has served as a Director of Signet’s Board since 2012. Notably, under her leadership, the company’s market capitalization has quadrupled, from less than $1 billion at the start of the pandemic to $3.9 billion today. 

Drosos has more than 30 years of executive leadership experience in the consumer goods, beauty, retail, and healthcare industries. She served as president and CEO of Assurex Health, where she delivered significant revenue growth and executed the strategic sale of the company to Myriad Genetics. Before her role at Assurex, she spent 25 years at Procter & Gamble, where she established herself as a transformative leader who led game-changing innovation, built multi-billion-dollar brands, and reinvented global categories. Drosos also serves on the Board of Directors of Foot Locker, a specialty athletic retailer. 

Drosos holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from The Terry School, University of Georgia, and an MBA from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.


4. Joe Hummel
Chief Executive Officer, Twin Peaks Restaurants

Joe Hummel is the Chief Executive Officer of Twin Peaks, bringing over 30 years of restaurant experience to his role. Founded in 2005 in the Dallas suburb of Lewisville, Twin Peaks is a sports lodge serving food, drinks, and entertainment, with about 115 locations in the U.S. and Mexico.

Hummel's career began in distribution and purchasing, eventually becoming the executive vice president of operations and purchasing at Hooters of America, before joining La Cima Restaurants, LLC as COO. La Cima Restaurants, LLC is the largest franchisee of Twin Peaks Restaurants. Hummel became CEO of Twin Peaks in October 2016 and relocated to the Dallas headquarters in July 2017. Hummel holds a bachelor’s in business administration from Clemson University.


5. Joe Walsh
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Thryv

Joe Walsh is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Thryv, a global software and marketing services company that helps small and medium-sized businesses grow and modernize their operations. Over 65,000 businesses use its SaaS platform, Thryv®, to manage their end-to-end operations, which has helped these organizations across the U.S. and overseas grow their bottom line.

Most recently, Walsh was the chief executive officer and chairman of Walsh Partners, a private company focused on investments and advisory services. He previously served as executive chairman of Cambium Learning Group, a leading educational technology company. During Walsh’s tenure at Cambium, the company expanded its SaaS offering globally into 43 countries. 

Additionally, Walsh served Yellowbook as president and CEO for over 20 years where he led the company through a series of acquisitions and new market launches, as well as unprecedented growth online. The company saw U.S. revenue expand from $38 million to $2 billion, with revenue doubling every two years for more than a dozen years. Its global revenues topped $4 billion following a successful IPO on the London Stock Exchange.


6. Beth Garvey
Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer, BGSF

Beth Garvey is the Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of BGSF. She first joined the company in 2018. BGSF is a diversified consulting and staffing company offering workforce solutions across a range of industries. Its services and jobs include property management, consulting, managed services, IT, and finance and accounting. It has integrated several regional and national brands.

Previously, Garvey was a CEO at InStaff. Earlier in her career she worked with Madix Store Fixtures as a human resource generalist and in benefits at El Chico Corporation. She graduated from Tyler Junior College.


7. Rod Millar
Chief Executive Officer, Likewize

Rod Millar is the Chief Executive Officer and a board member of Likewize, a global leader in end-to-end solutions in mobile device lifecycle management. Likewize offers protection against any technology disruption, resolving 250 million problems each year across insurance, warranty, repairs, trade-ins, recycling, and premium tech support. Trusted by the world’s largest brands, telcos, and banks to look after approximately a billion of their customers, Likewize operates in over 30 countries. 

Beyond Likewize, Millar’s 20-year career in the wireless industry includes executive positions with prominent global telecommunications brands, including Sprint, Tech Data, and 20:20 Mobile. He previously served as the first president of Brightstar Europe from 2007 to 2012. During that initial tenure, he developed customer relationships and established Brightstar businesses in 18 European countries, leading the company to surpass $3 billion in revenue in only a few years. 

At Sprint, he served as SVP of product, supply chain, insurance, and leasing, and successfully revamped the carrier’s supply chain, streamlined operations, and renegotiated all commercial relationships to enable sustainable growth. As SVP of Worldwide Mobility Solutions for Tech Data, he grew the European business and led a turnaround of the Americas operations. At 20:20 Mobile, where he was managing director, he transformed the business from a pure hardware distributor to a value-added service provider, doubling profits and growing revenue substantially.


8. Fred Perpall
Chief Executive Officer, The Beck Group

Fred Perpall is the Chief Executive Officer of The Beck Group. The Beck Group integrates architecture, construction, sustainability, and technology to transform how its clients​ design and build. Perpall focuses on driving firm strategy, communicating its vision to clients, selecting and developing its management team, allocating capital, and managing growth. 

He began his career in the design and construction industry in 1996. In 2016, he joined the American Institute of Architects College of Fellows. Perpall’s prior roles include director positions at Triumph Bancorp, Inc., Starwood Property Trust, and FedEx. He earned a bachelor’s in architecture and a master’s in architecture at the University of Texas at Arlington. Perpall is also an alumnus of the 183rd class of Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program.


9. Brad Winges
President and Chief Executive Officer, Hilltop Securities

Brad Winges is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Hilltop Securities Inc., a full-service municipal investment bank and wealth advisory firm providing financial services for public entities, institutional investors, housing finance agencies, broker-dealers, and individual investors. Winges leads the firm’s strategic direction and oversees the investment bank’s financial strength, stability, and executive management.

Before joining Hilltop Securities, Winges served as senior managing director at Piper Jaffray where he was a member of the executive leadership team. While at Piper Jaffray, he served as head of fixed income services, head of firm investments and trading, head of proprietary trading, and president of Piper Jaffray Investment Management. He also led the firm’s fixed-income risk management efforts and firmwide balance sheet investing and funding. Winges graduated from the University of Wisconsin in Madison with an undergraduate degree in economics.


10. George Leondis
President and Chief Executive Officer, Argon Medical Devices

George Leondis is the President and Chief Executive Officer, and a member of the Board of Directors, of Argon Medical Devices, a global manufacturer of specialty medical products, headquartered in Plano, TX. Argon offers a broad line of medical devices for interventional radiology, vascular surgery, interventional cardiology, and oncology. Leondis has over 25 years of leadership experience in the medical device industry and is responsible for all strategic and functional areas of Argon’s business.

Previous to joining Argon in 2009, Leondis served as corporate vice president and general manager of Angiotech Interventional, a subsidiary of Angiotech Pharmaceuticals, Inc., which manufactured and marketed vascular and non-vascular devices for use in interventional radiology, interventional cardiology, and vascular surgery. In his years leading that business, he was responsible for the development and execution of its corporate strategy, guiding it to become a leading player in its market segments. 

Leondis has held various management and commercial roles at companies including St. Jude Medical, Orascoptic Research, and Medical Device Technologies, Inc., where he was promoted through several positions of increased responsibility. Leondis currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Medical Device Manufacturers Association and IZI Medical Products. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University.


11. Chandra Pemmasani, M.D.
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Uworld

Chandra Pemmasani, M.D., is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of UWorld, the worldwide leader in online learning to prepare for high-stakes exams. Since 2003, UWorld has helped millions of undergraduate, graduate, and professional students prepare for their exams. 

Before joining Uworld, Pemmasani was an internal medicine physician at Methodist Health. Pemmasani completed his residency in internal medicine at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Pennsylvania. He also served as an instructor at Johns Hopkins University/ Sinai Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, before moving to Dallas in 2010, where he established the corporate headquarters of UWorld.


12. Justin McAfee
President and Chief Executive Officer, Rogers-O'Brien Construction

Justin McAfee is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Rogers-O'Brien Construction, a leading Texas construction company established in 1969, that has built a variety of property types, including corporate buildings, healthcare facilities, retail centers, and senior living establishments. 

Before joining Rogers-O'Brien Construction, McAfee was a development manager at Hillwood. Earlier in his career, he worked with The Beck Group as a project engineer. McAfee earned his bachelor's in civil engineering from Texas A&M University, as well as an MBA from Southern Methodist University. 



13. Ashley Andersen Zantop
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Cambium Learning Group

Ashley Andersen Zantop is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Cambium Learning Group. Cambium Learning Group is an American education technology and services company that creates computer software and hardware products serving students ranging from pre-kindergarten to adult. Cambium Learning is a portfolio company of Veritas Capital, a New York-based private equity firm.

Andersen Zantop joined Cambium in 2020 as chief operating officer, overseeing the Lexia and Cambium Assessment business units, operational enablement teams, ESG, and M&A. Before that, Andersen Zantop served in C-suite executive leadership roles at GreaterGood, Capstone, and Trudy Corporation (later Palm Publishing). 

Andersen Zantop holds a bachelor’s degree in education and a bachelor’s degree in English literature from the University of Michigan, teaching certifications K-5 and 6-8, and an MFA in creative writing from Fairfield University with concentrations in fiction and screenwriting. 


14. Scott Schell
President and Chief Executive Officer, TA Services

Scott Schell is the President and Chief Executive Officer of TA Services. Headquartered in Mansfield, Texas with offices located in strategic markets throughout North America, TA Services, Inc. has been operating for more than 37 years and provides a wide range of third-party logistics services, including managed transportation, warehousing, and fulfillment, multi-modal freight brokerage, and cross-border logistics.

Before joining TA Services, Schell was a president at P&S Transportation and before that executive director of procurement and logistics at Gerdau. Earlier in his career, he worked with Best Transport, Inc. as a vice president of business integration. Schell graduated from Auburn University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and completed executive studies in international business, international cultures, and finance at INSEAD and The Business School of The World in Fontainebleau, France.


15. Chris Forsberg
Chief Executive Officer, Rug Doctor

Chris Forsberg began his professional career 26 years ago. Today, he is the Chief Executive Officer of Rug Doctor, a private equity-owned global market leader in professional-grade, do-it-yourself deep carpet cleaning systems for consumers created in 1974. 

Most recently, Forsberg served as an executive vice president at WIS International, a global strategic partner for leading retailers and manufacturers. Before WIS International, Forsberg was a senior director of operations at The Home Depot and led the transformation of their internal merchandising execution team, driving efficiency and effectiveness for a workforce of over 24,000 people. He also served as vice president of operations for Acosta/Mosaic Sales Solutions, a merchandising services company where he built large operational teams for Fortune 50 brands. Forsberg graduated from The University of Texas at Arlington with an undergraduate degree in business administration, communications, and philosophy.


16. Robert Connors
President and Chief Executive Officer, Gexpro Services

Robert Connors is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Gexpro Services, a world-class supply chain services outsourcing provider for original equipment manufacturers (OEM) in the energy, transportation, consumer and industrial, aerospace and defense, and technology vertical segments. Gexpro Services is a full-line C-Part distributor of fasteners and electrical, mechanical, and fabricated products.

Before his current position, Connors held roles with Rexel Holdings USA and General Electric, including division president and general manager at GE Supply Logistics, general manager sales at GE Transmission & Distribution, and region sales manager for GE’s Industrial Systems Automation, Technology & Services business. In addition, he held several field leadership roles as branch manager, operations manager, and sales leader with GE Supply during his 18-year career with General Electric. Connors holds a bachelor’s in political science and a minor in economics from Northeastern University.


17. Kim Fitzsimmons
Chief Executive Officer, Talus Pay

Kim Fitzsimmons is the Chief Executive Officer of Talus Pay, a payment processing company that provides technology-enabled payment solutions, personalized in-house support, and trusted advice to small and medium-sized businesses. Fitzsimmons began her career in 1988 and brings 36 years of experience to the role. 

Before joining Talus Pay, Fitzsimmons was a president of global merchant services at J.P. Morgan and before that a CEO at Cynergy Data. Earlier in her career, she worked with Concord EFS as a senior vice president. Fitzsimmons graduated from the School of Business Administration at the University of Mississippi.


18. Curtis Holmes
Chief Executive Officer, iiPay

Curtis Holmes began his professional career 38 years ago. Today, he is the Chief Executive Officer of iiPay, a company that leverages its innovative, cloud-based technology to offer clients payroll solutions in more than 170 countries. iiPay provides payroll, HR, and finance professionals with advanced data management, analytics, business intelligence, and reporting across all global payrolls at any time.

Prior to his current position as CEO, Holmes served as chief operating officer at iiPay for the past six years. Before iiPay, Holmes served in executive roles including chief executive officer, president, and chief operating officer at a publicly-traded and privately-held company. Holmes graduated from Purdue University with a master’s degree in computer science and from Southern University with a bachelor’s in computer science.


19. Clay Dover
President and Chief Executive Officer, Velvet Taco

Clay Dover is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Velvet Taco, a unique taco concept serving premium food in a fast-casual setting. Dover has 27 years of experience, beginning his career in 1997. At Velvet Taco, Dover is responsible for the proper organizational capabilities, processes, and systems in place to improve ongoing operations, as well as support future growth. 

Before joining Velvet Taco, Dover was a chief marketing officer at Pei Wei and before that a president and CMO of Raising Cane's. When Dvoer first joined Raising Cane’s, the company had 62 restaurants, and at the end of his tenure, there were over 225 Raising Cane's restaurants across the country in 18 states. During his time there, Dover established a Dallas-based restaurant support office, an international restaurant presence, and non-traditional prototypes, with overall sales approaching $1 billion. Earlier in his career, he worked with Chili's as an operations manager. Dover graduated from Brigham Young University with a bachelor’s in communications, sales, and marketing.


20. Stephane Ferri
Chief Executive Officer, Call Box

Stephane Ferri is the Chief Executive Officer of Call Box, a comprehensive call tracking and cloud phone system solution that allows businesses to gain insight into calls, eliminate inefficiencies, and improve caller experience. The company’s AI-powered features inspect hundreds of data points over the phone to identify gaps in performance and pinpoint legitimate business opportunities.

Before joining Call Box, Ferri served as a strategic advisor for the Presidio Group, a banking firm serving the automotive retail sector, and senior leadership positions at Flexdrive, Cox Automotive Inc., and Asbury Automotive Group. Ferri graduated from Georgia Southern University with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and business administration.


21. Scott Paddock
Chief Executive Officer, Wondr Health

Scott Paddock is the Chief Executive Officer of Wondr Health, the proven leader in metabolic, emotional, and physical health transformation for everyone through behavior change. Paddock leads Wondr Health's efforts to engage populations, improve quality of life and health outcomes, and prevent and reduce the cost of chronic health conditions.

Paddock brings more than 20 years of experience in high-growth healthcare environments. Before joining Wondr Health, he served as CEO of Healthcare Bluebook and GuideWell Connect. Before GuideWell, Paddock served in upper-level management positions with Cota, Homecare Homebase, MedeAnalytics, and MEDecision, among others. Paddock graduated from Franklin University with an MBA and from the University at Buffalo with a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering.


22. Sung-Dae Hong
Chief Executive Officer, Statlab

Sung-Dae Hong is the Chief Executive Officer and Board Member of Statlab, a developer and manufacturer of anatomic pathology consumables, as well as labeling and tracking equipment for clinical and research laboratories. Hong brings over 20 years of global strategy and general management experience to StatLab.

Most recently, Hong served as president of laboratory products at Thermo Fisher Scientific. Before that, he held multiple vice president and general manager roles and began his tenure at Thermo Fisher as the head of corporate strategy. Hong spent the first decade of his career as a management consultant at Bain & Company in Australia, Korea, and the U.S., where he led projects on growth strategy, mergers and acquisitions, and commercial due diligence. 

Hong graduated from MIT Sloan School of Management with an MBA and from the University of Melbourne with a bachelor’s degree in commerce.


23. Chakra Devalla
Chief Executive Officer, TekVizion

Chakra Devalla is the Chief Executive Officer of TekVizion. Devalla co-founded and built TekVizion into an industry leader for collaboration certifications and automation. With a complete focus on helping customers improve the quality and reliability of their collaboration solutions, TekVizion is a trusted partner for many of the largest companies because of its success in accelerating product innovation in the collaboration space. Some of these companies include Zoom, Microsoft, and Cisco. 

Before joining Tekvizion, Devalla was a manager of the development of Ulticom. Earlier in his career, he worked with American Airlines as a senior software engineer. Devalla earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and a master’s degree in computer science from the University of Texas, Arlington.


24. Karen Borg
Co-Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director, Somnomed North America

Karen Borg is the Co-Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of Somnomed North America, a global leader in oral appliances for the treatment of sleep apnea. Clinical research, continuous innovation, and instituting medical manufacturing standards have resulted in SomnoMed® becoming the market leader in oral device therapy for Obstructive Sleep Apnea(OSA).

Borg has led businesses within Johnson & Johnson Medical and ResMed, as well as leading health and industry organizations for the state and federal government. Most recently, she was the chief executive officer of Catholic Healthcare, one of the largest aged care providers in Australia. Borg’s core capability is in the sales and marketing of medical devices. She has had a strong track record of accelerating growth internationally in the US, Europe, and APAC. Borg graduated from the University of Sydney.


25. Bradley Killinger
Chief Executive Officer, Sapience

Bradley Killinger began his professional career 28 years ago. Today, he is the Chief Executive Officer of Sapience. Sapience Analytics delivers a workforce analytics platform that includes automated workforce data collection, data integration and orchestration, interactive visualizations, data democratization, and decision-making insights to amplify a business’s ability to optimize its human capital investments and outcomes.

Killinger first got his start in 1996 as a client solutions executive at IBM. From there, he went on to Agentis Software, before eventually rising to senior vice president of sales and marketing at SureID, Inc., his most recent position before joining Sapience. Killinger graduated from the University of Washington with a bachelor’s in economic geography.