D CEO Recognizes UNT Leaders and Alumni Among The Dallas 500

Alumni and leaders from UNT and the UNT System were recognized by D CEO magazine as the Dallas-Fort Worth area's top business executives in the 2017 edition of The Dallas 500 publication. Several also were recognized in the 2016 list. The special, annual standalone edition celebrates the most influential business leaders in the North Texas region.

Here's a look at UNT and UNT System leaders included on the 2017 list:


  • Neal SmatreskNeal Smatresk, president, UNT
    Smatresk came to UNT in 2014 when he was named the 16th president in UNT's history, marking his second university presidency. He has nearly 35 years of experience in higher education.

UNT System:

  • Lee JacksonLee Jackson, chancellor, UNT System
    Jackson became the UNT System chancellor in 2002 and has guided the system to incredible growth. He spent 20 years in government before coming to UNT.
  • Brint RyanBrint Ryan ('88, '88 M.S.), UNT System Board of Regents chairman; chairman and CEO, Ryan Inc.
    Ryan was appointed to the UNT System Board of Regents in August 2009 and has served as the chairman since 2013. He is the CEO of Ryan Inc., a professional tax services firm based in Dallas.
  • Michael WilliamsMichael Williams, president, UNT Health Science Center
    Williams was named president of the UNT Health Science Center in 2013 after more than 20 years in medicine as an anesthesiologist. He received his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree from the UNT Health Science Center in 1981.


  • Mark Duebner ('96 M.P.A.), director of aviation, city of Dallas
    As the director of aviation for the city of Dallas, Duebner oversees operations at the Dallas Love Field Airport. He has helped with Love Field's expansion efforts since the repeal of the Wright Amendment in 2013.
  • Robert EarlyRobert Earley ('83), president and CEO, JPS Health Network
    Earley leads the JPS Health Network, a nearly $1 billion healthcare system in Tarrant County. He is a former state congressman, serving in the Texas House of Representatives from 1984 to 1995.
  • Fehmi KarahanFehmi Karahan ('81 M.B.A.), president and CEO, The Karahan Companies
    Karahan, now president and CEO of The Karahan Companies, came to the U.S. seeking a master's degree. He eventually received that degree at UNT and has gone on to lead development projects like The Shops at Legacy in Plano.
  • Christina KitchensChristina Kitchens ('99, '05 M.B.A.), group managing director of national energy finance, East West Bank
    Kitchens joined East West Bank, one of the largest public banks in the U.S., which is expanding operations in Texas. She also is a founding member of the Texas Energy Update and Women's Energy Network.
  • Bryan Marsh ('82), vice president of global asset management, Digital Realty
    Marsh has served as vice president and portfolio manager for Digital Realty, a company involved in datacenter acquisition, ownership and operation, since 2009.
  • Shawn Parsley, president, Texas Health Physicians Group
    Parsley graduated from the UNT Health Science Center in Fort Worth and has served as president of the Texas Health Physicians Group since 2013. He received his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree from the UNT Health Science Center in 1994.
  • Kyle Rogers ('04), risk manager, HollyFrontier Cos.
    Rogers serves as risk manager for HollyFrontier Cos., an independent petroleum refiner and marketer with operations throughout the mid-continent, southwestern and Rocky Mountain regions.
  • Fredrick SavelsberghFredrick Savelsbergh ('82), CFO, Baylor Scott & White Health
    Savelsbergh earned his bachelor's degree in accounting and economics and went on to become the CFO of Baylor Scott & White Health, the largest nonprofit health system in Texas.
  • Debra von StorchDebra von Storch ('82), partner and Southwest region strategic growth markets leader, EY
    Von Storch studied journalism at UNT before changing her major to finance and going on to become partner and Southwest region strategic growth markets leader at professional services firm EY.
  • Jim Walton ('78), president and CEO, Genesis Physicians Group
    Walton leads the Genesis Physicians Group, an independent practice association with 1,400 physicians. He earned his B.S. in biology  from UNT and his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree from the UNT Health Science Center in 1982.<
  • Gabriella Draney ZielkeGabriella Draney Zielke ('02), CEO, Tech Wildcatters
    Zielke is the CEO of Tech Wildcatters, a top seed accelerator for technology startups. She also co-founded and is a partner in Health Wildcatters, a healthcare-based seed accelerator.


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