Executive Alert is a weekly report on career moves, awards and recognition and other news about top executives from across the Show-Me State.
After serving for four years as the superintendent of the Kansas City Public Schools, Stephen Green is joining the Dekalb County School District in Atlanta. Green will serve as the superintendent at the Dekalb district, which is the third-largest district in Georgia with nearly 99,000 students and 13,400 employees.
Jim Brasunas, executive director of St. Louis’ IT Entrepreneur Network, has announced his retirement. Brasunas, 66, will step away from his role at the entrepreneurial support organization at the end of this month. After Brasunas’ departure, ITEN’s director of operations, Francis Chmelir, will fill the vacant spot until the organization finds a permanent replacement.
Drew Madsen is the new president of St. Louis-based Panera Bread. In his new role, he will oversee company’s cafe business. Madsen was previously a senior executive at Darden Restaurants and Olive Garden.
Dr. Mark Steele was named the new chief operating officer at Truman Medical Centers in Kansas City. Steele, who has worked at Truman for more than 15 years and has been serving as chief medical officer, will continue in his role as CMO while adding the COO title.
Bob Petersen, CEO of the American Royal Association, will retire this year. Petersen, who has served as the Kansas City organization’s president and CEO since 2010, said he will use his remaining time in the role to ensure a smooth transition as the American Royal’s World Series of Barbecue moves to its new home at the Truman Sports Complex.
HNTB, a Kansas City-based engineering and architecture firm, announced Tom Ellis as the new president of its 11-state Central Division, which is comprised of 14 offices. Ellis will fill the spot vacated by Tom O’Grady, who in April was named the company’s corporate president. Ellis previously led the company’s Houston office.
Trio of veteran litigators have joined hands to form a new law firm. Richard Elias, Greg Gutzler and Tamara Spicer have associated their new ventures with their last names: Elias Gutzler Spicer. The experts have previously worked together at Korein Tillery and Husch Blackwell. The newly formed law association will focus on complex civil and commercial cases across the U.S.
St. Louis radio personality and attorney Jane Dueker has joined Spencer Fane as “of counsel” to the firm’s government affairs group. She joins the firm following a stint as a government affairs attorney at Stinson Leonard Street. Previously, Dueker served as the chief of staff for Missouri Gov. Bob Holden from 2003 to 2004. In March, radio station KMOX named her as the main fill-in for its weekday personalities.
Awards and honors
Sprint Corp. CEO Marcelo Claure has been named to a CNBC list of the top Hispanic entrepreneurs in the U.S. Nearly 20 years before he became the chief executive of Overland Park, Kan.-based Sprint last August, Claure founded Brightstar Corp, a mobile device distributor. Since its establishment in 1997, the firm has expanded into 50 countries, and it now does $7 billion in annual revenue.
Suzanne Sitherwood, the president and CEO of the St. Louis-based Laclede Group, received this year’s John H. Poelker Levee Stone award, which recognizes achievements in improving downtown St. Louis. This spring, Laclede moved its headquarters into a downtown building that it spent $46.4 million refurbishing.