Mike Copeland: Hurts Donut in Waco; Law firm turns 100; Leadership Waco

Hurts Donut Co., a growing regional chain known for large doughnuts with offbeat toppings, is bringing its act to Waco.

Richard West and his wife, Kathryn, confirmed they have secured franchising rights for this area, “and we plan to open a store in Waco as soon as possible,” he said in an email response to an inquiry.

“The rumor is true,” West said. “Hurts Donut is coming to Waco, and we are thrilled to become a part of the Waco community. We are currently looking for a location.”

He said fans and followers of Hurts Donut Co. can receive updates on a Facebook page titled Hurts Donut-Waco Texas.

Hurts has grown from a single location to a presence in eight states and recently unveiled a location in the Dallas-Fort Worth suburb of Frisco.

Pechacek joins FNB

The First National Bank of Central Texas has announced the hiring of Rachel Pechacek as senior vice president of the Woodway-Hewitt banking center, according to a news release from spokesman Dan Ingham.

Pechacek, who has 13 years of experience in commercial and real estate lending, received a bachelor’s degree in real estate-finance from the University of Texas at Arlington and her MBA from Tarleton State University.

“We are very excited to have a senior lender with Rachel’s experience, education and community mindedness join our First Family,” said Joe Barrow, executive vice president of FNB of Central Texas. “Rachel is a proven leader who knows how to assist her customers in meeting their financial goals. We are fortunate to have her.”

Pechacek has served on the board of the Waco Family Abuse Center, was a member of the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce’s 25th Leadership Waco class and took part in the chamber’s Total Resource Campaign.

Law firm turns 100

The Waco-based law firm Naman, Howell, Smith & Lee is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, and the Texas House of Representatives on Thursday passed a resolution honoring the firm founded in 1917.

The firm has 72 lawyers, active and retired, and has expanded to include offices in Austin, Fort Worth and San Antonio in addition to Waco, according to a news release from attorney Roy L. Barrett.

Now the 44th largest law firm in Texas, Naman, Howell, Smith & Lee in 2015 was named one of the top-ranked law offices in the country. It achieved that distinction by having at least one-third of its attorneys achieve an “AV Preeminent Rating” from the Martindale-Hubbell rating agency. In its rating system, “A” stands for legal ability and “V” stands for very high ethical standards. Barrett said in his release that only 2,466 firms were selected nationally to receive this honor out of 254,000 reviewed.

Cases and clients of note for the law firm include:

  • Coryell County landowners, who in the 1970s opposed expansion of Fort Hood. The Army reportedly wanted to acquire an additional 59,500 acres, but owners of farms, ranches and homes said Fort Hood was not fully utilizing the 217,000 acres it already had. After a long legal battle, the General Accounting Office, which is the official investigative arm of Congress, sided with the landowners, Barrett said in a summary.
  • The city of Waco in its legal action against Erath County dairies in an effort to clean up Lake Waco.
  • Baylor University, which in the 1990s changed its charter to guard against a takeover by any special focus group such as the fundamentalist movement in the Baptist General Convention of Texas.
  • Central Texas communities, including Gatesville, Hillsboro, Hewitt, Robinson, Woodway, Bellmead, Temple, Killeen, Clifton, Meridian, Hubbard and Nolanvile, “just to name a few,” Barrett said
  • .

Leadership Waco

The Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce has named its 34th Leadership Waco class. The program is a 10-month leadership development experience in which participants learn about such topics as History Day, Serving Others, We The People, Economic Development, Tools for Leaders, Healthcare, Education, Tourism and Visions for the Future.

Class members include: Tony Acosta, Douglass Nissan; John Calaway, Mission Waco; Lynsey Castillo, La Fiesta Restaurant & Cantina; Jacob Cates, Community Bank & Trust; Sydney Cox, Texas Tech University, Waco; Christopher Dahman, Avila Apartments; Nick Deaver, American Bank; and Clinton Dennard, Tarleton State University, Waco.

Others are Rene Duffy, Lamar Advertising; Eva Gregely, Veterans Affairs; Keith Kusler, Greater Waco Chamber; Christopher Lancaster, Baylor Scott & White Medical Center, Hillcrest; Domingo Lopez, Englander dZignPak; Keith Maynard, Andrews CPA; Nicholas Messerall, The Behringer Group; Becca McCormack, Refine 31; and Clark McCormack, Baylor IMG.

Also, Ashley Norris, Providence Foundation; Timothy Payne, American Amicable Life Insurance Co. of Texas; Angela Ragan, Jaynes, Reitmeier, Boyd & Therrell; Joe Rivera, Naman, Howell, Smith & Lee; Clint Savage, Extraco Banks, Joel Shields, Scanes & Routh LLP; Greg Shropshire, Pattillo Brown & Hill; and Lori Young, TFNB Your Bank for Life.

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