Making a Splash

Comerica Inc. has wasted no time making a name for itself in Dallas, where the former Detroit banking company moved its headquarters a few months ago.The company is sponsoring the city's New Year's Day parade and has tapped former Dallas Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith, to be grand marshal. Mr. Smith will lead on Dec. 31 what will be known as the Comerica Bank New Year's Parade. Comerica, meanwhile, has also signed a multiyear agreement to sponsor the Dallas Summer Musicals, a series of Broadway-style shows.

Mr. Smith played 14 years in the National Football League, where he won three Super Bowl titles with the Cowboys and was named to the Pro Bowl eight times.

Most recently he gained fame when he and dance partner Cheryl Burke won the "Dancing with the Stars" contest on television in 2006. He now is an analyst for ESPN on the NFL Countdown and Monday Night Countdown shows.

Daughter Departs

Downey Financial Corp.'s executive ranks are to become less of a family affair at yearend.Cheryl Olson, the daughter of Maurice McAlister, chairman of the Newport Beach, Calif. company, is to retire then from her posts as a director and vice chairman of Downey and its bank, Downey Savings and Loan Association, the company said Thursday.

In a press release, Mr. McAlister said Daniel Rosenthal would succeed her as vice chairman of both Downey Financial and the bank while remaining chief executive officer of the holding company. Mr. Rosenthal joined Downey in 1975 and has been a director since 1998.

Mr. McAlister said his daughter is leaving to "focus her efforts on the management of the McAlister family's private charitable foundation." Ms. Olson was appointed to the bank's board in 1987 and became a director of the holding company in 1994, when it was formed. Her contributions to Downey were many, and she might return to the company, Mr. McAlister said.

Board Shrinks

Wachovia Corp. has announced that its only remaining outside director from the business community of Winston-Salem, N.C., will retire at yearend.John Whitaker Jr., 70, reached the Charlotte company's mandatory retirement age this year. Winston-Salem was home to the old Wachovia before First Union Corp. bought it in 2001 and took its name. Mr. Whitaker, the chairman and chief executive of Inmar Inc., an information services company, joined the old Wachovia board in 1996. A Wachovia spokeswoman said there is no immediate plan to replace Mr. Whitaker. With his departure, only four members of the company's 17-member board are from the old Wachovia.

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