__MAIN_TEXT__

Page 1

FINANCIAL

E XECUTIVE AWAR DS The Top M&A Deals and Dealmakers

A former small-town anchorman, Nexstar Media Group’s Perry Sook owns more television stations than anyone else in the country.

Up Next: reinventing local news.

Cover_0520.indd 2

4/8/20 1:39 PM


Sophisticated Methods. Solutions Driven.

Whitley Penn is dedicated to providing unique and sophisticated solutions for your business, regardless of your financial environment. Our significant experience in comprehensive planning, combined with our strong work ethic, enables our professionals to deliver success through a systematic evidencebased approach to solving problems. Through the lens of your Whitley Penn Advisors, we will help you put the pieces together to achieve your financial goals.

whitleypenn.com

WhitleyPenn.indd 1

4/1/20 11:59 AM


If the y gave blue ribbons for S A F E T Y, Russ woul d take B E S T I N S H OW.

Russ Grunewald Chairman, Safety Committee | Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo

For a quarter century, safety specialist Russ Grunewald has walked the aisles of the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo, inspecting the grounds and preventing accidents. He cares about keeping people safe — and so do we. That’s why we’re proud to be on the job with Russ and 1.5 million other Texans every day of the year. Texas Mutual is changing the way workers’ comp works for you. See Russ ON THE JOB at texasmutual.com/onthejob. © 2 020 Texas Mutual Insurance Company

TexasMutual.indd 1

4/1/20 11:57 AM


WWW.GILLEYSDALLAS.COM

214.421.2021 • INFO@GILLEYSDALLAS.COM • 1135 S LAMAR ST, DALLAS TX 75215

Gilleys.indd 2

4/2/20 3:26 PM


Corporate Parties • Special Events Concerts • Weddings • Trade Shows & More Gilley’s Dallas is a one-stop-shop for any and every genre of event. Our 7 different venues (9 rooms) in our 90,000 square foot facility can host events of all sizes and can be executed by our on-staff event planners who do the work for you. Contact us today for more information!

Gilleys.indd 3

4/2/20 3:26 PM


Our only vested interest is our clients. At RGT, our approach to wealth management is as personal as your hopes

and dreams for the future. As an independent firm, we create tailored plans based Fee only and independent, on objective guidance. And we believe in taking care of you personally. RGT is committed to putting needs first. advisors Of course, we also treat our teamyour members with theOur samewealth care and respect.and

That’s why weFINANCIAL were recentlyPLANNER named oneTM ofprofessionals the best places to work by the CERTIFIED employ a collaborative, Dallas Business Journal. integrated approach to help you live comfortably today, while protecting your We invite to learn how rewarding a wealth advisory relationship can be. legacy for you tomorrow. Contact us to arrange a face-to-face meeting today.

C E LE B RATING

rgtadvisors.com

3RGT150006 DCEO RS Ad_03ef.indd 1 RGT.indd 2

•

214.360.7000

30 YEARS

O F S E RVI C E

1/14/16 1:50 PM 4/2/20 4:11 PM


CONTENTS M AY 2 0 2 0

VO LU M E 1 3 | I S S U E 1 2

A LOOK BACK The Fincher Building at SMU opened in 1954.

P H OTO G R A P H Y C O U R T E S Y O F S M U

32

DCEOMAGAZINE.COM

TOC_0520.indd 5

36

42

44

The Life and Times of a Media Magnate

100 Years in the Making

Resetting the M&A Marketplace

Financial Executives Awards

A former small-town anchorman, Nexstar Media Group’s Perry Sook owns more television stations than anyone else in the country. Up next: reinventing local news.

The fortunes of SMU’s century-old business school and North Texas companies are inextricably linked.

Activity dipped last year, but things were shaping up to improve in 2020. Then came COVID-19.

Expert guidance provided by CFOs and other financial executives has never been more important to North Texas companies. Here, we recognize some of the region’s best.

story by TOM STEPHENSON photography by SEAN BERRY

story by BARRY SHLACHTER

story by BRANDON J. CALL

story by CHRISTINE PEREZ

M AY 2 0 2 0

005

4/4/20 9:49 AM


CONTENTS

10 EDITOR’S NOTE

DOSSIER 1 7 N E E D TO K N OW R AG A N BY H E A T H E R H A W K I N S , A E R O S PAC E BY J O N A T H A N Z I Z Z O , A S L A M C O U R T E S Y O F F A R U K H A S L A M

How North Texas business leaders are rising to the occasion and weathering the COVID-19 storm. 22 LEADERSHIP

Alex Wilcox, JetSuite and JSX 24 MEET THE 500

Sakina Foster, Haynes and Boone 2 4 L O C A L LY S O U R C E D

Theresa Motter, Van’s Kitchen 2 6 AV I AT I O N

Raj and Suresh Narayanan, Aerospace Quality Research and Development 2 8 O N T H E TA B L E

Jerry Merriman, Merriman Anderson Architects

FIELD NOTES 53 TOUGHEST CHALLENGE

Wanda Gierhart, Cinemark  5 4 H E A LT H C A R E

Physician practices are consolidating under health systems and through private equity, but is it good for patients and payers? 56 ON TOPIC

26

Ran Holman of Cushman & Wakefield, Bob Pryor of NTT Data, and Malcolm Holland of Veritex Bank on successful post-merger strategies.

OFF DUTY

58 THOUGHT LEADER

61 PURSUITS

EarthX Founder Trammell S. Crow says the best environmental solutions will come from market-driven, business-led innovations.

64 ART OF STYLE

David Coale, Lynn Pinker Cox & Hurst 

70

 Tanya Ragan, Wildcat Management  6 6 W E L L T R AV E L E D : N E W YO R K C I T Y

Shelly Stein, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits 6 8 G R E AT E R G O O D

Evelyn Torres, Solaris Technologies 68 FIRST JOB

F I N A N CI A L

Susan Salka of AMN Healthcare; Emmitt Smith of E Smith Advisors, and Carlos Vaz of CONTI

64 006

TOC_0520.indd 6

M AY 2 0 2 0

70 ROOTS

Farukh Aslam, Sinclair Holdings  72 ENDMARK

Herbert Marcus, Neiman Marcus

E XECUTIVE AWAR DS The Top M&A Deals and Dealmakers

A former small-town anchorman, Nexstar Media Group’s Perry Sook owns more television stations than anyone else in the country.

Up Next: reinventing local news.

ON THE COVER:   Perry Sook, photographed at Nexstar Media Group headquarters by Sean Berry.

DCEOMAGAZINE.COM

4/6/20 2:47 PM


IN A COMPETITIVE WORLD, THE QUAILTY OF YOUR TALENT DETERMINES WHETHER YOU WIN IN YOUR BUSINESS

BLNelson Group EXECUTIVE SEARCH CONSULTANTS

BLNelson Group draws on their proven Business Intelligence Technologies, Databases, and Processes. We achieve unparalleled results in Finding, Recruiting, and Placing the Best Talent. We bring expertise and experience in finding the “Right People” for our clients. INDUSTRIES SERVED Financial Professional Services Banking Construction Technology Health Care Not for Profits Private Equity Portfolio Management “C” Suite Executives

· · · · · · · ·

“People are not your greatest asset. The “right people” are!” -Blaine L. Nelson, President & CEO

14160 Dallas Parkway, Suite 605 Dallas, TX 75254 469.965.1600 | info@blnelsongroup.com www.blnelsongroup.com

BLNelson_0520.indd 1

4/6/20 2:46 PM


P U B L I S H E R Gillea Allison

EDITORIAL EDITOR Christine Perez MANAGING EDITOR Will Maddox ONLINE MANAGING EDITOR Bianca R. Montes ASSOCIATE EDITOR Kelsey J. Vanderschoot EDITORIAL PROJECTS MANAGER Amanda Salerno CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Richard Alm, Brandon J. Call, W. Michael Cox EDITORIAL INTERNS Sooha Ahn, Audrey Dedrick

ART DESIGN DIRECTOR Hamilton Hedrick ART MANAGER Morganne Stewart STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Elizabeth Lavin JUNIOR DIGITAL DESIGNER Emily Olson

A DV E R T I S I N G ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Rhett Taylor ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER OF PROFESSIONAL SERVICES Kym Rock Davidson SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Cami Burke, Haley Muse BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATE Sabrina Roy MANAGING EDITOR OF SPECIAL SECTIONS Jennifer Sander Hayes DIGITAL REVENUE DIRECTOR Tracy Albertson DIGITAL AD OPERATIONS MANAGER Riley Hill

MARKETING & EVENTS EVENTS MANAGER Corinne Sullivan BRAND MANAGER Carly Mann MARKETING ASSOCIATE Caitlin Petrocchi ADVERTISING ART DIRECTOR Katie Garza

AU D I E N C E D E V E LO P M E N T DIRECTOR Amanda Hammer COORDINATOR Sarah Nelson DATA ENTRY SPECIALIST Jae Chung RETAIL STRATEGY MANAGER Steve Crabb MERCHANDISER David Truesdell AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT INTERN Blythe Bonan

PRODUCTION DIRECTOR John Gay MANAGER Pamela Ashby DIGITAL IMAGING SPECIALIST Natalie Goff PRODUCTION INTERN Ramisha Sattar

BUSINESS CONTROLLER Debbie Travis ACCOUNTING MANAGER Sabrina LaTorre STAFF ACCOUNTANT Lesley Killen BILLING & COLLECTIONS COORDINATOR Jessica Hernandez HR/PAYROLL COORDINATOR Esmeralda Hernandez IT TECHNICIAN Luan Aliji

WEB EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Matt Goodman ONLINE MANAGING EDITOR Shawn Shinneman WEB INTERNS Piper Cardwell, Cecilia Lenzen WEB EDITORIAL INTERNS Cecilia Lenzen

MAIL 750 N. Saint Paul St., Ste. 2100, Dallas, TX 75201 The magazine assumes no responsibility for the return of unsolicited manuscripts. WEBSITE www.dmagazine.com/publications/d-ceo MAIN OFFICE 214-939-3636 | ADVERTISING 214-939-3636 x 128 | REPRINTS 214-939-3636 SUBSCRIPTION SERVICES For immediate assistance, call 214-939-3636 x 232. For other inquiries, e-mail customerservice@dmagazine.us. SUBSCRIPTIONS 11 issues for $54 in the United States, possessions, APO and FPO; $70 per 11 issues elsewhere. Please provide old and new addresses and enclose latest mailing label when inquiring about your subscription. For custom publishing inquiries, call 214-540-0113.

D M A G A Z I N E PA R T N E R S CHAIRMAN Wick Allison EDITOR-IN-CHIEF AND CEO Christine Allison PRESIDENT Gillea Allison CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER Thomas L. Earnshaw CHIEF OF STAFF Rachel Gill

008

M AY 2 0 2 0

Staffbox_0520.indd 8

3/29/20 8:34 AM


PlainsCapital.indd 1

4/1/20 11:52 AM


LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

Staying Connected in Isolated Times

PLANNING for

The sense of unity and can-do spirit that’s so prevalent in North Texas will help us emerge even stronger.

UNPLANNED EVENTS 98% of business owners don’t know what their business is worth, yet 90% are planning to fund their retirement with the proceeds. The statistics quoted are supplied by Biz Equity

Robert Gardner, CEPA®, CFEd® Founding Partner

Visit our website for free business valuation

gardnerwallace.com rgardner @ gardnerwallace.com 14135 Midway Road Suite G110 Addison, TX 75001

010

M AY 2 0 2 0

EdNote_0520.indd 10

P H OTO G R A P H Y BY E L I Z A B E T H L A V I N

972-833-2565

when wick allison launched this magazine 14 years ago, his goal was to provide a way for local executives to connect. Even back then, North Texas was seeing strong relocation activity, bringing a lot of newcomers to town. At the same time, more regional companies were going global, creating a centrifugal force that pulled the attention of many business leaders outward. Here’s how Wick described things in his first publisher’s note in May 2006: “We met with scores of CEOs while planning this magazine, and their biggest complaint was a feeling of being disconnected, a loss of the sense of place. They wanted to know how the local economy is doing. They wanted to know about the new ideas and innovations percolating around town. Most of all, they wanted to know about each other.” I’m proud of the way D CEO continues to pursue Wick’s original mission. In these days of physical isolation, staying connected has never been more important. Local executives have come to trust us to tell their personal stories, helping us all get to know them better. In this issue (produced entirely remotely), you’ll read about Perry Sook’s plan to reinvent local news, transformational changes Bobby Lyle made at SMU’s business school, what Emmitt Smith and AMN Healthcare CEO Susan Salka learned from their first jobs, and, just for fun, how Dallas attorney David Coale became a tarot card reader. Most important, though, is a five-page package called “Meeting the Moment” that starts on page 17. It pulls together business resources for weathering the COVID-19 storm, plus leadership tips from Mark Cuban, investment advice from Debra Brennan Tagg, and much more. The lead story is about the remarkable way the Dallas-Fort Worth business community has jumped in to help. It’s precisely this sense of unity and can-do spirit that will power us through these unprecedented times, and help us emerge even stronger.

Christine Perez Editor

DCEOMAGAZINE.COM

4/6/20 10:36 AM


Do you have the foresight to envision solutions beyond problems? Here’s to the unstoppable entrepreneurs who find ways to create a better world.

2020 distinguished panel of judges

Lance Crosby

Alex Danza

Dan Flaherty

Chris MacFarland

Teresa Mackintosh

Raj Malik

Jamie O’Banion

Vanessa Ogle

StackPath

Our independent panel of judges in the Southwest program understands what it takes to be an unstoppable entrepreneur who contributes long-term value to our world. We thank them for their time in selecting the next class of honorees!

Vari

ey.com/swreoy

Trintech

BeautyBio

Vonlane

Masergy

Bioworld

Enseo

Blake Walker

Founded and produced by

Arcis Golf

Nationally sponsored by

© 2020 Ernst & Young LLP. All Rights Reserved. ED none

EY.indd 1

4/1/20 11:50 AM


AGENDA

Bill Shaddock

Dean Flowers, Marijke Lantz

De’On Collins, De’Juan Collins

Preston Lynn, Hartley Lynn

d ceo hosted its 2020 class of power Brokers at a celebratory event on Feb. 26, featuring spectacular views from Bank of America Plaza, which has hosted the event since its inception 12 years ago. The exclusive celebration was attended by more than 200 top commercial real estate pros. Editor Christine Perez and Real Estate Editor Bianca R. Montes revealed the cover of the March issue, featuring identical twins De’Juan Collins and De’On Collins. Thank you to our title sponsors, Capital Title Commercial and Bank of America Plaza, and our signature sponsors, Allen Economic Development and Downtown Dallas Inc.

Hayden Rasmussen, Derek Anthony

Lesley Leahy, Debi Carter, Lynn Dowdle

012

M AY 2 0 2 0

PP_PowerBrokers_0520.indd 12

Russ Johnson, Robert Blount, Harlan Davis, Burson Holman

Bob Ingram, Bob Shibuya

Mara Alyson, Tracy McMahon, Vika Good Kim Butler, Phil Puckett

David Ditchman, Tamela Thornton, Will Haynes

P H OTO G R A P H Y BY B R E T R E D M A N

D CEO Power Brokers 2020

Nora Hogan, David Ellis

DCEOMAGAZINE.COM

3/31/20 8:05 AM


Munsch.indd 1

4/3/20 1:37 PM


AGENDA

Sucheta Parkhi-Gokhale, Shay Gokhale, Roger Waggoner

Haley Hullett, Andre Ferrari

The Luminary

TREC’s Young Guns Casino Night the real estate council hosted more than 500 young professionals at its annual Young Guns Casino Night on March 5. Held at The Luminary in Dallas’ West End Historic District, the event helps support TREC Foundation’s neighborhood revitalization partnerships in the Dallas community. TREC is grateful to everyone who attended and participated in its raffle, members of the Casino Night Committee, in-kind donors, and sponsors. Proceeds from the event benefited the 2020 Young Guns Foundation Project to construct the We Creation Innovation Center alongside St. Philip’s School and Community Center, as part of the ongoing Dallas Catalyst Project.

Bill Cawley, Julie Saqueton, Patrick Henning, Tara Harandi, Felicia Pierson

Raffle prize winner Alena Savera

Jake McCall, Ryan Garcia

014

M AY 2 0 2 0

PP_TREC_0520.indd 14

TREC Chairman Bill Cawley

P H OTO G R A P H Y BY S E E P I N K I N C .

Raffle prize winner Harsh Agarwal

TREC’s Associate Leadership Council Class of 2020

DCEOMAGAZINE.COM

3/31/20 8:11 AM


RSM.indd 1

4/1/20 11:53 AM


Ways to Help:

Our Community Response to COVID-19 Join Communities Foundation of Texas in supporting the critical work of local nonprofits.

Donate: North Texas Community Response Fund Your donation will support organizations working with people and communities most affected by COVID-19, such as: individuals and families needing access to food, housing, healthcare, and basic needs; vulnerable populations including seniors and those experiencing homelessness; and supplementing lost wages and/or housing costs.

Support Our Entire North Texas Community All North Texas nonprofits are impacted by COVID-19 and need our help regardless of if they are on the front lines. Please continue or increase direct support for these key partners - especially those having to cancel programs, performances, events and fundraisers. Please contact us if we can help connect your company to nonprofts in need.

Donate Now: CFTexas.org/COVID19 Contact | Giving@CFTexas.org | 214.750.4222

CommunitiesFoundation.indd 1

4/1/20 11:49 AM


M AY 2 0 2 0

DOSSIER TRENDS

to

WATC H

a n d

NORTH TEXAS NEWSMAKERS

YOU NEED TO KNOW

Meeting the Moment

SHUTTERSTOCK

Let’s face it. The last several weeks have been surreal. There’s only one way we’re all going to get through this: together.

DCEOMAGAZINE.COM

D_NTK_COVID19_0520.indd 17

M AY 2 0 2 0

017

4/4/20 10:17 PM


DOSSIER

A Sudden Change of Plans How North Texas business leaders are rising to the occasion and helping combat the coronavirus crisis. story by BIANCA R. MONTES

in short order, companies across the region pivoted in response to COVID-19. With several plants on pause, Toyota Motor North America quickly shifted gears to use its 3D printing capabilities to provide much-needed face shields to medical workers on the front lines of the global pandemic. The Plano-based auto manufacturer also collaborated with medical device companies to expedite the manufacturing of ventilators and respirators, and it made a $500,000 donation to the United Way’s relief efforts during the pandemic. “Toyota’s core value has always been to contribute to society in meaningful ways beyond providing mobility for our customers,” said Ted Ogawa, Toyota’s incoming CEO. “With our plants idled and our dealers focused on servicing customers, we are eager to contribute our expertise and know-how in order to help quickly bring to market the medical supplies and equipment needed to combat the COVID crisis.” Other local companies, large and small, also changed course to help with supply shortages. Dallas-based luxury retailer Neiman Marcus partnered with JOANN to make masks, gowns, and scrubs. And West Dallas nail salon Pink Pedi, an eco-friendly, toxin-free salon run by Lucy Dang and Brandon Lyon, used ingredients and packaging they had on hand to create sanitizers and face masks. Dallas-based architecture firm HKS jumped in to help its hotel and hospital clients convert underutilized space into health facilities in COVID-19 hotspots. In the span of just two continued on page 21

018

M AY 2 0 2 0

D_NTK_COVID19_0520.indd 18

It’s hard to grasp just how much has changed in a few short weeks. The global pandemic we’re all experiencing is unprecedented in its scope and severity. There are no past crises that match the unique experience we’re all living through. But people in DallasFort Worth don’t shy away from a challenge. And that’s especially true of the North Texas business community. D CEO editors asked experts and executives from across the region to share their advice and strategies for weathering the COVID-19 storm. Read on and be informed­—and inspired. by WILL MADDOX, BIANCA R. MONTES, CHRISTINE PEREZ, and KELSEY J. VANDERSCHOOT

ON THE JOB

A New Era in Workplace Safety It’s important to understand the differences between disinfection and decontamination.

When it comes to workplace cleanliness, a standard janitorial service used to be all that was required. But as the highly contagious and deadly coronavirus continues to spread, new measures have to be considered. The first step is understanding the difference between disinfection (no contamination) and decontamination (when there is a possible or known contaminant). Organizations also need to ensure safety for people who return to work once things are up and running again. “Nobody has pandemic plans written into their safety management system,” says Sean Spaziani, senior vice president of environmental products and services company Safety-Kleen and its parent, Clean Harbors. “We are getting a heavy amount of fear, and our call center is inundated. The entire environment has changed.” Richardson-based Safety-Kleen, which was purchased by waste management company Clean Harbors in 2012, has found itself in a position to educate and consult. “The goal is to deal with trepidation in the community by making sure business leaders are prepared,” Spaziani says.

DCEOMAGAZINE.COM

4/6/20 10:13 AM


NEED TO KNOW: COVID-19

LEADERSHIP

Mark Cuban on Crisis Management 1. Communicate with employees, customers and all stakeholders. Everyone is scared. The more you communicate, the greater the understanding of each other’s

circumstances you will have. This will pay off on the other side. 2. Be transparent. No one wants to be lied to during an emergency. You can’t tell your employees and customers that all is well when you know they aren’t. 3. Listen. Your employees have the closest

connections to fellow employees and customers. When you are open, honest, and communicating with them, they may come up with solutions to help turn the corner. 4. Remember that perfection is the enemy of success. We don’t know how or when things will

end; don’t let it paralyze you. Be willing to make the best decisions you can, communicate as honestly and directly as you can, and explain why you think this is the best way to go. No one is expecting perfection; they are expecting leadership.

CONTINUITY

Preparing for Aftershocks How to manage cash to stay afloat and formulate a business plan for an unpredictable future.

It’s difficult for business owners to plan for a future that may include recession, debt, and other significant challenges. “Many times, we’ll see companies get paralyzed with not wanting to make the wrong decision,” says Tom Bibby, advisory partner and U.S. leader in KPMG’s financial restructuring practice. “Be decisive. Act quickly.” Companies should create three or four recovery scenarios and update them weekly, The focus should be on cash management—not profit. Also, form a cash committee to dissect daily transactions and determine which payments to vendors are essential. Weekly budget-to-actual comparisons will help owners identify trends, make adjustments, and use history to clear away some of the fog. It’s also critical to regularly communicate with investors, banks, landlords, lenders, vendors, and staff. “Develop key performance and management indicator packages for stakeholders,” Bibby says. This might include cash receipts, forecasts, planned or considered expense reductions, and cash and liquidity balances. “Those types of things instill confidence,” Bibby says.

The Global Impact A study by YPO found that by mid-March, 95 percent of CEOs worldwide had taken action, including:

68%

67%

64%

PROVIDED REGULAR UPDATES TO EMPLOYEES

SET NEW HEALTH AND SAFETY RULES

CANCELLED MAJOR EVENTS

53%

39%

32%

HALTED COMPANY BUSINESS TRAVEL

REDUCED COSTS

SHIFTED SHORTTERM GOALS

28%

28%

22%

IMPLEMENTED REMOTE WORKING

RESEARCHED WAYS TO INNOVATE

STOPPED RECRUITING

MONEY

Debra Brennan Tagg on Investment Strategies DCEOMAGAZINE.COM

D_NTK_COVID19_0520.indd 19

“We have been practicing a rotational workfrom-home policy for over a year. That helped a lot—although we didn’t realize what we were practicing for.” OS SA FI S H E R I s t ati o n

01

02

03

04

05

A first step is to assess your risk tolerance. If you are feeling uneasy about recent market declines, you are not alone. While entirely unpleasant, it serves as a great test of whether you have too much risk in your portfolio.

Reaffirm your asset structure. A welldesigned asset base should have layers of risk. If you have the luxury of having an asset base, your various financial goals should be aligned to the timing of when you need to access the funds.

Consider a Roth conversion. Converting Traditional retirement funds (in your IRA or your employer plan) to Roth retirement funds requires that you pay taxes on the amount that you convert.

Dollar-cost average. The idea is that you regularly invest (weekly, monthly, quarterly), regardless of what the market is doing. This is both a form of discipline and a way to take advantage of the natural ebb and flow of the financial markets.

Do not upend your financial plan in the middle of a shortterm (albeit intense) downturn. Longterm money should stay invested for the long-term, and shortterm money should stay conservatively positioned in your bank.

M AY 2 0 2 0

019

4/6/20 10:35 AM


NEED TO KNOW: COVID-19

MANAGEMENT

Bill Cawley on The Way Forward In times like these, I find it comforting to go back to basics. There is so much that none of us can do anything about, no matter how hard we try or how much we worry. Fear is never good and always creates a lack of confidence and a lack of decisiveness. Any problem of this magnitude requires us all to pull together. I am always in a better place when I’m taking action. So, let’s look at the positives and action items we can take:

The community in Dallas is made up of special people with great can-do attitudes. They are generous and resourceful.

Small businesses are the core of the Dallas community; we need to find ways to support them.

This reset gives us all an excellent opportunity to focus on what’s important in life: family! Play board games and take walks together.

Reach out to your neighbors; see if they need anything. Run to the store for an elderly friend.

If you lead a company, be there for your employees. Stay in touch with them and show them you care.

Stay in touch with your customers; relationships will be built, strengthened, and broken in times like these.

Stay home and protect yourself and the health of others. None of the financial fears will matter if you don’t protect your health.

This is a great time to re-evaluate your business. Do a 90-day business plan, so you have clarity as to what to do when this is over.

Look for opportunities to create liquidity: life insurance cash values, and home equity. Also, check into refinancing your home.

With the liquidity the government is putting in the system, recovery will be relatively fast— my guess is by the end of the year.

Some industries, however, will be hit harder than others; their recovery will be slower and somewhat painful.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime event. My advice: Stay the course, be positive, plan for the new economy, and be honest with yourself about where you need to make changes in your company. It’s important to be decisive in times like these. Stay in touch with your team and let them help you with your plan. People are resilient, and we all feel better when we are moving forward.

H E A LT H

John Olajide on Action and Collaboration This is uncharted territory for everyone. Early and bold action is needed. At my company, Axxess, we already had

020

M AY 2 0 2 0

D_NTK_COVID19_0520.indd 20

solutions for emergency preparedness and infection control and are educating our clients on how to use those tools to care for patients. We are focusing on thought leadership and helping the home health industry understand the steps to take. We have had

success with getting CMS to waive guidelines around home care, as providers must be allowed to go in homes in a timely manner. Things are changing moment to moment, and we are doing all we can to support. This is a time for leadership in home health and

in the community. We need to galvanize and mobilize for collective action. Whether in home health or the Dallas region, it’s all about communication and collaboration. It’s also important to stay healthy. We are a lot more connected than we realize.

FR E D P E R PA L L T h e B e c k G ro u p

Resources for Small Businesses During unprecedented times, it can be challenging for small business owners to assess their options and resources. Visit these sites to get help and support. Dallas Regional Chamber. The chamber has put together a comprehensive list of guides and news updates, where small business owners can find information on grant programs, managing uncertainty, disaster and emergency loan applications, and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security act. The city’s survey of the economic impact on Dallas’ small business community is also linked. The DEC Network. The DEC’s new Fast Start Mentor Program matches entrepreneurs with experienced mentors who can help them navigate the business model shifts they may need to make. The DEC also collaborated with 100 organizations to create a central website filled with helpful resources for small businesses. DC EOMAGAZINE.COM

I C O N S : S H U T T E R S T O C K , H E A D S H OT S C O U R T E S Y O F C O M P A N I E S

Dallas is the right place to be when this is over. The city is at the top of the list for every company that is considering relocation.

“It is amazing how the industry is coming together in an all-out effort to keep people safe while still getting important work done. It has been an inspiring thing to see.”

4/6/20 1:06 PM


DOSSIER

INSIGHTS

Executive Perspectives Leaders from various industries share how their companies are responding to the coronavirus crisis.

“Processes that have been in place for years are now being viewed through new lenses, giving us a chance to think outside the box when tackling even the most routine tasks. While this may be a time of great uncertainty, it is also a time of great opportunity. In the face of adversity, there is room for innovation.”

As an essential business, we must stay open, and our plans have delivered to this point. The pleasant surprise has been how well we were equipped to quickly move 80 percent to 90 percent of our sales, service, and client support teams to work from home. It’s business as usual—if there is such a thing in this environment.”

DAV E LE AC H G rey h o u n d

N O R M BAGW E LL B a n k of Texa s

“In addition to pay incentives and increased benefits for our front-line associates, we’ve instituted health and safety precautions and are adhering to social distancing guidelines. Communication is key, and maintaining an open dialogue with people can go a long way as we navigate the situation together.”

“In difficult times, you see the true measure of people’s characters, and I have been proud to see so many companies, CEOs, and organizations stepping up to help others across every industry. It is during times like these that we have the opportunity to show that we may bend, but we will not break.”

S TE V E N WI LLIA M S P e p si C o Fo o d s

N I N A VAC A P i n n a cl e G ro u p

“American ingenuity, determination, and bravado are alive and well. Some things will inevitably be different, but our industry, and most others, will start to bounce back quickly and create jobs and income security for people. Believe me, American business is very ready to get back to work full bore!”

“I’ve seen a reminder of what people can achieve. Our supply chain and manufacturing pivoted quickly to make a product we have never produced: hand sanitizer. It took us less than a week to go from concept to execution—our fastest development time, ever. In a crisis, you see the impossible happen.”

J O H N GATE S JLL

DAVI D H O LL M a r y K ay

FO R M O R E , S E E D M AGZ I N E .CO M/E XE CU TIV E P E R S P E C TIV E S .

DCEOMAGAZINE.COM

D_NTK_COVID19_0520.indd 21

continued from page 18

weeks, hotels, high schools, convention centers, sports facilities, and more were to be converted into makeshift hospitals. HKS also is helping to turn hotel rooms into hospital rooms and ballrooms into wards and establish command centers in facilities that lack such infrastructure. Dallas-based AT&T has a long track record of corporate responsibility; this time, it’s helping with education following the shutdown of area schools. The tech, telecom, and entertainment conglomerate set up a $10 million fund to provide resources to educators, parents, and students continuing their studies online. MAKING IT PE RSONAL

The United Way of Metropolitan Dallas quickly launched a Coronavirus Response and Recovery Fund to help with both the urgent and long-term needs of North Texans. As of early April, corporations like Texas Instruments, Bank of America, McKesson Corp., Texas Capital Bank, and others had made more than $2.6 million in donations. United Way also joined with Communities Foundation of Texas, the Dallas Foundation, and about two dozen North Texas fundraisers to help embattled Texas nonprofits. Together they launched North Texas Cares, which allows nonprofits to ask for emergency financial help by filling out a single online form. Communities Foundation of Texas and United Way of Metropolitan Dallas also teamed up with the Dallas Cowboys to spearhead a special local version of the Giving Tuesday movement. Dubbed North Texas Giving Tuesday Now, it will be what organizers call a “one-day emergency giving blitz” on May 5, hosted on the traditional North Texas Giving Day platform. Senior executives and board members at Dallas-based Jacobs contributed 10 percent of their salaries to help the global engineering firm reach a donation of $1 million toward coronavirus mitigation. The company also set up an employee matching program for local efforts. “This is a very unsettling time in the world,” says Steve Demetriou, the company’s CEO and chair. We are all “grappling with feelings of concern and uncertainty. And although this is uncharted territory for all of us, the safety and wellbeing of our people and communities remain our top priority.”

M AY 2 0 2 0

021

4/6/20 10:28 AM


DOSSIER

LEADERSHIP

JetSuite and JSX CEO Alex Wilcox is ready for private jet charter and micro-travel demand. story by KELSEY J. VANDERSCHOOT photography by JONATHAN ZIZZO

022

M AY 2 0 2 0

D_Wilcox_0520.indd 22

his newest business venture centers around short“WE LOOK haul flights, but Alex Wilcox’s career in aviation has been a long FORWARD TO journey. The CEO of JetSuite and sister company JSX was just EXPANDING TO 17 years old when he earned his private pilot’s license. “Flying is NEW MARKETS very emotional for me,” he says. “It’s just the freedom of flight.” IN TEXAS AND He paid his way through political science and English degrees at the University of Vermont, working as a dispatcher for a regional OTHERWISE.” airline. After graduating, he managed a rock and roll band called Naildrivers; one of his high school buddies played bass. When the band split while touring in Miami, Wilcox wasted no time in returning to aviation. “I went the next day to Miami International Airport and got a job with Virgin Atlantic, checking people in,” he says. He eventually became Virgin’s director of product development and, in the process, met JetBlue founder David Neeleman. Hired as the company’s first employee, Wilcox helped JetBlue incorporate a number of innovations during his six years with the airline. Wilcox co-founded JetSuite in 2006; the charter jet company uses Embraer Phenom planes that seat between four and seven passengers. Ten years later, he launched JSX, a public “hop-on jet service” that provides short flights for up to 30 passengers. JSX has focused on Las Vegas, Phoenix, and destinations in California, but Wilcox aims to bring the service to Texas runways, too. It’s a goal he has had ever since relocating JetSuite and JSX to Dallas in 2018. The move was prompted by a need for talent, with Wilcox aiming to “cherry-pick the best and brightest” from American Airlines and Southwest Airlines. A Texas expansion for JSX is in a holding pattern as the industry weathers the coronavirus storm. “Things are going to be ugly for a bit, but we are going to get back on that growth track as soon as this event is behind us,” Wilcox says. “We were about to double in size this year.” He believes the crisis will spark a shift toward micro-travel, with passengers opting for shorter trips. Regional getaways, such as the markets JSX serves, will be more appealing, Wilcox says, and his companies will be ready. “We BUMPY RIDE look forward to expanding to new marWeathering the coronavirus crisis is “going kets in Texas and otherwise—getting to get ugly for a bit,” back to our original growth plan.” Wilcox says.

DCEOMAGAZINE.COM

3/31/20 9:57 PM


Prepped for your success. Your business prospers because you can make a convincing case. But it never hurts to have reinforcements when the stakes are high. Whether you’re looking to control costs, perform due diligence or increase margins, our resourceful, reassuring pros can provide the support to help you get the board on board.

Everyone needs a trusted advisor. Who’s yours? bkd.com • @BKDLLP

BKD.indd 1

4/1/20 11:43 AM


DOSSIER

L O C A L LY S O U R C E D

Queen of the Kitchen

MEET THE 500

Partner H AY N E S A N D B O O N E

from her haynes and boone office in victory Park, attorney Sakina Foster diligently handles complex loans as a partner in the firm’s finance practice group. She’s also an advocate for diversity, equality, and civility, actively participating in numerous organizations and serving on the board of the Dallas Bar Association. “The DBA is an outstanding organization that focuses on serving the legal profession in Dallas,” she says. “I am proud to have the opportunity to work alongside the lawyers on its board.” EDUCATION: The University of Texas (JD), Southern Methodist University (BBA) TOUGHEST CHALLENGE: “Being the first lawyer in my family. It was somewhat difficult to navigate law school and the early stages of my career without that background. Thankfully, I found a great group of mentors and sponsors early in my career who helped guide me.” FAVORITE THING: “I have a set of gold bangles that were my paternal grandmother’s, who I never met. Since my parents moved to the United States in the mid-1970s, we don’t have much in the way of family heirlooms that they brought with them. The bracelets are the only thing I have that goes back to my grandparents’ generation.”

DESTINATIONS OF CHOICE: “Southern Spain and Tokyo are two of my favorite places. The blend of Muslim, Christian, and Jewish architecture in Andalusia is breathtaking, and some of my best memories are from trips to that part of the world. Tokyo has the best energy of any city I’ve ever visited. The kindness of the people and the food, culture, and infrastructure are unparalleled.”

women in North Texas who pool their resources to provide grants for organizations that focus on giving back to people in need in the AsianAmerican community.” LAST MEAL: “It would be a meal my mom made a lot while we were growing up (and I still ask her to make for me): meatballs with yogurt curry, rice, and a side of baghaar-e-baingan, a dish from her hometown of Hyderabad, India. It’s eggplant in a rich tamarind gravy. It’s delicious. I can’t replicate her recipes, no matter how hard I try!” LOOKING AHEAD: “I’m excited about the associates in our finance practice group at Haynes and Boone. They are smart, dedicated, thoughtful people who care about our work, each other, and the community.”

FAVORITE PET: “Our dog Baxter has a huge personality. He has taught me patience, to live more in the moment, and that it’s possible to be totally exasperated and loving at the same time.”

theresa motter was just a toddler when she immigrated with her family to the United States from Vietnam in the 1970s. Her parents wanted to bring a taste of their home country to America and eventually landed on the idea of artisan egg rolls, launching Van’s Kitchen in 1986. Motter grew up in the business and has always considered the egg roll as the perfect food. “You can’t help but love the nutritious grains on the outside harmonizing with the juicy meat within.” She took over as CEO when her parents retired in 2014 and has been a driving force in getting her company’s products on shelves at thousands of supermarkets. Clients include big names like Walmart and Kroger. —Sooha Ahn

F O S T E R BY J A K E M E Y E R S ; E G G R O L L S C O U R T E S Y O F V A N ’ S K I T C H E N

SAKINA FOSTER

Theresa Motter’s Irving-based company, Van’s Kitchen, makes millions of egg rolls each year.

ON A ROLL

Along with chicken, pork, and shrimp varieties, Van’s Kitchen makes veggie egg rolls, stuffed with fresh cabbage, carrots, onions, water chestnuts, and edamame.

NONPROFIT CAUSE: “Orchid Giving Circle at Texas Women’s Foundation has a special place in my heart. It is a group of Asian American

This Q&A is extended content from Dallas 500, a special edition produced by D CEO that profiles the region’s most influential business leaders. Visit www.dallas500.com for details.

024

M AY 2 0 2 0

D_500_Sakina_Vans_0520.indd 24

3/31/20 8:01 AM


Sidney Moncrief | Addison resident | NBA Hall of Famer | Moncrief One Team

113 acres of lush green space

a nationally-recognized start up incubator

a strong sense of community

the busiest general aviation airport in Texas

it all in 4.4 square miles

It all adds up to

Addison.indd 1

When you have everything you need to work, play, and live your best life in 4.4 square miles, the benefits really start to add up. Learn more about Addison with Addison Economic Development at AddisonED.com | 972.450.7076

4/1/20 11:41 AM


DOSSIER

AV I AT I O N

Dent your private plane or need other fixes? Fast-growing Aerospace Quality R&D can help. story by BRANDON J. CALL photography by JONATHAN ZIZZO

026

M AY 2 0 2 0

D_Aerospace_0520.indd 26

you probably haven’t heard of aerospace quality reTHE COMPANY search & Development. But brothers Raj and Suresh Narayanan HAS SEEN are quietly redefining the airplane maintenance industry from REVENUE their hangar headquarters at Addison Airport. Just as you might GROWTH OF not always want to go back to the dealership when your car needs 100 PERCENT repairs, AQRD is one of only a handful of companies that offers an alternative to airplane manufacturers and provide 24/7 engiIN THE PAST neering and repair services to private aircraft owners and operTHREE YEARS. ators. The goal, they say, is to become known as the on-demand Pep Boys of the private aviation world. Understanding regulations and working closely with the Federal Aviation Administration, Suresh says, is key. “When you get a dent in your car, you’d probably still drive it,” he says. “In the aviation world, you can’t do that. You have to stop, gather all of the data, and see if you’re still flyable. There isn’t a ‘check engine’ light in the air.” The company was founded in 2002 by Raj, who serves as managing partner and CEO. Suresh, who joined in 2011, is president of operations. AQRD has seen revenue growth of 100 percent over the past three years; it has 62 employees in Addison and satellite offices in Florida, Kansas, and Ohio. The Narayanan brothers are following in the footsteps of their entrepreneurial father, who immigrated to the United States from India and worked as a mechanic for British Airways. “We’ve been around jets and the aerospace industry our whole lives,” Suresh says. “You have to have a love for airplanes to be successful in our industry. That’s what we look for when we hire—someone who gets excited about smelling jet fuel in the morning.” One of the coolest things that sets the company apart from its few competitors: a couple of twin-turboprop Beechcraft Starship planes—two of only four known to exist worldwide. The AQRD team updated the cockpits with modern technology to keep the aircraft flight-worthy. “It’s the best marketing that we have; they’re even included in our logo,” Suresh says. “Imagine rolling up to a client meeting and stepping out of FLYING HIGH a plane that hasn’t been manufactured in Suresh Narayanan (left) and his brother, Raj, aim almost three decades. It is a conversation to become the Pep Boys starter for us, for sure.” of private aviation.

DCEOMAGAZINE.COM

3/30/20 11:42 AM


UMB.com/GrowSmart

Build growth.

Real growth takes time. And managing your financial needs in today’s complex economic conditions can be more challenging than ever. You need real advice you can trust, and our record shows stable, consistent growth for more than a century through thick and thin. We thrive on helping you think big picture when it comes to building your business. Business Loans • Commercial Card Treasury Management Member FDIC

UMB.indd 1

4/1/20 11:58 AM


DOSSIER

O N T H E TA B L E

Renaissance Man: Jerry Merriman of Merriman Anderson Architects Having preserved some of the most notable historic buildings in Dallas, the veteran architect is looking toward the future.

sitting down for an early february lunch at Neiman Marcus’ Zodiac Room with architect Jerry Merriman, I mentally review questions I’ve come up with for the man who has played a key role in the rebirth of downtown Dallas. “What story by BIANCA R. MONTES project has been your favorite?” “What is the craillustration by JAKE MEYERS ziest thing you’ve found when peeling back the layers of a historic building?” Merriman shares that he pined for 15 years for the opportunity to reimagine the 52-story former First National Bank tower on Elm Street, which is now underway, and that a million-dollar piece of art was once found behind the walls of a restaurant. Looking back is fun, but these days, the CEO of Merriman Anderson Architects is focused on the future. “Most of the downtown buildings that “IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN A were empty are now full,” PASSION OF MINE TO SEE he says, pausing for a bit to DOWNTOWN GET BACK order a winter citrus salad TO WHERE IT WAS. IT’S with grilled shrimp. When Merriman moved EXCITING TO SEE PEOPLE his firm to downtown DalCOMING DOWN HERE.” las in 2002, he was one of the first to return to a market that had been bleeding tenants. But he was a true believer. He served on the board of Downtown Dallas Inc. for 12 years and is a past presi-

028

M AY 2 0 2 0

D_OnTheTable_Merriman_0520.indd 28

dent of Preservation Dallas. “It has always been a passion of mine to see downtown get back to where it was,” he says. “It’s exciting to see people coming down here.” To date, MAA has been involved with 46 projects in Dallas’ urban core and neighboring districts, including two of the largest redevelopments in the city’s history—the aforementioned First National Bank tower (recently rebranded as The National) and The Statler hotel. Beyond downtown, his projects include Grandscape in The Colony, the state’s largest lifestyle retail center. His firm employs about 100 people in Dallas and outposts in Austin and Charlotte. Now that downtown’s vacant towers have been redeveloped, parking lots will come next, Merriman predicts. “We already see it,” he says. “That’s our next evolution.” I ask if it’s a tough sell. “There’s not a project where we don’t have that discussion with the owners,” he says. But attitudes are changing. Merriman gives the example of a hotel owner he knows who refuses to own or build parking, because he believes city-center hotels aren’t going to need it in a few years. He also talks about designing garages so they can one day convert into office or residential space. Fixing streets and sidewalks has to be a priority to improve connectivity, he says. Streetcars will be important, too. Along with connectivity, affordable housing and entertainment will help take the urban core to the next level, Merriman says. “We’re going to be amazed at how far we’ve come in the next 20 years,” he says.

DCEOMAGAZINE.COM

3/31/20 8:17 AM


Cadence.indd 1

4/3/20 3:25 PM


ADVERTISEMENT

ASK THE EXPERT

Force Majeure in COVID-19 Rogge Dunn, Rogge Dunn Group

Does the COVID-19 pandemic release businesses and individuals from their contracts? Force majeure is Latin for “superior force.” Legally, it means unforeseen circumstances that prevent parties from fulfilling their contractual obligations. A force majeure event allows a party to delay their performance while the force majeure event is occurring. Sometimes it relieves them of their contractual obligations, and, in limited circumstances, it entitles them to damages. What is a force majeure event? Force majeure is determined on a caseby-case basis depending on the contract terms and applicable law. If a contract does not contain a force majeure clause, then COVID-19 will not excuse a party’s contractual obligations. Does COVID-19 excuse contractual obligations? Most contracts contain force majeure, or catch-all “Act of God” clauses, to protect the parties if the contract cannot be performed due to circumstances beyond their control. The COVID-19 pandemic is creating unexpected delays and preventing parties from meeting their contractual obligations, but does it qualify as a force majeure event? Some experts think COVID-19 will not qualify as a force majeure. Others believe that given the truly unforeseen nature and huge impact of COVID-19 and government regulations regarding the virus, courts will consider it a force majeure event. Whether COVID-19 constitutes force majeure or an Act of God will be determined by the wording of the contract, the nature of the industry, the facts related to an inability of a party to perform its contractual obligations, and the law governing the contract. Certainly, government orders requiring quarantines and sheltering in place are facts indicative of a force majeure event.

030

M AY 2 0 2 0

ATE_RoggeDunn_0520.indd 30

What should I do if COVID-19 prevents me from complying with a contract? Promptly implementing a game plan is essential. Even if COVID-19 constitutes a force majeure event, you still have a duty to mitigate the circumstances. In other words, if you can partially perform the contract, or take actions to reduce your damages, you will likely be required to do so. How do I invoke force majeure protection? Contracts typically require you to send written notice to trigger force majeure provisions. Contracts often contain highly technical requirements for notices and the actions a party must take to invoke a force majeure defense to a contract. Failure to carefully implement a force majeure defense can defeat or limit your rights to claim force majeure protection. Before you contact the other side regarding extricating your company from its contractual obligations, consult an attorney and develop a game plan. What if a business tries to get out of its contract with my company because of COVID-19? Because force majeure is a rare event with technical requirements, you should promptly obtain legal advice. It’s usually not as simple as rejecting the other side’s force majeure claim. Also, releasing someone out of a contract may cause a business to breach its contracts with its customers. For example, if you release a vendor or supplier from its obligations or extend its deadline to comply with its contract, your company could end up breaching contracts with its customers. A careful, holistic approach to force majeure issues is necessary to protect you and your company.

Rogge Dunn represents companies, executives, and entrepreneurs in business and employment matters. These include the CEOs/presidents of American Airlines, Beck Group, Dave & Busters, Gold’s Gym, Hagger Clothing, Halliburton Energy Services, Kinko’s, Texas Capital Bancshares, Texas Tech University, Crow Holdings, and Whataburger. Corporate clients include Adecco, Beal Bank, Benihana, CBRE, Cintas, DuraServ, Match. com, Rent-A-Center, and Outback Steakhouse. Dunn has been honored as a Texas Super Lawyer every year that award has been made by Thomson Reuters Service, as one of the top 100 attorneys in Texas, and a D Magazine Best Lawyer 11 times. He is one of only approximately 25 attorneys in Texas Board Certified both in Trial and Labor and Employment Law.

DCEOMAGAZINE.COM

4/1/20 1:51 PM


500 N. Akard St., Suite 1900 Dallas, Texas 75201 214.220.0077 dunn@trialtested.com www.roggedunngroup.com

ATE_RoggeDunn_0520.indd 31

4/1/20 12:05 PM


Over the last 10 years, Sook-led Nexstar Media Group has generated a jaw-dropping 3,000 percent return.

032

M AY 2 0 2 0

F_Sook_0520.indd 32

4/6/20 10:34 AM


story by TOM

STEPHENSON

photography by SEAN

BERRY

The LIFE and TIMES of a

M E D IA M AGN ATE A f o r m e r s m a l l - t ow n a n c h o r m a n , N ex s t a r M e d i a G r o u p ’ s P E R RY S O O K ow n s m o r e t e l ev i s i o n s t a t i o n s t h a n a n yo n e e l s e i n t h e c o u n t r y. U p n ex t :

F_Sook_0520.indd 33

reinventing local news

4/6/20 10:34 AM


Pe r r y So o k h a s a rea l l y good story to te ll. I t st a r ts b a ck i n 1 996 whe n he bought WYOU, a l i t tl e p i ssa n t TV station in Sc ranton, Pe n n sy l va n i a . In th e 24 e ns uing ye ars , t he fo u n d er a n d CEO o f Nexst ar M e dia Group a d d e d 1 95 stati o n s to his corporate quive r to b e com e th e n ati o n ’s l arge st owne r of te lev is ion st at i o n s. It ’s a g o o d tale of bat t le s , bargains , a n d b o l d strateg i es. Sook te lls it be st . “We’ve made three dozen separate acquisitions—some small, some very large,” he begins. “Most recently we closed on the acquisition of Tribune Media, a $7.1 billion transaction that doubled the size of the company. And, prior to that, in January of 2017, we closed on the acquisition of Media General, a $4.6 billion transaction. We doubled the size of the company and then doubled it again in the space of about two years.” The last double-down made Nexstar worth $13.8 billion. Expansion through acquisitions is a great way to grow, but Nexstar didn’t always have that kind of dough. So, Sook began by figuring out how to benefit financially by operating or managing stations. He is largely credited with forging in 1998 what was the first “shared services” agreement among American television stations. He found the perfect candidate for such an arrangement just down the road in Wilkes-Barre, in the form of WBRE-TV. “It was basically like running two newspapers off of a single printing press,” Sook says. “We shared back-office functions and engineering, business, and traffic. We had two separate studios for local news, two different on-air staffs, and two separate sales forces. But all of the behind-thescenes pieces were consolidated into a single, fixed-cost structure.” In retrospect, Sook admits there was, perhaps, some chance Nexstar might have raised enough money to buy WBRE. But at the time, Nexstar couldn’t own outright two television stations in the marketplace due to Federal Trade Commission and Federal Communications Commission regulations. “But we could

034

M AY 2 0 2 0

F_Sook_0520.indd 34

develop sharing arrangements so we could get an economic benefit from a second station,” Sook says, “even if we weren’t allowed to own the license.” BA T T L I N G GOLI AT H

In 2003, Sook took Nexstar public after aquiring Quorum Broadcasting. He subsequently convinced satellite companies to pay for his stations’ content; the cable companies, though, balked at the idea. That led to a classic fight of the local station David versus a Fortune 500 cable Goliath. Many of the big cigars in media management will tell you that the Sook-led revolt—a high-stakes game of chicken against Cox Cable—was a definitive moment for the CEO, Nexstar, and the entire media industry. In trade jargon, it’s referred to as a retransmission consent dispute. The lawyerly name belies the bare-knuckled drama involving Cox and 21 television stations in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Kansas, and Missouri. Things got nasty—and personal. The cable company put Sook’s home phone number on ads pushing its side of the argument. “So, in our ads, we put the general manager of the cable company’s home phone number so people could express their opinion,” Sook says. Nexstar staffers handed out rabbit-ear antennas so customers could circumvent the cable company and still get the station’s on-air broadcasts. Sook recalls running commercials “with us holding up a penny and asking, ‘Don’t you think we’re worth a penny a day on your cable bill?’” The Nexstar CEO felt he was on the right side of things and that cable customers would be willing to pay to get their local news content. He was right. After nearly a year-long clash, the cable company agreed to pay for carrying the signals. “We went from that penny a day to now in 2020 what will mean approximately $2 billion of revenue to our company and about $18 billion in revenue to local television stations across the country,” Sook says. “And I would tell you, without it, we’d be in worse shape than the newspaper business.” C OM P E N S A T I ON S QUA BBL E S

In 2009, with the recession underway, Nexstar found itself trying to work with another media group. It was financed by a big capital investment firm that bought some stations from CBS but, Sook says, was “without a management team or any business thesis as to how to operate.” With no money to make acquisitions on his own, Sook got creative. He approached the media group’s execs and said, “Listen, I will manage these stations for you for a fee and improve them for you so that you recover some of your investment.” It worked. By 2012, Sook was ready to refocus on growing Nexstar’s portfolio. “The linear television business is a fairly mature industry, and we wanted to be one of the leading consolidators,” he explains. He’s a serious, hands-on leader who earned executive-level platinum points last year in just five months while still managing to maintain a golf handicap of 15. Sook spends a great deal of time sorting through financial matters in New York and meeting with regulators in Washington, D.C. But not all of his travel is to major metros. Sook believes it’s important to spend time visiting all of the company’s 114 markets. “Some of my most fun days, my best days, are when I go visit one of our local TV stations. It’s important to stay active and connected to the folks who do the work in the business, representing Nexstar in their local communities every day. It’s important that we never lose sight of that,” he says. Under Sook’s watch, both employee morale and the company’s stock have remained high. Over the last 10 years, Nexstar has managed a jaw-dropping return of nearly 3,000 percent. The Nexstar CEO is proud to say, “I want my commission salespeople to

DCEOMAGAZINE.COM

4/3/20 11:29 AM


“I want my commission salespeople to be the highest-paid people in town.” be the highest-paid people in town.” He’d like to be paid more, too. In the last two years, shareholders have, by the slimmest of margins, rejected multimillion-dollar compensation packages for the CEO. “I guess if they felt they wanted to vote with their feet, they wouldn’t own the shares. But that doesn’t seem to be what’s happening,” Sook says. “So, yeah, it’s a point of frustration for me, because the performance has been there.” It’s not that his work has gone totally unappreciated. Sook’s salary and bonus averages out to $7.5 million a year for 2017 and 2018. Not bad for a guy who first got into the television business as a small-town anchorman. ALW AYS A B IG T H IN KE R

Sook, who was born in DuBois, Pennsylvania, and earned a degree from the Scripps College of Communication at Ohio University, certainly looks the part. His shoulders are big and broad and more befitting an NFL tight end than a 62-year-old CEO. When the president of the National Association of Broadcasters introduced Sook to banqueters as, “more than just a broadcaster with a handsome face and a great tan,” it was an inside joke. It started at a small station in Clarksburg, West Virginia. The station had just one camera guy, and he was responsible for filming all commercials. That didn’t leave time for much else. “The only time we had video of what was going on in town was if there was a car wreck or a house fire,” Sook says. Even if the “rip ‘n’ read” world fit him, the environment at the station did not. The studio consisted of a large metal building at the base of the transmitter. If it rained, staffers had to send a Jeep down the road to retrieve Sook. Regular cars couldn’t climb the muddy, steep hill. Sook did double-duty as both anchorman and weatherman. “During commercial breaks, I’d have to get up and adjust my own camera,” he says. “Our weatherboard was a N E X S TA R map of the United States that you literally put color forms NUMBERS on—you know, like the rubber things that stick. I had one for a cloud, one for the sun.” The experience didn’t endear him to journalism. “I realized that there were 10,000 guys like me for every Walter Cronkite,” Sook says. “I didn’t have his journalistic chops or the talent, so I decided to go to the TELEVISION STATIONS business side. I knew the quickest road to management, and management to ownership, was through sales.” His first sales job took him to a small radio station with a daytime-only signal in Kissimmee, Florida. The format had just changed from big-band to country. So, there COVERAGE OF U.S. HOUSEHOLDS were challenges. “They had no audience, no advertisers, and no followers,” Sook says. Undeterred, in his first week on the job, he made the biggest sale in station history. “It was to a mobile home dealer,” says Sook, still a bit proud. TOTAL “But when it came time for the owner of the station to EMPLOYEES pay me my commission, he said, ‘Well, we had a problem at the transmitter, and I had to buy a part.’ After a few weeks of excuses, I realized I was never going to get paid my commission. It was a kind of a sinking feeling in the JOURNALISTS pit of your stomach, but it also energized me to go out and EMPLOYED find a real job.” That meant television sales, which led to the purchase of WYOU in Scranton, taking us back to the beginning of Sook’s story.

196

63% 16K

5.4K

DCEOMAGAZINE.COM

F_Sook_0520.indd 35

BI A S - F R E E L OC AL N EWS

Nexstar’s $7.1 billion purchase of Tribune Media changed everything. The company is now the nation’s biggest player in local television. Outside of the huge Chicago-based cable network WGN America, most of its 196 stations are ABC, CBS, Fox, CW, and NBC affiliates in small and midsize markets. Nexstar has access to nearly two-thirds of the homes in America. It all got Sook to thinking. “We have 5,400 journalists around the country who produce local news—more than any other organization. We have 1,800 salespeople that call on small and midsize businesses in 63 percent of the country,” he says. “So we’re launching this year, a three-hour, live, primetime newscast, seven nights a week, on WGN America. It will be based in Chicago and run out of Chicago, drawing on the backbone of those 5,400 journalists sprinkled around the country.” And it will be absent of bias. “It will be facts, no opinion, no people shouting at each other,” Sook says. “It will be done from the heartland for the heartland, which is where WGN is primarily distributed.” Sook is so serious about delivering straight news, he’s hiring journalism professors and rhetoricians to review scripts. He wants to tell stories that are happening outside the beltways. “There’s a lot going on in the country that just doesn’t happen in New York or D.C. or Los Angeles,” he says. “We’re going to represent those who are underrepresented.” The target launch date is July 2020— just ahead of the political conventions and the elections. Nexstar is creating a stateof-the-art studio in Chicago and expanding teams both in front of and behind the camera. Sook believes in the notion that if a national story breaks in one of Nexstar’s locales, his gang of reporters will be first on the scene and report it through an impartial lens—and America will love it. If Sook can pull that off, he will have one hell of a story to tell.

M AY 2 0 2 0

035

4/3/20 11:30 AM


story by

BARRY S H L AC H T E R

YEARS IN THE MAKING

Fincher Building, dedicated in 1954 (right); University Boulevard being built west of Dallas Hall, which was completed in 1915 (below); original School of Commerce (left); a $300,000 donation from the Dallas Citizens Council to SMU (bottom).

THE FOR TU NES O F S M U ’ S CE NT U RY- O LD BU S IN E S S S CHO O L A N D N OR TH T EX AS COM P A N IES ARE IN E XTR ICA BL Y L INKED.

F_SMU_0520.indd 36

4/6/20 10:26 AM


Dean C. Jackson Grayson Jr. (above); construction of the Fincher Building (top left) and the Cox School complex (left); the business school’s first degree, conferred to A.W. Foscue, who would go on to teach at SMU (below).

F_SMU_0520.indd 37

1919

1920

1921

1922

1923

1925

The Dallas Chamber recommends that SMU start a business school.

The Department of Commerce, Finance, and Accounts is established.

The renamed School of Commerce gets a dean: William Frederick Hauhart.

The first class graduates: two men who had done earlier studies at SMU.

Instructors threaten to resign en masse over conflict with the Dept. of Economics.

The business school receives accreditation—one of only 31 in the U.S.

M AY 2 0 2 0

037

4/5/20 7:33 AM


1941

1950

1954

The School of Commerce is renamed the School of Business Administration.

The business program’s first MBA degrees are granted.

Fincher Building is dedicated, a gift from Mary Norad Fincher.

THE NATIONAL OUTLOOK IS LESS THAN BULLISH FOR MBA PROGRAMS. Oversupply has triggered a full-bore crisis on some campuses. Demand for the traditional two-year course at most business schools has dropped in the five past years. Some full-time, on-campus programs have even closed, including the University of Iowa, Wake Forest, Thunderbird, and Virginia Tech. Prospective foreign students, a lucrative source of revenue, are finding it harder to get U.S. visas under the Trump Administration, while Canada, Australia, and Europe offer easier alternatives. Heightening competition for U.S. students are online programs, some charging budget-friendly prices, like $12,387 at Texas A&M Corpus Christi. Soon to join the scramble with even

Gerald Alley got his MBA degree from SMU after studying accounting at the University of Arkansas.

GERALD ALLEY M B A , 1973

THE SON OF A SERVICE STATION OWNER IN PINE BLUFF, Arkansas, Gerald Alley says he found the perfect environment at SMU to nurture his budding entrepreneurial ambitions. “SMU was a cocoon in an urban city,” says Alley, president and CEO of Arlington construction firm Con-Real. “Once you left campus, you were back in the city.” One of a handful of African-American students at the time, Alley says he didn’t feel singled out in any way. “Professors made the assumption that if you could get in, you could do the work.” He says he especially appreciated hearing the perspectives of practitioners who served as guest lecturers. “One day the professors taught you the theory, the next day Craig Hall of HALL Group would be explaining how they actually did things. One told us how he learned from each of his failures. That, to me, was a real eye-opener. “ Another guest speaker who stood out: Ray Hunt. “He took an old railroad yard and created a new development with a first-class hotel,” Alley says. “At the time, Kennedy’s assassination was still a stain on Dallas’ image. When asked why he was building Reunion Tower with a ball on top, Hunt said he hoped it would help create a new symbol, a new image for the city.”

038

M AY 2 0 2 0

F_SMU_0520.indd 38

cheaper tuition is an Israeli tech firm called Jolt. It’s planning a New York beachhead after registering 2,000 students at other campuses. But SMU’s Cox School of Business is meeting the challenges and then some, says Dean Matthew B. Myers. To accommodate a growing student population, the school is planning a major fundraising campaign to erect a new state-ofthe-art building and renovate older facilities. Now marking its 100th year, the school has covered the table with choices. Executive MBAs are down steeply, with fewer companies willing to foot the bill, which runs $122,995 for the 21-month course plus a $2,800 enrollment fee. But the yield from two-year program applicants is up, Myers says. “We’re filling classrooms.” There are 115 full-time two-year students, a gain of 12 from 2014. The undergraduate BBA program remains vigorous, with spring 2020 enrollment up 29 percent from 2015. And it continues to draw high achievers. Sunjay Chawla, a 19-year-old freshman from Greenwood, Mississippi, chose SMU Cox over Harvard. “I wanted to go where

DCEOMAGAZINE.COM

4/5/20 7:33 AM


BOBBY LYLE AC T I N G D E A N , 1971-1973

1955

Dallas businessman and acting dean Bobby Lyle (above); first BBA graduate Charles Abner, in 1942 (top left); Controversial professor Patrick Canavan with Dean Grayson in 1970 (left).

The program’s Southwest Graduate School of Banking makes its debut.

1968 C. Jackson “Jack” Grayson Jr. becomes fourth dean and shakes up the school, ending required courses and encouraging students to think globally and meditate publicly.

1970 SMU’s one-year MBA Program is created.

1974 The Maguire Energy Institute is established.

Edwin L. Cox, marking the naming of the SMU Cox School of Business (above) and at a groundbreaking with former Texas Governor Bill Clements (right).

I’d be most happy. There are incredible internship opportunities here,” he says, citing everything from private equity firms to professional sports teams. And although Cox’s online MBA program was a latecomer to the expanding e-universe, the response has been promising, despite the $91,832 price tag. The one-year MBA program has grown from 14 students in 2015 to 55 this year. And the school is making other advances. Shane Goodwin, associate dean for executive education and graduate programs, says women now make up a third of MBA students, and historically underrepresented minorities now account for 21 percent—“an incredible metric.” Ever since its launch, the school’s fortunes have been tied to Dallas’ supportive

business community. Myers notes that most of the twoyear programs that have closed across the country were located in rural areas, lacking the dynamic regional economy needed to draw applicants or close working relationships with big companies. By contrast, Dallas and Texas have both in spades. And the proof is in the numbers. About 70 percent of Cox School students come from outside the state, and 70 percent stay and work in Texas or start companies here after they graduate.

BOBBY LYLE, WHO MADE his fortune in energy, is a modern-day Renaissance Man—engineer, educator, business executive, philanthropist, and community leader. But he also served as an acting dean and executive dean at SMU’s business school during transformative years. Dean C. Jackson Grayson Jr. asked Lyle to shape what became the first strategic plan. “Grayson was a dissident dean, an outlier,” Lyle says. “He knew that Columbia or Dartmouth or Wharton were like huge battleships, hard to turn around. But SMU’s business school was like a little speedboat. It was a fun time; we pushed the envelope.” An early mission was to create a new type of MBA class. “One of the first things I did was recruit the first black MBA students and more women in the business program.”

S H A K Y S TA R T

The business school, originally called the Department of Commerce, Finance and Accounts, advertised secretarial courses as well and was created in 1920 at the urging of the Dallas Chamber of Commerce. The first class of two men, both with two years of previous college work, graduated in 1922. But the fledgling department almost didn’t make it to

1984

1991

1997

1998

The Folsom Institute for Development and Land Use Policy is created.

Two year MBA is established, ending the traditional oneyear program.

Albert W. Niemi Jr. is named dean, and goes on to increase school’s stature.

The school gets a new name: the Edwin L. Cox School of Business.

M AY 2 0 2 0

F_SMU_0520.indd 39

039

4/5/20 7:34 AM


DAVID MILLER B B A , 1972 | M B A , 1973

David Miller (far left, second row from the bottom) played on SMU’s 1972 Southwest Conference championship team.

its second commencement. In March 1923, its instructors threatened to resign en masse because of a philosophical and territorial dispute with the Department of Economics, with which it shared some curriculum as well as cramped quarters, according to Journey to Prominence, a history of the Cox school that was published in 2007. An existential crisis was averted only when Dean E.D. Jennings announced that the two departments would be physically separated in six months. Moreover, he said, the commerce department would pursue “vocational” courses, while the economics department would offer “academic” classes. The book’s co-author, Thomas E. Barry, a former Cox professor and SMU administrator, said the school had three “foundational” deans from 1920 to 1968. Shaking those foundations was C. Jackson Grayson Jr., a crime reporter

turned FBI agent turned academic (Wharton MBA, Harvard Ph.D.) who taught finance at business schools in Europe. It was 1968, when many campuses were roiling with activism. Grayson embraced quality but also change, doing away with required courses, putting students on decision-making panels, introducing classes in meditation, and transfusing fresh blood into the lecture halls. Among the professors he recruited was Patrick Canavan. The Yale-educated organizational expert wore jeans and flip flops, replaced his office door with hanging neckties, and used his cassette player to blast Bob Dylan songs like, The Times They Are A-Changin’. The wildly popular academic was asked—or forced—to resign after an interview he did with SMU’s The Daily Campus newspaper outraged heavy hitters in the Dallas establishment by calling for radical change. The school’s cozy relationship with the business community cut both ways. In 1971, Grayson took leave at President Nixon’s invitation to become chairman of the U.S. Price Commission. That left Assistant Dean Bobby Lyle, a proponent of the school’s transformation, as acting dean. He served in the role for 15 months then was named executive dean when Grayson returned. Many reforms were implemented under Lyle’s long-range plan. Barry’s book calls the 196875 period among the school’s “most interesting and innovative chapters.” Ties with the local business community were exponentially strengthened when Dean Albert W. Niemi Jr. arrived in 1997. A former business school

2005

2008

2011

2012

The James M. Collins Executive Education Center opens.

The William J. O’Neil Center for Global Markets and Freedom launches.

Don Jackson Center for Financial Studies is established.

A M.S. in Finance is established, followed in 2014 by a M.S. in Business Analytics.

040

M AY 2 0 2 0

F_SMU_0520.indd 40

2020 SMU’s business school marks its 100th anniversary.

2019 David and Carolyn Miller donate $50 million to Cox. An online MBA program is launched.

2017 Matthew B. Myers becomes the school’s ninth dean.

2016 The Brierley Institute for Customer Engagement is established. I M AG E S C O U R T E S Y O F S M U

DON JACKSON, A revered professor of banking, pulled a basketball player named David Miller aside and changed his life. Miller was in Jackson’s finance class and sat in the back of the room with the other jocks, but scored well on a test. “Look,” Jackson told him. “You have potential to do things in life. But you’ve got to get your butt from the back row and participate in class.” Miller heeded the advice. The first in his family to graduate college, Miller followed his undergraduate degree in business administration by earning an MBA at SMU. He pursued a career in banking and, later, energy. Last year, Miller and his wife made the biggest single donation in Cox School history—$50 million. It was payback. “I attended SMU for five years,” Miller says, “and never paid a dime.”

2015 The Scott Sheffield Energy Investment Lab is dedicated, and SMU Cox relaunches its oneyear MBA track.

DCEOMAGAZINE.COM

4/5/20 7:34 AM


I M AG E S C O U R T E S Y O F S M U

dean at the University of Georgia, he was “very deliberate in my first 100 days” in Dallas, Niemi says. “We weren’t telling our story, letting companies in the region know just how good we are. I came face to face with 1,000 executives to let them know how they could help.” The close-knit relationships that Niemi forged have proven to be enduring. Deep engagement with some of the region’s most successful business executives is a powerful lure for recruiting students. That was the case with David Brown. He took a circuitous route to the Cox school, majoring in theater, then struggling for years as an actor in New York City, teaching SAT prep classes and doing web design before landing a job at an Apple store. The 34-year-old Brown thrived in the retail environment, was made an Apple manager in New York, then in Dallas. He decided to return to school for an MBA and hoped to remain in the region, but with high GMAT scores, he had options. The chance to take a class on customer engagement from Hal Brierley convinced him to choose SMU. Sitting in on lectures by the innovator who helped design American Airlines’

Professor A. W. Foscue Jr. and his statistics class in the old School of Commerce.

F_SMU_0520.indd 41

frequent flyer program (and loyalty initiatives for Hilton, United Airlines, the NFL, and many others) was like learning geometry at the feet of Euclid. Brierley teaches a course on the fundamentals of his field. He also funded and is actively involved with Cox’s Brierley Institute, the world’s first center devoted to customer engagement. “That was a huge draw, and a differentiating factor for SMU, to be in a class with Hal,” says Brown, who just landed an internship with Siemens and hopes to remain in Dallas after graduating in 2021. R E A L - W OR L D I M P A C T

The Cox network serves as a magnet for prospective students and provides not only future employees for area concerns but also practical solutions to a range of issues. When a startup called PICKUP—an Uber-like, last-mile delivery service for furniture and other large items— decided it was time to expand into new markets, CEO Brenda Stoner contacted Cox. Hattie Tabor, an Accenture vet who runs the school’s M.S. in Business Analytics program, answered the call. Her students determined target cities,

then the availability of pickup-owning drivers willing to work at a profitable rate. The team also dissected PICKUP’s data, creating a simplified pricing model, which factored in such things as the prevalence of staircases, typical mileage, and a weighted item count, rather than an aggregate of each. “The findings were incredibly useful and have been adopted for specific retail partner pricing,” says Stoner, whose clients include Pottery Barn, HomeGoods, and World Market. Earlier this year, before COVID-19 put the kibosh on large gatherings, school benefactor Edwin L. Cox joined Myers, Miller, SMU President R. Gerald Turner, and others to celebrate the school’s “Texas-sized impact” over the last 100 years. Looking ahead to the next century, Myers says SMU Cox will continue to work closely with the local business community: “Companies and the city want to know how we can be a better player in their growth by attracting talent for them and establishing the type of quality educational connectivity that makes North Texas a more robust place to learn.”

BILLIE IDA WILLIAMSON B B A , 1974

BILLIE IDA WILLIAMSON, A HIGH SCHOOL VALEDICTORIAN FROM FORT SCOTT, Kansas, somehow landed a one-on-one meeting with Dean C. Jackson Grayson Jr. “He was very easy to talk with and was excited about what was happening at the business school, especially for women, she recalls.” Partially a result of that encounter, Williamson applied only to SMU. The young Kansan thrived in the school’s accounting program. She also served as student body treasurer and was named homecoming queen. During senior year, she confided to a professor that she couldn’t decide between two job offers. “I had a big spreadsheet of pros and cons,” but Michael “Mick” McGill, a professor of organizational behavior, told her, “OK. We’re going to flip a coin.” Ernst & Ernst (now EY) would be heads; the other firm, tails, he said. She balked, saying, “We can’t make an important decision like this!” McGill urged her to play along. “I flipped the coin, and it came out to be the other firm. The words out of my mouth were, ‘I don’t want to work there.’ He used it as a teaching moment, telling me, ‘That’s why your gut feeling is so important.’” Williamson spent 33 years with EY and was one of the first women in the international accounting firm to be named partner.

M AY 2 0 2 0

041

4/6/20 10:16 AM


M E R G E R S A N D AC Q U I S I T I O N S AWA R D S 2 0 2 0

Activity dipped last year, but things were shaping up to improve in 2020. Then came COVID-19.

RESETTING THE M&A MARKETPLACE

story by BRANDON J. CALL

after a burst of energy-related transactions in 2018, m&a activity in texas tapered off last year, with the number of deals down 25 percent and total volume down 23 percent. Still, Dallas-Fort Worth companies were involved in several notable business combinations. They include Irving-based Nexstar Media Group’s $7.1 billion acquisition of Tribune Media, Frisco-based Comstock Resources’ $2.2 billion purchase of natural gas operator Covey Park, and Plano-based LegacyTexas Financial Group’s sale to Houston’s Prosperity Bancshares for $2.1 billion. As the coronavirus pandemic brings the economy to a halt with shutdowns and layoffs, the 2020 prognosis for private markets is a mixed bag. According to Pitchbook analysts, private equity dealmaking will likely decline, although it will take a month or two to show up in reports. On the other hand, distressed assets will be at a premium, and analysts say a global recession could spark heavy debt buys. In the weeks prior to the pandemic, more than 70 percent of Texas businesses with 100 or more employees were planning M&A activity, according to a West Monroe Partners study.

DEALMAKERS OF THE YEAR

North Texas M&A professionals leading the way.

042

M AY 2 0 2 0

F_M&A_0520.indd 42

P R IVATE EQ U IT Y/I N V E S TM E NT P RO FE S S I O N A L o f t h e Y E A R

I N V E S TM E NT BA N K E R of the YEAR

AT TO R N E Y YEAR

HEATHER HUBBARD

GRETCHEN FRARY SEAY

DAVID MCLEAN

Managing Partner Valesco Industries

Co-Founder and Managing Director Clearsight Advisors

Partner McGuireWoods

Heather Hubbard leads one of the most active lower-middle market private equity funds in Dallas. The firm has invested in seven platform companies during the past three years; it deployed both equity and subordinated debt to partner with Plano-based marketing, advertising, and consulting firm UMI. Hubbard says the firm plans to raise capital for its Valesco Fund III this year.

Gretchen Frary Seay co-founded Clearsight Advisors in 2011. As managing director of the Dallas-based firm, she has advised on more than 40 transactions, specializing in sell-side, buy-side, and recapitalization transactions in the technology sector. Last year, Seay executed three notable deals involving data analytics, Big Data, and digital transformation practices.

David McLean led more than 40 transactions in 2019, ranging in complexity from senior and subordinated debt financing to full buyouts. He’s a partner in McGuireWoods, which last year closed more than 350 deals valued at more than $41.8 billion. McLean has been with the company for six years, joining from the Dallas office of Squire Patton Boggs.

FINALIST: Barrett Lidji, Northaven Capital Partners

FINALISTS: Scot Cockroft, Sigma Mergers & Acquisitions; Barrett Kingsriter, Pinecrest Capital Partners; Brad Purifoy, Corporate Finance Associates; Lindsey Wendler, NTA-Riverbend

FINALISTS: Paul Braswell, Ferguson Braswell Fraser Kubasta; David Gail, Weil, Gotshal & Manges; A. Michael Hainsfurther, Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr

of the

DCEOMAGAZINE.COM

4/3/20 11:01 AM


M I DS IZ E D E A L ($ 2 5 -$ 149 M I LLI O N)

DEALS OF THE YEAR Winners and finalists in the 2020 M&A Awards program

S M A LL D E A L (U P TO $ 35 M I LLI O N)

TRINITY HUNT PARTNERS ACQUIRES WEXCO INTERNATIONAL CORP. WHY NOTABLE: Dallas-based middle market private equity firm Trinity Hunt Partners purchased WEXCO, a litigation-focused forensic engineering services provider, for an undisclosed sum. TIMING: The acquisition was completed in August 2019. KEY PLAYERS: Walter Gruenes of Grant Thornton served as accounting representative for Trinity Hunt Partners; Katten Muchin was legal counsel. WHAT’S NEXT: WEXCO owner and president Brad Avrit will remain a significant shareholder of WEXCO, as Trinity Hunt Partners looks to grow the company through additional acquisitions. FINALISTS: Coltala Holdings’ Trudela Partners Buys Walker Heating and Air Conditioning and Metro Energy Savers; Quisitive Acquisition of Corporate Renaissance Group; Timberlake & Dickson Management Buyout

WEHNER MULTIFAMILY SELLS TO HIDDEN HARBOR CAPITAL PARTNERS WHY NOTABLE: Dallas-based Wehner provides management services to Class B and Class C apartment communities and has more than 25,000 units under management across 174 properties in Texas and Oklahoma. TIMING: The deal was announced in September and closed just 68 days later. KEY PLAYERS: Investment banker: Brad Purifoy of Corporate Finance Associates; sell-side due diligence: Ryan Irby of Weaver; legal counsel: Paul Braswell of Ferguson Braswell Fraser Kubasta; sell-side tax advisor: Robert Kipp of The Kipp Group; management counsel: Artoush Varshosaz of K&L Gates. WHAT’S NEXT: One of the nation’s largest Class B and Class C apartment management companies, Hidden Harbor Capital Partners has plans to continue expansion in North Texas and beyond to grow its market share. FINALISTS: Capital Southwest’s Sale of Media Recovery (SpotSee); Lexipol and Praetorian Digital Merger

L A RG E D E A L ($ 1 5 0 -$9 9 9 M I LLI O N)

SALE OF WATCHGUARD INC. TO MOTOROLA SOLUTIONS WHY NOTABLE: Motorola announced its third buy of the year when it purchased WatchGuard, an Allen-based police body camera manufacturer, for an undisclosed sum. TIMING: The deal was announced July 2019. KEY PLAYERS: WatchGuard was represented in the deal by Greg Samuel, Tom Harris, and David Harper of Haynes and Boone; Matt Costigan of Winston & Strawn acted as legal counsel for Motorola. WHAT’S NEXT: The buy follows the January purchase of Fort Worthbased VaaS International Holdings, a license-plate recognition provider, for $445 million in cash and stock. FINALISTS: Blucora’s Acquisition of 1st Global; Landry’s Acquisition of Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group; Vistra Energy’s Acquisition of Ambit Energy

B I L LI O N - D O L L A R - P LU S D E A L

D U E D I LI G E N C E P RO FE S S I O N A L o f t h e Y E A R

C A P ITA L P ROV I D E R of the YEAR

RYAN IRBY

RON BAKER

Partner, Transaction Advisory Services Weaver

Executive Vice President Cadence Bank NA

Ryan Irby took over Weaver’s transaction advisory group in 2018. Under his leadership, it has experienced triple-digit growth in each of the past two years, expanded to seven full-time employees, and grown to more than $2 million in annual revenue. Specializing in sell-side due diligence, Irby is also active within the M&A community as treasurer and board member of ACG-DFW.

Last year was a busy one for Ron Baker. He completed two sizable middle market debt financings that supported M&A transactions. They added up to more than $125 million in debt capital to two separate platforms backed by private equity. Baker leads the North Texas region for Cadence Bank and has built a team of corporate and M&A bankers for the financial institution.

FINALISTS: Daniel Boarder, Whitley Penn; Brad Porter, Moss Adams

FINALISTS: Jeff Matthews, East West Bank

DCEOMAGAZINE.COM

F_M&A_0520.indd 43

NEXSTAR MEDIA GROUP’S ACQUISITION OF TRIBUNE MEDIA WHY NOTABLE: Irving-based Nexstar’s acquisition of Tribune Media gave it nearly 200 television stations, making it the nation’s largest pure-play local broadcaster. Nexstar initially tried to buy Tribune in 2017, but lost to another suitor. When that deal fell through, Nexstar renewed its interest—and this time, prevailed. TIMING: The acquisition wrapped up in September 2019. KEY PLAYERS: BofA Merrill Lynch acted as financial advisor; Kirkland & Ellis and Wiley Rein served as legal counsel to Nexstar. WHAT’S NEXT: With 197 television stations reaching 63 percent of households across the country, Nexstar CEO Perry Sook aims to return to journalism basics with bias-free news reports. (For more, see page 32.) FINALISTS: Advent International’s Acquisition of AccentCare; Comstock Resources Inc.’s Acquisition of Covey Park Energy

JUDGES: Joining D CEO editors to select the honorees in the 2020 M&A Awards, presented in partnership with the Association for Corporate Growth, were Kevin Bogenreif of Hunt-Hendrix Family Office, Oliver Cone of Bulkley Capital, Gemma Descoteaux of Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton, and Larry King of King Strategy LLC.

M AY 2 0 2 0

043

4/3/20 11:02 AM


F I N A N C I A L E X E C U T I V E AWA R D S 2 0 2 0

Expert guidance provided by CFOs and other financial executives has never been more important to North Texas companies. Here, we recognize some of the region’s best. story by CHRISTINE PEREZ

044

M AY 2 0 2 0

F_FEA_0520.indd 44

4/6/20 10:31 AM


F I N A N C I A L E X E C U T I V E AWA R D S 2 0 2 0 SECTION NAME

O U T S TA N D I N G C FO : L A RG E P U B LI C CO M PA N Y

O U T S TA N D I N G C AO

David Lancaster, a petroleum engineer by training, took a unique path to his role as CFO of Matador Resources Co.

SHANE ARLEDGE

Learfield IMG College

no .

O U T S TA N D I N G C FO : L A RG E P U B LI C CO M PA N Y

BRIAN MILLER

Tyler Technologies

In Brian Miller’s 22 years with Tyler Technologies, the company’s revenue has grown from $50 million to more than $1 billion. He has overcome numerous challenges, including about 40 acquisitions, the Great Recession, and completely pivoting the business to the software space. “It’s been rewarding to see the success for employees, clients, and shareholders,” Miller says.

GROWTH

HANDS-ON

N E X T- G E N

“Matador’s performance in 2019 was the best year in the company’s history. Our production, reserves, and EBITDA/ cash flow were all at record highs.”

“I believe in being in the trenches and getting things done alongside my team. I believe they know that I care about them and am grateful for all they do.”

“The young people of Matador are developing into strong professionals who will be ready to step in and take the company to greater heights in the future.”

Tom L. Walker

F_FEA_0520.indd 45

no .

DALLAS COWBOYS FOOTBALL CLUB

“i’ve been with the dallas cowboys since 2004. the Jones family has given me an opportunity to build my business acumen by assisting them with not only professional sports operations but also real estate construction and financing, oil and gas investments, and more. They’ve also given me a chance to spend time with some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs, to really understand O U T S TA N D I N G C FO : L A RG E P R IVATE CO M PA N Y how business works from their viewpoint. It’s been an amazing ride for 16 years.”

DCEOMAGAZINE.COM

no .

2

Promoted to chief accounting officer after just four months, due to his ability to positively impact change within his organization.

O U T S TA N D I N G C FO : L A RG E P R IVATE CO M PA N Y

As CFO, DeWayne Wilson oversees the financial performance of Texas Health Aetna and its network of healthcare providers. He also was instrumental in developing TH+A’s virtual app.

1

Accomplished, results-driven leader with more than 20 years of proven success in accelerating profits and streamlining operations.

3

His key leadership strategies: “collaboration, open communication, and showing vulnerability. It makes you human.”

O U T S TA N D I N G C FO : L A RG E P R IVATE CO M PA N Y

Longtime CPA John Doyle became CFO of Steward Healthcare System in 2017. He moved into the role after serving as CFO of IASIS Healthcare, which was acquired by Steward. Along with playing a key role in merging the two organizations, Doyle was instrumental in Steward’s headquarters relocation from Boston to Dallas.

M AY 2 0 2 0

045

4/6/20 10:31 AM


F I N A N C I A L E X E C U T I V E AWA R D S 2 0 2 0

O U T S TA N D I N G C FO : M I DS IZ E P R IVATE CO M PA N Y

In 2016, Gregg W. Branning became executive vice president and CFO of CSW Industrials. With subsidiary entities and product lines across the globe, the company specializes in two segments: industrial products and special chemical sectors. Branning has steered CSW through a number of acquisitions and helped drive significant financial growth.

O U T S TA N D I N G C FO : M I DS IZ E P R IVATE CO M PA N Y

O U T S TA N D I N G C FO : M I DS IZ E P R IVATE CO M PA N Y

BRIAN POFF

CAROL STUCKLEY

Healthcare Payment Specialists

After Healthcare Payment Specialists was acquired by TransUnion in 2018, CFO Carol Stuckley stayed on until July 2019 to help with the transition and integration. The most rewarding aspects of being a CFO, she says, “are the ability to define and implement the company’s strategic direction, drive the creation of enter-

Addus HomeCare

no .

1

“Over the past year, Addus has experienced tremendous growth, both organically and via acquisition.”

no .

2

“I believe the primary strategy leading to our success has been a combination of work ethic and flexibility.”

no .

3

“Looking ahead, I am most excited to see what the evolution of healthcare will entail in our country.”

O U T S TA N D I N G C FO : M I DS IZ E D P U B LI C CO M PA N Y

Lance J. Philips CAPSTEAD

“throughout my career, i have enjoyed the challenge of understanding new industries, moving from manufacturing technology hardware to regulated electric utilities, real estate investment trusts, and the mortgage industry. Each of the industries I’ve had the privilege to work in requires expertise focused on that specific industry. In addition to putting in the hard work to learn, I have also been able to bring knowledge and experience from my previous industries to offer a unique lens and deliver value.”

“It’s important to remember the human side of our businesses. I’ve always tried to get to know the people I’ve worked with.”

046

“Genuine connections on a personal level create a stronger team and make surviving the tough times much more possible and even enjoyable.”

“Embrace the challenge of complexity. I have found success by jumping straight in and wrestling with a new challenge first-hand.”

prise value via goal alignment across the organization, and catalyze and support talent development by creating stretch opportunities and providing appropriate guidance when needed.” Stuckley currently serves as an independent board director and audit committee chair for Ipsen, a French pharmaceutical company.

O U T S TA N D I N G C FO : M I DS IZ E P R IVATE CO M PA N Y

RONALD K. HERBERT

FASTSIGNS International

“We had a change in ownership last year, and it’s exciting to see how a focus on incremental investment today can result in higher growth rates in the future. We are attacking areas ranging from e-commerce to tech-enabled sales prospecting to AIaided employee recruiting to see how we can accelerate our franchisees’ growth.”

O U T S TA N D I N G C FO : M I DS IZ E D P R IVATE CO M PA N Y

For CFO Karra Guess, empowerment is a key strategy. “Our firm, ESRP, is very entrepreneurial; I believe people should have the ability to do their jobs without being micromanaged.”

M AY 2 0 2 0

F_FEA_0520.indd 46

4/6/20 10:30 AM


O U T S TA N D I N G P U B LI C S E RV I C E

George Purefoy CITY OF FRISCO

PIONEER George Purefoy is the only city manager the city of Frisco has ever had. He has been fundamentally responsible for the city’s remarkable growth.

I N N OVAT O R Purefoy engineered landmark public-private partnerships with global organizations like the Dallas Cowboys and, more recently, PGA of America.

D E D I C AT E D L E A D E R Frisco showed its appreciation for its longtime public servant by naming its city hall complex the George A. Purefoy Municipal Center. The building opened in 2006.

O U T S TA N D I N G P U B LI C S E RV I C E

ERIC CANNON City of Allen

“The culture of your organization and department is critical if you want to have continuous improvement in your operations. I focus on making sure my team is diverse and made up of people who have different strengths; but most importantly, I want to surround myself with people who genuinely care and are willing to taking on a difficult task or assignment because they understand our mission and the value it can bring to the city.”

F_FEA_0520.indd 47

M AY 2 0 2 0

047

4/3/20 2:13 PM


M OS T I N N OVATIV E FI N A N C E TE A M : P U B LI C CO M PA N Y

As a leader, Jeff Chesnut focuses on teamwork at Alliance Data Systems. “I work to empower our team through frequent and transparent communication. The only way for an empowered team to make the best decisions is with full visibility into the strategy and tactics the organization is using to achieve its goals.”

M OS T I N N OVATIV E FI N A N C E TE A M : P R IVATE CO M PA N Y

SAMUEL CHENG

Earthbound Trading Co.

“For the last two years, the team at Earthbound Trading Co. has been able to reinvent our financial operations and, therefore, show two of our best years to date. These successes were due to a combination of a great team effort and focusing on our company’s roots of carrying rocks and minerals. We accomplished our goals by working with teams to create budgets and motivating staff to stick to them. It created an atmosphere where people are mindful of how costs will impact their respective departmental budget. I’ll chalk it up to a job well done by our teams!”

048

M AY 2 0 2 0

F_FEA_0520.indd 48

DCEOMAGAZINE.COM

4/3/20 2:14 PM


F I N A N C I A L E X E C U T I V E AWA R D S 2 0 2 0 SECTION NAME

O U T S TA N D I N G C FO : N O N P RO FIT

JANICE HARISSIS

United Way of Metropolitan Dallas

I C O N S A N D I M AG E S : S H U T T E R S T O C K , H E A D S H OT S C O U R T E S Y O F C O M P A N I E S

no .

1

“I previously held various leadership roles in finance, accounting, and operations at Texas Instruments.”

no .

2

“I believe in collaboration and am always willing to say yes to new opportunities to learn and grow.”

no .

3

“Together, we give everyone in our community the opportunity to secure a firm foundation for living.”

O U T S TA N D I N G C FO : N O N P RO FIT

CFO Carla Brandt oversees five different entities for The Real Estate Council. This year, she helped secure a whopping $6 million grant from JPMorgan Chase & Co., among other investments.

DCEOMAGAZINE.COM

F_FEA_0520.indd 49

LI FE TI M E AC H I E V E M E NT AWA R D

Paul Willey it wasn’t easy to convince paul willey to agree to be recognized as the Lifetime Achievement Award winner. He prefers to operate under the radar. But Willey is a real treasure for the financial executive community in North Texas. The bulk of his professional career was spent at the former Dresser Industries, which he joined in 1962. He led financial offices in the Middle O U T S TA N D I N G C FO : N O N P RO FIT East and Europe and ultimately served as the company’s treasurer, implementing many innovative strategies along the way. “It’s important to make decisions by the numbers, not the sales pitch,” he says. “Read and listen to the world, and be Klyde Warren Park aware that there are many paths toward an objective.” When Willey joined Dress“I have found it increder, its annual revenue was $250 million. ibly rewarding to work for the foundation that When he left in 1999, after Halliburton supports the park to acquired it the company was raking in $7 ensure the park stays billion. Willey collected his golden paraclean, safe, and active. chute but remained active in the industry Seeing smiles on the faces of children playing and the community. Over the years, he in the park, and people has served as chairman of the Dallas Red from all backgrounds Cross, Financial Executives International, gathering together, and the Dallas CPA Society, and held leadenjoying and creating community through all ership roles at numerous civic organizaof the free programtions. Giving back through volunteerism, ming and events we Willey says, is a “two-way street,” where provide, is extraordinarily gratifying.” everyone benefits.

LARRY McCOY

O U T S TA N D I N G FP& A

Vice President Joseph Loner leverages his finance and accounting expertise at GridLiance. He has a successful track record of driving change and creating value in dynamic environments. Recently, GridLiance went through the credit rating process for the first time and received industry-leading ratings from Fitch at its utility company subsidiaries.

M AY 2 0 2 0

049

4/6/20 1:07 PM


ADVERTISEMENT

ASK THE EXPERT

Achieving Zero Percent Turnover Awstin Gregg, MBA, LCSW, LCDC Chief Executive Officer, Connections Wellness Group

How does your company achieve a zero percent rolling turnover, especially when considering the high “burnout” rate in the healthcare profession? Many employers in all industries don’t understand the hidden costs of turnover. Connections Wellness Group approaches hiring from the perspective of how to attract and retain forever employees. How do we earn that? We are proud of the investment we are making in our employees, which has paid off in many ways. Describe your creative investments in employee retention. Some of our biggest wins have been simple, such as hiring a chief happiness officer. She goes to employees to learn about what motivates them, how they like to be recognized and appreciated, and asks what we can do better to make sure they are seen. Some employees want more overthe-top recognition, while others don’t want public praise but would appreciate a simple gesture, such as a restaurant gift card. Giving them that authority was a big win. Another was showing them we are serious about our internal push for selfcare and work/life balance. We provide our employees with a separate line of income that rewards them for taking care of themselves. For instance, if they send us a selfie of them at the gym, at a wellness retreat, enjoying cooking or eating a healthy meal, or even proving they had eight hours of sleep, we reward them financially. We try to communicate in different, simple ways that we care about our employees and we want them to be here forever.

050

M AY 2 0 2 0

ATE_ConnectionsWellness_0520.indd 50

How has this employees-first approach paid off for your company? We have been earmarked as the fast-growing healthcare organization in Denton County, with 2,300 percent growth year over year. The counterintuitive part to this is that you can’t see these metrics if you go to the HR department. It’s more of a qualitative thinking process, and we believe it’s worth the endeavor. You could start with as little as a $25 or $50 gift card and build up from there. Remember, your employees know other potential employees who are just as talented. This small investment may get you some of the most qualified people in your industry who will become invested in your product. How did you come up with the concept of the forever employee? My first job out of high school was as a mental health technician, and in seven years I worked my way up to becoming CEO of that facility. I had a lot of jobs in the middle of that ladder, and many required 14-hour workdays. We would have the best employees for six or seven months, and then their energy would disappear. The turnover would begin. When I started Connections Wellness Group, eliminating turnover was a priority. I wasn’t going to praise my employees for working 60-hour weeks or skipping vacations with their families. I was going to approach it another way. When we opened Connections Wellness Group, the owners and leaders came together and determined how the jobs we came from can be done better. We decided that one of our main tasks would be learning how to keep a forever employee. Our mission is to rethink everything.

Awstin Gregg is a licensed clinical social worker and holds two additional master’s degrees in business. A former hospital CEO and a current professor at TCU and Texas A&M Commerce, he was voted Social Worker of the Year in 2018, Entrepreneur of the Year in 2019, and leads Denton County’s fastest-growing healthcare organization, Connections Wellness Group, receiving seven distinguished awards in its first year of operation. Connections Wellness Group is a nationally accredited healthcare practice able to care for any need, from acute depression to the common cold and everything in between.

DCEOMAGAZINE.COM

4/6/20 3:03 PM


Recalculating the true value of employee retention Unequivocally raising the healthcare bar Psychiatry Counseling Day Treatment Telehealth IOP

NATIONALLY ACCREDITED

connectionswellnessgroup.com 2701 SHORELINE DRIVE, SUITE 151 | DENTON, TEXAS 76210 | 940.222.2399

ConnectionsWellness_FP.indd 1

HIGHLY AWARDED

100+ 5 STAR REVIEWS

4/1/20 1:44 PM


Westin.indd 1

4/1/20 11:58 AM


M AY 2 0 2 0

FIELD NOTES

N O R T H T E X A S B U S I N E S S A D V I C E , A N A LY S I S ,

a n d

C O M M E N TA R Y

TOUGHEST CHALLENGE

Learning to Let Go Wanda Gierhart, Executive Vice President and CMO CINEMARK

SHUTTERSTOCK

“one of my biggest setbacks professionally was when i was working for a multimillion-dollar e-commerce business. As the CEO, I was challenged to try to turn it around in the midst of the recession. I poured my heart and soul into the company. I hired a completely new executive team in an effort to get it to break even, but [our owners] ended up spinning it off into multiple entities, despite our efforts to turn things around. When my division split from the parent, I had to find a new opportunity for myself. From this, I took on a dream role as the first chief marketing officer of Neiman Marcus. This made me realize that I have never been attracted to an easy job. I have always been naturally drawn to a challenge, intrigued by the possibility of a quick turnaround or a new position within a company or a startup.”—As told to Sooha Ahn

DCEOMAGAZINE.COM

FN_LessonLearned_Gierhart_0520.indd 53

M AY

2020

053

3/31/20 9:16 PM


FIELD NOTES

H E A LT H C A R E

Consolidation Conundrum Physician practices are consolidating under health systems and through private equity, but is it good for patients and payers? story by WILL MADDOX

P

physician consolidation has taken many forms in Dallas-Fort Worth, with large health systems like Baylor Scott & White and Texas Health Resources leading the way. But private equity has also become a significant player in finding efficiencies in the independent physician model and scaling up. There are plenty of advantages for physicians who wish to be employed rather than run their own businesses. They can focus on patient care and don’t have to bother with things like billing and revenue cycle management. Other benefits of being part of a large system include the sharing of data and best practices. But is consolidation what is best for patients, and how does it impact cost? A Health Affairs article from 2015 looked at 15 common procedures found that physician practice consolidation was significantly associated with higher prices. A 2019 study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine compared Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas patients who went to physician-owned groups and hospital-owned doctors and found the latter to be more expensive. The study found no difference in quality between the two groups

054

M AY 2 0 2 0

FN_Healthcare_0520.indd 54

DCEOMAGAZINE.COM

4/6/20 3:08 PM


FIELD NOTES

and noted that expenses were due to hospital utilization. It also found higher hospital use by doctors employed by hospitals, versus independents.

PRESCRIPTIONS: S H U T T E R S T O C K ; CHART SOURCE: K A U F M A N H A L L

EASE AND EFFICIENCY

Consolidating forces look for several factors when evaluating which service lines or industries to unite. Primary care groups were some of the first to be snatched up by hospital systems, but private equity groups are looking at rehabilitation, physical therapy, dermatology, and dialysis as areas that are ripe for consolidation. When an independent provider has multiple locations and is a part of a fragmented industry that’s common in retail spaces, private equity sees that practice as a good candidate to be acquired. For providers, selling the practice can simplify business operations for younger partners and provide a financial windfall for older physicians looking to retire. S. Scott Parel, co-leader of Sidley Austin’s private equity practice, says consolidation is filling a need in the industry. “How do we provide options for folks who may just want to practice and not do all the admin, or want to get some liquidity or have a retirement plan?” he says. “There are a number of needs there that we’re addressing at the same time.” Healthcare is typically recession-proof and often proves to be a good investment. But it is not without challenges. The regulatory environment is a significant hurdle, as medical practices must be physician-owned. Therefore, the consolidating group forms a services entity that handles the management and back-office work for the clinic, such as accounting, human resources, and purchasing. This allows the physician to focus on seeing patients while the private equity firm can capture a significant portion of the revenue that accrues through non-medical services. “They’re driving efficiency into those processes to make sure that they can get their return on their investment,” says Karen Pinkstaff, partner at audit, tax, and consulting firm RSM. “It’s a way to try to reduce waste in the system; they’re trying to improve patient quality and patient access while allowing the physicians to maintain a bit of their autonomy.”

ogists who work against consolidation in the industry. He is wary of the impact of the trend and the loss of independence for physicians. “Doctors make terrible employees,” Chopra says. “They are used to making life-and-death decisions, not used to being told what to do.” Additionally, when practices change ownership, he says, it can impact motivation. “It is a terrible model for physicians. They get some money up front, and their salary may go up, but they have to work more, and it creates demotivated physicians.” Lance Spivey was on the leading edge of consolidation in a previous role helping a large health system buy up physician groups. He is now the co-founder and president of StratiFi Health, which provides back-office services to independent physicians to allow them to remain profitable, provide high-quality care, and stay independent. “I saw this tension between doctors in the system that indicated that, at their core, many of them just don’t desire to be employed, but they don’t see a better or a more reasonable choice.” Spivey believes that independent physicians will be the ones to deliver innovative care that also helps reduce costs that are associated with consolidation and says that there are still enough independent physicians to maintain balance and innovation. “Our motivation is to help independent doctors network and then build a care model that they can execute because they’re going to need that to be relevant and independent,” he says. “The community needs it because they can do it with excellent quality and lower costs.”

COVID-19

How will the coronavirus crisis affect practice consolidation? Mergers and acquisitions involving physician groups have grown at a 23.6 percent clip in recent years (see chart). According to Polsinelli shareholder and healthcare M&A expert Jon Henderson, the loss of revenue at medical practices due to COVID-19 could leave many in need of capital, making them more agreeable to consolidation. The coronavirus crisis “will have exponentially pushed the market ahead than what would have occurred in the ordinary course of years and years,” he says.

U.S. Physician Group M&A Transactions by Year 300

250

200 R: CAG

23.6

%

150

INDEPENDENT VOICES

Unifying forces are continuing to consolidate services lines and growing in number, but other organizations are working to keep providers and practices independent. Dhruv Chopra is the CEO of Collaborative Imaging, an alliance of radiol-

100

50 0 2012

DCEOMAGAZINE.COM

FN_Healthcare_0520.indd 55

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

M AY 2 0 2 0

055

3/31/20 8:41 PM


FIELD NOTES

ON TOPIC

What strategies do you recommend for a successful post-merger combination of companies? edited by KELSEY J. VANDERSCHOOT

056

illustration by JAKE MEYERS

RAN HOLMAN

BOB PRYOR

MALCOLM HOLLAND

Managing Principal C U S H M A N & WA K E F I E L D

CEO N T T DATA S E R V I C E S

Chairman, President, CEO VE RITEX COMM U NIT Y BANK

“In my experience, the key to integrating organizations is finding common denominators that speak to shared character and fundamental values. Leaders should seek to unite people and create something that’s more than a workplace. Relationships have to grow organically, not under pressure. If everyone embraces the journey and recognizes that they are better together, then the differences in ethos and culture can yield, and the best elements of each organization live on. I have seen this firsthand at Cushman & Wakefield, which merged with DTZ. Both had rich cultures; we have kept the best of each, and our ethos is united as one.”

“Start by defining and articulating your shared vision, culture, values, and priorities; getting those right guides everything else. Success depends on moving with speed and decisiveness, including announcing and empowering the new leadership teams early to help develop and implement changes. IT is the single biggest enabler and dependency across all integration workstreams. Agreeing upon and communicating the vision and roadmap for technology is a critical first step. Leading people through these types of changes requires clear, consistent, and regular communications about impacts, expectations, and benefits.”

“A merger has a lot of moving parts, and it’s your job to be objective. Begin by defining your company culture; put your mission statement out to employees and customers and let them know that you live by those words. Observe, listen, and overcommunicate. Constant communication about planned changes, improvements, and the purpose of each is key to forming trust during transition. Finally, be present for your employees and customers. Form teams that can execute while you spend time meeting with them. You’ll never regret taking the time to have inperson conversations.”

M AY 2 0 2 0

FN_OnTopic_0520.indd 56

DCEOMAGAZINE.COM

4/2/20 12:15 PM


Helping Dallas Grow We’re proud to stand behind Dallas businesses to help them grow. With dedicated local expertise and comprehensive financial solutions, we know how to accomplish projects of any scale. Recent Dallas Success Stories:

Aviation

Food & Beverage

Construction

Automotive Wholesale Supplier

$1,000,000,000

$5,000,000

$60,000,000

$2,000,000

Co-Manager Bond Issuance

Diesel Fuel Hedge Line

Investment Management

Corporate Escrow

Commercial Insurance Premium Finance

Contractor

Insurance & Financial Services

Technology

$100,000,000

$2,000,000

$35,000,000

$7,000,000

Working Capital Line

Corporate Card

Working Capital Line

Acquisition Line & Term Debt

Mandy Austin | aaustin@bankoftexas.com | 214.346.3915

www.bankoftexas.com Š 2020. Services provided by BOKF, NA. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender

BOT.indd 1

. BOKF, NA is a subsidiary of BOK Financial Corporation.

4/1/20 11:43 AM


FIELD NOTES

2. USE FEWER SINGLE-USE PRODUCTS. Even with recycling, the majority of plastic bottles get thrown in the trash. Having a water cooler and glasses or reusable bottles would significantly curb the amount of plastic waste your office produces. The same can be said for coffee; single-use cups are convenient but generate far more waste than the traditional pot.

THOUGHT LEADER

A More Sustainable Future I M AG E C O U R T E S Y O F T R A M M E L L S . C R O W

3.

EarthX Founder Trammell S. Crow says the best environmental solutions will come from market-driven, business-led innovations.

A

1. INCENTIVIZE EMPLOYEES. Set up programs that encourage workers to use public transportation. Burning one gallon of gasoline creates about 20 pounds of carbon emissions.

s a dallas-based business executive and environmentalist, I believe the marketplace can offer solutions for the environment. These solutions need not be at odds with economic growth and can actually be profitable when consumers are educated and demand eco-friendly goods and services. I was raised a Republican, studied economics at Yale, and ran an international business that showed me how important the market economy is to America’s economic success. I support organizations and politicians who understand that the best environmental solutions will come from innovations that are market-driven and business-led. For investors, funding green businesses is one way to get involved. At EarthX, our Future 500 Summit sparks debate and collaboration between corporate leaders and environmental activists, and our E-Capital Summit matches investors with innovators in cleantech who often have difficulty finding funding. One of the greatest challenges for businesses is understanding what they can do. Here are five ways to help.

058

M AY 2 0 2 0

FN_ThoughtLeader_Crow_0520.indd 58

CONSIDER THE GREEN EFFORTS OF PROVIDERS AND PARTNERS. We’ve seen more eco-friendly businesses emerge as consumers have become more environmentally conscious; the market will see the same effect if business owners make working with companies that have green initiatives a priority.

4. BECOME AWARE OF YOUR BUILDING’S ENERGY FOOTPRINT AND WATER USAGE. By supporting environmentally responsible and resource-efficient commercial real estate, we can drive wider demand for green construction.

5. GO PAPERLESS. Taking steps to make your office paperless not only helps the environment, it also saves money, improves productivity, and reduces space needs. Trammell S. Crow is the founder of EarthX, an international nonprofit that promotes a more sustainable future.

DCEOMAGAZINE.COM

3/30/20 11:44 AM


AT THE CENTER OF

WHAT’S NEXT Cushman & Wakefield has played a major role in Dallas’ incredible transformation since 1974. Today, we are a global company of the 21st century, with its focus firmly on what’s next for real estate and business. Multicultural, multilingual, confidently global, expertly local, the people of Cushman & Wakefield mirror the stage on which we work: the world. Explore what’s next at cushmanwakefield.com

Cushman.indd 1

4/1/20 1:04 PM


Join Dallas’ Most Influential Business Leaders Nominations are now open for D CEO’s 2021 edition of Dallas 500, 500, our annual publication featuring the most powerful business leaders in North Texas. Don’t miss this opportunity to be considered for this prestigious special edition.

Nominations are open until June 1, 2020 DALLAS500.COM

HSE_500Nom_0420.indd 1

4/1/20 11:51 AM


M AY 2 0 2 0

OFF DUTY THE PERSONAL SIDE

o f

DFW BUSINESS LEADERS

PURSUITS

Keeping His Eye on the Future For litigator David Coale, a partner at Lynn Pinker Cox & Hurst, it’s all in the cards. story by CHRISTINE PEREZ photography by SEAN BERRY

DCEOMAGAZINE.COM

OD_Pursuit_0520.indd 61

M AY 2 0 2 0

061

4/4/20 10:38 PM


OFF DUTY

D

dallas attorney david coale, a partner at Lynn Pinker Cox & Hurst, was in New Orleans on business when he happened upon a fortune teller’s shop in the French Quarter. Out of curiosity, he decided to see what his future might hold. “I concluded that she was full of crap,” Coale says of the seer. “She said things like, ‘I see you are concerned about your family.’ But I was intrigued by what she was attempting to do with the tarot cards.” When he got back to Dallas, he ordered a deck for himself. There are classes one can take to learn to read the cards, but a lot of information is available online for free, Coale says, so he decided to go the self-taught route. “You have to discover it for yourself,” he says. He began doing simple threecard readings for friends and family to gain experience before moving on to the more elaborate full spreads that most professionals do. These days, people at his firm will sometimes ask for readings, but no client as ever asked Coale to consult about a case. “It’s a fun thing to do with the kids,” says Coale, a father of four children who range in age from 10 to 19. “Everyone can ask the spirits a question. Strangely enough, the least scholarly among them, amazingly, is always told to study more; it’s the darndest thing,” he jokes. A typical tarot deck has 78 different cards with various suits and elements. They’re divvied up into the Minor Arcana, 56 cards that have to do with more day-to-day things, and the Major Arcana, 22 cards that relate to a major change

062

M AY 2 0 2 0

OD_Pursuit_0520.indd 62

or event in a person’s life. A tarot reader selects cards from the deck and offers the “querent” insights based on the card’s images and how they relate to one another. There’s nothing supernatural about the cards, Coale says. They’re just a tool for gleaning perspectives from your subconscious mind. It makes you more open-minded, he says. It also forces you to be still and thoughtful. “It’s a fun hobby, and we all need hobbies—particularly in my line of work,” Coale says. “It’s totally different from what I do professionally, and there’s a rich history, plus the psychology angle.” The cards also led the attorney to delve into art history. One time while on a trip to Santa Fe, Coale visited the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum and noticed that some of the artist’s works were evocative of images in the Rider-Waite tarot deck. He did some research and discovered links between O’Keeffe and the artist who painted that classic set. He wrote a scholarly piece on the topic for the online journal ArtHistory.us. Coale says it’s interesting to see the reactions of people he reads for—especially the skeptics. If you do enough readings, there are invariably going to be coincidences, he says. His hobby, Coale adds, has made him a better listener. “When I read for people, they aren’t expecting me to give them any magical insights,” he says. “It just makes me a more useful friend.”

THE CARDS

Shuffling the Decks There are countless varieties of tarot cards. The oldest known surviving set dates back to the 1440s. Coale owns three decks: Tarot de Marseille, created in France in the mid-1700s; Thoth Tarot, painted in the early 1940s (“abstract and a little too weird,” Coale says); and his favorite, Rider-Waite. The vibrant cards were drawn in the early 1900s by Pamela Colman Smith, under the direction of mystic A.E. Waite, and published by the Rider Co. The deck most often used in movies, its cards are vibrant and full of symbolism, Coale says. “They’re the most elegant and interesting at the same time,” he says. “They’ve stood the test of time.”

FREE FOR ALL

Coale has “never charged anyone a nickel” for a reading. It would take all of the fun out of it, he says.

DCEOMAGAZINE.COM

4/6/20 1:05 PM


MEET D MAGAZINE’S CONTENT MARKETING AGENCY. PARTNERING WITH FORTUNE 100 BUSINESSES ACROSS DALLAS AND BEYOND.

CONTENT S T R AT E GY SOCIAL MEDIA UX & DESIGN VIDEO

H I @ D C U S TO M .C O M | D C U S TO M .C O M/D C E O A DIVISION OF D MAGAZINE

Dcustom_AD-2020.indd 1 DCustom.indd 1

12/12/19 7:32 AM 4/1/20 11:52 AM


OFF DUTY

CITY-MINDED

Tanya Ragan is an entrepreneur, activist, and a leader in the redevelopment of downtown Dallas.

ART OF STYLE

URBAN DEVELOPER TANYA RAGAN FINDS INSPIRATION IN THE STREETS OF DOWNTOWN DALLAS.

STYLE ICONS: My mother, who just turned 75, is one of the most fashionable people I know. She has her own unique style and embraces it 110 percent. I also love Dolly Parton. She is a trailblazer and has always embraced what makes her different; she’s businesssavvy and confident in her skin. It’s so important to be confident in your skin. I gravitate toward style icons who embody that. ON THE JOB: Every day is different, and things tend to change on a dime. When I’m at a construction site, I wear jeans, boots, and a structured blazer that can handle getting dirty. When I have a corporate meeting, I still dress edgy but with a leather jacket, structured blouse, ankle pants, and nice heels. If you look in my trunk, I have an arsenal of shoes. Shoes can change the look of an outfit in seconds.

064

M AY 2 0 2 0

OD_Style_Ragan_0520.indd 64

WHAT INSPIRES ME: I consider myself a creative and constantly find inspiration in architecture, interior design, and the streets of downtown. I also tend to slightly change my look based on my projects. Whether it’s real estate, startup, community, or branding, each has its own identity and it becomes my muse. STYLE GOALS: Downtown, edgy, and urban, with a mix of highend and low-end pieces. If I like it, I don’t care where it came from! STYLE ESSENTIALS: Sunglasses, phone, and my nameplate and Dallas necklace combo. A close family friend made my nameplate necklace for me 16 years ago. I added the Dallas in 2009 when I founded an organization to advocate and revitalize a neighborhood on the southern edge of downtown. GO-TO LOOK: Blazer, dark jeans, belt, and edgy boots that are comfortable for walking downtown streets and site visits. My favorite boots are by Chloé; people have stopped me on the streets to ask about them. I tend to dress more on the

P H OTO G R A P H Y BY H E A T H E R H A W K I N S

WHAT I DO: I’m the owner and president of Wildcat Management. I focus on urban revitalization and historic rehabilitation efforts. Our latest project was restoring the 115-yearold Purse Building in Dallas’ West End District.

masculine side, making it more feminine with jewelry and accessories.

weekends I am makeupfree and swap in blue jeans and a cotton blouse.

HOW I ACCESSORIZE: Jennifer Fisher gold hoops, a stack of gold bracelets, and my nameplate necklace.

FAVORITE STORES: Probably Dallas’ Elements and Flea Style. I also love to hit hidden consignment stores and flea markets when I travel. I’ll then mix in mainstream basics like Banana Republic, J.Crew, and Gap.

WEEKEND LOOK: My style rarely changes. The only difference is on

DCEOMAGAZINE.COM

4/6/20 10:29 AM


Matador Resources congratulates our own David Lancaster on being recognized as a finalist for Outstanding CFO – Large Public Company for the D CEO Corporate Financial Executive Awards. Everyone at Matador appreciates David for his financial and operational expertise over the past 16 years.

Dana Pingenot joins RGT Wealth Advisors as Senior Director CELEBRATING

35 YEARS OF SERVICE

rgtadvisors.com

_StackedPartials.indd 65

•

214.360.7000

4/6/20 1:30 PM


OFF DUTY

CENTRAL PARK

Much like the city that surrounds it, it’s impossible to see all of New York City’s anchor park in one day.

BACCARAT BAR

The bar in this Midtown hotel takes its visual cues from glamorous ballrooms in France and the royal stables at Versailles.

W E L L -T R AV E L E D

New York City Few destinations can top Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits president Shelly Stein’s home away from home.

THE VESSEL

Built as part of the Hudson Yards Redevelopment Project, the structure offers 16 stories and 80 landings for visitors to climb.

066

LAVO

Situated on Madison Avenue and just steps from Central Park, the upscale Italian restaurant is large and luxurious.

M AY 2 0 2 0

OD_WellTraveled_0520.indd 66

4/4/20 10:50 PM

H U D S O N YA R D S H A E R Y U N G S T O C K I M A G E S / S H U T T E R S T O C K . C O M ; S K Y L I N E , C E N T R A L PA R K , A N D C O LU M B U S C I R C L E S H U T T E R S T O C K . C O M ; B AC C A R AT C O U R T E S Y O F B A C C A R A T ; L AVO BY B I A N C A R . M O N T E S ; LOT T E C O U R T E S Y O F L O T T E P A L A C E

story by BIANCA R. MONTES


OFF DUTY

H U D S O N YA R D S H A E R Y U N G S T O C K I M A G E S / S H U T T E R S T O C K . C O M ; S K Y L I N E , C E N T R A L PA R K , A N D C O LU M B U S C I R C L E S H U T T E R S T O C K . C O M ; B AC C A R AT C O U R T E S Y O F B A C C A R A T ; L AVO BY B I A N C A R . M O N T E S ; LOT T E C O U R T E S Y O F L O T T E P A L A C E

T

the coronavirus pandemic was just starting to hit the United States when I traveled to New York City in early March. Just a few weeks later, Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a statewide “state of pause.” It’s hard to imagine what the impact will be when the city opens for business again. But it has emerged from other tragedies before. Along with its resiliency, Manhattan has the unique ability to allow travelers to escape into myriad experiences that vastly differ from neighborhood to neighborhood. Whether that’s trendy spots in Union Square or Hudson Yards in the West Side or the glitz and glamour of the Upper East Side, one can easily feel as though they’ve traveled the globe in about 23 square miles. In other words, the options are endless. For accommodations, I selected the Midtown Manhattan landmark retreat, Lotte New York Palace—partly because of its easy proximity to the long list of attractions I hoped to conquer during my visit and partly because of my love for the American teen drama, Gossip Girl. Located right behind St. Patrick’s Cathedral, The Palace is easily recognized by its Madison Avenue gates. It’s the city’s first five-star hotel and drips with both Old World elegance and new world opulence. I highly recommend staying in its hotel-within-a-hotel, The Towers, which takes

DCEOMAGAZINE.COM

OD_WellTraveled_0520.indd 67

up the top 14 floors of the building. The views are incredible. And if you really want to splurge, book the Hästens Ultimate Sleep Suite–because who doesn’t want to sleep in a $200,000 Viking bed? The hotel’s Jewel and Champagne suites are among Manhattan’s most luxurious. Although the best part of Manhattan is outside, plan to stay in for breakfast one morning. Served within the architectural splendor of the Villard House, I drooled over a creamy eggs Benedict and lemon mascarpone pancakes drizzled with warm bourbon-spiked maple syrup. Other food highlights included vegan French toast soaked in a strawberry compote, candied almonds, strawberry butter, and coconut whipped cream at P.S. Kitchen in the Theater District, the truffle gnocchi at the industrial-chic Italian eatery LAVO in Midtown East, and apple strudel paired with maple ice cream and candied pecans at the fancy Baccarat Hotel in Midtown—sit at the table with the Mason Atia faux fur chairs. Must-sees for any traveler include a visit to the poignant National Sept. 11 Memorial Museum, The Empire State Building, and an on-Broadway musical. While in town, I was fortunate enough to see two productions in preview: Diana, which is currently my favorite musical ever, and Six, a pop princess-like story of Henry VIII’s six wives. Taking in the world-class cultural offerings is another must. Previous trips allowed me to explore the MET and the MoMA. This time, I enjoyed the Vida Americana exhibit at Chelsea museum The Whitney, and then hiked the High Line before exploring new food offerings like cocas at Mercado Little Spain at Hudson Yards. No trip to New York City is complete without taking time to shop (or window-shop) along Madison Avenue. Renowned as the longest street of luxury in North America, the 1.5mile historic district is home to some of the world’s most exclusive brands, as well as retail gems like shoe manufacturer John Lobb. Standout boutiques include the Swiss watch shop Chopard and the Mark Cross flagship.  

T R AV E L T I P S

Eat, Drink, Shop, and Be Merry From three-hour dinners at some of the world’s best restaurants to shopping at bespoke clothiers on Madison Avenue and taking in Broadway shows with famous friends, Shelly Stein is right at home in New York City. “There is so much to do, there’s so much to see, and there are so many things that you can’t find anywhere else,” says Stein, president of Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits. Living parttime on the Upper East Side for the past 16 years, the former Broadway producer recommends the “unbelievable eating experiences” at the award-winning Eleven Madison Park, as well as more homey offerings at his favorite neighborhood Italian eatery, Canaletto.

LOTTE PALACE

The hotel’s Villard Mansion entrance is one of the most wellknown front doors in New York City.

M AY 2 0 2 0

067

4/6/20 1:06 PM


OFF DUTY

FIRST JOB

The humble beginnings of some of the region’s top business leaders.

G R E AT E R G O O D

Clearing the Way

“My first job with a paycheck was working as a dishwasher when I was 12 years old at the Hungry Horse Saloon in Ericson, Nebraska. I went on to become a hostess, waitress, and cook; on a slow night, I might have been all three.”

A high school teacher inspired Evelyn Torres to pursue a STEM career. Now, the founder and CEO of Solaris Technologies Services is paying it forward.

SUSAN SALK A

W

CHANGING LIVES hen i told my dad i was interested in math or sciEvelyn Torres’ ence, he said, ‘Well, you know, what about being a secremobile cell tower company helps tary?’ I took a lot of high-level math courses, and I had a bring connectivity to remote areas. math professor who had such belief in me—she got me to think differently. She saw something in me that I didn’t see. And I think that’s the reason why I didn’t give up. I thought, ‘Well, she believes in me, so I must have something.’ My whole future pivoted on that one experience and one person. I’ve been involved from the get-go with a lot of things that have to do with women in engineering. I try to put my efforts into anything that has to do with STEM (science, technology, engineering, math), from the elementary level up to the collegiate level. I tell the girls and young women, ‘Don’t get lost with all of this. Don’t feel like you can’t or you’re not good enough to be an engineer or an inventor or an entrepreneur like I am. You can do it.’ And then I try to show them a pathway toward achieving their goals.” — As told to Will Maddox

068

M AY 2 0 2 0

OD_GreaterGood_Torres_0520.indd 68

P O R T R A I T BY J U S T I N C L E M O N S

CEO, AMN Healthcare

“My first job was working as a custodian at a nursing home. It taught me about responsibility, how to save money, and how to give it away.” EMMITT SMITH

Chairman, E Smith Advisors

“At age 7, I began helping on our farm in Brazil and with my dad in his butcher shop. My parents could not read, but they taught me the value of hard work and that by working as a team, we could finish early and enjoy more success.” C A R L O S VA Z

Co-founder and CEO, CONTI

DCEOMAGAZINE.COM

4/6/20 11:11 AM


THANK YOU TO OUR 2020 SPONSORS FROM NAIOP NORTH TEXAS PLATINUM CIRCLE TRAMMELL CROW

GRANITE

HILLWOOD • PLAINSCAPITAL • DUKE REALTY JLL • ARCH-CON CORPORATION

PROLOGIS

STANTEC

GOLD CIRCLE THE COLONY EDC MAJESTIC REALTY KDC • PRIMERA • IDI LOGISTICS • CHAMPION PARTNERS • MUNSCH HARDT • ALTUS GROUP • NORTHMARQ CAPITAL • CBRE • JACKSON SHAW • CTI • STREAM REALTY • VANTRUST • BILLINGSLEY • SEALY & COMPANY • CAWLEY PARTNERS • KE ANDREWS • LOGISTICS PROPERTY CO. • CORGAN • PEINADO • HPI • ALLIANCE ARCHITECTS • RYAN LLC • GORRONDONA • RYAN COMPANIES • METHOD ARCHITECTURE • STEWART TITLE • CUSHMAN & WAKEFIELD CLX VENTURES • TRANSWESTERN • BRADFORD • ML REALTY PARTNERS • LINK INDUSTRIAL •

FRIEND OF NAIOP TERRACON • RIDGEMONT CONSTRUCTION • NAI ROBERT LYNN • MYCON • FCL BUILDERS • AUSTIN COMMERCIAL • LAS COLINAS ASSOCIATION • HALL GROUP • GAEDEKE • MOSS ADAMS • SMITHGROUP

THINK FIRST, ASK QUESTIONS LATER? GO PUBLIC.™ KERA 90.1 is your constant companion for information, entertainment and mind-opening programming, 24/7. Go for the mix of local, national and global news. Go for the one-of-a-kind programming. Go to make your mind more enlightened, and your day more inspired. Go Public.

GET YOUR FILL AT KERANEWS.ORG

_StackedPartials.indd 69

4/2/20 3:54 PM


OFF DUTY

EARLY LIFE

Farukh Aslam, as a pre-K student in Lahore. It’s the second-largest city in Pakistan, with a population of about 11 million people.

FAMILY GUY

Aslam with his two daughters (Sabrina, left, age 3, and Michelle, age 5), in a 2003 photo; and below as a high school senior.

FARUKH ASLAM CEO SINCLAIR HOLDINGS

as told to BRANDON J. CALL illustration by JAKE MEYERS

070

M AY 2 0 2 0

OD_Roots_Aslam_0520.indd 70

“i was born in lahore, pakistan, a very large city with about 11 million people that dates back 2,500 years. My mother was a homemaker, and my father was a business owner. He processed cotton from farmers that went to textile mills to make fabric. I moved to the United States in 1984 to study electrical engineering at the University of Houston. As a junior in college, I borrowed some money from my parents to buy four rental homes in Houston. It was 1986 and the beginning of the real estate crisis—not a great time to get into the business. Prices were dropping. I also didn’t like being a landlord. I would get calls in the middle of the night about broken water heaters. So, I sold the

rental properties and decided to explore commercial options. That brought me to Fort Worth in 1991. Assets were being auctioned off; I looked at a shopping center. I ended up falling in love with the city and decided to move here. I made a great investment in some land in Fossil Creek and subsequently developed two hotels. In 1998, I bought the former Colored Tile building in downtown Fort Worth and converted it into a data center and colocation facility. In 2016, I bought the historic Sinclair Building, also in downtown Fort Worth. At the time, it was an office building with 85 percent occupancy. I knew immediately that I wanted to convert it into a hotel. Gone are the days when every hotel property looks exactly like the others. I think we are seeing the demise of chain restaurants and the cookie-cutter approach to building because people want new experiences. I’m very honored to own one of the nicest hotels in Fort Worth. I feel like I’ve truly lived the American dream.”

I M AG E S C O U R T E S Y O F F A R U K H A S L A M

ROOTS

DCEOMAGAZINE.COM

3/31/20 9:35 PM


We congratulate Brian Miller and the other finalists of the D CEO Financial Executives Awards for 2020.

We admire Brian for his deep understanding of our business, and his genuine, approachable leadership style. Thanks, Brian, for being a great leader.

14178 D CEO Financial Exec Award Ad.indd 1

Brian Miller Executive Vice President & CFO Tyler Technologies

3/16/20 6:30 AM

Keep your finger on the pulse of Dallas’ top healthcare news with D CEO Healthcare’s daily newsletter. DELIVERED DIRECTLY TO YOUR INBOX, DAILY.

Stay informed at dmagazine.com/healthcare

_StackedPartials.indd 71

4/1/20 12:21 PM


FROM THE COLLECTIONS OF T H E D A L L A S H I S T O R Y & A R C H I V E S D I V I S I O N , D A L L A S P U B L I C L I B R A R Y

END MARK

FASHION FORWARD

Retail pioneer Herbert Marcus, surrounded by his sons (from left): Edward, Lawrence, Herbert Jr., and Stanley.

A Legacy of Style HERBERT MARCUS Sept. 6, 1878—Dec. 11, 1950

story by WILL MADDOX

072

M AY 2 0 2 0

EndMark_Marcus_0520.indd 72

orn in 1878 in louisville, herbert marcus followed his brother, Theodore, to Texas and worked as a janitor at a general store in Hillsboro. He became a salesman and buyer at clothier Sanger Brothers then joined his sister, Carrie Marcus Neiman, and her husband, Abraham Lincoln “Al” Neiman, to form Neiman Marcus Co. in 1907. The company pioneered selling high-quality, ready-to-wear clothing, versus couture. Oil-rich Texans were eager to buy stylish fashions from New York and Paris, and Neiman Marcus saw immediate success. Marcus’ firstborn son, Stanley, was named president in 1950. He prioritized service and innovated by organizing international fashion shows, hosting art exhibits in stores, and creating Neiman Marcus’ famous Christmas catalog, with extravagant gifts. Stanley was heavily engaged in his industry, his community, and the arts. Although the Marcus family sold the company years ago, it continues to be based in Dallas, with its flagship store in the core of downtown.

DCEOMAGAZINE.COM

3/30/20 11:43 AM


BG Staffing.indd 1

4/2/20 11:32 AM


ALEAVESMAJOR DEVELOPER A LASTING LEGACY ON THE CITY

“We rely on Texas Capital Bank for the industry expertise and their dedicated team. They are there for you when you need them. I’m not only their client; I’m their biggest fan.” Lucy Billingsley, Co-Founder and Partner of Billingsley Company

THANKS TO

Texas Capital Bank takes great pride in helping entrepreneurs and business owners realize their dreams. By providing capital and business expertise to privately held companies, we’ve grown into one of the most successful banks in the U.S., consistently recognized by Forbes as one of the Best Banks in America. What can our bankers do for the business that you built?

Commercial Banking | Private Wealth Advisors www.texascapitalism.com Texas Capital Bank, N.A.

Member FDIC

NASDAQ ® : TCBI

TCB DCEO Developer Ad 3.2.20.indd 1

3/3/20 11:04 AM

TexasCapitalBank.indd 1

4/1/20 11:57 AM

Profile for DCEO

D CEO May 2020  

News, Information, and Insights on Dallas-Fort Worth Business

D CEO May 2020  

News, Information, and Insights on Dallas-Fort Worth Business

Profile for dceo