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CEO

Baker Botts’ C H R I S TA B R OW N - S A N F O R D

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CONTENTS J U N E /J U LY 2 0 2 0

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Power Shift Black women now hold top roles at three of the region’s most revered civic institutions. Meet the executives who are changing what leadership looks like in Dallas. story by SHERRI DAYE SCOTT photography by SEAN BERRY

MONEY MANAGER Dallas Assembly President Cheryl Alston also oversees the retirement fund of City of Dallas employees.

38

A Fight For Funding Dallas is one of the best markets in the country for women entrepreneurs, but they still face an uphill battle. story by KELSEY J. VANDERSCHOOT

P H OTO G R A P H Y BY S E A N B E R R Y

42

The New Normal Area business leaders share their best remoteworking tools and strategies. Plus: pics of their home offices. story by BIANCA R. MONTES

DCEOMAGAZINE.COM

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CONTENTS

16 EDITOR’S NOTE

DOSSIER Tasha Schwikert, Munck Wilson Mandala 22 MEET THE 500

Nicole Weeldreyer, Goldman Sachs & Co.

19

60

T R A N C O U R T E S Y O F A S H L E Y T R A N , S C H W I K E R T BY J O N A T H A N Z I Z Z O , D OW D L E C O U R T E S Y O F LY N N D O W D L E , R E S O R T P H OTO G R A P H Y C O U R T E S Y O F G R E G C E O S T U D I O

1 9 YO U N E E D T O K N O W

2 2 F R O M T H E VA U LT

U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox 2 4 A P PA R E L

Karen Noseff Aldridge, Rebel Athletic 2 6 O N T H E TA B L E

Amy Power, The Power Group

FIELD NOTES 47 L E A D E R S H I P A DV I C E

Sandra Phillips Rogers, Toyota Motor North America 4 8 R E A L E S TAT E

After four decades, the Dallas chapter of Commercial Real Estate Women looks toward the future—one that gives voice to industry professionals of both sexes. 50 ON TOPIC

Teresa Mackintosh of Trintech, Amanda Moreno-Lake of Jim Lake Cos., and Laura Rea Dickey of Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants share the biggest business lessons they’ve learned from the coronavirus crisis.

58

54 LAST MEAL

OFF DUTY 53 PURSUITS

Lynn Dowdle, Dowdle Real Estate

Melissa Reiff of The Container Store, Connie Mahmood of Allegiance Capital Corp., and Allie Beth Allman of Allie Beth & Associates ON THE COVER:   Christa Brown-Sanford of Baker Botts and Junior League of Dallas, photographed by Sean Berry.

56 ART OF STYLE

24

Jayda Batchelder, Education Opens Doors 5 8 W E L L -T R AV E L E D : K E Y W E S T

Jo Trizila, CEO of TrizCom 60 ROOTS

Ashley Tran, Verbena Parlor and Social House

Sara Horton Cockrell, Dallas’ first capitalist

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CEO

76 END MARK

Baker Botts’ C H R I S TA B R OW N - S A N F O R D

is president-elect of Junior League of Dallas.

Black women now hold top roles at three of Dallas’ most revered civic institutions.

53 DCEOMAGAZINE.COM

6/9/20 10:24 AM


Don’t settle for less.

S T RENGTH

IN D I V E R S IT Y We are here to win for you.

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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 CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Richard Alm, Brandon J. Call, W. Michael Cox EDITORIAL INTERNS Plamedie Ifasso, Sofia Krusmark, Ben Swanger, Paige Walters

ART DESIGN DIRECTOR Hamilton Hedrick STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Elizabeth Lavin LEAD DIGITAL DESIGNER Emily Olson ASSISTANT DIGITAL DESIGNER Piper Caldwell

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 MANAGING EDITOR OF SPECIAL SECTIONS Jennifer Sander Hayes DIGITAL REVENUE DIRECTOR Tracy Albertson DIGITAL AD OPERATIONS MANAGER Riley Hill

MARKETING & EVENTS BRAND MANAGER Carly Mann EVENTS DIRECTOR Bethany Kempfe ADVERTISING ART DIRECTOR Katie Garza BRAND INTERN Grace Inthathirath

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 Madison Jackson

PRODUCTION DIRECTOR John Gay DIGITAL IMAGING SPECIALIST Natalie Goff

BUSINESS CONTROLLER Debbie Travis ACCOUNTING MANAGER Sabrina LaTorre STAFF ACCOUNTANT Lesley Killen IT TECHNICIAN Luan Aliji

WEB EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Matt Goodman WEB EDITORIAL INTERN Abby Blasingame

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

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We proudly support the 2020 D CEO Women’s Leadership Symposium

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AGENDA

Chuck Eisemann, Ann Eisemann

Kelem Butts, Cynthia Yung, Amber Scheurer and Julian Mensah

CFT Celebrates $2 Billion Milestone confetti cannons marked the occasion as Communities Foundation of Texas board trustees, fundholders, and community leaders came together in February to celebrate a momentous occasion and historic milestone—$2 billion in charitable grantmaking from CFT since its inception in 1953. President and CEO Dave Scullin noted, “The real story is not the dollars, Monica Egert Sm ith Gillian Breidenba , it’s the thousands of people who give and the tens ch of thousands of people helped. That’s the secret sauce that makes for a vibrant community.” More than 200 joined to welcome incoming CFT board chair, Alfreda Norman, of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, and toast past accomplishments and future opportunities to build a thriving community for all.

Connie O’Neill, Judy Gibbs, Jim Bass and Alfreda Norman

Jack and Meredith Woodworth

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Dave Scullin, Alfeda Norman, Jim Bass

Ken Malcolmson, Bobby Lyle, Clay Jenkins, Cristal Retana

CFT Current and Former Trustees

Charles Glover, Florence Shapiro, Steve Maus

Tom Montgomery, Jan Hegi, Fred Hegi

P H OTO G R A P H Y BY K I M L E E S O N

Matrice Ellis-Kirk, Terry Loftis

Debra Tagg, Dianne Adleta

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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

The Business Case For Ending Racism

PLAN. RETIRE. ENJOY.

Pictured left to right: Patrick K. Wallace, ChFC®, CFEd®; Frances Gardner, CFP®, CFEd®, CDFA™ Robert Gardner, CEPA, CFEd®, LUTCF; Andrew Gardner, CFP®, CFEd®

972.833.2565 gardnerwallace.com yourteam@gardnerwallace.com Securities offered through Kestra Investment Services, LLC (Kestra IS), member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Kestra Advisory Services, LLC (Kestra AS), an affiliate of Kestra IS. Gardner Wallace Financial

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The experienced team at Gardner Wallace Financial Solutions provides a wide array of financial solutions to their clients, working closely with them to identify needs, develop appropriate solutions and implement a plan that evolves with them through all life stages. Because no two individuals or businesses are identical, the Gardner Wallace team crafts customized plans to help you meet your unique goals.

in the mid-1990s, i was with my then-husband, a mexican American, when he was pulled over for a traffic violation. I remember being struck at how his demeanor changed when the officer asked him to step out of the car. Normally confident and outgoing, he seemed to shrink and became subservient, standing with his head bowed. After some time, the officer, who was white, walked over to the passenger side to talk with me. “Why are you with him?” he asked. I didn’t understand what he meant. Then, he clarified: “He’s not one of us.” My mind went back to a time in the late 1960s. I was 7 years old, swimming at a city pool in Michigan. I noticed another girl who was about my age and asked her if she wanted to play. We began splashing around, but a lifeguard came over and separated us. “Don’t play with her,” he scolded me. I was confused, but as I looked around, I noticed that people with light skin, like me, were on one side of the pool, and people with dark skin, like my new friend, were on the other. I have witnessed other incidents of racism over the years, but as a white woman, my experiences have been limited to just that: being an observer. I can’t imagine being a victim, living with the crushing oppression day after day, year after year, decade after decade. Being judged, discriminated against, and even hurt or killed—just because of your ethnicity or the melanin in your skin. It’s unconscionable. When people are robbed of opportunities, they never reach their full potential. Beyond the tragic human cost, we all pay a very real economic price. The W.K. Kellogg Foundation studied the effects of closing the minority earnings gap in the United States. It found that doing so by 2030 would increase GDP by 16 percent, or more than $5 trillion a year. Federal tax revenue would increase by more than $1 trillion, and corporate profits would increase by $450 billion. We can become a better, stronger, and more equitable community and country. But only if those of us with privilege acknowledge the systemic racism that exists—and are willing to move beyond being an observer to take action.

Christine Perez Editor

Solutions is not affiliated with Kestra IS or Kestra AS.

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6/2/20 10:32 AM


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DOSSIER TRENDS

to

WATC H

a n d

NORTH TEXAS NEWSMAKERS

YOU NEED TO KNOW

Tasha Schwikert Brings Her Competitive Drive to Law The Olympic medal-winning gymnast —and Larry Nassar survivor— is now an attorney at Munck Wilson Mandala in Dallas. story by BRANDON J. CALL photography by JONATHAN ZIZZO

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DOSSIER

T

was a Jane Doe in the Larry Nassar abuse case before deciding to go public in 2018. “I finally had enough,” she says. “I decided to share my story to help the sport heal. A terrible thing happened to me, and it happened to a lot of other girls. I still love the sport; it will always be a part of me and who I am. But to watch my entire sport blow up and crumble like it did—it was devastating.” After the Olympics, Schwikert attended the University of California, Los Angeles on scholarship and competed in gymnastics for the Bruins. She continued to earn accolades and awards, including twice being crowned the best collegiate gymnast in the country. After college, she took a tasha schwikert was supposed to follow job with a sports management agency in LA, repin the footsteps of her professional tennis-playing resenting other women athletes. “It was very near mother, Joy, and aunt, Jill. The twins were womand dear to my heart,” she says. “But I noticed feen’s doubles players on the Virginia Slims Circuit male athletes got the short end of the stick when in the 1970s. But at the age of 3, Schwikert took it came to sponsorship deals and the amount of her first gymnastics class—and she was hooked. money they were offered. It irked me.” She excelled in the sport. When she was 15, Schwikert decided law Schwikert was called on to reschool was the answer. She place an injured teammate five “I NOTICED graduated from the Univerdays before the start of the 2000 FEMALE ATHLETES sity of Nevada, Las Vegas Olympics. “I felt the weight of GOT THE SHORT in 2015. After getting a few the world on my shoulders,” she END OF THE STICK years of litigation experience says. “I’ll never forget the feeling WHEN IT CAME under her belt, she moved to of walking into the arena with Dallas in 2019 with her husthe Olympic music playing—that TO SPONSORSHIP band, professional basketball classic tune that I’d heard four DEALS AND THE player Mike Moser, who took years before on TV.” AMOUNT OF a job as a coach for the Dallas A decade later, the 2000 U.S. MONEY THEY Mavericks. Women’s gymnastics team would WERE OFFERED. Schwikert’s focus these days rightfully receive its Olympic IT IRKED ME.” is on putting together M&A bronze medal, after China was transactions and helping to disqualified for competing with establish a new sports law an underage athlete. It was a cap practice for Munck Wilson on an elite gymnastics career Mandala. And when she’s not for Schwikert that also included negotiating contracts, she can be found chasing leading the U.S. to its first team gold medal at around her two athletic kids. the world championships and twice winning Schwikert says her journey to Olympic glory the U.S. All-Around national champion (in is something that continues to serve her well, as 2001 and 2002). both a mother and an attorney. “I have this getIn a 2004 profile on Schwikert, The New York it-done mentality,” she says. “When it’s ‘go’ time, Times  dubbed the teenage prodigy the Dennis that’s when I perform my best. I can turn it on. Rodman of gymnastics, not because she had tatWhen you’re exhausted and think you can’t do toos or colorful hair (she didn’t), but because she it—it’s times like that when I know that I will pull was always outspoken in training. As the years through. Gymnastics instills that in you.” went on, Schwikert continued to speak out; she

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FA ST FAC T S

All-Around Excellence

01 Despite being the youngest member of the 2000 U.S. Olympic gymnastics team, Tasha Schwikert was trusted by coaches to be first up on apparatus—to start the team off on the right foot.

02 Among her many honors: bronze team medal in the 2000 Olympics, gold team medal in the 2003 World Gymnastics Championships, and NCAA all-around national champion for 2005 and 2008.

03 As an attorney at Munck Wilson Mandala, Schwikert’s law specialties include technology, real estate, and leading the firm’s new sports law practice.

04 Last year, her testimony before the Texas Senate State Affairs Committee helped convince lawmakers to extend the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse victims.

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DOSSIER

F R O M T H E VA U LT

Still Fighting Crimes Her work in cybersecurity helped prepare Erin Nealy Cox to put away the bad guys.

NICOLE WEELDREYER Managing Director G O L D M A N S AC H S & C O .

in 2008, 10 years after joining goldman sachs as a summer associate, Nichole Weeldreyer was named a managing director at the firm. She advises high-networth families, business owners, and foundation executives on investment strategies. “Wealthy families today are different than they were even 15 years ago,” she says. “Many have created wealth by disrupting industries or following a path that’s different from the norm.” Weeldreyer also is actively involved in the community.

EDUCATION: University of North Carolina (MBA), Dartmouth College (BA) TOUGHEST CHALLENGE: “Few people talk about midlife crises beyond the cliché of buying a sports car, but they are a thing. Despite recognizing that I am incredibly lucky both personally and professionally, I waded through an introspective period this past year, assessing my life from a lot of angles. I found strength in acknowledging the cumulative value of time as a source of power, expertise, and wisdom— not as the beginning of the end.”  FAVORITE THING: “I’m more excited about experiences than things. Given the spread in our

kids’ ages—17, 16, and 10—we haven’t had a lot of opportunity to travel. Last year, we started what I hope will be an annual tradition of a family trip to a place that means something special to us. The inaugural destination was Greece, as a nod to my mom’s family heritage, and it did not disappoint.”

City Year is relatively new to Dallas, the platform is is catching fire and will appeal to anyone who is inspired by servant leadership.”  SPORTS TEAM: “I have two girls who row crew, and I’m floored by the work ethic and dedication of their teams (Founders Rowing Club and Exeter Girls Crew.)”   BUCKET LIST: “I’d like to become a sommelier.” LOOKING AHEAD: “I’m excited about the open-mindedness and intellectual curiosity of rising generations. I believe these people will fundamentally shift the way that we think about diversity, inclusion, family, work, and empowerment.”

as u.s. attorney for the Northern District of Texas, Erin Nealy Cox spends her days prosecuting high-profile criminals—using skills she honed in the business world. Nealy Cox worked as an Assistant U.S. Attorney from 1999 to 2008 but left to become a consultant for cybersecurity firm Stroz Friedberg (now Aon). D CEO featured her in its January/February 2010 edition. Nealy Cox returned to law enforcement and assumed her current post in November 2017. “You don’t really find many U.S. Attorneys that leave the practice of law, go into the business world, and then become U.S. Attorneys; it’s not a traditional path,” says Nealy Cox, who prosecutes everything from drug cartels and computer hackers to health insurance fraud. —Audrey Dedrick

W E E L D R E Y E R BY J A K E M E Y E R S

MEET THE 500

BEVERAGE OF CHOICE: “Central Coast Pinot Noir” NONPROFIT CAUSE: “City Year is a corps of young adults who serve students in schools that need support. These young leaders, distinguished by their red jackets, are improving attendance, moving the needle on academic outcomes, and supporting overstretched teachers. Even though

FACT FINDER

D CEO first wrote about Erin Nealy Cox (right) 10 years ago. As a cybersecurity consultant, she helped companies with breaches and legal battles. “I’m an advocate for the facts,” she said.

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.

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Featured CFT for Business members: (L to R) Jessica Nuñez, Heather Capps, Kathy Hoke, Debra Brennan Tagg, Amy Stewart

SIDE by SIDE with Women Business Leaders “Our decade-long partnership is a testament to CFT’s unmatched ability to offer practical ways we can invest in our community and fulfill our core value of charity.” - Heather Capps, President and CEO, HCK2 Partners “CFT has helped us to strengthen our commitment to the community, from our annual Family Service Day to our business-advised fund, to strategizing and serving alongside other values-based companies to create lasting impact.” - Debra Brennan Tagg, President, Brennan Financial Services “CFT has guided our organization on the path to growing a vibrant values-based corporate culture where the spirit of philanthropy has firmly taken root, along with furnishing the opportunity to meet and form collaborative relationships with other like-minded member companies.” - Katherine D. Hoke, Attorney/Principal, Shields Legal Group

Be in good company: Join CFT for Business.

“Being involved with CFT has created community in our company and helped us build connections with other businesses who want to make a positive impact in Dallas.” - Jessica Nuñez, Founder and President, TruePoint “Stewart Law Group is honored to team up with CFT on its mission to empower business leaders who are passionate in building a philanthropic network that makes the Dallas community stronger.” - Amy M. Stewart, Founding Partner, Stewart Law Group PLLC

214-750-4229 | business@cftexas.org | CFTexas.org/company

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DOSSIER

A P PA R E L

Dallas is the perfect home for Rebel Athletic, maker of highly styled, blinged-out cheer gear.

P H OTO G R A P H Y C O U R T E S Y O F K A R E N N O S E F F A L D R I D G E

story by SOOHA AHN

k aren noseff aldridge didn’t pay a penny for her rebel THE Athletic apparel to be featured in the Netflix mega-hit Cheer. The COMPANY’S show chronicles Corsicana’s Navarro College Bulldogs squad as they PROFILE prepare for the National Cheerleading Championships, all decked SPIKED AFTER out in flashy Rebel attire. “The Netflix producers edited Rebel into so many parts of the show because we added to the narrative,” AlITS APPAREL dridge says. “We were very open in unfurling information about the WAS FEATURED cheerleading world and proving that cheer is a legitimate sport.” ON A POPULAR More than 70 percent of Rebel’s employees and executive team NETFLIX are women. Clients include some of the DOCUSERIES. world’s biggest squads, such as Canada’s 1,200-member Cheer Sport Sharks, as well as professional teams like the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. Rebel’s Netflix appearance led to distributors reaching out from all over the globe. Aldridge had turned away such suitors in the past, but “with the frenzied level of interest following the show, we’ve decided to give it a shot,” she says. Cheer gear is a segue for the Rebel Athletic founder and president, who left law school at Southern Methodist University to launch a designer jeans line in 2008. Her company, Fortune Denim, was a success, with products sold in 300 boutiques and department stores. But when the Great Recession struck, sales fell 40 percent, and Aldridge put the company on pause. To help keep her small team employed, she started doing private label for women’s contemporary brands and teaching dance classes. Through a twist of fate, she met the owner of a cheerleading events company, which led to an order for 2,000 cheer champion jackets. While hand-sewing glistening sequins onto garment sleeves, it occurred to Aldridge that there was a business opportunity in selling highly styled, blinged-out cheer uniforms. Market research revealed a single industry giant, Varsity Spirit, controlled about 80 percent of the market. Aldridge felt she could grab her share, too. PLAYING TO WIN “We’ve somehow figured out a way to use our Karen Noseff size as an advantage against competitors,” Aldridge says her company has she says. “We remain nimble and adaptable, created “a new look altogether” and will adjust our sails at a moment’s notice for competitive if something isn’t working.” cheer uniforms.

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Always Here for Women & Girls As the only foundation in Texas focused solely on women and girls, we know the unique issues they face. Now more than ever, we need your support to help those who were impacted first by the economic and social crisis, and who will feel the impact for the longest time – lower income women and families. The women who make up 63% of minimum wage workers in our community whose jobs disappeared overnight. The women and their families who live with food and housing insecurity, and whose lack of access to health care makes them most at risk in the pandemic. The women and children who are not safe in their own homes. The women who, as the economy reopens, face the impossible choice of returning to work without viable child care for their families.

Join us by contributing to the R e s i l i e n c e F u n d. Help us meet the needs of lower income women and families – now and in the many months ahead. Be here for us, because we are here for them. Donate at txwf.org or text Texas2020 to 41444

Learn more about the challenges facing women and girls in our newly released research: Economic Issues for Women in Texas 2020. This timely study takes a comprehensive look at the four building blocks that are fundamental to the financial security of a woman and her family: child care, housing, education and health insurance. Access the study at

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DOSSIER

O N T H E TA B L E

Independent Streak: Amy Power of The Power Group The PR pro launched her own firm on the same day she gave birth to her first child; they’ll both turn 21 this year.

growing up in a suburb of atlanta, amy Power spent her childhood surrounded by tall trees and chasing fireflies in her backyard. Even as a young girl, she dreamed of owning her own business someday. “I had never heard the word ‘entrepreneur;’ that feeling was just there,” she story by CHRISTINE PEREZ says, between bites of grilled Chilean sea bass illustration by JAKE MEYERS from TJ’s Seafood Market, a personal favorite. (In a D CEO first, our “On the Table” interview was held via Zoom, helped along by DoorDash.) Power’s mother was a nurse and her father worked for EDS, but her grandmother owned an alteration shop outside of Memphis. During visits, Power would hang out with her and observe how “I LOVE BUSINESS, AND she dealt with customers and I LOVE JOURNALISM. handled transactions. For PR ALLOWS ME TO BLEND fun, she’d sometimes get out THOSE TWO THINGS.” an ironing board and iron her grandmother’s money before they’d take deposits to the bank. “I made the bills all nice and crisp,” she says. “I was about 7 or 8 years old; it was entertaining to me.” While studying communications at Mary Baldwin College in Virginia, her career path came into focus when she wrote her first press release as a class assignment. “I knew instantly,” Power says. “I love business, and I love journalism. PR allows me to blend those two things.”

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After school, settling in Atlanta didn’t feel right. Texas “just seemed so free and open,” Power says, so in the fall of 1990, she packed everything she owned into her green Saturn and headed west. Power gained experience in corporate PR at TracyLocke then took a job at a smaller agency led by Scott White. When he learned of Power’s goal to open her own business someday, White took the time to walk her through his P&L statements. By 1998, she had gotten married, and on Oct. 4, 1999, she gave birth to her first child. It was also the day she launched her own company, after winning a deal to help Scott Ginsburg and Bobby Rodriguez promote their new Boardwalk Auto Group. She was in active labor when Rodriguez called, asking her if they could meet. “I asked if they could wait six weeks,” Power says. It turned out to be perfect timing for her new clients, and two decades later, The Power Group is still going strong. The firm handles everything from PR to influencer relations, with a specialty in crisis management, for clients like Golden Chick, the Dallas Holocaust & Human Rights Museum, and Northwood Retail. Power credits an accelerator program run by Entrepreneur’s Organization, a network of business owners, with helping her scale up and diversify as demand for her services grew. She’s now in her third year of serving on EO’s board. These days, Power and her all-women team spend much of their time working with clients on economic challenges brought on by the pandemic. “Everyone is trying to reopen and navigate this whole new world of interfacing,” she says. “I’m just trying to help everyone deal with different scenarios as the situation evolves.”

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BANK OF TEXAS NAMES MANDY AUSTIN DALLAS MARKET PRESIDENT Mandy Austin has been named Dallas Market President for Bank of Texas. Mandy has been with Bank of Texas since 2006 where she rose through the ranks of the Corporate Banking group, most recently serving as Corporate Banking manager. As market president, Mandy will lead operational and business development efforts for Bank of Texas as well as all lines of business for the bank’s parent company, BOK Financial. With approximately 500 employees, Dallas is the fastest growing market within the eight-state BOK Financial footprint. In addition to her role as market president, she will continue to have oversight of the Corporate Banking team. Mandy leads an innovative team that is focused on partnering with clients to find customized solutions. “This is an exciting announcement for Bank of Texas.” said Norm Bagwell, EVP, BOK Financial Regional Banking and CEO, Bank of Texas. “Mandy is a natural leader with impressive banking skills and experience. She is uniquely qualified to help deliver the entirety of our offerings to the Dallas region.” Mandy is passionate about giving back to the Dallas community. She currently serves on the board of directors for The Family Place and The Park City Club and is on the steering committee for the United Way Women of Tocqueville. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Cox School of Business at SMU. Please join us in congratulating Mandy on her new role.

www.bankoftexas.com

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ASK THE EXPERT

Data Privacy and Cybersecurity Lindsay B. Nickle, Partner, Lewis Brisbois

What are the greatest threats you see to businesses today? The two most frequent threats we see are ransomware attacks and business email account compromises. When a business is hit with ransomware, the attackers encrypt files and operating systems to shut down operations and attempt to extort a ransom. The attackers demand a ransom payment in exchange for a decryption key to unlock the encrypted files. Recently, ransomware attackers have started stealing data and threatening to publish if a ransom is not paid. The cyber criminals behind these attacks are sophisticated and often conduct reconnaissance inside an organization’s environment to ensure the deployment of the encryption malware in the most effective manner to achieve their objective – payment of a ransom. When business email compromises occur, we typically find a phishing email that has been used to steal email credentials. A recipient clicks on an attachment or a link in the phishing email, enters their username and password, and then the threat actors steal the credentials when they are typed in and use them to login to the user’s email account using web-based access. The threat actors’ typical goal is to inject themselves into financial transactions to reroute wired or electronic transfer of funds from the intended vendor or service provider to the threat actors’ account. Not only can this scenario result in the loss of significant revenue, the threat actors’ access may also trigger data breach notification obligations if the information accessed by the threat actors is legally protected. What should I do if I discover my business has been hit with ransomware? If you discover ransomware in your environ-

ment, disconnect your servers and workstations from the internet. Contact a cybersecurity attorney and report the incident to your cyber insurance carrier. As your cybersecurity counsel, we are able to leverage experts who can assist with investigating the incident, facilitating negotiations with threat actors, and coordinating the recovery. In addition, we can assist with determining whether sensitive or protected information in your environment remains secure and advise regarding legal obligations if sensitive data has been breached or compromised. What should I do if I believe someone has hacked an email account in my business environment? If you believe an email account in your environment has been hacked, immediately change the password for that account, and if possible, all other accounts in your environment. Then contact a cybersecurity attorney and your cyber insurance carrier so experts can be deployed to investigate and ensure that your email environment is secure. Cybersecurity experts can help you confirm the extent of the compromise and what legal obligations you may have as a result. How do I protect my business from these attacks? Our team can help you prevent costly compromises by conducting security posture assessments, assuring regulatory and security standard compliance, building security into your vendor agreements, and developing a solid incident response plan to mitigate the fallout from an incident should one occur.

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Lindsay Nickle is a partner in the Dallas office of Lewis Brisbois and a vice chair of the Data Privacy & Cybersecurity Practice. She is experienced with overseeing the process of investigating potential data security events and interpreting the state, federal, and international laws governing data breach response. She also guides clients through regulatory investigations arising from data security incidents. In addition, she assists clients with the assessment of cybersecurity risk and the development of risk management processes and data security measures to prevent cybersecurity incidents and protect confidential, private, and highly sensitive data.

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Our lawyers understand complex technology and are devoted to customer service. Our team employs a holistic approach to data privacy and cybersecurity, offering a suite of services to help clients keep their data private and secure and to assist them with information privacy, accessibility, and security compliance. Let our award-winning team help you identify and manage potential cyber threats and risks before they become a data security incident. But should you face an incident, our Rapid Response team is prepared to respond to any digital crisis 24/7.

Meet our Dallas-based Data Privacy & Cybersecurity Practice team: Lindsay Nickle

Partner and Vice Chair, Data Privacy & Cybersecurity 214.722.7141 Lindsay.Nickle@lewisbrisbois.com

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The Lewis Brisbois Rapid Response team is available 24/7/365 and is geographically distributed across the nation to help clients protect their data, and to respond and remediate any type of data security incident.

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Power Shift

Black women now hold top roles at three of the region’s most revered civic institutions. Meet the executives who are changing what leadership looks like in Dallas.

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was one of the few black women entrusted with entrance into Dallas’ most exclusive civic circles. Yet, all the while, Ellis-Kirk and like-minded allies intentional about inclusion were unlocking and holding open the doors of influence for other qualified women of color to walk through, too. “You can only leave a room better if you expand the perspectives and thinking in it,” says Ellis-Kirk. Cheryl Alston, A. Shonn Brown, and Christa Brown-Sanford are three of those women. “Superstars,” in the words of Ellis-Kirk, the type of “strong leaders the community needs.” Alston, Brown, and Brown-Sanford’s respective appointments to Dallas Assembly president, Texas Women’s Foundation board chair, and Junior League of Dallas president-elect are the culmination of decades-long efforts of people inside and out of Dallas’ seats of power to promote diversity at the city’s decision-making tables. Each is among the first black women to hold her position. And each is committed to making sure Dallas identifies and engages the hundreds of other talented women of color who are ready to serve. That’s why, together with friends and colleagues Lisa Montgomery, Annika Cail, Frances Cudjoe-Waters, Vera Ingram, Diane H. Reeves, and Shawn Wills—all dynamic leaders in their own right—the trio formed The Village Giving Circle in 2017. The goal is to not only harness the giving power of black women professionals but to provide a pipeline for those who are interested in civic leadership. “You don’t get diversity unless someone asks, ‘What does this say about us?’” Ellis-Kirk says. “Dallas is ready for more of those conversations.”

s t o r y b y S H E R R I D AY E S C O T T photography by SEAN BERRY

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“When you look at Dallas’ history, there are a lot of people who have stepped out and risked things in order to make a difference.” In 2004, about a year after Cheryl Alston moved to Dallas from Connecticut, the Wharton-trained investment banker got some sage advice from a mentor: “In Dallas, you’re nothing if you don’t give back. You can have everything in the world, but if you don’t give back to the community …” If her mentor’s social math holds true, Alston— who has spent the past 15 years balancing a high-profile position as executive director and chief investment officer of the Employees’ Retirement Fund of the City of Dallas with donating time and talent to some of the region’s most impactful charitable groups—is as valuable to Dallas as the billions

CHERYL ALSTON

Dallas Assembly

she manages. So, when it came time for the Dallas Assembly, one of the region’s legacy civic institutions, to choose a new leader, it is no wonder they picked Alston, an outsider who became an insider by giving back. In her new leadership role, Alston is charged with directing the nearly six-decades-old organization’s efforts to identify and train Dallas’ next generation of leaders. Its 300 to 350 members represent a select yet increasingly diverse group. “Whether business or arts or nonprofits, we’re looking for people using not only their positions but also any other type of nonprofit or extracurricular activities to improve the community,” Alston says. “The goal of the organization is to educate leaders to go out and make a difference.”  Expertise, experience, and energy notwithstanding, Alston’s path to leading Dallas’ leaders was not without its challenges. Early on, a

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different mentor suggested the East Coast–born and raised Alston temper her direct approach and put her “fists in velvet gloves.” Alston adjusted. But Dallas changed, too. Her frank feedback is now sought after and considered invaluable to other leaders looking for honest and authentic help. “They appreciate the transparency, “Alston says. “A lot of people say to me, ‘You don’t have to kid around or tiptoe around me.’ So, what’s the problem?” As for navigating Dallas society as an African American woman, Alston credits another mentor, Matrice Ellis-Kirk, for providing guidance along the way. “People like Matrice are very supportive of making sure that we put the right people in the right spots and really advocate for each other,” she says. “When you look at Dallas’ history, there are a lot of people who have stepped out and risked things in order to make a difference.”

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“Texas Women’s Foundation is working to make sure every girl and every woman has the opportunity to compete—and succeed—on an equal playing field.” Each year, A. Shonn Brown, vice president and deputy general counsel for KimberlyClark, chooses a word to serve as her guide star for the months to come. “Impact” is 2020’s word. And, as new board chair of the Texas Women’s Foundation, one of the largest women’s organizations in the world, Brown is in a uniquely powerful position to create just that, through the community-supported foundation’s millions in annual giving. Already, the board Brown leads helped guide TWF in creating and launching in April 2020 the Resilience Fund, a revolving fund aimed at meeting the midand long-term needs

A. SHONN BROWN

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of low-income women and families affected by COVID-19. In fact, it was TWF’s ability to quickly shape and fund strategic and timely responses to issues directly impacting girls and women that drew Brown to take on the role of board chair over other opportunities to serve, including the presidency of the Dallas Bar Association, a position she was in line to hold.  “Although I love our profession and what the Dallas Bar does, in addition to a pretty demanding career, I also have three kids I’m trying to raise, and I’m a wife,” Brown says. “I had to make a tough call and really hone in on what’s important to me.” Empowerment of girls and women and educational equity were among the things that mattered most, she determined after some soul searching.  “The Texas Women’s Foundation is an organization working to make

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sure every girl and every woman has the opportunity to compete—and succeed—on an equal playing field,” Brown says. “That’s not the reality. We’re working to change that, but it’s not the reality at all.” For Brown, working to change that within and outside TWF means using platforms afforded to her by virtue of her deep professional and personal ties to Dallas’ power brokers. The aim is to represent the voices of all women in conversations critical to determining Texas’ future.  “If we’re speaking about bringing equality to women, it’s not women of a certain economic status, a particular education level. It’s not women of certain races or sexual orientations. It’s all those women,” Brown says. “This work that I do with the Texas Women’s Foundation is the work that gets me up in the morning. It’s the thing that gets me going.” 

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“I want the communities we serve, the city, and other leaders to see that African American women ... women of color are a part of this, too.” Attorney Christa Brown-Sanford was one of the few faces of color in the room when she attended her first Junior League of Dallas meeting in 2006 at the advice of Southern Methodist University classmates and colleagues at Baker Botts. Today, she is the group’s president-elect. Slated to the take the helm of one of Dallas’ most influential civic groups as president in 2021, she’s the first black woman to do so, on the dawn of the organization’s 100th anniversary. “One of the things I want to do with this role is change how the League’s leadership looks,” Brown-Sanford says. “I want the communities we serve, the city, and other leaders to see

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that African American women … women of color are a part of this, too.” The timing of her historic appointment was intentional. After serving in various board positions, she threw her hat in the ring for president with the 100th anniversary in mind. “I thought that given the focus that the city was going to have on [the anniversary], the exposure the Junior League would get, this would be a time to really change the face of the League, to impact our members, to impact the city and to really make a difference in how African American women are viewed in Dallas,” says Brown-Sanford, partner at Baker Botts and deputy chair of its intellectual property practice. Diversity and representation aside, appointing her as president-elect made sense to the Junior League’s nominating committee for a host of reasons, say those close to the process. “Christa exemplifies what the League is all about,” says

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Christina Norris, who, along with fellow past JLD president Lynn McBee, serves as a mentor and supporter. “She has those inherent qualities of a leader. She’s going to serve the Dallas community for a very long time.” For now, though, Brown-Sanford is busy learning all she can during her training year as president-elect and spreading the word about opportunities and access the League offers Dallas professional women, to ensure the organization remains relevant amid shifting demographics. “The Junior League has impacted every aspect of my life, especially from a professional standpoint,” she says. “If I can help the League gain exposure with pockets of women where we’re not as well-known … if I can make change that way, that would be huge for the future of the League. That would be the ultimate way to give back to an organization that’s been such an important part of my life.”

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Fight Funding A

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Dallas is one of the best markets in the country for women entrepreneurs, but they still face an uphill battle.

during a job interview for a supervisory position in the

1970s, Lin O’Neill remembers being taken aback by the personal nature of some of the things she was asked. “The first question out of the vice president’s mouth who was interviewing me was, ‘And what kind of birth control do you use?’” O’Neill says. She went on to manage more than 1,000 employees and $60 million in catering contracts for the Los Angeles base of an airline. Still, her promotional opportunities were stymied because of her gender. “My boss used to pat me on the arm and say, ‘O’Neill, you do such good work. If you were a man, we’d make you a director, or even a vice president.’” story by KELSEY

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GROWING INFLUENCE OF LATINA LEADERS Dallas executives like Nina Vaca, founder and CEO of workforce solutions giant Pinnacle Group, have paved the way for the region's many successful Latina entrepreneurs. “Over the last 24 years, I’ve seen first hand that Dallas embraces diversity and is an amazing place for women and minorityowned businesses,” Vaca says. “It’s my pleasure and privilege to become part of the ecosystem that supports the next generation of women entrepreneurs.” In North Texas, organizations like Hispanic 100 and Hey Chica encourage Latina business leaders to strive for success while also celebrating their culture. “There’s so much that we need to let Latinas know that we don’t have to be ashamed of,” says Margie Aguilar, president and executive producer at ISP Studios and a founding member of Hey Chica. “Where we come from and our traditions should be embraced.”

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“IT WAS HARDER TO RAISE MONEY BECAUSE THERE WAS ALWAYS AN EXPECTATION OR THE ASSUMPTION THAT I WASN’T GOING TO WORK AS HARD AS THAT 25-YEAR-OLD GUY IN THE HOODIE.” LEA ELLERMEIER, 2C Dental Technologies

o’neill got the vp title when she transitioned to Continental Airlines in 1982. Three years later, she relaunched a consulting business she had previously formed, and has run her own company ever since. Only a few of the region’s large corporate giants are led by women, but North Texas has a rich history of supporting female entrepreneurs. The city’s first capitalist was a woman (see page 76), and late icons Mary Kay Ash and Ebby Halliday were pioneering forces. Last year, Chief Executive Officer magazine named Texas the best state in the country for entrepreneurs—for a 15th consecutive year. Fit Small Business ranked the state No. 1 for women entrepreneurs, in particular. Local numbers are encouraging, too, with census data showing a doubling of local women-owned enterprises from 2000-2012 and a Forbes report ranking Dallas No. 1 for average sales per women-owned business. And the city’s startup culture is diversifying, says Michelle Williams, an executive director at the Dallas Entrepreneur Center Network. “A lot of the sto-

TECHNOLOGY STILL LAGS Dallas’ tech industry expanded 28 percent in 2019—17 percent more than the national average, according to a SmartAsset, a New York-based personal finance and tech consultancy. Still, the region is not particularly welcoming for women who work in the sector; SmartAsset ranks Dallas No. 54 out of 59 cities, assessing things such as gender gaps in pay, women’s earnings after housing costs, and four-year tech employment growth. Here are some key findings.

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24.5% WOMEN HOLD JUST 24.5 PERCENT OF THE TECH JOBS IN DALLAS.

ries that are being promoted to the front five years ago were mainly men in their late 30s or early 40s who were launching big tech firms or something that was shiny and new,” she says. “Now, we’re seeing a conversation that’s a little bit more diverse, in both industry as well as gender representation.” Women entrepreneurs continue to battle sexist stereotypes, though. And nowhere is that more apparent than in private equity and investor pitch rooms. A N A G E - OL D BA T T LE

When Valerie Freeman launched Imprimis Group about 40 years ago, securing a loan and a line of credit was nearly impossible. “Women had to build up that credibility,” she says. “[Our prospects] thought [women business starters] were going to go get married and have kids, and that would be the end.” Freeman eventually had to go with her male accountant to his bank to get financing. “I wouldn’t have gotten it otherwise,” she says. She expanded her enterprise by launching a software company called BravoTECH and a marketing firm called Freeman+Leonard. More recently, in

77% THEY EARN 77 PERCENT OF WHAT THEIR MALE COUNTERPARTS IN TECHNOLOGY MAKE.

$43,444 DALLAS WOMEN IN TECH MAKE $43,444 ON AVERAGE, AFTER HOUSING COSTS.

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SHUTTERSTOCK

2014, she again faced sexist stereotypes when raising funds for another add-on, Prime Women Media, a company that creates content designed for women over 50. Her team paid to pitch a group of male investors; they gave Freeman’s team a slot on an election night, when the room was practically guaranteed to be empty. The sole investor who did express interest in Prime Women Media never followed up. Freeman’s group eventually turned to 17 women angel investors to get the funding they needed for their new venture. “We started working our networks, and we ended up with these women that invested in us individually,” she says. It’s not a new problem. Female entrepreneurs say there are deep-rooted institutional biases when it comes to securing funding for their enterprises. The data supports this. According to Fundera, 40 percent of U.S. businesses are women-owned, but just 7 percent of women receive venture funds for their startups. One challenge is that women make up only 4 percent of investment sector leaders, according to Harvard Business Review. Women-owned private equity firms, such as Austin’s True Wealth Ventures and New York’s Golden Seeds, are attempting to close the gender gap, but it’s a wide divide. Connecting with female-led investment firms is one way for women business owners to get capital to launch their businesses, especially if they operate in traditionally male-dominated STEM spheres. “It’s relatively easy for women to get funding in things like retail and service-based industries, because that kind of fits in people’s heads,” says Williams of the Dallas Entrepreneur Center Network. “But, when you start pivoting outside of that into the sciences, that’s when you see a lot of those biases come in.” Lea Ellermeier, a Dallas entrepreneur behind Lingualcare and two other dental tech companies, recalls an investor meeting that ended with a discussion about local nanny services. “I was just sitting there thinking, ‘I bet you did not have this conversation with the last guy who was in here,’” she says. Other stereotypes came into play as well. “It was harder to raise money because there was always an expectation or the assumption that I wasn’t going to work as hard as that 25-year-old guy in the hoodie,” Ellermeier says. She found the capital she needed by reaching out to foreign sources. “My first big investor was this gentleman in Germany, who took a risk on Lingualcare because he was used to investing in women,” she says. After Lingualcare sold to 3M in 2008, Ellermeier became CEO of U.S. operations for Replicate Dental Technologies, an implantology com-

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RESOURCES AND SUPPORT THE DALLAS ENTREPRENEURSHIP CENTER NETWORK. The DEC provides networking and fund sourcing for local entrepreneurs, connecting business starters with local accelerators, mentors, events, and resources.

DALLAS INNOVATES. The site’s funding page maintains an ongoing list of capital sources, compiled by the Dallas Regional Chamber. Sources include angel investors, family offices, and venture capital and private equity firms.

TEXAS WOMAN’S UNIVERSITY—CENTER FOR WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS. The Denton university provides funding, networking, training, and business advice to both established women entrepreneurs and those starting out.

TEXAS WOMEN VENTURES CAPITAL MANAGEMENT. This group of private equity funds supports women-owned and women-led businesses with revenue between $10 million and 100 million.

pany that was making its way through the FDA approval process. With its parent company in Germany, the majority of Replicate Dental’s funding originated in that country. More recently, Ellermeier has shifted attention to her latest venture, 2C Dental Technologies. D OI N G I T F OR T HE MSELVES

Other women, in an effort to meet financial needs yet still maintain control over operations, are taking funding matters into their own hands. Teresa Mackintosh, CEO of Addison-based software company Trintech, had a positive capital experience in the tech sector but emphasizes the proactive role she took in researching investors. Mackintosh was named to lead Trintech after 16 years with Thomson Reuters and four years with a tax and accounting software group. When looking to take on investors, she extensively vetted potential private equity firms, connecting with fellow CEOs in the tech sector to gain insights and combing through portfolios with a critical eye. “Women can feel like we are lucky to be receiving money and investments, versus our expectations that we’re bringing something of value to the table, and [investors] should be vying for that opportunity,” Mackintosh says. “An entrepreneur should be just as selective about who they are accepting money from as the investor is selective.” Poo~Pourri founder Suzy Batiz, also took matters into her own hands. Wanting to avoid the pressures of obligations to others, she launched her innovative air-refreshment brand in 2007 entirely on her own, putting in an initial $25,000 and negotiating longer terms with vendors to stay afloat during the early days. “It is control in one way,” she says. “But it’s more that­—I can maintain the values, and I don’t have any outside influence.” Thirteen years and another brand launch later, Batiz and her children still own 100 percent of her roughly $500 million enterprise, despite the many acquisition and investment offers. Although the startup infrastructure in Dallas has come a long way and the city remains one of the best environments for entrepreneurs in the country, funding challenges beg consideration of just how many cracks in the glass ceiling have been made. “I do think there has been some progress, but I don’t think it is noteworthy,” O’Neill says. The increasing visibility of successful women entrepreneurs can help create momentum and be an effective tool for changing attitudes, says Ellermier: “Seeing more and more examples of women being successful in the workplace helps us all.”

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story by BIANCA R. MONTES

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O N S H E LT E R I N G I N P L A C E . . .

“Support local restaurants, especially those with frozen margaritas to go!” K I T S AW E R S | K l yd e Wa r re n Pa r k

There were plenty of unknowns back in March when the coronavirus forced us all to take a pause. How we would meet the challenge of working from home was a prominent concern. D CEO reached out to area business and nonprofit leaders to find out how they were adjusting. They shared their best remote-work strategies, podcast tips, and pics from their home offices.

A M B E R V E N Z BOX: “From a workload perspective, not much has changed for me, for which I am grateful. I go from one Zoom meeting to another, and as crazy as it may be, I actually feel more connected with coworkers.”

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KOU RTN Y GA R R ETT: “We are in a time of constant change. Be sure to allow room (and patience!) for interruption, whether that’s a kiddo who needs help logging on for a school assignment or taking an urgent, unexpected work call.”

Why We Sleep, Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams by Matthew Walker

“I used to only sleep six hours a day; now I’m getting eight hours and feel much better. This book motivated me to lay my head down, turn off my brain, and truly sleep.” DEBRA VON STORCH EY

JEN N IFER SA MPSON : “One strategy is to set a daily routine. I start early with my coffee and news sources, and I end each day with an expression of gratitude—one currency we all have in deep reserve.”

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O N T I M E M A N A G E M E N T. . .

“Set a schedule with the family to coordinate who is in charge of parenting / work calls / work output and be gracious when it’s not met.” K AT Y S L A D E | Mintwood Real Estate

Working from home has its challenges. Katten’s is doing it all with 4-year-old triplets. “Quality time with your family is precious—unless you are presenting on a live webinar,” she says.

“Think of this pause as an opportunity,” says Poo~Pourri’s SUZY BATIZ. “Rarely do we have the time to reset ... the time to think about what you have been prioritizing and what you want to emphasize going forward.”

“I work out every day on my treadmill and elliptical; I’m still trying to come up with names for them,” says Dallas Mavericks CEO CYNT MARSHALL. “I’m also walking around

the neighborhood and waving to my sweet neighbors, while leaving behind a few Mavs yard signs that thank our healthcare workers and first responders.”

A L L I M AG E S C O U R T E S Y O F V E N D O R S , S U B J E C T S , A N D S H U T T E R S T O C K

CHERYL CAMIN MURRAY

Creative Multitasking “My husband (Melbourne O’Banion, CEO of Bestow) and I are both running our separate companies amidst the juggle. Whoever has the highest priority external call, or if I’m broadcasting live for a QVC show, takes the backhouse. Otherwise, we swap taking calls inside with a merry-goround of littles on our laps. It’s pretty comical!” JAMIE O'BANION, BeautyBio

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6/8/20 10:14 AM


WORKING OUT ...

“I’m making do by taking boxing classes through my TITLE Boxing Club On Demand app. There’s nothing like hitting the heavy bag for eight rounds! (Yes, I have my own bag).” A N N E C H O W | AT&T

Hitting the Road “I built an off-roading global expedition vehicle last year that we named Liberty Blue (@livingfreeoverland). My husband and I and our two dogs, Angus and Elsa, are working from the road and taking a little time off while we wait for the world to get back to business.” H E AT H E R C A P P S , HCK2

“How I Built This interviews CEOs and entrepreneurs who have created a company or noteworthy brand. I’m fascinated by their relentless attitudes to accomplish their goals.” SARAH HINKLEY KENNINGTON

“I’m always captivated by the interesting brand stories on Brought To You By… The host shares the surprising details behind how big brands have changed our lives and culture.”

“I love The Diversity Gap. Bethaney Wilkinson dives deep on intention versus impact on the diversity, equity, and inclusion gap in society and culture, and shares best practices toward closing that gap.”

Thirty-Four Commercial

TruePoint Communications

JESSICA NUNEZ

LAURA RAMIREZ

“The Last Degree of Kevin Bacon on Spotify is a good silly distraction while walking, and I love NPR’s Fresh Air interviews, especially a rerun of one with singer-songwriter Iris Dement.”

“Think has always been one of my favorites. Krys Boyd does a great job covering interesting and informative topics and has profound conversations with people across the globe with different perspectives.”

“I appreciate how Radical Shift’s Carla White taps into taking one’s natural ability to increase productivity, enhance relationships, create wealth, find success, and live life in ways you never thought possible.”

PA I G E F L I N K

R O S LY N D A W S O N THOMPSON

DIANE BUTLER

Ericsson

LESSON LEARNED ...

“It is more important than ever to develop a culture of trust in your organization. Work from home is not going away; manage results, and let your teams design their week so they can be successful.” BETH GARVEY | BG Staffing

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The Family Place

Texas Women's Foundation

Butler Advisers

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Congratulations!

Gretchen Frary Seay 2020 Investment Banker of the Year Recognized by D CEO

Annandale Capital is thrilled to

Gretchen Frary Seay

celebrate Gretchen Frary Seay, the

Clearsight Advisors, Inc.

D CEO Investment Banker of the Year

Dallas, TX 75204

for 2020. Gretchen has blazed a trail as co-founder of Clearsight Advisors

Managing Director 2626 Cole Ave, Suite 700 214-302-9934 – direct 214-435-3502 - cell gseay@clearsightadvisors.com

and leader of their Texas technology merchant banking and M&A practice. Congratulations Gretchen!

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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

LEADERSHIP ADVICE

Stay Flexible Sandra Phillips Rogers, Group Vice President, General Counsel, Chief Legal Officer, Chief of Diversity T OYO TA M O T O R N O R T H A M E R I C A

SHUTTERSTOCK

“you have to be flexible and prepare for the unexpected, and you have to have resiliency and agility. I don’t think it will be the case any longer that you can anticipate things and expect them to happen. Things are going to be constantly changing, and what sounds like a plan one day may be scrapped, and then there’s a new plan the next day. You have to maintain a sense of, ‘Well, we’re going with the plan, but if the plan needs to change, here are the levers we need to pull to move into a different plan,’ and be OK with it: Be OK with the uncertainty of it all, be OK with the fact that you had all these great ideas and now you’ve had to scrap them and move them to another place. Resiliency, flexibility, and agility will be the new things that leaders will be judged and evaluated on because that demonstrates the depth and breadth of a leader’s capability.” — As told to Kelsey J. Vanderschoot

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FIELD NOTES

R E A L E S TAT E

When Gender No Longer Matters After four decades, the Dallas chapter of Commercial Real Estate Women looks toward the future—one that gives voice to industry professionals of both sexes. story by BIANCA R. MONTES

F

for the past 40 years, the influential Dallas chapter of Commercial Real Estate Women has joined its national organization to address topics such as income parity, gender bias, and sexual harassment in the male-dominated industry. CREW has helped effect meaningful change through its groundbreaking research and by bringing some of the biggest commercial real estate firms into the conversation. Now, as it looks to the future, the group is discussing how a blended voice of both men and women will fit into the dialogue. Younger professionals are leading the way. “They don’t look at men and women differently—to them, it doesn’t matter,” says Michele Wheeler, CREW board

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P H O N E : S H U T T E R S T O C K ; B OA R D M E M B E R S : C O U R T E S Y O F C R E W D A L L A S

FIELD NOTES

member and president of JacksonShaw. “They are so much more inclusive and do not put people in defined roles. They want to break that silo mentality. It is sometimes hard, generationally, but at the same time, it is refreshing.” In the early 1980s, when CREW began with a handful of women in commercial real estate meeting over lunch at La Madeleine to network, such ideals were blurred, at best. Things had not changed much a decade later when Beth Lambert got into the industry. Back then, being the only woman in the room meant being asked to fill coffee cups and make photocopies, says Lambert, now executive managing director of Cushman & Wakefield’s debt and structured finance group. “It was different back then; I forget how far we’ve come,” she says. In CREW’s latest five-year benchmark study, released in 2015, findings indicate that women in the industry have achieved equal or close-toequal standing in many aspects. However, consistent with the two previous studies, concerns remain, particularly in gender income gaps and the low numbers of women in C-Suite positions. In 2015, the median total annual compensation, including bonuses and profit-sharing, was $150,000 for men in commercial real estate and $115,000 for women. This income gap of 23.3 percent demonstrates that there’s much room for improvement in achieving gender wage parity in North America, the report stated. And a 2019 white paper found the CRE industry was still slow to fully catch on to the advantages of having more women in senior leadership positions. So, why is an organization with more than 350 local members—many of whom played integral roles in some of the region’s most notable projects and deals—questioning whether men should have a seat at their table?

it isn’t just women,” says Lambert. “Our global workforce is such a melting pot of people and perceptions and ideas and needs and wants; if you have a very myopic view of your industry, then you’re missing a lot of that.” To change with the times, Lambert says CREW needs to shift more toward a business networking model instead of focusing on gender education, as those kinds of conversations become less relevant. Hopefully, she says, “we’ve gotten to a point where we feel super comfortable that the message is there, that the value has been accepted, and is part of our culture.” To get to that point, though, continued evolution and unity are needed, says Camille Barton, CEO of Purdy-McGuire. “The industry is changing, but it needs to change more,” she says, pointing to flexibility in the workplace as a must for the next generation. “The older generation felt like they had to work millions of hours to fit in with men; the younger generation is like, ‘Wait. I don’t have to do that. I don’t have to conform myself.’ They are pushing boundaries and showing it is possible to have both a great career and a family… For as much progress as we’ve made, we’re always pushing. And I think it is still needed—that push. It’s great that if in 20 years we don’t have to push, but I don’t think we’re there yet.”

GIVING BACK

40 Years of Impact The Dallas chapter of CREW has given more than $3.6 million in community grants and supports numerous philanthropic and educational initiatives. Outreach events, such as CREW Careers Building Opportunities, introduce female high school students to the many career options commercial real estate offers. The program aims to grow the talent pool of young women entering the field, while also inspiring them to pursue their dreams of self-sufficiency. CREW Dallas members also participate in university panels, sharing their career paths and industry insights in college classrooms across North Texas.

LOCAL LEADERS

The Dallas chapter’s 2020 board of directors, at a retreat in Glen Rose.

POWER OF DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES

The answer is easy; it all comes down to inclusion, says Diane Butler, CEO of Butler Advisers. “We want to be included, so why are we excluding men?” she says. After all, isn’t that how the next boundary-pushing generation views things? And, more than that, it’s a smart way to do business, leaders say. “In our global society and our changing atmosphere, where we’re so connected to each other, smarter companies have realized that you needed to have different and varied perspectives, and

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FIELD NOTES

ON TOPIC

What is the biggest business lesson you’ve learned so far from the coronavirus crisis? edited by KELSEY J. VANDERSCHOOT

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illustrations by JAKE MEYERS

TERESA MACKINTOSH

AMANDA MORENO-LAKE

LAURA REA DICKEY

CEO TRINTECH

Vice President of Operations JIM L AKE COS .

CEO D I C K E Y ’ S B A R B E C U E R E S TA U R A N T S

“The things I thought would be easy are hard, and the things I thought would be hard are easy. COVID-19 has exposed us to several key learnings, but one of the biggest is to continue investing in the processes and technologies that support a remote workforce. This includes both our internal processes and technologies, as well as the customerfacing solutions we are bringing to market to help finance officials automate and streamline their closing processes virtually.”

“When things shut down, commercial real estate immediately feels the effect. Our team had to find new ways to communicate with our more than 100 tenants and assist with rent payments. As a result, we refined our tenant and client contact information database. The biggest lessons I learned are the importance of communication and knowing we have the capability to quickly adapt. This gives me confidence that we will overcome any future challenges we may face.”

“If there’s a resounding, overarching lesson or truth from this, it’s evolve or fail. We’ve always had that as a brand value. We were able to go from 30 percent to 36 percent of our business in off-premise and digital sales to 91 percent. It was a huge influx in a specific channel, but it only worked because we had that channel available and were already building a digital infrastructure to complement what we were doing.”

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DCEOMAGAZINE.COM

5/28/20 6:05 PM


ADVERTISEMENT

Ideas for

“We Are All in this Together” 1 Love All, Serve All— with Head, Heart & Hand.

2 Love our neighbors. 3 Listen to opinions with which we differ.

4 Vote in local elections. 5 Support local businesses.

15 Get to know our City

Council representative.

16 Start questioning how

27 Prioritize family dinner

17 Invite someone of a

28 Seek reconciliation

things have ‘always’ been done.

different nationality to social distance with us in person.

18 Pick up the phone and

6 Champion local art and artists—buy some art.

7 Pray for the people in our life by name.

8 Introduce ourselves to

three neighbors we do not know.

9 Seek out community and kinship.

10 Ask what ‘should’ or ‘could’ be done and then do it.

11 Commit to a cause

and then do at least one specific item for that cause.

12 Get our news from multiple sources.

13 Introduce ourselves to someone we see frequently but do not know their name.

14 Extend a hand to one person specifically, to lift up the most vulnerable.

our neighbors to share ideas.

call someone who’s on our mind.

19 Share a meal with a new acquaintance.

20 Bring our unconscious biases to light so we are aware of them.

21 Start with “How can I

help?” instead of “What can you do for me?”

22 Once we understand

the rules of the game, start to make change.

23 Ask the PTA of the

school closest to you what one thing we can do for the school

24 Perform acts of

kindness for others without seeking anything in return.

25 Envision the Dallas we

want to live in 20 years from now, not just the next two years.

26 Start a social media group with ten of

time, especially once ‘normal’ life resumes.

with those with whom we have disagreed.

29 Start paying attention to what’s happening at City Hall vs. in Washington D.C.

30 Support local

journalism and media outlets with a subscription or advertising.

31 Volunteer our

time and expertise to a nonprofit or government agency.

32 Learn the name of at least one homeless person in the next month.

33 Ask a co-worker

what their current biggest struggle is, and then listen.

34 Thank every frontline worker we see, whether they’re a grocery store cashier or nurse or doctor.

35 Consistently petition

our companies to have a quarterly service day.

36 Invest in the next

generation by finding a elementary, middle school, high school or college student to mentor.

37 Listen to others’

perspectives and stories, especially if it makes us uncomfortable.

38 Use our network to

facilitate informational interviews and connections for a mentee.

39 Write a letter to an

elderly person weekly who has to shelter in place longer than we do.

40 Read and study Dallas’ history: we can’t know where we’re going without knowing where we came from.

41 Educate our children

about the challenges our city faces and encourage them to do acts of direct service for others with a person of a different race.

42 Question how our

city and region is designed: is it the most efficient and equitable way and how can we make it better?

WE WOULD LOVE TO HEAR YOUR IDEAS— PLEASE EMAIL THEM TO IDEAS@42REALESTATE.COM WWW.42REALESTATE.COM • 214.244.9300

We have always thought outside the box, and now our logo reflects that fact. We build industrial retail and office boxes. We build BTS projects. We build the inside of boxes (urban revitalization) and we think outside the box.

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Corporate sessions put on hold?

BEYOND can help! BEYOND provides full service AV, including streaming solutions as well as pre and post event video production. Socially distanced general sessions, training seminars and award presentations are just the beginning of the ways we can solve your current event dilemnas. BEYOND supports any and all needs while we stay socially distant together and offers a creative collaboration with our superior attention to detail and the finest in customer service. Feel free to reach us at 972.458.7569 or 817.952.9703. For more visit www.beyondLD.com @beyondLD

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OFF DUTY THE PERSONAL SIDE

o f

DFW BUSINESS LEADERS

PURSUITS

An Affinity for Firearms Real estate exec Lynn Dowdle says nothing beats the sense of empowerment that comes from shooting guns.

P H OTO G R A P H Y C O U R T E S Y O F LY N N D O W D L E

story by BIANCA R. MONTES

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L

deafening,” she says. “But it’s also very empowering, and it’s exhilarating. There’s a lot of energy from it.” Early on, Dowdle’s instructor suggested that she get involved with a group that encouraged women to take up hunting and fishing. She joined Diva Women Outdoors Worldwide, and now teaches other women how to shoot. Dowdle recalls a particularly powerful experience when talking about the fulfillment that comes from sharing her hobby with others: “It’s a really cool story,” she says, going on to describe an Italian lynn dowdle found precisely what she woman she met at one of the group’s events. The was looking for behind the barrel of a Beretta. woman had just finished shooting a shotgun and The founder and president of Dowdle Real Eswas walking across the parking lot to her car. “I tate says it all began 15 years ago when she got a noticed she was crying,” Dowdle says. “I went afhankering to hunt. After enlisting an instructor ter her to make sure she was OK. … She turned to teach her how to shoot, it became around and said to me, apparent that she had an innate tal‘Women in Italy don’t ent for hitting a target. shoot. I have never felt “THERE’S What she didn’t expect, though, like this in my life.’” SOMETHING TO was for her newfound hobby to lead Dowdle says American BE SAID FOR to a deep sense of empowerment—a women feel that way, too. FEELING lesson she hopes to pass on to other “It’s more acceptable here COMFORTABLE women. “It’s terrifying at first, esfor women to shoot, espeWITH YOUR pecially with the shotgun—there’s cially in Texas, but it’s still a lot of kickback. It shakes you. It’s something out of the ordiGUN, AND nary,” she says. Although KNOWING THAT WILD TIMES Dowdle has never had to Dowdle (far right) IF YOU HAD TO, joined Diva Women use her gun outside of the Outdoors Worldwide YOU COULD.”  to connect with range or hunting, she finds other gun and hunting enthusiasts. security in the fact that she can. “There’s something to be said for feeling comfortable with your gun and knowing that if you had to, you could.” Through shooting, Dowdle says she can nurture her competitive spirit and philanthropic interests, too, as the Divas group often hosts fundraisers and shooting tournaments. And she has checked off her goal of becoming an avid hunter from her bucket list, often traveling to West Texas to shoot quail, which she prefers over doves. “You’re always moving [when hunting quail],” she says. “I enjoy that a lot more than sitting and waiting for a bunch of birds to fly by.”

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LAST MEAL

We asked area executives what they’d select if they knew they were dining for the very last time.

“I’d have a salad with butter lettuce, goat cheese, and red onion with poppy seed dressing; Pecorino pasta, and a beautiful, full-bodied, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon.” M E L I S S A R E I F F

CEO, The Container Store

“Going back to my Hispanic roots, I’d have to say my aunt’s chicken enchiladas. Prepared Mexico City-style, they were the best. She would make them on holidays and special occasions.” CONNIE MAHMOOD

Co-founder and Chairperson, Allegiance Capital Corp.

“If I knew it was my last meal, I’d have chicken and dumplings, okra, fresh corn, fresh tomatoes, cornbread, and white cake.” ALLIE BETH ALLMAN

President and CEO, Allie Beth Allman & Associates

P H OTO G R A P H Y C O U R T E S Y O F LY N N D O W D L E ; I L LU S T R AT I O N S S H U T T E R S T O C K

OFF DUTY

DCEOMAGAZINE.COM

6/8/20 3:44 PM


Know Your Worth KNOWLEDGE IS POWER. POWER IS PERSONAL.

Whether it’s a path to security, a gateway to your dreams or the road to being your own boss, we have the people and resources to empower you. Learn more at UMB.com/WXW

J O I N U S F O R T H E 5 T H A N N UA L

WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP

SYMPOSIUM JULY 15 & 16, 2020

Featuring legendary keynotes, networking opportunities, and timely connections—all virtual this year! For more information on programming and tickets, please visit dmagazine.com/womenleadership T H A N K YO U TO O U R T I T L E S P O N S O R S :

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OFF DUTY

STYLE MATTERS Fashion choices can help inspire trust, says Jayda Batchelder.

ART OF STYLE

NONPROFIT LEADER JAYDA BATCHELDER AIMS FOR A CLASSIC, CHIC LOOK—WITH A POP OF BOLD.

STYLE ICON: I’m not sure I have a single style icon, per se. But in general, I am drawn to confident, strong, elegant women, like Meghan Markle, Olivia Wilde, Cleo Wade, and Cate Blanchett. STYLE DEFINED:   For me, it’s about finding the balance between stylish and authentic, while being professional.    ON THE JOB:    No two days are ever the same. If I am doing public speaking to raise awareness for our work or asking a philanthropist for a major gift, I am dressed to impress and instill confidence (yet, always on a nonprofit budget!). On days when I am collaborating with my team, visiting a school, or engaging in the

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community, I’m much more of a creature of comfort in athleisure or business casual. FASHION ESSENTIALS:   My KREWE sunglasses. As a former New Orleanian, I love to carry a piece of that vibrant city with me wherever I go.  WHAT INSPIRES ME: How I show up has always mattered to me; I’ve always wanted to inspire trust, professionalism, and passion. I’m a traveler, too, and love European style. We do live in Dallas; the unpredictable weather can trump style! GO-TO LOOK:  I prefer simple, classy pieces to which I can add something unique. Most days, I choose crop pants with a bold blouse or a cape jacket.   HOW I ACCESSORIZE: I believe accessories make an outfit—or at least help it go from day to night. For jewelry, you won’t catch me without my Jack Mason watch and fun earrings. And whenever I’m overseas for social impact efforts or conferences, I try to bring home a unique, classy piece of jewelry or an accessory from wherever I visit.

P H OTO G R A P H Y C O U R T E S Y O F D A L L A S D O I N G G O O D

WHAT I DO: I’m fortunate to lead an innovative college and career readiness nonprofit organization that impacts more than 10,000 middle school students across North Texas annually. Education Opens Doors brings an incredible curriculum into schools and works directly with teachers to ensure students are prepared for college  and a successful life after high school.

WEEKEND LOOK: Since my work wardrobe is intended to help build the name, brand, and legitimacy of my organization, my weekend is all about relaxing in joggers and athleisure. FAVORITE STORES: That’s tricky! I am a fan of

supporting local boutiques, especially those that are women-owned, when I can. A lot of my basics come from other faves, like Modern Citizen, Vince, BLDWN, and Zara. I shop with my gut; I’m always looking for chic with a pop.

DCEOMAGAZINE.COM

5/28/20 6:03 PM


Get back to business with D CEO.

Todd Koch

Vice President of Strategy, Marketing, & Customer Engagement, Greyhound

Top executives continue to turn to D CEO for connections, insights, and award-winning coverage of the region’s business community.

About half of LGBTQ employees lead closeted lives on the job. Here’s how North Texas companies are creating inclusive workplaces for all.

THE YEAR’S TOP PROJECTS AND DEALS

NEW

plus: SEVEN PERSONAL JOURNEYS

CEO

NEXT Innovators in North Texas. What they’re doing will blow your mind.

2020 EDITION

T H E MO ST P OW E R F U L BU SI N E S S L E A DE R S IN DA LL A S -FORT WORTH

Dallas 500: Reservation Deadline: September 25 5G Studio Collaborative’s

December: Excellence in Healthcare and CEO of the Year Reservation Deadline: October 16

Range of digital options available as well. Contact publisher Gillea Allison at Gillea@dmagazine.com for more information.

HSE_AD.indd 26

NOW

Alanna Cotton

has launched 25 new products for Samsung Electronics America.

August/September: Nonprofit and Corporate Citizenship AND Diversity & Inclusion Programming. PLUS! 2020 Healthcare Annual Reservation Deadline: July 14

November: Oil and Gas and Economic Development Section Reservation Deadline: September 11

WHAT TO WATCH IN 2020

The I N N OVAT I O N AWA R D S

Show your strength by advertising in an upcoming issue:

October: EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year and Corporate Counsel Reservation Deadline: August 21

PLUS:

42-PAGE REAL ESTATE ANNUAL

S C O T T L OW E

leads the architecture firm behind Virgin Hotels Dallas and Forty Five Ten Hudson Yards

WHERE REAL ESTATE KING IS

47 of the region’s biggest deals and most notable projects—and the people making them happen.

6/5/20 9:47 AM


OFF DUTY

LUXURY ACCOMMODATIONS

White sand beaches, spacious rooms with pictureperfect views, beachside dining, and a courtyard decked with life-size chess and bocci are just a few amenities at The Reach.

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

Key West Florida’s southernmost city is a true oasis, says Dallas PR maven Jo Trizila, CEO of TrizCom.

PAPA’S PILAR

The rum distillery was inspired by Ernest Hemingway’s spirit of adventure.

VIEWS ON VIEWS

Balconies of rooms at The Reach Key West overlook the pool and ocean.

SKY-HIGH PIE

Served al fresco among roaming roosters, the Key lime pie at Blue Heaven is legendary.

HEMINGWAY HOUSE

Take in the writing studio of the famed novelist and stop to pet one of the home’s six-toed cats.

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6/5/20 9:26 AM

R E S O R T P H OTO G R A P H Y C O U R T E S Y O F G R E G C E O S T U D I O ; P I L A R C O U R T E S Y O F R U M C O . / P A P A ’ S P I L A R ; P I E BY B I A N C A R . M O N T E S ; H E M I N G WAY H O U S E A N D M U S E U M C O U R T E S Y O F M O N R O E C O U N T Y T O U R I S T D E V E L O P M E N T C O U N C I L ; A L L OT H E R S S H U T T E R S T O C K ; T R I Z I L A J A K E M E Y E R S

story by BIANCA R. MONTES


OFF DUTY

PICTURE PERFECT

R E S O R T P H OTO G R A P H Y C O U R T E S Y O F G R E G C E O S T U D I O ; P I L A R C O U R T E S Y O F R U M C O . / P A P A ’ S P I L A R ; P I E BY B I A N C A R . M O N T E S ; H E M I N G WAY H O U S E A N D M U S E U M C O U R T E S Y O F M O N R O E C O U N T Y T O U R I S T D E V E L O P M E N T C O U N C I L ; A L L OT H E R S S H U T T E R S T O C K ; T R I Z I L A J A K E M E Y E R S

Whether soaking up rays on a beach or on a sunset cruise, horizon views never get old.

K

key west is the land of eternal vacation. During a pre-pandemic trip to the island city, part of the Florida Keys archipelago, a local described it to me as a three-legged stool. The first leg is eco-tourism. The island’s vast natural playground is home to the Florida Reef, the only living coral barrier reef in the continental United States the third-largest barrier reef in the world. Hop into a catamaran and head over to what locals refer to as The Lakes, where you can paddle in a kayak over patch coral formations—or don a snorkel and mask and study the soft corals and fish. Next, is the culture. The influences of Cuba are everywhere, from the cigar industry to Old World traditional Kino sandals. The third leg is the city’s impressive dining and nightlife. With white-sand beaches, turquoise waters, candy-colored homes, and an eccentric community, Key West is perfect for a weekend getaway—no shoes, no shirt, no passport, no problem. I wandered the island in late February. The weather was divine and a nice respite from Dallas’ unpredictable temps. The island is stacked with lodging options. The Mermaid &

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the Alligator is an excellent bed-and-breakfast, and Casa Marina offers a lovely private beach. I stayed at Casa Marina’s sister property, The Reach, which recently got a multimillion-dollar transformation as it became part of Hilton’s upscale Curio Collection. The hotel captured the cheeky personality of the island with a larger-than-life “Gypsy Kitchen” mural on the front of the building by local Cuban American artist David Lavernia. Situated on the island’s only natural white sand beach, the outdoor amenities were as impressive as the room–each complete with teak-toned furniture and a balcony. Shared extras with its sister property, a celebrity favorite built in 1920 by railroad magnate Henry Flagler, include spa treatments, separate adult and children swimming pools, and state-of-the-art gyms. (Yes, there are Peloton bikes.) Sunrise yoga on its private beach and toes-in-the-sand dining add to the experience. Although the most popular leisure activity in Key West is relaxing pool-or-ocean side, no trip is complete without time spent exploring Duval Street and nearby attractions. A stop at the Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum is a must and offers a unique look at the life of the famed novelist. For example, he loved six-toed cats—at least 26 still live on the property—and the brick fence that surrounds the property was laid by Hemingway himself. (Some claim it’s crooked because he did it while intoxicated.) Also, make sure to discover the local cuisine. Some of Key Westerners’ hometown favorites include stone crab at Conch Republic Seafood Co. (the best on the island), and the delicious Rabo Encendido (oxtail stew), served every Saturday at El Siboney Restaurant. Do not leave the island without checking out Papa’s Pilar for an exceptional rum experience, and stopping at Blue Heaven for a mountainous serving of its incredible Key lime pie. Pro tip: arrive early for brunch, sit outside for live music, and order a stack of Richard’s Very Good pancakes for the table.

T R AV E L T I P S

Beyond the Beach: Art and History Key West is island life at its best; it has something for everyone. From music and shopping to fishing and golf— the possibilities are endless on the 8-square-mile island, says Jo Trizila. “The first stop we always do is the tour trolley and then visit the Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum, followed by a cold drink and a sloppy joe at Sloppy Joe’s on Duval Street. Make sure to stop and grab a Key lime pie at Kermit’s. Mallory Square is a lot of fun, too; there’s a free arts festival every night. A walk through the tropical gardens is another must, and the Offshore Racing Championships is always fun and never short on celebrity sightings and large yachts.”

TURQUOISE WATERS

The Florida Reef is the third-largest barrier reef in the world.

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OFF DUTY

CASTAWAYS

Tran’s father built a two-story home out of bamboo to shelter her family while they waited for rescue in Indonesia. Conditions were challenging. Tran remembers her father emerging from the jungle covered in leeches.

A NEW LIFE

Tran celebrates her eighth birthday with her cousins, after her family settled in Dallas. She remembers marveling at the abundance of food and bright lights that met her during her first days in America.

YOUNG SURVIVOR

ROOTS

ASHLEY TRAN

Ashley Tran and her family were stranded on an uninhabited island for six months before they were rescued and moved to a refugee camp on Galang Island.

as told to KELSEY J. VANDERSCHOOT illustration by JAKE MEYERS

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“i came to dallas in 1980, when i was 7 years old. We left what is now Ho Chi Minh City in July 1979; we were the boat people. We got pirated, which happened a lot. We were fortunate that they didn’t kill people or take the young girls from our boat ... They dumped out all our food, took all our belongings, and lugged our little boat into the middle of the sea and left us. We drifted for three days, then we got lucky. This current took us to this little uninhabited island, part of Indonesia. It had nothing. When we first got there, we ate fish from the ocean and a lot of coconuts. There was a lot of creative cooking. … We lived on the island for six months before we were found by French explorers, who happened to be island hopping. We were transferred to a large refugee camp in

Indonesia, on the island of Galang. I remember so clearly going into this big room full of piles of clothes donated by the Salvation Army. I specifically chose a dress that was red, white, and blue, because my dream was to be in the United States. We got moved to another refugee camp in Malaysia and were there for about six months, and then from Malaysia, we came to Dallas. … Just by my parents modeling positivity, I have learned that I can get through anything.”

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

Founder and Owner V E R B E N A PA R L O R A N D S O C I A L H O U S E

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host your next gathering in one of our beautiful, intimate event spaces. The Nasher Sculpture Center offers various spaces in a tranquil, modern setting to meet the needs of all your corporate events. The private events team will partner with you offering guidance from inception to execution with expert advice on best use of spaces, ensuring a comprehensive strategic plan and flawless event of any size. The Nasher is a welcoming place to host your next meeting or luncheon, as 3 well as future team gatherings. Contact Private Events to begin planning your next event. “I can’t thank you enough for all you did to make our dinner a success. You and your team were a joy to work with and our leaders were very impressed with the entire venue. Thank you for your patience and flexibility with us and I hope to work with you again in the future. Again, thank you for a special evening!” —Recent Corporate Client

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1. The one-and-a-halfacre sculpture garden features artful largescale sculptures. 2. Various spaces for rent provide flexibility. 3. Enjoy an oasis of art and nature in the heart of Dallas.

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Stunning Setting. Flawless Service. Photo: Carolyn Brown

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erything would work out great the whole way through. I think we utilized every square foot you guys had to offer and it felt the perfect amount of crowded but not cramped.” —Corporate client “As somebody who works in the project management field, I was blown away by your professionalism, fast-response, and attention to detail. You were so amazing to work with and you and the Gilley’s staff went above and beyond to help out whenever we needed it. It is a beautiful event space and stocked with vendors that made everything so easy for us navigating through the chaos of a wedding day.” —Bride

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once satisfied with ‘status quo benefits offerings’ but are now faced with making tough decisions around their financial forecasts while considering employee retention and overall well-being. Even if it is out of necessity, this should be a time to reflect and review current offerings and explore new options and take advantage of new solutions within the benefits landscape.

What tactics are employers using to reduce their healthcare expenses?

D CEO has turned to some of Dallas-Fort Worth’s most respected thought leaders within the healthcare industry to get their assessment regarding the current state of healthcare in North Texas. We asked them where the industry is headed, about the largest challenges that organizations face, and how businesses are being impacted. Here, they offer a glimpse into their perspectives on everything from industry trends to how innovation and technology will affect patients, businesses, and providers.

How will COVID-19 influence healthcare services or benefits moving forward? KAREN PINKSTAFF: One word, virtualization. In the past few weeks, we have seen years of evolution occur when it comes to adoption of virtual service delivery. The providers, payors, and patients have all adopted virtual services. Several providers are reporting anywhere from a 50 to 1,000 percent increase in virtual visits since the middle of March. Virtual services aren’t just for social distancing. Not only are

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they convenient, they scale much better than traditional services. This scale shows real promise in bending down healthcare’s cost curve for everyone, employers included. Patients will not desire to return to a completely in-person healthcare experience once social distancing requirements end. DAVID GOLDFARB: My prediction is that COVID-19 will bring a level of comfort to more virtual healthcare tools simply out of necessity that will well outlive the virus. It has also created a call to action for employers who were

CHRISTOPHER CROW: As a business owner, I’ve made sure my employees can create an ongoing relationship with a primary care provider. I also advocate that our employees seek out annual wellness exams to keep them on top of their personal health situation. By encouraging them to take control of their health through primary care, I have personally seen a workforce that is healthier, while everyone is saving costs. KAREN PINKSTAFF: Some employers, particularly very large ones, have built center of excellence models, which is essentially an extremely narrow network for specific procedures. In this model an employee with a certain condition, for example a kidney transplant, will essentially be required to go to a single hospital for treatment. The out of pocket for the employee is often very low or even zero. The employer then works with that hospital or system to manage the cost of providing care and the quality outcomes. DAVID GOLDFARB: Most health plans are inefficient. For employers that have a partially self-funded health plan, we highly recommend a thorough evaluation of all moving parts that make up the health plan. This includes the actual stop loss insurance, third-party administration, pharmacy benefit management, disease management, network access, and case management. For any of the parts that are not performing well, replace them to optimize the overall performance of the plan. Also, it is very important that all contracts be reviewed–many times healthcare expenses can significantly be reduced by revising existing contracts.

How is technology impacting the way healthcare businesses innovate to meet their patients’ needs? AWSTIN GREGG: The introduction of technology is significantly enhancing the ability to deliver timely care in the service-based

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In Discussion With:

CHRISTOPHER CROW, M.D. President, Catalyst Health Network

DAVID GOLDFARB President, DSG Benefits Group, LLC

H E A LT H C A R E R O U N D TA B L E

business model for many providers, including myself. The recent pandemic accelerated the community’s adoption of the idea of telehealth, and it is my strong opinion this chapter in care-delivery survives this pandemic and presents as the new preference for many patients. Additionally, telehealth introduces a delivery platform which largely mitigates typical barriers to treatment. I believe treatment compliance will increase secondary to this chapter in innovation. DAVID GOLDFARB: Just as technology is changing our everyday lives, it is impacting the way healthcare businesses innovate. Providers and patients now have opportunities to engage directly, even outside of in-person visits. As long as we stay conscious to continue to serve the sectors of the population who are not regularly using technology, the increase in technology can continue to grow and change the way we “do” healthcare. From a businessowner’s perspective, constantly improving technology provides tools for not only accessing data about plan performance but also interpreting it and performing predictive modeling to build a sustainable healthcare strategy. KAREN PINKSTAFF: Technology through virtual healthcare has the potential to drive down costs. As in other industries, as services become digitized, they are easily scaled and distributed to a larger population, thus driving down costs, especially in industries with large fixed costs. Our viewpoint is that the rapid adoption of virtual healthcare will drive down healthcare costs, perhaps more than any other effect.

Are telemedicine or digital apps changing the way healthcare organizations operate? Are they here to stay? AWSTIN GREGG, MBA, LCSW, LCDC Chief Executive Officer, Connections Wellness Group

KAREN PINKSTAFF Partner, RSM US, LLP

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CHRISTOPHER CROW: Telemedicine is absolutely here to stay. Being able to see your doctor from the comfort of your home is the future of medicine. We’ve seen the adoption of telehealth and telemedicine in our network reach 99 percent to help keep patients and physicians safer during COVID-19. Even beyond the pandemic, Catalyst Health Network’s care team model works even better in this new virtual setting, allowing physicians more flexibility and a great way to coordinate care delivery to patients wherever they are. However, I don’t think the telemedicine companies that aren’t connected to patients and their local physicians will be around in the coming years.

KAREN PINKSTAFF: Telemedicine is a piece of what we define as virtual healthcare delivery. If we look at the ability to provide healthcare via video conferencing, the ability to scale that across a larger population has not previously existed in our industry. For providers that focus on digitizing services, it is important that the patient experience is consistent on their virtual platforms and in their physical space. Patients, particularly younger ones, are becoming less aware of the distinction between physical and virtual. In other words, patients are increasingly less likely to forgive a confusing and poorly designed app with limited functionality if your physical space is beautiful and well run. The two must work in concert. AWSTIN GREGG: I do believe telemedicine is changing the way healthcare organizations operate, and at the very least, it certainly requires organization leaders to challenge the way they think from an operational perspective. Telehealth removes the typical barriers to treatment by making it profoundly convenient to the user. I think some practices may prefer the in-person model to the telehealth model–and there’s nothing wrong with this stance, but I do believe the consumer market is changing. This is a hurdle that will need to be jumped by healthcare practices as the delivery of services innovates itself.

Preventive care is another buzz term today. What role does a business owner play in improving the health and wellness of their employees? AWSTIN GREGG: The role is significant! The “cost” associated with this can sometimes be hidden because we are investing in something we are trying to avoid. An example of this could be changing the oil in your car. We change the oil because we want to preserve the engine. We know what happens when an engine is in disrepair. I don’t complain about an oil change, because I know what I’m investing in. In the same way, I don’t look at my monthly P&L and complain about the financial allocation to employee wellness, because I know what I am investing in. DAVID GOLDFARB: Early disease detection and preventive care help bend the curve of healthcare costs for employers. Studies have shown that higher engagement between individuals and their primary care physicians lead to less occurrence of high-cost emer-

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

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gency room visits and episodic care. Reactive healthcare causes unintended consequences and unsustainable costs. Business owners that do not take a proactive approach to employee health and wellness are far more likely to face unpredictable situations with that can costly and difficult to manage. KAREN PINKSTAFF: It certainly can be a cost saver. According to the Society for HR Management and the American Diabetes Association, the average full-time employee with type 2 diabetes misses an extra 5.5 days of work. The total cost of type 2 for U.S. employers is $16 billion. Obesity is a leading comorbidity of type 2 diabetes and a whole host of other chronic conditions. Providing programs and resources to help employees manage their weight could meaningfully reduce the prevalence of type 2 diabetes and incidence of stroke and cardiac events. CHRISTOPHER CROW: Preventive care is more than a buzz term. Off-the-shelf wellness programs have never truly shown to have an ROI, but patients with existing relationships to primary care providers pay less and live healthier, longer lives than patients without a primary care provider. Primary care should be the cornerstone of a strong healthcare system, and everyone should have a primary care physician. It’s a no-brainer.

How are healthcare-related businesses managing growth? KAREN PINKSTAFF: Companies in other industries are now coming around to the idea of ESG, or environmental, social, and governance, as they work to become more sustainable and improve the impact they have on their communities while still managing growth. Healthcare has been doing this since the dawn of medicine. That said, I think there are techniques healthcare organizations can learn from other industries. Pre-pandemic, many healthcare providers were focusing on ways to reduce supply chain waste. I expect that post-pandemic that focus will return and we can learn from other industries how to eliminate waste and source more sustainable inventory while growing, managing the mission and maintaining adequate reserves of critical supplies. AWSTIN GREGG: The scalability of a healthcare organization leans on the same key performance metrics of other typical organizations. Instead of asset usage and activity ratios, you 072

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H E A LT H C A R E R O U N D TA B L E

may find more benefit in reviewing efficiency and growth ratios. Regardless, the analytically informed business owner can lean on these metrics to understand when to hire, when to grow, and when to adjust course in the market. Understanding your numbers is understanding your business.

What do you think the healthcare landscape will look like five years from now? CHRISTOPHER CROW: Our healthcare system in five years will be drastically different than it is today. The coronavirus epidemic has shined a light on several of the limitations of our system. One thing is clear: primary care must be a cornerstone of a strong and functioning system. Right now, primary care accounts for less than 7 percent of healthcare expenditures, yet primary care physicians fielded 54 percent of all patient visits to doctors’ offices. We have an unprecedented opportunity to redesign our healthcare system so that it truly serves Americans. We must save our frontline primary care and public health professionals and set the foundation for a better way of delivering and paying for care. If we ignore it, the long-term consequences of our healthcare system will be dire. KAREN PINKSTAFF: Maybe not five years from now, but in the future, we see an industry where over a third of visits are performed on a virtual platform. Where patients know the price of services before they receive them, and they are involved with making care decisions using data, like quality outcomes and costs, to make decisions along with their care providers. We also believe there will be a smaller workforce in healthcare five years from now as compared to “pre-COVID” times through building efficiencies into their business model.

Any tips for entrepreneurs or small businesses? What is the best place to start in terms of ramping up health insurance? DAVID GOLDFARB: The first place to start is outlining their primary objectives of why they are offering a health insurance or benefits program. HR may want to design a plan that is competitive in the marketplace while finance may want more of an economical plan. Once goals and objectives are aligned, businessowners should partner with an experienced employee benefits consultant who

can assist with not only the designing, implementing and managing of the plan, but also help the employer remain in compliance with State and Federal laws as well as the many ACA regulations. CHRISTOPHER CROW: One of the trends we are seeing is that small businesses that can’t afford the rising cost of healthcare, and they are seeking out plans that allow employees to have ongoing services from primary care physicians. These small companies are realizing that paying for primary care goes a long way in terms of caring for their employees at a fraction of the cost. AWSTIN GREGG: It would be my recommendation for entrepreneurs to invest in healthcare for employees as an upfront priority utilization of capital. Small businesses have options available through Professional Employer Organizations (PEO) and other jointly sponsored programs. As an employer, you may find it quite challenging to recruit and retain talented employees without this offering. Beginning your journey as an entrepreneur by taking a shortcut here could create the incorrect long-term trajectory. In my opinion, if you do not have the capital to offer talented employees competitive health insurance, then keep saving for just a bit longer.

How will transparency and the disclosure of costs and quality ratings affect the healthcare industry? CHRISTOPHER CROW: If there were true transparency and quality, we would see improved outcomes, including lower and more predictable costs. This why I am an advocate for systems like transparent prospective payment, which creates incentives for both the payer and the patient. Both parties know the predetermined pricing structure so there are no surprises on either end. AWSTIN GREGG: If done correctly with balance and standardization, I think the transparency could create a scenario where quality metrics have an opportunity to become competitive through comparison. I think it will be a particular challenge to create this standardization because without such a variable, the data offered to consumers could be misrepresentative. For example, I have never thrown an interception in a Super Bowl, but Tom Brady has, and if this is the only metric offered, the variability of assumptions could misinform a consumer about my quality as a

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quarterback. If not careful, the same dynamic could become in play within healthcare.

How does PCR and antibody testing play a role in being able to safely return to work in the coming weeks and months? CHRISTOPHER CROW: As businesses open and people continue returning to work, testing will play a pivotal role in combatting the spread of COVID-19. The United States is currently testing about 150,000 people per day; Texas has maximized testing capacity to perform 15,000 to 20,000 tests daily, with the goal to reach 30,000 per day in the near term. PCR tests will be crucial in figuring out where the virus is and where it is going; meanwhile, antibody testing helps identify who has had it and whether the larger herd of Americans might be gaining some immunity. atalyst Health Network is leading this way in North Texas, working with employers, city, county, and state officials to bring dozens of testing sites across the region, including those that are healthcare deserts.

H E A LT H C A R E R O U N D TA B L E

Has COVID-19 affected how you deliver your services or the guidance you’re providing employers? DAVID GOLDFARB: It is necessary for us to be constantly monitoring and informed of new regulatory issues and carrier provisions to support our clients and their employees. Zoom is the new norm for client meetings…at least for now. Various forms of communications are being used to connect to and engage employees, from text messages and push notifications to customized apps and websites and telephonic open enrollments–all to make it easier for employees to access information to help them make the best possible healthcare decisions. AWSTIN GREGG: The recent impacts of the pandemic have required our business model to pivot entirely to telehealth. Telehealth has always been a minor segment of the discussion, but COVID-19 accelerated its relevancy to the front center stage almost literally overnight. What we are discovering are the benefits of telehealth as it relates to the ability to access care. The convenience of telehealth for patients are improving outcomes and compliance so

Bringing transparency and accountability to a system that notoriously hides behind complicated contracts and agreements. Get in touch to learn about the DSG Difference.

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far, and it is my opinion the utilization of this platform to deliver services could become a worthy competitor to the previously standard way to provide care.

Mental health is becoming a routine part of the conversation these days. In what way does an employee’s mental health contribute to a healthcare organization’s success? AWSTIN GREGG: The relevancy of the mental health of employees relates to an organization reaching its internal and external goals hand-in-hand. Ensuring our organization has resources to address mental health is equally as crucial as ensuring physical health. In my opinion, one of the most significant ways an organization can promote an employee’s mental health is by choosing leaders who have the skill of leadership. The ability to communicate criticism constructively, the ability to resolve conflict civilly, and the ability to understand EQ without condescension, belittling, or hostility are just a few of the ways that employers can promote mental health.

www.DSGbenefits.com | (972) 842-9490

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END MARK

EARLY ENTREPRENEUR

Sarah Cockrell is lauded as one of the founders of pioneer Dallas and is considered to be the city’s first capitalist.

SAR AH HORTON COCKRE LL January 13, 1819—April 26, 1892

story by WILL MADDOX

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C O U R T E S Y O F D E G O LY E R L I B R A R Y , S O U T H E R N M E T H O D I S T U N I V E R S I T Y , C O C K R E L L F A M I LY P A P E R S

Founding Mother of Dallas

S

arah horton cockrell was born in Virginia in 1819. She moved to Texas with her family when she was 25 and married Alexander Cockrell three years later. The couple purchased one of the final land grants in the settlement of Dallas and went on to launch a construction business, sawmill, and gristmill. Along with the requisite homemaking duties of the era, Sarah Cockrell managed the records, handled the money, and maintained correspondence for the family’s various enterprises. She took over all operations after her husband died in 1858, and opened the St. Nicholas Hotel a year later. After it burned in a fire that took out most of Dallas in 1860, Cockrell rebounded by opening the Dallas Hotel, which became the St. Charles. She also founded the Dallas Bridge Co., which in 1872 built the first iron suspension bridge across the Trinity River, linking Dallas with roadways south and west. Later in life, Cockrell expanded into real estate, doing both residential and office development. At one point, she owned a fourth of downtown Dallas and thousands of acres in Dallas County.

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On the job. At home. In your community.

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