by Dave Moore, Staff Writer
A record crowd attended the Dallas Regional Chamber Annual Meeting on Thursday, Jan. 18 – the same day Amazon announced the Dallas Region is among 20 finalists for Amazon’s estimated $5 billion HQ2 project.
Aside from drawing more than 1,500 members, the event attracted many of the region’s major news outlets, which sought further insight into Amazon’s inclusion of the Dallas Region in the second round of the HQ2 site selection process. Given the media turnout, the DRC held an impromptu press conference on the topic following its Annual Meeting, featuring DRC President and CEO Dale Petroskey and Mike Rosa, DRC Senior Vice President of Economic Development.
“We submitted a proposal that would make the DFW Region proud, as it showcased all of our competitive advantages,” 2017 DRC Chair Hilda Galvan told the crowd at the Hilton Anatole. “Now, the next round of hard work begins, and having watched the DRC up close, I know that this organization is up to the task.”
Galvan said North Texas economic trends since 2010 – population growth of roughly 1 million, the addition of nearly 700,000 jobs, and the relocations of 75 corporate headquarters – indicate that workers and businesses will continue to thrive in the Dallas Region, with our without an HQ2.
The event’s keynote panel – Dallas Cowboys Hall-of-Famers Roger Staubach and Emmitt Smith, and Dallas Cowboys Executive Vice President and Chief Brand Officer Charlotte Jones Anderson – discussed the lessons sports have taught them in their professional lives.
“You can’t become a sore loser,” said Staubach, who led the Cowboys to five Super Bowls, winning two of them. “I hated to lose, but I was never a sore loser. It took me a few hours to get over (losing), but by Monday, I couldn’t wait until the next week.”
Both Staubach and Smith realized successful careers in real estate and other business ventures after hanging up their cleats.
Jones Anderson said when hiring, the Cowboys organization often considers job candidates’ experience in team sports as a valuable attribute.
“We look at our whole sales staff, and there’s 10 women and 10 and men, and every single one of them played sports,” she said. “Every day you make a cold call, you’re going to get hung up on. It’s that ‘get knocked down, get back up’ resilience. You do learn more in defeat than you do in victory.”
Jones Anderson said when the Cowboys and their partners set about building AT&T Stadium, it was much more than just building a facility for NFL football games.
“It was much bigger than that – we wanted it to be an economic engine, to bring events to this region and to this city, so people would come and fill the hotels and eat at the restaurants, and have concerts and have Wrestlemanias,” she said. “But it was the game of football that served as the impetus for building the stadium.”
During her on-stage chat with Dallas Business Journal Publisher Traci Merzi, Jones Anderson said she became involved with the Cowboys when her father, Jerry Jones, asked her to weigh in on a potential change to the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders’ uniform. Because Jones Anderson had a background in dance, she was able to address that question.
“At that time, everything was basically on fire,” she said. “There was a crisis around every corner. So, he asked me to come down for the weekend and settle the crisis, which we did. While I was here, he asked me to stay and I told him, ‘I don’t know anything about running a professional football organization,’ and he said, ‘That’s okay, neither do I. I just need someone I trust, someone that will be on my team, that will lay awake at night trying to figure out how to stop the bleeding.’ Because as many of you may remember, the Cowboys were losing $75,000 a day.”
Now, valued at $4.2 billion according to Sports Illustrated, the Dallas Cowboys is the world’s most-valuable sports franchise.
Smith said he learned of the value teamwork and merit-based rewards while he played football.
“What I’ve learned over the years is football is one of those sports where you break down all kinds of barriers, color, religion and so forth, because at the end of the day, you are entrusting yourself with your teammates and they’re doing the same thing for you. So you’re forced to come together as a team, to buy into a system that directs you… to victory”
The event’s presenting sponsor was AT&T; platinum sponsors included Boeing, BCG and Thomson Reuters; silver sponsors were Capital One Bank, Frito-Lay North America, Imaginuity Interactive Inc., Jones Day and PwC; and bronze sponsors were Amegy Bank, Baylor Scott & White Health, DFW International Airport, Fidelity Investments, The Men and Women of Hunt Consolidated, Inc., Regions Bank and Stantec.
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