This article is the fourth of the Case for Change series, developed as part of the Disability Inclusion Toolkit. In this piece we expand from talking about disability in the workplace, to a related concern employees may have: finding the right educational path for their children with disabilities. Here too, companies can play a part. 

The big IDEA 

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA, is federal legislation enacted in 1975 to ensure equity for children with disabilities (visible or otherwise) in education. It guarantees a free and appropriate public school education suitable to each student’s ability in the least restrictive environment. This is for students who have been determined by a professional to have differences that may adversely affect academic performance. 

It was reauthorized in 2004 and most recently amended in December 2015 to clarify that disability does not void an individual’s right to participate in or contribute to society. In other words, experiencing the world differently shouldn’t negate the opportunity to be an active part of it.  

According to the National Center for Education statistics, in the 2021 to 2022 school year, about 12% of Texas students in kindergarten through grade 12 (K-12) were served by IDEA. But great outcomes are realized when the legislation is paired with specially trained educators 

Planning for the future 

Happy communication expert speaking to patient with hearing disability online, showing thumb up on palm at computer, smiling, laughing. Sign language therapist using Internet for communication

For parents of children with disabilities, navigating educational options and figuring out what life will look like after graduation can be confusing—which has the potential to impact their performance as employees. 

“While not directly the responsibility of employers to find disability resources for their employees, the more they can provide information and facilitate connection to those programs, the more supported and connected the employee will feel with the company,” said Michael Thomass, founder of ConnectIDD. “Moreover, the more a family has external support and programs in place, the better they will perform at work; it’s that simple. Demonstrating this sort of care and support for an employee and their family is an easy win, generating more committed team members”.  

In Texas, preparing both parents of students with disabilities and the students themselves for life after secondary education starts with a “transition service,’ when the child turns 14 years old.   

“In every other state, this is called an IEP – individual educational plan. In Texas, it’s called an admission review and dismissal, or ARD, committee meeting,” said Laura Caudill, a consultant who dedicated her 45-year career to working in special education. 

‘Student disability’ in the Texas definition ranges from speech impediments to dyslexia to Intellectual or Developmental Disability (IDD). For those with significant IDD, the plan may be to learn independent living skills.   

“We do an ‘interest inventory’ and then develop that transition plan based on what the child likes or thinks they would like to do,” said Caudill. 

Today, ‘innovation’ is a bit of a buzzword, but for years, special education leaders have been practicing the innovation mindset as they design, pivot, and tweak individual strategies for students. The child’s likes/dislikes and abilities are taken into consideration, a ‘beta’ version of their post-secondary plan is created, and then they ‘test and learn’ to determine if it makes sense to keep working towards that goal. 

For example, suppose a student says they want to be a veterinarian because of a fondness for animals. In that case, an educator might suggest taking an animal husbandry class (available through Texas Career and Technical Education programs). After completing that class, if the student still wants to pursue a veterinary degree, educators will search for more ways to validate and review that plan. The hope is that, at graduation, students have realistic expectations for the career they chose. 

Another resource for students with disabilities is the vocational rehabilitation program accessed through the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC). The program has three bucketseducation and training, employment services, and employment resources. Caudill provided an example of how the TWC helped a student who wanted to attend cosmetology school secure supplies and textbooks. 

Disabled employee working in office. Orthopedic elbow crutches leaning on desk, with happy disabled African American woman working on computer in background. Working with disability concept

The human touch 

State and federal legislation provide a blueprint for addressing the needs of students with disabilities, but legislation alone is insufficient. The teachers and other personnel prepare students to navigate the world without the safety net of educational resources they may have had since kindergarten. Caudill says educators take students as far as possible on the post-secondary plan by obtaining a summary of students’ performance, making any necessary recommendations, and ensuring they have the required number of credits. They also teach these students how to communicate their needs confidently. 

“The day they graduate from 12th grade, all the services provided by IDEA end [and are] replaced by Section 504 of the Americans with Disabilities Act,” said Caudill. “But the ADA is a federal program and isn’t tailored to each student. That’s why we help them learn how to self-advocate.” 

Evolving disability inclusion 

“Federal legislation like IDEA is a piece of disability inclusion—and I find that so much can happen on a local level,” said Caudill. “I’d love to see Dallas lead the nation on disability inclusion, and that starts with normalizing the conversation around disabilities. We all have them. I think one of the best things parents can do is show kids what their own challenges are and how they adapt.” 

In Caudill’s experience, students with disabilities—or who have loved ones with disabilities—are the most empathetic and intrinsically innovative. 

“These are the students who find new ways of doing things because the ‘normal’ way doesn’t work for them or their loved one. Imagine what organizations could create with more of these naturally innovative minds in the workforce.”  

Parents of any child can start changing the conversation immediately simply by normalizing the topic and challenging their assumptions of disability, which may be faulty.  

As discussed in article two, the interactive process that determines the best way to provide an accommodation begins when an employee or application discloses the need. Evolving roles, responsibilities, and capabilities are all considered to find a solution that works for the person and the company. Legally, companies are required to do this—but some are choosing to go further. 

JPMorgan Chase & Co’s strategic approach 

JPMorgan Chase is a global financial services company that has made a significant investment in this area  ̶  seeking to capitalize on the knowledge and experience held by persons of all abilities.  

“For employees with disabilities, we have adaptive technologies and all kinds of ergonomic equipment,” says Bryan Gill, JPMorgan Chase’s first Global Head of Neurodiversity, who also leads the Office of Disability Inclusion. “We have specific equipment and resources for our neurodivergent colleagues as well. The most important piece of this process is for managers to lead with empathy, listen to their colleagues and accommodate their needs to the best extent possible.”  

At JPMorgan Chase, once an employee states that something is impacting their ability to do their best work, the firm steps in with a plan to address it. The employee doesn’t need to disclose a specific diagnosis, but they are encouraged to express their needs and preferences to be their best every day.  

As a global financial services firm, JPMorgan Chase has more than 50,000 managers and it’s important for each to connect with each employee’s individual needs and adapt their communication styles accordingly – whether the employee is part of the disabled or neurodivergent communities.  

“Too often people develop a managerial approach which includes a particular style of communication, that only works in one situation. But when you get a new team member who processes information differently, or prefers not to make eye contact, the manager needs to adjust their communication style,” says Gill. “What may have worked in the past, has to be adjusted for each individual employee.”  

JPMorgan Chase has two signature programs for hiring and retaining neurodivergent talent.  

Autism at Work began as a Delaware-based pilot in 2015. Since its inception, the program has grown to encompass more than 90 different roles in nine countries.  

And in 2019 JPMorgan Chase created the Business Solutions Team (BeST)  ̶  which matches the talents of neurodivergent employees (with a focus on those with intellectual and developmental disabilities)  ̶   with roles that include data training for artificial intelligence, real estate for the commercial bank and call center analytics.  

“These are jobs that are integrated into the firm’s core business and add tremendous value,” says Gill. “The addition of neurodivergent employees has brought us diversity of thought, helps us to understand the diverse communities we serve and reinforces our inclusive corporate culture.”  

Diverse group of business people meeting in office lobby with focus on young woman in wheelchair sharing ideas

Bank of America’s record of inclusion  

Bank of America is another financial services firm with a huge footprint impacting the disability community. For more than 25 years Bank of America’s support services group has been made up of teammates with IDD. They do things like ensure that customers’ addresses are the same across accounts, mail correspondence, and track down information of deceased customers. In Dallas, Marc Woods has led that team since February 2012. 

“We are an efficiency add for the bank,” Woods says. “We allow other teams to offload processes that are time-consuming and monotonous but also critical to a well-functioning financial services firm.”  

According to Accenture, treating customer experience and other business services as a value center rather than a cost center achieves 3.5 times more revenue growth. People on the autism spectrum or with other forms of IDD typically do well at repetitive tasks required of business services functions. 

“While me and you may get burnt out on that kind of work, somebody with Down Syndrome, autism, or Aspergers – they really thrive,” says Woods. 

Woods knows this first-hand, having grown up with an older brother who is significantly impacted by autism. That experience is always with him and informs how he leads the group. He’s proud not just of the employment opportunities that Bank of America enables but also of the community it fosters. 

“This is probably one of the few environments where they are surrounded by people who are just like them. Everyone here has a disability. Everyone here needs some type of support to be successful,” says Wood. 

Unsurprisingly, the retention rate in an environment like that is quite high; employees will happily tell you they’ve been in their jobs for 10 or more years.  

“We have homeowners, car owners, retirees who never thought they’d work at a premier financial services company,” said Woods. “We even have people who have married each other after meeting on the job.” 

The total number of support services employees is around 300, spread across Texas, Massachusetts, Delaware, and Maine. Locally, the number fluctuates and has reached as high as 100. 

Creating the right fit 

Despite research into the benefits of diversityparticularly neurodivergencein the workplace, companies don’t always approach it the same way, and many people with disabilities choose to work for themselves instead. According to the National Disability Institute, in 2022, there were more than 1.8 million business owners with disabilities in the U.S. Being their own boss also gives them a chance to leverage their experience for the greater good. One Dallas-Fort Worth example is Tiffani Martin, who started and ran Jancyn & Company, LLC for 10 years. 

The company was certified by Disability:IN and used its deep understanding of accessibility guidelines to help companies become more inclusive through artificial intelligence and digital strategy. Martin also founded VisioTech, an accessibility IT consulting firm. In both, she saw a chance to combine her skills and professional knowledge with her personal experience as a blind person. 

“I was able to be the physical and intellectual embodiment of a solution to a problem that affected not just me but other peers across industries,” said Martin. 

Martin lost her vision at age 28 because of diabetic retinopathy. Today, she’s a strategy & operations project manager for the T.D. Jakes Foundation, where she says the organization takes Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility seriously. 

“The T.D. Jakes Foundation has done an exceptional job in accommodating my needs and understanding what enables me to work to my potential.” 

As someone with entrepreneurial experience, she compares creating a truly inclusive environment to launching a startup. She says it’s a great idea that needs a talented team to bring into reality; strategic thought is needed to make inclusivity more than a public relations tactic, and it must be prioritized to ensure consistency.  

Tips for creating an accessible workplace

Portrait of successful group of multiethnic business people at modern office looking at camera. Portrait of happy creative team of satisfied businesspeople standing as a team. Multiracial group of people smiling.

Disabilities can manifest in multiple ways, and while knowing how to respond when an employee voices a need is critical, organizations that prioritize inclusion are also proactive. That means thinking about disability inclusion from every angle and anticipating needs. 

Completing a comprehensive audit of a company’s disability inclusion policies and procedures takes time. Many resources are available to help with this effort. 

In the North Texas Commission’s DEI toolkit, Meryl K. Evans, speaker and disability inclusion and accessibility strategy consultant, also recommends the following as a general guide: 

  • Have at least two top leaders of your organization be accessibility/disability inclusion champions; 
  • Include people with disabilities at all professional levels; 
  • Bake accessibility and disability inclusion into company culture by: 
    • Asking employees with disabilities for input on policies, ideas, and work environment; 
    • Creating employee-centric policies like remote working and flexibility; 
    • Making it standard practice for employees to share preferences for collaboration and communication; 
    • Demonstrating disability inclusion awareness in all aspects of business:  
      • products and services that are produced for consumers;  
      • accessibility for employees;  
      • company-sponsored employee events that feature accessible products that can be used by employees and customers; and 
  • Conduct company-wide training and awareness campaigns on accessibility and disability awareness. 

Accenture has also done significant research into how companies can better include people with disabilities in the workforce: 

  • Employ: Beyond hiring, employers should implement practices that encourage and promote the progress of persons with disabilities.   
  • Enable: Leaders must provide employees with disabilities with accessible tools and technology and a formal accommodations program. Consider cultivating greater awareness through formal training programs for those without disabilities to learn about the tools and accommodations available for better integration across teams.  
  • Engage: To foster an inclusive culture throughout the organization, companies must generate awareness-building through recruitment efforts, disability education programs and grass-roots-led efforts and events. 
  • Empower: Companies must offer mentoring and coaching initiatives and skilling/reskilling programs. Persons with disabilities should occupy roles at all levels, including top leadership positions. 

To access Accenture’s report: The disability inclusion imperative, click here. 

According to the U.S. Census American Community Survey five-year data (2018-2022), roughly 162 million people over the age of 16 are employed full-time in the United States.  

Of that number, an estimated 11,621,187 have disabilities. That’s nearly one and a half (1.46) times the population of Dallas-Fort Worth.

As discussed in our first article, ‘disability’ is an umbrella term that can describe physical and non-physical challenges. The government uses it to assess and distribute social benefits, and it is a way to group people who use accessibility devices or services. However, not everyone likes this term, as they feel it implicitly communicates limitations about their abilities.   

This concern can be heightened in the workplace—where Dr. Jason Cohen focused his research when earning his Doctor of Business Administration degree at Franklin University. Combined with his MBA from the University of Connecticut, he is uniquely positioned to talk about neurodiversity in the workplace. Specifically, he studied professionals who are classified as ‘level one autistic’— a diagnosis that he says is increasing. 

“That doesn’t necessarily mean that autism itself is more prevalent; more cases could be the result of better diagnostics. But more people being on the spectrum justifies further research and exploration into how to be inclusive,” said Cohen. 

Autism is just one example of neurodiversity. But whether a person has visible or non-apparent disabilities, creating an environment where everyone can be their best starts with open communication. That might be a big initial hurdle—either because communication skills are impacted by a person’s diagnosis or because of fear that they’ll be put into a category based on stigma and assumptions of capability.   

“The feedback that I got from [the professionals studied] was that when they did disclose, in some cases it was a detriment at first because immediately they had to overcome these stigmas,” said Cohen.  

People may understand disabilities through one example. I’ve watched the Good Doctor, so I understand what autism is.” Or — I know one employee who has a brain injury, so I know how to create a supportive environment for anyone who is neurodiverse.” 

Cohen uses himself as an example of how an uninformed approach to disability inclusion can become a performance issue for employees.  

“Sometimes I have a problem modulating the pitch of my voice and some people may be like, oh, you don’t really seem excited.”   

Though this may seem like a small, easily rectified problem, Cohen must think about modulating his voice to do it. In a competitive work environment, where presentation skills are one factor used to describe someone’s leadership presence and readiness for promotion, he could be penalized.  

“There have been studies that show about 10% of your presentation is the content and 90% is how you present it,” said Cohen. 

If a manager doesn’t think someone looks like a leader, that person may be consistently passed over for opportunities. Empathy and open communication are the antidotes to these situations, but if individuals don’t feel safe, it’s a conversation that won’t happen.  

“There are challenges in doing it right, but consider what companies are losing by not investing in their employees—economically, it’s massive, it’s in the billions in productivity losses, and those numbers just keep compounding,” said Cohen.

A customized approach to disability inclusion 

Michael Thomas founded ConnectIDD (pronounced: connected), an agency that contracts with companies, nonprofits, and municipalities to make them more accessible for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). He cautions decision makers not to forget to show their humanity.  Adhering to legal guidelines is essential, and demonstrating an understanding of the complexities of disability inclusion will help individuals feel safe to be transparent about the way they experience the world. 

“Many times, you can see people tense up when interacting with someone who has a disability. Whether the person has IDD or another difference, that type of reaction suppresses honest conversations,” said Thomas. “You can’t approach disability inclusion the same way in every situation. Beyond just saying they care, organizations need to figure out how to both satisfy legal requirements and be authentically compassionate.” 

So, what is the right way to respond if an employee discloses a disability or are experiencing challenges such as focusing, paying attention, or comprehending? 

“The first thing the manager should keep in mind is to listen and not speak,” says Sherry Travers, a lawyer specializing in labor and employment law at Littler Mendelson, PC. “Not all words carry the same weight and you don’t want to accidentally say something that will put the company at risk or make the employee feel victimized.” 

Travers advises leaning on HR to guide the conversation, making the employee aware of support services that exist inside the company, and following the process for providing reasonable accommodations. 

The reasonable accommodation process 

Employers may need to provide reasonable accommodation to applicants and employees with disabilities to integrate these individuals into the workforce. For example, a vision-impaired job applicant may have difficulty accessing or using a prospective employer’s website to apply for a job because of an inaccessible user interface. An employee with a cognitive impairment may have trouble meeting their employer’s production requirements.  

To determine if an employer can accommodate such applicants and employees in these situations and the type of accommodation needed, the applicant or employee will engage with the employer in what is known as the interactive process. This process is conducted on an individualized basis, considering the evolving nature of the essential job functions and the individual’s functional limitations. The interactive process entails an individual and their employer:  

  • exchanging information about the individual’s disability and work-related restrictions; 
  • identifying potential appropriate workplace accommodations; and  
  • reaching a mutually satisfactory decision about the reasonable accommodation to be provided. 

While employers are expected to take the lead role in this process, individuals who request workplace accommodations are equally responsible for engaging with their employers in the accommodation process in a timely and responsible manner.  

This article is the first in a series created to help employers identify barriers to disabled applicants and employees and implement practical strategies for eliminating or minimizing those barriers to ensure maximum accessibility in the workplace. 

When you hear or read the word disability, what comes to mind? For many, the word may conjure the image of someone in a wheelchair, even though they know that disabilities don’t begin and end with mobility challenges. Any number of conditions can qualify as disabilities, including blindness, deafness, neurodivergent conditions such as ADHD and autism, and other non-apparent issues. Complicating matters further, these conditions vary in intensity and impact, creating differences in capability between people within the disability community and with their non-disabled peers. 

That said, a lifetime of subliminal messaging is hard to override.  

The international symbol of accessibility—an icon of a person in a wheelchair—was selected after a design competition in 1968, and it was baked into the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (the “ADA”). 

More than 20 years later, the same design was updated in the Accessible Icon Project, to better depict independence. So, it’s understandable that this is what we imagine when the topics of disability and accessibility comes up.  

Sure, a symbol is not meant to convey all the complexities inherent in one term, but linking complicated topics to one image may stifle conversation and reinforce recurrent and harmful stereotypes. For example, the notion that accommodating individuals with disabilities is always accomplished through procuring a specific product

Wide angle view of happy Asian women co-workers in office workplace including person with blindness disability using computer with refreshable braille display assistive device. Disability inclusion.

Employers must consider the limitations of individuals with disabilities in the design and functionality of all spaces, including workspaces, to combat ideas about their limitations and foster accessibility.  

“I was born deaf, but I can walk fine,” says Meryl Evans, disability inclusion advocate, “So, a building that’s been designed to accommodate wheelchairs but doesn’t include closed captioning on the monitors still isn’t accessible for me, even though it is categorized as being ADA compliant.”  

This is just one of many examples of how the failure to consider and account for all types of disabilities excludes some individuals with disabilities. 

The ADA guidelines, like the term disability, are complicated. For example, a building with no ramp would not be considered “in violation” if built before 1990 when the guidelines were first published. Existing buildings are generally not required to comply with subsequently implemented accessibility requirements. 

As for closed captioning, per Title III, public spaces are required to enable accessibility, like ensuring the closed captioning function is activated. But display monitors aren’t considered part of the building; even if they were, buildings don’t always control how content is produced or shown. 

Equating the term “disability” with any one symbol may be exclusionary because all other disabilities are not represented. Therefore, to achieve truly inclusive environments, we must go further and apply what we learn through experience. More interactions with individuals who have an array of disabilities will help us understand and be able to anticipate needs. For example, even people who don’t have disabilities will safeguard against anyone feeling excluded or punished because of how they are built.  

The ‘D Word’ 

Disability is a legal term – under the ADA, an individual with a disability is a person who: 

  • has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities;
  • has a record of such an impairment; or
  • is regarded as having such an impairment. 

Disability can be a divisive societal term that not everyone uses. People may feel that it carries a negative connotation and implicitly says there’s something wrong with them – especially if they struggle with a mental illness. Some in the mental health community feel that equating emotional or psychiatric challenges with a disability communicates the wrong message.  

The fact is, people with disabilities are in your life every day—sometimes, it looks like lipreading, using a wheelchair, or using a GPS-enabled cane. And sometimes, the accessibility tool being used isn’t visible. It’s important to remember that disabled is not synonymous with unable—a message Dylan Rafaty reinforces through his nonprofit, the North Texas Disability Chamber (NTXDC). 

Full length portrait of diverse business team with young woman in wheelchair all smiling at camera in office

From talk to action 

Rafaty founded the NTXDC in 2017, which is part community-building (fostering engagement between people with and without disabilities) and part community education. The organization evolved in 2021 and remains a community of advocates and allies who share the goal of advancing accessibility, equity, and disability inclusion in the region. Rafaty is earning his Ed.D degree in Organizational Change and Leadership and sees an opportunity to engage organizations as a disability inclusion leader. 

“The desire to be authentically inclusive exists,” he said. “But organizations may lack an understanding of the complexities that surround disability, and that oftentimes results in solutions that fall far short of making a meaningful impact.”  

Businesses may not realize how bad this can be for their bottom line—they could be leaving billions on the table by not figuring out how to leverage the skills and unique insights of employees in the disability community. (More on this topic in article two.) 

That’s in addition to the opportunity that consumers present. Bryan Gill, who leads the office of disability inclusion and doubles as the global head of neurodiversity at JPMorgan Chase & Co., says it’s a mistake not to consider how your products and services may be excluding a group of people. 

“According to Forbes, the disabled community, and their family and friends, is worth an estimated $13 trillion in annual disposable income,” said Gill. “From a business perspective, that’s an opportunity the industry as a whole would be foolish not to tap into. By including the disability community in your workforce, you are able to influence all business operations with disability inclusion in mind.”  

Universal design is the idea that accessibility is considered from the start rather than an afterthought. This, together with the Curb-Cut Effect—which demonstrated the multiplier effect of inclusivity—makes compelling arguments for rethinking how society can better include the disability community. 

Individuals with disabilities represent the largest global minority—and they are still represented by a symbol created six decades ago when Richard Nixon was president. Leaders in disability inclusion say the common thread through apparent and non-apparent disabilities is an innovative mindset and a creative approach to a range of daily challenges. That’s hard to depict in a single image. But we can evolve our understanding, consideration, and ultimately our impact. Let’s start now.  

By Catie George, Manager, Communications & Storytelling

The Dallas Regional Chamber (DRC) has deepened its public policy expertise, adding J. Travis Reynolds as Vice President of Public Policy to champion fiscal and local policy advocacy for Dallas-area companies.

J. Travis Reynolds is the newest member of the Public Policy team at the DRC.

“We need to decide what good fiscal policy looks like at the local level, at the state level, and at the federal level, and then go out and make sure that we’re talking to our elected leaders at City Hall, in Austin, and in D.C. to enact that,” said Reynolds. “The DRC is very impactful and influential at the state level and at the federal level. I think that what we’d like to see is for us to increase our already significant local advocacy to match.”

Reynolds has a history of working in politics and most recently worked for The Real Estate Council as the Manager of Public Policy and Programs. Reynolds’ expertise will help set Texas and Dallas up for long-term success, which is especially important considering ongoing financial matters, such as budget appropriations and surplus spending.

“There are so many good things that government can do with public dollars, but at the end of the day, there are a finite amount of resources that are available for the government to use,” said Reynolds. “The DRC and other like-minded business organizations around the state can try to leverage our influence to ensure that those dollars are spent strategically to set Texas up for long-term success.”

The expansion of the DRC’s Public Policy team came after DRC leaders identified an opportunity to grow the chamber’s expertise and leadership in local policy matters.

“As the Public Policy team continues to grow, we are able to expand our reach on behalf of our members,” said Matt Garcia, Senior Vice President of Public Policy. “Having a dedicated team member focusing on critical issues at the local level will contribute to establishing our region as one primed for economic development and attracting companies.”

Reynolds will also work on public safety, an area of increased focus for the DRC in recent years.

“Companies have increased their engagement on the topic because public safety is required for economic growth,” said Garcia. “Beginning with our first annual State of Public Safety in 2022, the DRC has concerned ourselves with how we can make our region stronger, safer, and more prosperous.”

Reynolds’ role fortifies the DRC’s leadership in the Public Policy space on behalf of its member companies.

“Our focus is on advocating for policies that make the business community here in North Texas as attractive as possible, both for new companies and for existing companies,” said Reynolds. “It’s great that the DRC is taking on even more of a leadership role locally because it is going to have the most direct impact on our members, on their families, and on the community at large. It’s important for people to understand that and be engaged in it.”

To connect with Reynolds, send him an email at treynolds@dallaschamber.org. To learn more about the DRC’s Public Policy work, visit our website.

By Mike Rosa, Senior Vice President of Economic Development

The Site Selectors Guild is a membership of 64 professional location consultants who represent thousands of companies in their corporate location decisions. As a Guild partner, the Dallas Regional Chamber (DRC) meets them individually when traveling or working on specific projects. The DRC also attends the Guild’s semiannual forums with other economic developers and partners.

The DRC has also hosted the Guild’s fall forum twice. In 2019, the DRC bid for and hosted the forum in Plano, and in 2021, the DRC hosted the fall forum in Dallas after Hurricane Ida disrupted New Orleans’ ability to host.

In April, I attended the Site Selectors Guild’s Annual Conference in Nashville, Tennessee. At the conference, the Guild presented a report on corporate location trends. Below are my key takeaways from the 80-page report.

1. Access to talent drives corporate locations.

All 64 Guild members strongly agreed that access to talent is a key driver for companies considering opening or relocating offices to a region.

Site Selectors Guild members at the 2021 Fall Forum in Dallas.

They also agreed that access to talent drives industrial locations, with 91% strongly agreeing with the statement.

These two pieces of data confirm what the DRC believes: having a strong talent pipeline is closely tied to the economic success of the Dallas Region. That is why the DRC prioritizes a quality regional talent pipeline, from early childhood through K-12 and higher education to a job or career.

Explore our Education, Talent & Workforce priority area to learn more about the DRC’s work in this area.

2. Infrastructure is critical for corporate locations.

Guild members were in agreement regarding infrastructure, with 98% saying that electric reliability is specifically critical for industrial projects, and 96% highlighted development-ready sites as necessary to drive development. Additionally, 79% of site selectors strongly agreed that water drives industrial project locations. This alludes to the critical need for infrastructure investments.

Infrastructure investment is necessary to maintain our region’s growth, which is why the DRC’s Public Policy team has advocated for infrastructure spending for the past several legislative sessions. Specifically, water infrastructure will be a priority of the DRC’s 89th Legislative Agenda.

To learn more about the Public Policy team’s work in infrastructure, visit our website.

3. Community development is a critical part of economic development.

A majority of site selectors, 74%, strongly agree that community development now goes hand in hand with economic development.

The DRC emphasizes community development throughout the region as part of our mission to make the Dallas Region the best place for all people. Increasingly, parks, housing, schools, arts, sports, public safety, mobility, and caring for all are decision-making points when corporations consider where to locate and expand.

If we’re listening, the Guild is telling us that investments in talent, infrastructure, and community development will be rewarded with inbound moves and businesses and jobs staying, growing, and starting here.

To learn more about the DRC’s Prosperity & Economic Development work, visit our website.

By Catie George, Manager, Communications & Storytelling

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the most recent technological advancement driving and shaping businesses, with some experts saying the AI revolution could be as impactful as the Industrial Revolution.

The Dallas Regional Chamber (DRC) hosted the first-ever Convergence AI Dallas conference at the Irving Convention Center on Thursday, May 2, to address the recent advancements and transformative impact AI has had and will continue to have on business in the Dallas Region and beyond.

“As we all know, Dallas-Fort Worth is positioned to be a hub for business innovation, leveraging technologies like artificial intelligence to transform how companies operate and grow in our region,” said Accenture’s Managing Partner Jorge Corral to kick off the event. “Generative AI is radically changing how work is done and transforming long-standing business processes that are ripe for reinvention.”

Keep reading for the key takeaways of the full-day event, presented by Accenture and Citi.

DRC President & CEO Dale Petroskey opened the event.

The AI space is ripe for experimenting, so don’t be afraid to try new things.

“Don’t be worried or scared of experimenting with new things, even if you think it’s small,” said Anchal Gupta, Chief Technology Officer at American Airlines. “The cycle of improvement — it used to be decades, 10 years, or five years. Now the change in technologies is every few months.”

The stunning rate of development is partially due to companies’ dedicated investment in the transformative space.

“The amount of money that’s going into investments in innovation in the space is pretty phenomenal,” said Matt Carbonara, Managing Director of Citi Ventures, “There’s this trend that we’re seeing toward using, instead of the big monolithic foundational models like ChatGPT, to using smaller models that are being specialized for a particular purpose. Why? Because they are many times cheaper to train and faster to train.”

Each company choosing to use AI must make the decision on how they will use the technology.

“We’re primarily interested in solving unsolved problems. That’s where all the energy, excitement, and investment goes: what hasn’t been fixed yet. Let’s solve that, apply that as something, and make that available in its parts or in its whole to people to use,” said Chris Nelson, Director of Segment Sales – Generative AI at NVIDIA. “Our role is to stay ahead of the curve on the research and in learning new things.”

Before companies can dive into AI innovation, they must consider their priorities.

“We have to build that innovation into our initiative portfolio, but we do it with the customer and employee experience in mind,” said Michelle Boston, Bank of America’s Data Management & Enterprise Architecture Executive at Bank of America. “The prioritization process, our vision process, is really about putting the customer experience first, putting the associate experience first, and saying within that constraint budget, what are the most impactful projects that we can build and deliver?”

Legal and ethical considerations are essential to good AI policy.

Rep. Capriglione and Sen. Parker discuss AI policy.

Attendees heard insights into AI policy and regulations directly from lawmakers, which is valuable as many business leaders wonder what policies Texas will put in place during the 89th Texas Legislature. There are already plans to hold hearings on AI—how state agencies and companies are using it now and their plans for the future.

“We absolutely will put in place an ethical code of conduct for AI in Texas. It’s essential that we do so. My perspective is when Texas leads, when Texas does something right, the rest of the country will follow,” said TX State Rep. Giovanni Capriglione.

Ethical and legal considerations are necessary for AI to thrive in business.

“At the end of the day, I want to maximize the potential of AI for government to achieve greater efficiency for our taxpayers, and at the same time, obviously, to maximize business opportunity for Texans,” said TX State Sen. Tan Parker. “There are also very serious and very real complications and downsides that come from the inappropriate use of AI.”

These ethical considerations in using AI, while drawing more attention, are not new. For example, Microsoft focuses on putting accessibility, transparency, fairness, reliability, and safety processes in place while developing new AI technologies.

“The people developing and deploying AI need to be accountable for what those models can do and how they can be used. And think about that very early on in the development process and not wait until something catastrophic has happened,” said Katherine Gnadinger, Corporate Counsel at Microsoft. “If AI has inclusiveness built into its design at the start, this can help a number of people use AI in a more effective and efficient way.”

Remember to utilize available resources as you develop your own AI strategies.

The emphasis on efficiency due to AI has put pressure on some companies and professionals who now feel like they must “do it all.”

“I think there’s a little bit of AI anxiety, I’m going to say, because you can do all these things… You don’t have to build it all yourself,” said Sarah Urbanowicz, Chief Information Officer at AECOM. “There are technology companies and partners who have very deep pockets in the view of programming… there’s probably a software vendor somewhere right now working very hard on [what you need addressed].”

However, despite the stress new technology can cause, AI is necessary for businesses to progress.

“What I’ve seen is that AI drives improvements,” said John Almasan, Senior Managing Director, Head of Client Tech Labs and AI, Analytics and Governance Tech at TIAA. “Associates with AI are going to be more productive, efficient, and prepared than associates without AI. The ability to bring AI into the hands of everyone and empower everyone in any organization is just going to make us better.”

AI can open doors that were previously shut.

To close out the day, attendees heard from acclaimed rapper The D.O.C., who lost his voice 35 years ago in a car accident and is now using AI technology to reconstruct his voice and return to making music.

“When this technology reared its head, it became something that I was very interested in and something that I wanted to see work and do well because of what I wanted to do,” said The D.O.C. “Because I wanted to hear me again. I wanted to… be able to create the art that I lost 30 years in being able to create.”

Gannett and The D.O.C. in conversation.

In addition to the business case of AI, it is also important to share the more personal effects this technology can have.

“At the heart of our conversation today is this notion that AI can enable new creation of new and driven works that we may never otherwise have an opportunity to experience,” said former American Idol Chief Marketing Officer Chris Gannett. “That’s the use case I’m here to help share today. It’s the human side of AI. It’s an emotional connection to the machine, that human-machine interface.”

Watch the DRC’s highlight video or read recaps from Dallas Business Journal, Gold Sponsor BGSF, and event partner Dallas Innovates.

To learn more about the work the DRC is doing, visit our website. To explore more of our upcoming events, visit our events page.

Thank you to our co-presenting sponsors, Accenture and Citi. Thank you to our Platinum Sponsors: Amazon, Bank of America, Imaginuity, Slalom, Tata Consultancy Services, Thompson Reuters, TIAA, and Walmart. Thank you to our Gold Sponsors: BGSF, Frisco Economic Development Corporation, Locke Lord, Perficient, and Worlds. Thank you to our happy hour sponsor, Munck Wilson Mandala. Thank you to our exhibitor sponsors: 7T, Aible, Axxess, Harness IP, Inclusion Cloud, Ikigai Labs, Juniper Networks, and Sentiero Ventures. Finally, thank you to Dallas AI and Dallas Innovates for their partnership on this event.

By Dylan Guest, Director, Communications

The Dallas Regional Chamber’s Talent Task Force guides work to identify pressing talent and workforce needs to help local employers attract, retain, and develop top talent.

The latest meeting, held on Wednesday, May 8, focused on talent retention, particularly its correlation to workplace experience. Nic Smith, Managing Director at CBRE, led a compelling conversation on this topic. Take a look at the key takeaways below.

Workplace culture does not have a universal definition.

Workplace culture often tops the list of priorities for prospective talent and employees when evaluating job opportunities and deciding to stay with a company, a topic also covered in the DRC’s recent Talent Talk event.

That said, ‘culture’ does not have the same definition for every company or employee. It may be viewed as anything from company values to community engagement to office amenities and everything in between.

“Workplace experience or culture is a holistic approach to creating an optimal environment for employees that impacts their engagement, satisfaction, and wellbeing,” said Smith. “It’s also a feeling an employee has, which can be anything from their connection to the company’s mission, having their work appreciated, relationships with peers, and all the subtle things that it’s difficult to have control over.”

Workplace culture is an ever-evolving and flexible framework.

The ‘people’ aspect of culture takes precedence.

“The people-centric approach has the biggest impact on retention,” said Smith.

Before Smith’s presentation, attendees had breakout discussions about what they believe keeps people, and even themselves, at companies. The common answer was ‘people,’ from colleagues to leadership, and Smith wholeheartedly agreed.

“The people aspect can oftentimes get overlooked, but if you want to retain people, you have to help them develop, have flexible leadership that can adapt to different people’s styles, and things of that matter,” said Smith. “If we’re going to get employees engaged, then they also need to get their needs met. It’s about the balance between the company and the employee.”

The employee experience starts before one is hired.

“Many companies do customer journey mapping, but it’s also important to do employee journey mapping,” said Smith. “You have to find the moments that matter in your organization.”

The physical environment of the office and the broader spectrum of workplace culture are crucial. However, it’s important to remember that an employee’s perspective on a company starts at the beginning of the hiring process.

A company’s brand in the marketplace attracts people to an organization, and the experience of the recruitment process sets the tone for the employee’s experience.

“Something as simple as a hiring manager reaching out and keeping a conversation going after an interview is so important, especially because the recruitment process can take some time,” said Smith. “These actions let the employee know what to expect from an organization.”

It is crucial to magnetize the workplace.

Companies need to find a way to motivate employees to come to the workplace without ‘forcing’ them to do so.

“You have to find out what people want,” said Smith. “Around 84% of employees are motivated by the promise of socializing with colleagues and spaces that delight and really earn the commute.”

An appealing and human-centric operation and environment gives employees a reason to want to come into the office. An appealing and human-centric operation and environment gives employees a reason to want to come into the office. DRC expert identified the trend of workplace amenities as a return-to-work strategy last summer.

The next Talent Task Force meeting is Wednesday, August 14. Email Cary Bailey, Director of Member Engagement, at cbailey@dallaschamber.org to inquire about joining this or other DRC task forces. Email talent@dallaschamber.org to inquire about getting involved in talent strategies initiatives.

To learn more about the DRC’s work in Education, Talent & Workforce, visit our website.

By Michael Wood, Vice President, Education & Workforce

Michael Wood, Vice President of Education & Workforce

A new report from Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Moms First suggests there is a significant return on investment for companies that provide child care benefits to their working parent employees. The study is the latest data point illustrating the extent to which child care, or the lack thereof, impacts our workforce and economy.

The DRC is breaking down key takeaways from this study and other things Dallas Region companies should know about the child care landscape.

The business case for child care.

A 2021 report from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce claims that Texas loses more than $9 billion annually in lost work production and foregone tax revenue due to child care challenges.

BCG’s report bears this out: 58% of parents who left their jobs cited an inability to find child care as a reason. Meanwhile, roughly 70% of working parents stated that child care disruptions impacted their work productivity and attendance. When child care arrangements fall through, working parents may arrive late, be distracted on the job, or not show up to work at all.

Turnover and lost productivity come at a significant cost to employers. In fact, replacing an employee can cost a company up to twice the previous employee’s salary.

Workplace child care benefits pay for themselves.

Navigating the child care system can be challenging for working parents, who face obstacles related to cost, location, availability, and quality. Companies can help mitigate these challenges for their working parent employees by offering a variety of workplace child care benefits, from financial assistance to on-site child care.

Regardless of the child care benefit offered, companies surveyed by BCG saw between a 90% to a 425% return on investment. In some cases, retaining as few as 1% of eligible employees as a result of the child care benefit was sufficient to cover the entire cost of the program.

There are sweeping benefits for companies providing child care benefits, from improved recruitment and retention to fewer work absences and an overall boost to company culture and morale.

States are increasingly supporting companies that offer child care benefits.

Some states, including Kentucky, Michigan, and North Carolina, have recently adopted programs that split child care costs between the state government, the employer, and the employee. Representative Julie Johnson (D-Farmers Branch) proposed a similar model during the 88th Texas Legislative Session in 2023.

These programs, often referred to as the “Tri-Share” model, are designed to lower the cost of child care for working parents, incentivize employers to offer child care benefits, and improve workplace retention rates.

Wood with Jarrad Toussant, Senior Vice President of Education & Workforce, at Parkland Hospital’s Best Place for Working Parents award presentation.

The DRC is convening an employer work group to explore the viability of a similar program in Texas ahead of the 2025 state legislative session. Send me a note if you are interested in helping this work.

Companies offering child care benefits have a competitive advantage.

The DRC recognizes family-friendly workplaces through the Best Place for Working Parents® Dallas, a local partner of The Best Place for Working Parents® national initiative. The program aims to raise awareness of the importance of family-friendly policies in the workplace and offers a designation for companies providing family-friendly policies – including child care benefits.

Annually, the DRC designates three companies as “Innovator Award” recipients for their above-and-beyond commitment to innovative, impactful, and comprehensive family-friendly practices.

To learn more about the work the Dallas Regional Chamber is doing in Education, Talent, & Workforce, visit our website.

The strength of the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) region’s business community was on display in the nation’s capital Tuesday, April 30-Thursday, May 2, during the Dallas Regional Chamber (DRC) and Fort Worth Chamber’s joint D.C. Fly-In, presented by Lockheed Martin.  

Thirty-five members of the DFW business community, including 29 DRC members, joined the trip to advocate for policies that bolster economic prosperity and support the region’s continued growth. Divided into topic area tracks, attendees spread throughout the Capitol campus to meet with members of Congress. 

“We hear from lawmakers and policy leaders on a regular basis about just how important it is for our business community to be engaged in policy matters and vocal about sharing our perspectives,” said Ashlee Davidson, Vice President of Communications at Lockheed Martin and a DRC Board member. “This fly-in is a great opportunity for us to advocate for the future of the Dallas-Fort Worth area—for businesses, community, and the overall quality of life that is crucial to our future prosperity.” 

The tradition of a joint DRC and Fort Worth Chamber fly-in dates back many years, though this was the largest and most ambitious ever. In one day, the trip included: 

      • Meetings with both Texas senators, Sen. John Cornyn and Sen. Ted Cruz 
      • 12 congressional meetings with the North Texas delegation and other representatives from Texas 
      • 5 agency briefings, including from the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health, which the DRC was instrumental in bringing to Dallas 
      • An election briefing by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce 

“While we go to D.C. to advocate for our region’s priorities, this trip is also a great opportunity to show how the Dallas-Fort Worth business community is ready and energized to partner with our nation’s leaders to help ensure a prosperous future for all people,” said Angela Farley, DRC COO and CFO. “The DRC is grateful for our deep, long-standing partnership with our friends at the Fort Worth Chamber on advocacy trips to our nation’s capital. It works to our advantage to show the collaborative spirit of one of the nation’s largest and most important economic engines.” 

DRC, Fort Worth Chamber leaders and members with Sen. John Cornyn

Discussions with policymakers and elected officials focused on advocacy for investments in infrastructure, education and workforce, and future technology. Leaders promoted the Highway Formula Fairness Act, the Pell Grant expansion for short-term workforce training programs to address the region’s middle-skills gap, and research and development tax relief.  

A meeting at the Department of Commerce featured a hearty discussion on artificial intelligence, its regulation, and DFW’s leadership on the topic. Several meetings, including one at the Department of Transportation, saw DRC leaders and members promoting the reauthorization of funding for the Federal Aviation Administration as critical to prosperity in DFW, given its status as a major transportation hub. Read more about our federal priorities here. 

On the first night of the trip, Farley led a fireside chat conversation with The Honorable Margaret Spellings, former U.S. Secretary of Education and current President and CEO of the Bipartisan Policy Center. Secretary Spellings used the opportunity to remind attendees of Texas’ impact on the nation ahead of their advocacy meetings the next day. 

“Talk about the population of Texas,” Spellings said. “If you want to move our nation forward, you better be thinking about closing the achievement gaps in Texas.” 

Tuesday evening’s event was hosted at the Embassy of Canada to the United States and attended by Congresswoman Beth Van Duyne, Congressman Keith Self, and Susan Harper, Consul General of Canada in Dallas. 

DRC, Fort Worth Chamber leaders and members with Sen. Ted Cruz

On the second night, Sen. Cruz joined attendees again at a Tri-City Dinner jointly hosted by the DRC, Greater Houston Partnership, and Fort Worth Chamber. Combined, the three chambers represent two-thirds of Texas’ economy. In their remarks, Sen. Cruz and Ambassador Kay Bailey Hutchison each recognized the significance of having the three regions together in the nation’s capital, emphasizing the importance of collaboration to maintaining Texas’ status as the No. 1 state for economic development. The Tri-City Dinner also featured Katherine Faulders, ABC News’ White House Correspondent. 

“The Washington fly-in is unique because it allows us to come together, as the North Texas region, and represent the issues that are important to all of us,” said Chris Nielsen, Toyota Motor North America’s Executive Vice President and 2019 DRC Board Chair. “We invest in events like this because we have found them, through our years of participating, to be extremely valuable.” 

This major advocacy effort was made possible by joint presenting sponsor Lockheed Martin; gold sponsors American Airlines, Boeing, Toyota Motor North America, and the University of Texas at Arlington; and silver sponsors Axxess, Fidelity Investments, and West Coast University Texas.  

To learn more about the DRC’s Public Policy work, visit our website. To inquire about joining future advocacy trips to Austin and D.C., contact publicpolicy@dallaschamber.org. 

By: Chatashia Brown, Manager, Diversity, Equity & Community Engagement 

Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month 

Asian and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month celebrates the diverse cultures and accomplishments of those who trace their roots to Asia and the Pacific Islands. It is a time to acknowledge and pay homage to the contributions AAPI Americans have made to society and culture. The month of May was chosen to mark the arrival of the first known Japanese immigrant to the United States on May 7, 1843. AAPI Heritage Month began as a week-long celebration first recognized in 1978 and was extended to a month-long recognition in 1990. AAPI heritage includes over 40 countries and 25,000 islands in the Pacific Ocean.   

Best Practices for Celebrating AAPI Heritage Month in the Workplace

Jewish American Heritage Month 

Each May, the U.S. celebrates Jewish American Heritage Month, a time to honor the significant contributions and achievements of Jewish Americans. This observance recognizes the profound impact Jewish individuals have had on America’s history, culture, science, innovation, and art. Jewish American Heritage Month gained official recognition in April 2006, following resolutions passed by both the House and Senate and a proclamation by President George W. Bush

Best Practices for Acknowledging Jewish American Heritage Month in the Workplace 

      • Provide opportunities for education. Invite speakers or historians to discuss the impact of Jewish Americans on local and national levels. Workshops can also focus on understanding Jewish traditions, holidays, and community challenges, enhancing employees’ cultural competency.
      • Encourage collaboration with Jewish organizations. Partner with local Jewish museums, libraries, or cultural centers for authentic and educational exhibitions or events that can be hosted at your workplace to enrich your employees’ understanding of Jewish history and culture.  
      • Understand and combat antisemitism. Learn about the history of antisemitism, the steps you can take to confront it in your community, and the work being done by organizations across the country. 
      • Read & watch: 
Pride Month 

Pride Month, observed every June, celebrates LGBTQ+ identity, culture, and resilience. It commemorates the 1969 Stonewall uprising in New York City, where patrons of the Stonewall Inn fought against police harassment, sparking widespread protests. This month is a time for reflection on the ongoing struggle for LGBTQ+ rights and a celebration of the progress made. During Pride Month, cities worldwide host parades, marches, and events to celebrate LGBTQ+ pride and raise awareness of community issues, providing a platform for individuals and allies to advocate for equality, acceptance, and visibility.  

Best Practices for Celebrating Pride Month in the Workplace

Juneteenth 

Juneteenth, a blend of the words June and nineteenth, is a federal holiday observed on June 19, celebrating the end of slavery in Texas. It marks the day in 1865 when Union soldiers arrived in Galveston to announce that the Civil War had ended and all enslaved individuals were now free. Texas was the first state to declare Juneteenth an official celebration in 1979, and President Joe Biden signed the legislation that made Juneteenth a federal holiday in June 2021.  As we celebrate Juneteenth, it’s important to reflect on its historical significance and the continued fight against systemic racism and oppression. 

Best Practices for Acknowledging Juneteenth in the Workplace

By Catie George, Manager, Communications & Storytelling

The Dallas Regional Chamber (DRC) hosted its Annual Leadership Luncheon on Wednesday, April 3, at Pegasus Park. The event gathers alumni of Leadership Dallas (LD) to reconnect and celebrate the upcoming graduation of the LD Class of 2024, presented by Grant Thornton.

Jonathan Blum, Lyda Hill, and Nicole Small in conversation.

As the Dallas Region’s premier leadership program, LD selects 55 individuals each year through a competitive process based on proven leadership potential within their organization and the community to participate in a 10-month program designed to unlock leadership potential and inspire class members to elevate engagement within their organizations and communities.

The program has had more than 2,300 participants in its history, and 18% of the DRC’s board members are made up of LD alumni.

“From tackling education and workforce disparities to fostering economic growth, the collective efforts of Leadership Dallas Alumni have left a lasting mark on the region,” said DRC COO & CFO Angela Farley. “The impact of Leadership Dallas extends far beyond individual accomplishments. It’s about coming together as a community to address challenges and create opportunities for all. Through collaborative projects and community engagement, Leadership Dallas has helped build a more inclusive and prosperous region.”

Jonathan Blum, LD ’16, Partner at Holland & Knight LLP, and Chair of Leadership Dallas Alumni, led the keynote conversation between Lyda Hill, LD ’82 and Dallas Entrepreneur and philanthropist, and Nicole Small, LD ’04 and President & CEO of LH Capital/Lyda Hill Philanthropies to discuss leadership, innovation, and community impact.

“Telling the story about North Texas is really important,” said Small. “Being able to get engaged with the [Dallas Regional] Chamber and the Leadership Dallas class opened my world to people I’d never met, to organizations I’d never heard of, and to projects that I needed to learn about.”

Telling the North Texas story, specifically as it relates to life sciences, has led to some major wins for the region.

“We’ve been working closely with the chamber this past year to really try to tell the life sciences story. We have incredible life sciences here,” said Small. “It allowed us to attract an organization like [the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health or] ARPA-H, which is the federal agency that’s giving away billions of dollars to advance science more quickly. [It] has definitely been a really exciting thing because I think had we not had [Pegasus Park, the ARPA-H headquarters site] and had not had this project, Dallas would have never been on the map to win.”

The discussion wrapped up by touching on how LD alumni can continue contributing to the Dallas Region after their time in LD.

“Find something that looks interesting, that looks different, that you didn’t know anything about, that you want to learn because you are the one that’s going to benefit,” said Hill. “You’ve got skills, so find out what’s needed and see if you can check in and learn to do it, because I promise you, you will have a great time and you will feel so much better when you see the difference that you can make.”

Tiffaney D. Hunter accepting her Distinguished Alumni Award.

During the event, Tiffaney D. Hunter, LD ’07 and communications professional, was announced as the 2024 Distinguished Alumni Award winner. This award acknowledges her contributions and commitment to the community, her demonstrated exceptional leadership qualities, and her positive impact on the Dallas community.

“My Leadership Dallas experience was one of growth and transformation,” said Hunter. “Our role as graduates is to always lift as we climb and to bring others along this amazing Leadership Dallas journey.”

To learn more about Leadership Dallas, visit our website. Alumni looking to get involved in the LDA Council should email Olympia Newman at onewman@dallaschamber.org.

Thank you to the LD ’24 Presenting Program sponsor, Grant Thornton. Thank you to our silver sponsor, Amazon.

By Dylan Guest, Director, Communications

The third installment of the Dallas Regional Chamber’s (DRC) Community Connections series focused on fostering growth and connections among Latina entrepreneurs, the fastest-growing segment of entrepreneurs in the United States. During the event, attendees were also inspired by a remarkable success story from within the community.

“It’s important to recognize the invaluable contributions of Latinas,” said DRC Senior Vice President of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement Latosha Herron Bruff. “They are makers of culture in the U.S., and their impact on entrepreneurship and contributions to our economy cannot be overstated.”

The event was Thursday, April 11, presented by Turner Construction Company, and hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas (Dallas Fed).

Representatives from the Dallas Fed welcomed the event’s attendees and provided insights into the bank’s inclusion efforts and actionable resources on how to do business with them.

Fireside chat between Nancy Galvan and Maricarmen Tamez.

“The Fed’s mandate is to promote a healthy economy characterized by price stability and maximum employment – for everyone, no matter their background or identity,” said Silvia Siqueira, Assistant Vice President of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, People and Culture at the Dallas Fed. “The work we do as a bank to achieve our mandate is supported by a talented, diverse, and inclusive workforce. Diverse perspectives create better outcomes, and by bringing as many voices as possible around the table, we facilitate more inclusive conversations, information sharing, and policymaking.”

Charles Price, Senior Supplier Diversity Program Manager of the Financial Management Group – Procurement at the Dallas Fed, then elaborated on the bank’s commitment to supplier diversity and its “Doing business with the Dallas Fed” program.

“We know the value and wealth that having a diverse supplier base brings, not only to our district but to our community,” said Price. “We cannot say that we are a community leader if we don’t do business with people in our community. Having diversity in our spending is essential.”

The discussion then transitioned into a fireside chat with Nancy Galvan, Owner of Unica Enterprises LLC, moderated by Maricarmen Tamez, Community and Citizenship Director at Turner Construction Company.

Galvan began the chat by explaining her inspiration for becoming an entrepreneur.

Galvan started Unica in 2007 as a part-time janitorial service while working full-time as a Contracts Administrator at Bell Helicopter. She chose to enter the janitorial industry after her extensive research showed a significant demand for cleaning services in the Dallas Region, the ability to work at night after her day job, and the lower startup costs.

Her day job also sparked an idea, but one that took several years to achieve.

“I was so grateful for my day job, but it also taught me one strategic move – that I would sell to the Federal Government,” said Galvan.

Silvia Siqueira, Maricarmen Tamez, Nancy Galvan, and Latosha Herron Bruff.

Now, Unica boasts a diverse portfolio of clients, including the U.S. Federal Government, the Department of Defense, the City of Irving, and more. In addition, Unica grew from just one employee to close to 110 today.

In a room full of other entrepreneurs and business-owners, Galvan left some parting tips.

“Be very thoughtful and strategic and try to have money in the reserves,” said Galvan. “Once you’re ready and have everything planned out, just take the plunge. If you’ve thought it through and know what you’re capable of doing, then always bet on yourself. No one will work harder for you than yourself.”

Community Connections, a recurring DRC event series, empowers Latinas by elevating their impact in the business world while embracing their cultural diversity.

To learn more about the DRC’s Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement Team’s work, visit our website.

 

By Catie George, Manager, Communications & Storytelling

The Dallas Regional Chamber (DRC) hosted its first Talent Talk of the year, presented by BGSF and Holmes Murphy, on Wednesday, March 20. The event was focused on the Dallas Business Journal’s Best Places to Work designation and featured companies that had received the honor. If you missed it, take a look at the key takeaways below.

  1. Finding talent is a challenge for everybody.

With over 770,000 current job openings in Texas, filling those roles is a major challenge.

“It’s a problem that stems from growth and innovation, while some cities in the regions of this country are dealing with problems from stagnation of the population,” said Dallas Business Journal’s Editor-in-Chief Will Anderson. “But it’s still a challenge, and one that rightfully demands a lot of time investment.”

  1. Know your culture.

“[Culture is] critical. It’s why you join a company, but it’s also why you stay at a company,” said Taylor Bretl, Manager of Talent Acquisition at Slalom.

Culture as a means of recruitment is also a great way to stand out in a competitive market.

“Our best representatives of our culture are our people,” said Cynthia Ball, Director of People Operations at The Crowther Group. “We have to be competitive, especially in construction. We’re all looking for the same type of person. We have to be very direct and full of intent in sharing and living what our culture is.”

Cynthia Ball, Taylor Bretl, and Amy Tice in conversation with Will Anderson.
  1. Embrace change and challenges.

From a pandemic to an artificial intelligence boom, all industries have experienced major challenges over the past five years. It’s important to remember that adjustments are continually necessary.

“Personally, professionally, from a corporation standpoint, everything’s a work in progress,” said Amy Tice, Chief People Officer at Ryan, LLC. “Just because you put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into a program, and it was exactly what you needed then, that does not mean it wasn’t successful when you need to evolve it 18 months later, or you need to evolve how you have practices or what you’re doing.”

  1. Communicate clearly and be honest.

While working to fill roles, it is important that companies are clear on their expectations and properly convey that to applicants.

“I think transparency shows that if you’re setting them up for success, you want the best for them,” said Bretl. “The transparency piece is so vital. But I think, too, that a lot of it comes with building a supportive workplace and looking at what that looks like when it comes to attracting talent.”

Elizabeth Caudill McClain, Senior Vice President of Talent Strategies at the DRC.
  1. The DRC can help with your talent needs.

“We have expanded our focus on talent. For the past 15 years, we’ve focused on education and workforce and talent attraction, really working alongside our educational institutions to make sure that you have the talent you need coming from our education systems,” said Elizabeth Caudill McClain, Senior Vice President of Talent Strategies at the DRC. “But what we heard from you all in the strategic planning process was, yes, and we need more. We need more support in the entire talent life cycle, not just from education systems but also for attracting, retaining, and developing talent.”

To get help from the DRC for your talent and workforce needs, visit our resources page.

Thank you to our presenting sponsors, BGSF and Holmes Murphy. Thank you to our corporate sponsor, KEIRUS by KJE. Thank you to our featured employers, OCC and Medical City Healthcare.

To learn more about what the DRC is doing to retain and attract talent to the Dallas Region, visit our website.

By Catie George, Manager, Communications and Storytelling. 

The Dallas Regional Chamber (DRC) hosted its third annual State of Public Safety, presented by Texas Instruments and Ashford, on Tuesday, March 26, at the George W. Bush Presidential Center.

Chief Greg Stevens gives his keynote.
Chief Greg Stevens gives his keynote.

“I believe that the state of public safety in Texas is still very strong. However, I don’t think we want to just rest on that,” said Chief Greg Stevens, the new Executive Director of the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement. “[Senate Bill 1445, or the Sunset Bill] empowered TCOLE with raised expectations and increased regulatory authority. But most significantly, from my perspective, it provided a very clear mission for TCOLE and a clear direction. I thought that’s something I want to be involved in because I see some great opportunity and a great path forward for not just Texas law enforcement but for Texas public safety for Texans, the people that live and work here, the many people that are moving here, and the people that visit our great state.”

Transparency is key as Dallas faces recent population growth, which has the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) Region on track to becoming the third-largest city in America by 2030.

“Not only are we still growing as a population of residents and houses, but our visitor population is growing. So, trying to maneuver officers into the areas that are needed and making sure that not only our citizens but also our visitors are taken care of is a challenge that comes with that,” said Assistant Chief of the Frisco Police Department Billy Clay. “When it comes down to it, we’re all in this together as a region.”

Representatives from the Dallas, Frisco, and Plano Police Departments and the Dallas FBI speak about public safety.
Representatives from the Dallas, Frisco, and Plano Police Departments and the Dallas FBI speak about public safety.

Authorities in the region are working together to address the challenges they face collaboratively, making the DFW area truly unique in its approach to public safety and policing.

“We exchange information about what’s going on in our cities and what we’re seeing in crime, and it just makes us all better,” said Plano Police Chief Ed Drain. “We can all learn from each other. We rely on Dallas for a lot of resources and help, so we’re really fortunate in that regard to be working in this area. You don’t have a lot of competition.”

The lack of competition makes Dallas stand out on a national scale, as well.

“I’ve been all over the country and stationed in multiple locations,” said FBI Dallas Division’s Special Agent in Charge B. Chad Yarbrough. “I will tell you that the law enforcement in North Texas, at the federal, state, and local levels, is by far the best I’ve ever seen. The leadership here is something every citizen should be proud of.”

The discussion then transitioned to focus on the 77,000 individuals released from incarceration each year and their relationship to the workforce. Re-entry policies and support are currently lacking, to the disappointment of experts and those affected.

“Once they come out, they need to have the tools [to succeed], and they’re not given much when they come out,” said Texas Rep. Rhetta Bowers (D-Dallas).

One tool needed is simply the opportunity to succeed.

“I think the more [employers] understand the benefits of hiring someone with a background, what protections can be put in place, and maybe looking at additional legislative policies that we can put in place or protections for employers, that’s the road we need to go down,” said Christina Crain, Founder, President, and CEO of Unlocking Doors, a nonprofit that works to reduce crime through collaboration.

The second panel discussing re-entry policies.
The second panel discussing re-entry policies.

Employers like JPMorgan Chase & Co. are working to make substantial changes to their hiring practices for people with criminal backgrounds.

“Over the last four years, over 10% of our hires have been justice-impact hires… These are career pathways with jobs and benefits, with opportunities to advance and get promoted. We’ve found that they’re great employees, they’re grateful, and they can have a lot of opportunities in different positions,” said Vice President of Government Relations at JPMorgan David Emerick. “I’ve always said that if JPMorgan Chase could hire somebody with a criminal background, just about anybody can.”

Thank you to our presenting sponsors, Texas Instruments and Ashford. Thank you to our media partner KRLD. Thank you to our silver sponsors, Oncor and Thompson Reuters.

To learn more about the work the DRC is doing in Public Safety, visit our website.

By Catie George, Manager, Communications & Storytelling

In the upcoming City of Dallas bond election, voters can approve a $1.25 billion investment across 10 areas of need to improve Dallas now and into the future. The Dallas Regional Chamber joins Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson and trusted community partners in calling on voters to vote “yes” on all 10 propositions, A-J, of the bond package.

Together, Propositions A-J will help maintain and improve the city’s infrastructure to support a high-quality life for all people—with no new costs for taxpayers. City of Dallas officials have pledged to use tax dollars it already collects annually, without raising the tax rate for residents.

Each of the 10 propositions on the ballot marks a unique, multi-million-dollar investment in an area of need, with more than three-quarters of the proposed funds allocated to roads, parks, and public safety. Read a description of each of the 10 propositions here, and view a detailed map and listing of proposed projects here.

Notably, Proposition F provides $50 million in funding for the new Regional Law Enforcement Training Center, for which the DRC has been a strong advocate.

2024 Dallas Bond Propositions - A-E Summary 2024 Dallas Bond Propositions - F-J Summary

Ensuring Dallas citizens enjoy a high quality of life is critical to the prosperity of our region and the companies that do business here. This bond package invests in the areas that make Dallas a great place to play—such as parks, libraries, arts, and cultural facilities—and a great place to live—such as street improvements, flood protection, public safety, and affordable housing. The ability to lead a high-quality life in the city helps ensure our talent pool remains strong.

If you live in the City of Dallas, you might see other items on your ballot, such as school board elections. To preview your ballot and make your plan to vote for this and all upcoming elections, visit the DRC’s Ballot Builder. This tool helps you research your ballot, check your voter registration status, and find your most convenient polling location.

Early voting is Monday, April 22-Tuesday, April 30. Election Day is Saturday, May 4. Additional information, including polling locations, can be found here.

By Olympia Newman, Managing Director, Leadership Programs

LEAD YP alumni at the DRC’s 2024 Annual Meeting.

In the vibrant leadership development landscape, mission-aligned programs have an undeniable impact. These intentionally structured initiatives incorporate an organization’s mission to create ambassadors who champion its cause with a deep understanding of its vision. The Dallas Regional Chamber (DRC) exemplifies this concept, pioneering mission alignment through its leadership programs to forge a legacy of champions. We shared our cutting-edge approach with our peers at the 2023 Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives Convention.

However, the DRC’s mission-aligned Leadership Programs go beyond rhetoric; they actively nurture leaders who embody our values and advocate for our cause through intentionally designed leadership programs, including LEAD YP and Leadership Dallas. Our companies get the leaders they need, and so does our region.

LEAD YP: Developing leaders who develop the region

LEAD YP, a dynamic six-month program, targets young professionals to equip them with the tools and insights needed for leadership in the Dallas business community. Participants develop essential leadership skills and gain a deep understanding of regional challenges and opportunities through sessions carefully tailored around DRC focus areas, empowering them as catalysts for positive change.

Leadership Dallas: An incubator for change-makers

Leadership Dallas, the region’s premier leadership program, immerses participants in practical experiences, enabling them to confront real-world issues within the region. By collaborating with the DRC peers and regional leaders, participants gain invaluable insights into the DRC’s mission and their role in advancing it.

LD ’24 at their class retreat.

The program serves as a strategic investment for employers and organizations, offering benefits such as talent development, enhanced leadership skills, and expanded networks. By participating in the program, employees gain valuable insights, industry knowledge, and leadership capabilities that directly contribute to their professional growth and success.

Building long-term advocates

What sets these programs apart is their strategic approach to long-term engagement. Graduates seamlessly transition from LEAD YP to Leadership Dallas, continuing to engage with the organization through various channels. As a result, the DRC boasts an actively involved network of alumni who shape the future of the DRC and the Dallas Region at large.

The impact of committed leaders

The impact speaks volumes. Following the 2023 LEAD YP program, 100% of participants reported a comprehensive understanding of the DRC’s mission, with 94% expressing intent to increase their engagement. Similarly, after completing Leadership Dallas, 98% of participants reported a deep understanding of the DRC’s mission, with 98% expressing intent to enhance their engagement. On our DRC boards, councils, and taskforces, over 200 member companies proudly count leadership program alumni among their ranks, and 18% of the DRC Board of Directors counted as Leadership Program alumni.

LD Alumni at the LD Welcome Reception.

Through these mission-aligned initiatives, the DRC cultivates leaders and fosters a culture of advocacy and collaboration, building a legacy of champions deeply vested in the success and prosperity of the Dallas Region.

Moreover, active involvement in leadership programs acts as a powerful retention tool, fostering employee loyalty and engagement by providing unique opportunities for personal and professional advancement. With access to a diverse network of leaders and decision-makers, participants can leverage their experiences to drive innovation, collaboration, and organizational success.

Mission-aligned leadership programs transcend individual development; they represent a collective force for positive change, transforming ambassadors who lead with purpose and passion.

Learn more about the DRC’s Leadership Programs here. Ready to embrace intentional program design and cultivate organizational champions? Reach out to onewman@dallaschamber.org to access the Mission-Aligned Programs Framework.

Takeaways from the 2024 International Leadership Summit

By Latosha Herron Bruff, Senior Vice President, Diversity, Inclusion & Community Engagement

I had the pleasure of moderating a panel for the 2024 International Leadership Summit in March. The panel, “The Right Time for Belonging: Embracing a Fresh Perspective on DEIA,” focused on the role of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) in the workplace. Read my takeaways from the panel below.

Herron Bruff moderating the panel.

1. Fostering a more inclusive environment is critical for businesses and corporations.

The panel featured three inclusive and successful leaders. Each emphasized the importance of leaders creating an inclusive environment through DEIA to form a true sense of belonging. Margo J. Posey, President and CEO of the DFW Minority Supplier Development Council, said that everyone’s voices need to be heard to create that belonging.

“The tone starts at the top, and if I’m the CEO of an organization, which I am, I have to make it clear that this matters,” said Cynt Marshall, CEO of the Dallas Mavericks and 2024 DRC Board Chair. “If you get the culture right, if you get diversity right, if you lead with inclusion, if you have a diverse workforce—all of that, your results will follow.”

Creating this environment requires oversight.

“We know in corporate America, if you can’t measure it, it’s not moving,” said Windy Oliver, Executive Vice President at Wells Fargo. “So, make sure there are accountability metrics around.”

2. To create a sense of belonging, include mentorship.

“People do business with people they know, like, trust, and have a relationship with,” said Posey, which is why it is important to emphasize connection through mentorship. Those connections turn into economic opportunities.

For minorities trying to break into the business world, mentorship is also helpful for development.

“There are different levels of mentoring. What a first-level entrepreneur needs is not what [everyone] needs,” said Posey. “All mentoring is good, but some are better than others. And you have to know what it is that you need.”

3. Go beyond what is just required with supplier diversity.

Supplier diversity, or using minority- or women-owned businesses as suppliers, is not just the right thing to do, but also economically advantageous, said Posey.

“By continuing to utilize minority businesses, it would add over $9 trillion to the gross national product within the next 8 years. It would add another eight million jobs for all people,” Posey said.

Supplier diversity will lift every business that participates.

“We need to make sure that our large businesses are truly doing business with our diverse businesses,” said Marshall. “If you want your business to thrive, and if you want to be successful, and if you want to be a part of the solution, and if you want to make things better, then you’ll do it.”

4. Now is not the time to slow down on DEIA work.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are under scrutiny. But leaders in DEI will tell you that this is the time to step on the gas, not slow down.

Margo J. Posey, Cynt Marshall, Windy Oliver, and Latosha Herron Bruff

“Minorities now have additional threats to their opportunities to do business in the federal government’s space,” said Posey.There are major attacks on supply chain inclusion, and supply chain inclusion is all about economics, so it’s critically important that leaders from the private sector speak up and have their voices heard.”

Slowing down DEI work will significantly impact our economy.

5. Start with Dallas.

In Marshall’s first address as DRC Chair, in front of around 1,300 business leaders, she let it be known that the DRC is pushing on the gas when it comes to diversity, inclusion, and belonging. She set the DRC’s mantra for the year: to seize the moment.

“Seize the moment to really get rid of the tale of two cities in Dallas, where you can go to one zip code and the life expectancy is 58 years, and just 10 or 15 minutes away, the life expectancy is 85 years old. And that’s because of systemic issues that we must identify and address,” said Marshall. “As a region, as business leaders, we’re going to seize the moment to close the gap and to get rid of these disparities and make Dallas the place that everybody is talking about.”

Dallas is taking it upon itself to address those challenges head-on.

6. There is a lot of hope for the future of DEIA.

Despite the challenges we face, the panelists were optimistic that the future of DEIA is bright.

“One of my favorite Martin Luther King, Jr. quotes is, ‘the time is always right to do what is right.’ We do it because it’s right,” said Oliver. “Sometimes corporations have to lead the way… we’re doubling down.”

We have an opportunity to do great things and the right leaders who will help us get there.

“The future for us is about our children. It’s about making sure that we close the gaps in these communities. It’s about making sure everyone has access,” said Marshall. “Our workplace promise at the Mavs, and we carry it out to the community as well, is every voice matters and everybody belongs.”

To learn more about the diversity and inclusion work the Dallas Regional Chamber is doing, visit our website.

Improving is a complete IT services company dedicated to positively changing the perception of the IT professional. They offer cutting-edge solutions through IT consulting, software development, and agile training to help their clients prosper and achieve their most challenging technology goals.

How does Improving help its clients build value?

We help enterprises and organizations solve their most complex technology challenges through modern software development, technology consulting, agile training, and team augmentation services. Our innovative solutions have helped thousands of our clients realize their tactical and strategic business objectives, allowing them to achieve great new heights in a competitive and ever-changing market. We aid our clients in understanding the impact of their latest initiatives, deploying new applications, and assimilating these things into their teams with ease. We are dedicated to educating and supporting businesses every step of the way, setting them up for a bright and successful future.

What differentiates Improving within your industry?

Improving is redefining the landscape of modern technology. Our expertise converges to meet our clients’ technological challenges with a unique focus on stakeholder value and usability. Our unique approach integrates advanced areas like platform engineering, artificial intelligence/machine learning, and modern data strategies with core business functions such as agility, automation, and collaboration. This synergy ensures functional software and a complete transformation of a business’ processes and output.

Trust is also at the forefront of everything we do at Improving. Not only do we want our employees to have access to open communication, personal growth, and shared rewards, but we want this with our clients, too. Incorporating trust into all aspects of our company has resulted in extensive, sustainable growth, which is why our success is a consequence of our involvement.

What benefits does Improving enjoy by doing business in the Dallas Region?

Dallas remains one of the top thriving business communities in the United States, and Improving has been fortunate to work with countless companies of all sizes and industries on their business solutions. Dallas’ growth over the years has brought new organizations into the city’s ecosystem and strengthened our ability to connect with emerging industries that have established roots here.

Why did Improving become a DRC member?

Improving has called Dallas home since our inception in 2007. While we have offices throughout North America, Dallas will forever be a special place to us! It’s the location of our headquarters and where we have worked for millions of hours on projects while supporting multiple local industries, including financial services, automotive, and construction.

As one of the most respected business organizations in the U.S., our partnership with the DRC strengthens our relationship with the local community. As a passionate supporter of the Conscious Capitalism business philosophy, we believe our stakeholders go beyond our clients and into the community. Membership with the DRC is a wonderful way to build trust and relationships with people in our area.

How has Improving changed in the past five years?

Our sustained growth since our inception has landed us on the Inc. 5000 list for 14 years, and with this growth, we have needed to change our programs and how we scale our company’s culture. It remains one of our top commitments to our employees to create a great place to work, which includes education and mentorship. With this in mind, we have developed PATH, an innovative and highly custom career planning program unique to each employee’s goals. This has allowed our Improvers to reach new heights, both professionally and personally.

By Catie George, Manager, Communications & Storytelling

At the beginning of this year, the Dallas Regional Chamber (DRC) formed the Tech Policy Task Force in response to the vital role Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) high-tech companies play in the economy and the need for their voice to be heard in Austin and Washington, D.C.

“We also know that technology policy is exploding because of new industries like artificial intelligence, the need for more data centers, and increased energy capacity, which we will be proactive about and influence throughout the next several years,” said Matt Garcia, Senior Vice President of Public Policy at the DRC, in a recent blog.

The Tech Policy Task Force addresses the rising challenges and concerns in this space after the DRC and its members noted legislators’ increasing interest in artificial intelligence (AI), mobility, data privacy, and cybersecurity during the last legislative session.

“The DRC has always had the ability to convene thought leaders and experts in the technology space. Their advocacy is nonbiased, member-driven, and always mindful of how technology can make an impact locally and beyond,” said Michelle Miller, Market President at Verizon and Chair of the Tech Policy Task Force. “Dallas continues to be a hub of innovation with technology at the core. This enables the DRC to have experts across multiple industries offer input on how to leverage technological advancements for the greater good of the region and across the world.”

The task force’s first meeting was in February, during which members received insight into existing regulations and discussed local, state, and federal policy issues.

During the meeting, Representative Giovanni Capriglione, Chairman of the Innovation & Technology Caucus in the Texas Legislature, noted that he requested information for upcoming AI legislation to be considered in the 89th Session of the Texas Legislature.

Following this charge, the DRC convened the Tech Policy Task Force members to draft comments in response to the request. The comments highlighted the efficiencies AI can yield and provided guidelines for a risk-based approach to legislation.

The comments also emphasized the importance of implementing state and local initiatives aimed at fostering partnerships in research and innovation to encourage further investment and innovation in the DFW area and throughout Texas. Such initiatives are integral to positioning the region and state as a premier center for AI innovation.

The task force will serve to educate about and advise the DRC’s policy positions that have a tech focus.

“Lack of understanding, especially around technology, can cause fear and stifle innovation. Removing ambiguity through education and advocacy allows for fruitful discussion, leading to further innovation and more rapid technological advancement,” said Miller. “Often, technological change can seem intimidating; thus, it is incumbent on the experts and thought leaders to articulate the benefits in a way that those less familiar can feel comfortable with.”

Task force members include experts and industry leaders from Verizon, Amazon, and other DRC member companies.

The next Tech Policy Task Force meeting will be on Wednesday, May 22. To inquire about joining this or other DRC task forces, email Cary Bailey, Director of Member Engagement, at cbailey@dallaschamber.org.

To learn more about the DRC’s work in Public Policy, visit our website.