DRC celebrates Leadership Dallas with Annual Leadership Luncheon

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.