By Dave Moore, Data Journalist and Staff Writer
Skype, Snapchat and text messaging allow instant, global communications with colleagues. Yet no known technology resolves a fear that has hamstrung generations of business professionals: How do you talk to that stranger in front of you?
Topics discussed at this year’s Dallas Regional Chamber Young Professionals Summit at Westin Dallas Downtown on Oct. 13 included tearing down barriers (such as the fear of networking in a room full of strangers), and getting back to the basics of building strong face-to-face relationships.
More than 300 young professionals took a day away from their regular jobs to hear 21 business leaders describe their views on not only how to be better business people, but how to be better people. The event was kicked off by Cary Evert, CEO and President of Hilti North America, the 2016 YP presenting sponsor.
“This year’s summit was 100 percent about developing young leaders,” said YP Summit co-chair Mike Smith, who helped organize the event. Smith, a YP board member, said that while many young professionals have mastered business technologies of all sorts, many need help relating directly with people. Through their year-round involvement in YP, members focus on personal growth, career advancement, civic involvement, and service to the Dallas Region.
“This event allows professionals to work on their interpersonal skills,” he said, adding that many professionals who attended the Summit and other YP functions do so at the urging from their C-suite executives, who realize the value of the organization and its work.
Topics at this year’s Summit included maintaining a work-life balance, developing an entrepreneurial approach to work, tips on becoming a more effective leader, a discussion about how politics can shape public policies, and of course, networking.
In a one-hour presentation, conference speaker and human resources/networking expert Cindy Lu – who came to Dallas by way of Milwaukee – changed how YP Summit attendee JaLeesa Sims-Smith views networking. Her initial understanding of networking led to her believe that she needed to use others for her personal gain, which is why she hesitated at networking.
Lu, CEO and co-founder of Plano-based CHRO Partners and CindyLu.Net, told the audience that one key in successful networking is asking a new contact intelligent questions, and then in the process, identifying ways to help. See the slideshow for her discussion here.
“I really liked this because the message was about how I could serve someone,” said Sims-Smith, who moved from her home in Shreveport, Louisiana, to Dallas to work as an intern architect at HKS, Inc. “I’m still deciding on my strategy for networking; I’m encouraged to learn that making business connections is a process and doesn’t need to be figured out immediately.”
Lesley Thompson, a senior director in the office of the CEO at Children’s Health, said the speakers were all very effective, but the Leadership Dallas Alumni Panel discussion that addressed leading with empathy made the biggest impression on her.
“As an empathic leader, the more you listen to people, the better you can understand how to lead them more effectively,” she said.
Keynote speakers at this year’s YP Summit were JPMorgan Chase South Segment Manager Anne Motsenbocker, and Dallas Cowboys legend and Jones Lang LaSalle Americas Executive Chairman Roger Staubach.
The Dallas Regional Chamber’s Young Professionals organization engages with more than 400 future leaders from a diverse range of industries, backgrounds and mindsets. Through their involvement in YP, members focus on personal growth, career advancement, civic involvement and service to the Dallas region. For more information, please visit the Dallas Regional Chamber’s Young Professionals page.
The Dallas Regional Chamber is pleased to announce the 42nd class of Leadership Dallas, the premier leadership development program in the Dallas Region.
Founded in 1975, Leadership Dallas prepares diverse leaders to serve as catalysts and sustainers of positive change for the quality of life in the Dallas Region. The program is not a starting point, but rather a professional development opportunity for men and women who are both acknowledged and aspiring leaders. The individuals selected for Leadership Dallas have already demonstrated a commitment to the serving the community.
“The Leadership Dallas Class of 2017 has been selected based on their commitment to the Dallas community as well as their high potential for leadership,” said Dale Petroskey, President and CEO of the Dallas Regional Chamber. “We are proud to welcome these talented, committed individuals into the program, and look forward to working with them so they can contribute even more to helping make Dallas the best place in America to live, work, and do business.”
Throughout the ten-month educational program, participants develop their leadership capabilities as they build strong relationships with fellow classmates and current community leaders. Through lectures, discussion groups, on-site visits, simulations, class projects, and other leadership development activities, participants gain a deeper understanding of the critical issues facing the community and are challenged to apply their talents towards addressing these issues in the future.
“Leadership Dallas participants are immersed in the history and current affairs of the Dallas Region to identify the challenges we face as a community,” said Kari Nelson, Managing Director of Leadership Programs for the Dallas Regional Chamber. “It is our hope that each Leadership Dallas graduate is able to use the knowledge and enhanced leadership skills gained through the program to influence positive change for the Dallas Region.”
Leadership Dallas has graduated more than 1,900 men and women who continue to provide leadership in the region. Many alumni have achieved the top executive role at their current organizations, founded their own businesses, or gone on to a career in public service. Leadership Dallas alumni include former police chiefs, former U.S. Ambassadors, and elected officials at the city, state, and national levels.
The members of the Leadership Dallas Class of 2017 are:
Patty Arellano, Texas Instruments
Blake Barfield, HollyFrontier Corporation
Keith Berry, Hazel’s Hot Shot
Eric Boon, Tenet Healthcare
Stacy Bowers, BBVA Compass Bank
Kelly Chen, Munck Wilson Mandala, LLP
Nate Christensen, Hunt Consolidated, Inc.
Justin Coppedge, Dallas ISD
Grace Daniels, Oncor Electric Delivery
Travis Dent, Holmes Murphy & Associates
Sagar Desai, The Commit! Partnership
Deborah Diercks, UT Southwestern
Lacy Durham, Deloitte
Allison Eidson, ORIX USA
Isaac Faz, Dallas County Community College District
Jessica Filante, AT&T
Brannon Fitch, BB&T
Dean Galvin, Turner Construction
James Garner, BKD, LLP
Rhonda Green, JPMorgan Chase
Risa Gross, Leland Fikes Foundation
Maureen Gutierrez, Dallas Comprehensive Medical Care
Christina Hanger, Dallas Afterschool
Emily Hargrove, Tacky Box, LLC
Ron Harrison, Wells Fargo
Jeremy Hawpe, Littler Mendelson
McKay Heim, Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children
Lenny Hughes, Halff Associates Inc.
Tierney Kaufman Hutchins, The Trinity Trust Foundation
Doug Lawson, Baylor University Medical Center
Stephanie Lucero, Dallas Can Academies
Marney MacKenna, EY
Tim Maiden, Frost Bank
Shara McClure, BlueCross BlueShield of Texas
Lori McMahon, Office of U.S. Congressman Sam Johnson
Jodi McShan, McShan Florist, Inc.
Wendy Messmann, U.S. Trust
Javier Montemayor, Children’s Health
Cassy Nack, Grant Thornton LLP
Brad Nitschke, Jackson Walker L.L.P.
Nkem Okafor, Methodist Health System
Stefanie Olson, Axxess
John Pelletier, ESmith Realty
Zachary Porter, Royal Blue Grocery & Viceroy Realty Advisors
Daniel Roby, Austin Street Center
Jason Rodriguez, Dallas ISD Police Department
Albert Rota, Jones Day
Damian Sanders, Department of the Navy
Scot Sanders, JACOBS
Katy Slade, Gables Residential
Liji Thomas, Southwest Airlines
Jennifer Tobin, The Junior League of Dallas, Inc. and Geary, Porter & Donovan, P.C.
Jacob Walter, Hillwood Urban
Laura Weis, AECOM
For more Leadership Dallas information visit: www.dallaschamber.org/leadership
As the Dallas Region’s economy continues to thrive, more and more companies and business leaders are choosing the Dallas Region as their new home. As with any relocation to a new city or state, there is a natural adjustment period and the challenges of learning about the community, building relationships with other executives, and gaining exposure to current local issues. With this in mind, the Dallas Regional Chamber designed a program called Welcoming New Executives (WNE), an executive integration course that provides a foundation for new executives to build upon as they join our community.
WNE provides senior level executives (and their spouse or guest) a memorable and informative transition into the region. This annual program runs for 6 months and helps participants learn about the many distinct advantages of living in the Dallas Region. Through experiences that highlight business opportunities and our dynamic and diverse cultural, entertainment, and educational offerings, WNE provides a fast track to prepare executives to join the business, philanthropic, and political structure of the Dallas Region.
The course does this through 6 sessions:
September 30 – October 1: Overnight Retreat, “Our Dallas”, sponsored by Amegy Bank
October 26: Mapping Out the Political Landscape
November 16: The Regional Sports Economy
December 14: Education & the Talent Pipeline, sponsored by Toyota
January 18: Exploring Culinary Delights: Cooking demonstration hosted by Central Market
February 16: A Stroll Through the Arts District
Applications are currently available and interested executives who have been in the Dallas Region three years or less are invited to apply by Friday, July 29. The ideal candidate for the course is the President, CEO, COO, CFO, or an executive who reports directly to the senior officer in the organization.
If you are interested in applying or know someone who would benefit from WNE, please contact Julie Headley at 214.543.6290 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 2016 class of Leadership Dallas, the Dallas Regional Chamber’s flagship leadership-development program, marked the culmination of its class project with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, celebrating the dedication of the newly renovated Pregnant & Parenting Women with Children (PPWC) program building at Nexus Recovery Center.
The project included a complete refresh of all common living spaces in the PPWC dormitory, built in 1964, including freshly painted walls, new flooring, all-new furniture and appliances, a renovated reception area and artwork throughout. The refresh also included a new children’s playroom, complete with brand-new toys, and a quiet room for nursing and pregnant women.
“The Leadership Dallas Class of 2016 is honored to support the clients and staff of Nexus Recovery Center by renovating and refreshing this facility,” said Amanda Hartman, 2016 Leadership Dallas graduate and project committee co-chair. “Watching these brave women and their beautiful children walk into the renovated space wide-eyed, pronounce it “home” and settle down, to relax and play as a family, was an incredible experience. We are inspired by them and our community, which embraced this project by providing nearly $175,000 in funds and in-kind donations. As we dedicate this new space today, we are reminded that, with sincere purpose and strength of community, we can truly make a difference in the lives of others.”
Nexus is the only drug-treatment facility in North Texas that provides residential treatment to pregnant and parenting women who need to bring their children into treatment with them. The PPWC program serves women in all stages of pregnancy and allows women ages 18 and older to bring up to three children with them into treatment. Nexus has successfully met the specific needs of women for more than 20 years through addressing a uniquely female problem, providing childcare and prenatal care while pregnant and parenting while simultaneously receiving quality, residential drug treatment.
“These renovations meet a tremendous need and give our clients and – even more importantly ¬– their children a nice, clean, comfortable space that will help them feel good about themselves and the changes they are making to better their lives,” said Becca Crowell, executive director, Nexus Recover Center. “ Leadership Dallas’ selection of and investment in Nexus underscores our important mission to inspire hope, offer respect, and honor the unique differences of female clients, and their families, coping with addition.”
Each year, up to 55 professionals are selected to participate in Leadership Dallas, a 10-month program that promotes positive change for quality of life in the Dallas region. As part of the program, every Leadership Dallas class completes a class project, benefiting the local community.
Each year, up to 55 individuals are selected to participate in Leadership Dallas, the Dallas Regional Chamber’s flagship leadership development program.
Completed applications for the Class of 2017 are due this Friday, May 13, by 5:00 PM. The selection committee will review all aspects of an application and create a Leadership Dallas class that represents the diversity of our region.
And we aren’t just talking about cultural and ethnic diversity. Applicants are from all different industries, backgrounds, and interests. Business size, service experience, leadership skills, and many other factors also play a role in the creation of a Leadership Dallas class.
All of these aspects add value to the program as participants delve into topics that matter to the future of the Dallas Region. As class members are surrounded with new ideas, they are able to see issues in a fresh light and learn how they can continue to make a difference in the community. Individuals are often inspired to get involved with the very topics they discussed in their Leadership Dallas classes, including education, healthcare, criminal justice, arts and culture, and social services.
“Diversity is vital for the success of Leadership Dallas – and the Dallas Region,” said Dale Petroskey, President and CEO of the Dallas Regional Chamber.
“By bringing together people of different perspectives and experiences, LD class members are better able to understand and meet the challenges and opportunities that we face as a region.” Petroskey said. “We’re proud that our Leadership Dallas program represents every aspect of our vibrant and diverse business community, and we look forward to welcoming the Class of 2017.”
Talent Development is a key pillar in our strategic plan, Building Tomorrow Together. Leadership Dallas is just one way that we pour into business and community leaders as they grow in their careers. To learn more about this program, visit www.dallaschamber.org/ld.
We welcome your questions and comments. To request more information about area businesses or to share an idea, contact us: