By: LuAnn Tarango, Director, Finance and Ops Training and Development, Texas Instruments
I’ve been called a leadership junkie. I have to admit that there is some truth in that. Prior to Leadership Dallas, I experienced Leadership Lewisville, Leadership Texas, and Leadership America. The connections, friends, partnerships, and lessons I’ve learned throughout these programs have really shaped who I am as a leader, and I truly look forward to building on that during Leadership Dallas. I’m fortunate to work for a company that values leadership where there is a belief that everyone can be a leader in some way, shape, or form. I have the privilege every day to help people grow their leadership skills while I continue to grow mine.
I had thought about applying for Leadership Dallas for several years. Earlier this year during a performance discussion with my leader, she asked what my 2014-2015 personal development opportunity would be. I shared that I felt it was the right time to apply for Leadership Dallas. I knew I would be ending a commitment on the board of a non-profit organization in June and felt I could truly commit to spending time exploring where I should become engaged in the future. I believed Leadership Dallas would help guide me. I know that there are so many needs across our city and I’m excited at the possibilities that are ahead for me to make a difference.
I’ve lived in the Dallas area since 1985 and in the City of Dallas since 1998. It wasn’t until my son was born in 2000 that I truly learned what this city has to offer. I decided to take a break from working the first six years of his life and he and I explored this city together. At night, I would share with my husband all of the places we had visited that day, and my commitment to make this city better began. I could have written a Dallas visitors guide for children but someone beat me to it! I will cherish these six years, not only because I watched my son grow and learn about his surroundings, but I had become an engaged and proud citizen as well.
I’m probably not alone in saying that there is some anxiety during the application process for Leadership Dallas and then once accepted, the anxiety of meeting class members surfaces. My anxiety was short-lived as soon as I received an email from fellow class member Andrew F. who lives in my neighborhood. He took the initiative to reach out to all of us in the 75214 zip code asking if we wanted to carpool to the retreat. I jumped on that opportunity and had the great fortune of getting to know Andrew, Brad A., and Jenny L. on the drive to Lake Whitney so that when we arrived, we already had formed a connection and support group. And these connections were just the beginning of many more to come.
During the retreat, the thought-provoking questions Pete DeLisle challenged us with and the support of the class advisors, curriculum advisors, alumni, and Chamber staff set us off on our journey to become the best class ever!
The Dallas Regional Chamber is pleased to announce the 40th class of Leadership Dallas, the premier leadership development program in the region.
“The Leadership Dallas Class of 2015 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. Leadership Dallas is a real commitment, and these individuals will spend many hours gaining a deeper understanding of what makes the Dallas region a great place to live, work, and play. When their year is completed, each one of them will better appreciate this community, be in a better position to play a leadership role in helping make the Dallas region even better than it already is, and gain some life-long friends and colleagues.”
Leadership Dallas, founded in 1975, 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.
This ten-month educational program enables participants to 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, the participants receive in-depth exposure to the critical issues facing the community and are challenged to apply their talents towards these issues for years to come.
“Leadership Dallas participants dive deep into the history and current affairs of the Dallas region focusing on the challenges we are facing as a community. Through this extensive exploration, they often find passion for issues previously unknown to them,” said Kari Nelson, Director of Leadership 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 future of the Dallas region as experienced and dedicated community leaders.”
In 39 years, Leadership Dallas has graduated more than 1,900 men and women who continue to provide leadership in the region. Among them, nearly 250 Alums have achieved the top executive role at their current organization, 32 have founded their own business, two are former police chiefs, two are former U.S. Ambassadors, one is a former U.S. Attorney and ten are currently serving as elected officials at the city, state or national level.
The members of the 40th class of Leadership Dallas are:
Brad Adams, The Brinkmann Corporation
Sam Bagchi, Methodist Health System
Yasmin Barnes, City of Dallas
Jennifer Bishop, JPMorgan
Colleen T. Brinkmann, CFRE , North Texas Food Bank
Mark Buskuhl, HKS, Inc.
Elaine Chambers, IBM
Brent Chaney, Energy Future Holdings
Michelle Chase, Wee Volunteer
Summer Collins, Children’s Medical Center Dallas
Pedro Correa, Bain & Company
Kevin Curley II, UBS Financial Services Inc.
Corey Davison, Tenet Healthcare
Tricia DeLeon, Bracewell & Giuliani LLP
Kara DeVita, AT&T
Derek Downs, Halff Associates
Tara Dunn, The Concilio
Mary Farnsworth, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
Jeff Forbes, The Beck Group
Andrew Fortin, Associa
Diane Fullingim, Ronald McDonald House of Dallas
Kirsten Gappelberg, Mary Kay Inc.
Neeta Goel, Newt Global Consulting
Alexandra Hales, Teach for America
Raul Hinojosa Jr., The University of Texas at Dallas
Stephen Jones, Law Offices of Stephen E. Jones, P.C.
Barry Krieger, JQ
Holly Kuzmich, George W. Bush Presidential Center
Kathryn Lake, The Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute for Texas
Jodi Lash, J Lash & Company
John Lesikar, Comerica
Caren Lock, TIAA-CREF
Larry Lundy, Lundy Marketing Group
Jenny Lurkins, Regions Bank
Elsa Manzanares, Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP
Suzanne Massey, SMU
Thomas McBride, Merrill Lynch
Matt McDonald, Corgan
Sara McEown, Jackson Walker L.L.P.
Nikki Mitchell, Baylor Scott & White Health
Meredith Mosley, Junior League of Dallas
Heidi Murray, Leadership Women
Suresh Narayanan, Aerospace Quality Research and Development
Courtney Naudo, Deloitte
Mircea Negrea, Carpathian Concepts, LLC
Laura Nieto, Southwest Airlines
Patricia Niles, Southwest Transplant Alliance
Mandisa Price, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP
Michael Raftery, Turner Construction Company
Scott Rhea, Wells Fargo Bank
Christopher Rogers, Haynes and Boone, LLP
J. Mark Roppolo, PegasusAblon
Megan Steinbach, Frost
Neal Suit, Carrington Coleman Sloman & Blumenthal LLP
LuAnn Tarango, Texas Instruments
Scott C. Turner, Texas Health Resources
Lisa Weaver, Interaction Associates
For more Leadership Dallas information visit:www.dallaschamber.org/leadership
By: Kari Nelson, Director of Leadership
To my first Leadership Dallas Class,
What a journey this has been! How excited were you as you walked into a room full of strangers at Retreat back in September? You were about to embark on a journey together that you could only believe would be worth it. I promise – I was more nervous than any of you. It was my first day working for the DRC, my first class, and the first time I had ventured west of Fort Worth in the 15 months I had lived in Texas. Here I was, the new Leadership Dallas Director, and I knew very little about Dallas. How was I going to support you and live up to the standard of the DRC and Leadership Dallas? Much like you, I chose to dive right in and learn as much as I could about our region in hopes of making it a better place.
Over the past 10 months, I have watched as you have dug deep into the story of Dallas to prepare for a future as leaders of this great region. I am proud of the progress you’ve made and the pride you have for our region that will carry it to new and exciting places. Some of you, like me, are Dallas transplants and know there is still a lot to learn. Others are Dallas natives, who came to realize that there is so much more to learn about the region than you ever expected.
After getting to know each other and the program logistics, we started with “Past, Present, Future Day” to get a deeper understanding as to how Dallas came to be the great region we know and love today, and where we are going in the years ahead. In the months that followed, you took hold of your development, explored the depths of our region, and acknowledged the challenges we face going forward – all while doing your day jobs and raising your families.
Through your exploration of education, government, politics, media, criminal justice, human services, healthcare, regionalism, arts and culture, you found passions inside yourselves that you didn’t even realize were there. You’ve already embraced them and are going to work to make a difference in Dallas. You are leveraging your resources and networks, and challenging others to do the same, for the good of our region and the people we serve. You are an inspiration to me and others, and you should be proud of the work you’re doing. But it isn’t over yet; in fact, it’s just beginning.
Each of you started this journey with unique perspectives shaped by your life experiences. Your potential was laid out in front of you, waiting to be reached. Through this experience, you have increased your capacity, expanded your network, and challenged the very ideals that made you. Your future potential is far greater than it was when you walked into your first day of Retreat last September. Your collective potential impact is immeasurable. Dallas is lucky to have you fighting for it.
Thank you for being my first class and for helping me to learn more about this great place I call home. Your patience, trust, friendship, and faith have been unwavering and more than I could have ever asked. It has been an honor and a pleasure to work with you this past year and I look forward to many more years together in the Leadership Dallas Alumni Association.
We welcome your questions and comments. To request more information about area businesses or to share an idea, contact us: