by Dave Moore, Staff Writer
It’s a great time to be a sports fan in the Dallas Region, with the NFL and NHL drafts, the AT&T Byron Nelson golf tournament and Dallas Cowboys Training Camp right around the corner. The events are also a golden opportunities for executives and company owners from outside the region to picture themselves and their companies in Dallas-Fort Worth.
“We use these events for corporate recruitment,” DRC Economic Development Director Erica Flores said. “As part of our strategic plan, the economic development team is charged with developing hosting opportunities that allow us to invite executives of companies to visit the region.”
The DRC often works with its members and Tomorrow Fund investors to give visiting executives and company owners VIP access to sought-after experiences, she said.
“Sporting events, such as the Dallas Cowboys Training Camp, give executives the chance to visit the Dallas Region in a less-formal setting, and to get to know the people of the region better,” she said.
“With a large share of corporate relocations in the Dallas Region coming from the West Coast, the DRC has also used the Dallas Cowboys training camp in Oxnard, California, as an opportunity to extend some Texas hospitality,” she said, adding that many West Coast companies are interested in learning more about the Dallas Region, and enjoy watching America’s Team.
Oxnard is only a few hours’ drive from many major California employers. And when a portion of Cowboys Training Camp is held at The Star in Frisco, that’s another hosting opportunity, Flores said.
NFL preseason camps are scheduled again for late July this year. The 2018 NFL Draft Experience is set for Thursday, April 26 to Saturday, April 28, at AT&T Stadium; the NHL Draft is set for June 22-23 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas; and the AT&T Byron Nelson golf tournament is set for May 17-20 at the Trinity Forest Golf Club in Dallas.
Registrations closing for the DRC Mission to Europe
The Dallas Regional Chamber is finalizing its delegation for its June 17-23 trip to London and Paris.
Members of the delegation will have the option to visit London Tech Week prior to the mission, and during their time in London, will focus on meeting with executives in the health care, life sciences and medical technology industries.
Those interesting in filing the few remaining slots, or seeking more information, may contact Melissa Maguire at email@example.com.
UPCOMING INTERNATIONAL EVENTS
DRC partners are hosting exciting opportunities related to international business.
Welcome Reception Honoring Delegations from Russia, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan to the Offshore Technology Conference
Tuesday, May 1, 2018
6:00 – 9:00 PM
ZaZa Hotel Houston Fountain Room, 5701 Main St., Houston, 77005
The U.S.-Russia Chamber of Commerce is holding one of its largest receptions for oil and gas industry leaders, and for government officials around the world. The event, in its ninth year, is attended by between 300 and 400 individuals.
The Offshore Technology Conference is the largest oil and gas sector trade show in the world. This conference provides energy professionals the opportunity to meet and exchange ideas and opinions to advance scientific and technical knowledge for offshore resources and environmental matters.
Register for the reception online here.
Impact of German Companies on the Dallas Region
Tuesday, May 1, 2018
8:30 – 10:30 AM
Dallas Regional Chamber, 500 N. Akard St., Suite 2600, Dallas, 75201
This event will discuss how German companies and German direct investment impact the Dallas Region in today’s global economy. Presentations, conversations and Q&A will lend insights into various aspects of German economic involvement in the Dallas Region community from both the perspective of German companies and investors as well as local communities. This breakfast event is a collaboration between International Capital LLC and the DRC, and is being hosted by the German-American Chamber of Commerce.
by Dave Moore, Staff Writer
A crowd of about 300 gathered at the DRC’s State of Higher Education Luncheon, where they heard University of North Texas System Chancellor Lesa Roe describe her experience growing up as a first-generation college graduate, and the parallels between her former career as an electrical engineer at NASA and higher education.
“My mom was a switchboard operator,” said Roe, who took the helm at the UNT System last fall, overseeing the system’s operations, including its 10,000 employees. “My dad was in the military, and when he got out, he worked on airplanes and was a groundskeeper at a Veterans’ Administration hospital. I worked for as long as I can remember, pulling corn in my grandfather’s field in hot Florida – lord if that’s not a motivator – and PawPaw didn’t pay.”
In speaking to a sellout ballroom at the Westin Galleria, Roe said her father encouraged her to pursue a degree. Her mother, however, discouraged her from pursing higher education because she didn’t want her to be disappointed.
“I take that lesson with me today, because sometimes, your culture is so thick, so pervasive, that you don’t believe that you can get out of it,” Roe said. “You think that people who succeed are special, and you’re not. And you’re afraid to step out of the box, until you step out of it. The big part of me talking to all of you today, is to let our kids know that here in Dallas-Fort Worth, that they can step out of [the box]; they can create a new story for themselves.”
Roe said her story strongly applies to the lower economic population in Dallas County, to whom higher education might seem a distant dream.
“I also know what it’s like to have people tell you that you can’t, and what it’s like to decide for yourself,” she said. “If you believe you can or you can’t, you’re right. So for me, never define yourself as a victim, prove them wrong and keep moving. My college education equipped me for this.”
Roe, who worked for 30 years at NASA and helped create the International Space Station, said there are many commonalities between higher education and space exploration.
“The bulk of my professional experience has been in aeronautics and space, but I’m now applying that knowledge to higher education,” she said. “While my new colleagues might feel I’ve landed in this industry from another planet, there really are commonalities.”
Following Roe’s address, The Dallas Morning News business columnist Cheryl Hall moderated a roundtable discussion with UT-Dallas President Dr. Richard Benson, Dallas County Community College District Chancellor Dr. Joe May and Texas Rep. John Zerwas. The discussion primarily addressed the origins of those institutions of higher education, and the challenges and successes they’ve experienced.
“One of the biggest challenges is, how are we going to achieve our goal of 60 by 30 – getting 60 percent of the population some sort of post-secondary credential by 2030?” asked May, referring to the state’s higher education plan that aims to educate more than half a million individuals – ages 25-34 – with a certificate or degree by 2030.
“We’ve got to grow the degrees by 40,000,” he said. “How do we get people in the door, and how do we get people out, not just with any degree, but aligned with the job market, in the North Texas area? That means reaching deeper into the (population) pool.”
In discussing DCCCD’s origins and track record, May said his district is comprised of 14 instructional locations that serve 165,000 students per year, through credit and non-credit. He added that non-credit student enrollment has increased by 16,000. In 53 years, the district has educated more than 3 million students, May said.
Benson said one of the biggest challenges facing UTD is managing growth to keep up with the Dallas Region’s growing economy.
“This area is booming,” he said. “Seems like there’s always another company moving to the metroplex. Growth is difficult. We’ve probably doubled the student body in the last 14 or 15 years. That comes with substantial infrastructure needs.”
Along those lines, Benson said, one state initiative that’s helped his university, as well as the University of Texas-Arlington and the University of North Texas, is the Texas Research Incentive Program (TRIP).
“TRIP… has been a wonderful program,” he said. “If our universities can attract philanthropic investment and research, the state was willing to put in a match, up to one-to-one.”
The initiative, launched by former State Rep. Dan Branch, has led to roughly $80 million in additional state funding, matching the $100 million UTD has attracted, Benson said. That program, however, has taken a hit, due to budget constraints.
“Right now, our university has about $32 million in the queue, and we’d like to have $32 million, in the next session,” said Benson, directing his comment to Rep. Zerwas, who chairs the Texas House Appropriations Committee.
In reply, Zerwas said, “Higher education is oftentimes that pot of money we go to when we don’t have enough money. The research fund that Dr. Benson mentioned is just that. I said, ‘mea culpa’ on that. I and my counterpart, Sen. Nelson, though, didn’t want to do that. But we were faced with a flat budget. No new money.”
Zerwas said the state’s budget faces growing expenses from Medicaid, and Health and Human Services, which are approaching expenditure levels of public education.
“We put together a budget that’s balanced,” he said. “We can’t print the money like they do in Washington.”
Zerwas acknowledged that the state’s future rests in educating its population.
“We’re a state that has been described as a ‘Texas Miracle,’” he said. “We have a lot of oil and gas. And we have a strong dependency on it, and we’ve done well. But we’ve got to recognize that what the future holds for the state is the resource of its educated workforce. That’s what’s going to attract people to build their businesses and to raise their families.”
The 2018 State of Higher Education was presented by UNT System. Silver sponsors were Microsoft Corporation, The University of Texas at Arlington and The University of Texas at Dallas.
by Mike Siegel, Texas Care Alliance
Walking into a room of 80+ young professionals eager to earn a seat on a nonprofit board was a daunting experience, to say the least. After hearing from five different leaders of local nonprofits, each as passionate about his or her cause as the next, I knew I found my calling with the National Kidney Foundation (NKF). As the North Texas Board Chair described NKF’s mission to provide education, awareness and prevention of kidney disease, which aligns well with my day job, I began to think that maybe I could offer something to the NKF Board. Suddenly, the prospect of applying to a nonprofit board seat, along with so many others and with no such experience, didn’t seem so intimidating.
The process included a written application through the DRC Young Professionals and interviews with the local NKF Director as well as its Board Chair. Shortly thereafter, I was surprised and excited when I was ultimately offered a seat on the North Texas Board of NKF. Being new to board service and younger than most board members is yet another uncomfortable position. However, it is my hope that those currently considering applying to the Get On Board program will encounter a similarly welcoming environment as the one I’ve been afforded at NKF. Regardless, new board members should make the effort to get to know their peers and the staff they support.
The opportunity to serve on a nonprofit board can be as rewarding as you choose to make it. While you may not be in the position to financially contribute at the level of some board members, you can challenge yourself by stepping out of your comfort zone and consciously trying to improve your networking and fundraising skills. Moreover, I have been able to volunteer at local fundraising and education events that allow for direct interaction with the communities we aim to serve. With less than a year of board service, I have met and worked with some truly amazing people in Dallas who continue to inspire me to serve our community. The opportunity to support your organization’s mission is all the reason you need to devote your time and energy toward being an effective board member.
If there is any advice I can offer to future nonprofit board members, it is:
The Get on Board event is Thursday, May 17th and is open to all DRC Young Professionals members. The event allows you the opportunity to network with nonprofit executives and learn more about what it means to serve on a nonprofit board as well as explanation on the process of attaining a board seat. To register, please click here.
There will also be a table set up at the DRC YP + Say Yes To Dallas Happy Hour on Thursday, April 26th. Please stop by to learn more.
by Dave Moore, Staff Writer
Buoyed by signs of growing public support and increased voter turnout, more than 100 education advocates in Texas gathered recently to build a strategy to bolster public education.
Taking part in the March 21 Dallas Regional Chamber’s Texas Public School Finance Convening, the group agreed that the State of Texas’ share of funding for public education has continued to shrink – down 7 percentage points since 2008 – and that the trend should be reversed.
Among those speaking was former Texas State House Public Education Committee Chair Jimmie Don Aycock, who described the ongoing predicament facing Texas’ public schools; they are ranked toward the middle of the pack academically, but public-school funding ranks 47th or 48th.
“Are we willing to stay average, with low-income jobs, or do you want Texas to do better?” he asked. “[The education finance problem] is not simple, or they would have solved it in 1836.”
Two recent metrics are giving education and business leaders hope for a solution:
Fellow speaker Jennifer Esterline, Executive Director of Texas Education Grantmakers Advocacy Consortium (TEGAC), said key to achieving public education finance reform will be strengthening the coalition of business and education leaders, and sending a clear signal to legislators.
“Let’s get focused around a couple key messages that everyone can agree upon,” Esterline said. “Because one of the hardest things about school finance, is that… people start getting back into their silos.”
Key will be finding a solution that elevates all public schools students, rather than resolving singular issues, such as recapturing revenue from districts with rapidly rising land values, or increasing spending for rural districts, she said.
Along those lines, the group agreed, an important task will be informing voters that Texas’ public schools haven’t reaped the full benefit of Texas’ rapidly growing property tax base.
Statewide, taxable real estate values have increased substantially and, consequently, school district tax collections have been increasing $1 to $2 billion annually over the past five years, according to an analysis by Taxparency Texas. Yet while the State of Texas’ budget has benefited decidedly, public school districts have seen modest funding increases, said Missy Bender, President of Plano ISD’s Board of Trustees and leader of Taxparency Texas. The state has redirected the majority of these collections to other general fund items and also provided franchise tax relief for Texas businesses.
Aside from informing voters, another key will be efforts in increasing their participation, Fidelity Vice President of Government Relations and Public Affairs Scott Orr said to attendees of the convening.
“One of my passions right now is getting our employees out to vote,” said Orr, a Board Member with the Dallas Regional Chamber. “One of the things that businesses need to be doing now is stressing the importance of voting to our employees. We’ve seen some significant success.”
One analysis shows that voter turnout increased by nearly 20 percent statewide, comparing the March 2010 primary participation with the same period this year.
“That’s huge,” Orr said. “How much of that is due to efforts to get more people out there? It’s hard to say. But I do know it’s important for our legislators to know our community is voting. Even though we’re not telling them how to vote… At Fidelity, I say, ‘It doesn’t matter if you’re hard right or hard left, no matter where you are, you should be out voting.’”
The Dallas Regional Chamber and other major chambers, the North Texas Commission and numerous employers – such as Fidelity – began more intensive efforts to build voter turnout and awareness since the summer of 2017.
Orr said the work is paying off.
“I think we’re being heard,” he said. “I’ve been approached by legislators saying, ‘Hey, this is a problem. We want to work toward a solution.’ If we get this message out, on this problem of how we finance our public schools, there could be some folks out there who may have some ideas that could be new ideas.”
DRC Senior Vice President of Public Policy Priscilla Camacho stressed the sense of urgency in both the business and educational communities.
“There is a business case to be made for school finance reform, and we need to do it this year,” she said. “We don’t need to wait another two years, four years, or six years. We need to do it this session. And we can. If we put all of our heads together… we can come up with the solution to this problem.”
To learn more about the Dallas Regional Chamber’s public policy advocacy, click here.
by Nikki Canga, Zerorisk HR
On March 28, the LEAD YP class had the opportunity to hear successful Dallas business owners give advice, impart wisdom, and inspire action to help young professionals developing their own career path plans. In attendance were Brittani Rettig, founder and Chief GRIT Office of GRIT Fitness; Kenni Driver, CEO and CMO of Marketing Uplift; and Mike Poskey, President and CEO of ZERORISK HR. The panel shared stories of successes and failures, and gave the class knowledge and encouragement to help them in their own career progression. Although the panel members all came from very different backgrounds and work in very different industries, they all stressed the importance of pursuing a career that energizes, the importance of emotional intelligence, and commitment to learning and growing.
Follow What Energizes You
Energy and passion are key ingredients to career progression. Brittani put it best when she said, “follow what energizes you.” When you are passionate about a path you follow, it will give you energy, which in turn will give you natural motivation. Figure out what gives you passion and energy, and then set your goals around it.
Emotional Intelligence is One of the Best Skills You Can Have
Of the competencies that correlate to workplace success, 80 percent are based on emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is your ability to connect with people, recognize the moods and feelings of the people around you as well as your own, and your ability to regulate your own feelings and emotions. This skill will take you far in your career and individuals with high emotional intelligence have higher levels of self-awareness and excel at relationship building. Learning how to work with people and being aware of how your verbal and non-verbal communication influences those around you is a skill all great leaders possess.
Never Stop Learning
Learning new things and pushing yourself to do something that makes you uncomfortable is a practice you should start today. No matter what your ultimate career goal, at some point along the way, you will be faced with a situation that scares you and pushes you. Practice this today to help you in the future.
Each of the panelists shared with the class what they do to keep learning and growing in their careers.
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