President & CEO, Dallas Regional Chamber
Dale A. Petroskey is President and CEO at the Dallas Regional Chamber (DRC), which has been recognized as National Chamber of the Year. Petroskey, who assumed the position on April 1, 2014, works with the Board, staff, and more than 700 member companies to increase economic prosperity and enhance the quality of life for all throughout the region. The DRC focuses on economic development initiatives, improving education at all levels, setting public policy direction designed to maintain a pro-business, pro-growth climate in North Texas, and the opportunity gaps which exist in the region.
Mr. Petroskey brings to the DRC a strong background in public policy, strategic communications, and nonprofit management, having held leadership positions in all three sectors – public, private, and nonprofit – for more than 35 years.
After graduating from Michigan State University, he worked 18 years in Washington, D.C., where he served as Chief of Staff to Congressman Bill Goodling (PA), Assistant White House Press Secretary to President Ronald Reagan, and Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs at the U.S. Department of Transportation under then-Secretary Elizabeth Dole.
At The White House, Mr. Petroskey served as a spokesman for President Reagan and led the staff responsible for the preparation of every official White House document released to the media. In addition, he traveled extensively and accompanied the President to his historic first meetings with Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev, in Geneva, Switzerland in November 1985, and in Reykjavik, Iceland in October 1986. He also accompanied the President and Mrs. Reagan to Camp David on 10 different weekends.
From 1988-1999, Mr. Petroskey served as a senior executive at the National Geographic Society, the world’s largest educational membership organization. He was named the first-ever Vice President of Public Affairs in 1988 and was promoted to Senior Vice President of Mission Programs in 1996. In that role, he was the senior executive responsible for the committee that funded scientific research and exploration projects for well-known scientists and explorers such as Jane Goodall, Bob Ballard, and Sylvia Earle. He also oversaw a 50-state geography education program, which still includes the National Geography Bee, which was hosted for years by Alex Trebek, as well as exhibits, the public lectures program, and fundraising.
From 1999-2008, Mr. Petroskey was President of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York, where he was the primary link to all living Hall of Famers and their families, and led the day-to-day operations of one of the nation’s best-known and most respected museums – a premier symbol of American achievement. While there, he was instrumental in launching the museum’s first-ever national traveling exhibition, Baseball As America, which was seen by more than 2 million visitors in 15 respected museums throughout the U.S., including the Dallas Museum of Nature and Science at Fair Park. The first induction ceremony Mr. Petroskey oversaw in 1999 welcomed George Brett, Nolan Ryan, Robin Yount, and Orlando Cepeda to the Hall of Fame in front of a crowd of 50,000 – the largest to that point. That number was eclipsed in 2007, the final induction of Mr. Petroskey’s tenure, when Cal Ripken Jr. and Tony Gwynn drew more than 75,000. Membership grew from 4,000 to 32,000 during his tenure, and he also helped create the Hall of Fame’s Development Office, which now provides an important source of revenue.
One of his greatest sources of satisfaction and pride was working closely with the Board to initiate and implement a one-time-only, five-year study and process for considering and electing Negro League players, managers, and executives. That process resulted in the election of 17 Negro Leaguers in 2006, nearly doubling the number in the Hall of Fame.
Mr. Petroskey is a member of numerous Boards, including The Alfalfa Club of Washington, D.C., SMU’s Lyle School of Engineering, EducateDallas, Clayton Kershaw’s Challenge, the Dallas Mavericks Advisory Council, and the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation.
Mr. Petroskey and his wife, Ann, both graduates of Michigan State University, have been married since 1978. They have three married children: Kathleen, an SMU graduate living and working in Dallas; Frank, a Tufts University graduate living and working in London; and Claire, a College of Charleston graduate living and working in Charleston, South Carolina.