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Making Dallas Even Better

Hip-Hop, Snakebit, Janitor Work: New Dallas 500 Illuminates the City’s Most Powerful Businesspeople

The Mavs’ Mark Cuban is afraid of heights. Karen Katz of Neiman Marcus Group loves hip-hop music. Investor Kenny Troutt, who owns a Kentucky Derby-winning horse farm, is allergic to horse hair. Exxon Mobil’s Rex Tillerson worked in Oklahoma as a janitor. BBVA Compass bank’s Key Coker was bitten by a five-foot-long rattlesnake. (Which later became a rattlesnake belt.) And Mike Boone of the Haynes & Boone law firm once found himself standing buck naked on the deck of a coed swimming pool in a downtown gym.

Those are just a few of the insider tidbits to be found in a new publication called Dallas 500, which puts a spotlight on the 500 most powerful business leaders in North Texas. Compiled by the editors of D CEO magazine after months of research, including hundreds of interviews, the inaugural standalone edition features the top influencers in more than 60 categories, from aviation and banking to restaurants and technology. Someone said Dallas 500 is destined to become the area’s “business bible”—okay, it was Wick who said that—and our choices are sure to generate some controversy. Unless you’re a D CEO subscriber, you’ll have to buy a copy to see what we’re talking about. Purchase details can be found here.

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HP’s Meg Whitman: Companies Seeking Top Women Need to Look Hard, Not Wait

Companies aiming to hire more women for boards and other top positions have to work hard to find and recruit them, instead of waiting for candidates to come through the pipeline. That was the message Saturday from president and CEO Meg Whitman of Palo Alto, California-based Hewlett Packard Enterprise, whose tech industry is notoriously dominated […]

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Karl Rove, Jim Messina Agree: Donald Trump Won’t Be the GOP Nominee

Political gurus Jim Messina, a Democrat, and Karl Rove, a Republican, concur that next year’s presidential race will be close—and that candidate Donald Trump won’t be the GOP nominee. “Karl and I agree that neither one is going to be president,” Messina said Friday, referring to Trump and Ben Carson, another Republican “outsider” candidate. Messina, […]

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Charles Koch: GOP Presidential Candidates Too Mum on Corporate Welfare

Koch Industries chairman and CEO Charles G. Koch, who told USA Today this week that he’s unlikely to endorse a candidate in the Republican presidential primary, says he hasn’t heard “nearly enough” ideas from those candidates for reforming a political system he considers to be corrupt. “I don’t hear them talking about all this corporate […]

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Millennials, Rapid Technological Change On The Minds of CEOs at Business Forum

For Jennifer Morgan of SAP America, it’s “executing” in the face of rapid change. For Paul Grangaard of Allen Edmonds Corp., it’s the pace of change specifically in online retailing. And for Fedele Bauccio of Bon Appetit Management Co., it’s the “broken model” in agribusiness, which isn’t moving fast enough toward ecological sustainability. These are […]

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Akorbi CEO Claudia Mirza Honored as ‘Entrepreneurial Winning’ Woman

CEO Claudia Mirza, who grew up surrounded by violence in Medellin, Colombia, was recognized Thursday by EY for her Dallas-based company Akorbi, the fastest-growing language services provider in the world. Mirza was named one of 12 “EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women” at the EY Strategic Growth Forum in Palm Springs, California. The program helps female entrepreneurs […]

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Dickey’s Barbecue Eyeing 2016 Growth in Japan, South Korea, Philippines

Dickey’s Barbecue CEO Roland Dickey Jr., who’s grown the nation’s biggest barbecue restaurant from 20 stores to 538, is cooking up plans to expand next year into Asia. After opening a projected 72 stores in 2015, the third-generation restaurateur has set his sights on Japan, South Korea, and the Philippines, where he says there’s “absolutely” […]

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IPOs Sputtered in 2015 With Economic Volatility, Abundance of Private Capital

The U.S. market for initial public offerings this year was strong until August, when the market began sputtering over the global economy with the most volatility since 2008. That pushed many IPOs off at least until 2016, when still more “mediocre” economic growth is likely. That’s according to four experts addressing the outlook for IPOs […]

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Texas Instruments, Other Corporations, Habitat Team With United Way to Assist Military Veterans

At first blush, Darren Woodson and Breana Austin wouldn’t seem to have much in common. He’s a former Dallas Cowboys star safety from Phoenix, and she’s a Dallas native who’s served since 2010 as an administrative specialist with the Texas Army National Guard. Today, though, the pair’s paths will cross when the Cowboys’ newest Ring […]

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W: Protectionism Ignores the Reality of a ‘Globalized World’

One thing shared by the insurgent/outsider candidates of both parties in the 2016 presidential race is a populist skepticism about the benefits of unfettered free trade. Think Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. Meantime, Chamber of Commerce types (and their candidates) on both sides continue insisting that unrestrained trade is the only way to go. Think Jeb Bush and, until recently, Hillary Clinton.

Today the George W. Bush Institute came out with something it calls the “North America Competitiveness Scorecard,” which you could easily imagine the Establishment using to bolster its argument for unencumbered trade and increased globalization.

The scorecard ranks the competitive position of the U.S., Mexico, and Canada (the NAFTA countries) against the world’s other big economic regions. Great news, NAFTA countries: We got a B+! The other major regions scored Bs, a C+ and a D- (that was the bad-boy “Mercosur” countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, etc.). During an event at the Bush Institute this morning unveiling the scorecard—one component of the institute’s Economic Growth program—Margaret Spellings, outgoing president of the George W. Bush Presidential Center, said, “We are convinced that the key to America’s prosperity is to open global markets.”

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Trouble At Forest Park Medical Center: The Rest of the Story

For a while things were looking great for Forest Park Medical Center, a fast-growing chain of “luxury,” physician-owned hospitals based in Dallas. Then, one by one, the wheels began coming off the concept, with lagging revenue, missed rent payments, internal management conflicts, and the bankruptcy of its outpost in Frisco. Then, just today, news came that the company’s “flagship” hospital in North Dallas may file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, too. So, how come things went so south, so fast, for Forest Park? Many of the answers can be found in Senior Editor Matt Goodman’s cover story, “The Shocking Collapse of Dallas’ Go-Go Luxury Hospital Chain,” in the latest issue of D CEO magazine. Matt dug into the situation for months for this eye-opening article, which contains insider info you won’t find anywhere else.

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Mailer Colleagues Recall His Journalism, JFK, and Oswald At a Sixth Floor Event

Chatting during a reception before an event at The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza last week, a couple of heavyweight literati had some friendly advice for Nicola Longford, the museum’s executive director. It would help to add exhibits here—a la The Newseum in Washington, D.C.—aimed at putting the John F. Kennedy assassination more into the context of its times, Lawrence Schiller and J. Michael Lennon suggested.

For example, Schiller said, one good addition might be a description of the foreign travels of Lee Harvey Oswald, the president’s accused assassin: Finland, the Soviet Union, Mexico. When Longford lightly protested, citing the museum’s space constraints, Schiller and Lennon waved off the objection, insisting that “one panel” would do it.

The two men are sort of experts on these things. Schiller (who introduced himself to me saying, “Hello, I’m the big bad wolf”) is a photographer, author, and filmmaker who photographed the Kennedys for major publications and worked for nearly 35 years with the late writer Norman Mailer on such books as “Oswald’s Tale.” Lennon is Mailer’s archivist and authorized biographer (“Norman Mailer: A Double Life”).

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Caroline Rose Hunt Grandchildren Give Biggest Donation Yet to United Way Foundation Campaign

The donation was said to honor Hunt for her longstanding support of the United Way and its foundation, whose endowment stood at a little more than $20 million when the Unite Forever campaign was announced in February.

The Hunt gift represents the biggest commitment to the fundraising drive so far.

“Our grandmother has been an extraordinary example of volunteerism and hard work,” Haven Sands Heinrichs, trustee of the Rosewood Foundation, said in a news release. “To show our family’s love and appreciation for all she has done for United Way and the community, we are making [this] legacy gift in her honor … We are delighted to carry the torch, and hope to inspire the next generation in our community to get involved.”

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Is Dallas Negotiating With the Rangers About a Move? City Says No; Cruise Ship Dealmaker Says Yes

There’s been a lot of talk lately about the possibility of the Texas Rangers relocating from Arlington to Dallas. Which makes this story we heard from a former Dallas CEO all the more interesting. Seems this guy, who asked to remain anonymous, was on a cruise ship in Scandinavia the other day when a fellow passenger remarked on the National League baseball jersey he was wearing.

“You like baseball?” the passenger asked.

“Yes,” our source replied.

“You like the Rangers?”

“Yeah. I used to live in Dallas, in fact.”

“That’s interesting, because I help negotiate deals,” the passenger said. “And I’m involved now in a conversation between the Rangers and the city of Dallas about relocating the team to Dallas. They think they could have more of a fan base in Dallas.”

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Dallas Icons Recall Decades of Philanthropic and Civic Involvement

Ask community leaders Margaret McDermott and Ruth Sharp Altshuler about “the genesis of Dallas philanthropy,” and they’re both apt to point to the attitude of the city’s citizens. Leading by example has always been the guidepost, Altshuler says. And McDermott quotes Mayor Mike Rawlings, who recently told her, “The wonderful thing in Dallas is the […]

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