By Amy Ramos, Vice President of Communications
“For the past five years it has been a privilege to serve as President of the Dallas Regional Chamber. It has been inspirational to work in the company of such distinguished business and political leaders of Dallas and this area. Together we have found ways to improve an already great Dallas institution and to focus its work on issues that matter to the future of Dallas and the entire region,” said Oberwetter in a recent letter to the board and key organization volunteers.
Oberwetter became President of the Dallas Regional Chamber in February of 2009. Under his leadership the chamber established a comprehensive strategic plan which sharpened the organization’s focus on economic development, advocating for pro-business, pro-jobs public policies, and for improving educational outcomes for local students. He helped lead the effort by North Texas Chambers in support of the recent statewide water election and worked in concert with the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce in support of the American Airlines, U.S. Airways proposed merger.
Prior to service with the chamber, Oberwetter was personally selected by President George W. Bush to serve as U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in November 2003 where he served until 2007. Before his Ambassadorial service he was Senior Vice President of Hunt Consolidated, Inc., of Dallas where he advised on governmental and public affairs strategies domestically and internationally. Oberwetter has also served as press secretary to then Congressman George H. W. Bush and as special assistant to the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He was educated at the University of Texas at Austin, graduating with a BJ degree from the School of Communications.
A successor to take the helm of the chamber has not yet been named. A selection committee is in place and an executive search firm has been retained to help fill the position.
By: Gabby Pucci, DRC Communications Intern
Leadership Dallas Class of 2014 is excited to announce its class project designed to benefit the community. This year class members are building Innovation Labs at several Uplift High Schools in Dallas. These Innovation Labs, designed around a “makerspace” concept are an astounding new concept of teaching student’s science, technology, engineering, math, and art through hands-on, stimulating, interactive projects. In their workshops, students will use real tools to make real things and re-use everyday materials in exciting ways. From woodworking and plaster casting, to electronics and 3D printing, they encourage experimentation and open-ended exploration.
Uplift Education is a free public charter school network serving more than 10,000 scholars on 13 campuses in and around the Dallas-Fort Worth region. These amazing labs are expected to change and improve the way students think and learn and the Leadership Dallas class hopes this project is going to have a drastic affect on many DFW children’s education. To learn more about Uplift Education visit http://www.uplifteducation.org.
Founded in 1975, Leadership Dallas aims to provide our city with an ongoing source of diverse leaders who are prepared and committed to serve as catalysts and sustainers of positive change for the quality of life in the Dallas region. Each year, individuals invested in finding solutions for the challenges and issues facing our region are selected to participate in the ten-month educational program designed to enable participants to develop their leadership capabilities while building strong relationships with fellow classmates. 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. To learn more about Leadership Dallas, visit www.dallaschamber.org/leadership.
If you would like to support the Leadership Dallas Class of 2014 by donating to their efforts to design and build these innovation labs, click here.
By: Erica Mulder, Communications Manager
The Economic Development team rolled into the New Year with momentum as inquiries and visits to our region pick up. More companies and businesses are considering the Dallas Region as a new, bustling location. The Economic Development team has hosted a project visit to our region every week since January 1st. That’s nine visits this year alone!
We continue to work on outreach recruitment as well. The Economic Development team has a full calendar of outreach activities scheduled for this spring. We’ve already completed one marketing trip to California this year and have a second trip planned for mid-March.
Word of Dallas and Texas’ reputation for having a business-friendly environment is spreading. The two major areas of interest the economic development team is seeing from outside companies considering the region is the available labor force and accessibility.
During visits both to the region and on marketing trips, our team continues to promote our region’s assets including multiple universities and a quickly growing population. DFW is able to provide company’s access to hundreds and sometimes thousands of employees required for a business to operate successfully. That’s not only good news for the business but for our economy.
A big area of interest is the Dallas Area Rapid Transit expansion projects to improve public transportation and our air travel enhancements. Business leaders want to hear about our new international flights into and out of DFW, the impact of the American and US Airways merger, as well as the opening of nonstop flights to and from Love Field with the expiration of the Wright Amendment in October.
Corporate Recruitment Campaign Continues
The Chamber continues to move forward with its corporate recruitment campaign targeting hundreds of companies and site consultants. The campaign focuses on headquarters and technology companies as well as generating more interest for relocation and expansion projects. Click here for more information about the campaign.
Dallas’ Venture Capital Investments Hits 12-Year High
New companies and startups are finding plenty of success in the Dallas Region. Dallas venture capital investments hit a 12-year high. Venture capitalists invested more than $685 million in startups last year according to a MoneyTree report released by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and the National Venture Capital Association. Click here to read the Dallas Business Journal article and the full report. Dallas topped the list making up 53% of the total investments received in the state.
Australia Mission Trip To Focus on Air Service Development
The Dallas Regional Chamber is supporting Dallas Fort Worth International Airport’s mission to Australia April 3rd through April 11th. It’s an ongoing effort to support direct service on Quantas Airlines and will focus on the oil and gas sectors. Delegates, including Chamber representatives, will participate in conferences as well as air service development meetings over the course of the week. If you are interested in participating, click here to contact Erica Flores.
2014 Economic Development Guide Now Available
The latest edition of our Economic Development Guide is now available! It features detailed infographics, information on international flights, distribution of occupations, skill sets and robust data displays. The colorful 225-page directory compares our region to other large metros in terms of cost, labor force and accessibility and highlights significant project planned for the Dallas area in the next decade.
For more information or to get yours for FREE, email Penny Lynch by click here.
By: Erica Mulder, Communications Manager
North Texas’ seven regional university presidents and chancellor will share their visions for the future of higher education and new strategies for preparing students for the workforce during the State of Higher Education luncheon on April 10th.
The panel will include:
- Dr. Joe May – Chancellor, Dallas County Community College District
- Dr. R. Gerald Turner – President, Southern Methodist University
- Dr. Neal Smatresk – President, University of North Texas
- Dr. Ronald Brown – President, University of North Texas Dallas
- Dr. Vistasp Karbhari – President, The University of Texas at Arlington
- Dr. David Daniel – President, The University of Texas at Dallas
- Dr. Daniel Podolsky – President, UT Southwestern Medical School
Evan Smith, Editor in Chief and CEO of the Texas Tribune, will serve as
By: Lance A. Myers, DRC Young Professionals, KPMG, LLP
Through my YP membership and involvement in the Programs Committee, this will be my 3rd year of participation in the annual DRC Golf Classic. I was immediately gravitated to something that not only involves one of my favorite hobbies, but also gives back to the community and allows me to network with 100-150 professionals across a wide range of industries. The tournament has a lot to offer, and I wanted to be a part of it.
At first learning about this marquee event, I knew my firm would be more than willing to support such a great cause. Thus, I met with a few of our partners at KPMG to fill them in on the details. We agreed that the tournament would be a great opportunity for a diverse set of professionals with similar areas of interests to network. KPMG strives to help in the progression of young leaders, so the tournament was an opportunity to show support as it assists the leadership development efforts of the DRC’s Young Professionals.
Jumping ahead to playing in the golf tournament; it is a time you do not want to miss. The tournament typically starts off with lunch, practice play and a few mini competitions; such as a putting competition to win a custom made wooden putter. After check-in, you have the opportunity to participate in raffles, mulligans and other great takeaways. Last year my teammate happened to win the longest drive competition… with my driver (a brag that I will never hear the end of). I eventually let it go when I won one of the raffle prizes: two Southwest tickets and a travel planning session, which I subsequently used to help in planning my honeymoon around the Mediterranean Coast. During the day, there is plenty of time for networking in between the scramble golf play. However, the best time for this is certainly at the post-golf reception. You have a chance to eat some good food, have a couple of drinks and meet and greet with all the fellow golfers from the day.
Once again, I will be a part of the 7th Annual 2014 DRC Golf Classic. This year adds a little more excitement with the move to Glenegales Country Club, a course which I have yet to play. Also, there’s word of a helicopter ball drop which sounds very intriguing. Whether it is through sponsorship, providing players or both; I would encourage everyone to be a part of the tournament in help of supporting some of Dallas’ leaders of tomorrow.
If you’d like to join me out on the course, click here for the details and to register today!