U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx Encourages North Texas Business Leaders to Support Increasing Transportation Funding

By: Erica Mulder, Director of Public Policy

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx attended aSec. Reception-6 reception at the Dallas Regional Chamber’s offices on Friday, April 18. Dallas was the Secretary’s final stop on an eight-state bus tour designed to garner support for increasing federal highway funding. Seventy-five regional business and community leaders attended the event including U.S. Representatives Eddie Bernice Johnson, Michael Burgess, and Marc Veasey, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins and Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings.

During his remarks, Secretary Foxx explained that North Texas transportation projects including highway expansions and maintenance, public transportation, and Dallas Area Rapid Transit projects could be delayed if the Highway Trust Fund runs dry this summer as anticipated.

Secretary Foxx said inadequate infrastructure investment leads to problems like pot holes, cracked bridges and debris on the roads and costs the average Texas driver around $350 per year in unexpected auto repairs. He emphasized that cost has a major impact on businesses that depSec. Reception-20end on solid roads and reduced traffic to get their product to the consumer.

The Secretary briefly discussed a proposed bill, soon to be released by the Obama Administration, that would include $300 billion in funds allocated to update highways and railways throughout the nation. He encouraged business leaders to voice their concerns to their congressional delegation and support the proposed bill.
View photos from the Secretary’s visit here, or click here to watch his remarks in full.

In Texas, additional transportation funding is also on the table. Proposition 1 will be on the November ballot. If approved by Texas voters it would move a portion of the state’s rainy day fund into Fund 6, the transportation fund – about $1.4 billion a year. This would be a step in the right direction to address our growing transportation challenges. To learn more about Proposition 1, click here.

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My Leadership Dallas Experience

By: Dustin Marshall, Leadership Dallas Class of 2014 & CEO Hazel’s Hot Shot

Dustin MarshallWhen my wife, Denise, and I moved back to Dallas in 2011, I was excited to come HOME! I grew up in Dallas but moved away for college and didn’t look back for over 15 years. In those 15 years, I lived in half a dozen amazing cities; I worked at several great companies; I traveled the world; I met my lovely wife; and together we made two (of our four) amazing kids. By all accounts, things were going well…but something was missing. I wasn’t HOME and I wasn’t sufficiently engaged in my community. I wasn’t making a difference in the lives of those beyond my family.

When I moved back to Dallas to join the leadership team of Hazel’s Hot Shot – my family’s expedited freight & logistics company – all that began to change. I was finally living in a city that I knew, that I loved, and that I wanted to see improve. I also had the luxury of time to give back to the community. The only problem was that I didn’t know how to do that.

Where could I learn about Dallas? Where could I learn about the problems faced by the DFW region? Where could I find other passionate and engaged leaders who were willing to give back? Where could I find non-profits that were tackling our most pressing issues?

To get some answers to those questions, I cast a wide net of former colleagues, friends, and family members and scheduled over 100 “coffee chats” to learn about organizations that were mobilizing change. Time and time again, the same answer came back – “You should apply to join the next Leadership Dallas class hosted by the Dallas Regional Chamber of Commerce.” Now… if over 50 people who you trust are telling you the same thing – it is worth looking into further. I started researching the program. The more I learned, the more that I knew I wanted to be a part of the next Leadership Dallas (“LD”) class.

After applying and being accepted, I got the chance to learn – first hand – how amazing the program truly is. Over the last year, I have spent many days with over 50 “classmates” – each and every one an engaged leader in our community. I know many of them will be lifelong friends. As if that wasn’t reason enough to participate, I have also had the amazing opportunity to speak with and to learn from some of the most influential people in our city. We’ve met with our State Representatives, our City Manager, our State Senators, the County Judge, the DISD Superintendent, our Council Members, Editors from the Dallas Morning News, a leading columnist for the Dallas Observer, DISD Trustees, local university Presidents, Criminal District Court Judges, and the Chief of Police. We’ve heard from dozens of leaders of amazing non-profits including Commit!, The Innocence Project, Stand for Children, Jonathan’s Place, and City Square. We’ve heard leading attorneys debate the merits of surveillance versus the impact on individual privacy; we’ve done helicopter “ride-alongs” with the Dallas Police Department; we’ve learned about the amazing prosthetic limbs made for kids at Texas Scottish Rite hospital; and we’ve learned more than I ever thought I’d know about the state water plan and the history of DFW and Love Field. I could go on and on with many more examples – but you get the point! The experience has been AMAZING!

I am soon (hopefully!) to graduate from the Leadership Dallas Class of 2014. With me, I will take many things. Beyond the friendships and the incredible experiences, I will take with me a keen awareness of the problems facing our city and our region – but more importantly, I will take with me a passion and a renewed energy to DO something about it. There is far too much talking about problems in our society – we need to take action. The Dallas Regional Chamber is taking action by educating leaders on how to make a difference. Join them!

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

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Meet Dallas Regional Chamber President & CEO Dale Petroskey

Dale Prefered 1bThe Dallas Regional Chamber is excited to host a welcome reception for our newly appointed President and CEO – Dale Petroskey. The afternoon reception will be held on Wednesday, April 30. It is a chance for our members to come together, talk to Dale, and enjoy refreshments at the Chamber offices.

Wednesday, April 30
3:30 – 5:00 pm

Dallas Regional Chamber Office
500 North Akard Street
Suite 2600
Dallas, Texas 75201

This event is for Chamber members. Please RSVP is you’d like to attend the reception by clicking here.


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A Dallas Entrepreneur Center Update

By: Tara Vornkahl, Coordinator-Innovation

DEClogoAs we roll into spring, the DEC has continued to see growth in the entrepreneurial scene and startup space here in North Texas. With the launch of the North Texas Startup Survey, announcement of the DEC Ambassadors, and the North Texas Women in Technology Awards nominations underway the month of April has been a busy one!

North Texas Startup Survey
The Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at UT Dallas and the Kauffman Foundation have teamed up to launch the North Texas Startup Survey. The goal of the survey is to show off the business friendly region by gathering statistics and facts that highlight the rapid growth and successes in the community.
Please take a few minutes to complete the survey!

Meet the DEC Ambassadors
The DEC is proud to announce their first inaugural class of DEC Ambassadors for 2014! There are 23 candidates that were chosen to help build on the vision for the startup community in Dallas and all across North Texas. The class was chosen based on their passion in lending a helping hand and desire to help grow the startup community both on a local and national level. The group has a great of mix of backgrounds from designers, developers, students, researchers, entrepreneurs, event coordinators, and corporate innovators. This will bring in unique experiences and perspectives in the efforts to lead the city of Dallas to be a top startup community. This program will give each ambassador the opportunity to be in various leadership and volunteer rolls throughout the startup community. The group, along with the DEC, shares the same value and mission in creating a collaborative ecosystem through supporting local talent, innovation and success.

North Texas Women in Technology Awards Nominations Open
Do you know a technology-focused woman (or women) actively driving innovation and contributing to the tech community here in North Texas? If so, be sure to nominate them for the inaugural North Texas Women in Technology Awards presented by The Dallas Business Journal and TeXchange!

Upcoming Events at the DEC:

Whiteboard Sessions at The DECWhiteboard Sessions at The DEC
During Whiteboard Sessions at The DEC, entrepreneurs have a chance to talk with some of Dallas’ finest entrepreneurs, industry experts, and investment groups that have experience working with new, growing companies. Register for upcoming sessions.


1 Million Cups Dallas1 Million Cups Dallas
Every Wednesday
1MC is a Kauffman Foundation educational program put on every Wednesday from 9-10am in twenty-three different cities. Each week two startups present for 6 minutes and engage in 20 minutes of Q&A from the audience. Tell us you’re coming!


The DEC-EDUThe DEC:EDU – The Truth About Work/Life Balance at a Startup
Wednesday, April 16th
Achieving a work/life balance is one of the most difficult practices for entrepreneurs and startups. Learn how to manage your time more effectively and focus on the things that really matter. Register for this free class.


The DEC-EDU - Understanding FinancialThe DEC:EDU – Understanding Financials
Wednesday, April 23rd
EY’s Debra von Storch will walk you through a series of financial constructs needed to run a successful business. Obtain a core understanding of those financial constructs to help you make projections in your startup. Register here.


Startup Weekend NEXTStartup Weekend NEXT
Wednesday, April 23rd
The #1 pre-accelerator program kickoff date. Hands on mentorship will help committed teams find the path to achieve product market fit. Successfully finishing the program earns teams the chance to present their company at Global Showcase Event. Use promo code ‘DEC’ for a 30% discount.
Apply now


DEC-EDU - Building a New Media CompanyDEC:EDU – Building a New Media Company
Tuesday, April 29th
Building a new media business is an integral aspect to growing any business. Learn the fundamentals of shaping your media focus, expanding core branding and messaging, and building relationships with sources of media. Register here.


VentureSpur Blackbox Breakfast SeriesVentureSpur Blackbox Breakfast Series
Wednesday, April 30th
Enjoy breakfast while listening to successful entrepreneurs tell their story in 10 photos in 10 minutes. It’s a fun, engaging, intimate way to understand the lives of successful entrepreneurs here in our community. Register here.

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Texas Tops List for Economic Recovery, DFW #3

By: Erica Mulder, Communications Manager

Texas has repeatedly received accolades for its business-friendly environment and now, it’s topping the list in economic recovery.

The Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program released its study on metros and how each have weathered the recession over the past decade. The top four spots were held by Texas cities with Dallas-Fort Worth coming in third behind Austin and Houston.Eco Series Globe (2)

The Brookings Institute measures metros based on performance before the recession, during and after and how each has recovered regarding jobs, unemployment, gross product and house prices.

Click here to see the full list.



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Guest Blog: Vogel Alcove has New Home To Support Homeless Children and their Families

By: Greg Brinkley, Director of Corporate Relationships, Vogel Alcove

Vogel Alcovebuilding

On March 14th, Vogel Alcove officially opened our new childcare center in the building formerly known as City Park Elementary. We’ve moved 115 children and 50 staff members from a 15,000 square foot facility into a 55,000 square foot campus. For the first time in our organization’s 27-year history, our administrative offices, childcare staff, and children are all located in the same building. Our new Vogel Alcove campus includes bigger classrooms, an indoor multipurpose room for infants and toddlers, gymnasium, library, computer lab, therapy rooms, fine arts room, and more. Our new playground, called “The Backyard,” is specially designed for our children. In addition to wooden houses, slides, and musical instruments, the new playground features areas where our teachers can instruct their classrooms outdoors. This new facility will allow Vogel Alcove the opportunity to serve up to 200 homeless children (under the age of 6) and their families. We will also begin developing plans for an afterschool program and summer camp for school age children living in our affiliate shelter partners, which will increase the number of lives we can positively effect.

A personal note of my appreciation:
Vogel Alcovekid I wanted to extend my sincere gratitude to everyone involved in making Vogel Alcove what it is today. I’ve worked at Vogel Alcove for nearly a year-and-a-half, and I can honestly say this mission has changed my life. As a part of my job, I am exposed to some very difficult and troubling stories surrounding the children and families we serve. However, I also have the opportunity to witness many more amazing stories of growth, change, and success. The teachers and social workers at Vogel Alcove are providing life-changing support to our children and families, and every day we see the positive impact their work provides. Vogel Alcove would be unable to provide these services without the generosity of our community. I’d like to thank the people I’ve met who have joined Vogel Alcove in our mission to provide the youngest children of homeless families with the foundation for success. The support we receive from our community is humbling. Volunteer efforts, donation drives, event sponsorships, financial contributions, and simply raising awareness have positively changed the lives of our families. Each effort, no matter how big or small, moves our mission forward. We have a lot of work ahead, but I’m extremely encouraged by those who take the initiative to devote time and resources towards the greater good of those less fortunate. Together, we are making a substantial impact.

One of our families at Vogel Alcove consists of a grandmother and her 2-year-old grandson. The grandmother is now homeless as a result of becoming the child’s caretaker, due to additional expenses and bills that have increased over time. When the grandmother toured Vogel Alcove’s new childcare facility for the first time, she stopped and made a comment that impacted me greatly. She said, “This is an unbelievable building and school for our kids. People like us never get to use things this nice.”

Click here to visit our website, Thank you for supporting Vogel Alcove.

Vogel Alcoveplayground

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Special Marketing Opportunity With the Dallas Morning News For DRC Members

By Erica Mulder, Communications Manager

The Dallas Region is always bustling with events, activities and visitors. This June that’ll be especially true as the region welcomes more than 4,000 people. The New Cities Summit will bring in more than 1,000 experts from around the world discussing modern urban issues June 17 – 19. The U.S. Conference of Mayors will be held June 20 – 23 drawing several thousand mayors and visitors downtown.

DRC Member, the Dallas Morning News will be running a special section in its newspaper during this week – The Future of Dallas. Topics and features will include the future of Dallas, its strengths, innovators in the area, as well as information on both events and their impact on the region.

As a Dallas Regional Chamber member, you can take advantage of a special 10% discount on advertising space in the Dallas Morning News during these peak visitor times.

Click here for details. If you have questions, contact Arnetta Harris at aharris@dmnmedia.com or call 214-977-8857.

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