Category Archives: President’s Office

From the President’s Desk: The Wind Is at Our Backs

By Dale Petroskey, President & CEO

In the short time I’ve been at the helm of the Chamber, I’ve been incredibly impressed. I’m impressed with all the great programs and events the Chamber hosted, and I’m impressed with how infused in the city the Chamber is. But mostly I’m impressed with the incredible commitment of the volunteers from our member companies.

In the last two months I’ve come to realize it is our members who make the Dallas region such a great place to live and work. There are so many people committed to the strength and vibrancy of the region! And those individuals donate their time and effort by sitting on our board, actively participating on our councils and committees, and supporting our initiatives, making the Chamber a success. They do it because it helps their companies – and for the good of the Dallas region. It’s a humbling experience to be part of something that makes such a wonderful impact on a city and region that my family and I have grown to love.

This volunteer commitment has made the successes of the last two months possible.

Fifty business leaders from throughout the region attended our trip to D.C. with the Fort Worth Chamber to meet with the legislative delegation. This unified approach to legislative issues that are key to the region exponentially increases the impact we can have in Austin and Washington.

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx chose our headquarters as the venue to address Dallas business leaders on his recent tour to discuss transportation funding. His message was music to our ears as we prepare to support Proposition One, a transportation funding initiative on the ballot in Texas this fall.Sec. Reception-1

The Chamber’s Leadership programs – Young Professionals, Leadership Dallas, Leadership Dallas Alumni, Executive Women’s Roundtable, and Senior Executive Briefing – all hosted significant events and met new milestones in April and May. It has been a pleasure getting to know these programs, a wonderful way to support our future leaders and provide them with a springboard to give back.

Toyota announced its upcoming move to the North Texas region in April, and the Chamber had the opportunity to support them during the decision-making process. The groundwork for this exciting announcement was done long before I arrived at the Chamber. It was the efforts of Amb. James Oberwetter and key community leaders like Ray Hunt and Margaret Spellings, Chamber staffers like Sarah Carabias-Rush, Jessica Heer and Mike Rosa, and the city officials in Plano that helped make this announcement possible. I look forward to working with everyone to provide continued support to Toyota as it transitions its teams to the area.

The Chamber’s commitment to education has also been front and center in recent months. We hosted the State of Higher Education event in April, providing a platform for seven of North Texas’ university leaders to discuss higher education challenges and opportunities throughout the region with 200 influential business leaders in the room. In May, Dallas ISD and the Teacher Excellence Initiative (TEI)were our focus, and I had the privilege of advocating for TEI in front of the Board of Trustees. We are pleased this groundbreaking effort will be incorporated into Dallas ISD operations this fall.

When I look back over my calendar from the last few months, these events and initiatives are just the tip of the iceberg. But it is when I look ahead that I start to get really excited.

Our greatest opportunity at the Chamber is in membership. There are still a lot of companies who don’t know all the Chamber has to offer. When they learn about how the Chamber can help them and their companies, and that they can positively impact the business climate simply by getting involved, most of those I talk with want to join. I’m excited about more companies becoming part of the Dallas region’s business family. I’m even more excited about those companies who are already members getting closer to us and even more connected to all the different ways they can be involved.

The beautiful thing is, in Dallas, we have the wind to our backs. The whole world is beginning to realize the Dallas region is a great place to do business. Now is the time to cement our future and grow so that future generations will have even more opportunities and have a great quality of life here. Let’s work together to build an even stronger economic juggernaut that can never be stopped.

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Filed under Chamber Communications, President's Office

Vote Early, I Did

By Jim Oberwetter, President & CEO, Dallas Regional Chamber

I just voted early in the state and local runoff elections.  We are choosing our favorite candidate for U.S. Senate, U.S. Congress in some districts and in others State Senators, Legislators, Judges, State Board of Education and even some precinct chairmen.   Many of you may be out of town on vacation Election Day, Tuesday, July 31, 2012.  If so you have only until this Friday, July 27th to vote.   Runoff elections in the summer especially have greatly reduced participation.  So your vote will be amplified tremendously if you make time to cast it, between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. through this Friday.   Click here for Dallas County early voting places; click here for a list of Collin County early voting places, click here for Denton County and click here for Tarrant County early voting stations.   Exercise your right to vote; remember, it counts even more in a low turnout runoff election.

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Filed under President's Office

Jim’s Book Review: Go Start Something! Live Life on the Edge

By Jim Oberwetter, President & CEO, Dallas Regional Chamber

Now he’s an author.  Jan Collmer, former chairman of this Dallas Regional Chamber Chairman, 1988-1990. Has just published a great little read for budding entrepreneurs, Go Start Something! Live Life on the Edge.

In only 122 pages Jan lays out life’s lessons for aspiring risk takers who want to own their own businesses with all of the challenges and opportunities such ownership delivers. Continue reading

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Filed under Chamber Communications, President's Office

Letter from the President: Dallas ISD Trustees Earn an A

Dear Members,

When did you last see a headline like that?

The Dallas ISD Trustees have earned an A for their selection of Mike Miles as the finalist in their search for a new Dallas ISD superintendent.  Read all about him in the Dallas Morning News article here.

For a much more in depth read click here to see an article from the Colorado Springs Gazette. Continue reading

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Filed under Commit!, Dallas ISD, EducateDallas, Education, President's Office

An Urgent Message from DRC President & Chairman

Dear Members,

We are writing this very important and special message to you about one of the Dallas Regional Chamber’s most important initiatives, EducateDallas.  Never before in our history has the DRC been so committed to changing the direction of the Dallas ISD and the futures of the students within it.  A large part of that commitment includes the formation of EducateDallas, our political action committee (PAC), which is focused solely on electing high-quality leadership to the Dallas ISD school board.  EducateDallas is the midst of its first election year and is experiencing a tremendous amount of attention from the community and support from individuals that have had enough of the status quo in our public education system. Continue reading

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Filed under Chamber Communications, President's Office

Economic Development Update

Posted by: Erica Flores, Economic Development

The Dallas Regional Chamber’s Strategic Plan, launched in 2010, identifies the DRC’s primary role: economic development.  Every DRC  initiative will support the Dallas region’s economic growth, thus fulfilling our mission:

Together, we will lead the Dallas region to become the most economically prosperous region — and the most desirable place to live and work — in the United States.

The DRC’s economic development team, including industry clusters and  innovation, as well as business information and research, work vigorously to help support that mission.  Each month we’ll provide an update on these initiatives and projects that support our strategic plan goals. Continue reading

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Filed under Business Information and Research, Dallas, DFW, Economic Development, Industry Clusters, Innovation and Industry Clusters, Member Engagement, President's Office, Strategic Plan

Dallas Regional Chamber’s Statement on American Airlines’ Proposed Job Plan

Former Ambassador James C. Oberwetter, President and CEO of the Dallas Regional Chamber said,

“We are indeed very sympathetic with the position of American Airlines, with its people and all of those who are affected by the restructuring process.

“ We believe that the plan, which American’s chairman Tom Horton has set out,  will successfully reconstitute the airline transforming it into an outstanding competitor which meets the needs for domestic and world-wide flights to and from the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

“The airline business is a very competitive one.  Other more recently formed or previously restructured airlines have had distinct advantages over American.  We are confident that American’s leadership team along with those who lead and comprise its workforce will find ways to overcome the challenges in the times ahead.

“We are a region of 6.5 million people, the fourth largest metropolitan area in the United States, and the fastest growing.   We can be exceptionally pleased that American Airlines has announced its plan to become a profitable, growing and even stronger member of the Dallas/Fort Worth metropolitan region and a great global world-class airline.”

(Aside:  DRC President Oberwetter serves on the board of the Greater Dallas Workforce Solutions board.)

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Filed under Chamber Communications, Communications, President's Office

An Economic Development Update from President Jim Oberwetter

The presence of corporate headquarters in a city or region is invaluable to the economic and community fabric.  In addition to providing jobs and paying taxes, corporate leaders and employees invest in, donate to, and sponsor  a wide range of worthy pursuits that enhance the quality of life; a virtuous circle.   A shining example is the AT&T Performing Arts Center in downtown Dallas.

The Dallas area is home to a large and diverse set of corporate headquarters, for good reason.  Our region has a tremendous set of assets that companies look for when choosing where to base.  We have much to sell, and our pitch is a good one, especially right now.

The U.S. economy and corporations are resetting.  The difficult business climates in California, Illinois and other key states are viewed in stark contrast to the operating environment in the Dallas area, and in Texas.  In the past few days, both leading corporate location magazines, Site Selection and Area Development, have named Texas the top State for doing business. Continue reading

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Filed under Chamber Communications, Economic Development, President's Office

DRC’s Letter to Rep Hensarling Against Proposed Airline Tax Increases

Dear Representative Hensarling,

On behalf of the Dallas Regional Chamber, I am writing to urge you to voice opposition to a White House proposal to reduce the federal deficit by charging more taxes and fees to the U.S. airline industry and the traveling public.

Airlines lost fifty-five billion dollars over the last decade and will no doubt try to offset additional federal airline taxes by raising air fares or reducing service. Passengers will be left with fewer choices for when and where to fly. To many of our member companies, having the most service options and affordable pricing are imperative to the success of their businesses. They need these options to continue to keep and increase economic prosperity in our region. Continue reading

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Filed under Chamber Communications, Government Relations, President's Office, Public Policy

DRC President backs wager in support of the Texas Rangers

By Lauren Parsons, Managing Director, Communications

Dallas Regional Chamber President & CEO Jim Oberwetter has fielded a call from the President of the St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Association, Dick Fleming. Fleming wagered a case of Anheuser Busch products (made in St. Louis) to celebrate a World Series victory by the Arlington-based Texas Rangers or a case of Tums (whose global production is made next to Busch Stadium in downtown St. Louis by GlaxoSmithKline) if the Texas Rangers lose.

Oberwetter countered with a case of Kimberly- Clark Corporation’s (headquartered in the Dallas area) Kleenex ™ facial tissues for all the tears to arrive when the Cardinals lose and a case-equivalent of 7-Eleven, Inc.’s (headquartered in Dallas) Slurpee® drink  should the Cardinals pull off a victory. Continue reading

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Filed under Chamber Communications, Communications, Dallas, President's Office