Event Recap: TO THE POINT – The Future of Texas Politics



The North Texas Commission hosted Speaker Joe Straus on February 26, 2018, to discuss North Texas politics the week before the March primary elections.

In a discussion led by Scott Orr of Fidelity Investments, Speaker Straus gave his candid view on where politics in North Texas are headed during the 2019 session.

To see news coverage on this event, click here.

Thank You to our Sponsors


Fidelity - Color - Print [Converted]


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Bank of America | Bell Helicopter | City of Coppell | City of Granbury

City of Richardson | City of Southlake | Dallas Area Rapid Transit |

Dallas Regional Mobility CoalitionGreater Irving Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce

Tenet Healthcare | Texas Health Resources | Texas Association of Business

The University of Texas at Arlington | UT Southwestern

For sponsorship questions or additional information on our TO THE POINT series, contact Holly Norris at Holly@ntc-dfw.org or 972-621-0400

See pictures from the event below:

To The Point: The Future of Texas Politics (2018)

Event Recap: TO THE POINT – Local Choices. Big Impact.



The North Texas Commission welcomed a panel of guests on January 8, 2018, to discuss engaging employees in Texas primaries.

Prior to the TO THE POINT luncheon, the North Texas Commission held a press conference to announce the creation of the North Texas Advocacy Coalition. This new program will create a platform to amplify the business-friendly voices in North Texas. The coalition will be open to members of the North Texas Commission and affiliate advocacy organizations.

Moderated by Scott Orr of Fidelity Investments, our panel included Stephanie Simpson with the Texas Association of Manufacturers, Michael Peterson with AT&T, and John Gonzales with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Thank You to our Sponsors


Fidelity - Color - Print [Converted]





City of GranburyHalff Associates | Texas Health ResourcesToyota Motor North America, Inc

See pictures from the event below:

To The Point: Local Choices. Big Impact. (2018)

Event Recap: 46th Annual Members’ Luncheon


Featuring Keynote Speaker Sean Donohue, CEO of DFW International Airport



The North Texas Commission closed out its year with it’s 46th Annual Members’ Luncheon, a gathering of regional leaders from across North Texas. This year featured Keynote Speaker Sean Donohue, CEO of DFW International Airport.

Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price gave a special introduction to Donohue, whose keynote address highlighted exciting updates coming to DFW International Airport.

Stephen Tolerico, 2016-2017 NTC Board Chairman, of Sewell Automotive Companies, made his final remarks to NTC members and guests, welcoming incoming Board Chair Chuck Allen of American Airlines.

We look forward to another successful year under Chuck Allen and the incoming NTC Board’s leadership, and thank all of our NTC members and guests for attending.

Thank you to our sponsors!

Presenting Sponsor


Reception Sponsor

Signature Sponsors

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Bell Helicopter-01


Event Sponsors

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Table Sponsors

AECOM | American Airlines Center | Capital One, N.A.Cedar Hill Economic Development Corporation |

City of Cedar HillCity of Coppell | City of Frisco | City of Grand PrairieCity of North Richland Hills

City of Richardson | Corgan | Constellation| Dallas County Community College District

Dallas Regional Chamber | Halff Associates, Inc.Huitt-Zollars | North Texas Tollway Authority

Pacheco Koch Consulting Engineers| Tarrant County College District | TDIndustries | The Rios Group |

 Toyota Motor North America, Inc. | Trinity River Authority | UT Southwestern Medical Center | Verizon

For sponsorship questions or additional information, contact Holly Norris at Holly@ntc-dfw.org or 972-621-0400

See pictures from the event below:

46th Annual Members' Luncheon

Event Recap: Leadership North Texas Class 9 Welcome Reception

Featuring Keynote Speaker Clint Bruce



The North Texas Commission welcomed Leadership North Texas Class 9 on August 16, 2018. The opening reception, held at the Irving Convention Center, featured keynote speaker Clint Bruce, former Navy SEAL and co-founder of Carry the Load.

Both LNT Class 9 and LNT Alumni from classes 1-8 gathered to celebrate the passing of the torch of LNT Alumni chair from TD Smyers (United Way) to Mayor Bob Golen (City of Haslet). As LNT Class 9 separated to begin preparations for the year, LNT Alumni was lucky enough to hear from Clint Bruce, founder and president of Trident Response Group.

Clint spoke on leadership, teamwork, and growing personally through trial and error as the evening progressed.




See photos from the event below:

Event Recap: TO THE POINT – State of the Region

Featuring Texas State Senator Royce West and Representative Giovanni Capriglione



At the North Texas Commission’s latest TO THE POINT luncheon, presented by Fidelity Investments, we gathered thinkers and trendsetters from across the region to hear a discussion on the 85th legislative session.

Texas State Senator Royce West and Representative Giovanni Capriglione joined us on Wednesday, August 21 for our State of the Region luncheon, where we discussed the 85th legislative session and beyond. Moderator Scott Orr of Fidelity Investments, our TO THE POINT luncheon was a success in creating bi-partisan conversation on issues relevant to the region as a whole.

See pictures from the event below:

Meet Leadership North Texas Class 9

This August, the North Texas Commission welcomes the 9th class of Leadership North Texas, a graduate-level leadership program aimed at recruiting, developing and supporting leaders who have a commitment to civic engagement, to learning, to collaboration, and to the Dallas-Fort Worth region.

The 9th class of Leadership North Texas (LNT) will consist of 33 regional leaders from across North Texas, learn best practices in regional stewardship from regions that have successfully addressed regional issues and challenges relevant to the region; and participate in the development of appropriate strategies for North Texas.

Meet LNT Class 9 below:


Judith Allen, President and CEO, Communities In Schools, Dallas Region

Geoff Bailey, Director of Communications, Oncor Electric Delivery

Harper Bateman, Associate Principal, Corgan

Kristina Brevard, VP, Strategic Planning & Development, Denton County Transportation Authority

Jeri Chambers, Junior League of Collin County

Drew Dietrich, Economic Development Manager, Town of Addison

Matt Foster, Regional Director of External Affairs, AT&T

Klint Guerry, General Manager, Sewell Automotive Companies

Deborah Helton, Emergency Management Administrator, DFW International Airport

RaDonna Hessel, CEO, Grapevine Chamber of Commerce

JoAnn Jensen, Agent, New York Life

Tammy Korns, Development & Outreach Manager, Plano Public Library

Mike Land, City Manager, City of Coppell

Valerie Landry, General Manager, The Sanford House Inn & Spa

Martin Lujan, Director, Government Relations, UT Arlington

Sean Madison, President, Trinity River Campus, Tarrant County College

Steve Mason, President, Mayor Pro-Tem, City of Cedar Hill, MAS-TEK

Wendle Medford, Assistant City Manager, City of Forney

Cory Montfort, Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor, The Montfort Group

John Mulcahey, Director, State Farm Insurance Companies

Erica Mulder, Vice President, Governmental Relations & Communications, Greater Irving-Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce

Archie Nettles, Jr., Veteran Liaison, The University of Texas at Dallas

Ajith Pai, Professional & Support Services Officer, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Kaufman

Andrea Russell, VP, Reliant Retail, NRG/Reliant

Jeff Schnick, Editor-in-Chief, Dallas Business Journal

Sushma Sharma, Director, DFW Hospital Council Foundation

Shelli Siemer, Assistant City Manager, City of Allen

Tom Siems, AVP and Senior Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

Mike Smiddy, Vice President, United Building Maintenance

Charmaine Solomon, Founder & Chairman of the Board, My Possibilities

Steve Stoler, Director of Media Relations, City of Plano

Rona Stringfellow, Assistant City Manager, City of Lancaster

Cordelia Tullous, Managing Director, Step Up


Learn more about Leadership North Texas here. Questions about the program? Email Kimberly@NTC-DFW.org

Event Recap | Leadership North Texas University

The inaugural class of Leadership North Texas University (LNT U) had an information-packed three days, working with nearly three dozen leaders from across North Texas to learn about the assets and challenges we face as a region.

LNT U, a three-day regional leadership bootcamp, covered topics such as education, transportation, North Texas demographics and even legislation, just as parent program Leadership North Texas does over a nine-month span. LNT U, however, targeted millennial-age leaders to, at the end of each day, discuss these topics and how to better face challenges, and utilize strengths, moving forwards as a region. Below is a list of LNT U participants and the organizations they were representing during the program:

Name Organization
Courtney Aviles Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
Kyle Bottom Frost Bank
Anabel Castillo-Soto Workforce Solutions for North Central Texas
Tamara Cook North Central Texas Council of Governments
Ashley Cottone Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas
Brent Daily Slalom Consulting
Brittney Farr DART
Christopher Ferro Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
Alan Gonzalez Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
Justin Hairston My Possibilities
Matt Johns Cooksey Communications
Garlyn Kemp Slalom Consulting
Jessica Limmer DFW International Airport
Anthony Loeffel Huitt-Zollars
Julie McKinney Dallas County Schools
Cristina Medina North Central Texas Council of Governments
Aaron Medoff DFW International Airport
Crystal Mora DFW International Airport
Patricia Nava Children’s Health
Abby Owens City of Plano
Perla Paniagua DFW International Airport
Austin Panzino AECOM
Pooja Patel Huitt-Zollars
Cori Reaume North Central Texas Council of Governments
Shelby Reed World Class Automotive Group
Stephanie Roberts Workforce Solutions for North Central Texas
Shaylon Scott VolunteerNow
Katharine Smith Huitt-Zollars
Zach Steinkuhler Huitt-Zollars
Kim Thieme Freese and Nichols
Alora Wachholz Town of Flower Mound
Clark Wickliffe Century 21 Judge Fite


A regional map activity led by NTC’s Kimberly Walton

Day 1 of the program focused on regionalism, allowing members of Class 1 to get to know each other with an elevator pitch activity before presentations by NTC President and CEO, Mabrie Jackson, and State Demographer Dr. Lloyd Potter. Participants then discussed voter apathy with the NTC’s Britton Cunningham, who also co-directed the program with LNT Director Kim Walton. Former State Representative Vickie Truitt also discussed the importance of voting. Day 1 culminated with presentations on leading up with David Woods, CEO of Giant Partners, and a group improv activity lead by Amy Rosellini of Pavlov’s Dogs Improv Comedy.


Visiting William P. Clements’ education center.

Day 2 of LNT U was a travel day. Class 1 visited UT Southwestern’s newest medical facility, the William P. Clements University Hospital, and met with Ruben Esquivel, Vice President for Community and Corporate Relations, as well as Dr. John Warner, CEO of UT Southwestern Hospitals. They were then able to tour the new hospital. Class 1 traveled from William P. Clements to Mockingbird Station in Dallas, where DART’s Jack Weirzenski discussed mass transit in North Texas, and then met with Phyllis Jarrell, Director of Special Projects, City of Plano, to talk about sustainability through redevelopment.

Billy George of Texas Municipal Water District met with Class 1 to discuss water in North Texas, followed by a presentation from Texas Central Partners’ Vice President of Government Relations, Travis Kelly, on the high speed rail project. The day wrapped up with Joy Weaver, author of “How to be Socially Savvy in All Situations,” and an etiquette dinner for Class 1.


Vision North Texas facilitates a housing and development activity.

Day 3 opened with two special presentations from the NTC’s Britton Cunningham – one on millennials (see Britton’s webinar on millennials here), and one on personal branding. Betsy Del Monte from Vision North Texas facilitated a housing and development activity, followed by a presentation from Chris Duke from Texans for Education Reform on education and legislation in North Texas.


Elected officials panel. From left: John Terrell, DFW International Airport, Former Mayor of Southlake; Hon. Kelly Hancock, Senator, Texas State Senate; Hon. Nancy Yingling, Councilmember, City of Coppell; Hon. Oscar Trevino, Mayor, City of North Richland Hills

State Senator Kelly Hancock, North Richland Hills Mayor Oscar Trevino and Coppell City Councilmember and LNT Class 7 member Nancy Yingling held a panel discussion on local and state government moderated by John Terrell, former mayor of Southlake and Vice President of Commercial Development at DFW International Airport. As a wrap up, TD Smyers, chairman of Leadership North Texas Alumni and COO of United Way Tarrant County, spoke on values of leadership and management as well as why both are necessary to be successful. Class 1 members graduated from the program at a reception held at the American Airlines Training Center, where the program was hosted, with alumni from all 6 previous Leadership North Texas classes.

For more information about Leadership North Texas University, you can visit the LNT U website here. Questions? Email Kim Walton, NTC Vice President of Communications at Kimberly@NTC-DFW.org


View photos from LNT U here:

Leadership North Texas University Class 1

A Flight Path To a Strong Economy – North Texas Aviation Breakfast

The North Texas Aviation Breakfast, hosted by the North Dallas Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, December 8, will showcase all facets of the aviation world. From commercial to manufacturing, maintenance to logistics, the panelists at this year’s event will discuss how aviation not only contributes millions of dollars, but also thousands of jobs into the North Texas economy.

Speakers will include:

John Ackerman – Executive Vice President, Global Strategy and Development, DFW International Airport

Brian Chase – Director, Global Public Affairs, Bell Helicopter

Michael G. Wright – Partner, Business Jet Center

Tuesday, December 8, 7:30-9:00 a.m.
Frontiers of Flight Museum
6911 Lemmon Avenue, Dallas, TX

$30/NDCC members,
Tables of 10: $270 for members,
$540 for non-members

TO REGISTER visit ndcc.org or call 214.368.6485

Recap | 44th Annual Members’ Luncheon

We hosted our 44th Annual Members’ Luncheon on Thursday, September 24th at the Irving Convention Center at Los Colinas, with over 700 North Texas leaders in attendance.

The luncheon kicked off with our final board meeting for the fiscal year, presided over by Board Chairman Gray Mayes of Texas Instruments. Points of order included the release of the latest issue of NTX Magazine, a discussion on Leadership North Texas University and a presentation by Ed Dolanski, President and CEO of Aviall, Dallas-based aviation company, on Export-Import Bank.


Photo credit to Barbara Berry.

Following the board meeting, members were welcomed into the ballroom, which was themed around the word of the day: innovation. Along with our attendee gift bags, the tables were set with LuminAID lanterns, lighting up the room and creating conversation the moment guests sat down.

The luncheon opened with a warm welcome from North Texas Commission President and CEO Mabrie Jackson and a few words from DD Hayes, Chaplain at the DFW Airport Interfaith Chaplaincy. Mabrie recognized members of the North Texas Commission board, past and current elected officials, and looking to the future of North Texas, the 13 DECA members in attendance as part of the essay contest hosted earlier this month.

Mabrie also discussed the contents of our North Texas Commission branded bag at each seat, and the Mark Cuban Companies in attendance, some of whom were exhibiting outside the ballroom. To read more about those, click here. Board Chairman Gray Mayes thanked the sponsors of the event, as seen below:


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Mavs ManiAACs. Photo credit to Tim Sharp.

As a company on the forefront of innovation, it was fitting that Audi was our presenting sponsor for this event.

Audi Senior Account Executive Allison Piper spoke on how Audi has grown and sought innovation over the years, just as our keynote speaker, Mark Cuban. But before Mark took the stage, we had a surprise for our guests.

The North Texas Commission pumped up attendees with a performance from the popular Mavs ManiAACs (pictured right), who were the perfect transition into keynote speaker Mark Cuban.

At last, it was the moment attendees had been waiting for. Mark Cuban, world-renowned entrepreneur and Shark Tank‘s most dangerous shark, gave a rousing keynote on innovation in North Texas and his viewpoints as a businessman.


Mark Cuban during his keynote speech. Photo credit to Tim Sharp.

Mark discussed how true innovation is about knowing your audience and your product. “At the Mavericks, we don’t sell basketball,” Cuban said, “We sell special moments.” If you attend a Mavs game, you don’t reminisce every jump shot a player scores; you remember the time spent with people important to you, whoever they may be.

Cuban also took a few moments after his keynote to answer questions, one of which was how he felt North Texas ranked among other metropolitan areas in entrepreneurial potential.

“North Texas is easily one of the best places for entrepreneurs to start,” Cuban boasted. And, he’s not wrong. With supporters like Cuban and other innovative groups such as Launch DFW, the Dallas Entrepreneur Center and the Arts Incubator of Richardson backing thinkers and creators along the way, North Texas is a well of potential waiting to be tapped into.

Following Cuban’s keynote, North Texas Commission Vice Chairman Robert Hastings, enthusiastic about his upcoming term as Board Chairman, closed out the luncheon.

This event was one for the books for anyone in attendance. It was a rare chance to see Shark Mark Cuban speak about business and to see so many of the companies he has invested in showcased under one roof. Check out the gallery below for more pictures of our 44th Annual Members’ Luncheon!

44th Annual Members' Luncheon: Focus. Prepare. Change the Game.

What’s in the bag? | 44th Annual Members’ Luncheon


Z_BB2720Our 44th Annual Members’ Luncheon was a rousing success with more than 750 attendees enjoying keynote speaker Mark Cuban discussing the topic of the day, innovation.

Annually, the North Texas Commission provides a gift to the guests of the Annual Members’ Luncheon to thank them for attending. This year, we filled a North Texas Commission branded bag with products from Mark Cuban Companies, many of
whom were featured on Shark Tank.

So, what was in the bag?



Meet the companies that had a presence at our Annual Members’ Luncheon below!



Alyssa’s Bakery

What’s in the bag? Healthy Oatmeal Bites

About the company: Alyssa’s Bakery opened in 2010 with the mission to create great-tasting baked goods from scratch with 100% natural ingredients. The company, based in Jupiter, Fl., now shelves their products at Central Markets across North Texas. To learn more about Alyssa’s bakery or to purchase their products, click here.



What’s in the bag? Matcha Cricket Protein Bar

About the company: Chapul prides itself in being the originator in cricket-based protein bars, debuting on Shark Tank Season 5 Episode 21. Since Cuban’s backing on the 2014 episode, Chapul has moved to donate 1% of their profits back to water conservation in regions that inspire their bars. To learn more about Chapul or to purchase their products, click here.


dallas_mavericksDallas Mavericks

What’s in the bag? Light-Up Boom Sticks & Special Ticket Offer

About the company: Since Cuban’s majority-stakeholder purchase in 2000, he has revolutionized the way owners interact with teams, and the way basketball players are treated during and off-season. To learn more about the Dallas Mavericks, click here.






Echo Valley Meats

What’s in the bag?  Cheddar Sausage, Garlic Sausage & Garlic Cheese Spread

About the company: This Illinois-based “old fashioned butcher shop” company had two runs on Shark Tank before finding success. On Season 6, Episode 21, they secured funding from Mark. Echo Valley specializes in wholesale, mail order and fundraising, headed by Dave Alwan, a third generation cattleman and farmer. To learn more about Echo Valley Meats or to purchase their products, click here.


HourlyNerd Logo

Hourly Nerd

What’s in the bag? $1,000 off your first project

About the company: Hourly Nerd connects businesses with independent experts, known as nerds, each with years of experience in professional fields in a variety of areas. Experts bid on projects submitted by businesses and are chosen to work on tasks such as building a business, researching markets and raising capital. To learn more about Hourly Nerd or to book an expert for your next project, click here.



What’s in the bag? 50% off at Ilumi.co

About the company: Ilumi is a smart light bulb that changes colors, controlled through a mobile app and  Bluetooth connection. The North Texas based company, founded by two University of Texas at Dallas graduate students, received backing from Cuban in Shark Tank Season 5 Episode 29. To learn more about Ilumi or to pre-order their new bulb, coming out in November, click here.




What’s in the bag? News Made Easy at Inside.com

About the company: Like news in a social media platform, Inside brings users real-time updates in short blurbs, with links to what’s happening now. The website tracks top authors, top curators and top sources. To learn more about Inside, click here.




What’s in the bag? Complimentary Lip-Locking Lip Balms

About the company: This Shark Tank company combines chemistry with fun as a lip balm due that, when combined, creates a new flavor. Kisstixx appeared on Season 3 Episode 11, and secured funding from Cuban. Shortly after being featured, the new company sold nearly 5,500 units of product, almost crashing their website in the process. To learn more about Kisstixx or to order your own lip balm duo, click here.



logo (1)LuminAID

What’s in the bag? Solar Powered LED Lantern – Sponsored by TXU Energy

About the company: What started as a challenge to design a product to aid relief efforts in Haiti turned into a product lighting the way not just for the members of the North Texas Commission, but adventurers across the world. LuminAID creators Anna and Andrea were backed by Cuban on Shark Tank Season 6 Episode 17 where they shared their brilliant idea, an inflatable lantern charged by the sun that provides up to 16 hours of light. To learn more about LuminAID and to purchase your own lantern, click here.


Monkey Mat LogoMonkey Mat

What’s in the bag? $5 off at Monkeymat.com

About the company: Created by long-time friends Courtney and Christie after a 6-hour layover watching their daughters play on a dirty airport floor, the two appeared on  Shark Tank Season 5 Episode 28 and were backed by not only Mark Cuban, but fellow shark Lori Greiner as well. This 5×5 mat is more than meets the eye, made of durable, ripstop nylon with an attached bag for carrying and loops for toys and keys. To learn more about Monkey Mat or to purchase your own, click here.


logo (2)Sriracha 2 Go

What’s in the bag? Mini Sriracha Keychain

About the company: Sriracha2Go continues to capitalize on the recent sriracha craze, partnering with popular sriracha vendor Huy Fong Foods to sell 1.69 keychain bottles and 1 oz. bottles of the cravable sauce. Cuban recently invested in the company, headquartered in New York City. To learn more about Sriracha2Go or purchase your own bottle, click here.



Three Commas Apparel

What’s in the bag? 20% off at Threecommas.com

About the company: Three Commas Apparel, co-founded by Cuban, hopes to inspire people to seek out the true meaning of the American Dream, “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” while also striving towards the one thing that has allowed Cuban to help so many entrepreneurs – financial success. By branding with the universal symbol of a billion dollars (,,,) Three Commas wants to remind people that anyone can achieve success. To learn more about Three Commas Apparel or purchase their products, click here.



What’s in the bag? Dallas Mavs Shoelace Spirit Pack

About the company: ULace custom shoe laces founder Tim Talley appeared on Shark Tank Season 5 Episode 21, securing funding from Cuban. Today, ULace is distributed in over 4o countries across the globe, and is the #1 Hot New Trend product in Japan. To learn more about ULace or to purchase your own set, click here.



vc13_logo1Villy Custom

What’s in the bag? 15% off any Custom Bike

About the company: Villy Custom offers branded custom bikes in various colors to their customers. Bikes can be bought individually or in fleets, and previous corporate brands to invest include Monster energy drinks, The Palms Hotel and Jameson whiskey. Villy founder Fleetwood Hicks secured funding from Mark Cuban on Shark Tank Season 3 Episode 13. Villy also donated a custom North Texas Commission branded bike, which was raffled off at our Annual Members’ Luncheon. To learn more about Villy Custom or to purchase your own sweet ride, click here.


We’d like to thank all of the Mark Cuban Companies who took part in this year’s Annual Members’ Luncheon, and to TXU for providing our LuminAID lanterns.