Mabrie Jackson Named Dallas Business Journal 2015 Women in Business Honoree

The Dallas Business Journal unveiled its list of the 2015 Women in Business honorees and NTC President & CEO Mabrie Jackson is listed among the 25 dynamic female business leaders. Mabrie is in good company with North Texas Commission Board Member Michelle Miller of Verizon, basketball legend Nancy Lieberman, Southlake Mayor Laura Hill and Mary Frances Burleson, President and CEO of Ebby Halliday Companies. Choosing this year’s honorees was anything but simple; a selection committee made up of previous winners sifted through more than 250 nominations looking at the overall impact each woman makes on the region’s business community. Read the Dallas Business Journal’s full article HERE, and view Mabrie’s full bio along with the list of all honorees below.

To celebrate the achieves of these women, the Dallas Business Journal is hosting a luncheon at the Irving Convention Center on August 25, 2015. Purchase tickets for the event HERE.

The Dallas Business Journal’s 2015 Women in Business Honorees

Suzy Bátiz, Founder and CEO, Poo~Pourri

Mary Frances Burleson, President and CEO, Ebby Halliday Companies

Delta Emerson, President, Global Shared Services, Ryan LLC

Ruth Farrar, Chief Administrative Officer and Partner, Sendero

Cathy Fraser, Senior Vice President Human Resources, Tenet Healthcare

Julie Hamrick, Founder and Chief Analyst, Ignite Sales Inc.

Laura Hill, Co-Owner of Downey Publishing and Mayor of Southlake

Susan Hoff, Chief Strategy and Operations Officer, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas

Mabrie Jackson, President and CEO, North Texas Commission

Keri Kaiser, Vice President of Marketing and Communications, Children’s Health System of Texas

Ashlee Kleinert, Owner/Managing Director of Ruthie’s Rolling Cafe and Co-Founder/Managing Director of Executives in Action

Nancy Lieberman, Founder and Chairwoman, Nancy Lieberman Charities

Laura MacNeil, Executive Vice President, Wells Fargo Regional Commercial Banking

Beatriz “Betty” Manetta, CEO, Associar LLC and Argent Associates

Joyce Mazero, Partner, Perkins Coie LLP

Carol Meyer, Vice President, Merrill Lynch; The Meyer Fontana Group

Michelle R. Miller, Central Texas Region President, Verizon Wireless

Amy Power, President and CEO, The Power Group

Tracy Preston, Senior Vice President, General Counsel, The Neiman Marcus Group

Melissa Reiff, President and Chief Operating Officer, The Container Store

Deborah Ryan, Partner, Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLP

Rachel Sanchez, CEO, Prestige Maintenance USA

Elizabeth Solender, President, Solender/Hall Inc.

Tiffany Tippins, CEO, Impactful Wealth Solutions

Gauthami Vemula, Founder, Color Me Safe

North Texas Commission President & CEO Mabrie Jackson

2015_JACKSONMabrie Jackson joined the North Texas Commission as President and CEO in July 2010 and is the 40-year-old organization’s first female leader. Jackson comes to the NTC with a varied background that includes public service through a seat on the Plano City Council, roles with Fortune 500 companies and, most recently, serving as the interim President and CEO of the Plano Chamber of Commerce.

Jackson’s background in the public sector includes serving on the Plano City Council in 2008 and 2009. After stepping down from the Plano City Council in 2009, Jackson ran for the Texas Legislature as the Republican primary and run-off election candidate for the Texas House District 66 seat. Jackson briefly served as interim president and CEO of the Plano Chamber of Commerce.

Accompanying her civic and political background, Jackson brings an extensive history of corporate experience. She worked at Microsoft Corporation for 13 years incubating award-winning, revenue-producing relationships with international, national and local technology companies. Prior to Microsoft, Jackson spent 10 years in financial services marketing for EDS. She worked in virtually every aspect of public relations, including media relations, marketing collateral, advertisements, promotions and special events.

Jackson currently serves as Chair of the Advisory Council for the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences at the University of Texas at Dallas, a Governor’s Appointee to the Statewide Health Coordinating Council, a member of the Energy Future Holdings Sustainable Energy Advisory Board, Prison Entrepreneur Program (PEP) Advisory Board, Texas Association of Business Board, Vision North Texas Management Committee, the North Central Texas Council of Governments Clean Air Steering Committee, and the AT&T Performing Arts Center Communications Committee.  She is a Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow. Jackson previously served as President of the Collin County Child Protective Services Board, on the University of North Texas President Search Committee, on the North Texas Super Bowl XLV Host Committee, H. Wayne Hendrick Scholarship Board, the Assistance Center of Collin County Board, and as a member of several National League of Cities and Texas Municipal League committees.

Jackson is currently pursuing a Master’s degree at SMU in Global Studies and is a graduate of Plano Senior High School and The University of Texas at Austin. While attending the university, she served as a legislative assistant in the Texas House of Representatives. Mabrie is married to Marshall Jackson, and they have two sons.


NTX Trends May Recap

The NTC Celebrates Throughout May

May in known for celebrating – graduations, Mother’s Day, Cinco de Mayo & more – and the NTC didn’t miss a beat. With Class 6 of Leadership North Texas graduating, high-speed rail prospering in the state legislature and many others successes, the North Texas Commission swelled with pride during the region’s rainy season. Make sure to stay up-to-date with all NTC programs and events on our blog – NTX TRENDS.


Save the Date-Banner-Web-01




Showcase your organization in the Knowledge Destination issue of NTX Magazine debuting this fall. Limited advertising space is available. Learn more HERE.



Thank you to NTC members for rallying behind high-speed rail to make sure this project continued to develop. Read the full story HERE.



Thank you to Cooksey Communications for working with the NTC to create this outstanding piece of collateral that earned a Platinum Hermes Creative Award. See the award-winning report and learn more about the award HERE.



It’s graduation season in North Texas, and our region’s universities have been recognized with honors. Read about the North Texas schools that are ranking nationwide and how that corresponds with regional job growth HERE.



North Texas has rich a Mexican heritage and always celebrates Cinco de Mayo to the nth degree. Even the margarita machine, and arguably the margarita itself, were invented here. Learn more about the margarita’s roots HERE.



Congratulate the regional leaders in this year’s Leadership North Texas class. Meet them HERE.



NTX Startup Report Header


This month’s NTX Startup Report requires inventive minds and technologies that redefine processes. Be sure to click through and learn about these emerging companies HERE. Interested in more? View the April and March editions.



Our country has a prison problem, and the Prison Entrepreneurship Program is tackling the recidivism rate one inmate at a time. Learn more about PEP and the measurable impact they’re making in the Texas prison system HERE.

Don’t miss our next webinar on Air Quality and Ozone with the NCTCOG Tomorrow, June 10 at 10 a.m. Register HERE.



for your support of the North Texas Commission. View the list of new and renewing members in May HERE.

Previous NTX Trends Newsletters

April  |  March  |  February  |  January

Have Something to Add?

We’re here to support North Texas and our members. If there’s a story you would like to add to NTX Trends, please email Kim Walton at

Limited Space Available in NTX Vol. 5

NTX 5 Temp Cover-07-horizontal-smallNorth Texans are smart. With more than 30 higher education institutions and six Nobel Laureates and state-of-the-art career tech academies, we foster a community of knowledge. And, because of that, North Texas is quickly becoming a Knowledge Destination with men and women from around the world flocking to our region to learn everything from how to fly a plane to how to put out fires.

NTX Magazine Vol. 5 will showcase our region as a Knowledge Destination with stories on how we educate doctors, how arts and culture foster learning, how the conventions and conference impact our economy and how the region’s community colleges are making a real impact on educating our workforce.

This issue of NTX Magazine will be available September 2015. Advertising space is filling up and sales close in the coming weeks. For more information, please contact Marcy Sherman at or 972-621-0400.

Interested in NTX Magazine? Visit the NTX Magazine webpage HERE and view the previous four issues below.

Welcome Holly Norris!

Holly Norris HeadshotThe North Texas Commission is excited to have Holly Norris, a junior at the University of North Texas, join the team as our summer intern. Holly  has spent four years in the hospitality industry and specializes in strategic communication, event management and online marketing.

A North Texan from the very beginning, Holly grew up in North Richland Hills and graduated from the Birdville Center of Technology and Advanced Learning. Now in her junior year as a journalism major at UNT, Holly has developed a passion for leadership, entrepreneurship and marketing. She recently finished a term as an international officer for Collegiate DECA, a student marketing organization. In her free time, she enjoys movies, reading and coaching and collaborating with other young leaders.

Please say hello to Holly at an upcoming North Texas Commission events!


Thank you NTC Members | May 2015

We greatly appreciate the support of our new and renewing members from the month of May.

City of Carrollton
City of Celina
City of Roanoke
City of Waxahachie
Fidelity Investments
Four Seasons Resort and Club
Hugh M. Cunningham Companies
The Levenson Group
Locke Lord LLP
Sundance Square
Texas Christian University
The Original Pancake House
Woodbine Development

Thank you for your continued support!

Congratulations Leadership North Texas Class 6!

For the past nine months, a group of 29 leaders have gone to school, explored the world of sports, dissected our economy, learned about the region’s healthcare and even did hard time in Huntsville. Today they complete their Leadership North Texas Class 6 journey, but their path to regional leadership is just beginning.

Leadership North Texas presented by Oncor is a graduate-level, regional leadership program that recruits, develops and supports leaders who have a commitment to civic engagement and the North Texas region.

The graduates of Leadership North Texas Class 6 are the following:


Shannon Bettis Color
Shannon Bettis, Senior Vice President, Southside Bank
Ellen Buck
Ellen Buck, Senior Director, Oncor Electric Delivery
Fred Busche 2
Fred Busche, Councilmember, Town of Highland Village
Linda Caram
Linda Caram, Regional Director, External Affairs, AT&T
Allen Corry_2014-1
Allen Corry, Assistant Vice President, DFW International Airport
Amanda DeGan 2013b
Amanda DeGan, Assistant Town Manager, Town of Westlake
LaToyia Dennis
LaToyia Dennis, Director of Development, T.D. Jakes Ministries
Ariane Einecker
Ariane Einecker, Regional Chief Development Officer, American Red Cross, North Texas Region
Mark Felts, Principal Consultant, Slalom
Joy Goodrum
Joy Goodrum, Executive Director, La Buena Vida Youth Leadership Foundation
Sheila Haley
Dr. Sheila Haley, Assistant Clinical Professor, Texas Woman’s University
s harris
Susan Harris, Manager, Public Affairs, Atmos Energy
Hatley, Trish
Tricia Hatley, Vice President, Freese and Nichols
Victoria Huynh
Victoria Huyhn, Deputy City Attorney, City of Plano
Dena 2012 Shot 1
Dena Jackson, Ph.D., Vice President of Grants and Research, Dallas Women’s Foundation 
mark jacobs regions bank0015 copy
Mark Jacobs, Team Leader, Regions Bank
Lori McMahon - headshot
Lori McMahon, Deputy Chief of Staff for U.S. Congressman Sam Johnson
Steve Mitchell Headshot
Steve Mitchell, Project Manager, Thomson Reuters and Richardson City Councilmember
Jonathan Morrison Paths Forward
Jonathan Morrison, Operations Manager, Morrison & Company
Greg Porter
Greg Porter, City Manager, City of Cedar Hill
Eddie Reyes
Eddie Reyes, Veteran, Women & Minority Business Consultant
Michelle Headshot 061314
Michelle Riddell, Vice President of Strategic Communications and Community Investment, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas
Ron Ruthven 
Ron Ruthven, Founder, R3F Consulting

LNT Photo Slobodin 

Howard Slobodin, General Counsel and Secretary, Board of Directors, Trinity River Authority of Texas
Amy Stelter Photo 
Amy Stelter, Manager of Governmental Relations, Trinity River Authority of Texas
SueTejml-professional photo
Sue Tejml, Mayor, Town of Copper Canyon
Rebecca Tucker high res pic 
Becky Tucker, Vice President, Integrated Health Campuses for Texas Health Resources
Mitch Whitten 
Mitch Whitten, Vice President of Marketing and Communications, Fort Worth Convention and Visitors Bureau
Karen Zahaluk Headshot 3 20130822  
Karen Zahaluk, Program Manager, Hope for the Brave

Recruitment is underway for Leadership North Texas Class 7. Since the program’s inception, nearly 200 leaders from across North Texas have participated, including a state representative, numerous mayors and city council members, city managers and economic development professionals, business leaders, higher education executives and nonprofit leaders.

Over a nine-month period, the class addresses and discusses topics such as the history of North Texas, regionalism, our economy, workforce and education, sustainable development, the impact of incarceration and a plan for civic engagement. They learn best practices in regional stewardship from experts and other regions, and explore how to collaborate to best address current regional issues.

The application deadline for Leadership North Texas Class 7 is noon, June 12, 2015. Applications are available online or through the North Texas Commission office at 972-621-0400. Tuition for the program is $3,000.

Apply Today on Blue tile-banner size-01


Oncor is the Presenting Sponsor for Leadership North Texas.

North Texas Commission’s 2014 Annual Report Honored

annual report 2014“The Annual Report” may normally be considered a routine recap of an organization’s year filled with numbers and graphs, but here at the North Texas Commission, we aimed for higher expectations. Working with Cooksey Communications, a long-standing member of the NTC, we brought life and color to the report. The compliments and praise for 2014 Annual Report poured in from members throughout the region. And now, the document has received the Association of Marketing & Communications Professionals (AMCP) Platinum Hermes Creative Award for its design work in the Publications: Annual Report category.

The Hermes Award is an international competition for creative professionals involved in the concept, writing and design of traditional materials, programs and emerging technologies. The event is judged by senior-level, experienced professionals, who agree on a consensus score. Entries receiving scores between 90-100 are deemed Platinum Winners. Entries with 80-89 points are deemed Gold Winners.

In addition to the North Texas Commission Annual Report, Cooksey Communication received five additional awards:

  • Frisco Station Announcement, Platinum Award, Project Announcement
  • Perot Development, Platinum Award, Logistics Center I Grand Opening
  • Weil, Gotshal & Manges, Platinum Award, Award Nominations
  • City of El Paso, Gold Award, Government Executive Blog
  • Holland Services, Gold Award, Pocket Folder Marketing Inserts

The North Texas Commission’s Annual Report provides a recap of the organization’s accomplishments, financial overview, programs and events. Copies are distributed to all members after the close of each fiscal year, but can also be viewed below.

Congratulations to NTC Board member Gail Cooksey and her team at Cooksey Communications!

Webinar Recap: Rethink Prison


For every 10 people that are released from prison, it’s expected that four will be back behind bars within three years; that’s a recidivism rate of 40 percent. How can we reverse such a startling statistic?

In our May Topic North Texas webinar, Natalie Baker and Bryan Kelley of the Prison Entrepreneurship Program (PEP) brought light to the recidivism issue and how PEP has become part of the solution. Also, hear the breath-taking stories of Natalie and Bryan as they walk through life in prison and the positive impact PEP is making both inside and outside of prison walls.

The “Cost” of Incarceration

Our country has a prison problem. One out of 100 Americans is in jail or prison today—a total population of 2.3 million, which is equivalent to the size of Dallas, Fort Worth and Plano combined. One out of 15 Americans will go to jail or prison in his lifetime.

For many, prison is “out of sight, out of mind.” But it becomes everyone’s problem when prisons continue to bloat with repeat “customers” who understand their role in society—steal, kill and hustle. For those who would rather focus on preventing crime by working with at-risk populations who have never committed a crime, consider this: prisons are the largest concentrated pools of future criminals. That’s a conversation starter for real crime prevention solutions.

The driving passion of PEP manifests itself in a progressive nonprofit solution that is single-handedly changing the way private institutions and state governments view correctional facilities. This passion is based on the idea that prison inmates—especially former gang leaders, drug dealers and those with violent offenses—have a massive reservoir of untapped potential. PEP seeks to redirect these men into legitimate enterprises, leveraging their proven entrepreneurial skill-sets to inspire an even deeper change.

 The Prison Entrepreneurship Program

With over 1,400 applicants every year, PEP selects 100 men to go through their rigorous programs. Participants work diligently over the nine months to comprehend and dissect business strategies and create a full business plan for a realistic new business venture. The program brings in volunteers from the corporate world to hear presentations, network with the men in the program, and to later serve as possible mentors and/or investors after their release. At the end of the nine months, participants earn a certificate in entrepreneurship from the University of Baylor.

About the Presenters

PEP-Baker_Natalie_PhotoNatalie Baker is PEP’s Executive Relations Manager for the Dallas-Ft. Worth area.  In her position, she is responsible for managing a portfolio of major and prospective supporters, coordinating monthly events, meetings and public presentations throughout the Greater DFW area and assisting with the management of all in-prison events that PEP offers throughout the year at the Sanders Estes Unit in Venus, TX (about 35 miles south of the DFW metroplex).   A former practicing attorney, she recently served four years in the Florida state penitentiary, enabling her to better advocate for the men in the PEP program, as well as voice the importance rehabilitation plays in a prisoner’s future.

PEP-Kelly_Bryan_PhotoBryan Kelley is currently the Re-Entry Manager for the Dallas branch of the Prison Entrepreneurship Program. Bryan leads a re-entry team that literally picks up PEP participants at the prison gate upon release and ensures that they continue their journey of success outside prison walls. In his role as such he wears many hats: life coach, counselor, property manager, family liaison, recruiter, fundraiser, speaker, disciplinarian, cheerleader and part-time house mom. He will soon add teacher and character coach to his repertoire by leading the character development portion of the program inside the Estes prison unit. What’s more, Bryan is a product of the program himself, having spent nearly 22 years behind bars, he was released in 2014 and now helps his PEP brothers traverse the very steps he took just a few short months ago.


For the full details from the webinar, watch the presentation or view the slides below.

NTX Trends April Recap

April Showers bring Regional Power to North Texas

April flew by here at the North Texas Commission as we prepped for the 2015 North Texas Healthcare Summit, and spent time building relationships both within and outside the region. Whether it’s discussing health and wellness or planning a Texas-sized party, North Texas continues to grow its reputation as a power region in the U.S. and globally. Make sure to stay up-to-date with all NTC programs and events on our blog – NTX TRENDS.


Did you know your zip code is a more accurate predictor of your health than genetics? Learn more about location’s impact on healthcare and other facts from the recap HERE.



It’s officially voting season in North Texas, and early voting is now open through May 5th. Can’t make early voting? Don’t forget to vote on May 9th. Check out other details for voting season HERE.


Tina-citizen-headshot-crop-north texas commission


The NTC is in good hands with our newest staff member Tina Citizen who is serving as Senior Executive Administrator and Board Liaison. Get to know Tina HERE.



It’s a big year for the American Country Music Awards, and the best place to do it big is North Texas. Get the recap of activities and the record-breaking award show HERE.


NTX Startup Report Header


With the Healthcare Summit in April, this month’s NTX Startup Report focused on health and wellness startups in North Texas. Be sure to click through and learn about these emerging companies in healthcare HERE. And, catch the March edition HERE.



The U.S. Ambassador to Paraguay spoke at UTD to help connect the two countries. Little did he know, the NTC had its own connection. Read Taylor’s full story HERE.


Leadership North Texas Apply


Apply for Leadership North Texas Class 7 and join more than 30 regional leaders as you learn about the different facets of North Texas. Learn more HERE.


Startup Ecosystem-Webinar


Having a lucrative startup scene requires an active economy from all sides. Trey Bowles from the DEC discusses successful startup ecosystems. Watch the full recording or read the recap HERE.

Don’t miss our next webinar with the Prison Entrepreneurship Program on Wednesday, May 6 at 10 a.m. as we discuss the prison, prisoners and the recidivism rate. Register HERE.

Previous NTX Trends Newsletters

MarchFebruary  |  January

Have Something to Add?

We’re here to support North Texas and our members. If there’s a story you would like to add to NTX Trends, please email Kim Walton at

A Recap of the 2015 North Texas Healthcare Summit

Inaugural North Texas Healthcare Summit Discusses Regional Opportunities, Challenges

Location, location, location was the theme of the North Texas Commission’s inaugural Healthcare Summit last Thursday. From the first speaker, Elizabeth Sobel Blum of the Dallas Federal Reserve to the closing luncheon keynote with Tony Buettner of Blue Zones, the audience of healthcare professional and regional leaders learned that the zip code we live in may have more to do with our health and wellness than genetics.



The half-day summit opened with a TO THE POINT breakfast sponsored by Fidelity Investments with Blum speaking about why health and healthcare matters to the region’s economy.
“Your zip code is a more accurate prediction of your health outcome than your genetic code,” Blum said. Factors affecting this includes access to nutritious food, doctors and the ability to safely walk and exercise outside.



Following Blum, a panel moderated by Bill Hethcock of the Dallas Business Journal and comprised of Dr. Ruben Amarashingham of Parkland Center for Clinical Health, Dr. Ray Tsai of Children’s Health Pediatric Group, Marc Gelinas, Slalom and Matt Zavadsky of MedStar Mobile Healthcare took the stage to discuss innovation and access to healthcare.
Location came up once again during Dr. Laura DeFina’s presentation. The President and CEO of The Cooper Institute spoke about health and wellness impacting a person’s ability to lead.
“The number one thing a CEO can do to have healthier workers is create a culture of health in the organization,” Dr. DeFina said.


With a rapidly growing population in North Texas, the discussion turned toward population health with Dr. Margaret Balfour of Connections AZ speaking about the cost of mental health and a panel on population health with Sharon Phillips of Parland, Dr. Paul Hain of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, Jonathan Scholl of Texas Health Resources with moderator Kristin Jenkins of the DFW Hospital Council Foundation.


The 2015 North Texas Healthcare Summit closed with a final discussion of location from Tony Buettner, brother of Blue Zones founder Dan Buettner. In his discussion, he shared some of the tips of communities from around the globe known for their longevity. Through their research, they found that the communities with an active lifestyle, access to fresh, nutritious food and senior citizens who view retirement as the next phase in their life live fuller, healthier and happier lives.
With a Blue Zones project underway in Fort Worth, Buettner showed that a longer, healthier life is attainable.
The 2015 North Texas Healthcare Summit was presented by Slalom, Tenet Health and Texas Health Resources. Fidelity Investments presented the TO THE POINT breakfast. AT&T, the Dallas Business Journal and DFW Airport were premium sponsors. Metroport Cities Partnership was an Event Sponsor. The Summit was hosted in partnership with the DFW Hospital Council Foundation.
The event was chaired by Mark Felts of Slalom, Corey Davison of Tenet, David Tesmer of Texas Health Resources and Kristin Jenkins of the DFW Hospital Council Foundation.