Holiday Lights are Big and Bright …


The most wonderful time of the year is also the brightest time of the year in North Texas. And, in true Texan fashion, we make sure that Santa has no problem finding our region during his Christmas Eve flight.

If you are looking to get into the Holiday spirit, here’s a list of the top Christmas light displays in North Texas.


This Arlington neighborhood is a destination for many North Texans. More than 200 homes participate in the annual Christmas light display, which boasts The Griswold Award as one of the prizes handed out to residents. The neighborhood’s status as a holiday must-see has gained so much notoriety that the community has official hours for driving through and police direct traffic. View these lights Dec. 16-25, 7 to 11 p.m. The neighborhood’s drive-through entrance point is at Westwood Drive and Randol Mill Road.


This city embraces the holiday so deeply that it’s hard to point out just one display. More than 1 million lights are featured in the nightly Magic of Christmas Show choreographed to music in downtown Grapevine. Or, visit the Gaylord Texan’s Lone Star Christmas with the “Ice!” exhibit with 2 million pounds of carved ice. Or, visit the 4.5 acres of indoor gardens with 2 million holiday lights, miniature trains and a 54-foot Christmas tree. If you have the need for speed, try the 12-lane snow tubing hill or the new 6,000-square-foot outdoor ice skating rink. For a schedule and more details on Grapevine events, go to

Christmas Tour of Lights

There is something truly magical about this Farmers Branch display of 500,000 twinkling lights. The route begins at Interstate 35E at Valley View Lane and continues to the Farmers Branch Historical Park, where you’ll find Santa Claus and a light show nightly (the park portion of the show will be closed Dec. 3 and 25). The lights are on Nov. 25-Dec. 30, nightly from 6:30 to 9:30. The tour begins at Valley View Lane and Interstate 35E and ends at the park, 2540 Farmers Branch Lane, Farmers Branch.

Highland Park

Pour a cup of hot cocoa, bundle up and hop in a horse-drawn carriage for a ride through Highland Park. While the mansions in this Dallas neighborhood are impressive enough, festooned in festivity the homes take on an even more awesome air. Don’t miss the large pecan tree covered in lights near Armstrong Parkway and Preston Road.


To see one of Collin County’s largest Christmas lights display, visit the Deerfield neighborhood in Plano. There is no shortage of partying penguins, gift boxes galore and shimmering Santas. The lights will be up Dec. 1-30, 7 to 11 p.m. The neighborhood covers a large area north of Legacy Drive between Preston and Coit roads. There’s a map of the recommended driving route on the homeowners’ association website,

Meet our Members | Michael Schulman, Locke Lord LLP

Michael Schulman is Co-Chair of Locke Lord’s Public Finance Practice Group. He has substantial experience serving as bond counsel, underwriter’s counsel, disclosure counsel and issuer’s counsel in a wide range of public finance transactions involving bonds issued by state agencies and municipalities, as well as schulman_mike_hisignificant experience in conduit bond issues. Mike also represents trustees, credit enhancers, and borrowers in a variety of taxable and tax-exempt bond issues. He currently serves on the Board of the North Texas Commission and has served on the Board of North Central Texas INTERLINK, Inc. and as Chair of the “Underwriter’s Counsel” panel of the Bond Attorneys Workshop sponsored by the National Association of Bond Lawyers (NABL). In his leisure time, Mike rides his mountain bike off-road and rides horses in Wyoming and on organized tours of foreign countries. He also enjoys reading and movies. (more…)

NTX Vol. 7 Available Now

The latest issue of the award-winning NTX Magazine hit mailboxes in late September and copies are available now.

NTX Magazine Vol. 7 explores North Texas as the crossroads of the Internet of Things (IoT). In this issue, you’ll learn about the data centers throughout the region powering IoT, the innovative home-grown apps connecting people across the region, the research happening in our universities and how our region’s logistics community is embracing technology to better deliver goods.

Planning for NTX Vol. 8 will begin soon and ad sales will open later this month. If you would like information on advertising opportunities, please contact Dawn Miller. If you would like additional copies of NTX Vol. 7 or have a suggestion for a topic in a future issue, please contact Kimberly Walton.

InterLink’s 26th Annual Regional Labor Market Survey Available

InterLink released its Annual Regional Labor Market Survey. This report polls North Texas Commission members and other regional business leaders to determine labor needs of our region’s employers.

In 1987, a group of North Central Texas business and education visionaries believed that students should be prepared for future high skill careers. They created North Central Texas InterLink, Inc. as a nonprofit, 501c 3 organization to provide long term regional labor market information to secondary and post- secondary education districts for career and technology program planning and development, and student career and college counseling. Since then, these education systems have consistently used InterLink’s information. Their students benefit by having high skills and knowledge for further education, training, and careers, and employers in the sixteen county North Central Texas Region benefit from this initiative by having a quality workforce, with a globally competitive advantage, which supports the region’s economic development initiatives for a strong quality of life.

InterLink’s success is attributed to the number of educators and employers who contribute to InterLink by serving on the board of directors, responding to the annual survey, allowing us to participate with business webinars and visit their facilities to understand the use of current and future technology and skill needs and being involved in many other ways through the past 29 years.

Click here to review the 2016 Labor Market Study. interlink-2016-labor-market-survey-report

Thank You NTC Members – September

Thank you-01

Thank you to our renewing members:
City of Irving
City of McKinney
City of Mesquite
City of Murphy
City of Richardson
City of Roanoke
Dallas Cowboys Football Club
Exxon Mobil Corporation
Hyatt-Regency DFW
Jones Lang LaSalle
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company
Sawko & Burroughs, PC
Texas Central Partners
The Rios Group

Thank You NTC Members – August

Thank you-01

Welcome new NTC Member, Abilene Christian University and Prosper Economic Development Corp!
Thank you to our renewing members:
Burlington Northern Santa Fe
Carrington Coleman
City of Euless
City of Forney
Gorrondona & Associates, Inc.
Southern Methodist University
University of Texas at Arlington
UT Southwestern Medical Center

North Texas Community Welcomes James D. Spaniolo

Earlier this week, we announced James D. Spaniolo will join the North Texas Commission as the organization’s new President and CEO. Jim served as president of the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) for almost a decade. His appointment will begin October 3, 2016, but he will be introduced at the 45th Annual Members’ Luncheon on September 15. james-d-spaniolo Crop (more…)

Welcome Leadership North Texas Class 8

LNT Class-8

The Leadership North Texas Selection Committee selected the members of the 2015-2016 program year.

Class 8 is made up of 32 leaders from across North Texas in a variety of industry sectors including elected officials, municipal leaders, executives from DFW International Airport, higher education leaders and the business community.

Since the program launched in 2008, Leadership North Texas has graduated more than 200 leaders including a State Representative, numerous mayors and city council members, a county commissioner, business and non-profit executives and higher education leaders.

Leadership North Texas meets one day a month, September through May and covers topics such as regionalism, the North Texas economy, education and workforce, the cost of incarceration on a community and transportation and sustainability. Leadership North Texas is a graduate-level, regional leadership program that recruits, develops and supports stewards of our region. Oncor is presenting sponsor for the program.

The 2016-2017 Leadership North Texas Class will include the following:

Dean Ahmad, AVP – Business Group, DFW International Airport

Geoff Bailey, Director of Communications, Oncor Electric Delivery

Chris Bhatti, Assistant Dean, Development & Alumni Relations, UT Dallas

Rebecca Caso, Attorney, Law Office of Rebecca Egelston Caso

Priscilla Cauley, Manager, Process Improvement, Parking Business Unit, DFW International Airport

Melissa Cooksey, Associate and Project Manager, Lauckgroup

Jesse Crawford, AVP, Community Engagement, DFW International Airport

Joseph DeWoody, Owner/President, Clear Fork Royalty

Alton Dixon, Purchasing Manager and Chaplain, City of Lancaster

Josh Floren, President, Texas Health Plano

Dresdene Flynn-White, Managing Director, Acquired Leadership Solutions

Marquis Fomby, Judicial Security, United States Marshal Service (DOJ)

Marta Goméz Frey, Director, Collin SBDC at Collin College, Councilmember, City of Richardson

Rick Glancey, Director, Government Relations, Tenet Healthcare

Rick Grady, Councilmember, City of Plano

Shannah Hayley, Director of Marketing & Community Engagement, City of Plano

Sherre Holmes, Contract Specialist, DART

Julia Hunt, Assistant Northern Region Manager, Trinity River Authority

Cliff Keheley, City Manager, City of Mesquite

Michael Koenig, Manager, DFW International Airport

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

Jami McCain, Vice President, Church on the Hill and Councilmember, City of Cedar Hill

Ruth McGuffey                      

Jason Meyer, Executive Vice President and Partner, Cooksey Communications

Alison Novak, Medical Staff Coordinator, Terrell State Hospital

Jon Oberdick, Manager, Marketing Communications, DFW International Airport

Brian O’Neill, Principal, Pacheco Koch

Melissa Sanden, Director of Client Management, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas

Bill Saunders, EVP, Production, CM Productions, Inc.

Susie Spartano, Regional Volunteer Office, American Red Cross

Melissa Valadez-Cummings, Assistant City Manager, City of Cedar Hill

Kristi Valentine, President & CEO, Coppell Chamber of Commerce

Dana Perino, Best-Selling Author and Political Commentator, Keynotes Annual Meeting


To celebrate our 45th anniversary, Dana Perino, the first female Republican White House Press Secretary who served President George W. Bush’s administration, will keynote the Annual Members’ Luncheon presented by Bell Helicopter. The luncheon will be held on Thursday, September 15 at noon at the Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas.

As our country prepares to elects its 45th President, lessons on leadership and communication during critical times is more important than ever. Perino will bring her insights into what makes a great leader from her seven years as White House Press Secretary. After leaving the White House, Perino joined Fox News’ The Five and authored the No. 1 New York Times Best-Selling Book, “And The Good News Is … Lessons and Advice from the Bright Side.” Perino will also share insights on topics to pay attention to in the final weeks of the 2016 Presidential election.

The North Texas Commission’s 45th Annual Members’ Luncheon is presented by Bell Helicopter. Sewell Automotive Companies is the parking sponsor. The VIP reception is sponsored by Atmos Energy. Signature sponsors are AT&T, BNSF Railway Company, Central Market/HEB, City of Dallas, Dallas Business Journal, City of Fort Worth and Verizon. Event sponsors are American Airlines, City of Richardson, Constellation, CP&Y, DFW International Airport, Fidelity Investments, Freese and Nichols, Gorrondona & Associates, Reliant, an NRG Company, Oncor Electric Delivery, Texas Health Resources, Texas Instruments, The Rios Group, Trinity River Authority, University of North Texas and The University of Texas at Arlington.

Tables begin at $1,750 and individual tickets begin at $150 (member rates). Sponsorship opportunities and tickets may be purchased at

NTX Magazine Vol. 7 Coming Soon

The latest issue of NTX Magazine will begin hitting mailboxes in late September. This issue examines the connectivity between devices, the Internet of Things (IoT) and how North Texas sits at the crossroads for this technology.

Software is developed on the west coast and hardware is manufactured on the east coast. The Internet of Things (IoT) is defined as the network of physical objects (for example, a car with Wi-Fi) embedded with electronics, software, sensors and network connectivity that allows these objects to collect and exchange data.

Our communities are embracing IoT. From data centers to smart hospitals, from water resource management to traffic flow, North Texas is on the leading edge of technology. NTX Magazine, Volume 7will illustrate how smart technology and intelligent connectivity enhances the overall quality of life for all North Texans.

NTX Magazine is the only business-to-business publication representing the North Texas region; providing relevant facts, data, editorial content, maps and contact information designed to assist corporations interested in relocation, expansion and conducting business in North Texas. If you’d like to be added to our mailing list, please email Kimberly Walton at


Thank you to our advertisers:
Alliance Operating Services
American Airlines
City of Arlington
City of Balch Springs
Bell Helicopter
BNSF Railway Company
Cedar Hill EDC
City of Allen
City of Carrollton
City of Coppell
City of Dallas
City of Fort Worth
City of Garland
City of Grand Prairie
City of Haslet
City of Keller
City of Mesquite
City of North Richland Hills
City of Plano
City of Richardson
DFW Airport
Frisco EDC
Irving Chamber
North Texas Municipal Water District
Prosper EDC
Sewell Automotive Company
Tarrant County College
City of The Colony
Upper Trinity
The University of Texas at Arlington
UT Southwestern
Verizon Wireless
WGU Texas