Why You Need to Know Her: Because Jackson, 46, is the new leader of an organization that’s focused single-mindedly on North Texas growth.

A former Plano city councilor and interim head of the Plano Chamber of Commerce, Jackson assumed her new post in July, when Dan S. Petty stepped down after 17 years in the job. Since taking over, she’s been on a nonstop “listening tour,” meeting with scores of regional influencers to determine their priorities and concerns first-hand.

Founded in 1971, the North Texas Commission is a nonprofit, public-private consortium of local businesses, cities, counties, chambers of commerce, economic development agencies, and higher education institutions.

Although she’s “still kind of feeling people out,” Jackson says she views the commission as a “non-political” forum for managing DFW’s growth in a responsible way. She sees it marketing the region, promoting economic development, and advocating for the area in Austin and Washington, D.C.

So how might CEOs help? “I’d ask them to pay attention to issues affecting the region as a whole and then, rather than criticize, work together to create possible solutions,” Jackson says. “I’d ask people to be introspective on how they can be a catalyst for growth.”