Christine Perez, Editor
Two of the most memorable stories D CEO published in 2019 were Barry Shlachter’s piece on ClubCorp CEO Dave Pillsbury (who had a fascinating, counter-culture upbringing and once agitated for a student-athlete union as a football player for UC-Berkley) and Tom Stephenson’s all-access report on Stephen Jones (who quietly leads the city’s ultimate family business, the Dallas Cowboys, in the shadow of his famous father, Jerry). But, without question, the highlight of the year was our September cover story, “The Business of Pride,” by Brandon J. Call. Along with writing about what North Texas companies are doing to create an inclusive environment for all, Brandon shared the heart-wrenching but ultimately victorious personal stories of seven local executives who came out at work. It was truly inspiring work.
From the Decade:
Looking back at the past decade, what stands out to me are not certain features but our special editions, like our 2010 report on Super Bowl XLV, Why Black Achievers Choose Dallas, and the exceptional Dallas and the New Urbanism, which has helped spark a movement. My favorite was our 2012 report on The Park, which told the remarkable story of how Klyde Warren Park came to be. We looked at everything from the engineering challenges and the types of trees and flowers that would be planted to the economic impact and the visionary city leaders who relentlessly pushed for the park’s development. Klyde Warren Park has become a true Dallas jewel, connecting downtown and Uptown and redefining the city. To me, it is the best example of the indomitable spirit of the people who live here.
Brandon Call, Managing Editor
My favorite story of the year is D CEO’s September cover story “The Business of Pride,” written by yours truly. Hearing the stories of local executives coming out at work is personal and illuminating—and a must read. My favorite story of the year not written by me is June’s “The Women Who Built Dallas” by Hilary Lau—a timely reminder of how Ebby Halliday, Mary Kay Ash, Caroline Rose Hunt, and other trailblazing females shaped our city. I’m excited to continue seeking out more untold business stories like these in the year ahead.
From the Decade:
Favorite article of the decade? Having lived in Coppell when I first moved to Dallas four years ago, I still get misty-eyed reading Christine Perez’s Coppell: How Family & Football Overcame Tragedy, published in Sept. 2013. Storytelling at its finest, Perez adeptly captures the community’s strength as it grapples with the deaths of two high school students. It is a powerful story of loss, but also of coming together and healing. (And I’m told even D Magazine editor Tim Rogers shed a few tears.)
Bianca Montes, Senior Editor
I thought Eve Hill-Agnus’ deep dive into Khao Noodle owner Donny Sirisavath was just lovely story, telling that steps outside of typical food coverage to tell Donny’s story about his mother and how her death ignited his passion. Meanwhile, Brandon Call’s “The Business of Pride” was an incredible package of both why inclusion is important for business and beautiful stories of real people involved.
Will Maddox, Senior Editor and Editor of D CEO Healthcare Daily
In the world of healthcare, reducing cost is the name of the game. The United States is lurching toward one-fifth of its GDP going to medical care for its residents, and Dallas is one of the most expensive (and least insured) cities in the country. This year’s D CEO business of healthcare can almost always be connected to the variety of ways government, providers, and payers are attempting to reduce costs in the medical industry. Dallas is all too familiar with recovering costs from fraud or other criminal activity. The Forest Park health care fraud trial resulted in guilty verdicts for seven defendants (ten had already pled guilty, and two were found not guilty) in the $40 billion kickback scheme. Insurers are under fire as well, as a rural hospital in Wise County is taking on Richardson-based Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas for what a judge has already called “willful conduct of fraud” for not paying $21 million in claims.
Late last year, a merger was announced between two healthcare behemoths in Texas, Baylor Scott & White and Houston-based Memorial Hermann, with both sides promising to bring down costs through expertise and economies of scale. The merger was canceled earlier this year, and those who study the impact of consolidation on cost in healthcare must have cheered, because bigger usually means more expensive in healthcare.
A top killer and one of the most expensive aspects of care in the country is treating those with chronic kidney disease, but an executive order from President Trump is aiming to reduce those costs through an ambitious plan of education, early detection, and increased transplants. A local provider is leading the efforts to treat this killer that doesn’t make a lot of headlines.
Hospitals are getting in the efficiency game as well. While North Texas has not slowed its breakneck pace of building the newest and most luxurious hospitals around, some institutions are thinking differently about how their facilities are constructed. A unique construction model is leading to modular hospitals, where portions of the building are built off-site and dropped in fully intact, reducing the impact of nasty weather and inconsistent labor force on the efficiency of new construction.