North Texas is known for its actively engaged company leaders, so selecting just four executives to recognize in our 2020 Nonprofit & Corporate Citizenship Awards program was not easy. We’ll reveal who the winner is at our virtual event on Tuesday, Aug. 25.
Leading up to the program, we’re writing about all finalists, one category at a time. This category recognizes “a company C-suite executive who has shown exceptional support of the nonprofit community through individual participation and action.”
Now in its third year, the Nonprofit and Corporate Citizenship Awards are presented by D CEO and founding partner Communities Foundation of Texas. This year’s program attracted more than 510 nominations. All finalists will be featured in our August/September print edition and at a virtual awards event on Aug. 25, where the winners in each category will be revealed.
Kevin Akers, Atmos Energy
Atmos Energy is the nation’s largest fully regulated, natural gas-only energy distributor. Under the leadership of Kevin Akers, CEO and president, the company has put an emphasis on community service as a fundamental element of its culture. Over the last five years, Atmos has donated nearly $24 million to support education, health, and community initiatives. Its employees also get involved, donating more than 35,000 hours of volunteer service each year. Atmos’ impact is widespread, supporting North Texas schools, food pantries, The Salvation Army, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, American Red Cross, Dallas Veteran Affairs Medical Center, Medical City, Friends of the Dallas Public Library, Allies in Service, African American Museum of Dallas, among others.
Craig Hall, HALL Group
Entrepreneur Craig Hall launched his business in Ann Arbor, Michigan, but took it to the next level when he moved it to Dallas, his adopted hometown. Today, his HALL Group is one of the most successful real estate development and investment operations in the country. The son of an art teacher, he pioneered the use of art as an amenity in corporate parks and high-end residences and hotels, first in Frisco with the Texas Sculpture Garden and later in the Dallas Arts District, where his new hotel houses more than 100 pieces. Hall’s philanthropic support in the community has been profound, from making a $1 million gift to kickstart Klyde Warren Park to his support of the Dallas Arts District Foundation Grant Fund, which supports local arts programming and nonprofit art organizations. Hall also has taken a hands-on approach to supporting emerging business leaders by founding the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship and co-founding Kathryn Hall Foundation’s Bridge the Gap Program. Hall has also set up the HALL Cares Program, which supports employee volunteerism.
Mark Rohr, Celanese Corp.
Mark Rohr served as CEO of Celanese Corp. from 2012 until April 2019, when he shifted to a board chairman role and Lori Ryerkerk succeeded him as chief exec. She has continued to cultivate a culture of deep civic engagement that Rohr initiated. Last year, the company worked with Social Venture Partners to help grow three local nonprofits: After8toEducate, Bonton Farms, and Miles of Freedom. Rohr, who retired from his board chairman role this past June, was also instrumental in bringing City Year to Dallas. In partnership with AmeriCorps, City Year works to address the lack of equitable access to educational opportunities in the area. It partners with schools to provide support for both teachers and students and help cultivates learning environments where all students can build on their strengths, fully engage in their learning, and experience success—giving them a path toward a brighter future.
Susan Salka, AMN Healthcare
Under the leadership of CEO Susan Salka, AMN Healthcare has become the largest healthcare staffing company in the nation, with about 3,000 employees. Salka, whose career spans more than 30 years, has consistently modeled hands-on engagement and nonprofit support. She and AMN Healthcare takes a special interest in with organizations that advocate for health and human services, women and children initiatives, diversity, equality, inclusion, economic and community development, and civic programs. The company has become known for its deep commitment to LGBTQ+ workplace equality, as one of 500 companies that committed to the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion Project. Last year, AMN Healthcare provided $700,00 in community grants, donations, and sponsorships, along with 8,000 volunteer hours and 17,800 community service hours resulting in an estimated $445,000 in financial support.