Well, it’s here—the week that our annual Dallas 500 publication hits the streets. For me personally, this week is always met with a great deal of excitement—and just a twinge of dread.
Excitement because a tremendous amount of work went into the publication, and we’re finally able to share it with others. Dread because we’ll invariably learn about a couple of job changes or promotions since the 180-page book went to press in early October, because a reader or two will find a typo that our 10-person editorial team didn’t catch, and because there will be some very deserving people who will learn they didn’t make the list or that they’ve been cut to make room for new faces or categories.
With the breadth and depth of influential leaders in North Texas, we could easily do a Dallas 1,000 publication. (But, please do not suggest that to the powers that be at D!)
This year, we worked hard to look beyond the obvious and discover under-the-radar innovators and people of influence. We evaluated categories and made a few changes, expanding emerging leaders, chief diversity and people officers, and nonprofit organizations, which certainly gained in influence with the challenges of 2020.
In keeping with our mission of connecting area leaders, we always try to share some personal nuggets in the profiles. This year, along with asking the executives about what 2020 taught them and their best business advice, we asked them what books they read, podcasts they listen to, and home office items they can’t do without (AirPods, Pelotons, and Nespresso machines were popular responses).
We also asked them who they’d choose if they could dine with any two Dallas business leaders. Their selections and the reasons behind them were fascinating. (The most-requested dinner dates? Mark Cuban and Cynt Marshall of the Dallas Mavericks, by far.)
In tribute to Wick Allison, the beloved founder of D Magazine Partners, who passed away in September 2020 after a courageous battle with cancer, we asked the 500 what they would do to make Dallas even better. (It was, after all, Wick’s longtime mission.) Top priorities are education, the Trinity River corridor, transportation, bridging the north-south divide, and providing more equitable opportunities for all.
Let’s face it; this past year has been brutal in many ways. But reading through the Dallas 500 will inspire you and reassure you that our future is in very good hands. This region’s powerful legacy of big thinkers, creative problem-solvers, and committed residents lives on. There’s no doubt in my mind that we will emerge from the crises of 2020 better and stronger than ever.