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D CEO Releases the 2022 Edition of the Dallas 500

The annual book, which profiles the region’s most influential business, civic, and nonprofit leaders, features nearly 200 new names.

The 2022 edition of the Dallas 500 made its debut at an exclusive event last night at Fair Park’s Hall of State. More than six months in the making, the 180-page publication includes some of the most recognizable names in business, along with nearly 200 new and emerging leaders.

After seven years of producing the book, you would think that it would become harder to discover under-the-radar people of influence, but the reverse is true. Our circles of connections and sources in this growing market continue to expand; paring down the list to 500 is the hard part.

The other D CEO editors and I spent more than six months doing research, hundreds of interviews, and asking those in past editions about their most respected colleagues—and competitors. We also gave readers a chance to make recommendations.

After some difficult decisions, the 2022 list was defined. It includes 303 leaders making a return appearance and 197 fresh faces. Together, they represent more than 420 dynamic North Texas companies and organizations.

This year, we evaluated our categories and made a few tweaks, creating a Chief Operating Officers section in The C-Suite chapter, adding renewables to the Energy category, and expanding our Food and Beverage and Commercial Real Estate Development and Investment sections. We also brought back government officials, integrating them with leaders at civic organizations.

Walk-Up Songs and Dream Cars

As always, we asked the 500 about their key strategies, industry trends, and forecasts for the future. And, in keeping with our mission of connecting the C-Suite in North Texas, we asked for some fun personal info. One of my favorite new questions this year is, “As you enter your office, what would you choose to be your walk-up song, and why?” I was shocked by how many of the 500 picked “Lose Yourself” by Eminem. (I could not get that song out of my mind while editing the book.)

PepsiCo Foods CEO Steven Williams said, “My go-to theme song for years has been, ‘All I Do is Win’ by DJ Khaled—because I like to win.” New Southwest Airlines chief exec Bob Jordan chose “the Aggie War Hymn, of course!” And Dallas Mavericks CEO Cynt Marshall selected “Aint No Mountain High Enough,” saying she believes “there’s no mountain we cannot climb together.”

One of the more meaningful responses came from Ken Hersh, who told us: “This is an easy one: ‘Stayin’ Alive’ by the Bee Gees. After a heart scare in 2020, I have faced my own mortality and have a new lease on life. I pledge to make the most of it.”

We also asked the leaders about dream cars (the DeLorean from Back to the Future was a popular choice) and what they like to order at their favorite restaurants (from hole-in-the-wall, local hangouts to The Charles and Al Biernat’s). On a more serious note, we asked the 500 what they would do to make Dallas even better—our mission here at D Magazine Partners.

The profiles in the book will inform, entertain, and inspire. They’ll make you feel proud and grateful to live in such a vibrant region. As Mark Cuban told us, “The energy, the spirit, the heart, the can-do optimism—it’s like anyone in Dallas can do anything if we only prepare them and give them a chance. That’s why I love Dallas so much.”

To learn more about the Dallas 500 and order a copy of the 2022 edition, click here.

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