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Scrambling for Face Time With a Writer From The Economist

Payoff comes in new column portraying North Texas as 'Boomtown, USA.'
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A few weeks ago, Terrell and Jim Falk hosted a dinner for columnist Adrian Wooldridge of The Economist magazine at their home in Dallas’ Briarwood neighborhood. Many of the 25 or so guests of the Falks—he’s president and CEO of the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth—were eager to get some face time with Wooldridge, who was gathering material for a column about the North Texas economy.

Shortly after Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings arrived, Falk spirited him back to Falk’s (home) office for a private audience with Wooldridge. Dallas Morning News business columnist Cheryl Hall had already buttonholed the British scribe there, for an article she wrote about his visit two weeks ago. Bill Sproull, president and CEO of the Richardson Chamber of Commerce and the Metroplex Technology Business Council, pulled from his pocket a sheet of statistics he’d compiled about the local tech scene and asked Falk to make sure the writer got it.

Later, over a feast of barbecue from Sonny Bryan’s, Wooldridge sat at the head of the table in the Falks’ dining room near Karl Zavitkovsky, director of the city of Dallas’ office of economic development. Then the writer moved to the opposite end of the table and peppered Matthew Rooney with questions about the George W. Bush Institute, where Rooney is the new director for Economic Growth. Wooldridge scribbled it all down in a black notebook that eventually got turned into this enthusiastic column in The Economist’s new issue. His article describes greater Dallas as “Boomtown, USA,” thanks in part to the area’s egalitarian growth and pro-business pragmatism.

The pulled pork and brisket probably didn’t hurt, either.

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