|BRANCHING out: Michael Hal Anderson has planted hundreds of trees in Dallas to bring life to downtown. photography by Dan Sellers|
YOU NEED TO KNOW…
Title: General counsel and principal
Company: Chavez Properties/Star Parking
Stats: Largest private landowner downtown with approximately 28 acres; operates 9,000 daily parking spaces in Dallas
Why you need to know him:
Michael Hal Anderson doesn’t do meetings. “I never knew anything that got done at a meeting,” he says. He’d much prefer to roll up his sleeves and get to work. And what good work he’s done: As 2005 and 2006 chairman of the Downtown Improvement District maintenance committee, Anderson has been on a personal quest to beautify his hometown. He’s planted and cared for 400 trees in and around downtown, removed nearly 6,000 pieces of graffiti and more than 14,000 bags of litter, spearheaded several local recycling programs, and landscaped countless area sidewalks, medians, and parking lots. He’s been involved with just about every organization in town, from the Metro Dallas Homeless Association and Urban Forest Advisory Committee to the Parks Foundation and McKinney Avenue Trolley—“Every one that doesn’t pay,” he jokes. That’s in addition to his 9-to-5 job as a principal with Chavez Properties and Star Parking. In February, Anderson was recognized with the DowntownDallas Chairman’s Award for the good he’s done for the city, both aesthetically and economically. “Usually what’s right is good for business in the long run,” he says.