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Meet the Dallas 500: Dione Kennedy

The president and CEO of Performing Arts Fort Worth Inc. on her bucket list and the inspiration she takes from her mother.

Education:
University of Cincinnati (BA-Communication Arts), Maysville Community College (AS-Business Management)

First Job:
“My first professional job was with the Danville Civic Center in Illinois. There, I developed basic knowledge of venue management, programming, and marketing that ultimately provided a great foundation for my career. This position was also my first experience working with a board of directors and was invaluable in learning how to navigate with committees and multiple bosses.”

Greatest Inspiration:
“My mother has always provided a great deal of inspiration in my life. She raised six children, worked as a waitress, and put herself through college, all as a single mother. From watching her, I developed a strong work ethic and learned the importance of an education.”

Toughest Challenge:
“In my first role as president/CEO, I had worked for the company for 14 years. At the time, the company’s revenues had taken a nosedive, and it became my responsibility to turn it around and quickly. Many of the things we did to reverse the cash drain were tough, including staff cuts, benefit reductions, and revising a significant part of our business model.”

Lesson Learned:
“I’ve learned to trust my instincts a lot more. I’ve learned that gathering as much information as possible from varying sources is important but that instinct is also critical to making good decisions.”

Fun Fact:
“I started taking piano lessons a year ago!”

What I’d Tell An 18-Year-Old Me:
“Have many experiences outside your comfort zone before making decisions that will affect the rest of your life.”

Funniest Experience:
“Coming home from a week-long conference, I missed my flight because the time had changed the night before, and I didn’t realize it until I got to the airport. They re-booked me on another flight, and I missed it too because I still hadn’t changed my watch!”

Who’d Play Me in A Bio-Pic:
“Laura Linney or Maggie Gyllenhaal”

Bucket List:
“Live in a tiny house on a beautiful beach and read books all day.”

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