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Dallas 500

Meet the Dallas 500: Kalita Blessing, President of Quest Capital

Blessing discusses her former life at Bloomingdale's and the time she asked Barry Switzer about Jimmy Johnson.

As an unpaid intern for Quest Capital Management back in 1991, Kalita Blessing made coffee, answered the phone, and photocopied documents. Today, she’s president of the company, which oversees more than $1 billion in investments. Blessing helps people preserve their wealth and maximize their impact in the community through charitable giving. About 40 percent of her clients are women.

Education:
Dartmouth College (BA) 

Fun Fact:
“I’m named after Chief Kalita, who was the chief of the Alabama Coushatta tribe in the 1800s. I’m a proud to be a fifth-generation Texan and claim relatives who fought in the Alamo.”

First Job:
“I was an assistant swimwear buyer for Bloomingdale’s in New York. I worked for a smart and driven boss, Andrea Jung, who would later become Avon’s CEO. I learned the value of rolling up my sleeves and forging collaborations with long-time employees.”

Advice For An 18-Year-Old Me:
“Trust your inclinations, and don’t be swayed by popular opinion.”

Who I Admire:
“My dad, Henry C. Beck Jr. He motivated me to be the best I could be in every aspect of my life by the example he set. He demonstrated integrity and humility in everything he did. There is not a week that goes by that I don’t think, ‘What would Dad do?’”

What Keeps Me Up: “I have a calm nature, and I don’t worry about too much. At times, I find myself worrying about employees who are going through difficult circumstances. I also worry about clients who are facing incredible health or financial challenges.”

Scary Moment:
“Going up in an ultralight plane in Calistoga, California. I am quite afraid of heights.”

Lessons Learned:
“I am still learning, but the most important lesson so far is that I cannot express my gratitude enough for the great employees we have on board.”

Funny Experience:
“I was invited to lunch with Barry Switzer back when I was a junior planner. I had no clue who he was, but I knew there was a football connection. So, I asked him what he thought about the coaching style of Jimmy Johnson, who was coach of the Dallas Cowboys at the time. He said, ‘I guess I like it, because I taught him everything he knows.’ Others at the table could not believe I asked such a dumb question.”

Hobby/Passion:
“Fly-fishing, traveling, and tennis” 

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