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Dallas 500

Meet the Dallas 500: Caren Lock

The regional vice president and associate general counsel for TIAA talks about switching careers, the bipartisan nature of the political process, and more.
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Last year was a big one for Caren Lock. she was named to the Dallas Mavericks’ Advisory Council and her employer, TIAA, announced it was building a new regional campus at The Star in Frisco. The 15-story, $58 million building will allow it to add 2,000 new employees; upon completion, TIAA will be the largest employer in Frisco. Lock has been a leader at the Fortune 100 company since the early 2000s, but her first job was bussing tables at a restaurant where her mother worked. “I learned the power of determination and hard work,” she says. “The little restaurant grew to double in size because everyone believed in the American dream.”


Baylor University (JD), The University of Texas at Austin (BBA)


Hong Kong

Best Advice

“Treat everyone you meet with the same respect and honor your word.”


“I practice yoga and have taught at Cancer Support Community North Texas for the last 10 years. In that one hour, we are all focused on bringing love and light to our body and mind.”

Industry Change

“If I could change one thing, it would be the bipartisan nature of the political process. As a lawyer and lobbyist, I believe that we can have honest discourse without stooping to name calling or fear mongering.”

Local Fare

“My favorite restaurant is Wu Wei Din Chinese Cuisine. It is a small, family-run restaurant tucked into a shopping center. They serve the best soup dumplings.”

Go-to Advisors

“I have a personal board of directors that I go to when I need a gut check or professional advice. I think it is important to surround yourself with people who are honest and always have your back.”

First Ride

“I had a blue Oldsmobile Cutlass. The interior upholstery was falling apart, and the automatic windows would drop all the way down occasionally. But I paid for that car by saving up money from working at Burger King, so I was very proud of it.”

A Better DFW

“Dallas could improve on our public transportation. When I visit other large, international cities, I marvel at the public transit and the range of options including buses, subways, and light rails.”

Pivotal Moment

“I walked away from practicing law and switched my career to lobbying. It was not planned but an opportunity presented itself. I am grateful that I didn’t let fear take over, and now I have been a lobbyist for almost two decades. The lesson is to always stretch yourself.”

Walk-up Song

“I am a glass-is-half-full kind of person, so my theme song is ‘Walking on Sunshine.’”


The Color of Water is one of my favorite books. Author James McBride writes about his relationship with his mother during a difficult time in our country’s history. His mother was White and married a Black man in 1942. It is a powerful story about self-motivation and love. I have a copy that is falling apart at the seams because I have reread it so many times.”

Spirit Animal

“A dog. I am loyal and trusting and only bite if I sense danger or fear.”

Bucket List

“Visit Nepal and hike through the Himalayas”

Key Strategies

“Listening to employees is critical. As leaders, we may not be as connected to the day-to-day interactions that employees have with clients; they are the ones who can identify our gaps and strengths.”


D CEO Staff

D CEO Staff

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