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Dallas 500

Meet the Dallas 500: Warren Tranquada

The president and CEO AT&T Performing Arts Center on being a hockey fanatic and a hard-to-believe fun fact.

After more than 13 years with the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Warren Tranquada moved to North Texas in May 2022 to take the top spot at the AT&T Performing Arts Center. In making the move, he cited Dallas’ national reputation as a thriving cultural hub. Tranquada takes the helm at a time when the pandemic has forced performing arts organizations to rethink what it means to appeal to visitors and patrons. “We learned that audiences wanted to be more engaged with artists, the arts, and each other,” he says. “We can use that going forward to create much more meaningful experiences.”

Harvard University (MBA), McGill University (BComm)

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

First Job
“I sold ski boots and goggles at a sporting goods store.”

Destinations of Choice
“My father was born in Guyana, and my father-in-law was born in Trinidad, and I have always been drawn to the cultures of the Caribbean. Trinidad is one of my favorite places to visit, with a vibrant music scene, the best Carnival in the world, and amazing food.”

“I am a hockey fanatic. I was on a team in Richardson within a week of moving to North Texas. My kids all play. I have coached and served on a youth hockey board. We attend games. If I am not in the Arts District, chances are I am at an arena.”

Local Fare
“Although I have enjoyed many of the great fine-dining establishments in Dallas, my go-to when I am by myself is Velvet Taco. The Cuban Pig is the very best thing I have eaten since moving to Texas.”

Fun Fact
“I have never had a cup of coffee. No particular reason—I just haven’t.” 

First Car
“The first car I bought was a Ford Escort GT, and it spoke to my personality. Practical, understated, value-driven, but also sporty at heart.”

Pivotal Moment
“I graduated from Harvard Business School at a time when traditional career paths for MBAs were largely closed off, which was a blessing in disguise. It forced me (and my fellow graduates) to really think about what we wanted out of our careers, and it made me realize that I wanted to dedicate my work to nonprofit management.”

Walk-up Song
“I’d choose ‘P-Funk (Wants to Get Funked Up)’ by Parliament. It just oozes positivity.”

“I love This American Life on NPR, which shares personal stories of the American experience.”

Spirit Animal
“Chimpanzees are intelligent problem solvers, but also take the time to be silly and have fun.”

Alternate Reality
“I think I would enjoy being a professor. The combination of research and teaching is very appealing to me.”

Bucket List
“I’d like to write a book, probably a science fiction novel on time travel.”

Key Strategies
“Leadership must start with listening and respecting the views of others. You will only be effective at delivering on a vision if you have engaged all key stakeholders.”

This Q&A is extended content from Dallas 500, a special edition produced by D CEO that profiles the region’s most influential business leaders. Visit www.dallas500.com for details.


Ben Swanger

Ben Swanger

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Ben Swanger is the managing editor for D CEO, the business title for D Magazine. Ben manages the Dallas 500, monthly…

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