The Chamber V.P.
Meg Vint is unmistakably a woman of action and conviction. Now employed as vice president of governmental affairs for the Dallas Chamber of Commerce, she’s come a long way from Lubbock, where, as a young girl, she organized the city’s first humane society. “That’s what I really like to do,” Vint says. “Get in where there is a void and really build.”
As the chamber’s liaison to the Dallas City Council, Vint is building a firm foundation for a career in community service. Her job is to ensure that chamber policies and philosophies are represented. She says that her primary goal this year is to work with neighborhood interest groups.
“We’ve had a ’them vs. us’ situation. The chamber believes and knows that every one of those business people who is developing, growing and working in downtown and North Dallas has to go home somewhere. Business people are homeowners, too. We’ve got to work together.”
Her insight comes not only from personal motivation, but from experience. When Vint moved to Dallas six years ago, she was pregnant and “incredibly bored.” She volunteered at the old Health and Science Museum (now the Science Place) at Fair Park, joined the Young Lawyers’ Wives Club, helped coordinate the docent program at the DeGolyer Estate and directed the East Dallas March of Dimes fund drive. She is currently a member of the city’s cable television board.
It was in the Leadership Dallas program sponsored by the chamber that Vint really made her mark. Each year, the class brings together 50 of the city’s most promising future leaders to learn how the city runs and who runs it. When Vint participated, she was one of the few women in the class and one of the only community volunteers.
Working with people who are as community-oriented and motivated as she is, Vint turned volunteering into a paid career. She took over as director of Leadership Dallas in 1982, and during her two years in the post she learned and taught about power: how you get it, how you lose it and all the levels in between.
“I learned I’m not afraid of it, but you can lose it so quickly. Once you get to the point where you are using power indiscriminately, you’re going to lose it. In my opinion, it’s something to be nurtured. It’s not something to be taken lightly. And don’t cry wolf! So many times, people cry wolf and lose credibility. Credibility and power are very compatible.”
Probably the ultimate challenge to the ultimate volunteer is dealing with apathy in others. “It makes me livid,” Vint says. “I have a philosophy that if everybody would give a little bit, it would be so much better.” She pronounces her words slowly and distinctly. “And if a few of us will give a lot, it will really work well. I started giving a little and found out that I really enjoy it. I feel that people in my generation have got, to pull up their bootstraps and go for it, because it’s not going to be too long before we will be in the upper echelon of leadership roles. We need as much experience as we can get.”
Jorge Miguel is one of those rare men who is capable of making any woman feel beautiful, desirable and comfortable-all at the same time. The talent comes naturally to him, and it’s a prime reason for his success as one of Dallas-and the nation’s-most innovative and respected jewelers.
The women who wear his jewels (and many of the women he dates) are usually the same ones whose names are found in the society columns. Miguel, a native Brazilian, also lends his “zhools” to the actresses on the DallasTV series. He’s proud of that distinction, since it has taken him 15 years in the jewelry business (nine of those at Neiman-Marcus) to gain that kind of recognition. It also gained him a prized friendship with actress Linda Gray, which piqued the insatiable curiosity of the National Enquirer last August.
From his simple but elegant showroom in the Lou Latti-more boutique on Lovers Lane, Miguel discounts his reputation as an international playboy, despite his affinity for beautiful women and his Rolls-Royce. He says he’s looking for a serious relationship with a woman who is comfortable in all settings, including jewelry trips to Milan, charity balls in Dallas and soccer games anywhere. She’ll also have to understand that kissing the hands of other women is a habit he’s not likely to break.
But Miguel’s lifestyle isn’t all flash and glitter. Much of it involves hard-core salesmanship. Miguel says that the key to success is offering his discriminating customers-both men and women-jewels and services that no one else can match. Who could resist his large, colorful, bold designs? His black onyx creations are winners, and he expects that his unusual cuts of colored crystal will be, too.
Although he’s best known for his jewels, Miguel is also a partner in the Dallas-based ECA Granite and Marble Co. The company, which represents quarries in Brazil, Spain, Italy and Mexico, is doing much of the interior marble for the LTV Tower downtown.
Miguel says that the jewelers who want to stay in business in Dallas during the coming years will have to mimic his designs. “There’s going to be a lot more emphasis on using fewer diamonds. Jewelry is going to be a lot of gold, and it’s going to be very bulky. It’s going to happen because people want more for their money. And if you spend money, you want to show it.”