JUST IN: Award-Winning Paleobiologist Dr. Hope Jahren Announced As Keynoter For Dallas Women’s Foundation’s 32nd Annual Luncheon

Dallas Women’s Foundation President/CEO Ros Dawson Thompson has hardly had time to wave bye-bye to the hundreds attending last night’s Leadership Forum and Awards Dinner at the Omni, and she’s already busy announcing the speaker for the DWF’s 32nd Annual Luncheon.

Hope Jahren*

Can you say “paleobiologist”? Shoot! Spellcheck can’t even handle that one. But it’s a word that impresses those in the know. A paleobiologist is one who specializes in “a growing and comparatively new discipline which combines the methods and findings of the natural science biology with the methods and finding of the earth science paleontology.” And the leader of the pack is Dr. Hope Jahren, the “award-winning scientist, one of Time Magazine’s Top 100 Influential People, best-selling author and advocate for female equality in STEM.”

Time described Hope as

“a rare breed of scientist who is both a leader in her field and a great writer, but Hope Jahren is both. (She) has built a career and a reputation in science by unearthing secrets hidden in fossilized plant life. Her work has resulted in at least 70 studies in dozens of journals, but it’s also given her a platform—a megaphone, really—to talk about something else: widespread sexual harassment and discrimination in science. On her blog, in op-eds and in her new memoir, Lab Girl, which debuted on the New York Times best-seller list, Jahren wields her influence to call out a culture that has caused women to flee the field she so loves. That’s why she does it: she loves science. And whether she’s writing about lab funding, discrimination or deciduous trees, she has a way of making you love it too.”

Lisa Singleton and Shonn Brown (File photo)

Somehow Ros and Luncheon Co-Chairs Shonn Brown and Lisa Singleton have managed to get Hope to make time in her busy schedule to be the keynoter at the Foundation’s principal fundraiser on Friday, October 20, at the Hilton Anatole.

According to Ros, ““We have a proud history of presenting great thought leaders and doers of our time as the keynote speakers for our annual luncheon. Dr. Jahren is no exception. She is a brilliant scientist whose achievements as a paleobiologist are rivaled by her achievements as an author and advocate for gender equity in science. Having experienced firsthand the challenges of gender bias, she is dedicated to using her voice and her story to encourage more women to pursue and achieve success in the sciences.  Dr. Jahren is widely acknowledged as a strong woman using her exceptional talents to make a better world for all women and girls.”

Even before the news got out, the following sponsors were on board:

  • Platinum sponsor — U.S. Trust
  • Speaker sponsor — Nancy Ann and Ray Hunt
  • Emerald sponsors — AT&T, Ashlee and Chris Kleinert and Toyota
  • Gold sponsor — Phyllis Bernstein
  • Silver sponsors — Veree Brown, Melissa Fetter, Freeman, Cecilia and Tim Norwood and Julia Simon

Get your place reserved now, so you can impress your friends with the fact that you’re lunching with one of Time’s most influential people. Individual tickets and sponsorships are available here!

* Photo credit: Ressler Photography

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: Baylor Health Care System Foundation YPO Gold Supper

John Harkey, Peni Barfield and Camila Iribe Orive and Adolfo Orive

The Baylor Health Care System Foundation hosted a dinner for Dallas’ YPO Gold members and their spouses. But what was served up was more than just a tasty meal on Thursday, March 2, at the Charles Sammons Center. The genetic makeup of the guests was the main course provided by experts in the field of medicine and ethics.

Myrna Schlegel

Craig Hall

As the post is being prepared, get a look at some of the gold-standard types of YPO at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

New Baylor Scott And White Health President/CEO Jim Hinton Met Baylor Health Care System Foundation Board Members At St. V-Day Luncheon

Just outside the dining room at the Charles Sammons Cancer Center, there was a long line of people waiting to meet a Very Important Person when the Baylor Health Care System Foundation board met on Tuesday, February 14. And, why not? The quarterly meeting, after all, marked one of the first public appearances ever by James (“Jim”) Hinton, who’d been tapped to succeed Joel Allison as the president and CEO of Baylor Scott and White Health.

Jim Hinton, Lindalyn Adams and Margo Goodwin*

And, like savvy showmen saving the big act for last, the foundation scheduled Hinton as the final speaker on the 90-minute luncheon program, whose theme was, “Radiologists: Master Interpreters in Diagnosing and Monitoring Disease.” With board members including Barry Andrews, Lisa Troutt, Ray Washburne, Pryor Blackwell, Ron Steinhart, Jill Smith, Richard Holt, Aileen Pratt, Michal Powell and Steve Leiberman in attendance, Board Chair Margo Goodwin kicked off the meeting by urging the members to “up” their giving, in order to reach 100% by the next quarterly get-together.

Michal Powell, Robin Robinson and Aileen Pratt*

Pryor Blackwell*

Jill Smith*

“We’re at 67% participation now,” she said. “We’ve been at 100 percent for each of the last four years, and I hope we won’t break that spell.” Margo also encouraged gifts to the American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge, which selected Baylor University Medical Center as the site of its newest facility. Hope Lodge Dallas will offer free accommodations for cancer patients who have to travel long distances for their care.

Margo gave way at that point to Foundation President Rowland Robinson, who noted the recent deaths of three strong foundation supporters: former Zale Corp. Vice Chairman Leo Fields, former Baylor liver-transplant recipient Ginny Sellers, and Tommy Valenta, a former top executive with Chaparral Steel Co. and Texas Industries.

Greg dePrisco*

With that, Robin talked a little about the meeting’s focus on radiology—“the last link in the diagnostic chain,” he called it—before introducing featured speaker Gregory dePrisco, M.D., a diagnostic radiologist and director of the MRI Fellowship Program at Baylor University Medical Center. During his fascinating and sometimes-humorous presentation, Greg explained that a radiologist is a “doctor’s doctor,” and that 1.2% of all doctors are radiologists.

He recalled the specialty’s history, from the discovery of X-rays through the widespread use of CT scans and MRIs. He told about his membership on an “anal/rectal task force” and showed and explained a number of MRIs, including an MRI comparison between a 40-year-old woman who presented normally (the subject was actually his wife, Dr. Michelle Nichols, who was in the audience) and another woman with rectal pathology and a prolapsed uterus. 

Greg also recalled how he had personally suffered a stroke; was misdiagnosed at another local medical center, where the paramedics took him; and then recovered after receiving the correct diagnosis. (Greg had “something in my lung” that caused the stroke, he explained.) The radiologist ended his presentation by showing CT images of a colonoscopy, a mammogram, and a cancerous lung, before concluding with this observation: “Radiology is a strong link in the healthcare chain. I did go over my time a little bit, but the [story about my] stroke slowed me down!”

Jim Hinton*

Then it was time for Jim to end the program with some brief closing remarks. He took the reins at Baylor Scott And White Health in January, after serving for years as president and CEO of Presbyterian Healthcare Services in New Mexico, that state’s largest healthcare provider.

“It’s good to be in Texas,” Jim told the board members. “Typically in February I’m around a lot of Texans—but in the [ski] lift line at Taos. I wasn’t looking for a job when this one came around. But [Baylor’s] reputation and the opportunity to live in a community like Dallas were too much to pass up.”

The foundation’s fundraising efforts are crucial, Jim said finally, because “there’s not enough money in patient-care revenue” to support the Baylor healthcare system’s world-class work.

* Photo credit: Lara Bierner

JUST IN: Dr. Linda Abraham-Silver Named New Chief Executive Officer For Perot Museum

Perot dinosaurs (File photo)

Nearly a year after its previous permanent CEO resigned, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas has named a new chief executive officer. According to a letter sent to museum donors by Perot Board Chair Hernan J.F. Saenz III, “Dr. Linda Abraham-Silver will be joining the Perot Museum as our next Eugene McDermott Chief Executive Officer, effective July 1.”

According to the letter, Abraham-Silver will arrive at the museum this summer “from the Government of Abu Dhabi, where she has led science and technology promotion initiatives for the Technology Development Committee as associate director since 2011.” Earlier, Saenz went on, she spent eight years as president and CEO of the Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland, Ohio.

The board chair said the new CEO is “perfectly aligned” with the Perot’s strategic initiatives.

“Dr. Silver’s background is impressive in its own right, but it is particularly relevant at this stage in the Museum’s evolution,” Saenz told the donors. “We are all engaged in the challenging … effort to translate the Perot Museum’s initial momentum into an engine of sustainable innovation and community impact. This requires fresh, innovate programming and exhibits, renewed and deepened community engagement across North Texas, and enhancements to the overall guest experience.”

The Perot had been led by Interim CEO Dan Kohl, since the abrupt resignation last year of chief executive Colleen Walker after less than two years on the job. According to news accounts, Walker and the museum’s board had “differences.”

From An Olympian Gold Medalist To An Opera CEO, The Awards Of Excellence Celebrated A Wide Range Of Achievers

One of the favorite award luncheons of the fall season is the Dallas Historical Society‘s Awards for Excellence. Just the week before Thanksgiving on Thursday, November 17, the lovers of Dallas history and those who help make it all come true were at the Fairmont for the handing out of awards and the legendary A.C. Greene champagne toast. Here’s a report from the field:

The Board of Trustees of the Dallas Historical Society, with Honorary Co-Chairs Gail Thomas, PhD and Robert Hyer Thomas and co-chairs Veletta Forsythe Lill and Mary Suhm, welcomed over 650 attendees to the 35th Awards for Excellence (AFE) in Community Service luncheon on Thursday, November 17, at the Fairmont Dallas.

May Suhm, Amy Aldredge and Veletta Forsythe Lill*

As attendees arrived and took their seats, Master of Ceremonies Stewart Thomas welcomed everyone to the 35th annual celebration, which recognizes individuals who have demonstrated generosity of spirit, civic leadership, and ability to encourage community-wide participation in a particular phase of the growth of the city. He then welcomed Reverend Richie Butler, senior pastor of St Paul United Methodist Church, for the invocation. 

Following the invocation, guests enjoyed a first course of spring pea and ham soup en croute with mint cream, followed by roasted chicken breast with demi glace served with old school stacked potatoes, arugula and carrot cardamom puree. Thomas returned to introduce Co-Chairs Veletta and Mary.

Bob and Gail Thomas*

Ms. Lill and Ms. Suhm expressed their gratitude to attendees, event sponsors and the luncheon committee for their support of this year’s Awards for Excellence, particularly Honorary Co-Chairs Gail Thomas and Robert Hyer Thomas. Applauding the couple’s many contributions to Dallas, including their long-standing support of the Dallas Historical Society, the co-chairs announced that two special books would be donated in the Thomas’ honor to the G.B. Dealey Library and Reading Room at the Hall of State: for Bob, Darwin Payne‘s “One Hundred Years On The Hilltop: The Centennial History of Southern Methodist University” and for Gail:  the late historian A. C. Greene‘s “A Town Called Cedar Springs” for creating the sense of community from the many former historic villages that now comprise Greater Dallas.

Dallas Historical Society Board of Trustees Chair Bill Helmbrecht then took the podium recognizing event co-chairs and honorary chairs as well as Amy Aldredge, the Dallas Historical Society’s recently appointed executive director. Additionally, he thanked Arrangements Chair Shannon Callewart, Master of Ceremonies Stewart Thomas, AFE Coordinator Louise Caldwell, Caro Stalcup and Staff Liaison Nora Lenhart for all the dedicated hours they put in to making the event a success.

He also shared the impact the Dallas Historical Society makes with its holdings of over three million archives and artifacts related to Dallas and Texas history, its exhibits and events, including two upcoming exhibits, “Polly Smith: A Texas Journey” and “Drawing Power: The Editorial Art of John Knott” and its education and public programs which reach approximately 20,000 area school students annually.

As dessert of caramel pecan cheesecake with salted caramel and Texas pecans was served, Stewart returned to recognize the 2016 Awards for Excellence in Community Service recipients.  Each recipient was presented with their award by co-chairs Lill and Suhm.  

Keith Cerny, Holly Mayer and Emmanuel Villaume*

Anita Martinez, Eliseo Garcia and Patricia Meadows*

Richard Stanford and Pat Mattingly*

Hugh Aynesworth and Pierce Allman*

2016 Awards for Excellence recipients:

    • Arts Leadership – Keith Cerny, general director and CEO of the Dallas Opera
    • Business – Leonard M. Riggs Jr. M.D., noted Dallas civic leader who began his career as an emergency physician, became chief of emergency medicine at Baylor University Medical Center, and later founded the precursor of EmCare, Inc.
    • Creative Arts – Eliseo Garcia, international multi-media sculptor
    • Education – Pat Mattingly, long-time educator and former 26-year director of The Lamplighter School
    • History – Hugh Aynesworth, award-winning journalist and writer
    • Humanities – Molly Bogen, retired 40-year director of Senior Source
    • Medical Research – Eric Olson, renowned molecular biologist specializing at UT Southwestern Medical Center
    • Philanthropy – Linda Perryman Evans, president and CEO of the Meadows Foundation
    • Sports Leadership – Michael Johnson, four-time Olympic gold medalist and eight-time World Championship gold medalist
    • Volunteer Community Leadership – Philip C. Henderson, architect and urban visionary and first president of the Friends of the Katy Trail
    • Volunteer Community Leadership – Frederick “Shad” Rowe, co-founder of GIBI Investment Symposium and advocate and board member of the Michael J. Fox Foundation
    • Jubilee History Maker – Margot Perot, community volunteer and philanthropist

Nancy Shelton and Molly Bogen*

David Dunnagan and Linda Perryman Evans*

Glenn Solomon, Louise Caldwell and Michael Johnson*

Shad Rowe and Willing Ryan*

Carol Montgomery and Margot Perot*

After the awards presentation, champagne was served to all attendees as well as recipients on stage. Stewart returned to the podium, with glass in hand, to conclude with the event’s traditional A.C. Greene toast:  “Would everyone who was born in Dallas, please stand up.  Would everyone who was born in Texas, please stand up. We toast the rest of you – who were smart enough to move here as fast as you could! Here! Here!”

The A.C. Greene toast*

As the event concluded, the Judy Moore Duo played the event’s signature song, “Big D” from the musical, “Most Happy Fella.”

Proceeds from the annual fundraiser support the Dallas Historical Society and its dedication to the preservation of Dallas and Texas history through its many programs, including educational outreach and public programs.

* Photo credit: Steve Foxall

Night At The Museum Gala Guests Had A Night To “Elevate” At The Perot Museum

Despite a tad bit of anxiety by some about the possibility of another election protest in downtown Dallas on Saturday, November 12, the Night at the Museum fundraiser for the Perot Museum didn’t dissuade guests from attending the “Elevate”-theme soiree. Here’s a report from the field:

Mariah Wilcox and Hunter and Wendy Covitz*

Glitzily dressed guests descended on the Perot Museum of Nature and Science for its annual Night at the Museum gala on Saturday, November 12. This year’s soiree, themed “Elevate,” took party-goers on an all-night flight through the world of aerospace to discover how nature has influenced modern-day aviation, the future of flight, artistic interpretations of elevation and more. From live bird shows, aerialists, virtual reality and drones to fancy floating foods, feather tattoos and hair extensions, Night at the Museum had guests playing and partying the night away.

Francie Moody-Dahlberg and Kevin Dahlberg*

Carolyn Rathjen, Ross Perot and Nancy Perot*

Prior to the main party, top supporters began trickling in and were welcomed by “old-school stewardesses” to the VIP reception, presented by Highland Capital Management. Before long, the retro-style airport lounge, which was sponsored by American Airlines, was bustling with special guests including Margot and Ross Perot, Honorary Co-Chairs Carolyn Perot Rathjen and Karl Rathjen, Nancy Perot and Rod Jones, Suzanne and Patrick McGee, Katherine and Eric Reeves, Tori and Russ Mulford, Co-Chairs Francie Moody-Dahlberg and Kevin Dahlberg and Co-Chair Thomas Surgent. (Co-Chair Carmen Surgent was ill and missed out on the fun!)

Adam Nelson, Emily Sharp, Thomas Surgent and Katie and Grant Irving*

Other dignitaries included Interim Perot Museum CEO Dan Kohl and Maria Garcia, Lyda Hill, Katherine and Michael Phillips, Rusty and John Jaggers, Perot Museum Board Chair Hernan Saenz and Sylvia Cespedes, Jody and Sheila Grant, Jim and Gail Spann, Forrest and Sally Hoglund, Kelly Compton, Nicole and Justin Small and others. With a backdrop of black-and-white vintage moments in aviation history and the crooning of Frank Sinatra’s “Come Fly With Me,” highlights included a Wolfgang Puck chocolate bar, a green-screen photo booth, and a “pearls and bubbles” caviar and champagne station.

Dan Kohl and Hernan Saenz*

Justin and Nicole Small*

As the evening got underway, guests enjoyed live bird shows with Window to the Wild, flight simulators, drone races, trebuchet demos, an oxygen blast bar, the Birds of Paradise exhibition, and interacting with the Museum’s virtual Beam robot, to name a few. Lots of smiles were made at the popular hot air balloon green screen, the hair-raising Van de Graff generator and the amethyst heart geode, which made its sparkly debut in the Lyda Hill Gems and Minerals Hall. 

Guests flocked to the dragon’s breath liquid nitrogen station, featuring dream-sicle meringue, lemon meringue and Cracker Jack pops on sticks, which were dipped in liquid nitrogen. Lots of cell phone videos were recording as guests tasted the instantly frozen treats and then blew out a liquid nitrogen puff.  Other food and drink favorites included levitating macaroons, a donut wall and the Fancy Francie cocktail.

The after-party, sponsored by Central Market, got underway as Manhattan rocked the house. Ladies traded in their heels for ballet flats, as pilot hats and aviator sunglasses were passed out. Late-night snacks included “walking tacos,” pimiento mac n’ cheese, Cuban sandwiches, churros, pizza and “spiked” grasshopper milk shakes.

Jerry and Emy Lou Baldridge and Sally and Forrest Hoglund*

A few of Dallas’ local luminaries were spotted including D’Andra Simmons, Jane McGarry, A.C. Gonzales, Emy Lou and Jerry Baldridge, Peggy and Richard Allison, Betsy and Richard Eiseman, Eugenia and Frank-Paul King, Mary Suhm, Mary Jalonick, Monica Egert-Smith, Barbara and Don Daseke, Betsey Urschel, Mollie Crow, Anne Davidson, Suzanne and Walt Humann and Brent Christopher.

* Photo credit: Jason Janik

MySweetWishList: Boys And Girls Clubs Of Greater Dallas

According to Boys And Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas Chair Gerald Louviere,

Barb and Gerald Louviere*

At Boys And Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas, we have many wishes. All of which are centered on the thousands of 6-18-year-old youth served by the organization. Every day our 17 Club locations open their doors to over 1,800 youth after school, providing them with a hot meal, help with homework and quality programming. Our wish is to see more students in impoverished communities move their tassels from the right to the left in May of 2017. We wish to send more first-generation college students off with scholarships and care packages. We wish to provide high school seniors, who have no desire to go to college, with a plan and skills to prepare them for the workforce. However, our greatest wish, is that you will continue to support our efforts to ensure every child has a safe place to go after school.

Boys And Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas*

Valencia Campbell*

“’It gave me a place to go. My mom was a single mother after my dad passed when I was 12 and I never wanted to be a burden on her. Every week when I was able to go to the Club, I was able to just be a kid. I didn’t have to worry about making sure my mom was okay. I was just able to be Valencia and be a kid,’ said Boys And Girls Club Alumna, Valencia Campbell. Valencia graduated from University of Texas at Austin in May 2015 and is currently attending Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law. She credits the Club for surrounding her with peers who were going to college and mentors who could tell her about the college experience. ‘It gave me a vision of myself that I was able to walk into.’

“Boys And Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas has a holistic approach to youth development, providing programming focused on the mind, body and soul of a child. Our three core areas include: Academic Success, Healthy Lifestyles and Good Character And Citizenship.

Boys And Girls Club of Greater Dallas*

“Our final wish is that you will support us in our mission to empower dreams, awaken passion, and inspire hope within Dallas youth. Invest in great futures today by donating online at www.bgcdallas.org/donate or contacting our VP of Advancement, Laura Brown, at 214.821.2950, ext. 732.

-By Gerald Louviere, Chairman of the Board of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas

* Photos provided by Boys And Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas

MySweetWishList: Girl Scouts Of Northeast Texas

Jennifer Bartkowski*

According to Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas CEO Jennifer Bartkowski,

“The holidays always evoke a spirit of gratitude for the simple things in life with which we’ve been blessed. I am fortunate to have been given the opportunity to join extra-curricular activities that helped me explore the world around me at a young age. I was able to go to college and pursue a career. Many girls in our community, however, are not. Their dreams often fall short not because of the lack of desire, or lack of financial aid, but because they simply haven’t been given the opportunity to even see the possibilities available to them.

“Girls need to hear at a young age that they are smart, their ideas are valid and they can accomplish big things in life. They need opportunities to see who they can become by connecting with women who are industry leaders and by giving them the chance to experience career possibilities outside of their neighborhood footprint.   

“Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas serves more than 26,000 girls in our community. Our mission is to build girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place. We’re building girls into leaders in their schools, communities and future careers.

Young creative Girl Scouts*

“But did you know that 86% of the girls we serve are from low to moderate income families? Accessibility to opportunities that can have a profound impact on a child’s future are limited. That’s why we’re committed to providing girls relevant 21st century experiences that are free or low-cost. 

“Girls in Girl Scouts today are learning computer coding, getting hands-on experiences in the STEM industry, connecting with female career mentors, exploring nature at our STEM Center of Excellence, building their confidence through our leadership programs, challenging their fears through outdoor adventures and more.

Girl Scouts at STEM Center of Excellence*

“We need public support to help make these opportunities possible to even more girls. We know that girls who participate in Girl Scouts are more likely to advocate for themselves and others, are less likely to bystanders, are more likely to stand up for their ideas, self-identify as leaders and take on leadership roles, are more financially literate, negotiate for themselves, and set ambitious goals for their future.

“These are attributes parents want to instill in their girls and that employers aspire to attain in their workforce. They’re also critical to positively impacting the culture of our society.

“My holiday wish is that girls throughout our community would be given opportunities to try. Girls need access to opportunities that allow them to take smart risks in safe spaces. They need a chance to build their courage, find their confidence and grow into leaders who think critically and can step up to make a difference. Learn more and connect with us as a volunteer or donor at gsnetx.org.”

-By Jennifer Bartkowski, Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas CEO

* Photos provided by Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas

Women Of Distinction Speaker Lauren Bush Lauren Provided “Food” For Thought In The Spirit Of The Girl Scouts Of Northeast Texas

While the East Coast was crammed thanks to Hurricane Matthew on Friday, October 7, the Omni Dallas Hotel’s parking garage created a merry-go-round for Girls Scouts of Northeast Texas’ Women of Distinction Luncheon guests. Despite the parked-to-the-max situation thanks to the Momentous Institute’s Change For Good, arriving Texas-OU fans and Girl Scout supporters, Texas-sized SUVs suddenly fit into “Compact Only” parking spaces.

And leave it to the Event Co-Chairs Maggie Cooke Kipp and Heather Perttula Randall to run a tight ship. Promptly starting at 11:20, some of the luncheon crowd had to compare notes on whether to start with the Farmer’s Salad at their places before reaching arms-length to the tomato basil soup in the center of the table. Didn’t matter. Girl Scouts and their supporters adapt to their situations.

No sooner had the lights dimmed and the guests started their meals, than KDFW’s Clarice Tinsley announced the year’s recipients:

  • Young Women of Distinction Award — Hailey Falies and Anisha Wadawadigi
  • Women of Distinction Award — Sarah Losinger and Trea Yip
  • Lifetime Achievement Award — Marianne Staubach

In accepting her award, Marianne recited the Girl Scout Law:

Kit Addleman, Marianne Staubach and Jennifer Bartkowski

Kit Addleman, Marianne Staubach and Jennifer Bartkowski

“I will do my best to be fair and honest, friendly and helpful, considerate and caring, courageous and strong and responsible for what I say and do, and to respect myself and others, respect authority, use resources wisely, make the world a better place and be a sister to every Girl Scout.”

She then challenged those in the room to embrace each of the elements in the law.

Staying on schedule, Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas CEO Jennifer Bartkowsi told about the need for leadership in the world and how the Girl Scouts is the largest girls’ organization in the world. She then told how today’s Girl Scouts program is instilling innovation, risk taking and leadership in young women.

She went on to say that instead of asking, “Why me?”, Scouts are saying, “Watch me!”

Yvette Ostolaza and Heather Perttula Randall

Yvette Ostolaza and Heather Perttula Randall

A break in the program provided an opportunity to catch up, Yvette Ostolaza had just returned from the French Fashion Week. On the other hand, Caren Kline reported that she and husband Pete Kline had just gotten back from an 11-day junket to Scotland… With daughter-in-law Jenny Rees-Jones in tow, Jan Rees-Jones reported that she and husband Trevor Rees-Jones had moved into the new family homestead in July with the outdoor grounds still a work in progress. As for their former digs at the Ritz-Carlton, it was sold just recently… Speaking of moms-in-law, Lisa Cooley brought her future d-i-l Bela Pjetrovic, who reported that she’s decided on her gown for her upcoming wedding to Chase Cooley.

From the left: (standing) Jenny Rees-Jones, Jan Rees-Jones and Lisa Cooley; (seated) Bela Pjetrovic, Becky Bowen and Ciara Cooley

From the left: (standing) Jenny Rees-Jones, Jan Rees-Jones and Lisa Cooley; (seated) Bela Pjetrovic, Becky Bowen and Ciara Cooley

At 12:18 Kathryn Collins introduced keynote speaker/granddaughter of former President George H.W. Bush/Ralph Lauren daughter-in-law/former Brownie/Feed Projects CEO and Founder Lauren Bush Lauren. Applying lessons from the Girl Scouts, Lauren told how her “journey” had started in developing a worldwide effort to fight hunger.

Kathryn Collins

Kathryn Collins

For example, Lauren’s Feedbag program followed her steps:

  • Identify the problem — She learned that hunger killed more people than malaria, AIDs and tuberculosis combined. As further proof of the damage done to starving children, she showed brain scans of children suffering from hunger.
  • Come up with a creative solution — When in Guatemala Lauren learned that children went to school because it guaranteed a lunch. She also found out that in some countries, the education of the daughters was not a priority. To overcome that situation, programs provided for girls who attended school and were able to take home food for their families.
  • Create a plan to make the solution a reality — Combining her design talents and humanitarian efforts, she came up with the “Feedbag.” From the initial one, a simple burlap bag, has sprung an entire lineup of bags, pouches, go-to bags, diaper bags, backpacks, etc. Each is stamped with a number representing the number of meals provided for children.
  • Put the plan into action — In addition to the sale of the bags, three years ago she launched Feed Supper, a 30-day fundraising activation, in which people host dinner parties designed to get people to donate funds to fight hunger.
Lauren Bush Lauren

Lauren Bush Lauren

Thanks to Lauren’s efforts, more than 95M meals have been provided throughout the world.

Concluding her 15-minute talk, Lauren revealed the mantra for her program was “Courage, confidence and character.” But she then said, “I would add comradery to this.”

Finishing up the day’s program, Clarice surprised the crowd with the announcement of a “unique award.” For the first time ever, the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas presented “A Man Enough To Be A Girl Scout Award” for “a man in our community who has made an extraordinary effort in mentoring and empowering women.” The recipient was State President of Capital One in Texas Kent Eastman, who was busting with pride over his honor. He challenged the other men in the audience, “Who else is man enough to be a Girl Scout?” He was rewarded with shouts of appreciation and applause.

Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School’s New Computer Lab Opens With Michael Hinojosa Snipping The Ribbon

What a great way to start the new school year off — a state-of-the-art computer lab ribbon cutting. And that’s exactly what happened on Tuesday, August 30, at Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School complete with Dallas Independent School District head honcho Dr. Michael Hinojosa holding the big old scissors. Here’s a report from the field:

On Tuesday, August 30, students at Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School, a member of Young Women’s Preparatory Network (YWPN), received a back-to-school gift just in time to learn. NEC Foundation of America donated a state-of-the-art computer lab to help increase STEM learning.

Always ready to celebrate big donations, YWPN orchestrated a ribbon cutting with giant scissors and special people ready to cut them including Dallas ISD Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa, Dallas ISD Board Trustee Bernadette Nutall, NEC CIO Juan Fontanes, Irma Rangel Principal Lisa Curry, YWPN CEO Lynn McBee and Irma Rangel students who interned at NEC and YWPN.

Lesly Zamora, Juan Fontanes, Michael Hinojosa and Lynn McBee*

Lesly Zamora, Juan Fontanes, Michael Hinojosa and Lynn McBee*

Earlier this spring, NEC Corporation of America CEO Shinsuke Takahashi toured Irma Rangel with Dallas ISD Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa and Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins. Takahashi noticed the outdated computer lab, and recognized the need for an extreme technology makeover that his company could do.

Lynn McBee said, “I want to thank NEC Foundation of America for its partnership with us. Companies like yours are helping invest in students’ education, particularly STEM—Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.”

Lisa Curry*

Lisa Curry*

Lisa Curry added, “We now have a space that’s conducive to our students’ learning. This new computer lab will help them be on the cutting edge of 21st century technology. Now with the redesign, not only is there state of the art equipment, but there is:

  • community space to work on projects
  • an interactive white board that can project any one of the computers in the room for the whole class to see
  • headsets for communication, and
  • a clean space conducive to learning!”

Juan Fontanes said, “We are so happy to see how well this new state-of-the-art learning environment turned out and how it is being used today.”

Dr. Hinojosa added, “Only 23 percent of STEM workers are female, so this investment at the first all-girls, college-preparatory public school in Dallas will help increase that number.”

Irma Rangel senior Lesly Zamora, who also worked as an NEC IT intern this summer, admitted, “I’m also known as the Tech Geek in my school known for helping so many people at my school fix their computers. I learned how to be a Tech Girl in this computer lab, but I learned how to be a part of the community from my family. I am truly grateful because they gave up their education, so that my sister and I could have a much better one as first generation college students. That is why I come to school every day not to be taught, but to learn, and I know this new computer lab will be instrumental in our technological future.”

Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women's Leadership School students in computer lab*

Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School students in computer lab*

After the ribbon was cut, people toured the computer lab and watched as the students worked on their brand new computers. Then, Lesly demonstrated how to take apart and reassemble a computer in six minutes, beating her previous record of 12 minutes. As soon as she finished, everyone clapped. What a great way to start school for Lesly and her classmates with this new technology!

* Photo credit: Kristina Bowman

JUST IN: Issue Of ‘Different Views’ Leads To CEO Colleen Walker’s Resignation At Perot Museum Of Nature And Science

Less than two years after being appointed CEO, Colleen Walker is stepping down as the Eugene McDermott Chief Executive Officer at Dallas’ Perot Museum of Nature and Science. The surprising development was disclosed in a March 30 letter to museum “friends and supporters” from John Jaggers, chairman of the Perot’s board of directors.

Colleen Walker (FIle photo)

Colleen Walker (FIle photo)

“I am writing to inform you that Colleen Walker—in consultation with the Executive Committee—has decided to step down from her position …” Jaggers wrote. “She has agreed to remain in her current role, however, until June 30th to help ensure a smooth and seamless transition.

“It is important to emphasize that this is not an outcome either Colleen or the Board had anticipated, but over time it has become increasingly evident Colleen and the Executive Committee held different views concerning the Museum’s strategic direction and focus,” Jaggers went on. “We agreed, accordingly, that a measured transition to new leadership is warranted.”

A former Miss Colorado who holds an MBA from Harvard University, Walker in June of 2014 succeeded Nicole Small, the Perot’s founding CEO, who retired in late 2013 after 13 years. Walker came to the nonprofit museum after serving for seven years as CEO of the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas.

In his letter, Jaggers said the museum’s board is appointing a search committee to help select Walker’s successor.  The committee will be led by Herman Saenz, the board’s incoming chair.

March 14 Translates Into Home Delivery Benefiting Dallas-Based National Math And Science Initiative

There’s been a heck of a lot of talk lately about STEM. For newcomers, STEM is not a new petunia at the Dallas Arboretum. It stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

But before you tune out because those four words remind you of that trig class or biology project that involved cutting open a deceased frog, stick with this post.

Today is March 14. Hello? Where did this topic take a right turn? Well, to the average Joe/Josephine, March 14’s abbreviation is 3.14. But show those numbers to a brainiac and they immediately think of “π (aka Pi).” So, for those STEM-istas today is π Day.

For this reason Grubhub is donating 3.14% of all sales to Dallas-based National Math and Science Initiative “to fuel the next generation of STEM students” up to $40,000.

Launched in 1990 in North Dallas, NMSI provides programs for area schools to “transform math and science education in today’s classrooms.”

And what’s Grubhub? No, it’s not a place to get grubby hubcaps. It just happens to “the nation’s leading online and mobile food-ordering company.” How does it work? You order your meal from your fav restaurant like Mi Cocina, Lucky’s Café or East Hampton Sandwich Company or Ruggeri’s, and GrubHub delivers it to you. And if this is your first rodeo with GrubHub, you can even get $7 off your first order!

MySweetWishList: Girl Scouts Of Northeast Texas

According to Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas CEO Jennifer Bartkowski,

Jennifer Bartkowski*

Jennifer Bartkowski*

“With more than 103 years as the premier leadership development organization for girls, Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas today serves nearly 27,000 girls and is the largest pipeline for female leaders in our area. The Girl Scout Leadership Experience has four key program pillars – STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), financial literacy, healthy living and outdoor leadership. With the challenges facing girls today, they need Girl Scouts now more than ever before. To address those needs, Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas has been leading a national transformation in the way we serve volunteers and girls in the 21st century.

“The most significant sign of this transformative programming is at the STEM Center of Excellence at Camp Whispering Cedars in southern Dallas. Today, we are in the midst of investing $13M into the property to transform it into a 90+ acre living laboratory where girls can explore Science, Technology, Engineering and Math programs, activities and careers. It is a one-of-a-kind facility that is just 20 minutes south of downtown Dallas. Northeast Texas will see the greatest benefit as we excite and encourage more girls to pursue STEM education and careers so that our community has access to a stronger and more diverse workforce.

Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas*

Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas*

“My wish this holiday season is that our community invests in Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas so that all of our girls will have the opportunity to flourish in a 21st Century living laboratory that will open their minds to be where their hearts lead them – to be girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place. Come see the future in the eyes of a Girl Scout because when girls succeed, so does society.

-By Jennifer Bartkowski, Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas CEO

* Graphic and photo provided by Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas