SOLD OUT ALERT: Callier Cares Luncheon

Emilynn Wilson (File photo)

Lisa Troutt (File photo)

Kern Wildenthal (File photo)

Well, Emilynn Wilson has gone and done it. She said she would hit the “Sold Out” mark for Thursday’s Callier Cares Luncheon at the Dallas Country Club, and word just arrived that the ballroom is filled.

But then how could she lose with Lisa Troutt as her honorary chair, Dr. Kern Wildenthal receiving the Ruth and Ken Altshuler Callier Care Award, and noted audiology researcher Dr. Sharon Kujawa being presented with the 2017 Callier Prize?

Proceeds from the luncheon will benefit the patients in need through the Callier Care Fund at the University of Texas at Dallas’ Callier Center for Communication Disorders.

Grovel Alert: Callier Cares Luncheon

With the Callier Cares Luncheon still 10 days away, Event Chair Emilynn Wilson and Honorary Chair Lisa Troutt report that the tickets are nearly gone with the wind. They’ve nearly filled the entire Dallas Country Club’s ballroom thanks to having the Ruth and Ken Altshuler Callier Care Award being presented to Dr. Kern Wildenthal and the Callier Prize in Communication Disorders awarded to Dr. Sharon Kujawa.

Emilynn Wilson (File photo)

Lisa Troutt (File photo)

While Kern is well known for his leadership in healthcare administration, clinical medicine, education, biomedical research and philanthropy, Sharon may not be a familiar name. That’s because she’s not a local. She’s the director of audiology research and a senior scientist at the Eaton-Peabody Laboratories at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston. Her focus is “to clarify mechanisms and manifestations of common forms of acquired sensorineural hearing loss in humans; particularly, those due to aging and exposure to noise and ototoxic drugs.”

In addition to receiving the Prize at the Thursday, April 20th luncheon, she’ll be the keynote speaker at the Callier Prize Conference at Callier Dallas the following day.

Proceeds from the luncheon will benefit the Callier Care Fund that was created by Ruth and Ken Altshuler to “help children and adults who would otherwise be unable to afford treatment to overcome speech, language and hearing disorders.”

Suggestion: Don’t put off buying that ticket much longer, because it just not be there.

Three Days Of Letter Signing Got Underway For Callier Cares Luncheon At Beth Layton’s Dining Room Table

Beth Layton

All was not clear Tuesday, January 10, at Beth Layton’s home. While  Callier Care Luncheon Chair Emilynn Wilson arrived early to arrange stacks of letterhead and envelopes on the dining room table for a three-day-athon of letter signing, hostess Beth was already head down, hand-signing the letters.

Looking up briefly, Beth complained the windows looking out on the street weren’t pristine. Instead of grabbing a bottle of Windex, Beth just got back to signing.

Missing in action was Callier Center for Communication Disorders’ Dr. Tom Campbell, who is usually one of the first ones at the signing. Instead he was under the weather and not in the sharing mood.

Jill Edgington and Emilynn Wilson

For the next three days, peeps like Marybeth Conlon, Stacy Crouch, Marie DeCamp Dean, Jill Edgington, Louise Griffeth, Stephanie Haley, Angie Kadesky, Jean Lattimore, Vicky Lattner, Pat McEvoy, Richard Neely, Barbara Stuart, Betty Suellentrop, Beth Thoele and Kristina Whitcomb would converge on Beth’s home to personally address letters to friends and supporters about the Callier Cares luncheon honoring Dr. Kern Wildenthal with the Ruth and Ken Altshuler Callier Care Award.

The event will take place at the Dallas Country Club on Thursday, April 20, and the luncheon speaker will be announced in the days ahead. If you haven’t received your letter, go ahead and get your seat reserved.

Callier Cares Luncheon Chair Emilynn Wilson Announces Dr. Kern Wildenthal To Receive Ruth And Ken Altshuler Callier Care Award

Before the flurry of snow Friday became a convention of snowflakes stymieing afternoon traffic in North Texas, 2017 Callier Cares Luncheon Chair Emilynn Wilson held an intimate luncheon at the Warwick Melrose’s The Landmark Room’s private dining room. The purpose was the formal announcement of plans for the Thursday, April 20, luncheon benefiting patients in need through the Callier Care Fund.

Tom Campbell, John Stuart, Emilynn Wilson and Kern Wildenthal

With Callier Center Foundation President John Stuart and Callier Center for Communications Disorder Executive Director Tom Campbell in attendance, she revealed that former president of UT Southwestern/former president of Children’s Medical Center Foundation/community leader Dr. Kern Wildenthal would be the recipient of the Ruth and Ken Altshuler Callier Care Award and that Dr. Sharon Kujawa would receive the Callier Prize in Communication Disorder.

Kern, who just recently retired from Children’s Medical Center Foundation as president, reported that the day after his retirement he was called back to duty as a consultant for the foundation.

Lisa Troutt (File photo)

Cyndi Bassel (File photo)

Joining Emilynn in orchestrating the luncheon at the Dallas Country Club will be Honorary Chair Lisa Troutt and a host committee of hundreds including Kern’s former associate/Children’s Medical Center Foundation Senior Vice President Cyndi Bassel, who retired from the foundation Thursday. When asked what her future plans were, Cyndi responded, “I plan to light my fireplace and stay near it with a good book. A wonderful way to begin my new chapter.”

While tickets aren’t available, sponsorships are.

The Two-Day “Christmas Is For Children Radiothon” Resulted In A Record-Breaking $1,262,704 For Children’s Health

KLUV’s Jody Dean seemed to put an extra “oomph” in this year’s two-day “Christmas is for Children Radiothon.” Perhaps it was because he will have his first granddaughter born this April.

And that “oomph” on Thursday, December 8, and Friday, December 9, at Children’s Medical Center resulted in a record-breaking sweet deal — a check for $1,262,704 for Children’s Health.

Jody Dean (File photo)

Jenny Q (File photo)

El Chiquilin (File photo)

Chris Sommer (File photo)

As part of the partnership with Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) Hospitals, Jody was joined by other CBS Radio DFW folks like KLUV’s Jenny Q, La Grande’s El Chiquilin, KRLD’s Chris Sommer and 26 patients and families like Lacey Parker and her mom Renee Parker for the 26-hour fundraiser.

Why La Grande alone broke another record by bringing in a record-breaking “$558,199, making it the No. 1 CMN Hispanic Radiothon in the country.”

Lacey Parker and Renee Parker

According to CBS Radio DFW Senior Vice President/Market Manager Brian Purdy, “CBS Radio DFW began the Radiothon partnership 11 years ago to support the incredibly amazing work of Children’s Health. Year after year, the generosity of our listeners continues to humble us as we are reminded of how truly blessed we are here in North Texas.”

In addition to the VIP guests like Children’s Medical Center Foundation President Brent Christopher and former Foundation President Dr. Kern Wildenthal dropping by to visit with the radio personalities, teams from area companies manned the phone accepting contributions.

Local sponsors of the event included presenting sponsor FairLease, phone line sponsor Credit Union of Texas, child champion sponsor Neighborhood Credit Union and others (Albertsons-Tom Thumb, The Children’s Courtyard, Granite Properties, Padrino Foods, Skanska, ReTrak, Dallas Fort Worth Acura Dealers, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, ADT Security, Cisco, Marquis Group, UBC and El Rio Supermercados).

If you missed the opportunity to support the Radiothon, you can still support Children’s Health via the Children’s Medical Center Foundation by donating here!

Children Medical Center Foundation’s Kern Wildenthal Farewell Tribute Dinner Was Filled With Friends, Fans And Family

It was billed as a farewell tribute dinner to Children’s Medical Center Foundation President Kern Wildenthal hosted by Children’s Health System of Texas CEO Chris Durovich and his wife Christina Durovich. But the dinner in the Pecan Room at Harlan Crow‘s Old Parkland on Tuesday, June 7, was more of a love fest for more than 80 members of the Kern fan club. They ranged from philanthropists (Mary McDermott Cook, Margot and Ross Perot and Gay and Bill Solomon), brainiacs (Sean Morrison  and wife Theo Ross), business types (Mark Zacheis and Anne Motsenbocker), fundraising champs (Randi Halsell, Barbara Stuart, Connie O’Neill and Ann Corrigan), community leaders (Dan Branch and Joel Williams) to friends (Shirley and Bob Miller and Cyndi and Mark Bassel) and family, like big brother Hobson Wildenthal.

Christina Durovich and Dan and Stacey Branch

Christina Durovich and Dan and Stacey Branch

Mark and Cyndi Bassel

Mark and Cyndi Bassel

Ed and Randi Halsell

Ed and Randi Halsell

Mark Zacheis

Mark Zacheis

Mary McDermott Cook

Mary McDermott Cook

Sean Morrison

Sean Morrison

The waves of guests kept coming, and Christina and Chris greeted each like an old friend. Upon arriving, Brent Christopher, who will be following Kern as head of the Foundation, immediately sought out the man of the hour.

Kern Wildenthal and Hobson Wildenthal

Kern Wildenthal and Hobson Wildenthal

Marnie Wildenthal and Shirley Miller

Marnie Wildenthal and Shirley Miller

But it was the beginning of summer, so talk during the pre-dinner reception was travel-oriented. Kern and wife Marnie Wildenthal were leaving the next day for a 16-day trip to London, Tuscany and New York. Brent was taking his brood of kids to Japan. He admitted that his son envisions Japan as an entire world of Nintendo. Little did father or son know about the upcoming Pokémon Go craze.

Others like Stacey Branch and Susan Williams were chatting up the marital status of the kids.

But Chris eventually called the guests to their tables for an excellent dinner that was followed by brief but poignant remarks about Kern’s accomplishments by Chris and Children’s Medical Center Foundation Chairman of the Board John Eagle.

John Eagle and Marnie Wildenthal

John Eagle and Marnie Wildenthal

Chris Durovich and Kern Wildenthal

Chris Durovich and Kern Wildenthal

John told how, under Kern’s tutelage, the Foundation had enjoyed a record number of new gifts in 2015, including 15 donations of $1 million or more. Kern also slashed Foundation fundraising costs by 25 percent, John pointed out. Then he added: “Kern raises as much money in his sleep as most fundraisers do in a lifetime.”

In his remarks, meantime, Chris recalled how Kern had raised $160 million over three years, boosting the Foundation’s annual fundraising average to $50 million to $70 million from $15 million to $20 million previously. “Kern, you have been such a huge friend to the kids and families in this community,” Chris said. “And Marnie, thank you for the example that you’ve been.”

Kern Wildenthal and his gift

Kern Wildenthal and his gift

Following the bestowing of gifts upon the Wildenthals—he got a black leather briefcase, she got a black leather valise—Kern and Marnie graciously thanked all for the support, and told how Children’s had been an important part of their lives. Admiring his new briefcase, Kern said, “This is a very good sign. I thought [the gift] was going to be a wheelchair!” With that he turned serious and, as usual, self-effacing: The money raised for the Children’s Foundation “was not the result of me. It was the result of years of service and excellence. No one person could do anything like that.” Then he concluded the evening, perhaps with a tip for his successor: “You don’t persuade people to be generous. People are generous, and you match them up with their passions.”

For more photos of the evening’s festivities, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: Kern Wildenthal Farewell Tribute Dinner

John Eagle and Kern Wildenthal

John Eagle and Kern Wildenthal

Marnie Wildenthal and Shirley Miller

Marnie Wildenthal and Shirley Miller

Just weeks before turning over the leadership of Children’s Medical Center Foundation to Brent Christopher, Dr. Kern Wildenthal was feted by Christina and Chris Durovich on Tuesday, June 7. The gathering of stellar types took place in the Pecan Room with laughter and good wishes.

Christina Durovich and Dan and Stacey Branch

Christina Durovich and Dan and Stacey Branch

While the post is being prepared, check out the folks who were in attendance at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Inaugural Kidstruction Had Architectural, Construction And Engineerin Firms Providing $57,000 For Children’s

Architectural, construction and engineering types have made North Texas amazing. Need proof? Look around. Their talents and materials have had the brainiacs like Mark Lamster impressed and brain scratching.

But these folks have also put their dough where the future lies. And that future is the well-being of North Texas children. Of course, you need proof. So, Children’s Medical Center Foundation‘s Kidstruction is the perfect example.

It seems that architectural, engineering and construction industry leaders challenged their peers to “donate a portion of their paychecks to Children’s during the month of March, depending on their companies’ pay schedules.”

Thanks to more than a dozen companies, 129 staffers participated to the tune of $57,000 that “will support essential Family Support services such as social work, pastoral care and Child Life, which includes clown, art, art, music and pet therapies.”

Donor(D160621R): KIDstruction event with check presentations from participating architecture firms that raised funds for CHST.*

Kidstruction event with check presentations*

Why, some of these companies like McCarthy Building Co. and Schwob Building Co. even rose to the occasion by matching “their employees’ gifts, while others contributed direct donations and sponsorships.”

According to Children’s Medical Center Foundation President Kern Wildenthal, “Our inaugural Kidstruction Week campaign’s success was fueled by the support of a highly engaged steering committee representing some of the most respected construction, design and architectural firms in North Texas. The active participation and support of the companies’ executives and employees – in Kidstruction Week and through many other events – continues to help us expand our philanthropic footprint in the region.”

Originally, the effort was just a few key folks like Texo CEO Meloni McDaniel, who took the lead and got others on board like committee members Adam Panter, Mark Stewart, Whitney Bietendorf, Jason Hale, Wendy Hatchell, Joe Jouvenal, Shelby Adams, Kimberly Burke, Brent Archer, Nick Hasty, Whitney Teague, Hattie Peterson and Michael Beal.

They in turn got the following companies to participate: Skanska USA, McCarthy Building Co., Schwob Building Co., HDR, WHR Architects, Spring Valley Construction Co., TDIndustries, Datum Engineers, Walter P Moore, Chamberlin Roofing and Waterproofing, Alpha-Barnes Real Estate Services, PRDG and HKS.

For some who participated, the effort was more than a corporate project, it was a personal involvement like Spring Valley Construction Co. Marketing Manager Whitney Teague, whose daughter was treated for leukemia at Children’s and released in January.

According to Whitney, “I never thought my own daughter would be a patient at Children’s, but after what we have been through, I understand, like I never could have before, the value of this hospital and its place in the community.”

Plans call for meetings to begin in August to organize Kidstruction 2017 with a goal to double the number of participating companies and individuals. Interested? Children’s Medical Center Foundation’s Audra Cozart can help you get involved.

* Photo provided by Children's Medical Center Foundation

Wildenthal Gift, Cheryl Pollman’s Award And Sons Of Serendip Highlighted VMLC’s “Wings Of Spring” At The Perot

A lot of fellas probably would have made plans for Monday, April 4, to head home, get in some comfy clothes, and settle down in their fav chair with a brewski in one hand and a snack a reach away to watch the NBA finals.

But then they realized they had been scheduled to head to the Perot Museum for VMLC fundraiser Wings of Spring, A Celebration of Literacy. So, the coat and tie stayed put. The brewski and snack were replaced by white and red wines with a buffet supper among the Lyda Hill Gems and Minerals Hall. Instead of the well-worn chair and the basketball players on the tube, they were destined for the Hoglund Foundation Theater and the Sons of Serendip on the ground level.

Not exactly the Monday night they envisioned. But it actually turned out a heck of a lot better than even the most negative guy had expected.

Mike and Kathy Crow, DeeDee Lee, Piper Wyantt, Claire Emanuelson and Lee Papert

Mike and Kathy Crow, DeeDee Lee, Piper Wyatt, Claire Emanuelson and Lee Papert

From the moment guests like Underwriting Chair Kathy Crow and husband Mike Crow, DeeDee Lee, Claire Emanuelson and Piper Wyatt arrived on the third level for the buffet, the place was filled with smiling guests of all ages. After filling their plates at one of the really amazing buffet lines, they found tables throughout the area. One group lucked out and got a table next to the Land Dynamics in the Rees-Jones Foundation Dynamic Earth Hall, where guests tried out the feeling of an earthquake. Pity the gals in heels who shook, rattled and giggled.

Just seconds before 8 p.m., guests were advised to adjourn to the theater for the evening’s presentation. But, alas, once at the theater door, they were told things weren’t quite ready, and that they should check back in at 8:10.

As guests settled in the lobby and the Museum Café, some noticed an individual walking by with a guitar case. Then another fellow strolled through the Café wearing a hat; he was followed by a third and a fourth. Someone asked, “Were those the Sons?”

No answer came, but really, who cared. At 8:10 the doors opened and the guests took their assigned seats.

Muna

Muna

Event Co-Chairs Diane Brown welcomed the SRO crowd and introduced Rabbi Nancy Kasten, who in turn introduced VMLC grad Muna. Eloquently, the Iraqi native told how Cheryl Pollman had helped her learn English and helped her prepare for her U.S. citizenship test. Cheryl even came to Muna’s home to help her husband study for his test. Both passed on their first try.

Cheryl Pollman

Cheryl Pollman

VMLC Executive Director Sarah Papert then told the group that Marnie and Kern Wildenthal had made a substantial donation for VMLC programs. For this reason the annual literacy award was being renamed the Marnie Wildenthal Literacy Legacy Award in Marnie’s honor. Sarah then officially presented the first Marnie Wildenthal Literacy Legacy Award to Cheryl, who graciously accepted it.

Cheryl told of the number of students who had fled their native countries to start new lives in Dallas. But their transition had also meant their learning an entirely new language. And that’s where VMLC volunteers like Cheryl had come in.

Cordaro Rodriguez

Cordaro Rodriguez

Micah Christian

Micah Christian

Kendall Ramseur

Kendall Ramseur

Mason Morton

Mason Morton

Following Cheryl’s acceptance, cellist Kendall Ramseur wearing a hat entered the room taking his place on the stage. He was joined by pianist Cordaro Rodriguez, who sat behind a keyboard with a guitar nearby. Then towering Mason Morton slid in alongside a harp. The last to arrive on stage was singer Micah Christian. These were the Sons of Serendip, who had come in fourth place on TV’s “America’s Got Talent” show competition in 2014. The foursome had gotten together following their graduate studies at Boston University.

Micah Christian, Kendall Ramseur and Mason Morton

Micah Christian, Kendall Ramseur and Mason Morton

Micah warned the audience that a couple of the songs would require their involvement. Such a threat usually has people heading for the door or ducking pretty far down in their chairs. Not in this case. Whether it was singing along or clapping, the guests really got into it. The quartet’s singing and music impressed even the most diehard basketball fan.

In between the tunes, the audience learned:

  • Coming from Boston that was being hit with a late snowstorm, Micah told how impressed the group had been with Dallas. Not just the weather, but everyone being so friendly. In Boston he said motorists tend to drive over pedestrians, but here they actually stop to let the people walk by. And Dallasites actually smile back at you.
  • How the foursome had gotten together. Cordaro was actually a lawyer and Kendall, Mason  and Micah were teachers.
  • Kendall and Cordaro initially had needed to make money to pay off their education loans. So they tried playing traditional tunes in the Boston subway. At first it didn’t seem to be a good fit. But then they tried playing their own music, and it changed their lives.
  • When the foursome went to Madison Square Garden to try out for “America’s Got Talent,” it was also the scene of a basketball game. Despite Mason toting along his harp, security kept telling them to head to the location of the basketball event.

JUST IN: Communities Foundation Of Texas’ Brent Christopher To Replace Retiring Kern Wildenthal At Children’s

Don’t you just love a secret? Well, there’s one that has been so stealth that when it broke today, folks thought it was a belated April Fools’ joke. Actually, it was a win-win and a twofer situation!

First, Children’s Medical Center Foundation President Dr. Kern Wildenthal is retiring come June. Well, sock-erooni. It was just three years ago that Kern took over the reins of the Foundation after being skewered by The Dallas Morning News investigative team over expense reimbursements. Alas, the end results were that Kern owed something that amounted to a heavy lunch at Abacus and the reporters and editors are no longer with the News.

When asked what his plans for retirement were, Kern pulled a Stanley Marcus. He said that he would start consulting. For those who need the translation, when Mr. Stanley “retired” to consult, he admitted that he made more money and had oodles more fun as a consultant. That’s because he was tapped by international corporations for his experience, knowledge and connections.

Kern Wildenthal (File Photo)

Kern Wildenthal (File Photo)

Christopher Durovich (File photo)

Christopher Durovich (File photo)

Brent Christopher File photo

Brent Christopher (File photo)

The second part of the news is Kern’s replacement. Smart Children’s Chris Durovich when alerted to Kern’s decision to “retire” recalled a young whipsnapper, who had worked with him when Chris replaced George Farr. It was a fella by the name of Brent Christopher. But after leaving Children’s, Brent had headed up Communities Foundation of Texas and walloped the local nonprofit fundraising with his bowtie and North Texas Giving Day. But come on. Brent had done so much more behind the scenes than the obvious.

When approached about the transitions, all types of platitudes from Kern and Brent were exchanged. It was sorta like the Miss America winner of Miss Congeniality. But the reality was that come the end of CFT’s fiscal end, Brent would no longer be officing at CFT and Kern would be a treasure trove of advice.

Would that affect the killer North Texas Giving Day? Nope. According to Brent, no one would notice his MIA. After all, the staff was so in place and face it — he was just the pretty face with bowtie.

As for his replacement, a search committee was in place to find that person. Good luck.

If you want to have a pity party, have it at CFT for the time being. If you want to have a homecoming, have it at Children’s. If you want a brainiac consultant, contact Kern.

Marnie And Kern Wildenthal Establish $100,000 Endowment Fund For VMLC

In each of the last four or five years, current and previous board members of the VMLC (Vickery Meadow Learning Center) have gotten together to catch up and trade ideas about the nonprofit’s work teaching English literacy skills to non-English-speaking adults and young children in diverse, low-income neighborhoods. And, this year was no exception.

On Friday, February 12, about 50 of them—including VMLC advisory board members like Ruben Esquivel— gathered for breakfast in The Library Bar at the Warwick Melrose Hotel. On the menu, besides the excellent bacon and eggs: an announcement that longtime volunteer Marnie Wildenthal and her husband, Dr. Kern Wildenthal, have established a $100,000 endowment fund for the VMLC.

To manage the new fund—to be called The Marnie Wildenthal Literacy Fund—the couple has selected the Dallas Foundation. It also was announced that, to further honor Marnie, the group’s Literacy Legacy Award will be presented biannually and will be renamed the Marnie Wildenthal Literacy Legacy Award.

Marnie, who’s been a VMLC teacher and volunteer since 2002, a board member, a president of the organization, and a 2014 recipient of the Literacy Legacy Award, was introduced to the group by Kern. He noted that, “next to our kids and grandkids,” VLMC is Marnie’s “passion.”

After thanking Kern (“When it comes to business and money matters, he’s the consultant”), Marnie said the VLMC plays a vital role in the community. “Fourteen years ago, [the clientele was] mostly Hispanic,” she said. “Now, the population reflects the terrible things that are going on in the world.” VLMC offers its clients “not just literacy instruction,” she went on, “but an opportunity to think about something other than what they’ve been through.” It’s important that the nonprofit’s board members and volunteers “be advocates for the immigrant community,” Marnie concluded.

Kern had been introduced by current VMLC board president Camille Owens, whose remarks followed a report to the group by Sarah Papert, VMLC’s executive director. Sarah noted that the group is now serving 1,200 adults and 330 children with 300 weekly volunteers. It operates at sites in the Vickery Meadow neighborhood, in West Dallas, and in East Dallas.

JUST IN: Margaret McDermott’s And The Eugene McDermott Foundation’s $2M Gifts Result In The “Kern Wildenthal General Director And CEO” Position

There’s a theory that bad news is announced on Fridays. Well, The Dallas Opera is turning the tables on that way of thinking. Word has just been sent that philanthropist Margaret McDermott and The Eugene McDermott Foundation have made “two extraordinary new gifts, totaling $2 million” to the Opera.

Margaret McDermott (File photo)

Margaret McDermott (File photo)

In making the gifts, the request was made and approved “that the position of Dallas Opera General Director and CEO to [be] known henceforth as the ‘Kern Wildenthal General Director and CEO’ in honor of the longtime Dallas Opera Board Member and Past Chairman.”

According to McDermott Foundation President Mary McDermott Cook, “The Eugene McDermott Foundation is delighted to be able to show its passion for the Greater Dallas community, as well as for the arts, through this gift made in honor of Kern Wildenthal. Kern has earned the admiration—not only of our foundation and our family—but of the arts, medical and academic communities in Dallas and throughout the country. His insightful leadership, integrity, and decades of exemplary service to a variety of causes have contributed greatly to our community.

Kern and Marnie Wildenthal (File photo)

Kern and Marnie Wildenthal (File photo)

“I think this is the perfect way to acknowledge Dr. Wildenthal’s continuing influence on the life of this city while providing an even brighter future for opera and the arts in Dallas.”

According to The Dallas Opera, it was during Kern’s serving as chairman of The Dallas Opera Board of Directors from 2008 to 2012 that the following took place:

  • “Guided the company’s October 2009 move into the Winspear Opera House after more than 50 years of performances in the Music Hall at Fair Park
  • “Served as the principal negotiator of a $10 million matching challenge to build the company’s endowment, personally securing 6-and 7-figure gifts and devoting countless hours to the task of completing the match, which quintupled the endowment from $5 million to $25 million
  • “Acted as a strong advocate for The Dallas Opera in the community, recruiting numerous patrons, supporters and board members from among business leaders and Dallas’ philanthropic community
  • “Played a leading role in the recruitment of Keith Cerny as TDO’s General Director and CEO (in 2010)”

According Keith, Kern agreed to serve a second consecutive term as Chairman of the Board, in order to provide stability and continuity to the company, and to support my transition into my new role.

“I shall always be grateful to Kern for putting the company’s needs first during that critical time and for his role in securing major gifts for general operations to deal with a significant deficit in our second year in our new home.

“Together with the Board, we restructured The Dallas Opera season schedule and successfully addressed significant cost increases, while simultaneously developing strategies to attract new and more diverse audiences. Ultimately, this led to a dramatic expansion of our education programs—reaching tens of thousands of students each year—and an ongoing program of free simulcasts which, so far, have entertained more than 60,000 people.”

Needless to say, the list of Kern’s accomplishments and leadership positions is longer than the lineup for the opening of the latest “Star Wars” movie. If you want to send a “Congratulations” note to Kern, he’s heading up the Children Medical Center Foundation.

What a simply lovely way to kick off the weekend.

For a full read of the release, just follow the jump! [Read more…]

Nobel Prize Winners And Area Leaders Praise Kern Wildenthal At Dedication Of Kern Wildenthal Biomedical Research Building

Despite a bit of rain, Friday, March 20, was a love fest of Nobel Prize winners, state leaders and philanthropists praising Kern Wildenthal. The draw was the dedication of the Kern Wildenthal Biomedical Research Building at UT Southwestern Medical Center. As the rain fell on the tent outside the 12-story, 331,400-square-foot structure, dignitaries, family and friends swelled to SRO.

Kern Wildenthal

Kern Wildenthal

The platitudes for the former UT Southwestern president were simply remarkable about the chap who had achieved greatness as a doctor at a youthful age and rose to leadership of UT Southwestern. During his 22 years he orchestrated a plan for the development of a campus with research and clinical facilities. It was a big picture about which others had been skeptical. Now, some of those naysayers were happily eating their words about the vision of the UT Southwestern graduate.

One of those research programs is the Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern that is a “joint venture established by Children’s Medical Center Dallas and UT Southwestern” focusing on “areas of unmet needs of children and encompassing stem cell biology, cancer and metabolism.”

Daniel and Carol Podolsky and James Huffines

Daniel and Carol Podolsky and James Huffines

In the UT Southwestern history, there have only been three presidents — the late Dr. Charles Sprague, Kern and Dr. Daniel Podolsky. Time and time again speakers — Dr. Joseph Goldstein, Dr. Michael Brown, Dr. Alfred Gilman, former Southwestern Medical Foundation President Bill Solomon, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson and former University of Texas System Board of Regents Chairman James Huffines — hinted that the southern campus should be named after Sprague and the northern after Kern.

Alfred Gilman

Alfred Gilman

Joseph Goldstein

Joseph Goldstein

It was during his tenure as president (1986-2008) that “the institution more than quintupled in size and emerged as one of the world’s leading medical institutions.” Plus UT Southwestern was recognized for its collection of Nobel Prize winners.

Marnie Wildenthal and Cyndi Bassel

Marnie Wildenthal and Cyndi Bassel

But as Kern pointed out after his wife Marnie received a bouquet of yellow roses and they received a mammoth key in a glass case, the past is grand for reflection, “but it is the future that must be the focus.” Tipping his hat to his successor, Kern said that Dan’s plans for the west campus only demonstrated that the future was in good hands.

Bob Miller

Bob Miller

Kay Bailey Hutchison

Kay Bailey Hutchison

Peter O'Donnell

Peter O’Donnell

Ron Steinhart

Ron Steinhart

Following the dedication, the crowd gathered in the lobby of the newly dedicated building for a reception and to check out the Horchow Folk Art Collection. Among those in the crowd were Sara and David Martineau, Ron Steinhart, Lyda and Dan Novakov with Isabella Haggar, Shirley and Bob Miller, Keith Cerny, Don Winspear, Lynne and Roy Sheldon, Jane and Bud Smith, Mary McDermott, and Lyda Hill, who said that her foundation director Nicole Small was keeping Lyda on her toes.

JUST IN: University Of Texas System Regents Named UT Southwestern Medical Center Tower After Dr. Kern Wildenthal

Kern Wildenthal

Kern Wildenthal

Our friends over at Frontburner just revealed the University of Texas System Regents voted to “name a major research tower at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas after Dr. Kern Wildenthal.” Called the C. Kern Wildenthal Research Building, it will be located on the north campus.

This recognition is due to Kern’s “extraordinary accomplishments” as both dean of the medical school and president of UT Southwestern.

Congrats to Kern and the UT Southwestern Medical Center campus!