President’s Letter Advancing North Texas I nnovation. When you hear this word, what comes to mind? Bleeding-edge technology? Disruptive solutions? Or, do you see college students in jeans and sweatshirts huddled around a computer? Ever consider the innovator might be in cowboy boots? Everything you use – no matter how hightech or low-tech – was once a product of innovation. It would be no exaggeration to go so far as to say that our home, North Texas, wouldn’t be the region it is today without the invention of air conditioning. Not to mention Jack Kilby putting us on the map with the integrated circuit. Innovation is in our blood, and this issue of NTX Magazine shows how it is part of everything we do as North Texans. And, it’s not limited to just one industry. In addition to Mr. Kilby and Texas Instruments, North Texans have revolutionized the oil and gas industry, logistics, aviation and defense, medical and even hospitality thanks to Mariano Martinez’s frozen margarita machine. I like to think that innovation comes with being a Texan. Our can-do spirit propels us forward, pushing us to build bigger (or, in some cases smaller), faster and better than the competition. There’s a famous saying that if you want something done, tell a Texan she can’t. The strength of North Texas’ innovation lies within our people. A region of 6.7 million people, we are one of the fastest growing regions in the country, attracting entrepreneurs with our center of the U.S. location, low cost of living and doing business, and business-friendly environment. The more than 35 higher education institutions in North Texas contribute to our strong workforce, with career tech academies in many of our region’s high schools churning out the next generation of innovators. And, a world-class airport with access to more than 42 destinations around the world attracts leaders with an international mindset. As you’ll read in the pages of this issue of NTX Magazine, you’ll find that people are proud of what they accomplish but are gracious and warm. We are motivated by making the world – not just Texas – a better place. And, we share our success with everyone across the region. Come, visit us in North Texas. Meet the men and women leading their industries. Visit some of the unique sites across our region. And, don’t forget to enjoy the warm Texas sun sipping a frozen margarita on a patio. We might just pull up a chair and join you. “The strength of North Texas’ innovation lies within our people.” President and CEO Mabrie Jackson Executive Vice President, Development Marcellette Sherman, CFRE Vice President, Communications Kimberly Walton Creative Manager Brad McDonnell Director, Environmental Programs Robert Kent Director of Personnel & Accounting Dawn Miller Marketing Events Manager Britton Cunningham Communications Coordinator Chelsea Davis Government Affairs Consultant Mindy Ellmer Writer Rachel Hedstrom Copyeditor Christina Weeks Mabrie Jackson President and CEO North Texas Commission North Texas Commission Executive committee Chairman David Tesmer Texas Health Resources Sandra Doyle Atmos Energy Corp. Robert F. Pence Freese and Nichols, Inc. Vice Chairman Gray Mayes Texas Instruments Dan Hagan American Airlines Holly Reed AT&T Treasurer Dan Johnson City of Richardson Robert Hastings Bell Helicopter Hal T. Thorne One Prime Secretary Stephen Tolerico Sewell Automotive Companies Mike Moncrief Moncrief Investments Kevin Ward Trinity River Authority 2 NTX Magazine is published in the U.S. by the following: North Texas Commission P Box 610246 .O. DFW Airport, TX 75261 972-621-0400 www.ntc-dfw.org © 2014 North Texas Commission. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior written permission of the publisher.