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Interview with Vicki Spriggs – Episode 6

Vicki Spriggs is a dedicated advocate for children who has worked for more than 40 years in the child services arena. Known for her leadership on youth-related issues, she is a national speaker, a decisive leader and a fierce believer in the rights of all children, especially their right to a safe, loving and permanent home.

Prior to joining Texas CASA in January 2012, Spriggs served in a variety of positions dedicated to child welfare, including 16 years as executive director of the Texas Juvenile Probation Commission and director of the Travis County Juvenile Court Informal Adjustment Unit. She has also opened her home as a foster parent.

She received a bachelor’s degree in education and Master of Education in juvenile justice and secondary counseling from the University of Massachusetts Amhurst.

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You can listen on Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts.

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Interview with Britt Berrett – Episode 5

Britt Berrett served as the president of Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, an 898-bed hospital. In addition to his role as president of the Dallas hospital, Berrett also served at the system level as an executive vice president of Texas Health Resources. He oversaw strategic planning and operations for Texas Health Dallas, guiding the hospital in its mission to improve the health of the people in the community it serves.  

While on a two-year mission in Peru, Berrett developed a great appreciation for the role that healthcare providers can play in improving the quality of life for an entire community. It is his concern for the quality of life in the community that makes him a passionate advocate for excellence in healthcare and a perfect fit for Texas Health Dallas.

Prior to joining Texas Health Dallas, Berrett served as president and chief executive officer of Medical City, a 677-bed hospital, since April 2000.  He received his bachelor’s degree in finance from Brigham Young University and his master’s degree in hospital administration from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.  Berrett also received his PhD in Public Administration from the University of Texas at Dallas.

Texas Health Dallas was recognized in 2007 as a U.S. News and World Report Best Hospital for Digestive Disorders, Neurology and Neurosurgery and Orthopedics specialties. Texas Health Dallas received the Magnet Recognition Program Award for excellence in nursing services from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), the nation’s largest and leading nursing credentialing organization within the American Nurses Association (ANA).

Currently Dr. Berrett is the program director of the Jindal School of Management’s undergraduate Healthcare Management program, as well as the director of UTD’s Center for Healthcare Leadership & Management. He lectures nationally and internationally on transformational leadership, organizational change and performance. In 2013, he co-authored Patients Come Second – Leading Change by Changing the Way you Lead

which has become a New York Times, USA Today and WSJ Best Seller.

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You can listen on Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts.


Interview with Trey Bowles – Episode 4

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Interview with Trey Bowles, Chairman and Co-founder of Dallas Entrepreneur Center and Co-founder of the Dallas Innovation Alliance

Trey Bowles is a serial entrepreneur, social capitalist, and educator. Trey cofounded the Dallas Entrepreneur Center (DEC), a central location for entrepreneurs to learn how to start, build and grow businesses through training, education, mentorship, promotion, and capital investment. As Co-Founder and CEO, Trey leads strategy, vision, and drives the overall planning and development efforts for the DEC. Bowles also recently cofounded and launched the Dallas Innovation Alliance (DIA), a public-private partnership dedicated to the design, development and execution of a Smart Cities plan for Dallas.

In addition to his work with the DEC, Trey worked closely with the Startup America Partnership, a non-profit organization started by Steve Case and the Kauffman Foundation, leading a team of entrepreneurial experts across the country to help high-growth startups find greater success. Trey also helped launch the Arts Entrepreneurship Department in the Meadows School of Arts at Southern Methodist University and currently serves as an Adjunct Professor on staff teaching Social Entrepreneurship and an Accelerate Your Startup Class. Bowles also cofounded the Mayor’s Star Council with Mayor Mike Rawlings of Dallas to find a culturally diverse and civically minded group of emerging leaders who want to embrace and engage the City of Dallas as opposed to inheriting the city in 20 years.

Trey has built companies in both the for-profit and non-profit space with an expertise in strategy, operations, and marketing. Bowles has held key leadership roles in the industries of music, entertainment, and disruptive technology including running the popular peer-to-peer file-sharing site, Morpheus. He led the turn-around and sale of Big Jump Media Inc. to Salem Communications (NASDAQ: SALM) in 2010.

Trey lives in Dallas with his wife and three children and is committed to building collaborative ecosystems at the intersection of technology, entrepreneurship and education.

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You can listen on Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts.

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Interview with Merrie Spaeth – Episode 02

I enter the North Dallas offices of Spaeth Communications. It’s an unassuming suite. On the wall facing me as I look to the right of the glass conference room is a framed D CEO Cover with a photo of Merrie Spaeth sitting cross legged on top of a large executive desk. The caption reads, “The Fixer.” The name Merrie Spaeth has become synonymous with crisis management and effective messaging in board rooms across the United States. She is the founder and CEO of the company that bears her last name.

However, it was a long and winding road to these offices just across from North Park Mall off the LBJ freeway in North Dallas. It was a road that lead to Hollywood, Washington D.C., New York and finally led to the Lone Star State.

Merrie’s official bio reads as follows:

Merrie has a unique background in media, government, politics, business and entertainment. She is a thought-leader in communication theory, a master of executive coaching and acknowledged as one of the most influential communication counselors in the world. Before founding Spaeth in 1987, Merrie was a producer for ABC’s 20/20, a speechwriter for the legendary founder and chairman of CBS, William S. Paley, and was assigned to FBI Director Judge William Webster while serving as a White House Fellow. All of this culminated into her roles as director of public affairs for the Federal Trade Commission, and ultimately her appointment as director of media relations at the White House in the Reagan Administration. Merrie is a sought-after public speaker who provides strategic communication counseling for companies and executives across the globe. She is also a dedicated mother, dog-lover and needlepoint enthusiast.

I can’t help but describe Merrie as a true renaissance woman. She is in every way a Texas Titan, and gives me great pleasure to introduce you to my friend Merrie.

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You can listen on Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts.


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Interview with John Wilding – Episode 01

John Wilding is a master networker, military veteran, corporate attorney and deal maker. John is the is the founder and host of the Last Tuesday Happy Hour at the Ritz Carlton in Dallas. He’s also an active community volunteer and philanthropist. In the world of mergers and acquisitions John Wilding is definitely a Texas Titan. 

John Willding is a partner in Barnes & Thornburg’s Dallas and Washington, D.C., offices and a member of the Corporate Department. John’s practice focuses on complex business matters, including mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance and securities law compliance.

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You can listen on Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts.

An Interview with the New Chairman of the Board of Regents for the University of Texas System, Kevin Eltife – Episode 03

KEVIN P. ELTIFE, Tyler, Texas, was appointed to a six-year term on The University of Texas System Board of Regents by Governor Greg Abbott in January 2017 and was confirmed by the Texas Senate on February 7, 2017.

On December 20, 2018, he was elected Chairman of the Board of Regents. Chairman Eltife chairs the System Review and Structure Task Force. He previously served on the Academic Affairs Committee; the Audit, Compliance, and Risk Management Committee; the Facilities Planning and Construction Committee; the Finance and Planning Committee; and the Board for Lease of University Lands.

He formerly served as Senator for Texas Senate District 1, as the Mayor of Tyler, and on the Tyler City Council. He has also served as a member of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

Mr. Eltife is the owner of Eltife Properties, Ltd. He is a Director for Citizens 1st Bank and serves on The University of Texas at Austin Development Board and The University of Texas at Tyler Development Board.

Mr. Eltife earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from The University of Texas at Austin. He resides in Tyler with his wife and two children.

Kevin is one of the most accomplished, self-made men I know. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing him for almost 20 years. After losing his father at a young age Kevin took notes from his uncle and learned the real estate business. It was in that business he learned the frustrations of bureaucracy and decided to get involved in public service to remedy said frustration. It was soon after he became a member of the Tyler City Council and later the Mayor. Eventually, he served as a State Senator all the while building a wildly successful real estate business.

If you ever wanted to know what a life well lived looks like, I give you exhibit A in the form of Kevin Eltife. Please enjoy this interview.

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You can listen on Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts.