November 13, 2008
By DAVE LEVINTHAL
The Dallas Morning News
More than two years have passed since Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert served as chief executive officer of anything.
But by virtue of his work leading Dallas government, respondents to a Southern Methodist University survey of top Dallas-Fort Worth-area business executives deemed Mr. Leppert the region's "CEO of the Year."
"It seems to be recognition by business leaders of how important the role of government plays in creating a good business environment," said Miguel Quiñones, an SMU Cox School of Business management professor and coordinator of the survey.
"In an organization like the city, you need a person to set goals, create a vision and instill a sense of optimism and hope. Mayor Leppert has taken on that visionary, motivating role and has helped bring people together."
The survey attracted 543 respondents.
Dr. Quiñones noted the mayor's role in attracting the corporate headquarters of AT&T and Comerica to Dallas as key reasons for his selection. That Mr. Leppert has also prioritized improving public safety, education and economic development opportunities also helped his case, Dr. Quiñones said.
"I have always thought of myself more as a problem solver than a politician. And I think that's applicable in the private sector as well as the public sector," Mr. Leppert said of his winning the award.
But by Mr. Leppert's own account, Dallas faces significant challenges in sustaining economic success in a national financial climate that's shuttling between dismal and awful.
Read more about the award.
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