The following by Business Columnist Robert Miller was published in the May 16, 2013, edition of The Dallas Morning News. Stephanie Hunt is co-founded of SMU's Hunt Institute for Engineering & Humanity.
May 16, 2013
By Robert Miller
The Dallas Morning News
Stephanie Hunt was honored last month by the All Stars Project of New York at a national gala benefit at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center. More than 450 guests attended the black tie event.
Hunt and her husband, Hunter Hunt, president and CEO of Hunt Consolidated Energy, co-founded the Hunt Institute for Engineering & Humanity at Southern Methodist University in 2009.
Hunt, 45, is the daughter of Dallas banker Jim Erwin and the force behind Dallas’ Engineering & Humanity Week, which highlights problems faced by the acutely impoverished.
Founded in 1981, the All Stars Project is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting youth development through a performance-based model. It creates extracurricular educational and performing arts activities for tens of thousands of poor and minority youth, including community and experimental theater, leadership training. It also pursues volunteer initiatives that build and strengthen communities.
The gala was hosted by ABC-TV news anchor Diana Williams and honored five corporate and nonprofit leaders for opening doors and giving opportunities to youth.
“It is a great privilege for the All Stars Project to honor Stephanie Hunt,” said Gabrielle L. Kurlander, president and CEO of All Stars Project Inc. “She is emerging as one of our country’s visionary philanthropists and as a spokesperson for bringing together innovation and humanitarian principles. When Stephanie says that poverty is unacceptable, it’s not just idle talk. She means it, and she’s doing something about it, and All Stars is proud to be her partner.”
In her acceptance remarks, Hunt said:
“Hunter introduced me to the All Stars 12 years ago, and it has been a real joy to watch its growth and expansion. We are true believers in the All Stars’ model of developing the whole individual. We also believe in exposing young people from poor communities to the highest levels of innovation: innovation in technology and science, innovation in psychology and performance.
“And we also believe in the concept of ‘reverse innovation,’ that some of the most creative and disruptive ideas will come not from experts sitting in head offices, academic institutions or the top of the pyramid, but rather from members of communities themselves. If necessity is the mother of invention, we would bet on people in the neighborhoods and in the field every time over those trying to manage innovation from remote locations.
“In accepting this award, I want to congratulate all the young people who are stepping outside their comfort zones to grow, and I want to thank all of you for supporting All Stars and for making a difference.”
The Hunts recently announced that they are developing an Urban Innovation Lab for Youth in downtown Dallas that will give underserved youths access to the latest technology and some of the world’s most creative mentors.