The occasion was the September Second Tuesday Luncheon of the United Way’s Tocqueville Society, a group for big UW donors.
United Way Tocqueville Luncheon Builds Campaign Support with Corporate Leaders and Cowboys Legends – Park Cities Bubble Life (Source)
Builders, Cowboys Pump Up United Way’s $70M-plus Fundraising Goal
by Glenn Hunter, DMagazine (Source)
In a room packed with high-octane business people—from Comerica’s Ralph Babb and EY’s Debra von Storch to Mark Rohr of Celanese and Locke Liddell attorney Harriet Miers—the Fluor Corp. and some ex-Dallas Cowboys teamed up Tuesday to jump-start the 2015-2016 annual fundraising campaign of the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas.
The contingent from Fluor, an Irving-based construction and engineering giant, was led by David Seaton, the company’s chairman and CEO. Seaton, who’s serving as the ’15-’16 United Way campaign chair, delivered the luncheon keynote address. The former Cowboys were represented by featured guest Darren Woodson as well as by ‘Boys broadcast analyst/ex-quarterback Babe Laufenberg, who introduced Seaton—mainly because Laufenberg’s father used to work for Seaton’s company.
His father was a Depression-era-reared civil engineer for Fluor, Laufenberg told the crowd at Abacus restaurant—a man who was “determined to make something of his life.” He believed that to be a “real man, you had to build things and fix things,” Laufenberg explained fondly. “My father thought my [Cowboys] career was ‘nice,’ but: ‘Can you build things?’!” Soon the former QB gave way to the keynoter, calling Seaton a “man who not only builds and fixes things, but also put food on the Laufenberg family table …”
During his remarks, Seaton recalled his first involvement with the United Way back in 1984, when he was put in charge of the nonprofit group’s annual campaign for an outfit that managed the facilities for nine campuses of the University of South Carolina. He got “100 percent participation” in that campaign from the company’s blue-collar/working-class employees, Seaton recalled, teaching him the early, important lesson that “those who are in need are maybe more willing to give than those of us who are not in need.”
Fluor’s focus during the current United Way of Metro Dallas campaign will be on STEM (or science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education, Seaton went on, because American students are lagging badly in those areas. “We’re simply not performing,” he said. During the campaign’s recent kick-off day, he recalled, he and several other North Texas CEOs—previous United Way chairs Randall Stephenson of AT&T (2011-’12 campaign), Rich Templeton of Texas Instruments (2012-’13), and Rohr of Celanese (he’ll chair in 2016-’17)—hosted a private luncheon at Fluor for a group of nearly 30 local high school juniors and seniors. “Some of the questions they asked!” Seaton said. “It gives you hope because you see there are pockets of success that exist here in Dallas.” All four chief executives, he added, are hoping above all for a “more robust education system here in Dallas.”
Earlier, Jennifer Sampson, president and CEO of the local United Way, said the organizations’s new five-year fundraising goal had been set at $373 million. The recently completed annual campaign, chaired by Tom Greco of Frito-Lay North America, brought in about $72 million. Seaton, who stressed that it’s important to “pick the pace up,” disclosed that his goal for the ’15-’16 campaign would be “over $70 million,” looking at Rohr as he added, “And you’ve gotta go over $80 million!”
The Fluor chief also brought things back full circle to the Cowboys and Laufenberg, who’s writing columns these days for The Dallas Morning News and planning to do Cowboys reports for a network of 11 TV stations owned by Nexstar Broadcasting Group. Fluor relocated from Orange County, California, to Irving in 2005 because “I did the study, and I’m a Cowboys fan,” Seaton joked. Why did you really move? someone pressed him. “Dallas Cowboys,” he repeated, laughing. “That was it!”
Turning serious, he added: “My predecessor was the third Fluor CEO who tried to move us to Dallas,” largely because of DFW Airport, the business environment here, and the supportive community of local CEOs. “Ralph [Babb] saw the same thing when he moved Comerica here” from Detroit, Seaton concluded. Also, “Ray Hunt [chairman of Hunt Consolidated] is one of the finest men I know. He was saddled up. He was going to drive the moving truck for us!”
United Way Tocqueville Luncheon Builds Campaign Support with Corporate Leaders and Cowboys Legends
By Betsy Dixon, Park Cities BubbleLife (Source)
United Way of Metropolitan Dallas Ruth Sharp Altshuler Tocqueville Society members gathered for the giving society’s monthly Second Tuesday luncheon, backed by corporate leaders, community supporters and Dallas Cowboys’ star power. This year’s Annual Campaign Chair, David T. Seaton, Chairman and CEO of Fluor Corporation, gave an insightful keynote presentation about why he so genuinely believes in giving to United Way, tracing his roots to leading a United Way campaign in 1984 for campuses of the University of South Carolina. Former NFL quarterback and Dallas Cowboys Radio Network Analyst, Babe Laufenberg introduced Mr. Seaton, sharing the story of how his father worked as a civil engineer at Fluor. Mr. Seaton told the group he was glad to hear the personal connection, since he views Fluor as a family company. The former Cowboys were also represented by featured guest Darren Woodson, the next member of the Cowboys Ring of Honor at AT&T stadium.
Fluor Corporation is one of the world’s largest publicly traded engineering, procurement, construction (EPC), maintenance and project management companies. As Chairman of United Way’s 2015-16 Annual Campaign, Mr. Seaton has set a goal to make STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education available to students who otherwise might not have the opportunity to excel in this critical area of their education. Jennifer Sampson, President and CEO of United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, underscored that goal in her remarks, detailing a partnership between United Way, Fluor and Dallas Afterschool to expand STEM education to 22,000 North Texas children.
Debra von Storch, Partner at EY and 2015-2016 Tocqueville Chair, welcomed guests to the luncheon. Tocqueville members in attendance included Mark Rohr, Chairman and CEO of Celanese Corporation, Laura and Jason Downing, Karin Torgerson, Harriet Miers, Scott Hudson, Pat Faubion, Ralph Babb, Ann Hobson and Carol and Don Glendenning.
Formed in 1984 and now more than 900 members strong, United Way’s Tocqueville Society aims to change lives through philanthropic leadership focused on the building blocks for a better life: a quality education that leads to a stable job, income that can support a family through retirement, and good health. For more information, please visit www.unitedwaydallas.org.
United Way Second Tuesday Luncheon
via Park Cities People (Source)
Tocqueville Society members gathered for their Second Tuesday series luncheon on Sept. 8 at Abacus. Campaign chair David Seaton, chairman and CEO of Fluor Corporation, shared his reasons for giving to United Way. He was introduced by former NFL quarterback and Dallas Cowboys radio analyst Babe Laufenberg. United Way president and CEO Jennifer Sampson gave an update on the organization’s campaign kickoff.