Skip to main content

Karen and Tom Falk Receive United Way’s Highest Honor for Volunteer Service

Longtime supporters honored at United Way’s 99th Annual Campaign Kickoff

September 27, 2023

At United Way of Metroplitan Dallas, we’re proud to announce that two of our most dedicated longtime supporters, Karen and Tom Falk, are the 2023 recipients of the J. Erik Jonsson Award, our highest honor for volunteer service.

About the J. Erik Jonsson Award

The J. Erik Jonsson Award was created by United Way of Metropolitan Dallas’ Board of Directors in 1978 in honor of one of the city’s greatest leaders. Jonsson, whose vision and leadership can be seen across Dallas, was a co-founder and the first president of Texas Instruments and served as mayor of Dallas for four terms. He also co-founded United Way of Metropolitan Dallas.

Jonsson built the foundation for an organized system of funding needed for health and human services through the private sector, marshalling support of the corporate community and its leadership. This legacy continues today as our organization works with the entire Live United movement to change lives in North Texas through education, income and health.

Each year, United Way honors one of our most passionate supporters with the J. Erik Jonsson Award, in recognition of their incredible investment of time and energy into making North Texas a better place for everyone to live and work. This year, Karen and Tom Falk join a prestigious list of past recipients whose dedication for our community is truly inspiring.

Meet Karen and Tom Falk

For decades, the Falks have shown an unwavering commitment to United Way’s mission to create opportunity and access for all North Texans to thrive.

Karen and Tom have demonstrated true leadership at United Way for many years. Tom served as CEO of Kimberly-Clark Corporation, one of our corporate partners and one of the biggest supporters of our Coronavirus Response and Recovery Fund, which provided immediate relief and supported long-term rebuilding for our neighbors impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Karen and Tom both served as Annual Campaign chairs for United Way during the height of COVID-19 pandemic, bringing in significant investment and even dedicating their own funds to ensure we could support our neighbors through the unprecedented crisis. At every turn, their thoughtful, strategic and servant-minded leadership was a steady hand guiding our ship.

Congratulations to both Karen and Tom, and thank you again for your passion, energy and enthusiasm for improving access to education, income and health across North Texas.

Our Past Recipients

  • 2022
    Ed Galante 
  • 2019
    Clint McDonnough 
  • 2018
    Lyda Hill  
  • 2017
    David E. Alexander  
  • 2016
    Joel Allison  
  • 2015
    Chuck Gummer  
  • 2014
    Roger Staubach  
  • 2013
    Caroline Rose Hunt  
  • 2012
    Stan Rabin  
  • 2011
    Debbie Taylor  
  • 2010
    Phil Ritter  
  • 2009
    Roger Nanney  
  • 2008
    William D. White, Jr.  
  • 2007
    J. Scott Wilson 
  • 2006
    Barbara Lord Watkins  
  • 2005
    Sam Self  
  • 2004
    Liz Minyard  
  • 2003
    Larry McDowell  
  • 2002
    Becky Bright  
  • 2001
    David Biegler  
  • 2000
    Keith Hughes  
  • 1999
    Harold Kleinman  
  • 1998
    Rita Clements  
  • 1997
    Wright Lassiter, Jr.  
  • 1996
    Ron Steinhart  
  • 1995
    George Shafer  
  • 1994
    W.R. Howell  
  • 1993
    Jerry R. Junkins  
  • 1992
    Reece A. Overcash, Jr.  
  • 1991
    Jerry Farrington  
  • 1990
    Charles G. Cullum  
  • 1989
    Ruth Sharp Altshuler  
  • 1988
    Jack Evans, Sr.  
  • 1987
    James F. Chambers, Jr.  
  • 1986
    Dan C. Williams  
  • 1985
    James W. Aston  
  • 1984
    Joe M. Dealey  
  • 1983
    John M. Stemmons  
  • 1982
    Terrell Harper  
  • 1981
    Robert Moore, MD  
  • 1980
    Earl Forsythe  
  • 1979
    John Jackson