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Erin Nealy Cox and Trey Cox: Tocqueville Chairs 2022-2025

September 19, 2022

What happens when two highly confident, passionate, and successful trial attorneys combine forces for good? Fortunately for United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, it means the organization’s bold vision for the future of North Texas will be heralded far and wide in pursuit of making Dallas the largest Tocqueville Society population in the country by 2025.

Former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas, Erin Nealy Cox and her husband, Trey Cox, managing partner at Gibson Dunn, are leading the charge. And they are determined to meet or beat the challenge on behalf of their community as Tocqueville Society Co-Chairs for the next three years – building toward United Way Dallas’ Centennial celebration.

United Way Dallas is a major market United Way and its Ruth Sharp Altshuler Tocqueville Society, comprised of donors giving $10,000 or more annually, currently ranks among the largest in the country in the number of giving households. But the Coxes, also longtime Tocqueville Society members, are determined to take the Dallas chapter to the number-one spot.

“We can do this!” says Nealy Cox, who is a partner in the Government, Regulatory and Internal Investigations practice for Kirkland & Ellis. “It’s not a hard sell at all. When you look at United Way’s measurable outcomes in the focused areas of Education, Income and Health across our community, the results speak for themselves.”

Nealy Cox says the Birmingham, Alabama chapter, which currently sits atop the Tocqueville Society leaderboard, has done an inspiring job of educating their civic leaders about how their money helps to better the community. “And we can do that, too,” she continues, “United Way Dallas is a force multiplier for the needs of our community and that resonates with most people. Everyone wants to make an impact, and when you sign up to be a Tocqueville member, you WILL BE making an impact.”

“It is easy to sell a good product,” agrees Trey Cox. “And United Way Dallas is so much more than a good product. Jennifer Sampson and her team have done a fabulous job of working to forge lasting change while leading by example. United Way’s laser focus on our community and creating access and opportunity for all North Texans to thrive is what will inspire people to join the movement and be part of the change.”

The Cox co-chairs are working tirelessly to enlist an army of ambassadors to serve on their newly formed Tocqueville Society Campaign Cabinet for the next three years. “We want to harness the collective wisdom of people who are already doing great things in the community to leverage their networks to be a broader influence in educating more people about the important work of United Way, its opportunities, and goals as we march toward the Centennial,” says Nealy Cox.

“I must say that I have seen Americans make a great deal of real sacrifices to the public welfare; and have noticed a hundred instances in which they hardly ever failed to lend a faithful support to one another.”

Alexis de Tocqueville, French aristocrat, diplomat, political philosopher and historian

Founded in 1984, the United Way Tocqueville Society is named for Alexis de Tocqueville, whose classic work On Democracy in America professes strong admiration for the American values of liberty, equality, and the spirit of neighbor helping neighbor.  Those visionary values are the guiding principles for the Tocqueville Society today as it promotes the vital role of personal philanthropic action in creating long-lasting change and strengthens local philanthropic leadership by building a network of likeminded leaders across the globe.

“We are excited to be involved in such a significant, philanthropic leadership role,” says Trey Cox, whose family has set up a donor advised fund at United Way Dallas. “The United Way team is helping us teach our three daughters about the importance of community impact investments as we established the fund in such a way that allows them to direct resources to and volunteer their time with United Way supported initiatives, interventions, and programs they care most deeply about.

“Each daughter has unique passions and interests,” continues Trey Cox. “The team met with them, listened to them, and then came back with unique opportunities for each one. We have now challenged the girls to do their own research, ask questions of the United Way team, and then come back to us with their recommendations for how and where our family can best align with the United Way’s Aspire United 2030 goals. It has been a flexible, highly personable and very rewarding experience for our family.”

“Erin Nealy Cox and Trey Cox epitomize authentic, purpose-driven, and compassionate leadership,” says McDermott Templeton President and CEO Jennifer Sampson. “Erin brings the gifts of fortitude and courage to leadership, and Trey a bold conviction and passion that inspire. Together, they are a force to be reckoned with – a force that will create opportunity and access for all North Texans to thrive.

“We are honored to embrace their visionary partnership and are confident that their leadership will drive transformational change for generations to come.”