Members of The Dallas 40 believe it is imperative to learn more about important community issues by “drilling down” into a subject … listening to, learning from and interacting with those who are leading the way. Our speakers, all prominent in their own spheres of influence, address our meetings to educate our members on these issues and to enable them to influence the direction of our community based upon informed choice. By providing entree to circles of business, professional and community leaders, The Dallas 40 affords its members and invited guests the opportunity to engage the community’s best and brightest in a dialogue that makes a difference. The Dallas 40 is a nonpartisan organization, with membership open to men and women of all ages.

Next Meeting:

Monday, February 13th | RSVP

5:30 – 7:00 p.m. | Embassy Suites by Hilton, Dallas Park Central Area
5:30 p.m. Appetizers and Cash Bar
6:00 p.m. Program

We’ve Moved!

If you missed our December and January programs, you may not remember that we’ve moved our meeting location to The Embassy Suites hotel, located in the northwest quadrant of LBJ Freeway and North Central Expressway, on the southbound frontage road.
Directions | 2017 Membership Information.

As is our custom, we will provide appetizers beginning at 5:30 p.m. in the atrium (we will have comfortable lounge seating and our own section of the atrium) and a cash bar, and will move into our private spacious room at 6 p.m. to begin our program. The atrium has a couple of steps, so if that poses accessibility issues, please let us know in advance and the hotel will install a portable ramp.

Dallas on the Financial Precipice

In rural and agrarian Texas arose the phrase “high cotton,” a saying synonymous with bright prospects, future profits and a season of fulfillment. “High cotton” meant success at the end of a long growing season, after fighting drought, untimely storms and plagues of insects – a time to harvest and reap rewards. North Texas is, by all outward accounts, in high cotton: a diversified, booming economy with record-high property values and sales; Fortune 500 companies relocating to the area; a vibrant and expanding arts community; and the most recognized skyline in the country, even without the 16 cranes visible from Woodall Rodgers Freeway.

So why isn’t Mayor Rawlings crowing and celebrating the bringing in of the crop? In large part because underneath Dallas’ success is a looming financial abyss that has already resulted in successive bond-rating downgrades to our municipal debt due to long-pending and massive police and fire back-pay lawsuits. Not only does Dallas face looming insolvency for the multi-billion-dollar unfunded Police and Fire Pension System, but it also must deal with unfunded debt for the Employees’ Retirement Fund and HUD investigations over misuse of funds. Our next bond election has been delayed, and critically needed street and infrastructure repairs further delayed. How did we get here? Can it be “fixed”? Who will pay? What happens when a city enters bankruptcy? Could this crisis result in taxpayers fleeing the city? Former Dallas City Manager Ted Benavides, now a lecturing professor in Public and Nonprofit Management at UTD, will join us on February 13 for a frank and insightful look at the financial status of the City of Dallas. This is a program you can’t afford to miss.

About the Speaker

Ted Benavides currently serves as a faculty member for the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) in the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences’ Public and Nonprofit Management Program. He also serves as a consultant for Strategic Government Services (SGR), which supports local governments to be more successful.

Ted Benavides served as Dallas’ city manager from 1998 to 2004. In this role, he administered all programs and services for the city’s 1.2 million people, oversaw an annual $1.9 billion municipal budget and directed a workforce of 12,000 employees.

From 1996 to 1998, Mr. Benavides was city manager of the City of Denton, and from 1990 to 1996, he served as one of five assistant city managers in Dallas. Previously, he held a number of other positions with the City of Dallas, which he joined in March 1978.

Benavides earned a bachelor’s degree in education, political science, and history from Texas A&I University (now Texas A&M University-Kingsville) and a master’s degree in public administration from Southern Methodist University. He is also a graduate of both Leadership Dallas and the Executive Institute of the Texas Municipal League at the LBJ School of Public Affairs in Austin, and is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. Benavides serves as the president of the North Texas Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration and is on the Academic Relations Committee of the National Forum for Black Public Administrators.

Guests are always welcome. We request a per-guest fee of $15. If a guest joins as a member on the day he/she attends a meeting, the $15 fee is credited against the dues fee. For 2017, membership is $100 per person. Please RSVP Here

Embassy Suites


Embassy Suites by Hilton, Dallas Park Central Area / 13131 North Central Expressway, Dallas, Texas, 75243 / Phone: 972-234-3300

Appetizers and cash bar in the atrium, followed by the program in a private spacious room. The atrium has a couple of steps, so if that poses accessibility issues, please let us know in advance and the hotel will install a portable ramp.