CEOLink Welcomes CEOs to DFW and Spotlights South Side

Posted by    |    February 7th, 2013 at 4:34 pm

Imagine this: you’re a CEO who has recently relocated or expanded your business to DFW, and you don’t know a soul. Okay, maybe one soul, but that’s not enough to get you fully plugged in to the corporate scene. You have to start from the ground up, meet well-connected and established CEOs and businessmen and women who have lived there for years and hope to make some connections. That’s what Matthews Southwest CEO Jack Matthews had to do when he relocated from Canada to Dallas in March of 1994.

Then imagine this:  you’re a CEO who has recently relocated or expanded your business to DFW, and you don’t know a soul. So you join CEOLink, a group of DFW private sector leaders and influencers who welcome you into their network of like-minded people. Their mission: to work collectively with those who helped build it and those who will be a part of its ongoing legacy. Sounds a little easier, right?

ed curtis enroute

Several Dallas CEOs were invited to the NYLO hotel in South Side to learn more about CEOLink, an idea formed by Ed Curtis. The relatively new NYLO Dallas South Side Hotel was chosen as the location, with Jack Matthews and Donnie Nelson of Matthews Southwest and Michael Mueller of NYLO Hotels giving the Spotlight Presentation. Invited guest mingled in the boutique hotel’s unique urban lobby, occasionally sneaking a peek of the NYLO’s stunning skyline view. Ed Curtis, Chuck May, and Jason Barnes kicked off a presentation that quickly became focused on a mutual love for DFW.

“I didn’t chose to come here but I chose to stay,” said Curtis.

May and Barnes had similar feelings about the Lone Star State.

enroute nylo event

“It’s not just southern hospitality; it’s Texas hospitality, which I think is a little bit of a different flavor. So I wanted to be a part of this. I wanted CEOs who are coming to town to meet other CEOs and start experiencing it, and I know by my own experience that they can’t help themselves,” said May, who grew up in Texas.

Michael Mueller, Jack Matthews, and Donnie Nelson

Michael Mueller, Jack Matthews, and Donnie Nelson

Mueller, who relocated NYLO headquarters from Atlanta to Dallas in 2011, began the Spotlight presentation explaining reasons for the move including his meeting with Jack Matthews and their shared vision for a hotel in South Side.

“The concept was perfect for what we were trying to do here,” said Matthews. “The bar, your check in, the Soda Bar upstairs, all the pieces fit this area perfectly.”

Nelson, General Manager and president of basketball operations for the Mavericks, engaged the audience with the story of his and Jack Matthew’s meeting, and his love for South Side. The area came through for Nelson and the Mavericks when they needed them most: when there was a threat of relocating the team to Arlington. Nelson is also passionate about country music; so saving Gilley’s was key.

donnie nelson jack matthews

Donnie Nelson, General Manager of the Mavericks

“I travel the world. I’ve been blessed with sports to be able to experience other cultures,” said Nelson. “Texas does not need to be sold, okay; it sells itself. All you have to do is expose folks to coming here… This thing is going to take off on its own.”

Yes, the statistics all point to DFW as the place to be and do business, but it’s the people, the hospitality, and the culture that makes the difference in Texas.


Follow the link for more photos from the CEOLink event at NYLO.

Caitlin Clark is the Arts & Entertainment and Style Writer and Social Media Director for YouPlusDallas. Follow her on Twitter at @caitlinclark

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