Every Last Word: Quotes About All Things North Texas

Read “who said what” in our roundup of quotes about all things North Texas, including ENO8's Jeff Francis; MyndVR's Chris Brickler and Ted Werth; Axxess' John Olajide; the Urban Land Institute's Ron Pressman; Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson; the Mavs Foundation's Katie Edwards; UT Arlington's Yi Hong; HomeUSA.com's Ben Caballero; ParkHub's George Baker Sr.; and more.

THE LAST WORD on Dallas Innovates. Find "who said what" in our collection of quotes on Dallas-Fort Worth Innovation.

Friday, October 28

ENO8 President and Co-founder Jeff Francis. [Photo: LinkedIn]

“Being the first to market DOESN’T equate to success. It can even be a detriment.”

Jeff Francis
President and Co-Founder
.…on how rushing doesn’t always win the race for software startups, via LinkedIn.

DFW-based Francis says he helps tech founders launch their digital products “with clarity and confidence while increasing success raising capital and reducing risk in execution.” 

He’s been putting some interesting advice up on LinkedIn. Last week he shared this: “I have two kids, and a phrase you will NEVER hear me say to them is, ‘Second place is first loser.’”

“Culturally, I think we’ve pretty much wiped this backward thinking out of children’s sports,” he adds. “But it’s alive and well in the software space.”

Francis believes the real goal should be “wowing the highest number of users and continuing to wow them,” not racing to be the first in the space, noting that sometimes “the first one to market doesn’t quite nail what users want.”

Read more here.

Thursday, October 27

MyndVR in action. [Video still: MyndVR]

“Get ready for your doctor to give you a dose of VR.”

Chris Brickler and Ted Werth
Founder & CEO and CFO, respectively 
.…on how now is the time to invest in digital therapeutics, via Nasdaq.

Dallas-based MyndVR is a leading provider of virtual reality solutions for seniors and “active agers.” Using gaze-based navigation with VR headsets, users can interact with MyndVr’s immersive C.A.R.E. VRx app, which blends voice-based, guided imagery with 360-degree visuals of forests, lakes, beaches, and more.

Writing in a Nasdaq post, Brickler and Werth cite the federal Access to Prescription Digital Therapeutics Act of 2022 as a key opportunity for investors. 

Digital therapeutics are a new class of treatments that often utilize digital content, such as apps, games, and virtual reality experiences to diagnose, treat, and potentially cure any number of diseases and conditions,” they write. 

They note that VR is a “very promising avenue” in digital therapeutics, one that’s “actually been used as a niche healthcare device for over 20 years, providing safe exposure therapy for people with phobias, reducing pain through distraction therapy, and helping veterans with PTSD.”

Read more here.

Wednesday, October 26

Axxess Founder and CEO John Olajide

“The future of healthcare is in the home.”

John Olajide
President and CEO 
.…on his company earning ACHC certification, via LinkedIn.

Dallas-based Axxess empowers healthcare in the home with a suite of enterprise software solutions that help companies streamline their operations and grow their organizations.

And now it’s doing that with a new status. Writing on LinkedIn last week, Olajide announced that Axxess’ software has earned product certification from the Accredited Commission for Health Care with “zero deficiencies.” Olajide noted that the zero deficiencies status “is an impressive accomplishment for organizations in the care at home industry.”

Read more.

Tuesday, October 25

Ron Pressman, global CEO of Urban Land Institute, [Photo: ULI]

“We’ve got some 28 tours going on of real estate development and redevelopment activities going on here in Dallas over the next four days.”

Ron Pressman
Global CEO 
Urban Land Institute
.…on the ULI’s Fall 2022 Meeting happening through Thursday at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, via Dallas Business Journal.

Pressman, the former CEO of institutional financial services at TIAA, was appointed global CEO of the Urban Land Institute only two weeks ago. But he’s up and running at the ULI’s Fall 2022 Meeting in Downtown Dallas this week, a four-day conference that began Monday at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.

The ULI is the world’s oldest and largest network of cross-disciplinary real estate and land use experts, and is welcoming over 5,000 attendees to this week’s conference, which is packed with daily sessions and speakers—and as Pressman notes above, dozens of tours of all things CRE in Dallas.

Pressman told Dallas Business Journal’s Bill Hethcock that “the days ahead for Dallas look pretty positive in terms of continued population and job growth. The diversity of the industrial complex or job complex here in the Metroplex all foreshadow good opportunities going forward. From a sheer real estate perspective, the view is pretty positive for Dallas.”

He sees Dallas as an example of a number of CRE trends, he told the DBJ: “Whether that’s creating attractive living spaces, addressing affordable housing challenges, creating attractive environments for populations to live in, and some of the newer aspects of commercial real estate that are particularly important in the increasingly virtual world we live in, like distribution centers, fulfillment centers.”

Read more here.

Monday, October 24

Southern Gateway Park’s Phase One (right side above, including the hilltop-covered restaurant/retail complex at center) and Phase Two (upper left above). [Image: HKS]

“There is no way on Earth you can build something like this and it not stimulate the economy.”

Eric Johnson
City of Dallas
.…on TxDOT completing the deck foundation over I-35 for Dallas’ Southern Gateway Park, via Fox 4 DFW.

Mayor Eric Johnson

Southern Gateway Park, a planned $172 million, five-acre deck park over I-35 by the Dallas Zoo—just reached a big milestone. TxDOT has completed the foundation deck for Phase 1 of the deck park (seen in the right half of the image above). The park will literally and figuratively reconnect the Oak Cliff neighborhood that was divided by I-35 in the 1950s.

The park promises to be an engineering marvel with five acres of wooded slopes, water features, rocky escarpments, a restaurant/retail complex hidden under a hilltop, and one of the most awesome kids’ playgrounds in North Texas. But its greatest achievement may be to make Oak Cliff whole again—and to bring all of Dallas together.

Now that TxDOT has completed the Phase 1 deck, the Southern Gateway Public Green Foundation will begin working to build the park.

“”Klyde Warren Park has been such an amazing success story for our city. We stand on the shoulders of Klyde Warren,” the foundation’s president, April Allen, told Fox 4. “They demonstrated how this can be done. Our community said we would like to see something like this in the southern sector.”

Mayor Johnson says the impact of the park promises to be profound. “It is absolutely going to create job opportunities, retail, residential you name it,” he told Fox 4. “It is going to be fantastic.”

Read more here.

Friday, October 21


Image: iStock

“This year, more dunks mean more equitable futures.”

Katie Edwards
Chief Impact Officer and President
Mavs Foundation
.…on the Dallas Mavericks teaming up with TIAA for the 2022 “Dunks for Equity” program.

Katie Edwards, chief impact officer and president of the Mavs Foundation. [Photo: LinkedIn]

The next time you see Luka Doncic slam home a dunk at a Dallas Mavericks game, he’ll be doing more than helping his team win in the new NBA season. He’ll also be scoring $50 to help create opportunities for young adults across Dallas-Fort Worth.

TIAA and the Mavericks are teaming up on Dunks for Equity, a program supporting educational and professional equity for all. 

For every Mavericks dunk this season, TIAA will donate $50 to the Mavs Foundation that will go to two local nonprofits: Year Up, a tuition-free  job training program for young adults in Dallas-Fort Worth that aims to bridge the economic divide; and Dress for Success Dallas, which strives to move women closer to gainful employment and economic independence.

“The Mavericks are proud to partner with TIAA to make a real difference,” Edwards said in a statement. “We hope this gives MFFLs [Mavericks Fans for Life] even more reasons to cheer, knowing that together we’re making the DFW community stronger.”

Read more here.

Thursday, October 20

UT Arlington Associate Professor Yi Hong [Photo: UTA]

“This fundamental research will help us understand the interactions between heart cells and the biomaterials used.”

Yi Hong
Associate Professor, Department of Bioengineering
UT Arlington
.…on developing new bioactive materials to mimic the natural state of a body for heart research.

Hong has received the Established Investigator Award from the American Heart Association, receiving $400,000 in research funding support for five years. The award is given to established investigators in rapid growth phases of their careers, whose accomplishments continue to show promise.

Hong’s promise centers around his research on new “bioactive materials” to mimic the natural state of a body for heart research. That’s important because cardiovascular disease remains the world’s No.1 killer in the world, claiming nearly 18 million lives per year, UTA says.

Hong says biomaterials and tissue engineering show promise for use in tech including cardiac patches and injectable materials that can help repair people’s hearts.

“The challenge is that some of these biomaterials aren’t ideal, because of their mechanical mismatching and insufficient bioactivity,” Hong said in a statement. “This fundamental research will help us understand the interactions between heart cells and the biomaterials used. We must analyze what happens with these interactions and why.”

Read more here.

Wednesday, October 19

Ben Caballero is a three-time and current Guinness World Record title holder for “The most annual home sales transactions through MLS by an individual sell side real estate agent” and the No. 1-ranked individual real estate agent in the U.S. by Real Trends since 2013. [Photo: PR Newswire]

“Home buyers should remember that while you marry the home, you date your rate.”

Ben Caballero
.…on how Texas home builders are “scrambling” as interest rates rise. 

Caballero—a three-time Guinness Book of World Records holder for most current annual home sale transactions through MLS by an individual sell-side real estate agent—should know a thing or two about interest rates. And he says the recent spikes have got Texas home builders “scrambling.”

“With inventory increasing, and the pace of new home sales starting to slow, builders are implementing multiple strategies to avoid price reductions,” Caballero says in the latest HomesUSA.com New Home Sales report. The strategies include offering incentives to buyers and higher commissions and bonuses.

For anxious home buyers, Caballero’s point about “dating” your rate is more than a fun play on words. He notes that most people refinance their purchase loan in the future, when rates might perhaps be lower than they are now.

According to the report, the 3-month average of September home sales across Texas was marginally higher. However, home sales in its two biggest markets, Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston, were down slightly. DFW home sales in September were 1,144 versus 1,149 in August, and Houston’s came in at 1,373 versus 1,442 in August.

The 3-month moving average of new home prices in September in Dallas-Fort Worth was $502,686 versus $512,934 in August, the report added, indicating a nearly $10,000 dip, the report shows.

Tuesday, October 18

George Baker Sr. founder and CEO of ParkHub. [Photo: ParkHub]

“Thirteen years in, I’m amazed by how many seasons of change we go through as entrepreneurs and professionals.”

George Baker Sr.
Founder and CEO 
.…on learning from seasons of change in business, via Forbes.

Achieving triple-digit growth isn’t easy. It takes vision and execution, boldness and grit,” Baker writes in an article in Forbes. “You can’t talk your way into that kind of growth. You have to put the work in, stay united in adversity, lick the occasional wounds of failure, and keep taking risks to find those successes that lie at the intersection of technologies and trends in the marketplace.”

What makes growth even harder is when “seasons of change” hit businesses and founders alike, he adds, offering some insights into how he and Parkhub have dealt with them.

Founded in 2010, ParkHub is a Dallas-based parking tech provider that works with businesses, municipalities, and venues like AT&T Stadium and American Airlines Center. It provides the software and hardware to manage parking operations and payments, while providing analytics and insights to customers. In August, it acquired payment processing integrator Fuzse to help it strive toward payments leadership in the parking industry.

One of those “seasons of change” is slamming ParkHub right now, Baker writes in Forbes:

“We’re a business that’s tied heavily to the seasonality of sports and entertainment, and we have a time of year that might be better named Peak ParkHub. With more sporting event customers coming online each year, the seasonal change this time of year represents the biggest challenge to our team, much like retailers have to bolster their attack during the holidays.”

Read more here.

Monday, October 17

2022 Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy recipients include, L to R starting at second from left: Kenyan industrialist Manu Chandaria; Lyda Hill; Lynn Schusterman; Dolly Parton; and Stacy Schusterman. [Photo: Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy]

“We need different thinking.”

Lyda Hill
President of LH Holdings and Founder of Lyda Hill Philanthropies 
.…on why more women are needed in science and medical research, via the Associated Press.

In a ceremony Thursday night in New York City, Hill received a 2022 Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy along with fellow recipients Dolly Parton, Manu Chandaria, and Lynn and Stacy Schusterman.

Dallas Innovates wrote about Hill’s honor back in August. She was recognized by the Carnegie Medal for supporting women in STEM fields and inspiring girls to be interested in STEM careers, in addition to being recognized for investments in the life sciences, including cancer and mental health research and treatment; conservation; and empowering community-based nonprofits to maximize impact, the organization said. 

Speaking to the AP before the ceremony, Hill talked about why she’s so supportive of getting girls and women into STEM education and science and medical careers, through efforts like the IF/THEN initiative

“People will look back years from now and say, ’One of the things the pandemic did was that it brought science to the forefront and it advanced medical research,” Hill told the AP. “But we can’t just have half the population doing the research for Pete’s sake. We need the whole population involved. That’s why we started IF/THEN… It’s a program to encourage young girls to go into science so they realize that’s a field they can go into. We need different thinking.”

Read more here.

Friday, October 14

James Harding of Google speaking at HackDFW. [Photo: HackDFW]

“Our future workforce is in this room.”

James Harding
Enterprise AI/Machine Learning Customer Engineer
.…on the promise shown by participants in the 48-hour HackDFW Marathon.

The eighth annual HackDFW, powered by Say Yes to Dallas and presented by Google, connected hundreds of aspiring technologists to several Fortune 100 companies. It was a unique 48-hour marathon that challenged more than 550 people from 80 universities. Tech teams created ways to innovatively tackle waste management, climate change, better understand decisions from the Supreme Court, and much more.

Harding said all kinds of future change could be on display at the event.

“We want to empower the kids to be able to do some of the things we are doing,” Harding said. “If they can start making changes today and start pushing change, whether that’s implementing new technologies or policy changes, that’s a good thing.”

Participants competed for more than $84,000 in prizes, including laptops, iPads, and gift cards. You can read all about the event and see all the winners, and view a highlights video by going here.

Tuesday, October 4

Dr. Xianming “Simon” Dai (left) with Saiya Li, now a graduate student at Purdue University, and mechanical engineering PhD student Jyotirmoy Sarma (right)in Dr. Dai’s lab in 2021. [Photo: UTD]

“As a huge ‘Star Wars’ fan, I’m excited to see that we’re moving closer to the ‘moisture farms’ of Luke’s youth.”

Dr. Joshua Summers
Professor and Department Head of Mechanical Engineering
UT Dallas
.…on research by Dr. Xianming “Simon” Dai and his team on developing tech that accelerates the harvesting of water from the air.

With mega-droughts drying up lakes out west and “water wars” predicted in the world’s future, having reliable access to water is becoming more and more vital.

A team at UT Dallas led by Dr. Xianming “Simon” Dai (seen at left above) is doing something about it. They’re working on a tech platform that could enable anyone to have “an affordable, portable device that could access water anywhere, anytime conceivably using no external energy,” according to the university.

The team is leveraging a novel “flow-separation slippery surface” built on Dai’s earlier work to capture water from fog and air. 

Their new water havesting platform is able to quickly remove and store water droplets that have formed a thermal barrier, which prevents further condensation. The platform’s unique shape achieves this through a series of mushroom-like channels thinner than a human hair, which collect the harvested water and keep the collection surface free to harvest more.

Read more here.

Monday, October 3

Colossal co-founder and CEO Ben Lamm. [Image: Colossal]

“When you make @jeopardy.

Ben Lamm
Founder and CEO 
Colossal Biosciences
.…on his company’s fueling an answer on the TV show “Jeopardy,” via Twitter.

Colossal’s Tasmanian tiger project fuels a “Jeopardy” answer. (The question is “What is Tasmania?”) [Image: Twitter]

In August, Colossal Biosciences announced it is working to “de-extinct” the Tasmanian tiger with the help of an Australian university and “marsupial biobanking.”

It didn’t take long for the TV show “Jeopardy” to notice—and work it into an answer.

Colossal isn’t trying to restore the Tasmanian tiger just because it’s a cool thing to do. The company says returning the predator to the wild could potentially help restore badly damaged ecosystems in Australia and Tasmania.

“We’re thrilled to be collaborating with Andrew Pask and the University of Melbourne to restore this amazing animal to Earth, while also further developing gestational and genetic rescue technologies for future marsupial conservation efforts,” Lamm said in August.

Read more.


Want more? Go here for Every Last Word 2022: The Q3 Archive.

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