It was a rare privilege to be present at this year’s bigBANG! luncheon.
It featured a unique and intimate conversation between three local and national changemakers: Catherine Cuellar, Jennifer Staubach Gates and Jenna Bush Hager.
|Jenna Bush Hager talks about being part of bigBANG! 2013 (click to view, or watch on Instagram)|
All three women share two important characteristics: they are the daughters of famously successful men who have made a considerable impact on our community — and beyond — and they are successfully contributing to a better future for their communities.
The three women discussed education, service, family, faith and the city’s future. Their parents instilled in them at an early age that education is the key to success. Cuellar, whose family founded El Chico and has owned and operated restaurants in the area for many years, attended J.J. Pearce High School in Richardson. She spoke with gratitude about her public education as one of the many gifts the area has given her on her path to becoming the executive director of the Dallas Arts District.
Staubach Gates, a recently instated Dallas City Council member, emphasized the importance of nonprofits to the growth of Dallas. She said, “We depend on the nonprofit world to enrich our city.” Bush Hager highlighted the responsibility each of us has if we want to improve the community we live in, saying that we should all “be kind and give back.”
One of the most poignant moments during the conversation came after moderator Shelley Kofler from KERA asked the panelists about the importance of faith in their own lives. Bush Hager said she and her husband “find great faith in the people we surround ourselves with.” That notion perfectly fit the themes of bigBANG! 2013. Faith in each other’s abilities to deliver a key “piece of the puzzle” enables each of us to concentrate on our cause and strengths — providing a foundation for the kind of lasting change that will move North Texas forward.
As they extend their families’ legacies of service, these women are inspiring changemakers in their own right. When so many in our society crumble under the pressure that can come from having famous, successful parents, they took the lessons imparted to them and made them integral to their lives’ work.
Susan Hoff, Catherine Cuellar, Jenna Bush Hager, Jennifer Staubach Gates, Shelley Kofler, Jennifer Sampson
Jane Hensley supports engagement efforts at United Way of Metropolitan Dallas that connect individuals and organizations with opportunities to directly improve lives in North Texas. Before joining United Way in August 2013, she worked as a strategic communications consultant and trainer. She tweets @JaneKHens.