Advisory Council


Jim Young

Jim Young

 Advisory Council Chair

Jim Young serves as a Consultant, Speaker and Chairman of The Margate Group. Young serves as Chairman of Teleportec. He serves as Member of Advisory Board of CN Group Holdings, LLC. and Westlake Group, LLC. He joined EDS in 1965 as a Systems Engineer. During his tenure, he worked in sales and marketing, managed corporate communications, managed strategic planning, and led numerous special projects for the corporation one of those being the IT provider and founding sponsor for the JASON Project. Young spent more than twelve years as Assistant to the chairman of EDS.



Gil Besing

Gil Besing

Gil Besing is President and founder of Cardinal Capital Partners, Inc. of Dallas, Texas, and is an experienced national real estate investor. Under the leadership of Mr. Besing, the company has acquired nearly $5 billion of commercial property in the United States and Europe.

Mr. Besing is a member of the UT Southwestern Medical Foundation Board of Trustees, the AT&T Performing Arts Center President’s Advisory Council, Vestry Church of the Incarnation, KIPP DFW Advisory Council, Longhorn Foundation Advisory Council, the University of Texas Development Board, and the University of Texas Real Estate Finance and Investment Center Executive Council.

Mr. Besing is a Dallas native and a graduate of the University of Texas, where he earned a Bachelor’s of Business Administration degree in 1983. Mr. Besing resides in Dallas, where he and his wife, Tricia, are actively involved in a variety of community and charitable activities.



Randy Bowman

Randy Bowman 

Randy Bowman is President/Co-Owner of MW Logistics, LLC in Dallas which was founded in 2001. Mr. Bowman has primary responsible for the following functional areas at MWL:  strategy, finance, risk management, and sales/business development.

Prior to launching MW Logistics, Mr. Bowman was an attorney in private practice for 12 years. His work experience included transactional practice in both large, multinational firms and small-firm settings.  He represented a wide range of clients in private offering, IPO, merger & acquisition, strategic alliance, and joint venture transactions and developed a substantial entertainment & sports practice, negotiating deals to finance or create entertainment product, provide entertainment or sports services, exploit rights and/or acquire rights. 

Mr. Bowman received a BA in 1996 in Advertising from the University of Texas at Austin and a JD in 1989 from Whittier College School of Law, magna cum laude, in Los Angeles, California.

Mr. Bowman serves on the Dallas Regional Chamber Board of Directors, and Parkland Foundation Board of Directors. Former community involvement includes serving on the Dallas Symphony Board of Governors, the Dallas Bar Association and the Dallas Black Academy of Arts and Letters. He was honored with the Heman Marion Sweatt Legacy Award from the University of Texas at Austin in 2011 and the Chairman’s Award, D/FW Minority Business Council in 2005.

Mr. Bowman has been married 21 years to Jill Louis Bowman and have two children.

Don Glendenning

Don Glendenning

Don Glendenning is Co-Chair of Locke Lord's Corporate and Transactional Department and Managing Partner of Locke Lord Edwards LLP's Dallas office, and is active in a number of civic and charitable organizations.





Gayle Johansen

Gayle Johansen

A Texas native, Gayle Johansen is always on call. Indeed, her relentless energy and commitment to client service has been the hallmark of her 25 years as gatekeeper to some of Dallas’ most sought-after neighborhoods, including Preston Hollow, Bluffview, Lakewood, and the Park Cities. Gayle has generated sales volume of over $350,000,000 while being recognized by D Magazine’s “Best Realtors/Top Producers in Dallas” every year since 2004. Today, she is Senior Vice President at Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty.

Gayle’s long-standing commitment to many of Dallas’ elite institutions helps ensure that her clients receive tailored, attentive service while benefiting from unique access to the kind of data and information that can make all the difference in luxury real estate transactions. She was a Vice-President of the Board of Directors at Congregation Temple Emanu-El and currently serves as Past-President of the Board at Vickery Meadow Learning Center, where she is a volunteer teacher of ESL. She has also served on the Board of Directors of a number of Dallas’s leading organizations, including the University of Texas at Dallas Callier Center for Communication Disorders, the Dallas Museum of Art League,  Community Homes For Adults (CHAI), and the Crystal Charity Ball Committee. In addition, she served as both President of the Executive Committee and President of the Parents Association for the St. Mark’s School Board of Trustees, and was a member of the Board of the Hockaday and Lamplighter Schools Parents’ Associations.

Gayle’s long-standing involvement with the local Dallas community also renders her particularly well-suited to working with first-time home buyers. “It is immensely gratifying to help a family find their first home and to share their joy and excitement,” she observes. Gayle has also distinguished herself over the years working with relocating families, for whom she leverages her strong connections to Dallas’ private school community to find not only the ideal neighborhood, but also the best schools and community organizations for these relocating families.

A graduate of Newcomb College (Tulane University) with a B.A. in Political Science and Spanish, Gayle spent her junior year studying in Madrid. She has three children and five grandchildren. An avid reader, Gayle is a member of the Dallas Institute Book Club.

Gayle’s career has been defined by a singular focus on ensuring her clients’ satisfaction and happiness. Her success in this regard is evident in the enduring and genuine relationships she has built with hundreds of clients over the years. She is proud of her association with Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International, which provides the ideal platform for her to excel.



Jack Matthews

Jack Matthews

While completing his MBA from the University of Western Ontario in 1982, Jack joined Matthews Group Ltd, the family construction company. In 1985 Jack was appointed President and presided over a period of unprecedented growth as company revenues grew from $69 million to over $500 million. In 1988, Jack founded Matthews Southwest to provide an American presence in the development business.

From 1991 to 1993 Jack served as Chief Executive Officer of Paxport International, the firm awarded the $4 billion Federal contract to privatize and redevelop Pearson International Airport in Toronto.

In 1994, Jack purchased Matthews Southwest and relocated to Dallas, Texas and has continued to develop innovative, quality commercial, industrial and residential projects in Canada, the United States and Mexico. He has also established an international presence with Matthews Southwest EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa).

Jack has led the completion of many diverse projects including hotels, condominiums, offices, retail, residential and industrial space. His experience and mastery of all aspects of development - from imagining to creating, acquiring the land, financing the deal, building the project, then holding or selling on completion - helps to create value at all stages in the process.

Jack's greatest strength is his ability to assemble and complete complex projects that include hidden opportunities for value creation. He routinely finds under-utilized re-development sites, structures the financing very skillfully, and manages the civic implications of urban re-development. In his understated way, he is as comfortable being part of a team as leading it.


Florence Shapiro

Florence Shapiro

Florence Shapiro is the daughter of Holocaust survivors. Raised in Dallas, she graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Education. From public school teacher to six-terms on the Plano City Council, to Mayor to President of the Texas Municipal League, to completing a distinguished 20-year career as a Republican leader in the Texas Senate in 2013- Shapiro has passionately served her local community and the great state of Texas.  

As a State Senator, she is best known for her work in regional mobility, setting accountability standards for public education, and for protecting children from sexual predators. Many of the Texas laws Shapiro authored have been duplicated in other state legislatures and in Congress. Shapiro has been a teacher, a small business owner, a volunteer, a board chairman, and President and Founder of such groups as the Collin County Junior League and the Information & Referral Center of Collin County receiving over 250 awards for her public service. She was only the 6th woman in Texas history to be honored as Governor For-a-Day and she was selected by President George W. Bush to accompany him as part of the US delegation to celebrate Israels's 60th Anniversary.

Today, Shapiro is a public policy consultant and serves as the Chairman of Texans for Education Reform, a public education advocacy group. She is also serving as Vice President of the Dallas Holocaust Museum for Tolerance & Education, as well as the boards of AT&T Performing Arts Center, COMMIT! Dallas, Southwestern Medical Foundation, University of Texas at Austin Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life, Anette Simmons College of Education at SMU, Communities Foundation of Texas, Children’s Medical Center of Dallas. She chairs TexProtects, Educate Texas, and serves as Executive Director of Collin County Business Alliance. In addition, Senator Shapiro has had numerous recognitions such as the renaming of the Plano City Council chamber “Senator Florence Shapiro Council Chamber” and the Assistance Center of Collin County renaming the welcoming center the “Florence Shapiro Welcoming Center.” Scholarships have been named in her honor as well. The Metroplex Technology Business Council has a STEM scholarship in her honor and the Republican Women of North Collin County have also sponsored a scholarship in her name.

Shapiro and her husband, Howard, have been married for 45 years and are the proud parents of three children and twelve grandchildren. 


Michael Sorrell

Michael J. Sorrell

Michael J. Sorrell is the 34th President of Paul Quinn College. Under his leadership, the school is experiencing one of the greatest turnarounds in the history of higher education. Michael’s vision is to permanently transform PQC into a nationally elite small college by focusing on entrepreneurship, academic rigor, and servant leadership.

Among the school’s numerous accomplishments during President Sorrell’s seven year tenure have been: winning the 2011 HBCU of the Year, the 2012 HBCU Student Government Association of the Year, and the 2013 HBCU Business Program of the Year awards; being recognized as a member of the 2013 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll; demolishing 15 abandoned campus buildings; partnering with PepsiCo to transform the unused football field into the two acre “WE over Me Farm”; achieving full-accreditation from the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS); rewriting all institutional fundraising records (including the most seven-figure gifts in school history; and restructuring the curriculum.

Michael received his J.D. and M.A. in Public Policy from Duke University and is currently a doctoral student at the University of Pennsylvania.  While in law school, he was one of the founding members of the Journal of Gender Law & Policy and served as the Vice President of the Duke Bar Association.  Michael was a recipient of the Sloan Foundation Graduate Fellowship, which funded his studies at both Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government (as a graduate fellow) and Duke University.  He graduated from Oberlin College with a B.A. in Government, served as Secretary-Treasurer of his senior class, was a two-time captain of the men’s varsity basketball team, and graduated as the school’s fifth all-time leading scorer.

Among the entities that President Sorrell serves as a trustee or director are Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy, the College Board, the Center for Minority Serving Institutions at the University of Pennsylvania, Amegy Bank, Teach for America, the Dallas Regional Chamber, and the Tate Distinguished Lecture Series and the Department of Education Policy and Leadership for the Simmons School of Education at SMU. Michael was named the 2012 HBCU Male President of the Year by HBCU Digest and selected as a member of the “Root 100” (a list of the top 100 emerging leaders in America) by the Root On-line Magazine.  He received the Excellence in Education Distinguished Alumni Award from his high school, St. Ignatius College Prep in Chicago, Illinois; the A. Kenneth Pye Award for Excellence in Education from the Alumni Association of Duke University’s School of Law; and the TRACS Leadership Award.  The Dallas Historical Society has honored Michael for Excellence in Educational Administration and the NAACP, Heart House, the Dallas Furniture Bank, and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dallas have also recognized him for his civic leadership.  He is a past recipient of the Dallas Urban League’s Torch for Community Leadership and both the President’s and C.B. Bunkley Awards from J.L. Turner for his outstanding contributions to the Dallas legal community.  Additionally, in 2002 the Dallas Business Journal named him one of Dallas’ Forty Under 40 and in 2011, the same periodical awarded him a Minority Business Leaders Award. Michael is also a life member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. 

Michael is a sought after writer and speaker (among the places that regularly feature his editorials are the Dallas Morning News and the Huffington Post). Additionally, his TEDx talk on the New Urban College model is critically acclaimed.

President Sorrell is married to the former Natalie Jenkins.  Natalie is an alumna of Spelman College and received her MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.  They have one son, Michael Augustus and are expecting a daughter in February.


Michelle Thomas

Michelle Thomas

Michelle Thomas joined JPMorgan Chase in 2000.  She is vice president of Corporate Responsibility and Community Relations for JPMorgan Chase and responsible for managing a multi-million dollar corporate giving budget for Dallas and Austin.  Michelle is also responsible for implementing the firm’s strategic approach to philanthropy, which is multifaceted and aims to address community needs in the local market.  She serves on the Dallas Market Leadership Team and represents the firm at community events.

Michelle has been in the financial industry for more than 25 years as a banker, human resource and community development professional.  A Dallas native, Michelle earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Education from the University of Oklahoma and a MBA from Dallas Baptist University.  In addition, she received her teaching certification from the State of Texas and Oklahoma.

She is personally committed to the community through her many volunteer roles, including Advisory Board Member of the Center for Nonprofit Management and Junior League of Dallas, Board of Director for the African American Museum, Dallas Summit, Methodist Health Foundation and UT Southwestern Medical Foundation.  She is an alumnus of Leadership Dallas and a member of Dallas Assembly.  Michelle was recently recognized as a 2014 Minority Business Leader in the Dallas Business Journal.

Being a catalyst for meaningful, positive, and sustainable change within high need neighborhoods and communities across the globe is important to JPMorgan Chase and to Michelle as a champion of the firm’s commitment to corporate responsibility.

Chase and J.P. Morgan are affiliates of JPMorgan Chase & Co., which employs more than 26,000 Texans. The firm employs more than 12,500 people in North Texas, making it one of the 10 largest employers in North Texas.