We hope you and yours are safe and have come through last night’s storms unscathed or at least with minimal damage.
Unfortunately, the NDCC building has suffered extensive damage and for the foreseeable future, we will need to either postpone our programming or seek other venues. The good news is that our entire staff is safe. We will be assessing the situation as the day progresses and provide updates as we know them.
Thanks for your support during this challenging time and we look forward to resuming our normal activities as soon as practically possible.
President & CEO, North Dallas Chamber of Commerce
After a long and visually challenging day at the Chamber building and its neighborhood today, please allow me to tell you why I’m so grateful this evening:
1. In spite of significant devastation from the tornado last night, there was not one fatality or serious injury caused by the storm – simply astonishing!
2. Mayor Johnson and staff as well as Councilman Kleinman walked our neighborhood and expressed great support for the NDCC and our engagement in the community. We had a great exchange and I assured them that we won’t miss a beat in the months ahead.
3. Geoeffery Williams, fresh off his delayed honeymoon to England, was on site at 5:45 a.m. and immediately began assessing the damage. He has been working with roofers and other contractors to ensure the building is secure.
The building took a big hit but the walls are intact. We have lost much of our contents and most windows and doors, but we have already engaged in a dialogue with our insurance adjusters and are well on our way to ensuring we can return to our home as soon as practically possible. All the windows and doors will be boarded up by this evening – many thanks to member Gary Allan of Southlake General Contractors for responding so quickly to Geoeffery’s request for assistance.
4. Today, I received over 300 e-mail and text messages expressing concern and offering support in many forms. Knowing that we will be a “Chamber on the road” again, many of you have offered your space for our briefings, forums, seminars and committee meetings, and we simply can’t thank you enough for these gracious and generous offers. Jeff Kitner has already begun relocating all of our events over the next month. By the way, he has been staying on top of all communications in spite of his house suffering significant damage as well.
5. Lizeth and Megan have maintained a calm presence throughout the day and provide consistent and wise counsel on a whole myriad of issues. We are so fortunate to have such a great team of professionals.
This is a busy time for the NDCC and regardless of the challenges we will face in the months ahead, we are committed to providing quality programming, public advocacy and networking opportunities to our members and the community in general. We are so thankful for all your support and look forward to even a brighter future when we rebuild our home.
Best wishes to all,
President & CEO
North Dallas Chamber of Commerce
We hope you are doing well as we collectively recover from Sunday’s storm. The impact has been widespread since everyone with whom we have connected has been affected personally or through family members, friends or businesses that are dealing with the aftermath. We are fortunate to be part of a resilient community in North Dallas and are confident that our community will come back even stronger than ever.
Some observations and updates since Monday evening:
1. As the Mayor reiterated during the City Council meeting today, it is simply astounding that our city experienced no fatalities or serious injuries especially considering the intensity of the tornado. I spoke to NDCC Chair-elect, Charles Elk of Oncor who was staffing their command center Monday evening, and he suggested that Preston Royal was the epicenter of the tornado so it’s no wonder our building suffered as much damage as it did.
2. To quote NDCC Board member, Jean Maier Dean of Nathan D. Maier Consulting Engineers, “I am really bummed about the NDCC building but that is NOT what the NDCC is all about. It is much more than a building!!!!! The NDCC will prevail!!!!!” And she’s right – we have a 65 year history of doing great things in Dallas and we will continue to do so for many years to come. This is a temporary issue that will be rectified in relatively short order but in the meantime the spirit of the NDCC will “prevail.”
3. In the past 2 days, Karen, Megan and Geoeffery have been doing yeoman’s work on site salvaging as many important documents, financial records, historical information, memorabilia, etc. as possible. Much of what was recovered has already been taken to a storage unit in Addison.
Thanks to Geoeffery and member Gary Allan of Southlake General Contractors, the building is now totally secure with boarded up windows and doors and a temporary roof. Geoeffery also met with the Insurance Adjustors for much of the morning. We are so fortunate to have contracted with NDCC Ambassador Benny Wright of Jansen/Adjusters International who is serving as our third party intermediary with the Insurance Company. It was agreed that much of the internal demolition will begin as early as tomorrow. Southlake GC will be performing that service as well.
4. We have already met with the USPS and will be forwarding all our mail to a P.O. Box at the Addison Post Office and Lizeth has worked with our phone service to ensure that all calls to our office numbers will be forwarded to our mobile numbers.
5. Jeff Kitner is not only dealing with similar issues at his home but also his first grader’s school doesn’t have electricity. In spite of these challenges, Jeff has, in effect, relocated each one of our events including committee and Board meetings for the balance of the year. We continue to field literally dozens of offers of office and meeting room space as late as through today’s lunch hour. We are humbled by these generous and gracious offers of support.
As we did while our new building was being built, we see this as an opportunity to expose our members and the community in general to a variety of new venues throughout the city. For example, during the next 2 months, we will be hosting events at the Dallas Regional Chamber, Communities Foundation of Dallas, the Treehouse in Addison, the Semones Family YMCA (Town North) and many of our member’s offices. We simply can’t thank you enough for this outpouring of support.
It’s hard to believe that it’s only been 3 days since the storm ravaged a big portion of north Dallas. We have made great progress towards ensuring no to minimal interruption of our services, but we still have a lot of work to do. But we are so fortunate to be on this journey with so many valued members and community supporters.
Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t express my appreciation again for the hard work by our dedicated and committed staff who live by our mission to “help make Dallas a great place to live, work, build a business and raise a family.” We look forward to continuing to provide you with relevant programming, aggressive public advocacy for pro-business issues and plentiful networking opportunities.
President & CEO
North Dallas Chamber of Commerce
It’s been 2 weeks since the tornado swept through parts of our community with a vengeance. We continue to count our blessings that in spite of the intensity of the storm (140 mph), there were no serious injuries or fatalities – it truly is a miracle.
Here’s what we know now:
1. Many in the North Dallas community have experienced significant disruption in their lives and routines. There were 105 commercial buildings destroyed and another 354 damaged. The NDCC building was one of them, and we expect a long road to recovery. While we don’t have the final report back from our adjusters and structural engineer, we may be faced with a complete rebuild of our building. Fortunately, we have had great support from a multitude of member organizations including Southlake General Contractors and Jansen Adjusters International.
2. In addition, many homes along the tornado’s path were damaged or destroyed including Jeff Kitner’s. Jeff and his family have been displaced and have been living in 3 places while waiting for an apartment to open up in their desired location. They expect it will be at least 6 months before they will be back in their home. Other Chamber members have experienced similar challenges and of course, we are here to support anyone who has been impacted.
3. Thanks to the generosity of our members, we have had many offers of office space for our staff during this interim time. After careful consideration, our team decided it would be most efficient and effective to work from home with regular weekly check-ins and free flow communications between us. Our staff has all been equipped with new laptops and other technological tools, our office phones have been forwarded to our mobile devices and we have established a P.O. Box and forwarded all our mail to it during this interim period of time.
4. We had 24 events, committee meetings, forums, and briefings scheduled between 10/21 and 12/20 and all have been relocated thanks again to our generous members and the diligence of Jeff ensuring we didn’t miss a beat. In addition, our public advocacy efforts are ongoing, and we look forward to sharing with you some of the areas of focus in future communications.
As you know, we are in the midst of our busy fall programming season. Our Annual Aviation Breakfast, Ogletree and Deakins HR Professional of the Year Award celebration, Economic Outlook and Real Estate Conference and the Transportation Crossroads Conference are all happening in the next 6 weeks so please keep your eyes on our very busy calendar. Also, we are already looking ahead to January when we will be holding our Annual Mayor’s Breakfast, Healthcare Conference and Energy Conference.
5. When faced with a natural disaster, we are reminded what it’s like to have a real sense of community. We are so thankful for the ultimate safety of those impacted and also for the overwhelming desire demonstrated by our community to help those in need. So, what do we ask from you?
- Remain engaged in the community (e.g. don’t forget to vote tomorrow if you haven’t done so already)
- Attend NDCC events whenever possible and experience some new and different venues
- Be positive and ambassadorial in support of our mission
- Follow our progress and be prepared to help as our needs become clearer
Thanks to all for your continuing support of the NDCC. Natural disasters will happen – how we respond to them is what differentiates us. We look forward to continuing to help make Dallas a better place to live, work, build a business and raise a family as we assume our “new normal” role.